Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Celebrate springtime and the special friendships in your life with this bright, cheerful mini tag book that features 12 of your favorite photos, pull out tags for journaling, and lots of hand made charm. This class kit is packed full of the popular "Elle's Kitchen" paper line from Creative Imaginations, extra stickers to take home, and even has a coordinating chipboard embellishment pack thrown in just for signing up!
What to bring:
A Black pen
Sanding block or thick emery board
Favorite liquid glue...I used Zip Dry
Warm red cat's eye chalk ink
Craft knife and/or scissors
Regular size and Mini size hole punch
The sample is up at the store, and Melissa is already taking signups! Call today to reserve your class seat or better yet, pop on in and say hello! You KNOW you NEED some scrap supplies!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Always the first to make friends with the locals, Hector was excited to introduce me to his new little buddy...
OMG, is it any wonder they call this guy a rhinoceros beetle? After meeting him I was pretty sure I wouldn't sleep again the rest of the trip.
Then it was back on the bus for another two hours, until we finally ended up at a dead end. Turns out where we were headed wasn't accessible by bus, so we hopped a speed boat...Oooh fun!
Well, for about the first hour it was, then it was just...well, long.
But there were all kinds of cool things to see along the river, and the breeze was nice...
Then finally, I saw our sign post up ahead:
And after a 4 hour drive, a two hour boat ride, and several potty breaks, we arrived at the Turtle Beach Lodge to spend the rest of the day:
Taking pictures (say cheeeeeze),
swimming in the turtle shaped pool (seriously!),
unpacking our bags, (ok, how cool is this room? There are no windows, just screens covered by sheer curtains...you can hear the rain falling at night, and the breeze is always warm...)
exploring the Caribbean coast and it's black sand beaches from north,
and relaxing in a hammock, watching the breeze through the palm trees, and sipping a frou-frou cocktail with an umbrella.
Monday, February 18, 2008
And in case you haven't yet, let's meet the family:
This is Hector, the wonderful, darling husband that let me walk around half the day with a tag hanging out the back of my shirt...nice, hu? Next to him is my Uncle Larry, seriously rocking the tourist hat. The guy in the blue shirt is our Tour Guide, Guillermo, and the cute white-haired lady with the fake smile is my grams. They're all dying for a cup...so let's go on inside.
Did you know that coffee is actually a fruit? One more reason everyone should have 5-6 servings a day as far as I'm concerned. This is what it looks like on the vine.
The skin peels easily off the fruit, and the seed inside is covered with some slimy, sugary-stuff. It tastes just like sugar cane, and yes, I know because I tasted it. They actually dry and sell the sugar and sell it separately. Anyone else notice how badly I need a manicure...?
An entire field off coffee, all ripe and ready to be picked...get this...by hand! No wonder Starbucks charges $4.00 a cup.
The coffee pickers are paid by the basketfull, and though I'm sure it was mentioned how much they get per basket, I was way too wired to pay attention. It's a rediculously low amount, though, I'm sure...as minimum wage is only 90 cents per hour. I only remember that because I was told at the woodworking plant, before the 40 cups of coffee I had.
Anyhow, after they're all picked and peeled and cleaned and whatever, they're laid out in the sun to dry. At this point, the coffee people are all just praying it doesn't rain. I think they do a dance or something...
Then it's all bagged up and ready to ship BEFORE it's roasted. I snuck a few of these babies in my pocket to take home and start my own coffee plantation in the backyard. Of course, I forgot to take them out of my pocket, and then washed my pants. Looks like Starbucks will be able to stay in business after all.
Lookit that goofy smile...it's easy to see why I'm a sucker for it, no? After the tour, we had lunch at the plantation, though I don't know how anyone could possibly eat after all that coffee.
It was served on a banana leaf...isn't that clever? No time for dish washing with all that coffee to pick! Take note of the black beans and white rice...you'll be seeing A LOT of them over the next week and a half...so much in fact, that you may never want to eat them again as long as you live. Or maybe that's me.
After 8 more cups of coffee and a considerably skinnier wallet (you don't even want to know how much coffee I brought home) we headed to a place called EnBio. It's a place where scientists collect and study the Costa Rican environment and promote conservation and display lots of interesting creatures that inhabit the country.They have an awesome butterfly garden, and if you're not careful, these guys will hitch a ride right outta there.
This cute little sucker is about the size of my (badly bitten) thumbnail. And don't let that innocent smile fool you, he bites and is extremely poisionous...how rude!
Much to this guy's dismay. He's a sloth, and very, very slow moving. I feel really sorry for Sloths...they're all fuzzy and live in trees, but they're not even really that cute...especially when he's sharing the tree with an adorable little baby spider monkey.
I should totally post this somewhere his friends and co-workers will all see it. Remember what I said about payback, honey...?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This guy was making a huge piece for a hotel lobby. How amazing is that?
As for the smaller pieces of wood, they were being cut, polished, drilled and strung for everything from jewelry to placemats and lampshades.Each tiny piece is prepped and created by hand by one of the many talented, extremely patient employees. Upstairs was where the really fun stuff was going on. I was tempted to pull up a chair and get to making some killer jewelry.
Look at that wood, isn't it beautiful. It is not sealed or coated or dyed with anything...it's all natural, polished by hand to that incredible shine.
The tour ended in the factory's little store, and we shopped for a little bit. I ended up with a cool pair of earrings that I've already gotten tons of compliments on, and my grams got a cool set of windchimes for her patio. Outide the store we sat and had something to drink beside a little pond.
And being the darling husband that he is, Hector let me walk thru the entire tour like this before finally asking if he could use the camera:
That's okay, honey....but you know what they say about payback.