Cancer is a constant battle.
… Yes I know, and my excuse is that between my husband and I – we have managed to lose the cameras battery charger.
Had to use the camera at work to snap this up, before it makes it’s way to the auctioneers – it will be put up for auction in aid of raising funds for cancer, through the CANSA organisation in South Africa.
I am not entirely sure why the idea of painting old cars has such a firm grasp on me at the moment, but once I was done with it …the clean lines, the vibrant colours and style of painting made it clear. It was such a pleasure for a change, to paint something that didn’t have excessive or large areas requiring precise shading & blending and I also managed to incorporate the use of watercolour into the background (I haven’t used watercolours in ages…).
It’s also the ‘fastest’ painting I’ve done in about 12 years… and probably the first time I have ever used yellow in my main subject. I still don’t like yellow and will veer away from it in future, because the paint seems far too transparent and doesn’t mix well with others (much like an anti-social person).
I can be such a ‘lame’ sometimes… In September, during the height of the birthday excitement (long silent pause) … I must have been in such a heightened state of excitement that I forgot to post pictures of the actual invites as well as the cake. The cake will come tomorrow – as will the goods from my nieces party > but today I will post the invite for the pirate party.
I took my inspiration from Pirates of the Caribbean and the X-box lego game of the same name, they were on his ‘favourites’ list at the time – and the natural progression dictated that the party follow form… I wasn’t too thrilled with the front, but I really like the way the back (actual invite part) turned out 🙂
Aaah, New Years Resolutions. Why?
At least this year I’ll try not to beat myself up about the goals I set every year and fail (every year). Like losing weight. Oh wait, that’s the only one I fail every year…
Last year my resolution was to lose weight (i lost a bit), plan a wedding and make a concerted effort to maintain more frequent contact with friends. Which I did successfully for the most part.
This year, although ambitious – it is to get my finances in order and save for furthering my studies. I have decided that my latent or more like hibernating artistic talent should and can be utilised in order to achieve this… the problem is the ‘Inspiration’ bit. A major misconception amongst ‘everybody’ – and I will generalise this… is that ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ people can simply paint a masterpiece, compose a symphony or some such thing… at the drop of a hat.
NO – we can’t. I can only paint when the urge hits me… when I have this torrent of electrical inspiration grip me… when my fingers burn with desire and passion in order to wield that paint brush, knock the wind out my sails and leave me breathless – where the air I need is releasing my creativity. The problem is, that working full time – raising a six-year-old and between packing lunches, working out, staying in touch with old friends, keeping a husband happy, still having some sort of life and dealing with the daily stresses of work (and will I still have a job tomorrow)… the inspiration usually hits me when I’m getting ready to go to bed on a week night, or when I’m overtired on a weekend – at some random time, when I should actually be doing something else ‘important’ – like grocery shopping or paying bills, or when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom…
So how do you ‘make’ inspiration happen. It’s not a pill you can pop or a drink you can slug, or a substance you can inhale or smoke (although I’m sure some would beg to differ). I find the best way to do it, is to take it… from other people or places or things. I have realised that there are some insufferably inspired people out there, who clearly have all the time in the world and will do whatever it takes to release that creative surge.
So thank you, I’m going to steal some of your ‘inspiration overflow’ – and utilise it for my own personal gain…hope you don’t mind.
More importantly – as thrilled as I am to have discovered a perpetual fountain of inspiration… I would love to know how people think up some of these things.
Click here to see recently made ‘sexist’ ads… disturbing how this seems to be a continuously used theme amongst brand houses, agencies and design studios?
Just a quick post – this was an invitation recently made by myself for a ‘departmental year end function’, the theme was ‘gangster/mobster’ and only with a supplied date and venue [they couldn’t even give me a time!]. I whipped it up in about 20 minutes, don’t think it’s all that impressive – but I like the way it turned out.
Because I thought that printing on an envelope or simply writing on it would be a bit lame, I decided to take a plain white envelope, dip a teabag in hot water until it was mostly ‘drawn’, and then simply took the teabag and wiped the entire exterior surface with the teabag. Once done and dry [I used the hand dryer in the ladies lav], I took a saucer, put some of the ‘tea’ water into it, added a few coffee granules and then used the bottom of my mug as a stamp to achieve the ‘rings’. I then used a blue ‘whiteboard marker’ to write a generic ‘titling’ on the envelope. The invitation was to go into a ‘pool’ as every employee from that department was required to create an invite, that would hence go to some other individual in that department, so it had to retain its anonymity.
I know – this follow up post has been a long time coming, but thankfully with the year winding to a close, I have somewhat more time on my hands 🙂
After leaving the not-as-nice-as-expected Knysna, the only other place I was adamant to venture to was ‘Ostrich’ country. Having been met by the disappointment that Knysna was no longer genuine ‘oyster’ country – I knew that Oudtshoorn would not disappoint.
Oudtshoorn (pronounced Oats-hu-wern), a little town nestled cozily just before the Swartberg Mountain Ranges and boasting more than just ostriches as its claim to fame – as it is also home to the ‘Cango Caves’. I had no expectations of the town itself, but was really just looking forward to the ostriches and caves. We had no accommodation bookings, because my husband who huddles in a corner at the mention of ‘planning’, said that I should book – and I told him that we should just wing it… which we did. On the GPS we located the nearest guesthouse upon entering the town, stopped – enquired about the rates (which were really good) and then booked in. Having arrived quite early in the morning – we unpacked the car and then set forth.
I had no pre-conceived notions about the place – but this little town sure blew me away. It was entirely reminiscent of what a little South African Town had been like back in the early 80’s (since that’s as far back as I can remember), prior to all the political nonsense and other stuff which so unnecessarily plagues this country’s past. It was simply beautiful! It was clean and the historical buildings had been looked after and maintained in pristine condition. The air was filled with a radiant warmth and welcoming feeling – which made me not want to leave the following day!
Our first stop was the Cango Ostrich Farm, where we enlisted ourselves on the guided tour and having missed the two large tourist busses which had stopped just prior to our arrival – our tour happened to be ‘exclusively’ ours! Just the two of us 🙂 It was truly special.
After a brief intro on how the ostrich ended up here and the lucrative history of the ostrich feather (and that at one point in time was worth more than gold of the same weight!!), we were afforded the opportunity of being able to ‘hug’, feed and ‘sit’ on the ostriches. These rather docile and doe eyed looking sweetie-pies come right out of the dino era, or so we were warned and that when angered can kill a grown man with one fierce forward kick of its two toed foot. Also good to know that they’re right up there with cheetahs as far as land speed and that the best way to avoid getting severely injured by an ostrich is not to run, but to lie completely flat?!?! – only because this will set you out of its peripheral vision. Another handy tip to note, is that the most valuable asset to the ostrich is it’s eyes!! Those big beautiful eyes, with to-die-for-lashes! They are so protective over their eyes, that they will shy away from any possible threat, so in the event that you wish to move unharmed through a herd of ostriches perhaps, be sure to carry and flank yourself with ‘thorny branches’.
These charming creatures were definitely my highlight! They are truly delightful creatures with such unique personalities…
They are also very much like swallows in the sense that they “partner” for life – however, in the event of one passing away, strangely the female moves on to find another mate, but in the instance of the female passing…the male will never take another partner!
As the day settled into early afternoon, with the lazy July sun wanting to settle, we still had much adventure time ahead of us, I eagerly wanted to get along to the next ‘notch’ on our itinerary… we needed to see how far the Cango Caves were out of town and how long the total trip through the caverns would take us, so that we could establish if we still had enough time to get it done. Even if we had found the time constraints choking the afternoon into evening and hadn’t been able to go cave crawling – the spectacular view and drive more than soothed my restless self. The scenery in the outlying areas are simply stunning and we were blessed by the spectacular sight of the Swartberg Mountains, blanketed in snow! All I wanted to do then, was get to the mountains…
The above stunning backdrop is what you will experience first hand from the deck of the Cango Caves ‘waiting area’ – we sipped on hot chocolate and took in the scenery, while deciding whether to take the ‘Standard’ or ‘Adventure’ tour… I decided that since neither of us had done the Caves before and considering we were on an ‘adventure’, we weren’t going to miss any bit of it…
Once again missing the large groups from the same two tour busses as at the ostrich farm, we once again were privileged enough to have been given an ‘exclusive’ tour. So hubs and myself got a super personal tour, which was quite awesome to say the least.
I wasn’t striking a pose in the above picture, I was ‘limbering up’. It wasn’t my intention to have sore muscles on honeymoon…I was thankful that in the build up to the wedding I had lost some weight and with all the additional cardio – I was in top form, because after the ‘gentle’ stroll through the first part of the cave (which is really quite a sight to behold), the endurance and contortion of my human body were certainly tested.
After the amazing trek through the caves and the wonderfully peaceful trip back to the guesthouse via the stunningly scenic route with the Swartberg Mountains looming in the background – I needed a shower and clean set of clothes. I’m also think I can safely say that I am possibly the only person who has done the ‘Adventure’ tour in a dress and ‘knitted Beret’. If anything, it just added to the challenge!
For supper we decided to search out a ‘local’ spot and after enquiring with the owners of the guesthouse, decided on a small restaurant offering the finest local cuisine, situated smack in the centre of town on the main street. I will not mention names, but to say that the air outside was crisp and cool – we were welcomed by a crackling log fire and cozy atmosphere. My biggest problem at most restaurants is that I usually play it safe… but figured that because this was Oudtshoorn, I should do something out of the ordinary. After perusing the menu for a period long enough to drink a glass of wine and a mug of hot chocolate, I finally decided on the ‘Crocodile Burger’. I usually settle for a far safer option, like a chicken schnitzel, but for some reason it spoke to me. The evening was blissfully sublime and upon returning to the guesthouse quite a time later, the room nice and warm, the wine having made me somewhat drowsy and the bed so-very-inviting, we called it a night… until just after 2am…
I woke with symptoms associated directly with either food poisoning or death and between violent vomiting and… I won’t share the rest – I decided that there’s probably a reason I decide to select the safer option on restaurant menus. Because when I bit into and ate that croc, I didn’t suspect he would bite back. It cut our honeymoon a day short – but even with the entire experience having ended on such an awful note, I would go back and eat at that same restaurant and possibly retire to Oudtshoorn.