I was once gifted a simple wooden cross covered in Milagros, small shiny metal representations applied with small nails that identify specific prayer petitions. The idea being that one could hang the item and be reminded of the many prayers or even blessings that are provided in one’s life. These range in health, love, wealth, and perseverance. Every piece is different, making a customized and unique gift.
This week’s #haveboomboxwilltravel finds us in the Houston Heights relaxing from the Summer heat at Casa Ramirez, which has walls filled with Milagro pieces, as well as other imported hand crafted marvels; many of which are sold at fair trade prices for the artisans. Some pieces even include more information on the parties who sculpt, weave, paint, sew or hammer to create. When you walk in, as a gesture of hospitality, there is a plate of cinnamon and sugar cookies. To your left from the front door of the shop is a refrigerated case of water and soda. To your right, you find some amazing straw hats that arrive in various sizes to keep the blazing sun off of your face.
Moving along the shop you find bright fabrics, crafts, inclusive literature, jewelry, sculpture and folk art; all celebrating portions of a bright and vibrant Latino culture.
I am partial to the large Milagro laden sacred heart, seen in this week’s photograph. However, I have also found an amazing clay vase, a tin nativity set, and Talavera tile as well. If given the chance, I recommend making a stop to say hello and appreciate any of the fine goods the shop purveys.
The track this week is “Mexican Shuffle”by Herb Alpert’s & The Tijuana Brass, “South of The Border” LP picked up right next to Casa Ramirez at Vinyl Edge Records. Aside from buying fair trade, I also make sure to shop local when possible. The record resonates for me with the goods that Casa Ramirez imports directly from artisans. It’s authentic, not attempting to be anything other than great in it’s own right.