Relaxing in the Rainforest-Ecuador

Relaxing in the Rainforest-Ecuador
Natalie and Grandma

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dull Women have Immaculate Homes

B'sue Boutiques (Brenda Sue Landsdowne) put out her weekly newsletter after daring all of us to post photos of our messy workroom spaces. It was so much fun to see all the "real" workspaces that are out there. There is a wonderful magazine by Somerset Studios that is called Where Women Create and it is full of beautiful incredible workspaces that these women have. They are always beautifully decorated and have some of the most up date gadgets. There are even some that create in antique glass green houses with all antique furniture. Don't know how anyone can create in a space that has expensive antiques all around them. I had a "accident" the other day when I was shaking a permanent ink and the top broke off and sprayed pink ink everywhere. I even notices a couple of spots on the ceiling the other day...Even Eliot got a little on him as he was in his box on my table. Needless to say, he hasn't been back in his box in a few days. Anyway, here is a photo of my work space. It is also where I scrapbook, sew, make jewelry, etc. I really love having this space for everything.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Craft Room

I went to an Estate Sale yesterday morning and found this beautiful shelf for $40. I was so excited to get it home and add it to my craft room! It fit perfectly at the end of one of my tables and helped to clear off some of the mess on my workspace. It is meant to hang on a wall, but it is so darn heavy I would be very afraid to try to do that, plus, I don't have any wall space left in there.

Newspaper Article in Times News !

The article that I was interviewed for way back has finally made it into the local newspaper! You can see the article at and the name of the article is Costume Jewelry Makes a Comeback. I had just about given up on ever seeing the article at all. The actual newspaper article has a photo of my hand holding one of my pieces. I was pleased to get a mention and have my shop mentioned. They also said that my jewelry can be found at The Coffee Shop here in town so Mo got some free advertising as well. She is great. She lets me display my jewelry and sells it there in her coffee shop here in town.
I will be taking some of my jewelry and photos to the fair for judging today. I love putting stuff in for the fair. There isn't a big prize or anything, but it is fun to just see one's work on display. Guess it is the Leo in me that loves the attention! The photo of the llamas WITHOUT HATS is one that I'm putting in the fair. It is because mine, Cliff's and Jeremy's favorite Youtube video is Llamas with hats. If you haven't seen Carrrrrrllllll you have to got to Youtube and see it. Another one of my favorites is Sylvester The Talking Cat. Be warned that Sylvester has a foul mouth, it goes with his personality.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Blast From the Past

Cliff got me a little scanner for my birthday that scans negatives from my old SLR camera. I was playing with it this morning and thought it would be fun (for me!) to post some really old photos that I took of Jeremy and Rachel! This first photo was taken at the Cotswold Wildlife park UK in 1986.
The next one was taken at another Wildlife park and amusement park also in the UK.
Watch for more "blasts from the past" as I scan more negatives!

A Very Happy Birthday

I had a really great birthday on the 18th. I was sung to by Jeremy's girls and Rachel called, but wouldn't sing. Cliff took me out to dinner at Jaker's and we had a really good dinner. The next day we met my dad at Canyon Crest for dinner and Cliff sang happy birthday to me! It was a lot of fun. Cliff got me something that I've been wanting to add to my garden for a long time. He got me this beautiful fountain. We got it all installed in the front yard and in the morning when I have the front window open I can hear it running. The birds found it the first night and we sat and watched the birds enjoy it as well.
Oh, Cliff suggested that I update everyone on the hot water situation. No, we have NOT been without hot water all this time. It got fixed on my birthday and we finally got to take hot showers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Craft Room

After reading B'sue's Blog about her craft room redo I decided that I should post about my craft room. Let me begin by explaining that I am knee deep in sewing Halloween costumes right now so my sewing stuff is out as well as my other craft things. Alright, it always looks like this even after I've cleaned it up a bit...
For those of you who don't know me I have several of my "collections" in my room as well. I collect Ozzy Osbourne memorabilia, I love cats, and Lady of Shallot.
My mom and grandmother passed away 2 years ago within 2 weeks of one another. They were both crafters and sewers so I inherited all their things. I have just barely sorted through all the things and finally pared it all down. It was a really tough job. I had all their stuff in a tiny 2 room apartment and was overwhelmed to say the least. I was thrilled when I found this house down the street from my apt. and it had an extra room that had once been an office. It is the only room in the house with florescent lighting and it also has a west view of my now rose garden.

Well, finally got a few more things posted on my Etsy site. I got this bracelet done and gave it a "test drive" on Sunday. Had two sales ladies ask where I bought it and I gave them my business cards and said it was for sale. I made it from a metal bracelet that I bought at Jo-Ann's and added scrapbook paper to the outside. I used a Diamond Glaze over a couple layers of Mod Podge. I won the paper/resined flower from Jewel Designs and the spider I got at B'sue Boutiques. I really liked how it turned out!

I also got a chance to use some of the Tagua nut beads that I brought back from Ecuador. I bought a multi colored strand for $4 there. Here are a couple of the necklaces. The tagua beads are the purple and the dark brown beads and the gold colored beads on the other necklace. I have them both listed on my etsy site.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Surprise! This morning we woke up and no hot water! Trying to find someone to come over and check out our water heater. No luck so far, but have more numbers to try. The one good thing is I think that the heater is still under warranty but of course the labor isn't going to be and plumbers are expensive. Will find out later today if it is going to be a small or a big fix. In the mean time it's cold showers, thank heaven it is summer time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New pieces on my Etsy site

Finally got a couple of new pieces listed on my Etsy site. This is just an example of one of the pieces. This is a polished stone that I did wire wrapping around the outside edges. I added a picture to an open bezel and poured resin over to protect. I added a gold moon charm and 2 stars to the top of the stone. Check it out at

No Article in the Paper

Another disappointment. The local paper said that they would print the article about my jewelry in the paper today. No such luck. Not sure what they are doing there. I had 2 emails assuring me that the article would appear in today's paper. Guess I should learn not to get my hopes up and get all excited until it is actually in print.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fair Photos

Ok, spent the day trying to print out photos that I want to use in the Filer Fair this year. I usually enter at least 8 photos every year. This year I'm thinking about expanding my horizons and submitting some of my jewelry and a scrapbook for judging.
I'll post a couple of my photos that I might enter in the fair. I haven't picked a couple of pieces of my jewelry yet. Will wait and do that tomorrow. Also, have to narrow down my scrapbooks to one that I like the best. Some of the photos that I've already posted might be entered in the fair. I love entering things in the fair. There really isn't a pay off, it's just a thrill to go through the event buildings and seeing your "stuff" on display and hearing what people think of it all.

Last Shakespeare Play

Every year for Christmas I give Cliff tickets to 4 Shakespeare shows in Boise at the Shakespeare Festival. This is a theater that is outside "under the stars". We either have dinner before the show or take something to eat and drink during the show. We have been lucky to see some really great productions there. Last night was our last trip to Boise for the Shakespeare Festival. This year we saw: The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare-abridged, Cabaret, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and last night was Taming of the Shrew. We both loved Cabaret. The music and story were fantastic. A very moving musical. Last night we saw Taming of the Shrew. It was hilarious! This version was done in California to an '80's theme. The music, dance, some dialog, and costumes were all from the 1980's. Can't wait to see what next year's productions will be!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Las Vegas

Like I explained earlier, I'm working backwards on my vacation this summer. The first place we flew to was Las Vegas. Cliff and I wanted to spend the 4th of July in Vegas this year and also help Carissa (#3 granddaughter) celebrate her 5th birthday. We went to the Air Force Base for the fireworks and they were spectacular!! It was only 111 degrees that day (Gack! as Cliff would say). Needless to say we melted, but the wait was worth it. The fireworks were the best we have ever seen and we could also see the fireworks going off on the strip from where we were sitting. It was great!
On one of the days there we visited the Titanic exhibit. We were each given a card at the beginning of the "trip" with the name of actual passengers that traveled on the Titanic. At the end we went to the lists on the wall to see if we survived the sinking. The most spectacular part was the room with an actual piece of ice that you could put your hands on to feel how cold the water actually was the night she sank.
We also made a trip to the Natural History Museum where they had an Egyptian display. Carissa was freaked out by the fake mummies but loved the statues.
The highlight of our stay in Vegas was the evening that we all went to see Ka a Cirque du Soeil show. The kids were fascinated by everything in the show as were we. This was Cliff's and my second time to see the show. It is an amazing feast for the eyes and ears. There is so much to see. Here is a link to see a short video about it hopefully it works: (just copy and paste the address)
We also got to go to the Bellagio and see the conservatory again. They always do such amazing things there.

The Equator

One of the days in Ecuador we visited the actual equator and the historical equator. The actual equator was so interesting! It isn't far from the historical equator. For explorers that didn't have GPS they got it pretty close. We learned so much at the actual equator and did some really fun experiments. Did you know that you don't have a shadow on the equator, that water drains straight down, it's hard to walk a straight line with your hands out, thumbs up and eyes closed? We learned some things about the people that live on the equator. One tribe were head hunters and we learned how to make a shrunken head and saw an actual shrunken head. We learned that guinea pigs will squeal if someone with a "bad spirit" comes into the home. (They were quiet while we were in the building) We also got to balance an egg on the head of a nail. We then drove over the the historical equator and photographed the huge monument and did some shopping in the shops surrounding the monument.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Zip line

As we were leaving Mindo J. and C. talked me into doing the zipline. We went to Mindo Canopy Adventure and they got J., Lydia, Clara, and myself all hooked up and ready to zip.
The girls zipped with a guide, then I was next. It was a little heart-pounding at first but, when I got out over the canopy it went too fast! I wanted to really look out over the forest. I was about 600ft over the rainforest canopy and it was really fun. We had to hike up a bit which at the altitude and heat was very hard for me. Then it was another hook-up and zip back to the beginning. I must say that it was incredible to be so high above the forest and looking down. I think I would love to do some of the other lines (they have a course of 13).
We went into Mindo and looked around for a bit and stopped at Choco Arte, a tiny chocolate/coffee shop. The owners grow and roast their own cacao beans and make great chocolates, brownies, etc. They showed us how they roast the beans in a small roaster that they turn by hand. I bought some coffee for a gift and I guess it is VERY strong coffee.
Here is the web site for the incredible soap: They charged me $4 a bar for the soap, but not sure with shipping what the end cost would be. It is very worth it though.

Mindo, Ecuador

The highlight of the trip was our trip to Mindo. Our first stop there was the butterfly house. They showed us butterflies being "born", coming out of their chrysalis stage and becoming butterflies. We spend quite a bit of time there photographing butterflies and watching them. You can get them to land on your fingers if you have some banana nectar on your finger. It was a lot of fun and we got some beautiful photos out of it. The hummingbirds were scarce and we found out that they were nesting so not many were around.
We stayed the night in the rain forest at Casa Divina. It was a really beautiful place to stay. Their "cabins" were so nice. It is run by a couple and their children and is a great family place to stay. The drive up to the parking place is quite an adventure in itself, crossing a small stream, wooden one car bridge, dense forest, but a really beautiful drive. At the parking place, there is a wheelbarrow to help you wheel your luggage up to the cabin. It is a gorgeous walk up to the main house. Meals are included in your stay and are eaten "family style" in the main house. The main house is built up high so that you have a wonderful view from all sides of the main room. Up that high is perfect for bird watching and there are plenty of birds to see. At breakfast the next morning we had a great view of the bird feeders outside and we were eye level with all the birds that flew in to eat. Upstairs is a huge open room to listen and view the birds in the trees. The girls loved that there are also swings inside the room for them to play on. The cabins are furnished with beds (nice and comfy) and a huge bathroom. I had to buy some of the soap that they furnish for the guests. It is made there in Mindo and made of all natural ingredients. I'll include the website at the end of my blog. Each cabin comes with a covered porch with chairs and a hammock. I got up early the next morning and just sat in the hammock and listened to the forest waking up. I was also treated to seeing a flock of toucans in some of the trees. It was a wonderful, restful place to be. Check out this link:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oatavalo Market

The market at Otavalo was wonderful! We were there on Sat. so it was very busy. The colors there were so bright! We walked around the market and just looked and photographed things. I was amazed at all the bright colors that were available. We all decided to get some lunch at a cafe that J. had eaten at before. One has to be very careful about eating and drinking anything there. We looked for cuy but didn't see any cooking in the market. Cuy is guinea pig on a stick. It is supposed to be good, but didn't get a chance to try any. After lunch we set out to buy some things for me to take home. Found some little things, metal spider for Rachel, Mayan stone knife for Bradley, wool purse for Carissa. I was also lucky to find a guy selling polished stones and crystals for jewelry, so got some of those. Thought about a shrunken head for a gift for someone, but they didn't look very real. Lydia was having a fit over seeing the shrunken heads so we decided not to linger there very long. After a long day of shopping we headed home.

Market Day

Our first big trip out was to some of the markets that are around the area. We went to one town that does all leather goods. We walked up and down the street bargaining for leather coats and bags. Finally, we decided it was time for ice cream. Later I got Cliff a really sharp messenger bag and myself a alpaca and leather poncho. I think that we did pretty good bargaining for what we got.

Trip to Ecuador

I promised some people that I would blog about my trip to Ecuador. I arrived in Quito, Ecuador on July 21. J. met me at the airport and we drove to their home in Quito. They have a beautiful home there and it is HUGE! They are so lucky to have such a beautiful home. The girls have their own bedrooms and bathrooms. There is even a guest bedroom and bathroom.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beginning Blog

Today is the first day of my new blog. I'm hoping to talk about the jewelry that I make and sell. I also hope to just add my musings on several things in my life including my travels and daily happenings.
Exciting thing for today:
The local newspaper contacted me last evening and set up a time to interview me about my jewelry making and my Etsy shop Hudathot Jewelry. It was very surprising and a lot of fun for me to do the interview and photos. The paper comes out on Saturday so will see how it affects sales.
I have several photos from my recent trip to Las Vegas, NV and Quito, Ecuador to add to my blog and plan to tell about the photos. It was an experience I won't soon forget.