Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday, already?

Another week has come and gone, and with it, a whole entire month too! September was a blur! A blur of painted driftwood signs and clay creations, not necessarily a bad thing, but time flies!

Here are the finished signs I was commissioned to paint for The Cottages. Numbered signs for each suite, that are changeable depending on if the guest wants to be disturbed or not. Color coded so other guests can see at a quick glance who might want to be invited, to say a pool party, or card game. Tranquilo= do not disturb and Fiesta= well means, ready to mingle

The Cottages also have a new washer and dryer for guests to use, and an outdoor restroom.

Another one, for the pool area...

One more is on the way, a vacancy sign to hang out front, and a smoking section sign didn't get pictured. It's a chunk of wood that sits on a table, and the smokers will know to congregate there. It was really fun having such a large project to work on, and get paid! Thanks Kim for trusting me!

As far as clay creations go, we have been busy painting mini plants. 

Having fun with cactus too...

And another wild one...

Mike did a firing yesterday, so we will have new things to paint. I've got to get the last sign finished for Kimberly, and continue getting other works in progress done. Going to ask Jenny our closest tienda if she would display some of our artwork, and see if any of the weekend tourists are interested. It would be nice if we could sell some of this...make room for more.

In other news, we have had some great presents from our fishermen neighbors, crab for no reason.

And we gave out apples and oranges to the neighborhood boys the other day, Alfred had his son Andy working nets with him, so we gave him an orange too...and got at least a pound of shrimp!

Such a great group of people! We certainly love our life here on the beach! Another reason...

This picture is actually Alfred trying to get his nets done before dark. He commented on the picture on Facebook, that he loved this life too.

Life is good here on the coast of Ecuador, fruit truck later today, fresh bread and a walk on the beach. Stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Feliz Cumpleanos Charapoto

I have told you that our festival circuit starts in June, well Charapoto actually has two fiestas, and I hadn't really realized it. Charapoto has its birthday party in late September, but then has their other festival in October, now I've got it straight. Charapoto turned 482 years old this year!  It starts with the cleaning, painting and decorating the streets...

I noticed these plastic flowers last year, and is why I made my own at Christmas. Charapoto's colors are green and gold (for the crops they grow) but when these plastic flowers were tweaked a bit and painted red, they made wonderful poinsettias. Anyway, the streets were decorated and the parade was on Wednesday afternoon. (You've seen one parade, you've seen them all, so we didn't go, even tho Nexar had said he would take us. Pictures are from Facebook.)

The white, and green with red stars is the Manabi flag. (Our "province")

I especially liked this group of Special Needs people, check out the guy in the Superman themed wheelchair "float", LOVE IT! 

Such a prideful people (and not in a bad way), they are so eager to show off the wonderful-ness of their area. And rightfully so, this area of Ecuador, is especially bountiful, but really ALL OF ECUADOR IS HEAVEN! If you haven't been here, you should! People from foreign lands, as well as the "natives" didn't just settle here over 482 years ago because it sucked!

So many things to do, and not enough to time, Mike is out of clay so we need to make a trek down to the Boca. We need to collect some wood too, maybe we will ask Nexar to drive down and help after he's sold out his bread, he often drives down before heading home. So, on that note...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Treasure from the Ocean

If someone would have told us five years ago when we dreamed up this crazy plan, that we would be scavenging art supplies from the beach and MAKING money...well, we would have said "Yippee"! But let me tell you, the clay and sculpting has become, overwhelming! The possibilities are just endless!!!

So last time I spoke of Mike starting to paint his clay creations, here are some...

And after I got to them...

More of his painting...

And more collaboration...

Still painting pendants...

And the newest addition to the clay family...drum roll please...

Mini plants! 

Some are plant stakes, and others have their own pots.

Some are crazy, like the octopus tentacles here, and others are lifelike.

We are thinking candle and incense holders, different plaques and wall hangings. The mixed media has turned out to be so cool! I especially love using driftwood, painting on reclaimed wood, and using sticks and branches. My newest work in progress...

This is one of those huge starfish we were given before the earthquake. We dried them forever, painted them and they still stink! I thought I would put it on this starburst and hang outside, but it was just too brittle, oh more thing Mike will have to make from clay. So this starburst will wait for a sun face, but I'm happy with how it turned out.    

So many things in the works! I didn't even show you the finished signs I was commissioned to paint for The Cottages, next time. So, as always...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Five months

Yesterday was five months since our huge earthquake, and things are still coming down. From my walks thru the neighborhood, I'm seeing a lot of very old buildings coming down, not sure if the materials are being scavanged to use elsewhere, or if since every dwelling is being inspected, these obviously didn't pass...

Still so much good wood, I'll have to go scavenge some for me.

I would have loved to have seen this house in its its original glory, look at that staircase! I may have to go back and poke around inside before it comes all the way down.

And at Bravo family's house, after the partial third and second floor was taken down, family members still needed somewhere to sleep...

The past few Fridays there have been people lined up at the Funeral home, I asked Nexar what they were waiting for, and he said earthquake help. So it is the meeting place for townspeople to talk with the governing officials. This week they did it without much roof...

But, our Ecuadorean friends still have the best attitude. We have learned so much from them living here the past couple years, and everyday we know we made the right decision. We never quite know what the day will hold, but we almost always go to bed with smiles on our faces, life is good for us here on the coast. 

Fishermen working nets out front, and someone just showed up with music, so maybe we will end up having a fishermen party today, it is stay tuned, The adventure continues!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Changes this week

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and one of my two main stores had rearranged, I happened to have the camera, so snapped a few. This is MiniMart, run by Lilliana and her helpers Zoia (who also washes my towels) and Claudia, it is located on the street with the bank, and Edison's (my shrimp guy).

This is the store where I buy my ground beef, chicken, bacon and milk, among other things. They buy whole chickens in Charapoto and then quarter them, repackage and everything is always clean and sanitary. I buy chicken breast (pechuga) for $2.50 and usually feeds us twice. The ground beef is so lean I usually cook bacon first (which is also quite lean) to plump up the flavor, and who doesn't like bacon burgers? $3 a pound.

Lilliana also buys a lot from the Friday fruit truck, which is great for when I forget (like this week).

I order dog food in bigger bags from her, and they've started a little hardware section. Paint brushes and light bulbs so far... It really is a great little store, I'm always greeted with a warm, genuine smile, and we can communicate pretty well.

Across the street from MiniMart is where Edison and family slept for a while, but they've started building!

So, the bamboo building behind the fence was recently built where a house fell from the earthquake. The bamboo house was made using material from the lot next door, where the cinder block building is going up,now. Not sure if this is private, or government, I'll have to ask Edison. Hopefully government, and that means building is starting.

And closer to us, where Eduardo and I sat and painted...

Oh shoot! The ramada is coming down! Apparently someone's brother who lives in Spain owns this lot, and is having a house built, oh well, we need houses too, because...

The one Eduardo moved into after his was demolished, is slated to come down too! So he had to move again, and is now in a building with no electricity! He does get an ocean view from the new place, but not near as many people walking by to say hello to. I bought him a newspaper the other day, and will find him a book or two.

I guess that's about it, oh one overcast morning Mike decided to do a firing of clay, so I stayed inside and finally finished painting the wall in the tv room.

Mike is working on some really cute clay things, and I'm busy painting for hire. Things are always changing, we are having Vecino do some work for us tomorrow, and we will continue to do clay and paint, so...stay tuned, the adventure continues!