Quinceañeras

Every culture has different traditions. In the U.S., we have Sweet Sixteens, and in the Latino culture, we have quinceañeras.

Quinceañeras are a rite of passage for fifteen-year-old girls (also referred to as quinceañera) who are going from a little girl to a young woman. Some families also celebrate the quinceañerea when their daughters turn 16, but still celebrate quinceañera style. People that celebrate this might switch it up due to their religion and/or their beliefs, but the celebrations include the same things.

Planning a quinceañera is a long process; people usually start planning 3-4 months in advance considering everything from the dress, to the color, to what kind of dances she wants. Many companies have quinceañera expos where they show dresses, cakes, invitations, decorations, and basically anything you need for your dream party. Here in Minnesota, El Nuevo Rodeo (located in Minneapolis) has a quinceañera expo every year around the end of January, beginning of February.

One of the most important things involved in a quinceañera are the dances the girl will be doing. Usually, there are 3-5 dances which include:

  • Entrance dance
  • Main waltz
  • Father-daughter dance
  • Surprise dance

There will also be a coronation, where the quinceañera will receive her last doll, her crown, a change of shoes, and a surprise gift – usually given by the parents or the godparents. The last doll, and the shoe change (flats/sneakers to high heels) are another way of showing that this is her growing up from a little girl to a young woman. The crown is given not only so the quinceañera feels like a princess, but to show that you are the princess within your family.

Once the coronation is over, the quinceañera will usually have a surprise dance, where she and her court perform a choreographed dance which usually involves an outfit change and the use of props. Once the surprise dance is over, the real dancing begins.

Quinceañeras are a very important tradition in a young Latina’s life. Mine was a day I will never forget.

DIY room decoration

If you’re out of ideas on what to decorate your room with, or even if you’re bored and you just want to create some crafty things for your room, here is an idea you can try. It’s really pretty simple, fun to make, and it looks really cool too.

The craft project is a “Stain Glass Votive Holder.” This is a really easy and simple decoration you can do. The materials you’ll need are:

  • tissue paper in any color you want
  • Mod Podge (matte finish) – in a pinch you can also use school glue
  • a paintbrush
  • scissors
  • a glass votive holder to fit your candle(s) – it could be wine tumblers or thrifted vases
  • paper punches in many different shapes
  • q-tips, which are optional.

Here are the 7 steps to do it:

  1. Choose which colors you want, and then choose a paper punch that you would like, and punch out little, small shapes of them, and set them aside.
  2. Then, take a bit of Mod Podge with your paintbrush and water,  and mix them. It should just be a thin layer. 
  3. Now, start attaching the punched-out paper shapes to the glass votive using your paintbrush. You could also put the Mod Podge onto the glass first, and then stick the paper shapes on.
  4. Then, brush over the shapes afterward to fully fill them with the Mod Podge. Wet tissue paper can rip easily, so don’t get too rough with it.
  5. Brush gently and take your time. Then, keep attaching more and more shapes onto the glass votive. You could overlap them if you want to.
  6. Once your glass votive is fully covered, set it aside to dry. When it’s dry, you’ll see the Mod Podge that isn’t covered with tissue paper. If this bothers you, you could get a q-tip and wipe it off.
  7. When everything is dry, just have a candle to put into the glass votive and you’re all set!

 

 

The original project can be found at:

http://makezine.com/2011/02/15/how-to_stained_glass_votive_ho/

The Urban Death Project

In London, there is a new idea on how to remember your loved ones. It is an eco friendly way to be remembered after death. This new method is called the Urban Death Project and it is on the rise in urban cities like Seattle and London.

The Urban Death Project is a way of recycling the dead by burying the bodies in soil and woodchips for a few weeks. According to the Urban Death Project team, it is a safe, eco friendly way of remembering the dead. The team also said, “The soil will only be used to nourish gardens and trees on site,” which answers a big question of whether or not the soil would be used to grow food. When they say “on site” they mean that there will be a half-public park/half-funeral home that you can go to and enjoy with your family.

This idea was started on Kickstarter, which everyone thought was a joke at first, but then later on realized that it was an actual thought out idea with plans. The Urban Death Project team also says that the process is open to all religions, and has set up space for prayers, gatherings, and mournings of all types. The team says they have also talked with various religious leaders, and have received confirmation that this way of burial is completely okay with them and their religions.

The Urban Death Project team has their own website: http://www.urbandeathproject.org/ where they will answer questions and talk more in depth about their project. On the forums the team has created, is a question and answer section where they will answer any questions concerning the topic. If you have any questions that you would like to ask them, you can ask them on their webpage and click on the FAQ section.

Although this new idea is a good way for burial, and death, there is still controversy on where they would put these sites, or how many sites there would be, in one city or state.