05 August 2014

Our Recommended Anniversary Gift

Danny and I recently celebrated our 4th anniversary.

We had such a lovely, lovey day together. I don't ever want to take that for granted for one second. I felt myself beaming all day just to be by this guy's side.


One of the highlights of the day was visiting Gustavo López Moreno, an artist who has become a friend here in Cuenca. We met Gustavo last November when we were traveling through Ecuador for a month. We passed his tiny art studio and couldn't help but be called straight in the door by all the amazing colors. We fell in love with so many of his pieces and made a hopeful plan that if we moved back to Cuenca, we would love to buy a piece of his work. In the meantime, Gustavo took us out to lunch and introduced us to his sons and his wife. He's one of the first friends we made here in Cuenca.









So, it was quite a treat to go in 7 months later and purchase a piece of artwork on our anniversary. Luckily one of the pieces we had previously admired was still available. It's of the Cajas Mountains here in the Andes...




So, buying artwork. Man oh man, it feels like such a luxury, right?? I have actually never purchased a piece of fine art! I never could do it. The frugal part of my self just felt it was too over the top, even though I always thought it would be so amazing. I usually decorate to the absolute minimum, just to get by.



So it was quite an experience for me to buy a piece of art. I'm so happy I did. And it felt like such a meaningful, satisfying, memorable gift for our anniversary that I can't help but pass on the suggestion. It was so fun to pick it out together and think for a second that this could be an heirloom piece for somebody. [Btw, I often have that script in my mind, "When we have kids..." It feels awkward when it happens now, but I guess that script is just so engrained that I still do it.]

Here is Gustavo talking to Danny about possibly taking some art classes. He is willing to teach a student from time to time and we just might be his next two apprentices!!



And here is Gustavo signing our piece.




We were quite a sight walking home 30 minutes across town. :) (We couldn't fit the thing in the tiny cabs here.)





Dear readers, what would be your ultimate anniversary gift these days??

P.S. Any artists/painters/sculptors/potters that you happen to love?

P.P.S. ANNOUNCEMENT: For the Retreat in Ecuador, we decided to offer a discounted rate for couples! It just feels like the right thing to do. Please contact us for that pricing. We're so excited that many people have booked already. The planning is in full force around here! :) :)


24 comments:

  1. I love art and in the last year I have become friends with local artist in my area. I certainly hope to meet many more in many different rages. I have always longed for a piece that drew me in and spoke to me on some level. Hopefully one day I will come across it and then be able to invest. I think that it is lovely that you two bought art for your anniversary, such a meaningful gift. I am not married but would love to gift myself a piece for my own birthday or another special occasion. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. LOVE, love the idea of buying something special for your own birthday!

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  2. I think art is a perfect anniversary gift! It's something you'll keep all your lives and look back together with fondness. I hope to save up and be able to do the same sometime soon! Thanks for the idea.

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  3. Happy anniversary to you! Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate. We usually purchase a tree or plant for special occasions.. we'll look at them grow over the years and remember it was from our wedding or when our daughter was born. (I have a green thumb and even have a few plants that belonged to my late grandmother that are 25+ years old. I had fern fronds in my wedding bouquet from them). I'm also spoiled by my husband with antique jewelry, and feel even more spoiled saying I have a lovely collection. We have also looked into art but nothing affordable has called out to us.

    I love that you walked it home for 30 minutes! A wonderful little story you can share when people admire it. Which they will.

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    1. K, you totally have me at plants and trees. I am a complete sucker for them. What an AWESOME idea for anniversary gifts. I'm not too sure if Danny loves them as much as me, though. :) I never find him staring at the new growths on a plant like I do. haha. Also, how amazing that you have plants from your grandmother!!! My mom & sisters have starts from a HUGE plant of my grandmother's. It grows like crazy and I never had space for such a plant in Brooklyn. But I need to figure out how to get a start from it down here. Not sure if I can bring plants in, though... mmm..

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  4. Hi Mara, great to hear you're offering a reduced rate for couples for the wonderful Ecuador retreat, but not sure why you're discriminating against single people? I'm sure they would love to have the benefit of a discounted rate as well.

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    1. Well, you bring up a great point, one that we also thought about and discussed for quite a while with our partners.

      In general we tried to make this trip as affordable as possible, especially when compared with other week long vacations.

      No discrimination against singles was intended at all, sorry if it appeared otherwise. It was simply a business matter of what our costs and opportunity costs would be. As it turns out, there are 3 queen sized beds at the retreat. Since the retreat is limited to the number of beds available, we decided if a couple came and were going to share one of the beds that otherwise would have been used by one single participant, we could give them a little discount.

      Again, not a matter of discrimination, but a simple fact of our cost structure.

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  5. We don't buy each other gifts for our anniversary, instead we spend the money on something together. One year we bought a board game (funds are tighter here but we're happy), another year we bought a tent for camping. This is a fun idea!

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    1. We're kind of the same as you. Mara and I were thinking about it and realized that prior to this year, we had always mutually agreed to not buy an anniversary gift for each other. We usually kept it simple to a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

      But I'm with you, if you are going to buy something, let it be for the both of you.

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    2. LOVE these ideas!!! We love board games and we love camping, too. I think we should hang out. :)

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  6. i love this idea, but i love gustavo's work even more! wow! the colors in his pieces are incredible, and I keep looking at them thinking "man i love that! ooh and that one! ooh i want THAT one!" How cool you made friends with someone so talented so early :)

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    1. You would LOVE to walk into his shop. There are just paintings everywhere, and you find yourself sifting through his stuff for hours. The small space he has is actually great, because you find yourself looking in all the hidden places and under piles and behind stacks to find one of his many gems.

      And just about each painting you look at, Gustavo is often there with a little story about what inspired him to do the painting.

      Mara and I are always amazed that between talking with Gustavo and admiring his work, you never visit that small studio without spending at least an hour.

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  7. For our first anniversary, my husband and I decided to only get each other one thing and spend a set amount of money. When I was one of my bridal showers my sister gave me a journal and told me that I could write down one thing that I loved about my husband every day and then give it to him on our anniversary. So that was his first gift, and he cried a little bit. It was fun to go back and read that even the simplest of days that I found the most amazing things about my husband to love! :) it was great, and is nice to have for the future! :)

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    1. That is a lovely idea! I might steal it for my next bridal shower gift.

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  8. This is a great idea and a beautiful piece! I can imagine you guys walking by it everyday and smiling.

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  9. I am dying over your art selection. That artist would have pulled me in too--those colors and shapes! I dream of buying lots of original art someday. Now, I start small with vendors at flea markets or on etsy.

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  10. My husband and I purchase a piece of artwork(sometimes small, sometimes large - like on our honeymoon) every place we visit so we have a memento of our trip. I had started this tradition before we met, but now it's something we pick out together, which makes it an even more enjoyable experience. And our walls are covered with memories of various places we've been, which is really fun to share with others and to look at ourselves.

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  11. Have you heard of the artist Caitlin Connolly? I so admire her work and perspective of women and the relationship between husband and wife. She has some remarkable pieces and I feel lucky that my husband got me a print of one of my favorites as a gift this year. It was so exciting to frame it and put it up on the wall!

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  12. Anyone ever tell you you look like young June carter? :) http://maxabelson.com/post/211379423/reasons-why-june-carter-cash-is-awesome-shes

    Ps. Awesome gifts: time away together!! <3

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  13. That's awesome! My husband has two uncles who are painters, so we've been fortunate to receive three enormous paintings as gifts. I treasure them as there's no way we could have bought them on our own, especially the two we got as wedding gifts.

    If you ever head to Salinas, Ecuador, look up Hugo Molina! His art studio is there and he has some really beautiful paintings for sale, especially his old series of sailboats.

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  14. Perfect idea!!
    Give five stars!

    It's my new blog http://creativecredo.com

    You can find a lot of cool creative things and original gifts there..

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  15. love the idea of buying something special for your own birthday!

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  16. Perfect idea for a anniversary gift ...
    Send Flowers to Delhi

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  17. One year we got an anniversary gift from our parents, it was a rainbow anniversary sundial that they had found online and had made especially for us. It is handmade, designed to sit on the window sill and make rainbows in our family room when the sun shines. Not only is it a clock that uses the sun to tell the time, but it has a personalized date line for our anniversary that the time shadow follows on our anniversary each year. Very appropriate anniversary or birthday gift, I think it might be called Spectra. Check it out!

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