el poof de peru

IMG_5996As mentioned in the last post, we recently spent a long weekend with a dear friend in Lima. Seemed like a shame to get all the way there and not make it out of the capitol, but such is travel with a tot. Plus, our schedules were fairly taxed back in Santiago with holiday commitments so a long weekend was really all we had to spare.

Our friend lives in the Miraflores neighborhood which is perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific ocean. We passed our mornings sipping flawless Peruvian coffee and looking out at the hazy horizon. I hear this is close to the number one complaint of those posted in Lima, the incessantly overcast skies. We were lucky enough to have the clouds break to blue a couple of afternoons during our stay. Though there for a short time, I didn’t mind the grey at all. I love that dreamy, muted palette.IMG_5726IMG_5684 IMG_5716 IMG_5700

I knew that the kitchens of Lima were highly respected in the worldwide “food scene”, but figured this was more of a play for tourism than an integral part of their culture. SO INCREDIBLY WRONG. Markets were bursting with table after table of reasonably priced organic fruits, veggies, legumes, grains, sprouts, coffee, chocolate. You name it, they had 5 different varieties. The thing that really stuck with me was that it didn’t seem like it was totally geared toward wealthy “food-y” expats (and priced accordingly). In my limited time to observe, there seemed to be a fairly decent mix of shoppers. IMG_5665 IMG_5661It was nearly torture to not give into my urge to fill every pocket, shoe and empty carry-on with multi colored heirloom beans and delicacies like quinoa flakes, cacao nibs, maca powder and adzuki sprouts. Lima is a food loving dietitian’s paradise. Oh, and from there we went to the craft markets. Could my heart stand another surge of this colorful and delicious inspiration?

IMG_5916Apparently not. Snakes! Grab the defibrillators and hand me the wallet! The Peruvian textiles had my mind spinning with projects more quickly than the money could change hands. If it wasn’t hand-woven, vibrantly dyed wools, it was baby alpaca snugglies and yarns. On previous visits, my girlfriend had ferreted out a few vendors who actually sold some of the fabrics raw by the meter instead of already committed to cushion covers or blankets. The ones we fell for had a salvaged edge on either side of the 12″ width. Perfect for an ottoman! IMG_5918After some quick calculations and conversions in my head, I bought around 5 meters. At six bucks a meter, it was taking shape within a reasonable budget. The next step was to figure out what to use for the stuffing. Something sturdy, preferably eco-friendly, maybe recycled/repurposed and ideally free. I read a few tutorials on line which all suggested buying a giant bag of beanbag filler from Walmart. WHAT??!? That didn’t check any of my boxes. “A giant bag of beanbag filler from Walmart”- just typing (then retyping) those words makes me feel filthy and evil, like those words and I just strangled a pod of dolphins in the great Pacific trash vortex.

So I didn’t go that route because I don’t need that on my conscience. I remembered from my super brief stint as an embassy worker back in September the insane amount of paper shredding that’s done daily. After checking with the appropriate officials, I was allowed to remove a big bag of fluffy shred from the recycling bin. IMG_5992It worked out perfectly! Moderately lightweight, very firm and if I ever need a handful or two of extra stuffing to fluff her back up, I have a good source. I made an inner box cushion from old fabrics to lend structure and keep things more contained. Zipped it all together on the machine and hand stitched the final seam. I am pleased with how it came together so quickly and simply. My Peruvian poof and other “big” purchase, a thick wool blanket turned rug, are perfectly vibrant reminders of our quick but memorable visit to Lima.IMG_5994 IMG_1828



14 thoughts on “el poof de peru

  1. Beautiful! Your house looks so homey. I’ll have to share with you an equally bright and colorful carpet we bought last month at the embassy Christmas Bazaar (soon)!

  2. Oh the memories!!! Love your poof and eagerly anticipate videos of Colette careening back and forth from it to the sofa. xoxo

    1. NBN- We must be cut from the same cloth!! I DID haul rocks home! We genuinely needed some door stops and I thought these were about the prettiest I would ever find. Plus I love little souvenirs like that! My daughter wholly approved since she’s totally in that rock hauling phase.

  3. Ooh la la~even in a picture your fabric looks sumptuous and gorgeous and a sweet addition to your home.Believe it to be the first time I’ve ever met your snail~quite the charmer!! Love the pictures of Coco and Daddy on the rocky seashore and happy to see she’s still enjoying the “party skirt”.Love and miss you all.

    1. I’ve been dreaming of that snail ever since I first ran into him. There’s a little town outside of the city limits that’s been making pottery for the last century. Shelves filled with much of the same, but when I saw my snail… I knew that despite the risks taken with pottery moving around all the time, she was totally worth it!

  4. My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Angola and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

  5. Merry Christmas Eve, Snakes and cutie Colette! I can’t believe she’s 4 – any more than I can believe Ruby is 15!! Thanks for the card- Richard is sending out some Christmas notes – is the unit / box address from when you were in Angola still a good one? Jen

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