The view from up above

Today was the Bogotá Marathon. My original plan was to participate in the half-marathon with my father-in-law but I simply couldn't train here. The altitude hit me harder than I expected. Big bummer. While he ran the half-marathon we all went to Monserrate. It's the highest point in Bogotá. There's a church there and the place was full of people (many foreigners). We had great weather so the view of the whole city was incredible! We got to the top via a cable car - I think that's what it's called. Some people actually go up on foot!

In the first photo you can sort of see the marathon runners and the church (which is really blurry) at the very top of the hill. The rest of the photos were taken either on the way up or once we were at Monserrate.

We finished the day with a yummy barbeque at a friend's house. A fun day for sure!

Slow weekend

Well, the weekend didn't go as well as planned because my 3yr old had a fever for most of it. Not fun. She's a tough little cookie and for the most part wasn't in a cranky mood. I probably would've been had it been me! The doctor ordered a blood test for her. Now you can imagine how fun that was. She'd never had to go through that. :( Fortunately nothing was out of the ordinary. I got the typical "she has a bacterial infection so here's xyz antibiotic". Today she's as good as new.

Between naps and other things I managed to make this block print. It's the first time I experiment with making my image a little "messier" and more spontaneous looking. I like it. With a little more work I think it'll be part of A Little Hut when it opens in September. Can't wait for that!

Finally something crafty!

Yesterday I learned how to quill. My sister-in-law makes adorable cards that are completely quilled (is that the right way to say that?!). She plans on starting a website to sell them really soon. After working on just the basics and making a few gifts tags, I now know that I would never want to work with this method for my cards. I may add a little something every now and then but no more than that. Quilling takes incredible patience and good manual dexterity. I know I have the latter but the former would be seriously lacking!

Remember when we went shopping for crafts the other day? This is a little something that I bought for our kitchen where we have most of our little Colombian treasures. It's very commmon here to find wall hangings of this type - balconies and/or traditional home fronts of all sorts and sizes. We already have three smaller ones at home so this will be a nice addition.

Oh! one more thing. Can someone please send me a nice little package of summer warmth? I'm soooo cold today. It was gray and cold all day long. The high was in the low 50s. I know that for some people this is spring weather but it's just too darn cold for chicken little me. I'm so jealous reading everyone's blogs where they mention going to the beach and dying of heat stroke. Apparently we're missing one of the toughest summers, eh? Well, just know that there's someone here that's actually yearning some of that! I'll probably change my mind the minute we get back and off our plane, right?

Illustrative know-how

In honor of today's announcement that Von Glitschka has launched his new site Illustration Class I've decided that today the post should be about how this illustrator is very inspiring to me. I know I will never reach his caliber but I can honestly say that seeing his work really makes me want to try harder. Although my style of illustration (my very amateur style that is!) is very different from his I enjoy learning about his process and the way he approaches projects. I've learned most of this through his posts at a design forum that I visit daily. If you have time you should also check out his other sites: Von Glitschka and Bad Design Kills.

If you read my other blog I apologize for the repeated post but I think that this is worth it.

Nothing like handmade

One of my favorite things to do when we come here is to go shopping for handcrafted goodies. We finally made it to the best store that sells "artesanias" here in town. Below are photos of the inside of the store. I wish I could take a whole crate full of stuff with me because it was very difficult to decide what to get. The creativity and quality of everything is truly wonderful. The things that I like the most are usually made out of more natural/organic materials. I love work done in clay, wood and fibers of different kinds.

Seeing the hammocks reminded me of the one we purchased during our honeymoon. We purchased it in the center of town a few blocks away from our hotel. In fact, the building to the left in the last picture here was where we bought it.

It's truly a shame the Colombia isn't better known for the beautiful things you find here.

A bit of the city

Today we went to Bogotá (the capital) to visit a new mall that I'd never seen. Wow. It's HUGE. We didn't get to see the whole place because the kids got impatient. Everywhere I looked there was something interesting to look at. Back in the day (about 15 yrs ago) someone traveling here from the USA was always bombarded with requests of things to bring. The easiest thing to bring and please my cousins was chocolate. A bag of Milky Ways, Snickers, etc where always highly requested. Imports back then were very restricted. Those days are looong gone. Now you find everything here. Everything and then some.

Back in business

My other blog am intrigued is alive and well again. Just thought I'd mention it. For those of you that have never visited I use that blog to post about finds that inspire and intrigue me. I post about architecture, jewelry, art, toys, and design in general -- anything that catches my eye.

As a sidenote - for those of you that have never used bloglines: USE IT! It will save you tons of time. It's kind of a pain to organize but once you get going it's a breeze. I used to be one that would go from post to post going down my list of bookmarks. No more! I love it! :)

Have a great day everyone!

A weekend full of celebration

Whew! What a weekend! Saturday we had lunch at my grandmother's to celebrate my uncle's birthday. We had a lot of fun. My cousins made lunch and it was simply delish! At one point, my grandmother who is 92, got sentimental on me. She got into the "I've had a wonderful life and a lot to be thankful for" mode and obviously shed a few tears. To be honest she's one of my reasons to make this trip. I wanted her to meet our daughter who'd never been to Colombia. Our kids are her only great-grandchildren.

Saturday was also my in-laws anniversary (number 39!) and yesterday was my father-in-laws' birthday. My father-in-law was in heaven. Not only was it his birthday, but all the family was together (sans my hubby - his oldest son) and to top it off we all got to watch the soccer final World Cup game. It was a nail biter. I've never heard so much noise in one house! The kids where running up and down the stairs playing this and that with another little cousin and the adults where all screaming at one dumb play or another during the game. I was rooting for France so that was a bummer. My heart wasn't completely in the game though because I really wanted Germany to win the whole thing. Oh well. After the game we all headed to a Japanese teppanyaki style restaurant. Yuuuummm! For the entertainment of the kids our chef shaped half of our rice into a Mickey Mouse head and the other half became Sponge Bob.

It was a fun weekend with family, good food and celebrations. I wish we could have more of these!

A different state of mind

My sketch book is still in the same place where I packed it. I brought watercolors, linoleum blocks (I know -- a little over the top) and other knick knacks. None of it has seen the day of light and I'm OK with that. Right now I'm just soaking everything in. Still. I've been here a month and it just doesn't stop. Every day I see something new that catches my eye. Smells, sounds, views. It's almost overwhelming. My mind keeps wondering how I can use all this in a project(s).

Our first few weeks here without the internet, computers, sketch books in hand, projects pending was bliss. I thought it would feel strange and it really didn't. Not at all.

Every morning I get to see the mountain outside of our balcony and I love it. I always knew that the mountains were something that I missed a lot but now I know that's really true.

Another thing I've confirmed is that I'm definitely a city gal. We're staying in a small town and I'm OK with that, BUT I could never live here permanently. I can't exactly put my finger on it but I've gone to Bogotá (the capital - BIG city - 45 min away) a couple of times and it feels so much more familiar.

The best thing we could've brought, hands down, is our camera. I carry it everywhere we go. Someone that lives here made the comment, upon seen some of the photos, is that we "see" things that they don't. The mundane to them looks interesting to me. I took the photo in my new header as we were on our way to go fishing.

We have a month to go and I just know it's going to fly by. I hope that we get to do the things I have in mind to do. I don't want to get home and feel like we missed something. The main thing is that we're relaxed and having fun (even though we're all missing Daddy!).

Take a look at the picture that our 3yr old took the other day. I gave her the camera, gave her a few pointers and she just went for it. A budding photographer? What do you think? :)

Still away...

I'm still on vacation with the kids in Colombia. Hubby's two weeks flew by and he's back home now :( We've enjoyed every minute of being here. We've eaten like kings and done a little bit of everything. The kids have gone fishing, horse back riding, played soccer like crazy, etc etc. It's been fun, fun. I'm exhausted but I just wanted to give a quick hello since today we got the internet hooked up here. I've posted a random sampling of photos on my flickr page so if you're curious you can visit here. I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Oh and one more thing! My HGTV - That's Clever segment is supposed to air tomorrow (July 5th). If anyone cares to give me a review I'd love to hear it (nervous about it though). I'll only be able to see the taping of the show when I get back home in August. A reminder: I was really sick the weekend of the taping so my voice is way off! I had no voice the day before the crew showed up at the house. I hope I didn't make a total fool of myself! Eeek! Here's the link to my project on the HGTV site.