Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kwetterkwilters

Last night the local small group of South African Quilters, the Kwetterkwilters, met. I was there about a month ago, sharing some of the items I have collected and traded made with Peltex/Timtex/Fast2Fuse….  Postcards, Twinchies and 4x4’s. (I did a post about it here).
I gave each of the ladies a 4” x 6” piece of Peltex, 2 sided fusible to make something… and they chose to make a postcard. We all agreed to meet back last night and share our works of ART. Let me just say WOW!!! They got it in a big way!
After dinner, I shared something I should have taken last month  …. my postcard box. I keep all kinds of little things in there to make postcards…. novelty fabrics, ribbons, buttons, trinkets and findings. I think I may have started something!!!
I knew that I was going to make each one a postcard, when I left last month. So took those out to share and one more that I put in the mail today. I asked them to pick one and address it to themselves. So when I get back to the US…. I will mail them out.
postcards
One of the ladies has seen some prototype Luggage Tags I was playing with… and suggested that I bring those. I used Peltex in those too. I didn’t like them so I redesigned them and did these. Along with a couple of mini-tags to put on personal equipment… or other things that you want to mark. These all started because we don’t have any current tags for our luggage… and I left my laminator in storage and that is how I used to keep up with the changes.
tags
So as I wrapped up last night, the ladies had a surprise for me. They had made ‘Twinchies’ for ME!!! They are so cute! It was a super WONDERFUL surprise and will now have to make a box out of them too.
Twinchies
The ladies had so much fun making the postcards that several expressed a desire to swap postcards. So does anyone else want to join a small Postcard Swap? (edit: the swap won't begin until January, so if you are interested, please leave a comment or send me an email)
More Later- Beth

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flora

It is summer here! Daytime Temperatures are reaching the 90’s. Last weekend I went on a short drive looking for one of the flowering trees. I have been seeing this tree, in the distance and from the car …. never really close enough to see the yellow flowers. I didn’t notice it last year…. but then again, I was being a ‘very good driver’ and keeping my eyes and mind focused on driving on the ‘right hand’ side of the car…
tree-flowers
The tree has been flowering for several weeks. I don’t know what they call it…. the few searches I have done… via Google have not returned an identifier… Hopefully someone will know and tell me!!! (edit 10/26- It's called a Silver Oak, and it is originally from Australia, for more info go HERE)

tree-flower-2
From the first picture to the second… you begin to see that the ‘flower’ is not a flower in the traditional sense. But something much more interesting!
tree-flower-3
A bit closer and you really begin to see how many flowers it takes to see yellow from a distance.
tree-flower-4
And really up close you can see how simple the yellow flower really is! Very much like the Protea Flower.
AMAZING!

More Later- Beth

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More on Kruger

After I loaded the last Kruger update… I remembered that I didn’t finish with the birds or some of the flowers!!! I also forgot the elephants….

There aren’t too many places where you are allowed to get our of your car in the park, but there is a bridge over the Olifants River where you can get out. I make it a point to always get out and see what is going on in and around the river. Today there were elephant herds on both sides. I caught these three walking in the water. I watched the little one in the middle play in the water before they started their walk. Down on the other side of the bridge… one of the elephants was trumpeting.

cr-3-elephants-in-Olifants

We did see lion too, well sort of…. This is what we saw…. See that little puff on the end of the tail and the hip… yep it’s a lion.

cr-lion-tail-3364

It is summer here, early yet… the daytime temperatures are in the mid 80’s and the nights are cooler in the 50’s. So the animals are resting in the heat of the day.

cr-guinea-fowThe birds we saw were not very exotic… of course the ever present Helmeted Guinea Fowl, with their bright blue heads and polka dotted feathers.

Francolin-JuvA young Francolin, I only took the picture because he stood so still for so long…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And another bird… the Kori Bustard. Very interesting looking birds… cr-kori-bustard

The flowers were weird… and funny that I haven’t seen them before. One of the things I have noticed about the plants here… Some bloom in the spring and some in the summer and yet there are others that bloom in the winter. Also, some have leaves that fall off at the beginning of summer, rather than in the fall…. So here we are in summer, before the rains really begin and I saw lots of flowering plants.

There were lots of branches on this shrub… but only this one flower. I think it resembles a zucchini flower.

cr-tree-flower

 

cr-bush-flowerThen there was this plant with it’s very interesting flowers.

And last but not least…. one more flower. I think it resembles an asterisk!

cr-last-flower

Hope you enjoyed more from Kruger. Later- Beth

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kruger Visit #3

One of the most amazing places to visit in South Africa is Kruger National Park. It is huge, it is quiet and it is AMAZING! All you can hear is bird calls and insects… occasionally the sounds of animals, the snort of warning from an Impala buck, an elephant trumpet, or the screech or bark from a monkey.

We went back to the park. We were there nearly a year ago, and again in March. Neither one of us gets tired of seeing the ‘wild’ animals and nature. We stayed in a different camp than we have before, but we are thinking we won’t go to the north again. There are animals, but not enough relief for the eyes…

So what did we see or hear this time… Well of course all the usual characters, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Kudu, Zebras, Vervet Monkeys and Baboons.

cr-cheetah-1We spotted Cheetah twice. It is an animal that we haven’t seen before, so it was a thrill to see them not once, but twice!!! The first ones were close enough to count the spots, the second ones…

2-cheetah

(Mom and juvenile) were a bit further away.

We explored an area we had  not been to before… there was a bird hide on the water, and we found some Fish Eagles.

cr-fish-eagleFrom what we could tell, it was a pair, trying to talk a young into flying…. we could hear at least 3 birds. These guys are territorial, so we don’t think it was more adults. Here I have one in flight.

We stopped at another bird hide that we have been to before. We always see something different each time. Last year it was the Fish Eagles, this time a herd of about 100 Cape Buffalo crossing the river and some water birds,

cr-african-spoonbill

a Spoonbill.

lipping-capeI don’t know what this Buffalo was doing… or if they do this regularly… but I thought is was kinda funny…. It seems that other creatures are doing this too.

We saw this giraffe before we got to the hide!

cr-lipping-giraffe

and I think I saw a zebra doing it too.

And since its October… halloween-tree

a photo for Halloween, a tree full of Vultures. I can’t tell which species it is, so we will leave it as generic. When we spotted this tree, the vultures were very still, so we got out the binoculars for a look. It seems that quite a few of them were asleep….

Two things I don’t have pictures of:

While driving to the hide we happened on a few elephants. They were not clustered, but here and there eating individually…. As we were driving past one, it got a little uptight. When a male elephant gets into a bad mood -shakes his head at you and stomps his feet -you better pay attention! We did and stopped the car and reversed a few feet and then waited. It seems we interrupted a courtship.

On Sunday, we took another morning game walk (had to get up at 3:30 in the morning). We love the walks because you see so much more of the park. This time the walk itself didn’t reveal as much as others we have been on, but the drive to the walking area (it is just away from the camp and off the main road), we found a family of hyena. Our guide was much more knowledgeable about animals and the environment than on our other walks. There were 4 adults, a couple of males (smaller than females) and at least one female and she had a young cub. It was well before dawn, and flash photography is a big no-no… so no picture, but the cub was small, had it’s eyes open and teeth… I am guessing about 6 weeks or so. When hyenas are cubs they are at their cutest, that is for SURE!

As always…. something… More Later:

Beth

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Point Click Quilt!!!

A few weeks ago; ok maybe a bit longer than that, well now it seems like ages ago… I stopped by IHAN (I Have a Notion) blog, -I have a link on the side bar-… and Kelly was previewing/talking about the NEW book by Susan Brubaker Knapp- POINT CLICK QUILT. A book I would

point-click-quilt

really like to own and everyone stopping by had a chance to win a copy by leaving a comment. So I left a comment and was very surprised to learn that I had won!!!

Then the book finally arrived (remember that the mail takes an additional 2 weeks, (sometimes longer) to get here…. but then I had obligations, cut my hand, and the Internet went out… so I have been remiss in my thanks and post about it.

I love what Susan does with a photograph!!! and I want to do something like what she does with my photographs…. I have been toying with some ideas…. and I need to make it a reality…. but I have a couple of problems:

1- is picking a picture!!!! How do I select one…. do I do a flower, a bug or an animal, one or both of the dogs?  …. I just can’t decide!

2- is painting. I DON’T paint, not walls, not doors and not fabric. It just eludes me, the same way drawing does. So I will have to find another way to add some dimension…. maybe fabric… or more thread…

Anyway…. THANK YOU to Kelly Jackson of IHAN and to Susan Brubaker-Knapp for the book.

 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy News!!

After being without Broadband for 3 weeks we are back up!!! Its not that we didn’t have Internet. We, did. It was on an aircard, where you use the wireless phone infrastructure to get online, but it is expensive and in the day and age of graphics…. all pages are slow to load and graphics eat up kilobytes…. which turn into Megabytes, which eat up available online time!!! we paid $75 for 3 weeks of airtime. Of course all that time we were still paying for the ADSL line and the Internet connection service… (It’s not worth trying to get a refund or credit, I’ve tried). We are just happy to be back online!!!!

Before (the loss of Broadband), I had had to restore my computer to a previous point… which of course didn’t go as planned…. so I have some major issues to get worked out too. HOPEFULLY we will stay online long enough to get these fixed! Some how the Windows Updater has been turned off… and I can’t get it back on. I have done searches on Windows and the Internet, and even been to the MS Forums, but so far no help or useful information!!! If you know the problem…. and have found a fix please let me know. (I am running Win7-64 bit).

The last couple of days I have been outside with the camera!!! It is moving into summer now. T-storms will soon be a daily occurrence, starting with today! So what did I see?

Well some birds of course-

cardinal-wpeckers

Cardinal Woodpeckers

flycatcher

and what I believe is a flycatcher,

grasshopper

an itty bitty grasshopper (I think),

butterfly

a butterfly. And some flowers-

rose

a rose

Geranium

and a type of geranium,

A&L

-and my dogs, Axel and Linzy, not the best photo of them….