Monthly Archives: March 2009

Yet Another Loteria Project…


I know- it seems like I will never run out of things to do with loteria.  After working with my students’ cards for House of the Scorpion, I dewordpressleoncided to take a break and make some of my own.  I had this idea of using these vintage loteria cards I found in Mexico.  I am assuming that they are copyright-less, but I could be wrong.  I really like the look of them, and they have quite a few images that are different from the more well-known Don Clemente deck.

I got this idea sort of out of the blue.  I like working with scanned fabric samples, and have used them in my Quilt Loteria and my Milagros collections.  Suddenly I had this image of the Diablito (devil) card framed by a pretty flowered pattern.  I have worked in Photoshop to alter the scans of the vintage cards a little bit, and then I chose coordinating fabrics.

The first one I did was El Leon.  I decided to make him number one because I am a Leo – and we all know what happens when we use the “G” word.  I found a pretty gingham print and altered the colors to fit the lion card I chose.  Then I framed it again in a simple checkered plaid in yellow and blue.  That was my basic design.

I think it has bwordpressjarabeeen a little while since I worked in my CafePress shop, so I first went in and deleted some images on the server that I am no longer using.  Then, I reorganized some of my image files and closed some shops that were either for my one-time use or were no longer relevant.  Then I added the new “Vintage Loteria” section.  I have done just about one design and one shop per day for the past 3 days.  My latest is the one to the left – isn’t it HOT?

Today, after setting up the Vintage Jarabe Tapatio shop, I did a little studying up on image sizes in CafePress.  Usually I work with one image and alter it to fit two different shapes:  One is a rectangle – which I make really big and use for everything from posters to refrigerator magnets.  The other is a square, which I use for square things, like tiles, or round things, like buttons or clock faces – I just don’t worry that they are not a circle within a circle.

The problem with this is that no one proportion of rectangle fits for every poster and frame size and all of the other rectangular things, like postcards, greeting cards, notecards and journals.  So, this time I made three sizes:  one 8 1/2 by 11 inch, one 11 by 17 inch, and one 11 by 11 inch square.  I also am keeping all of the elements of the design in a folder on my laptop, so I can alter a design or make another size.  I may have to store more of these things on my computer at home, because my laptop is getting pretty full.

So, go check out my Vintage Loteria Shop!


House of the Scorpion Loteria


scorpion2bAfter we read House of the Scorpion, I worked up a lesson plan that I have wanted to do for a long time.  I wanted my students to create an personal loteria card that illustrated some event, character, or concept in the story.  Then, they were to write a paragraph explaining why they chose that image and what it had to do with the book.

I hate to say this, but most middle school students are reluctant to draw.  I insisted that they give it their best shot.  Some of them did a great job, some traced their images – that is completely okay with me – and some scratched out the minimum required drawing.  I insisted that they fill in the whole card space – making some sort of background.  After I collected them, I planned to scan in the pictures and make a loteria deck out of them.

There were a few things that I had not control over.  I handed out a list of possible drawings, but I really couldn’t say, “Oh, so-and-so is already drawing a heart (or a wine glass or a scorpion):  why don’t you draw something else?”  So I ended up with a couple of versions of the same sort of image.  Of course, I also warned them that they couldn’t just draw a skull and crossbones because they liked drawing them – it had to be explained in connection with the story.  Of course, some didn’t listen, but that’s another story…

After scanningoctaviooriginal the lot of pictures, I decided to “touch them up” a little bit in PhotoShop.  The first one I did was the one above.  The picture to the left was the original.  I cropped it and enlarged it.  Then, as I usually do, I intensified the hues.  Finally, I used one of the many, many special effects to simulate a stone wall.  In the story, the scorpion is probably not stone-aged, but I really liked the effect.  After that, I worked on a few more, with good results.

As often happens with me and Photoshop, I got more and more involved in my editing process.  So, my question is this:  is it really student art now?  I am thinking about it.  Now, if I were a kindergarten teacher and did something cutesy with my students work, I think that would be okay.  So I am going to go for it.

I have three classes of 9-10 students each, and my plan is to combine the images to create Loteria tablas of nine images each.  Each student will receive a card with his or her image included in the group.  I will have to juggle a bit to replace all of those hearts and wine bottles, but I think it will be something for them to keep and remember from the class.  I will post the finished products later.



Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I have been tired.  I am already SO ready for Spring Break.  All I have been doing lately is going to school, driving home (trying to remember to stop by the YMCA to work out before I get home).  Once I get home, I have a two hour nap.  And now that we are out of Daylight Savings Time, I expect it to be worse for a while.

I am fooling around with a couple of project ideas.  I am also organizing all of my paper products and putting them into boxes – so that is all over my dining room table at the moment.  I have them mostly sorted out, but am coming up with a labeling system.  Then I have to rearrange some shelves in the garage or in my studio to accommodate the boxes.

More later.  Here is a picture of my mother’s new puppy.