Favorite Discoveries - Costa Rica
November 06 2013
When my plane touched down on my home tarmac last Thursday, I felt like my trip to Costa Rica had been just a dream. Only hours before I had been in a tropical paradise resplendent with colorful toucans, chatty monkeys, brilliant bird of paradise flowers and warm coastal waters. And then there was the weather. Despite the fact I decided to plan my visit during the country's rainy season (the tourist industry likes to call it the "green season"), the sun was generous with its presence. My near 15 year return to this paradise I once called home was about as perfect as I could have wished for.
Although it may have felt like my 8 days in Central America was a dream, it wasn't! And I have some wonderful, handmade, one-of-a-kind additions for the shop to prove it! I hope you will find them just as enchanting as I did.
My first discovery was in a a hip little downtown San José, Costa Rica design shop called eÑe.
eÑe is situated inside an antique colonial-style mansion in Barrio Otoya. Across the street is Casa Amarilla, the home of the ministry of foreign affairs. In front of it is a glorious ceiba tree that was planted by John F. Kennedy during his 1963 visit to Costa Rica.
The artist I fell in love with at eÑe is named Anima. She creates fun, whimsical graphic designs and decorates all sorts of objects with her art. I was particularly charmed by the rings and earrings she makes by incorporating her graphic work onto these accessories.
As she notes, every piece is made with "love and thought," and each design is meant to "invoke passion." I know I felt a passion to scoop up as much of this talented Costa Rican artist's work as I could!
Dreamy beach at the national park, Manuel Antionio
My second discovery I found seaside (my discovery skills hone while wearing a sun dress and SPF 50)! A cute shop full of beautiful, colorful hand-painted fabrics immediately caught my attention in the small town of Quepos.
Store front of Meli Melo
The owner and artist is Francesca Casanova. Francesca is a French woman who moved to Costa Rica over 20 years ago. Her charming shop showcases images of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica that she hand-paints onto scarves, pillow cases, back packs and bags. The quality and detail was irresistible!
Raquel, the wonderful shop girl who helped me, in the shop
Francesca wasn't in the shop that morning, but Raquel, her friendly shop girl, was eager to assist me. She even called Francesca up so I could talk to her on the phone as she doesn't have ANY web presence...not even an email! I guess that is why one choses the beach life :).
Make-up bags I acquired from Francesca's shop
I selected to bring back a few of the wonderful make-up bags (or any sort of bag you want it to be!) that Francesca makes.
The leaves are stamped using actual leaves and the image is then hand painted. All bags are made by local seamstresses in the community. The fabric is naturally died, and the painting is guaranteed washable.
Pretty, useful and work that supports a community...my kind of gift for me or others :).
Oh,That little tongue! This White Face Monkey liked to hang outside my hotel room.
Costa Rica may now seem like a dream, but it wasn't. I have the dreamy discoveries now in the shop to prove it! Enjoy these pieces from a place I consider to be close to paradise.
You can find more stories about my trip to Costa Rica (and lots more pictures)in my personal travel blog. Exotic animals, warm water beaches and swim-up bars. Oh my!
Blog 1: Bienvenido a Costa Rica