When Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo cut loose with the secret that there's a Mexican craft store in town, we were in the car within minutes. Mario Ramos Imports, on 32nd Street south of McDowell, has a nice supply of extra-thick Mexican embroidery thread, a few pillowcases and placemats with cool patterns to embroider and some ceramic imports, but the real draw turned out to be the custom-made pinatas.
We've been a little pinata-obsessed since Scott Jacobson announced he's going to be starting a company that will make pinatas crafted to look like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Governor Jan Brewer, as well as other local pols deserving (in some minds, anyway) of a figurative knock upside the head.
But in the last few weeks, we've left several messages for Jacobson; he's AWOL. So we got an idea when we noticed piles of newspaper and a bowl of glue outside Mario Ramos Imports.
We didn't know how Ramos would feel about our question.
First, to break the ice -- and because we have a 7-year-old's birthday party to throw -- we requested Olivia, the pig made somewhat famous by Ian Falconer's children's books. Just bring a picture, he said. So we did, and two days later, we were shoving a big pink pig with a red dress into a small car. Not bad. And cheap, $45 for the deluxe version.
Still a little unsure, we approached Ramos.
"So, you'll make anything?"
"Sure, anything!" He had a lovely margarita in the works at the moment.
We grabbed the paper mache bull by the horns.
"How about Joe Arpaio?"
Ramos cracked up. Turns out, he's already made half a dozen. He'll be happy to make you one, too.
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We'll keep you posted on Jacobson's progress, as well, if he gets back to us.
Mario Ramos Imports, 1400 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602-273-4696.