Crafty New Towel Racks

Crafty New Towel Racks

Another creative project to keep me busy while it’s raining. Drift wood towel rack. I used nails for the hooks and epoxied shells on for the knobs (very strong). Now I just need my handy husband to hang them up for me!

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The things I do in the Rainy Season

Before moving to Costa Rica I was warned about the terrible “rainy season.” How it can rain all day for several days in a row and I would be stuck in my house. Well, this is my first rainy season and it is now September and it i have yet to be stuck in my house for days. So I suppose this is a mild rainy season or the worse is yet to come. Anyway, I decided I would be prepared with fun things to do in my house while stuck inside. I love arts and crafts so what better thing to do than be Picaso with a cup of coffee while its raining. Though since it has really only been raining in the evenings I have obliged myself to doing arts during the sunny days as well.. Couldn’t help myself. Buying art supplies in Costa Rica can be tricky. The main stores that carry art supplies are called Librerias. The Libreria in Samara, where I live is small and only carries a few items. I tend to go to Nicoya about 45min away. Across from the main park in town is a larger Libreria where you can buy paint, brushes, glue, etc.
The Hardware stores (ferretarias) in Costa Rica do carry spray paint, which I have used for some fun projects.

Some of the fun things I have done include:
Collecting drift wood from the beach to use a canvas. Just find a flat piece of wood and you have yourself a perfect canvas. Drift wood can be used in so many ways. Check Pinterest for great ideas. Such as shelving, towel rack, etc

With one project I collected mason jars wrapped them in yarn in different designs around the jars and spray painted them. Once dried I removed the yarn, they made great candle holders with the light shining thru the unspraypainted areas.

Another project I used mason jars to make utensil holders and piggy banks. I painted half of the jars with chalk paint (A friend brought from the states) and the other I spray painted.

Furniture is expensive in Costa Rica because much of it is imported. You can hire someone to make furniture out of the local woods. But we went the cheapest route. We went to a local saw mill picked out 2 pieces of long pochote, sanded and finished them with a marine varnish. For the legs of the desk we went to the local recycle place picked out (soda/beer) crates. We cut the face off two of them to make shelving and we spray painted them. This desk cost us about $15.

I made tissue pom pons for a party and then used them as decorative pieces in my house- another inexpensive addition. You can find tutorials for Pom pons on Pinterest.

Attack of the Army Ants

When I first moved to Costa Rica I was warned about the Army Ants. The warning was something like they will invade your house and there is nothing you can do but leave for several hours. These ants like to eat everything in their path, so they come into your house and eat all the bugs and than leave. Well, last week I finally had my run in with the army ants. Fortunately, they did not invade the inside of my house just the outside. They stuck around for roughly 4hours. (Word to the wise if army ants invade your space leave for the whole day!)
These guys have a nasty bite so do not mess with them or walk barefoot in their path, you will regret it.

Budget House Hunting Costa Rica

Costa Rica is infiltrated with expensive luxurious vacation homes not ideal for someone on a budget looking to move long-term to this beautiful country.  When I mean budget I am talking $200-500 per month for rent and utilities. It is easy to find a nice western style home for several thousand a month and maybe even more in the dry season. There are a plethora of condos sprinkled throughout Costa Rica, if that is what you are looking for the amenities of American living- gated community, A/C, granite counters, pools, no locals, etc.. However, for my husband and I we wanted to be living in Costa Rica not an American community so conveniently located in Costa Rica. We wanted to be surrounded by monkeys, locals and the jungle and of course close to the beach. We chose an area twenty minutes south of Samara, Esterones, a small village where we have American friends and Tico friends the best of both worlds. Finding a “budget house” can be difficult if you want a few western luxuries such as a washer machine, closed in ceilings so the bugs don’t come in so easily (many Tico houses leave a gap between the ceiling and walls), screens on the windows, and a stove/oven. These type of budget houses are usually not advertised on the Internet and are found more easily by being in Costa Rica driving around asking the locals and by word of mouth. Leases are also not exactly used like the states no background, credit checks or reference checks. Most places I would say are month to month or leased by a verbal contract- Pura Vida Needless to say after 2 months of couch surfing and cabina living we found the perfect home for us! We needed to outfit the house pots/pans, dishes, sheets/pillows, food stuff. The house came furnished minus some living essentials. The best place to shop and stock up on things is to make the trek to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. In San Jose you will find a Price Smart (Costco- you will need a membership- $30/yrs or a friend with a membership) where you can get good cheese, alcohol, etc., Pequeno Mundo is another good place to go it is comparable to the Dollar Store in the States. They have a variety of things dishes, silverware, clothes, food etc. We also went to the mall in Escazu which has a home store comparable to Z Gallery in the states, but you can sometimes find good deals here for better quality. We purchased a set of dishes for 4 people for $20. Plus, there is a movie theater here so once done shopping it is always fun to hit up a movie since it is a rare thing to do in Costa Rica unless you live in a bigger city with a movie theater such as Liberia or San Jose. EPA is another good place for house shopping it’s the equivalent to Home Depot in the states, your typical large hardware store. http://www.pricesmart.com/ http://www.pequenomundo.com/index-en.html http://www.pequenomundo.com/stores.html http://www.multiplazamall.com/ http://www.epa.co.cr:9080/PortalEPA/inicio.do?codpais=CR