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January 13, 2019
Greetings from Guatemala. I am writing today to let you know about some exciting new events in my life. Starting December 1st, my partner-in-life, Julio, and I began renting the guesthouse at my dear friend Marta’s home here in Antigua, where I have been making my home and studio since last year at this time. Julio and I are taking on the responsibilities of managing the house, while adding a salon, hidden in a corner of the magical garden here, for Julio to offer his beauty services. I’m greatly enlarging my studio space by converting an old bodega into my workshop and studio. I am putting together classes in mosaic, and we will be offering special event packages for weddings, retreats, and family-style reunions as well as offering our services as hosts for travelers to Guatemala.
This home, as you may know, is very special to my heart, one of the first doorways to welcome me to Guatemala 16 years ago, one filled with love, stories, and beautiful traditions. It is my aim to make the home as welcoming and embracing to all who've come to stay in the past, as I have always felt in all of my years as a visitor. I hope that you will “Come Home” to Antigua when you are here. Julio and I look forward to hosting our friends and family here who have yet to experience this beautiful country.
My beloved friends Martita and Oscar Diaz built three guest rooms in the 1990s as an addition to their home so that Martita could feed the poor from their front door. The Colonial home been passed down through the women in Martita’s family for many generations. Marta, their daughter, and Elsa, their granddaughter have become close friends and people who I consider family. I have chosen to take on the responsibilities here of managing the house, in part because of the love and welcoming embrace of this family that I have always felt so welcomed by here in Antigua, from the first day I set foot in this amazing country that I call home for 13 years now.
I have recently listed our three rooms on AIrbnb. As we make changes to the décor I will be updating the photography, but here are the links to each room:
I hope you will consider staying with us in the New Year, or perhaps recommend us to someone you know. Wouldn’t a mosaic class or personal retreat with salon treatments here be a great gift? How about a yoga retreat? A family reunion? A conference or meeting?
Or maybe your own wedding? In December we had the privilege to host my friend Marielos for wedding celebration here at the house, the perfect testing for a family-style event.
On January 5 we celebrated our Grand Opening with a party, dj, and special Runway show featuring Julio's hair and make-up talents. With a group of 12 lovely women as models--and co-stylists--Julio put on show that was unexpected and certainly out of the ordinary! Here are a few shots from the night:
I feel very fortunate and blessed to make this my studio as well as my home, providing me a wonderful space to create my art, as well as showcase it, and teach my craft. This home inspires me; it has always felt like home, I know, not only to me but also to many others who over the years have discovered its peace, comfort, and magic. I’m looking forward to making lots of art and teaching mosaic here in this inspired space!
Recently, as I've been reorganizing myself and my studio, I ran across some of the paintings I did with my good friend and fellow artist, Janet Scheuer. These are big canvases painted on painter's drop cloths, done in the out-of-doors at places that have inspired us on my visits to the US over the last 13 years since I moved to Guatemala. I decided to give them a little airing out after being stored for some time, and discovered that two of these made a wonderful tromp l'oiel swimming pool on the patio here. I'm excited to share "The Swimming Pool" with those who come to stay with us "poolside" in January.
My first formal mosaic class here will be on February 2-3, a two day workshop "Make Your Own Mosaic Heart" where I will teach the basics of decorative mosaic techniques, including the use of "hidden" words and images under the glass gems I use in combination with a variety of materials. If you do't live in Antigua, you can come stay here at the house and learn mosaic right here!
It is my aim to make our home as welcoming and embracing to all who come to visit as in the past, as I have always felt in all of my years as a visitor. I hope that you and whomever comes to visit feels this “Welcome Home” to Antigua when you are here. Julio and I look forward to hosting our friends and family here who have yet to experience this beautiful country.
We have a special introductory rate promotion going through February. At $25 per person a night including breakfast, you can hardly afford to stay home!
I hope you will forward this to your friends and contact who may wish to stay with us in the New Year; Thanks for helping us spread the word! Wouldn’t a B&B personal retreat with salon treatments here be a great gift? How about a yoga retreat? A family reunion? A non-profit lunch/meeting? A psychic conference? A special class or event to share? An art show!!
Come see us!
Blake and Julio
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!