Friday, July 27, 2007

Mosaic Craft as Art - Artist Living His Dream In Rosarito Mexico

South of the Border travel is always fun. Great food... including sea food, frosty drinks made with tropical fruits and good liquor and my favorite... Shopping!

We were not disappointed with the shopping district in Rosarito, Baja, Mexico. Store after store are filled with custom iron, blown glass, talavera tile and my favorite... independent crafters.

mosaic-in-rosarito.jpgWe strayed of the main path and followed signs up the stairs to an out of the way shop.  Mario Rodriquez met us at the door with a smile, a hearty greeting (in English) and  then began instantly with a torrent of explanations about his work.

Here is a guy who uses the stuff that others are throwing away to make his craft.  This town is filled with tile and pottery stores, which leads to a ton of breakage.

Every shop owner piles these shards of ceramic "junk" into a box and Mario makes a weekly trek to pick up his supply of  "craft supplies". He takes these bits and pieces of color and works his magic making beautiful mosaics to sell in his little shop. He is so into the entrepreneurial spirit that he welcomes custom orders.



His business name is Baja's Mosaic Spot and he describes his wok as - "A very unique twist of mosaic art... anything your heart desires we will do!"










mosaic-sun.jpgOf course... I had to purchase a few items, I mean a girl has to support the arts doesn't she? 

The sun is cut out of wood with a jig saw, and painted with black acrylic paint.

The mosaic shards are grouted with cobalt blue grout and the sun face in the center is painted by hand. 




This mask isn't as scary in life as it is in this photo.  The base of the mask is a broken roof tile, which always has a hole to attach to the roof, thus leaving a great place for Mario to attach a hanger.

The colors are so vibrant and the use of black grout really sets them off. The pattern used for the eyes is actually a very common tile pattern found in Rosarito tile shops. 

I had a wonderful shopping excursion in Rosarito, Baja, Mexico... can you tell?

Technorati Tags: Mosaic, craft, Rosarito, Mexico, Baja, shopping, home made, mexican art,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Puerto Nuevo Baja Mexico - Lobster Dining 2

Restaurant Puerto Nuevo Two, Baja, Mexico.

Since this group was vacationing in a condo nearby we couldn't help ourselves. The call of Lobster was too loud.

Restaurant number one was closed on Sunday... so we went to their sister site next door. The food was equally as good as the other restaurant, but the atmosphere is not quite the same. It is very nice, but not as much fun as the original.

Hand written menu posted outside guarantees that the same menu is available, but the meal includes a soup or salad and a margarita. The price was a few dollars more... well worth the extra expense.

This may look like a margarita, but it's actually a michelada

The weather was warm, and a cold beer is always good with Mexican style food. A michelada added a different twist to a regular beer and so cold we all got a short headache.

The cool drink is made with beer and lemon and/or lime and salt. Some other ingredients are often added as well.

I think the waiters have too much time on their hands!

With the bill comes these cute little mice scooting across the table. Made with napkins, limes and antenna from lobsters.

You can see the little lime hiding under this little mouse.

A website has instructions to make something similar for your next party.

Marble Mouse

Friday, July 13, 2007

Puerto Nuevo Restaraunts - Lobster By The Pound

Lobster! Puerto Nuevo Baja Mexico Dining.

Dining in Puerto Nuevo means eating lobster by the pound. When you add the drawn butter dripping down your chin and arms... well these are not restaurants for the Weight Watcher crowd.

3 of these grilled lobster halves for each with beans, rice, tortillas and salsa is served family style. A true Mexico dining experience and the price was a steal! About $14 each.

Puerto Nuevo 1 is the original lobster restaraunt. If you go... plan on an hour wait, outside! Oh... but it is so worth it.

The original carving over the door. It appears to be 2 lobsters and 2 fish... of course this is what they serve.

Don't expect anything to be searved in this diner like atmosphere. Family style means searve yourself. The tortillias, salsa, rice, butter and beans are searved in bowls just like Mama would. Plain food that tastes great. What could be better?

Our table was located right next to the kitchen. The waiters, managers, clean up crew and cooks all performed with expert ease. Like a choreographed dance.

Puerto Nuevo is a clearly marked village on the Old Road, 10 minutes south of downtown Rosarito.

Take the Rosarito-Ensenada toll road to the Puerto Nuevo turnoff at kilometer 49.

Turn left onto the Old Road and continue south a short distance to the village, which will be on your right.

It is exactly 10 miles from Rosarito's southern toll gate.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rosarito Mexico Condo Rental | Video

Notes about our Rosarito Mexico Condo Rental:

Sometimes you just have to get away. The weather in our area is topping out at 118 degrees and we needed to find some cooler weather for a few days. Two trucks and 8 friends headed out for a new adventure and beach weather in Mexico.

Rosarito is a small community on the west coast about 30 minutes south of Tijuana, Mexico. The condominium rent in San Diego is getting prohibitive in cost and the crowds are mostly like Spring Break. We wanted see some new sights, eat great food and sleep listening to the crashing waves.

The condo rental we lucked in on is available at this website: Villa Pacifica

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo slept 8 with an air mattress (provided by the condo owner) on the living room floor. The kitchen is huge with plenty of cabinets for all our junk food. All towels and bedding is provided . We did bring our folding lawn chairs so we could all nap in the sunshine and breezy afternoons.

The condo is in a secure complex... and the guards are walking the compound 24 hours.

Gorgeous landscape is everywhere. You just wont find a prettier spot in this area.

The drives are a bit narrow for our full size truck. ... and as you can see the parking was a bit tight, but we squeezed in.

The garage is not really a garage. A small portion of it is storage for the condo owner and the rest of the space was turned into the 3rd bedroom. It is a neat use of space. Very cleaver.

We did have a bit of trouble following the directions for the lock box. I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face. It really wasn't that difficult, and 3 heads are always better than one.

This is sunset on the one night the marine layer didn't invade our space. As you can see the pelican air force was on site.

When you see the pelicans diving, you have to go to the fence and look down over the edge of the cliff. Dolphins are bound to be fishing in the area for supper and the pelicans are their to clean up the leftovers.

This video is not of our trip... it is a family that stayed in the same condo in 2006. Don't they look like they are having fun?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

7 Things You Can Make Out Of Cactus

If you're like me, you probably have not thought about what you could make with cactus leaves or the fruit from cactus. However... if you live in the desert southwest, you will see these items in the local grocery stores. I often wondered what could be made with cactus.

Finally... now you know at least 7 things you could do with cactus or cactus blooms.

How To Make Cactus Soap

The most common cactus used in bath and body products is prickly pear, known for its conditioning and skin-soothing properties. Prickly pear can also be used as a mild acne treatment. You can find cactus juice, extract, and even leaves or puree at health stores, and at some beauty supply outlets. If you have trouble locating a retailer, there are a few online stores that carry it as well.

Cactus makes an excellent addition to bar soap. It has hardening properties when combined with heated glycerin, and adds emollients that are kind to the skin. Here's how to make a melt-and-pour cactus soap.
Cactus Salsa

For a real crowd pleaser at a picnic or party make this cactus salsa ahead of time and allow it to blend its flavors in the refrigerator for a few hours or more. Just mix all the ingredients above that you can obtain. Some hot peppers are always in favor here in the SouthWest, but other folks may need it tamed down on the hot peppers some. One can use this as a dip for tortilla chips, or a relish and garnish on burritos, meat dishes or a general spicy condiment.
Cactus Breakfast Burrito

This is one of my favorite recipes, the cactus mixes very well with many ingredients and tastes very good. Take the cleaned and diced cactus and add to some diced potatoes that are already pretty well cooked with your favorite spices including garlic and onions. After a minute or so add a couple of fresh eggs to the mix and scramble all together well. Heat some tortilla shells and spoon the mixture into the shells, add salsa roll up and enjoy.
serves four

Preparing Edible Cactus
Edible cactus is also known as nopales (no-PAH-les), nopalitos or cactus pads. This vegetable is popular in Mexico and other Central American countries, parts of Europe, the Middle East, India, North Africa and Australia. Its popularity is increasing in the United States where it can be found at Mexican grocery stores, specialty produce markets and farmer’s markets.
Stir-Fried Edible Cactus With Tomatoes and Herbs

4 cactus leaves
1 jicama
1 chili seeded and finely diced
1 orange, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Make Your Own RainStick

The rain stick is a musical instrument from South America. Traditionally, rain sticks are made from the wood skeleton of a cactus. First, the thorns are pulled off and pushed back through the soft flesh of the cactus. Then the cactus is left in the sun to dry--with the thorns on the inside. Later, the hollow cactus is filled with small pebbles, and the ends are sealed with pieces of wood.

Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly