South Africa trip-part 3 (Johannesburg)

Joberg (as everyone calls it) is the largest city in South Africa.  Cape Town is the second largest.                                              SONY DSC  We were in Joberg on a day that was a national holiday and the line of people shown here were waiting to get into the Mandela house in Soweto.  Mandela was everything to the South Africans and there are many things to honor him.  This was one of the homes he had lived in.

We had lunch at a local restaurant and the entertainment afterwards also found lots of children hoping that we would be gracious.  We were!

SONY DSCWe saw children on school excursions and they were always very polite and well behaved and happy.  We didn’t see much squabbling or misbehavior.

SONY DSCWe were treated with respect and kindness in all aspects of this trip.  I was very impressed with the people of this country.  They were friendly and kind.  If one were to go out at night alone, that would not be recommended; but during the day in safe areas there was no danger.SONY DSC                          This darling little girl just loved posing for the camera!

My next post will go to Victoria Falls.  I just love reliving my wonderful trip.



Posted in Africa, children, photography, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Africa safari trips

at the Hluhluwe Game Preserve

at the Hluhluwe Game Preserve

The safari trips were the highlights of the trip to South Africa.  The first one we did at the Hluhluwe Game Preserve which is near Durbin.

This is a place which protects the black rhinos which were near extinction.  There still is rhino poaching going on but this reserve fights it fiercely.  All of our safari guides were local people and very knowledgeable about the animals and their habits.  It was a real learning experience.

adult rhino
The rides were quite early and then again later in the day and they were over rough terrain.

We also had a river boat excursion at the St. Lucia Estuary near Durbin and saw our first giraffes and some zebras, too. The grace and beauty of these large animals was breathtaking.

grown up giraffe

giraffes and zebras

there may have been some necking going on!


We traveled to Zimbawe and Botswana where we had excursions on the Chobe Rive and the Zambezi River. We also visited Victoria Falls.  I will include some photos from Zimbawe and Botswana and will show shots of Victoria Falls in my next blog post.


Posted in Africa, photography, sunsets, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

South Africa

I went to South Africa in September.  It was quite an adventure.  September in Africa is the spring season and is generally dry.  Well, not for us-we were in the midst of a late winter storm that dumped a lot of rain in the Cape Town area.  But intrepid travellers that we were-we adjusted !!


Pictured here is the iconic Table Mountain.


and this is a photograph from the top of Table Mountain.

Cape Town and the cape peninsula were so very beautiful in the rain that I have to wonder how much better it could have been.  We did experience fog and visibility issues but there is not much one can do about these things and our group “rolled with the punches”.  I was so very impressed with the cleanliness and the modern amenities that Cape Town offered.  In my opinion, although apartheid was discontinued just 20 years ago, racial compatability has advanced far beyond what we experience in the US.

For this blog post, I will concentrate on Cape Town and environs and in later posts will introduce you to other parts of this amazing country and continent.

A highlight was going to the Cape of Good Hope and seeing the southernmost tip of Africa and knowing this is where Magellan and other explorers rounded the cape in their adventures and also where many ships were lost at sea.SONY DSC

I was taken with the botanical specimens and also, of course, the wildlife that we saw.SONY DSC

I hope you enjoy these pictures and I will post more soon about “the rest of the story”.SONY DSC


Posted in birds, mountains, photography, sunsets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 Calendar pressed flower images

My calligraphy and pressed flower calendar for 2014 has some interesting images and I would like to tell you about them.

First of all this is a desktop calendar in a CD case. That means you flip the case open and it
will sit on a desktop or a countertop and give you a great display of each month.  Guaranteed to start your day in beauty.

January has pressed grapes in the image.  Since the dark days of January need some cheer, it seemed appropriate to me to show some fruit of the vine!

February has  a white flower look to it as February often brings snow.  This is white stuff of
a beautiful nature.  There is white dogwood, viburnum, daisies, nigella (love-in-a-mist), candytuft, Carolina smoke tree, astilbe and dianthus.

March loves hellebores (Lenten roses).  Hellebores start to bloom in January and will bloom all the way through June.   They are one of my favorites.  One cannot have too many hellebores.  Also included are crocae, mini daffodils, candytuft and Carolina smoke tree.

April shows the colors of Easter with purples, blues and greens.  This is from an experimental design using PhotoShop and inverting colors.  Hydrangeas, pansies and leaves are there.

May is the gardener’s delight with daisiies, guara, veronica, verbena, sweet woodruff and buttercups.

June has bleeding hearts.  I have a huge bleeding heart in my backyard.  Each year it blooms profusely.  Also money plant, verbena, viburnum, violas, coreopsis and sweet woodruff are present in this design.

July celebrates the heat of summer with red salvia, rudbeckia, marigolds, zinnia, sweet woodruff, daisy, verbena, and celosia.  The flowers are so vibrant now.

August is about roses.  Multiflora roses and Queen Anne’s lace.

September is from a botanic collage on canvas which has coreopsis, rose leaves, bamboo, larkspur and maple leaves in it.

October is all about leaves and these are maples.  There are Norway, fire, red maple leaves as well as some chyrsanthemums.

November is a good time for mushrooms and these are all different kinds as well as some rosemary.

December has guara, coreopsis and passion vine intertwined between the Roman letterforms of NOEL which has music in it too.

So now you have a calendar which I hope will bring you enjoyment.  I have received much reward in creating these designs and am happy to share them with you.

Don’t forget that you can order this calendar and other things on my etsy shop.
nd you can also visit me at


Posted in artists, CALLIGRAPHY, Christmas, Mushrooms, music, Pressed Plants and Flowers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying a new art technique

As an artist, it is always challenging and fun to try a new technique.

So recently,  my friend, Sally, and I got together to try a new technique using pressed flowers.  This was a new process that we learned through the world wide pressed flower guild.  Kate Chu  of  was the teacher who created the video that we watched to learn this.

So we gathered our materials.  We needed card stock, aluminum foil, alcohol inks, spray adhesive, black shoe polish and a spray sealer.  And of course, pressed flowers.  We needed to choose flowers or leaves that were sturdy.  Many pressed flowers are very delicate and do not hold up to any manipulation.  Both of us used ferns.

We glued our ferns onto the card stock and then put the aluminum foil over that and started to smooth out any air bubbles or irregular areas.  We kept working that until it was very flat.  Ferns with aluminum foil before adding the shoe polishThen we added some shoe polish and rubbed that into the design created by the ferns.  After that we used the colored alcohol inks to create a back ground.

The images at left are what this looked like in the beginning stages.


The next step was to add the alcohol inks and create a background.

These images show what the final products looked like.

Fern with alcohol inks added in the background.Alcohol inks added to fern It was fun and the results were quite different.  Quite a few members of the guild were doing this also and we all shared pictures and compared notes.

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Posted in artists, instruction, Pressed Plants and Flowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment