Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category
While I absolutely love the hub bub of the holiday season approaching, this time of year really drains me, mentally, physically and emotionally.
In our 45 years of marriage, we’ve never lived any where near relatives….however, we’ve lived in 5 different states and have many friends still in those old haunts. And with Facebook, it’s a real treat to re-connect with old friends. Our family is scattered all over the US and it’s virtually impossible to do the family Christmases we had when the girls were little.
The worst part for me is the shopping. I like to do handcrafts and it’s just impossible to find fabric and all the notions, etc. in a one stop shop! Usually, I just get frustrated and head home – ticked that I can not get the things I want/need. Am slowly getting over that, tho’….or else the Pura Vida is slowly creeping in. Or I suck it up and pay the international shipping and then by the time my order makes its way to Costa Rica, I’ve forgotten what I wanted the things for.
Stopped at Payless Shoes yesterday because a friend was going to buy shoes for their “angel” from the angel tree; a pair of tennis shoes for a child was $26!!! It makes me sad, because the Costa Rican people we know and are friends with, can’t pay that for one child, let alone their family of 2, 3, or more children. I honestly don’t know how they do it – but they are so happy!
Am slowly getting used to the grocery shopping – still not quite sure what I’m getting in the meat department because “cuts” of meat here sure look different to me than they did in the Kroger meat department.
With Christmas approaching and it being the giving time of year, it would certainly be wonderful if every charity could spread out their “please give to me at this time of year”…..either that, or I need to learn to put aside a certain amount of money each month for the month of December. Probably will end up being the latter of that previous statement.
Our neighbor girls are excited about Navidad approaching. They come and go pretty much at will at our house – so I’ve really frustrated them! LOL Have started wrapping Christmas gifts so they have no clue who they are for! Mark said he caught Nazareth peeking in the window of the second bedroom looking at the wrapped gifts. This is the fun part for me. We’ve sort of adopted the two girls, Nazareth and Dylana, and their two cousins up the street from us.
Dylana will be graduating from 6th grade in mid-December. She wants clothes for Christmas….so I will take her shopping with the stipulation that she has to act surprised when she opens her gifts! Did that last year when I bought them shoes because I wanted them to pick out the shoes they wanted – and their expressions didn’t disappoint. As usual, Mark has no clue what’s in the packages, so he was the most surprised!
Maricela, the girls’ mother, has been asking me for two weeks, about the arbol de Navidad…she’s quite excited about the trees, yes, trees, going up soon. Last year was the first year the girls “had” a Christmas tree, even if it was at our house. They spent hours helping me decorate the trees. (One inside and one on the rancho.) And are eager to do it again this year.
Since a lot and I mean A LOT of people already have their homes decorated, I guess I’ll give in and get started with the tree decorating. According to Mark, he needs at least a 10 day notice to get all the bins, and boxes down for this endeavor! LOL
I was going to try and wait till after Thanksgiving, but think I’ll just jump on the bandwagon and go for it! Everyone will be happy! LOL And that’s what it’s all about, keeping everyone happy.
One thing that is really super wonderful here, is that all ex-pats take on “being your family”. We have so many wonderful friends here from all over. Disney is right, it is a small world!
Pura Vida for now as I give Mark his marching orders to get the Christmas decor down.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the girls and I made the 350 name tags for the Angel Tree Angels Christmas party! They love helping me do things like that!!!
Am frantically trying to get some things done in order to have a booth in the park on October 13th or at Nana’s Place. So far this is what I’ve gotten done this morning…..hoping to have some variety; Halloween, Christmas, etc.
So, if things don’t sell, and your a friend of mine that I give gifts to, (LOL), get your choice in of what you want!
Posted June 27, 2013on:
About a month or so ago, my sewing/embroidery machine started acting up; not all the time, just every once in awhile; it seemed to be only when I was using a USB for embroidering. Then this week, the light bulb went off and I thought, why not try a design that came with the machine. It didn’t work either.
So after much researching on the internet, we ( yep, had to get the husbter involved in finding this), found some machine repair shops that worked on Brother sewing machines; my machine is a Babylock Ellisimo, which is the same as the Brother Quattro.
Pat, one of our friends that is fluent in Spanish, made the call for us to see if they worked on my type of machine. It was a yes and it will be diagnosed while you are there.
So today, we headed to Alajuela (there is one in San Jose, also) to check it out.
When we walked into this shop, we were both astounded at what we saw. Seems like every machine imagineable was there! From basic sewing machines to fancy embroidery machines with many needles, to sergers, etc.
We were promptly taken to a table to put the machine on so I could show “the Dr.” what the problem was. I set up the machine, and started embroidering on it and you should have seen the crowd of people that work in there come to check out the “el grande maquina”…..I looked at Mark and said “perhaps I should give classes!”
This is a picture of the store front – the repair shop is also located there – and get this, there is a Singer repair shop that’s attached to the repair shop – so it’s a 3 – stop place! And quite easy to locate also.
It was just unbelievable seeing all the machines they had available for sale. There were all kinds of parts available in the display cases….Mark says he wishes auto mechanics carried such an inventory here!
At any rate, we both felt a sigh of relief when we walked in and I had no qualms about leaving it. Now to wait for it to be repaired. I will most likely be in the states when that happens, but call me Miss Pollyanna, I’m holding out for sooner, rather than later.
They had extra hoops for sale, all kinds of scissors, glue guns, glue sticks, thread, lots and lots of thread.
They also had 3 machines for sale called The Butterfly….from China, of course. However, the machines looked like old Singer machines and were even in wooden sewing machine cases/tables for around $300. I made the comment that I’m almost tempted to buy one of those so I’m not without a sewing machine! I should have taken a picture of his face and the look I got….it was one of those priceless moments!
Then we headed to Jalepenos – Normans in Alajuela for a great lunch.
Pura Vida for now – I’m a really happy camper having found La Bobina!
Another humid day, altho’ the weather forecast said another cool front was moving in with rain….the word cool, here, is so different than cool in the old country! LOL
Took a field trip yesterday to San Jose; we had been told the Christmas lights were a sight to see; nada, saw very few; and we were told there were lots of street vendors, very few of those too. Altho’, I think you could buy any kind of cell phone on the street you wanted!
However, we did find a WONDERFUL department store called Universal on the pedestrian mall. Wish men had not been with us, because I could have wandered in there for hours; and they had lots and lots of Christmas things on sale!!! Makes me long for a larger house to decorate! LOL
Then we headed to an upscale Mexican restaurant – good food and fun! It was pretty “dark” to get a good picture; however, you get to guess who ordered this as their dinner! LOL
A cousin had a baby boy mid-August and requested a sweater, black, with red or blue…..chose to do black with red. Knitting with black is quite intimidating with old eyes! I thought it turned out cute – decided it needed a matching hat. Then found these crocheted booties that look like high top tennies! Hope Nicholas likes them! I’m one second cousin behind in gifts and he turned 1 already…hang in there Austin, your turn is next.
Quick shot of just one bootie….
This Saturday is Costa Rica’s Independence Day. Friday night there is a children’s parade, with lit lanterns that they make signifying how people got around in the dark before electricity. We went last year and it was so cute! Some really creative ones and then there were some purchased ones. Reminded me of Halloween in the old country – where they are some creative homemade costumes and some purchased ones!
It’s only 77 degrees out – I’m sure within the next half hour, Mark will come in and put on socks and long pants! LOL The Wuss!
Now that we’ve been living in Costa Rica for almost a year, unbelievable that it’s been almost a year, I can say there are some things I miss from the old country. We’ve decided to refer to the U.S. as the old country.
I miss my magazines! Yep, can buy magazines in Costa Rica that are in Spanish….wonder if the day will ever come that I feel comfortable enough to do this?
I miss being able to shop in a real fabric store with all the necessary items you need to complete a project. There are many fabric stores in Costa Rica, however, they don’t carry thread (except for one in Grecia), and sewing notions. I have yet to find a pattern in Costa Rica and I definitely need a pattern for guidance! It is not fun running from store to store to find these items.
I miss my garbage disposal! Immensely!
I miss being able to go to a clothing store and having a wide variety to choose from. Can’t wait till October when I return to the old country. I’ll be a shopping fool! I’ll be first in the stores when they open, and last to leave when they close.
I miss my knitting group at Panera on Friday! Perhaps the week I’m in the old country, they’ll feel the need to meet more than just on Friday.
I miss that I still have to go on a search mission to find things that I KNOW were packed to be moved here. By the time I find what I’m searching for, the mood has left me to do whatever it is I wanted it for. But then again, somethings never change….I’m constantly searching for where I’ve put my coffee cup down. And this house isn’t that big to have spend time searching for it! LOL
I miss Barnes and Noble! A lot of times when I felt bored (meaning I don’t want to clean the house). I would go to B & N and just wander around amidst the books and magazines. Spent a lot of time doing that back in the old country! LOL
What don’t I miss?
I love that all gas stations in this country charge the same price for gas!
I love the happy, friendly people in this country.
I love the weather, the freakin’ great weather! I don’t ever want to be cold again! Hear that KY, no cold weather the week I’m back there!
I love the fact I wear flip flops EVERY DAY!!! I’ve dubbed the flip flops as the shoe of Costa Rica!
I love hearing the birds singing in the a.m. – however, the parrots could start their chattering a little later in the day. I love hearing the geckos chirp that are now living in the house. They eat bugs, they are our friends.
I love all the new friends we’ve met from all over…it truly is a small world! Met people that now live here from Nashville….how ironic is that?
I love that I have friends that are coming to visit us! I love sharing our new lifestyle with old friends. It’s not for everyone, but it really is a relaxing place.
I love the fresh fruit and veggies available year around. Coffee is pretty darn good here too!
I love the healthcare here! Drs. are willing to work with you and before sending you on to specialists, they make phone calls in your behalf and talk with specialists to how best treat your problem. (ie: thyroid, is now at a “normal” level and I only worked with 1 Dr.m but she called endocrinologists to inquire how best to treat it).
You know, I really feel we made the best move EVER! We have no A/C bills, no heating bills, economical healthcare, lots of friends, (you don’t have to look very hard to find someone to go out to eat with you), no one is in a hurry; everyone smiles. Have many friends that have visited the old country and they all say they couldn’t wait to get back to Costa Rica! They feel the old country is a “rat-race”, everyone is in a hurry.
If you are looking for a place to visit with happy people, check out Costa Rica. No, it’s not perfect, but it beats living in a “rat-race”.
Miguel, my pet Iguana, is sunning himself on the rock outside the bedroom doors. Guess the dogs are getting used to him because they don’t bark at him anymore.
Time to change colors of thread in the embroidery machine…so Adios and Pura Vida from the Happiest Country in the World! (Thanks, Beth, for reminding me of this!)
Frances called and wanted me to go to Grecia to some fabric shops on Wednesday. Key words: go, fabric!
Little did I/we know that we would be without water sometime during Monday night; and this “water outtage” lasted 36 freakin’ hours.
I waited till Wednesday morning to call her; I asked if we could wait and go Thursday because we’ve been without water and I was quite aromatic! She said, “well, just come here and take a shower”. I knew I would feel better after taking a shower, so I took her up on it!
I didn’t want to put on clean clothes to go over there so I threw on a light zip-up sweatshirt over my nightgown, baseball cap on my head, and away I went. As I drove off Mark yells, “I hope you don’t have car trouble”. (I guess he didn’t approve of my get-up!)
Blasted the a/c on high and while driving into town, I realized I needed gas. There was a line-up at the gas station and while waiting, I remembered, they can never figure out how to open the “gas door” and I always hop out of the car (Oh, I was driving Ms. Smartie) and just push it up, and the guys at the gas station get all embarrassed. They stand around and wait for someone that’s not pumped gas for me to get a “newbie”, I think! Then they all laugh at him – yep, in Costa Rica, your gas is pumped for you!
So I backed out of line, thank heavens for the small car, and drove on. Frances was taking her car to get a muffler fixed and originally planned to ride to her house with me. However, they fixed it immediately! Try getting that done in the states like that!
Then she wanted to know if I wanted to go to Kay’s and get a cup of coffee…I politely declined and said, “I’m going no where till I get a shower.”
Drove out to her house, and when I got out of the car, she laughed! “Oh, I’ve got to get a picture of you!”
Her husband was in the garage and when he turned around he had put a clothespin on his nose. LOL
I immediately headed to the shower! It felt so good! Till I got ready to get dressed and realized I forgot to bring a bra! So as I’m gathering up my things, to head home, Frances says, “Let’s go to Grecia” – and I said I can’t go to Grecia, I forgot my bra, which was your fault because as I was going to get it to put in my bag, she called me and I laid it down and promptly forgot about it!
She convinced me it would be alright, so off we went!
Hit a couple of fabric shops and stopped to get something to drink. As we were finishing up, she says, “Let’s find the bedspread factory”. So we went next door to the fabric shop and inquired if they knew where it was. They just sent us to a “bed store”.
Then she says “Let’s go to Sarchi and find it.” Off we went…
I love Costa Rican adventures!!!
As we were heading into town, a guy was standing in front of his furniture store and she whipped the car in to see if he knew where it was….luck was with us, not only did he know where it was, he spoke English!
After making a wrong turn, we were on the right track again. This factory is located on some really gorgeous property along a rushing river.
A woman met us at the door and said she had received a phone call that we were coming. It truly is a small world! She took us in to see all the bedspreads they make and then took us back into the factory. WOW! All I could think of was “Gayla should see this!” They were making sheets, mattresses, etc. It was really quite interesting…..
Then Frances says “have you seen the huge oxcart in front of the church”, which I had. Then she said, have you been to the oxcart factory? So off we went to see that. Another WOW factor! They are using machinery from the early 1900′s to make these! And the machine is moved by a huge water wheel!!! There were signs above the pieces of machinery with what they were used for and the year – some of these machines were from the early 1900′s and are still in use! Then we traveled upstairs where they make smaller items. It was so cool!!! This will definitely be on my tour of things to take visitors to see. And a “to die” souvenir place and a restaurant. What more could you want….a little bit of education, shopping and eating. Can’t wait to go back!
Headed home after that.
Mark said the water came back on around 11:00 a.m. – this is the first time we’ve had this happen for the water to be out for so long….but you know what, we live here, we’ll deal with it!
Just looked out the window and Miguel, my new pet Iguana, is sunning himself on the rock again.
Gave Deloris a call and said “road trip” – her response, how much time do I have time to get ready? LOL
When we first were thinking about visiting Costa Rica, Mark found this place; we almost stayed there till we found Animal Lighthouse Rescue.
Check out http://www.costaricaquilts.com/villa.html; she has people come from all over to take classes – and I don’t just mean from Costa Rica! There are places to stay right on the grounds and it’s close to everything; restaurants, ZooAve, a winery, etc.
Since arriving here, I’ve noticed shopping for fabric in Costa Rica is frankly “a pain in the ass”. No patterns (except for some quilt patterns at Villa Rita’s); thread in different stores (altho’ there’s one fabric store in Grecia that does carry some notions); in other words, it’s not like saying “Hmmmm, I think I’ll sew today and you head to Joann’s, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, etc.; you will head to many stores to collect everything you need to complete a project.
Villa Rita’s is not far at all from our house! If you get my drift, it could be a problem?! Gorgeous fabrics to choose from, gorgeous quilts already made up, etc. Rita even has her 6 year old granddaughter designing and making quilts!!!
Need to think about taking a class.
She had the neatest wall hanging in her home of a Costa Rican lady in a colorful costume; she made up the design from a wall hanging out of wood and silver! How cool is that!!! There are so many clever people in the world…..this was also entered in a quilt show that was in the U.S.
The creative juices are beginning to flow…..life is good!
As we were paying at a restaurant that we ate at earlier this week, La Trocha, the chef insisted we come back on Thursday a.m. at 9:30 for breakfast. When you are retired, you NEVER, EVER, turn down food! LOL
So we met Thursday morning for a most delicious breakfast! Tortillas, made in a Nicaragua style, had more flavor and were very good. I’m don’t care much for Costa Rican tortillas because they are way too thick for me! Then of course the ever delish Gallo Pinto, and then an omelet, not folded over, with everything you can imagine on it. I had mine on top of the tortilla – so good!!!
Then the women had an excursion planned. I wanted to go back to the quilt shop between Grecia and Sarchi and watch them put in grommets, it’s not the way I want them put in, but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do!
Then Delores says “would you be interested in going to a place that “makes souvenirs and is off the beaten path”. Well, duh, Yes I want to go there! And will return there too. Saw LOTS of wooden things I’ve seen in souvenir shops and this were just too good to pass up price-wise. Keep in mind it’s a woodworking shop and get this; the dust is free!
Heading back into Grecia I had found a fabric store that I hadn’t been in yet. So we stopped…..fabric stores here are just so different!!! Takes me forever to make up my mind, etc.; however, I did buy Gayla some fabric for a quilt back – and if she doesn’t like it, I’ll keep it!!!
There is a quilt retreat place not too far from our house and I finally contacted the woman and she said she’d love to have me come visit. That will be on next week’s agenda!!!
Friday was the first day that the “over 60 group of ladies” took an adventure. There were 7 of us. We took the bus from Atenas to Orotina. It was great! Can’t wait to take the bus again!!! However, I can assure you that the bus driver drove a lot faster than I would on that road! LOL
I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant we ate lunch at….but the important thing, is I can get to it. Told Mark that some day we should take the bus there for lunch. And just think, after my birthday this year, I can ride the bus FREE – altho’ it’s super cheap to ride it!
I think when Terri comes to visit, we just might take a day and do that.
Anxious to see the Central Market in San Jose too; altho’, we’ve been warned that we cannot stop and “window shop” on the way to the market; because we’ll do that on the way back! LOL
Lots of new experiences this week; love this country!
Adios for now!
Things were shut down in Costa Rica for Semana Santa; what to do?
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, we had brief showers. On Facebook there was a post that Antano’s would be open on Thursday and Friday….the brain was churning….so late Wednesday afternoon I sent out an email that because of the rain on the three previous days, I had the “rain crabbies”. Since Antano’s was going to be open, I suggested we all meet there Thursday morning for brunch.
WOW! We had 14 people show up!!! I’m sure the wait staff was overwhelmed, LOL. It was a fun time for all and even if a few orders got mixed up, so what…that’s life in Costa Rica…and where Pura Vida comes in.
Thank you Antano’s for being open and accommodating us!
Frances had asked me to go to an over-60′s group meeting of women. They are trying to set up day trips once a month to go, do and see various things. We’ll be taking public transportation on most journeys. When women get together they eat; if it were men getting together, it would be beer! LOL
The first one is to go to Orotina to shop, and of course eat!
I’m really excited about the trip in May to the British Embassy. We’ll be going on May 24th and take part in the birthday celebration for Queen Victoria (yes, I know now it’s Elizabeth); anyone in blog land ever done anything like this?
Yesterday, while cleaning (attempting) the pool, I noticed two dragonflies; let’s just say they were having a good time and probably should have gotten a room! LOL
Sofi will be visiting the vet this week – breaking out on her stomach; I kind of think it’s from heat/sweating? At least I hope it’s nothing major. She spends her days lying under the car and guarding our property. Seriously! She let’s us know if someone is around and since they are putting in the road that runs behind our house, there are always “strangers” around! This gets Derby barking and then Sedona….I wish they were all in tune and could harmonize!
This morning I finally sat down at the sewing machine and have completed another Christmas present. No, Amy, it’s not for you! LOL I was trying to do a gift a month, I’m up to February! LOL
I become easily frustrated in the “sewing/craft” department here in Costa Rica. It’s difficult to find notions and patterns, well, they don’t use patterns here. Yes, I can order stuff on line but sometimes the shipping is just too outrageous. Big sigh, so I’ll keep on trudging around looking for stuff.
Happy Easter to all and Pura Vida!
Adios, for now.