Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Africa All Wrapped Up....Photos and Art Journaling!

Africa all up was an amazing trip....I am now back in Sydney, over my jet lag, I've caught up on some work and am now ready to blog!
Here is the rest of our trip...Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in photos and art journaling! 
Botswana and the Okavango Delta.
Helicopter over the Delta | Moroko canoes through the river ways | Delta bush walks
Brett making dinner at our campsite, accommodation for the night = awesome straw huts.
Ghanzi Bushmen and women...spoke only in clicks.
Art Journaling | Curious ostridges, medium - acrylic dabbers and prisma coloured pencils.
Namibia | Etosha National Park
Animals | Animals | Animals | =)
Art Journaling | Giraffe, medium - watercolour pencils (el cheep os) and acrylic dabbers
Namibia | Etosha National Park
More Animals mainly gathered around waterholes.
The gazelle doing a number two while looking straight at me, has to be one of my favorites.
Ever seen a giraffe drink...its quite funny and awkward all at the same time!
Namibia | Etosha National Park
Elephants playing, lots of mumma's with their babys.
Sundown at the waterholes is animal peak hour.
Art journaling | Zebras....again! Medium - watercolour pencil in my repurposed children's book/art journal
Namibia | Stipzkoppe
Stunning rock formations 1700 meters above the Namib Desert floor.
Slept under the stars on top of one of the rock formations, the star scape scape going to sleep was AMAZING and the sunrise I woke up to was FRIGGEN AWESOME!
Art Journaling | Little village girl, medium - Ink (distress stain dabbers) and prisma colour pencil.
Namibia | Swakopmund
Interesting town, Swakopmund is just off the roaring South Atlantic Coast, where ocean meets pure desert.
Sand boarding in the Nambi desert, we hit over 70km an hour coming down the dunes....we also had to stay out of the background shots of the movie Mad Max 4 being shot of the dune next to us....no Mel Gibson in this one, just Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron =)
Quad biking in the desert = most fun EVER and stunning landscapes.
Art Journaling | Nylia, she is a 2 years old lion we went on a walk with at Vic Falls, she was lovely....but would try and bite your hand off is she got the chance! medium - Watercolour
Namibia | Sesrium - Dune 45
Quest - to climb one of the highest ad most photographed dunes in the world (Dune 45) before sunrise! Got half way up and nearly threw up from exhaustion....didn't help that I tried running up it at first in my excitement!
900 year old petrified trees, make for a stunning backdrop.
Namibia | Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon = second largest canyon in the world, after the grand canyon.
Ever changing skye scapes in the desert
Brett getting pissie with a horse that decided to stand on our tent while we were trying to put it up, I help out by taking photos of it all and laughing!
South Africa | Cape Town and beyond
The view from Table Mountain, lucky it was good as it was a 3 HOUR wait to get up there on the cable car!
South African coast line = stunning, stunning, stunning.
Art Journaling | Village girl. Medium - Acrylic dabbers and prisma colour pencils
So that is a wrap up of the end of our African Travels...I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, created LOADS of artwork along the way, my journal is literally bursting, it has been taped back together many times now....and I have loads more to create, as I have to get that inspiration out of my head somehow.
Next adventure on the list - ART EXHIBITION!
African inspired art exhibition on its way......lots of artwork to create and logistics to work out!
Plenty more info coming.
Till next time, stay insane....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hello Hello
Come down and join us, this Sunday at the "WILD ONES" Market, at Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea!

Some of our lovely clutches, that we handmake with love

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vic Falls, Chobe and the Okavango Delta!!

Victoria Falls – I love you!  You were amazing, as I always knew you would be.
A great time was had by all at Victoria Falls and the falls themselves are stunning. It is dry season at the moment, so the falls were not at their fullest, but still powerful. We checked it out from the Zambia side and the Zimbabwe side. Vic Falls is activity central… you can get up to all sorts of fun stuff! We went for a pretty amazing walk with lions and I finally got a chance to pet a fully grown lion (well she was almost fully grown - 2). The patting was done with a sharp eye kept on your exit route at all times, as they were quite lively lioness.
We went for a sunset cruise down the Zambezi River, cocktail in hand, with hippos popping up now and then to eyeball us and elephants cooling off in the river nearby.
We also checked out Livingstone Island on top of Victoria Falls, and the Devils Pools….which is a fab little natural swimming hole perched on top of the falls. Jumping in and leaning over the edge to check out the falls, falling away to a 182 metre drop below, was pretty sweet… The guide did have a hold of my ankle, both my hubby and I survived, so I guess it is pretty safe…. I did find out later that a few people have gone over the edge over the years….some never to be found again….. 

After a few lovely days spent on the Zambezi River, we were off again…headed to Botswana and Chobe National Park….Botswana is a beautiful country, full of friendly people and kids waving like crazy from the road side as we pass. A morning game drive through Chobe National park got us extremely up close to a herd of elephants. Big moment for me as I am a huge elephant fan!
A sunset cruise on the Chobe River brought us up close and personal to everything from hippos, to crocks eating a hippo, to seriously cantankerous looking buffalo, to again herds and herds of elephants, and plenty of birdlife. 

Next (after a long, long drive) onto bush camping in the Okavango Delta. The Delta is a maze of rivers and reed covered swampland. Our mode of transport to get to our island camp was via Moroko (a canoe like boat, crafted out of a tree trunk). It was without doubt the most relaxing way to travel….making our way slowly through lapping lily covered water, reeds parting at the bow of the boat with the odd spider being surprised and knocked of its perch by your passing and trying to crawl up your nose or nest in your shoe… and did I mention the sun drenched lapping water?? Well I certainly enjoyed it!
On an evening game walk, we came across elephants, zebras and antelope…also a pretty amazing sunset. Dinner was had around the camp fire and our local guides had a grand old time singing some local African songs and getting their dance on. It was brill!

So now we are headed through Namibia to the capital city Windhoek for dinner and some festivities…. (festivities depending on how drunk we get =)  Thinking about upgrading to a room….camping, the African heat and a long days driving don’t always go to well together!

Tomorrow we are heading further into the desert for some sand boarding and quad biking on the dunes of the Kalahari Desert.

Till next time
xxx Sal 

 Victoria Falls!!

 About to jump in to the Devils Pools, above the falls!

 Hanging over the edge of Devils Falls...it was an amazing experience.
Both Brett and I loved it.

The Devils Pools from Zimbabwe side...if you look closely you can see some people sitting in the pools!

  Drawing (with watercolour pencils) of the stunning acacia trees that dot Africa.

 View from Zambezi River cruise.

 Getting up close with the lions!

 Brett about to lose his hand, on our lion walk!

Cutest monkey ever!

Random art journal sketch =)

Yep, another zebra....what can i say....I LOVE zebras!

.....more zebras....watercolour pencil sketch from my art journal.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Serengeti, Zanzibar and Malawi....what a ride!!!

Jumbo = Hello in Swahili.

Well the journey continues....We are on our way through Malawi to Livingstone/Victoria Falls....a place I have wanted to go since my teenage years....but let’s start with the last week or so first.  =)

After The Masai Mara we headed to the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater.
The Serengeti is the Swahili word for "never ending plains", and they certainly hit that oneon the head! African sunburnt plains, dotted with Acacia trees and animals as far as the eye can see.....our days here consisted of game drives, where we tracked down 4 lionesses with 5 cubs between them, creepy Hyenas (they always look like they are about to get up to something), and saw a black Rhino (from a distance, so I don't think that really counts) along with a host of other critters big and small.

As for the Ngorogoro Crater, besides the jaw dropping landscapes, there was such an abundance of wildlife.... we saw Zebra a plenty, Giraffes grazing, Mama and Baby Elephants, Wildebeest lounging around and eyeballing us out of curiosity every time we got near.....which was a lot as they liked to set up camp scattered across the dirt road. Ancient Water Buffalos, some amazing birdlife including lots of Ostriches, caught a few doing there mating dance (highly entertaining), and a pack of 10 lions and lioness taking it easy in the mid-day heat.
The crater itself (it’s actually a caldera, not a crater...as the top of the Volcano fell in on itself and did not pop like a cork) goes from an eerie landscape of twisted and gnarled, red dirt covered Acacia trees, with barren mountains looming in the background....to a rainbow of muted earthy colours at inner salt lake, with the pop of Zebras standing out.....to lush jungle around lakes. Everything a fauna and flora colour obsessed girl could want! It was just friggen brill!!
I have been so inspired by the reds/yellows/oranges....and the 300 million shades in-between! 

After our days of games drives we headed off down the long track to Zanzibar, a stunning tropical Island off the coast of Tanzania. We stayed in the main city of Stone Town for 1 night, Stone Town has a very strong Muslim influence and for this reason has such an array of stunning architecture. I have a fetish with beautiful old doors....and Stone Town has them a plenty, so I went a little snap happy! =)
Day 2 on Zanzibar, our group headed up the coast for some beach side action/accommodation for 2 nights...I somehow convinced Brett to hire a car, and we made our way over the seriously crazy roads (Asian roads you have nothing on the African roads) over to the east coast to track down a restaurant that I had spied an image on the net about a year ago, and had vowed someday, somehow to go.... So once we figured out the name of the restaurant "The Rock" and the general direction of it, we were off....and yes my lovely hubby Brett was a little stressed! It was well worth it though...idealic, and sitting on an old coral bed a stone’s throw across the water from the beach sat the restaurant, stunning surroundings and the food and wine were marvellous!  =)
After lunch we joined our crew on the north of the Island for snorkelling, swimming and someserious relaxing time....a few more days there would have been just perfect....but alas we were off again, this time heading to Malawi and Lake Malawi.

It was a couple of long days of driving and pitching our tents in the dark. There were lots of very happy campers indeed when we finally got to Kande Beach in Malawi. 3 nights in the most beautiful location on the white sandy beaches of Lake Malawi where we got ourselves a lovely room and proceeded to seriously enjoy some downtime. =) I Went for a lovely horse ride with Carly (a tour mate) through the forest, finishing up along the beach, where with we jumped in the lake bareback with the horses for a swim.
We checked out the local Village, school and hospital, made plenty of donations and will be sending a percentage of sales from my (fingers crossed) upcoming Art Exhibition at the end of the year to the school, to sponsor a child through primary school... there are a lot of Orphans in Malawi due to HIV and Malaria. Even children with a family base struggle to afford school uniform and basic school books and stationary, for that reason a lot of kids don't even get a few years of primary school education. The Malawi children were just lovely, I even wanted to put a few in my pocket and take them home with me....and I certainly never say that about any old kid!
The Malawi people are extremely friendly, happy and unassuming.... which is lovely and also a little amazing as life here is quite hard and very basic, the feeling I got though is if you have a roof over your head and some food in your belly, you are doing ok! 
In Malawi, I finally got some time to paint (painting and journaling on a moving truck on the extremely bumpy African roads has proved to be a hard feat) and journal, so I will do my damnedest to get some photos up of how my art journal for the next blog....this one comes with plenty of fab photos from our trip so far.

 Baby Baboon bum, Serengeti

 Curious Giraffe, Serengeti
Mumma Lion, Serengeti

Cute as a button cubs, Serengeti

Brett, in our tent....as you can see he barely fits in....it is quite funny watching him getting in and out!

Impala (I love the "What the??" look on his face), Serengeti

Yep, thats right....we saw a lepoard!!!! Serengeti

Pretty Bird (not its official name), Serengeti

.....Nap time....it's a hard life on the plains!!! Serengeti

 Funny as all hell Ostriche....I will be doing a drawing of this one for sure!!, Ngorogoro Crater
Stunning?? I think so =) Ngorogoro Crater 

 Wilderbeast, Ngorogoro Crater

One of my first loves....Zebras, Ngorogoro Crater

 Sketching and painting the stunning back drop, Ngorogoro Crater


Doors to die for, Zanzibar

 "The Rock" Zanzibar....brilliant restaurant, check it out if you are in the area...and if not...head to the area to check it out!!

 Malawi, Horse surfing

 Getting some love from my horse, Malawi

Seriously cute Malawi kids.

So next stop Livingstone....where we will be cursing down the Zambezi River, checking out the Victoria Falls and hopefully go for a walk with lions... all depending on how far our money will go.

So ladies and gents, till next time....

xxx Sal

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventures and Misadventures in Kenya!

It has been a while….I know, life in London and at the Olympics was fabulous and non-stop. We have wrapped up work at the Olympics and are now smack bang in the middle of Kenya, on our way to the Serengeti.
The Olympics was once again a brilliant, vibrant event. Brett and I had a ball working at the NBC Gymnastics/Basketball venue at the O2 Arena in North Greenwich. We had some fabulous local staff (and some not so fabulous), the NBC crew were brilliant….it was like catching up with old family members, as we had not caught up since the Beijing Olympics, It was great to see so many friendly faces on the American crew. And of course to catch up with all the rest of the catering crew that have come from all over the world to work at the Olympics, some I have known now for over 10 years, and are some of the most fabulous people I know.
The Olympics pretty much consisted of us working our arses off and partying with the crew for a month straight!

Now we have started our African adventure, there were a few miss adventures getting here…like me freaking out as I thought I had left all my art supplies (art supplies = my pride and joy) atmy dad apartment in London…and I mean, I freaked out… there were water works, the whole shibang! I had everyone scrambling to try and find them, and get them to me!  We were constantly running for planes for one reason or another, and when we arrived at Nariobi airport at 5am tired and sweaty…off course Egyptair decided not to send on our luggagewith us to Kenya (Egyptair you suck), so after arguments with ground staff and being informed that our bags might turn up the same time next day, we trundled off to catch up on some sleep at our hotel and then get back into our 2 day old smelly clothes, for our nights and next day’s outings.
Sunday was day one of our 7 week tour with Arcacia from Nairobi down to Cape Town. After a 5am run to the airport to pick up our bags (we did a little happy dance when we were reunited with them, as we feared we might not see them again), we headed to our 8am tour departure point, had a quick change into fresh clothes (yay) repacked our bags (I found my missing art supplies, they had been hiding in my main luggage  the whole time…so off course more waterworks ensued, from relief and also stress that Brett and my dad were both going to kill me from running them around in circles trying to locate and post it to Kenya) and were off to the Masai Mara.
The Masai Mara blew all my expectation out of the water…if you have ever thought for a moment you would like to go, DO IT!! It was a mecca of wildlife and draw dropping landscapes.
We were lucky enough to be there during the Wildebeest migration, which brings with it pretty much every other animal in the African animal world.On a 2 day safari we saw frolicking gazelles and impalas,pumbas (wild pigs with attitude), stunning prideful zebras, a lounging cheetah, a lioness protecting her fresh kill with vultures circling overhead, a lion and lioness exhausted and taking a nap after doing the deed, herds of elephants, curious giraffes and lazy as hippos…..and thousands and thousandsof wildebeest.
We stayed at a fab tented camp while at the Masai Mara, we even had our own toilet and shower (which I thought was a bit of a luxury, as we are camping most of this trip),  we ended up sharing our shower (unwillingly) with a bunch of French travellers (that were also camping on site) that kept sneaking into our shower rather than using theirown amenities block….so it was weird waking up at 6am to the sound of our shower running while Brett and I were both still in bed. Then having to queue for our shower….in the end we kicked them out.

On day two of our safari, we had an interesting trip, that included 3 flat tyres with in the space of 2 hours….it definitely made for some great laughs as we were travelling with a fun bunch from our tour and also made for some fast footwork by our driver as one of our flats had lions circling in the area at the same time… not that they were that fussed by us I think, we just happened to have our second flat while tracking them.On the way back from the Masai Mara to Nairobi our slightly odd driver in frustration ran a barricade made by the local Masai tribesman (to slow down drivers and protect their goats), then proceeded to nearly run over some goats in his haste and have the angry Masai tribesman chase after us with spear in tow. Good thing a car out runs a Masai tribesman anyday!

So today we are heading to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, where the wild life is meant to be out of this world! Stay posted for those photos next time =)

The USA Dream Team Vrs Spain for the Olympic Basketball Gold Medal

Photos of the NBC crew on a night out...taken with our fish eye lenses =)

My AMAZING new shoes from Irregular Choice. LOVE!!!

Tower Bridge...where we had our BTS work wrap up party!

 The View from Tower Bridge

BTS wrap up party and some of the fabulous crew =)

hehehe....our lovely fish eye lenses again....

AFRICA!!! And the amazing Masai Mara

Love sal