Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Today Starts Here

Laura here with you today. My husband and I were able to go away for the first half of December to Costa Rica! It sure was nice to escape the cold and stormy Pacific Northwest. One of the places we visited was in the Los Santos region. It is called Los Santos because most of the towns are named for saint. We stayed near Santa Maria. Our first day we visited a coffee co-op processing plant that processes for all the local farmers. The area is full of valleys and mountains. You can go from 11,000 down to sea level in no time at all and all through the valley are coffee plantations. We learned all about the growing and processing of coffee there and it's an amazingly lengthy ordeal.

When I saw Cuppa Joe, I knew I would have to use those cuts for this portion of the trip. As a bonus, it's sort of Christmas colors with the red cherries. That is the first thing I learned, coffee starts as a cherry. The coffee bean we know and use is one half of the seed inside this cherry and it goes through an awful lot to get to your cup.

I started off by inking my craft mat with a red and two brown distress inks. I spritzed with water and pressed my watercolor paper into the ink. I love the watery/splattered look it left. Next I cut out a mat from the Retro Rectangles, which look like coffee beans to me. Next, I cut out 3 of the files from Cuppa Joe, from an espresso color, and inked up a bit to give some texture. A touch of red for the hearts and creamy coffee color makes them pop. I added my photos of the cherries on the tree and being brought in for processing, arranged my cuts and added a few embellishments from We Are Family and Hey Boy. Next came writing my stories onto journaling strips and scattering about the piece.

"Before your coffee ever hits your cup, it starts off as a cherry in a place like Costa Rica. We visited Coopedota in Santa Maria, CR and learned all about the process to get to your cup. First the cherries are picked and brought here where they are sorted, separated, dried, hulled, dried again, given rest, and either sold green or roasted and bagged in beans or grounds."

"Fun facts:
There are many layers to a cherry
The skin can't be eaten, but the insides are juicy and taste like honey
There are two bean halves (1 seed) per cherry
They use the hull (parchment) to fuel the furnaces
The plants require shade so other crop trees, like banana and avocado, are planted within. The limbs are trimmed to regulate shade"

I hope you learned something and think of all the work that goes into your next cup of coffee. I loved both of the cut file! Head over to the store and see how you can use them today.

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