Friday, October 18, 2013

Vampire Bunny tea party and Sugar Skulls

Another week closer to Halloween ! and then it is the celebration of the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos /All Saints Day (1st and 2nd of November) and they celebrate it BIG in Mexico.

Day of the Dead is an interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1st and 2nd. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul's and  All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honouring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours.
On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. In most Indian villages, beautiful altars (ofrendas) are made in each home. They are decorated with candles, buckets of flowers (wild marigolds called cempasuchil ) mounds of fruit, peanuts, plates of turkey mole (Mole is a fantastic rich sauce!yummmm!) , stacks of tortillas and big Day-of-the-Dead breads called pan de muerto.

The altar needs to have lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos, and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are offered to the adult spirits. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.

Day of the Dead is a very expensive holiday for these self-sufficient, rural based, indigenous families. Many spend over two month's income to honor their dead relatives. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families. Ofrenda building keeps the family close.

On the afternoon of Nov. 2, the festivities are taken to the cemetery. People clean tombs, play cards, listen to the village band and reminisce about their loved ones.
 A pile of beautifully decorated Sugar Skulls
Gigantic sugar skulls are made from 50 year old molds for the competition at the Feria de Alfinique in Metepec, Mexico. These sugar skull makers have been making artisanal sugar for generations. And ofcourse they also make Chocolate day of the dead skulls..yummm! the chocolate in Oaxaca , Mexico is also used to make their famous “mole”sauce and is one of a kind !!!

Chocolate sugar skulls are hand molded and decorated and sold by the thousands!! at the Sugar Skull Fair. Candy makers work for 4-6 months to have enough merchandise for the sale. Sugar skulls are sometimes eaten, but their main function is to adorn the altars and tombs with a sugary delight for the visiting spirits! Miniature candy skulls are made for the baby angelitos and are displayed on the home ofrendas on November 1... then replaced with full size skulls on November 2 for the returning adult spirits!

Sugar Skull Tradition Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church. Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century.

Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place. There is nothing as beautiful as a big, fancy, unusual sugar skull!

Although it is a holiday from far away in southern Mexico, it's a holiday you can personalize and integrate into your own religious and cultural beliefs. It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone... through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned... not how the person died, but how they lived. What better way to celebrate life !? !

To know more about this Celebration and making your own sugar skulls !  visit

Now for this weeks update special fibre blend: Vampire tops. It is what I have called A Passionate blend ! With Super Fine merino, angora bunny, Black Bamboo, Cashmere and eh..fangs (Flax or Linen!).

It is wonderful to spin and the flax gives it just that little bit extra ! Its easy to spin it with that bit of art yarn flair and textured, but if you pre draft the fibres in narrow strips it is so easy to spin lace as well. Whatever you want to sink your teeth into: it is all possible with the IxCHeL passionate Vampire Top blend !
Day of the Dead Guitar Player Yarn Charms
10  charms for AU$10
+/- 15mmx21mm.
Tibetan Silver charms, easy to add to your day of the dead art yarn project or make them into a bracelet or stitchmarkers! Anything goes !


Happy Tigerbunny Pumpkin yarn with Bat sequins
+/- 50-59gram skeins +/- 130meters $20
Spun from pumpkin happy tigerbunny tops in a comparable 8ply , plied with silk and bat sequins. Four skeins available.
Also available : Witches brew colourway with pumpkin sequins.
 A batty Yarn

Exclusive IxCHeL blend:
Vampire Tops
100+grams     AU$24
a passionate blend of superfine merino, angora, cashmere, Fangs (Flax ;-) ) and black bamboo
super soft and special to spin and wear !

Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Scary Clown Party



Night of the Living Thread…
Mermaids and Zombies

Cabin in the Woods
Absinthe Fairy

Vampire Hunter
Monster from the Black Lagoon


Happy funny Badges to attach to just about anything: your craft bags, clothes, the perfect little gifts ! 
1 badge AU$2
Buy 10 for AU$18
20 badges for AU$35
30 badges for AU$49

every badge has a nr so when ordering just mention the nr of the badge and how many you would like..easy!

newest additions : badge nrs 84-90

Badges 1-20

Badges 21-40

Badges 41-59

Badges 60-83

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !


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