Showing posts with label hippie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hippie. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Design to Fit Your Mind Tee Shirt Contest 2011

Our first annual Mexicali Blues tee shirt design contest was a rousing success, with many talented artists submitting their awesome designs that best embodied the "Mexicali Spirit". Above you will see the winning design, by Douglas Comstock from Bristol, Maine. While it was extremely difficult to choose, we really dug his design for all the awesome details and the fact that from far away it looks like a face while up close it is a groovy yogi! Well done, Douglas! We are looking forward to printing and wearing your design!

Here are some more of our awesome submissions:

We loved everybody's designs, and wish we could make all of them into tee shirts! Thank you so much for your submissions, and get stoked for another design competition next year!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Paper Lanterns Around the World

Paper lanterns create a soft, magical light that is nearly impossible to replicate in any other form. No other type of lantern exudes the kind of ethereal light in all directions that emenates from a paper lamp. The glow of a paper lantern can be effectively soothing or festive, depending on the context, and this is part of why this type of lantern is so popular throughout the world.

In Thailand, flying paper lanterns are set ablaze and into the air for festivals throughout the year. Flying lanterns have a candle inside which, by heating up the air inside the lantern, causes it to rise far into the night sky. Sky lanterns are often known as wish lanterns, and tourists and local Thai people love lighting these pretty paper lanterns, making a wish, and then setting them free.

photo via China today

In China, the color red is associated with joy and good fortune. Thus, the red paper lanterns that are frequently seen throughout China, particularly during festivals and celebrations, symbolize vitality and good luck. The Chinese New Year is followed by a festival dedicated to these iconic paper lanterns; the Lantern Festival has grown to rival other huge celebrations like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and is sometimes referred to as Second New Year.

photo via this neat diwali site

Diwali is the Indian New Year festival of light (Diwali literally means "row of lights"), and is celebrated by Indian people all over the world. "Diwali is a festival of the light which dispels the darkness of our ignorance; it is a festival of the light which shows us the way on our journey through life."(via red hot curry) To celebrate this enlightened light, Diwali revelers line their streets with paper lanterns (especially star lamps), set off fireworks, and play with sparklers.

Paper lanterns are used all around the world to create an ambiance of celebration and good cheer. The paper lanterns from Mexicali Blues are responsibly imported from countries where they are traditionally used for big celebrations like the ones we just described. Here in the United States, we often see them used as lighting for weddings, party lights, or hippie lanterns to create a mellow decor in the home.

Check out our selection of star lamps, paper globe lanterns, traditional Nepalese paper lanterns, nylon globe lanterns, and hanging light kits to give them their glow! This week only (from 02/14 - 02/20) we are also offering 30% off of all lanterns and light kits, as well as 25% off of EVERYTHING at Mexicali Blues stores and our Mexicali website. Don't let the dull dim of February get you down; turn on your love light!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peaceful Home Hippie Style Guide

Your home is your haven, and you probably spend most of your days at work; creating serene and positive environments in these spaces has the potential to influence your whole outlook on life! Clutter can be overwhelming, so the first step in creating a peaceful home or office is reducing it. Get organized by getting rid of what you don't use or need, and use shelves or wall hooks to put your stuff in its proper place.

Use colors that you love to decorate your room. The color of light coming through a paper globe lantern or block print curtain panels can change the overarching hue, and thus the mood, of the whole space! There is an interesting psychology behind the way colors can influence our moods: Blue represents peace, tranquility, calm, and harmony. Find it at Mexicali in our blue vine indian tapestry or batik yoga flags.

Green represents nature, good luck, and renewal. Add a little green to your space with a jade buddha or unique hanging mobile

Red is associated with love, desire, speed, and strength. It is energetic rather than relaxing, but red accents in a room can be quite pleasing. Try a cheerful tie dye tapestry or rasta flag on your wall.

Purple represents spirituality, mystery, transformation, and enlightenment. It is wonderful color to incorporate into your space; try a lavender batik tapestry with a purple paper star lantern.

Yellow represents joy, happiness, and imagination. Add a pop of yellow to your home or office with the yellow batik mandala tapestry or a yellow submarine Beatles poster.

Decorate with items that make you feel peaceful, like tibetan prayer flags or a zen wall hanging that reminds you of a quality that is important to you, like peace, courage, love, or happiness.

Add natural elements like a wooden buddha, a fountain, or a plant to keep you grounded. Perhaps hang a soothing bamboo wind chime in a window for peaceful sounds.

Candles and incense are a great way to add ambiance to any room. Put a lavender-scented candle in a buddha candle holder, or burn some nag champa incense in a handpainted incense burner for a calming olfactory experience.

If you want to create a peaceful vibe in your bedroom, be sure to keep it cozy with a unique and soft hippie duvet or bohemian bedspread for your bed. Hang a buddha tapestry on the wall or a wooden namaste sign over the door, and you will be saying ohm as you drift off to sleep!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Ultimate Guide to Hippie Style for Women

Hippie style is all about creative expression of your individuality, connection to nature and music, and comfort! A flowing skirt or a maxi dress is an integral part of the hippie wardrobe; long skirts are perfect for dancing wherever you go! A batik sarong is a versatile and colorful necessity in any hippie woman's closet; wear it as a skirt, dress, or use it as a curtain or picnic blanket!

Tie dye pants, thai fisherman pants, or yoga pants are a great option when you will be climbing trees, hiking, or it is just too cold for a skirt! Pair them with a loose, hippie top, like a tie dye t shirt or kurta tunic. A buddha t shirt, bob marly t shirt, or grateful dead t shirt is another comfortable and awesome way to top off a cute hippie outfit.

Adding layers to your ensemble, like a cozy alpaca sweater or fashion scarf, can make an outfit even more gypsy chic, while keeping you warm as well! A wool hat, pair of fleece lined mittens, or mukluks in natural materials are not at all out of place in a stylish hippie outfit.

Adding earthy elements to your wardrobe (like an embroidered leather belt or wooden shell necklace) is key, because one of the most important tenets of hippie style is that natural is beautiful! Try a turquoise pendant or pair of shiva eye earrings to bring a touch of grounded glamour to a casual outfit.

A funky hobo bag or sling bag is the perfect way to carry all your supplies for a fun hippie day (maybe a footbag, pair of retro sunglasses, or a handmade notebook for writing down poetic thoughts and observations). A cross-body bag with a long strap is a necessary accessory for attending a concert or festival; try one made of hemp for an eco-friendly option.

Finally, no hippie outfit is complete without flowers and/or peace signs! Try peace sign earrings, a peace sign tie dye, or even a peace sign ring. A flower necklace, floral skirt, or calico dress is all you need to show the world that you are a flower child at heart.

The Ultimate Guide to Boho Style

Wear at least one bold bohemian accessory. Bohemian style is artistic and interesting; it may be relaxed and casual but it is still creative. Maybe you will carry a boho bag, or wear a sun hat or tie dye dress; just make sure not to overdo it with too much crazy color. Pair it with something natural, like an embroidered leather belt or wooden earrings to keep your look down-to-earth.

Bohemian style clothing should be loose and flowing, or at least have some flowy element to the outfit. A ruffled skirt or a long dress adds a sense of movement to your outfit that keeps with your nomadic gypsy attitude. Layers are an integral part of the boho style that is particularly welcome in cooler weather; don't be afraid to wear leggings under your dress, and scarves are a must! Wear one or put several together to mix up your look.

Accessorize! Jewelry is a must for creating a boho outfit: layered chunky bangle bracelets and gemstone earrings add to your unconventional earthy appeal. Hammered metal bracelets are another great look, as well as bold wooden chokers or leather necklaces.

Most important to the rules of boho style is that there are no set rules! The whole point of bohemian dressing is to show off your own unconventional and free-spirited ways, so get out there and do it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tie Dye Methods and Techniques

blue spiral tie dye tee

Tie Dye is super cool because there are no rules; the creative options are pretty much limitless, provided you can get your hands on all the crazy colors you're imagining. For the uninitiated, tie dye is a way of creating patterns by folding, stitching, crumpling, or otherwise preparing the fabric to inhibit the flowing of dye into the folds of the fabric. One can plan their colors and the end result to some extent, but part of the fun of tie dyeing is the surprise of unfolding/twisting/stitching your garment to see what you've got! While there are always small surprises along the tie dye journey, you can have some idea of what you're creating depending on the method that you use. So, let's explore a few of those, shall we? Onward!


photo by Saritha Rao Rayachoti

Bandhni, also called bandhani or bandhej, is an Indian method of tie dye that has been around for centuries. From the Hindu word bandhan which means "to tie up", this method involves tying many small points with thread before dip-dyeing. This creates a unique and detailed dotted pattern that is often used to create ethnic or nature-inspired designs. Frequently, bandhni pieces in India are sold with the knots intact to prove that it is an authentic bandhni piece and not a screen print.


Shibori is the name of a whole family of traditional Japanese resist techniques. It can involve binding parts of cloth with stitching, pleating, wrapping around a pole, or using shapes (often of wood, acrylic, or plexiglass) to keep the dye from permeating a certain part of the fabric. Shibori has and continues to be used to create intricate patterns for kimonos that are as unique as snowflakes.


mudmee dye bell yoga pants

Mudmee is a method of tie dyeing from Thailand. It has a particular set of shapes and colors that are traditionally used, and there are usually multiple small motifs across one piece with very fine details in each. One thing that makes mudmee tie dye particularly unique is that it is never done on white fabric; the background is always colored, usually black. This makes for a look that is similar enough to modern multi-colored tie dye to still be groovy, but it is definitely special.

Modern Multi-Colored Tie Dye

The modern technique of tie dye involves applying different colors of dye directly to cotton. The fabric is often twisted or wrapped with string or rubber bands to create patterns and parts of the fabric that resist the dye. The bright, colorful patterns create an iconic look that lets other hippies know where you are!

Check out our awesome selection of tie dye shirts, mudmee pants, tie dye tapestries, and tie dye dresses at!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Brief History of Tie Dye

When we think of tie dye and where it might have originated, the first image that often comes to mind is the freewheeling hippie lifestyle of the 1960's. Today, many of us who wear tie dye feel some connection with that peace-loving hippie spirit! You might be surprised to learn that the history of tie dye actually began long before those free-loving, music-grooving Woodstock-era days; the earliest mentions of tie dye in historical records were in ancient Japan and China.

In China they were using tie-dye from 618 to 906 C.E., during the T'ang dynasty. In Japan they used tie dye during the Nara period of 552 to 794 C.E. Their early methods of tie dye involved extracting the natural dyes from flowers, berries, roots and leaves by boiling them in hot water, dipping sections of cloth in the different colors made, and letting them steep.

Around the 15th century, a style of tie dye known as Tsujigahana (translated as "flowers at crossing") became fashionable. This process used intricate stitching to delineate the the sections of the fabric to be dyed separate colors, rather than the traditional dip-dying, which often allowed the colors to run together. This method also involved painting designs on the fabric with sumi ink, which would then darken more than the surrounding fabric when it was dyed.

Tie dye gained popularity in the United States during the Great Depression, when it was considered an economical way to add new color to old materials. Pamphlets were handed out describing how to tie dye and use old cotton, flour, coffee, and sugar sacks to create new clothing and home decorations.

Woodstock, 1969. Photo via flickr user hlthom4

Tie dye was embraced during the Vietnam War era when young people craved peace and freedom from the uptight generations that preceded them (particularly parents and authority figures). Tie dye was a form of artistic expression and protest for the free-spirited hippie generation; it was an easy and inexpensive way to express individuality while brightening up the world with unique and happy colors!

At Mexicali Blues, we see tie dye as an awesome way to express yourself with cool colors and patterns that will always stand out in a crowd! Here are a few of our favorites:

classic rainbow spiral tie dye

peace sign tie dye

butterfly batwing mudmee top

tie dye starburst tapestry

Check out our sweet collection of tie dye and mudmee tie dye on our website, and join us next week as we explore all the different types of tie dye!