El Sabor de Guanacaste Festival

Last Friday, July 25, my girl Lydia and I attended a local art festival named El Sabor de Guanacaste (The Flavor of Guanacaste) in Flamingo Beach.  Guanacaste is the province of Costa Rica that I live in and July 25 is Guanacaste Day, celebrating the independence of the zone from Nicaragua - making it a part of Costa Rica in 1824. 

We've attended a handful of fairs in Flamingo over the past few years, but honestly, they've always been a little disappointing.  There was always very little foot traffic or community/tourist interest.   So when we heard about this one, initially we were kinda' on the fence as to whether or not we wanted to close our shops for the day and head over there.  In the past, it just hasn't been worth it.  However, after a few conversations with one of the organizers, Raquel (who we would soon discover was on her "A" game), we decided that the event seemed like it would be well promoted and attended.  We really liked the fact that there would be live music and that there were a decent amount of confirmed artists.  

The space that the artists were in was a covered patio with lots of natural light and fresh air.  (Although it was like a 100000 degrees that day so even the breezy air felt like you were standing in front of an open oven!)  The day started with a parade with kids from the local schools, some dressed up in traditional clothing, others marching in a band that pounded out a beat that made even the least rhythmic person want to move.  
Right after the parade, people started milling around and soon after, the bands started to perform.  There was a good turnout -- lots of locals and tourists, which is always a nice mix.

The Lovely Ms. Lydia 

My table
Traditional Chorotega/Guaitil Pottery from Jesus and Susan 
Paintings by Jose Jackson
I love photography.  It's one of my favorite art forms, so I really enjoyed the photography by photographer Royden Alvaro.  His photographs tell stories of life in Guanacaste.  Fiestas, bull riding, borrachos (drunks) dancing in the street, really capturing the moment.  You gotta check out his website and see his photos from Costa Rica, Cuba and the rest of his portfolio.

Of course, I have to include at least one photo of a dog!! :)
A staple of culinary culture here in Guanacaste is corn tortillas so of course there were ladies making them from scratch and cooking them over a wood fire.  If you've never had tortillas fresh off the griddle, you've missed out on one of life's finest pleasures.
The music was awesome.  A great mix of electronic, traditional, rock and reggae bands.  Tamarindo's own Glass Eye performed.   These guys rock.

One of the big things of this festival was the different workshops available for the kids to participate in.  Lydia hostessed a painting class and I hostessed a beading class.  It's always fun to see what the kids come up with when left to their own creative devices.
My Beading Class

Lyd's painting class.
What kid doesn't like drawing on the cement with chalk. Heck, I still like to draw on the cement!!
In the late afternoon, a traditional dance troupe named Colpachi performed.  Being from the States, one thing I really love here is seeing young people enjoying their rich heritage.  In the States, we just don't have any thing traditional like folk dancing, so seeing "kids" immersed in their traditions that have been handed down over and over, is something that I always love to watch.

The festival lasted until much later, but we left for home and cold showers (!!!) around 5ish.  I think I speak for us both that we were glad that we went.  It was fun, productive, entertaining, and best of all we got to spend the day together.  Awwwww.


Look Book Photo Shoot

In May I completed my 6th year in the shop (yippeeee!!).  I've been wanting to put together a Look Book -- pairing up my jewels along with some great clothing.   It's been a long time since I actually did a photo shoot (other than Etsy listings).  The last one was in Downtown LA in mid-2008....
I love DTLA!!  All the graffitti walls and murals.  I love it.
It's amazing to think how much my life has changed in just a few years.  I've gone from living downtown in one of the biggest cities in the world, to living in a super small beach town in Central America.  In that last round of pictures, I never would have imagined that I'd be where I am now with the shop and all the great opportunities that have come along with it.  

I started thinking about what I'd like to photograph and how.  Over the past 3 or so years, my jewelry line has kinda' morphed into two distinct looks and lines.  I have the big chunky pieces that were what started my jewelry line.

But in addition to that, I've been working with a lot of sheet metal, creating cuffs, and geometric necklaces, earrings and rings.  Lots of layering and mixing metals.  
I decided that the first (of more to come) photos would be of the sheet metal jewelry because for the past few months, that's been where I've felt most inspired.  Plus, it seems to reflect more of the style that I'm wearing these days.

I hit up my friend Hollie, a beautiful graphic and clothing designer who visits Costa Rica with enough frequency that it's difficult not to consider her a part time resident.  I ran a few ideas by her and asked if she might be interested in being my model on her next trip here.  I don't even know that she heard what I wanted to do - I'm pretty sure all she heard was "come to Costa Rica" and lickey-split she was booking her ticket.  Don't gotta' twist her arm to come here!!

She showed up with two suitcases full of great clothing that went p-e-r-f-e-c-t with what I wanted to photograph.  God I love that girl!  It was awesome to see the clothing come together with the jewelry exactly how I had envisioned.  I couldn't have picked a better wardrobe even if I had gone out and purchased it myself.
We got super duper lucky because she ended up house sitting for a friend who was nice enough to allow us to use his space for the pics.  Lots of white walls and natural light.  Also an awesome Keith Herring mural that the talented Ms. Hollie painted on one of her prior trips.  ((sigh))....this girl.  

We rang up our friend Emily who arrived with her usual spunky attitude and the show began.  Total we took about 500 pictures over the next 3.5 hours. 
The ladies worked it, we laughed, goofed off and the on-site doggie guard, Rai, flirted and supervised.  I think he liked seeing all the half naked ladies running around.  Boys!!!    

After reviewing the pics and now slowly going through them and editing, I gotta' say, they turned out better than I ever could have hoped for.  These chicas did a great job!  I'm slowly going through them, posting them on Etsy, Instagram and Facebook.

But here's a peek at a few of my faves....

Ms. Emily

Ms. Hollie looking like a doll.

I mean really Rai!!
I'll be continuing to post over the coming weeks.  Also, in August Hollie will be back again (like I said -- frequent visitor!) and we hope to do another round - beach front.