Carla's Funky Art

Travel

Cure for Cabin Fever = Seattle

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Well, after being stuck in the house for days on end, we decided that we ALL had CABIN FEVER!  The kids didn't go to school at all last week due to the BIG snowstorm.  There were a few times last week where I thought about taking my life, ha! ha!  I love them dearly, but there is only so much you can do in the house. Orion at one point used every lego in the house, and I found Ally hiding in her closet making a fort?  We got a bit loopy before the week was through.  Granted, we did have some awesome "snow time" but I was glad to see it all melt away! We thought we would take a jaunt to downtown Seattle, oh how we LOVE that CITY.  We told the kids that we were going on an adventure that consisted of three places but we would not tell them where we were going.  Our first stop consisted of swinging through Freemont to show the kids the Freemont Troll that lies under the Aurora Bridge.  The actual bridge itself was under construction but we still were able to check him out.  The pictures didn't turn out that well due to the nailed boards everywhere, but nobody seemed to mind all that much.  I was a bit surprised at the kids' reaction.  They weren't all that excited about it like I thought they would be.  I do think they were happy to be out of the house though.

Our second surprise was down in the international district.  We took them too Uwajimaya's a huge international grocery store.  Everyone had a BLAST!  There were so many things to see.  Orion picked out some awesome japanese soda, and had a clear glass marble in it......Ally choose all kinds of crazy ramen noodles....and Dan found some dried whole fish in a bag with peanuts.....GROSS!  I of course found some type of weird coffee in a can......with milk?  Hmmmm.....I will let you know how that goes.  Ally spent the most amount of money on a cute little pink Bento Box that she can take to school.  It even came with little chop sticks.  We ended up in the food court (as always) towards the end of our shopping adventure and pigged out on chinese food and cream puffs for dessert. (guess I will start my diet next week!)

Our third and final destination was GAMEWORKS!  Yahooooooo! The kids had a BLAST!  The place was packed because I think everyone else had cabin fever too!  Orion spent most of his money sitting at a tank video game while Ally wandered around overwhelmed and couldn't pick a game to play!  Dan and I had a blast sharing a glass of Manny's (my favorite beer EVER!) and watching the kids.  Bonus of the day????  Al won a Hello Kitty stuffed animal!

After a full 8 hours in downtown Seattle we headed home.  The kids smiled from the back seat while eating their chinese candy.....it was a great day.  I bet they are going to be wishing for more snow....... :)

The next time you are in Seattle, check him out!  AWESOME!

Uwajimaya!

Knitted trees in downtown = love.

Ooooohhhhh ya! GAMEWORKS!

Oh happy day!  We are outta the house!

Crazy junk food for the ride home!

CoRn MaZe AdVeNtUrEs

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We decided to head over to Fosters Farm in Arlington this weekend, to check out their pumpkin patch and corn maze.  We all had a great time.  Super- fun little farm to visit with the kids, there were: farm animals, a big gift shop, large patch, pumpkin sling shot, and an amazing corn maze.  The weather actually held out for us.  Dan and Orion had never been to a corn maze and real pumpkin patch, so they were STOKED!  We choose Fosters due to their intricate mazes in the past.  We were up for a challenge.  I knew that things were going to be a little sketchy when we bought our maze tickets.  The man in the ticket booth warned us the the corn maze was "very wet....muddy and slippery."  I explained to him that he should not worry, because we were rockstars, and we could do anything!  The picture above was our corn maze stamped hands doing a "pact" together.  We all agreed that we would not give up and cry if we slipped and fell in the mud, and we would proceed to go until we finished the maze even if we broke our leg.  Once we got inside of the corn I realized just how muddy and slick it was!  AGH!!!!  We were TOTALLY wearing the wrong kind of shoes and we had mud up our legs. Dan and I almost wiped out twice.....I don't know what it is about kids, but they seemed to skate through it like it was no problem.  The goal for the maze was to find the trolls inside and get their lette (troll signs posted with a letter attached to the sign).....once you found all 19 letters you could unscramble the words and solve the puzzle.  During the first hour in the maze we went round and round slipping and sliding, and pretty much going in circles.  We only found 7 trolls.  We realized that we might need a change of plans, start at the beginning and follow the map and keep track of where we were......we spent the second hour finding the rest of them but ONE!!!!  We just couldn't find the LAST TROLL!!! AGH!!!!!  Everyone was exhausted and we called it a day.......I have emailed Fosters to see if  they will give us the answer. (I know, it is cheating huh?)  :)  All in all, we had a wonderful day.  Here are some pictures below.  Oh, and one more thing....Ally dyed the front of her hair with purple kool-aid and ruined all of our pumpkin patch pictures, ha! ha!  Good thing it washed all out when we got home, I was sick of smelling "grape kool-aid" all day!!!!!

Happy October!

A Fishing Weekend!

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Headed down to see my step-dad this last weekend.  We had a wonderful time goofing-off, seeing old friends and family, and visiting our beach cabin.  Orion even caught his FIRST FISH EVER!  A little sea-run cutthroat.  Of course I didn't get a picture of it....because I am parent of the year.  If you really want to know the truth, I was waiting for Ally to "straighten" her hair with a flat iron, and I missed the WHOLE THING!  I was so SAD!  I guess it was worth it though, because my daughter's hair was straight and perfect at our desolate beach.....whew!  (ok, maybe I am still a little miffed about the whole situation, ha! ha!)  I grew up down here at this beach, and it made me who I am today.......the best angler, this side of the Cascades!  :) My step-dad's birthday was at the beginning of the month.  He has called me almost daily to nag, nag, nag that he REALLY WANTED me to paint him a picture.  It couldn't be any picture he said, it had to be of him catching a big fish!  So here is what he got:

Ha! Ha!  There he is catching his "DREAM FISH!"

Neil Diamond Tribute!

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Sweeeeeeeet Caroline....bah! bah! bah!  Dan and I headed down to Seafarer's Park last Friday Night to watch Cherry Cherry and had a BLAST!!!  What a night!  Cap Sante Marina has a free summer concert series every Friday night for six weeks in July and August!  We were so excited to dance the night away....I mean, does it get any better than a Neil Diamond Tribute Band???? What?  What?  I don't think I have had that much fun in my life.  What a great entertaining band!  The lead singer came out and sang in the crowd, handed out leis and beads to the women and even sang on top of a speaker!  WAHOOOOOO!  I will never hear "Coming to America" the same way again!  Hee!  Hee!  All in all, it was a wonderful Friday night......sunshine, waterview, and fun live music.....needless to say, we danced the night away.   We wrapped up the night swinging into the local McDonald's to use the restroom.  While pulling up we parked next to a purple lowrider!!! AGHHH!!!!  I haven't seen one like that in years! It even had cotton balls all over in the back window and was soooo SPARKLY!  After getting our pictures taken with it, the guy got in his car and put on a little hydrolic show for us!  He took off out of the parking lot on 3 wheels!!!!! How FUN!!!! If you ever, ever, ever get a chance.......get your bootie out of the house, grab your dancin' shoes......and go and see Cherry Cherry!!!!!! You will surely smile!

!

Getting the mail....

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Soooo.....yesterday, I go "bombing" up the driveway to get the mail.....and guess what is inside my maibox?????  THE PLACENTIA PRESS from BELIZE with my featured article about LOLA DELGADO!!!!!  Wahooooooooooooooooooooo!  I had asked them to send me a few papers, but I never thought they would have the time to actually get them mailed to me!!! I was so excited and surprised to see them!  It takes weeks to get any mail from Belize.  We sent some clothes back (don't get me started on that story) while we were backpacking down there and it took about a month to get the package!  Well, I need to make this blog post quick because I really should be painting.  Still have a ton of work to do and not a lot of time!  Here is a picture of the article below: There is nothing better than getting something in the mail.  I am a sucker for "SNAIL MAIL"....it makes me sad to think of how "electronic" we have become.  People hardly ever get a hand written note or a card in their mailbox anymore.  Soooo....here is my advice for TODAY:  why not grab a pen, and paper, write a quick note and throw it in the mail and send it to someone you love????  It only takes a few minutes, and you could really make somebody smile!!!! :)

HAVE A GREAT DAY PEEPS, I AM OFF TO PAINT!!!!

Tribute to Lola

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So, many of you know...the inspiration for Carla's Funky Art came from Belizian artist Lola Delgado.  After I wrote my story in a recent blog post, I got a call from the Belize Tourism Bureau asking if they could do a tribute to Lola using my story in the Placencia Breeze.  OF COARSE THEY CAN!  I was so excited for Lola, and thought it was a great way to promote her art. You can check out the online version pdf by clicking HERE. (the story is towards the bottom....) Well folks, I think this is a sign........I HAVE TO GO BACK TO BELIZE! :)

FEATURED ARTIST: Lola Delgado

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How did Carla's Funky Art start????  From the inspiration of LOLA DELGADO!  Almost two years ago, Dan and I went on a two week vacation to Belize.  We fell in love with the people, the culture, and the country!  That trip was a life-changing event for me.  A backpack, some cash, and a pair of shorts changed my whole life.  I will never be the same person again!

I have created art my entire life. As a child you would find me in my room, coloring, drawing, pasting stuff together and painting.  I dreamed of going to art school after I graduated high school.  Life had other plans for me at the time, along came a baby boy, a marriage, a baby girl, and before I knew it I owned a home.  I had visions of being something more than my dental assisting job allowed, but hey, it paid the bills!  I spent years of my life working in people's mouths, and I was so tired of it.  I had been going through a lot in my life when we took that vacation in Belize. I had been doing some soul-searching, and trying to find myself again.....

On the last day of our wonderful vacation, I had read in the Belize Lonely Planet that Seine Bight was the place to go for wonderful Belizean Art. I told Dan we just had to go!  We grabbed bikes from the Maya Beach Hotel and rode a few miles south to check it out.  It was terribly humid and hot that day, and I am not much of a bike rider. After a few gallons of water....we persevered, and made it.

What a sight to see!!!! When we walked into Lola's Art Gallery, I was in HEAVEN!  There were tons of beautiful bright paintings all over her walls.  Each and everyone made me smile and feel good!  I thought to myself "this is what art is all about!" Lola was so wonderful!  She was sitting right there painting in her studio!  She told us about her life story.  She started with nothing, began creating cards for her friends...and everything took off from there!  She now owns a home, beautiful gardens and her own art gallery!  

Dan mentioned to her  that I was an artist.  The whole time we shopped, she kept telling me to "just do it", "just start painting, if I can do it, you can too!"  She was so happy that Dan was supporting my art!  When we arrived home to the States, Dan kept at me!!! He kept telling me "look at Lola...she is right, you need to just do it!"  So now here I am today....painting, painting, painting! Selling art, being happy, and making people smile!  Thank you LOLA!  Thanks for making me DO IT!  I hope to go back to Seine Bight soon....and maybe one day Lola and I can paint together over a Belikin or two!

I interviewed Lola via email the other day, and here are some interesting things to know!

Lola was born in 1959 in Belize City, and has been creating art her entire life.  She is a busy mom of 2, and a grandmother of 4!  She was the first person to open an art gallery on the Placencia Peninsula. (She has a large sign posted in the village of Seine Bight) She has  been painting and writing full-time since 1992, and her favorite medium is acrylic. Her favorite artists are Frida Kahlo, M.C. Escher, and Dali.  She finds her inspiration from the wonderful people around her, the sea, and her garden. (you should check out her garden blog!)  She loves to go to bed reading Stephen King books, but is afraid to watch scary movies by herself!!! (That makes two of us!)

Check out her website or you can contact her on her LOLA'S ART GALLERY Facebook page!

The garden in front of Lola's Gallery

If you are ever visiting Belize, I encourage you to go and check out Lola's Art, you will not be disappointed!  Thanks again Lola for inspiring me, and telling me to "just do it"....you have changed my life!

Tulips and Eggs!

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Two thumbs up for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  Yesterday, we went out to "tip-toe" through the tulips, and they WERE BEAUTIFUL!!!!  Please enjoy the picture above, because it was one of the only two that were taken yesterday. UGH!  So.....here is how we started the day.  It was a beautiful 63 degrees and sunny...I was sooooo happy to going to the tulip festival, it is something that I look forward to every year.  We drive around (which takes a while, the tulip fields were packed with visitors) and finally find a parking spot.  We hop out of the car, throw our shades on, and head out to the tulips.  We snap two photos....and guess what happened?  THE BATTERY DIES ON THE CAMERA......AGH!!!!  I couldn't believe it!!!! I was so disappointed that we couldn't get more photos!!!! I guess we will have to go back next year!

After checking out the fields, we popped into La Conner, the cutest little town around!  I could have spent all day checking out the shops and art galleries.  My favorite shop was Nasty Jack's Antiques.... lots of old cool signs, furniture, and various treasures. Did you know that La Conner even has their own little brewery?  The town was packed with visitors eating ice cream, shopping and dining outside.  I am going to have to go back and check out the town when I have more time!

Hope everyone is having a great Easter! Ours began with the coffee pot breaking! YIKES! We survived the egg hunt with no coffee, everyone is still alive, and the kids managed to find all the eggs!  We had chocolate bunnies, peeps and jelly beans for breakfast (I figured I would go with a sugar rush since I couldn't get any caffeine!).  My daughter just made some beautiful deviled eggs for dinner later today!!! Happy Spring!

Nevada or BUST!

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Well guys, we just got home from Carson City, Nevada!  Dan's parent's live there, and boy what a great time we had!   It sure makes me wonder why I live in this grey rainy state, that is FOR SURE!  It was beautiful and sunny everyday!  Besides the great weather, I just couldn't believe how scenic the area was!  I have been to Nevada several times, and do not remember it being so beautiful!  During our stay, we were taken to Virginia City, which was a BLAST!  An old mining town, chalk full of REAL COWBOYS and SALOONS!  We enjoyed a tour around the town, did a little bit of shopping, and pigged out at RED'S OLD FASHIONED CANDIES!  We headed to Lake Tahoe one day as well......it was AMAZING!  The lake was so pretty!  It was fun to see all the skiers and snow boarders hanging out in town and heading up the hill in the gondola.  We had a great time hanging out with family and getting caught back up on life!  The kids had a blast, their poor dog must be exhausted! Highlights of our trip?

* Huge hike to the top of a big hill!  (the kids made it too!)

*  Winning a straight flush at the CASINO!

* My daughter getting car sick on the way to Lake Tahoe!

* Kids had a GREAT time at the Carson City Children's Museum.

I have never eaten so much food in 5 days in my life!!!!! I swear I am never eating again!  Good thing drinks were free at the casinos, because I might have taken a loan out at the local bank!  All in all, we had a wonderful time......and we can't wait to go back again!  I think next time, I might bring my pick axe, a miner's hat, and some dynamite.......I will show all those Nevada miners where the GOLD is AT!  Hmmmm.....maybe I should paint that! :)

Take a hike!!!!

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We have been doing a ton of hiking around here, pretty much every weekend.  The kids have had a great time checking out Anacortes, and the maze of local trails!  It is unbelievable how many things there are to do around here!  Miles and miles of  woods, trails and parks!  The best part is that most of the areas are just a few miles from the house!  (ok, well actually the best part is that it is FREE!)  Washington weather is unpredictable to say the least, so we pretty much  get out and about rain or shine!!!! So far, the kids love Washington Park the most.  I think it is because of different options.  You can trail hike, walk on the paved road, The beaches are sprinkled with sea glass, wahoo!  Whistle Lake is another beautiful area to hike around.  It is about a mile hike in, up and over a mountain.....and is GORGEOUS! We have heard that it is a popular swimming lake in the summer time!  A few weeks ago, Dan and I got lost at Cranberry Lake.  We spent two extra hours circling and trying to weave out way back to the car.  Having never been lost before, I was amazed at out loss of direction....Dan and I kept arguing about which way the lake was....and we ended up being both wrong!!!! After stumbling up on a stranger, we broke down and asked for help.  If it wasn't for that nice guy guiding us back, we would still be out there today!!!!  I highly recommend bringing a trail map with you.  I will never ever go out on the trails without our handy map!!!! (Whistle Lake, Cranberry Lake, Washington Park and Heart lake all have downloadable maps, click HERE.) Another great thing about hiking, is how many calories that you burn!  It is a fun way to exercise and enjoy the view!  I swear I have hiked off pounds, and my butt is getting smaller by the minute. (Thank goodness...due to my last post, we have a huge issue!)  Nothing better than burning a few extra calories while entertaining the kids!  Ha! Ha! Our next adventure is going to be walking around Heart Lake, it looks like it is a nice and easy trail for the kids. The hike includes several bridges and a view point at the top of a mountain (hmmmm....we will see if they make it up to the top!) My plan is to check out as many trail systems around here as we can, then off to the Cascade Mountains!  I hear the Glacier area has a TON of GREAT HIKES!  Ideally.....we are going to burn the kids out so bad that they never want to do anything with us again! HA!  Just kidding!  Get outside and get your booty movin'!!!!!!!!

Belizean Dreams…..

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Finally, Finally, FINALLY got my Jorge Landero painting framed from BELIZE!  This may seem like a small feat, but you do not know the whole story.  Last year, my best friend (AKA the bald guy) and I backpacked through Belize for two weeks!   This beautiful painting was bought a few days after we arrived.  The gallery took it off the frame, and rolled it into a cardboard tube.  We then proceeded to tie it on to the backpack.....and it went all over the country with us!  It even survived a HURRICANE!  (That was interesting by the way....you should have seen us trying to tape plastic bags all over it!)

So speaking of Belize....here are some tips and thoughts you might enjoy knowing:

  • Never send your laundry to a lady....and mail some clothes back to the States at the same time, everything will get screwed up.  (Dan spent 10 days in the same pair of shorts!)
  • Did you know you can ride a chicken bus across the country for $9.00?
  • Never look a military guy in the eye while in Guatemala, they don't care for that to much.
  • If you share a bathroom, it will save you $5.00 and you might even get some hot water!  You also get to meet some interesting people!
  • Fish around Tobacco Caye do bite....just a little bit.
  • Never go snorkeling with me when there are stingrays around, I will climb on your back and freak out.
  • Belikin Beer is a buck.
  • You too can survive a hurricane, just head inland.....and dance in the rain!
  • Come hungry, they have the best food in the world.....johnny cakes, rice and beans, and LOBSTER!
  • Wash your camera in the washer a week before the trip, that way you will have to buy a new one....a better one! :D

I have a beautiful painting in my living room to reminisce about Belize!  Now, if I can just keep Dan away from it!  I know he is going to try to hang it while standing on a milk crate AGAIN!  I am off to find an extension ladder!!!!!

Cranberry!

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What do you call the COOLEST little lake in Anacortes??? It has trails all around and even an old abandoned mine???? You guessed it! CRANBERRY LAKE!  What a great day we had checking out the area....and the weirdest part????? This "super-cool" little lake is about 2 miles from our house!  Who knew????????  Sunday....the sun actually came out for more than 5 minutes....so you know what that meant?????......draggin' the kids (Dan too!) out of the house, whinin' and cryin' because they were just dreading getting some exercise!!!! "Waaa....waaaa.....waaaa" was what I told them, and literally booted them out the door!  What a treat to have such a sunny day, a great hike out in the fresh air!  We found an old mine, but couldn't go in very far because we forgot the flashlight.  Hmmm?  I wonder if it is really that safe to walk into??  Two loons were on the water (not a bird expert but I think they were loons) and we ran into a lost puppy from Arizona. (I wish we could have taken him home!)  If you have some time, even just an hour or two, I recommend checking out the area, it was BEAUTIFUL!  I bet there are a million Geocaches hiding around too!  We will surely head back soon!  Stay tuned....Dan and I have a silly little exercise race that we have signed up for in 2 weeks, you are going to CRACK UP! :)

Guemes Island…..

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WOW!  What a weekend!  Had my bestest friend Jennie (who is just like a sister to me, we have been friends since 1st grade) and her family come up for the weekend!  We all had a great time.  On Saturday, we headed over to Guemes Island to go geocaching.  We took the cutest little ferry boat ride over to the island, it took us 3 minutes!  We found 6 caches....the pic shown above was the tallest point of the island.  It was a one mile walk straight uphill.  I cannot believe the kids did so well, nobody complained, and they all made it to the TOP!  The weather was beautiful, very cold but SUNNY!  After spending a great day outdoors, we headed back to Anacortes for a GAME NIGHT!  Had a blast playing Apples to Apples, haven't laughed that hard in a long time!  Woke up to some snow the next morning......to bad it didn't stick around!

Anacortes! We did it!

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I CANNOT believe it!!!!  We did it!  We did it!  We actually moved from Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island to Anacortes!! It has been something we have talked about for over a year!   I am soooo excited!  Right now this very second, I am sitting here in Starbucks, snaggin' some Wi-Fi and drinking a SKINNY vanilla!  To some of you, this just seems like a normal every day event,  but not to me!!! I lived up on a tiny little island for the past 6 years, with NO STARBUCKS! Ugh!  Back to the mainland, and now back to reality.  So....what have I been up to the past 5 days (besides Starbucks everyday?) Dan and I moved an entire house by ourselves!  We loaded up the U-haul, unloaded the U-haul, and decorated and unpacked a house in just a few days!  We feel like ROCKSTARS!  I still do not have internet for the next few days, so stay tuned....hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I am off to paint, paint, and PAINT!