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Thanks for stopping in... We’re a small Mexican folk art store located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We personally choose ALL of our hand made pieces from talented artisans all over the great country of Mexico.

Zinnia Blog


Build a Day of the Dead Ofrenda to Honor your Departed Loved Ones

Posted by Anne Damon in Day of the Dead, Paper Folk Art, Paper Mache   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Day of the Dead Art OfrendaAre you unsure about how to build an ofrenda for the upcoming Days of the Dead? Ofrendas are shrines built to remember and honor people who have died. They are a way to keep the memory of that person alive through the annual tradition of remembering what they loved to do, eat, drink and look like. The idea is to build a 
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Cinco de Mayo Is a Minor Holiday in Mexico!

Posted by Anne Damon in Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta, Paper Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
There's sort of always a fiesta going on at Zinnia Folk Arts--it's colorful, there are lots of handmade party decorations and LOTS of gifts but hey, it's  Cinco De Mayo pretty soon and we thought we'd celebrate. Cinco de Mayo is a very minor holiday in Mexico and is pretty much only celebrated in one city, Puebla, because it marks the victory of the Poblanos over the French invaders in 1862. In the United States it's become   read more

6 Ideas for Hostess Gifts Handmade in Mexico

I don't know about you, but I get tired of taking the same old hostess gift of wine. Do you? Here's a little roundup of several popular ideas based on my very scientific research in the Minneapolis folk art store.

1. Milagro Hearts: They come in various sizes and prices starting at $30. Everyone appreciates a beautifully handcrafted good luck charm full of "milagros."

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Small Judas Figures or Paper Mache Diablitos, 2015

Posted by Anne Damon in Easter, Judas Figures, Paper Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Easter is coming soon which means there will be lots of Judas figures available in the mercados of Mexico.

During Semana Santa or Holy Week, the paper mache artists of Mexico make giant (9-12 feet tall!) paper mache Judas figures that look like these miniature versions. Or they can look like the town villain, the town bad guy or even mayors or shop owners who are not respected by the gente. There will likely be images of the President, this year. He is almost universally hated in Mexico.

On the night before Easter Sunday, they are loaded with fireworks, hung above the street and then exploded with everyone in the neighborhood/town/pueblo/vicinity watching. It's their way of getting rid of the Judas figures in life...

Many people think they are devils because they have horns, but, technically, they are called Judas figures. The horns just add an extra level of impishness to them. These smaller versions (anywhere from 17"-20" tall) are also made of paper mache, come from Mexico City and inspire lots of questions and big smiles. 

Click on the photos to purchase.  If you get the message, "not found" that means they've been sold.

Judas Figure

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Paper Mache Judas Figures

La quema de Judas or The Judas Burning is a celebration held in many parts of Mexico on the day before Easter. Very large (10-12' tall) paper mache figures symbolizing Judas the Traitor will be created and then stuffed with fireworks to be blown up in the local plaza or hung across the street in some of the neighborhoods of Mexico City.  The Judas figure can look like these below with horns and tails or they may be made as an effigy of someone who is universally disliked in the community or neighborhood--politician, shopkeeper, or criminal.

These relatively small Judas figures can be found starting soon in the Mexico City markets and at papel mache artisan workshops. Why? To blow up at home, of course! Or to enjoy the whimsical creativity of the Mexican folk artist.

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Flowers, flowers everywhere...

Posted by Anne Damon in Flowers, Paper Folk Art, Zinnia Folk Arts News   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
"So, why did you name the store, Zinnia Folk Arts?" Did you know that zinnias are a flower native to Mexico? Zinnias come in lots of different colors and shapes and sizes just like Mexican folk art. I love the image of the zinnia and the possibilities for design and branding. They are annuals in Minnesota (maybe they are everywhere?) and we celebrated our first anniversary by handing out packs of zinnia seeds.  We also are sending them to people who purchase something from the online shop through the month of May to celebrate our one year at 50th and Bryant in Minneapolis!

Zinnia Folk Arts Seeds

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Day of the Dead Skeletons Do Everything in the Afterlife

Posted by Anne Damon in Day of the Dead, Paper Folk Art, Paper Mache   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Paper mache day of the dead figures


Mexican Folk Art Surprises Every Day in Rural Mexico

Posted by Anne Damon in mexico trips, Paper Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Fiesta Patronal de Santiago, Cuanajo On Wednesday, while driving to Patzcuaro,my friend and I decided to take a side road to look for interesting new folk art. We happened on the Fiesta Patronal de Santiago in the tiny town of Cuanajo, Michoacan. Santiago is the Patron Saint of this little town. We parked the car just in time to see the parade of charros (cowboys) on their horses riding down the main street. We followed everyone to the sounds of the band,  to the church grounds where the Padre was giving an outdoor mass right next to this beautiful overhead display of papel picado.

Margarita Fick's Paper Cut Outs

Posted by Anne Damon in Paper Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

2015 UPDATE ON MARGARITA FICK: Margarita is no longer producing her beautiful black paper cutouts due to illness. The photos on this page were taken in 2012 and 2013 and they have been sold. Unfortunately, her work is no longer available.

I've talked about these before but they are so amazing, that I want to show you a few examples. These are gorgeous pictures cut out of black paper. The first one is large (38.5" by 24") and the other two are smaller (24" by 16").  They are cut by hand, with a small fingernail scissors, by a master designer and paper-cutter, Margarita Fick. She grew up in a family that made papel picado, the cut out tissue paper flags, so she learned early about paper and its ways. She now is the only person I know in Mexico who creates these beautiful (and limited) designs.  Most of her designs are women skeletons dressed in fancy cutout dresses, but she does do some Frida Kahlo designs and a few non-skeleton designs. The backgrounds are filled with insects, butterflies, lizards, dogs, pigs or a variety of animals, plants and leaves.  The composition of the piece is always incredible.

Notice the asymmetry of the last photo. The symmetrical pieces are folded in half and then cut, but the asymmetrical ones are more difficult to make because they are not folded before cutting.




Papel Picado at Every Mexican Fiesta

Posted by Anne Damon in Paper Folk Art   /   2 COMMENTS

These delicate tissue paper flags are known as "papel picado" or "cut paper/ picked paper" and are handmade in Mexico. They are another of the fabulous handmade traditional arts that flourish all year but particularly around times of important holidays, Christmas, Easter and Day of the Dead. If you've been to Mexico, you may have seen streets draped with these flags before and during holidays or special occasions.

They are made with a chisel and a stencil and "picked" in stacks of 30-40 pieces then strung on string in a long line, mixing colors and loveliness together. It is one of the ephemeral arts of Latin America--made for a temporary time, left to evaporate in the wind and rain after the holiday. A nice reflection of a cultural belief that we can't hold on to anything, all aspects of our lives are temporary, even beauty.

Here's a photo I took on my last trip to Oaxaca. Just walking down the street and turned the corner onto this exuberance.


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