Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rainy day cat for Felicity

When Felicity mentioned this cat in the comments, it was a perfect excuse to enlarge it too. Or a half-baked excuse. Any excuse at all will do! Here you go.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Out of the attic: 17 cats

I made this design last year to go on a mug as a gift for my aunt. I'd like to have more mugs made some day. Of course that would mean I'd have to find a printing place. And, you know, go in, and talk to them...

In the meantime, I've enlarged a couple of them just for you. There's slinky cat:

Then there's smug cat:

And then my own little Katala.

Note the tail. It was like that when we got her, promise! Actually, the end is there - it just never grew. I suspect it was bitten when she was very small by one of her littermates or, more probably, her mother.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two little weeds

While digitally cleaning up and labelling a lot of the drawings from my last project, I realised how much I like these two. They aren't particularly spectacular, just a couple of weeds that I dug up from the garden to show the difference between monocots and dicots. But there's just something about them. They look... poised. I like them.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Out of the attic: Himalayan blue poppies

This is not just a really old pastel drawing of Meconopsis betonicifolia, known as the Himalayan blue poppy - it is also a testament to my enduring and painful love affair with plants I can't grow. I'll set my heart either on something that should grow in much cooler climates, and obsessively stack ice cubes around it to try and make it flower (take, for example, the Great Peony Disaster of 2009), or else something that may not, under any circumstances, encounter frost, and spend all my time protecting it. I have to say the latter approach works better - my impala lilies, for instance, not only are still alive but flower most years. I think it goes without saying that I won't be trying to grow Meconopsis betonicifolia any time soon, as those in the know say that if you live in a climate where you can grow tomatoes, you can't grow Meconopsis. But that doesn't mean I'll stop yearning for them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Botanical art exhibition

What I'm doing this week: frantically finishing the second of two paintings for this exhibition. If you're planning to be anywhere around Jo'burg this weekend, I really think it's going to be good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Malachite kingfisher

Things about this painting:

* I sold it a few weekends ago (yay!)

* It was painted on top of another picture I'd done earlier. I have a great fear of pristine surfaces. Go and look at this comic by Gingerhaze. And then go and read her entire tumblr, which to me is basically one great dramatic pileup of this:

* The style of this painting was inspired in part by the first Black Orchid graphic novel - the early scenes in the greenhouse are some of the most gorgeous images I have ever seen.

* Malachite kingfishers are among my favourite things. The second thing I drew when I began taking art classes, aged 9 or so, was a malachite kingfisher. (The first was a green pepper, halved.)

* They are much smaller than they look in pictures (malachite kingfishers, not green peppers). I've never seen a live one, sadly, but I saw a skin in the museum at the University of the Witwatersrand, and it was no bigger than a sparrow.

* Oh yeah, I've been working on and off in the museum at Wits, and if you're a fan of snakes, spiders, bugs, axolotls, or giant green iguanas that like hanging out on logs and watching people do aerobics (seriously) and if you'll be in Jo'burg any time between tomorrow and Sunday, you should attend this event.

* I know the last point has exactly nothing to do with my picture. But, the iguana! It really happened. I was coming in from lunch, and what appeared to be most of the museum staff were doing some sort of dance routine, and the iguana was on a log, sommer there on the floor, watching them. It was one of those great moments in life, the ones you know you'll treasure forever. And there was an enormous hi-fi, and an instructor, and I think some people had belly-dancing belts, the ones with the coins. And... and... the iguana. It was beautiful.

P.S. In case you're one of the 17 people in the world who haven't seen this clip yet, may I present another of those beautiful moments. I don't feel bad saying that, because the kid wasn't hurt. Just don't read the comments on YouTube. They are exactly as you would expect.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Busy busy busy

For the last while, when people ask me how I am, I've been replying "Busy". Then I hurriedly add, so as not to seem ungrateful, "Which is good. Lots of work, it's a good thing, when you're trying to make it, you know..." I generally tail off around there, uncomfortable with the entire concept.

On the one hand, I can't stand competitive busyness, the one-upmanship of how close you are to burnout and how very, very hard you work. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if you blithely said, by the water cooler perhaps, "Oh, I'm not particularly busy at the moment. Just taking it easy for a while." The fact is, in a work context especially, it's pretty much mandatory to be "busy" all the time, even when you aren't. And that offends my rebellious little soul.

On the other hand, though, "busy" is a one-word, catchall excuse that's invaluable in explaining yourself to neglected spouses, friends who've forgotten what you look like, clients who've been waiting months for their pictures, blog readers who haven't had a new post in weeks... you know. And when you are genuinely busy, everyone you know falls into one of those categories.

So I'm not entirely ready to give up going on about how busy I am. But the next time I'm being dreadfully, deliciously lazy, I'm planning to make a point of telling everyone about that too.

And this is what I've been busy with: a few of my favourites from that textbook/class notes project I've been working on for months. Over 200 ink drawings, most of them not nearly as detailed as these ones, though!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

50 seconds of fame

If you are here in South Africa and you take a look at 50/50 this coming Monday night at 7:30 on SABC 2, you might just see me and my friend/doppelganger Daleen Roodt being interviewed at a book launch!

A lot of people haven't quite figured out that Daleen and I are actually two separate people, since we look kind of the same, wear the same sort of clothes (what this really means is that I am madly envious of her sense of style) and both did language degrees before going slightly insane and deciding to become freelance botanical artists.

For anyone who doesn't know me, here's how to tell us apart. It's quite easy actually: she'll be the one with long, wavy blonde hair wearing a really great dress with flowery patterns on it looking like a normal human being and I'll be the socially awkward one with a deer-in-the-headlights kind of expression who doesn't look anyone in the eye and talks nonsense in really bad Afrikaans.

Why am I encouraging people to watch this?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sea Horse

A genuine seahorse on my blog! ...well, kind of. I sold this picture (I sold this picture!) to a little girl (her father paid for it), which I found extremely flattering, because if a small child likes something, she really likes it.

It's a small picture - maybe twice the size it's posted here - and it started as a simple watercolour doodle, playing with colours. I kept it for a year or so, not knowing what to do with it. I looked at it from every angle and eventually decided that it looked like a sea monster.

The surface was very rough, so my next step was to paint over it with a solution of gum arabic to prevent ink from bleeding. This made things difficult later, though. In retrospect I think gelatine would have been a better option. Then I drew in the "sea horse" with ink. The picture looked too empty.

Next I went all mixed-media and punched holes down the left side, stuck on those reinforcement-sticker things, and threaded them with shiny embroidery thread and beads. It still looked too empty. So then I decided to fill in the background with huge numbers of real sea creatures, past and present. Some of my favourites: the pansy shell, the Glaucus sea slug, the flying fish, and little Hallucigenia (the earlier interpretation, because it's more awesome) near the horse's eye.

All the background creatures were done in pencil, but the gum arabic made the surface so inimical to graphite that the process was more like engraving! It took ages, but the heavily textured end result made it worth it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy St. Helena

On Saturday afternoon I returned from An Expedition. An Excavation. In fact, An Adventure. The reason why I put off posting about it until today is that on the way home the question came up of who, exactly, the patron saint of archaeologists is, and one of the awesome people I met on the trip later found out that the answer is Saint Helena. To our great joy we discovered that her feast day (in the Roman Catholic Church) was the 18th of August, just around the corner. So in her honour I decided to wait until today to publish my archaeological post.

Somehow, I managed to come back from the trip with lots of pretty pictures of birds and flowers, but none of people actually digging. Instead of posting my photos from previous years (which feels vaguely as if it should break some sort of Bloggers' Code of Ethics), I'll give you links. Go and look at this page for all the background on the dig and who we went with. Also take a look at this archaeology blog, which belongs to Lu, another of the awesome people I met on the trip. (Hi Lu!)

Here's our camp at night. What I'll miss most from this time is lying in my tent, listening to the night sounds: the hippos gronking in the river (that's my coinage for the noise they make, not some kind of obscure swear word), the Egyptian geese cackling, the haunting whoops of the hyaenas, and, every now and again and the best of all, the distant roars of the lions.

Isn't he gorgeous? I'm excessively pleased with the misty, hipstermatic effect in this photo. It comes from the golden light of early morning shining through the dust on our windscreen. I had to confess.

Elephants are the most photogenic of animals. Also the only ones you still need to be afraid of when you're in a car.

This is a Longbilled Crombec. He was so curious and unafraid.

Impala lilies! (Adenium multiflorum). I have them (only just) growing in pots at home. Here it's warmer and they grow wild, and all the camps have them planted in their gardens.

Nymphaea capensis, or Nymphaea nouchali var. capensis. People can't make up their minds. Either way it's our indigenous blue waterlily, closely related to the sacred blue waterlily of Egypt.

Look in the river for more elephants. Archaeology and Africa are similar in this: Traditionally, both have been wildly romanticised. Now, more often, you see people try very hard to dissociate from the traditional stereotypes of romance and adventure. It's not really like that, we say. It's actually boring to live here, to do this. I'm a serious person, take me seriously. And yet the romance, the adventure, are still there.

I mean, just look at it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


So... the other evening I was sitting at the computer when my husband came home, said hello, wandered off to the kitchen, made himself tea, came back, and said "There are literally 11 police cars parked outside."

I think this particularly dramatic story needs to be told in the form of a, well, drama, and so from this point it will be.

ME: Literally as in "I literally died laughing" or as in literally literally?
HUSBAND: Literally. I counted.
ME: What?

ME peers out of the window. There is a police car. ME walks over to MOTHER.

ME: Mother, Husband says there are 11 police cars in the road outside. He counted.
MOTHER: Let's go outside and look!
ME: Are you mad?

We walk all around the house, peering out of windows.

ME: Let's go outside and look!

We open the back door, making sure that the dog doesn't get out, and creep round the side of the house. There are indeed a lot of police cars in the road. There are also heavily armed silhouettes standing in the bushes in front of the house.

ME: Sorry, can you tell us what's going on?
ME: Yes, um... what's happening?
COP: We're looking for a suspect.

Points towards a house. Happily, not our house.

ME: Thanks. Well... erm... I guess we'll go back inside now...
COP: I think that would be a good idea.

We slink back indoors.

And that was basically it. The cop cars stayed where they were for a couple of hours while we tiptoed around our house with most of the lights off, trying to get hold of my father and tell him to come home by the other road, and then they quietly drove away. We have no idea what happened, whether they got the suspect, who it was, what they did, or anything else. I just need to add two important things:

One, this is mainly for my international readers: Nothing like this has ever happened to me before! It was a really dramatic occurrence, particularly because it was so unusual.

And two, dear polite cop silhouetted in the bushes: Thank you for not shooting at my mom and me when we loomed out at you from the darkness. I would totally have shot me if I had been you. And much gratitude and support to all our police officers - your job is dangerous, difficult and disgustingly underpaid. And all the cops I've interacted with have been sweet, lovely people (see above). So yeah, thanks!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


nothing much interesting happens for months on end.

Other times, you get a rock concert and a stakeout in the same day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fanart, sorta

Somewhat obscure and oblique fanart. I get very oblique when I'm at my most fangirly, to try and protect my dignity.

This is part of my ongoing attempt to learn to draw people properly. I started with the quote underneath. It took me ages to get the lines perfectly misaligned, by feeding the page into an old typewriter at a slightly different angle for each line. I discovered that the typewriter has a setting where it doesn't use the ink ribbon. I'm not sure what it's for - possibly cleaning the keys - but I used it for the last line, where it produced an attractive blind-embossed effect. Of course the scanner didn't approve of that at all, and I spent hours on GIMP with the clone tool, trying to recreate the letters.

After the words were typed I drew in the figure. Originally the plan was to colour it and go mad with ink and so on, but now I like it so much that I'm afraid to touch it again. I figured that if I scanned it in and posted it it would gain some sort of permanence, so if I mess it up completely after this it's not a total waste.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Out of the attic: That thing you did in primary school

No, not the time you caught an outsized locust and kept it in your uniform dress pocket, so that when you had to say goodbye to the deputy principal who was moving to another school, you tried to shake hands with him using your left hand, because your right hand was fully occupied preventing the monster insect from escaping and jumping all over him. Oh wait, that wasn't you.
That was me...

No, I'm talking about that thing with the wax crayons, where you fill in the whole page with brightly coloured crayons, then cover it in black crayon and scratch through the layers to make your picture. Well, you know what?

Crayons suck.

While for the most part growing up tends not to be as great as we think it'll be (mainly, I think, because kids are never really taught to make meaningful choices, so as adults we just kind of drift into things), we do learn certain liberating truths, and this is one of the best: The art materials they give to kids are really horrible. The paints, the brushes, the coloured pencils, the crayons, all might as well have been specially designed to make us think we were no good at art. Those of us who persevered, learned something wonderful: out there, in the non-kid world, are proper paints. Proper brushes. Coloured pencils that actually leave a mark on the paper. And... no, not crayons. As far as I know, crayons pretty much always suck. But there's something much, much better - oil pastels!

So, if you're an adult and you don't think you're any good at art, try this: Go to an art supply store. Buy a box of oil pastels, or coloured pencils, or watercolour or oil paints and a brush or two. But here's the difficult part: get the most expensive brand of whatever medium you choose. Your well-behaved self will try to tell you that you simply can't. Don't listen to it. You're all grown up, you've probably blown more money than this on a haircut or a restaurant meal. You have no idea what difference quality makes, and here's the thing: it probably makes a bigger difference to a learning artist than to an experienced one. Picasso could create a masterpiece with one scratchy pencil, but bad materials quite likely taught you, way too young, that you're not an artist. Treat yourself to one box of really good oil pastels.

Now go home and play with them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So, I had this cardigan coat thing. I bought it about two years ago because I loved the buttons. Sadly, after hardly wearing it that winter, I realised that much as I loved the buttons, they made it look a little bit like a clown coat. Also, it wasn't that great for wearing open as it didn't have buttonholes, actually closing with giant press-studs that showed when not fastened. And if you can't wear a coat open around here, it's not likely you'll be wearing it very much. Plus, it was just a touch too big for me and the sleeves hung down over my hands. So I decided I'd have to do something to make it more interesting.

Here it is with the brand censored out (I'm sure they wouldn't like the clown comment). When I took this picture I had already removed the buttons and studs - I just balanced them in place here to show you what it used to look like. It sat in my pile of stuff-to-be-mended for a whole year, while I imagined learning to crochet and making sweet flowery edgings... but then I changed my mind.

You see, I'll buy with glee and wear to pieces anything that looks like it comes from one of my favourite movies, and a lot of my favourite movies tend to involve fighting, running, aliens, zombies, fighting aliens, running from zombies, vice-versa, etcetera. Which means that I'm guaranteed to fall for anything that's full of buckles and belts and pockets, and looks as if it were cobbled together some time after the apocalypse from an old pair of cargo pants and anything else that was unwise enough to wander past at the time.

So that's exactly what I did. The day after what some people thought would be the end of the world, I chopped up a pair of cargoes that had finally given up being pants (I haven't shown you the pants as they were because I know you'd know I was still actually wearing them right up to that point) and cut out the pockets, the waistband, and all the double seams with a bit of fabric on each side. Then I hemmed all the bits on a sewing machine and stitched them onto the cardigan by hand. I had to be careful, especially with the turned-up sleeves and the waistband, to bunch the knitted fabric together as I sewed. Otherwise the wool wanted to stretch out and go all curly at the edges. You can see it's still a little like that at the cuffs. So after much sewing and diligence....

Yay! I've been wearing the heck out of it since then. My mother thinks I'm odd. And the buttons? I'll just have to think of something to do with them...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Out of the attic: Lotus flower

Just a simple chalk pastel drawing from way back. Did you know that the lotus is most closely related to proteas and plane trees, and not at all to waterlilies?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

For Science!

I've been really busy lately. This, when one's income is directly linked to one's busyness level, is unquestionably a good thing. What's odd, though, is that this type of drawing, my main business really when I come to think about it, is seriously underrepresented on this blog.

This sort of thing. Let me introduce you - probably for the very first time - to Commiphora otjihipana. It's a new species in the genus of plants that includes myrrh, and it comes from the Kaokoveld in northern Namibia.

Shades of primary school. These are peas, beans and mealies that I'm sprouting in order to illustrate the germination process for a textbook/set of class notes/thing. That project involves over 200 drawings.

I adore scientific illustration, because I get to sit in a lab and use a microscope, and run around in the veld looking for things, and draw things that no one has drawn before, and feel all science-y. It also caters directly to my inability to stick to one thing. My university professors must have hated me for it. I was always trying to combine, compare, or mash together things that have never before been mashed. It's great. You avoid being bored, because you keep adding information from different fields. And when someone's better than you, you have the infallible comfort of going "Oh well, she can draw better than me, but can she analyse Hebrew verbs?" And the star ancient languages student can't dissect Commiphora flowers, and the botanist can't ride horses, and my horse-riding instructor... oh dear, I think she can do anything. Seriously.

But anyway, it's fun to dance around the edges of things - art/science, science/religion, all three at once. Even though people who prefer to stick firmly in the middle of their own patch and mistrust all others will likely think you flaky, dangerous, and possibly even quite dim, the edges are where the magic happens. (And how flaky did that just sound?)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The barely mediated contents of my brain

This is what happens when I'm sitting around with drawing materials and no idea of what I'm about to do. It started in the bottom left quadrant with a spontaneous phoenix and paisley explosion. Above the paisley is a city of bird people, the project of much more conscious thought and one of the last things I added.

As you can see, I'm a maximalist.

This painting was made with watercolours and a lot of black ink, and was bought by Lisa, which makes me happy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


What's your favourite road sign?

I bet you don't get asked that question very often. I have a very definite favourite, and on my way to Verlorenkloof, I had the pleasure - nay, the privilege - of spotting it in its natural habitat.

Isn't it beautiful? Such purity of emotion. Such endless possibilities.

Usually, this sign is qualified by a sort of subheading affixed to the pole beneath it: !Falling rocks. !Pedestrians. !Potholes. A sighting of it in its pure form gives me intense joy. Look out! Look out for what? I don't know! But look out! With an exclamation mark!

The best thing about my favourite sign is the images it conjures up in one's head. Images like this:

Or this:

Or this:

I say we have a meme. Is anyone with me?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Does anyone know what this character means?

So, at Saturday's market - nearly 300 cranes down, 700 to go! - I got a real, live customer who wants to buy this little still life in oils that I did some years ago. The thing is, she'd really like to know what she's buying, and sadly I have no idea. The candle was a present from my friend Lauren (hi Lauren!) and is labelled "Chinese pyramid small candle" which may help. Or not.

So... does anyone out there know what that character means? Of course I may have copied it wrong, but hopefully not egregiously so. Anonymous (whose mother is the customer, hi Anon and Anon's mom!) thinks it would be really funny if it means "candle".

I like this still life, it's got some of my favourite things in it - a shell bought in Cape Town when I was eight, the candle from Lauren, an amethyst candleholder given to me by my husband (then boyfriend), and jasmine, the very best smell in the world, in a vase belonging to my mom. All arranged on one of my nighties. Oh, the things that inspire us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The 1000 crane project

I didn't post on the day of the Sendai earthquake because I didn't know what to say. I still don't know what to say, but I figured out something to do. I'm folding a thousand paper cranes, because of the legend and cultural significance which the Wikipedia page explains better than I can. The way I intend it, it's sort of a prayer, sort of an offering - not at all meant to be magical or to affect events directly. But since one ought to affect events directly as well, I decided to also use it to raise money and moral support for those affected. Here's what happens: I take my cranes to the market that happens on the first and third Saturday of every month outside this gallery, I get people to make a donation and then write their name and a message on one of the squares of paper. It will take me about a month to fold them all, so I'll be there at the next one and possibly also the one after that. I collect all the cash in a shoebox, and I'm going to donate it online to the Japanese Red Cross. Once all the cranes, some with messages folded into them, are finished, I'm going to post them online here and wherever else seems appropriate, and also see if I can hand them over to the local Japanese embassy as a gesture of support.

How you can participate: Obviously, if you live around here, you can turn up at one of the markets in April and sign your bit of paper in person. If, for some reason, :) you can't make it to Pretoria in the next month, you can do the following.
  • One, donate any amount of money to any one of the charities doing good work in the area. Do it via someone who's collecting where you live, your local church, online, whatever you like. The Google crisis response page has a number of options. Also, here's a blog post with a number of useful links for figuring out where your money should go.
  • Two, once you've done that, post your name (if you want) and message in the comments here, and I'll write it on one of my bits of paper and turn it into one of the 1000 cranes. I don't mind how much or little you donate (on Saturday I got two rand from a little girl who was helping her mother sell brooms at the market. Her name and age are on her crane - Bonthle, 8 yrs). I also don't need any proof that you did donate. Just post your message and it goes on a crane.
Let's go!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

At last - a new picture!

I paid a visit to a little print shop, so now I have scans of some things I've been working on since my scanner/printer went bung. Here's one of them: one of my favourite plants in my garden. It's some sort of an iris-type thing. The plant itself is really big, and the flowers last for only one day, but they are the most perfect purplish-blue, and the markings on them are too wonderful.

Now they last for a day, I said, but that's on the plant. This painting was a race against time, as the moment I picked the flower its petals began to shrivel and curl up. The outer petals went first, so I painted them first. Then I did the inner petals (that look like antique blue-and-white Chinese porcelain) and the inside (a garish zebra-print rug) while the whole thing slowly but inexorably rolled itself into a little indigo blob like a sea anemone when the tide goes out.

That was one fast painting. I breathed a sigh of relief when it was finished, but one day I want to do a proper painting of the plant that shows how the flowers grow from communal buds that are held on the ends of flattened stems that look just like leaves.

Oh, and does anyone know what it is?

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is sooooo not what it looks like.

We have fleas.

The whole country has fleas, I think. I mean it: if you have a conversation right now, on any topic, with anyone who lives in my general vicinity, and that person has a dog, the conversation will at some point turn to fleas. Because of the hot, muggy, and unusually wet (blame those rain-dances of mine) summer this year, we are having a wave, a veritable Pharaoh-grade plague of fleas. They are on our cats, on us, but mostly on my poor little dog. And they're immune to all the normal remedies, it seems. In any case, none of the tablets, powders and spot-ons I've been encasing her in all summer have prevented her from becoming progressively more moth-eaten-looking from scratching them.

So, in desperation, and convinced that if I were to add one more chemical to the cocktail currently covering Kaori (phew!) she might actually keel over and die, I decided to research an old boereraat (folk remedy). Don't worry, I'm not under the fond delusion that "natural" necessarily means "safe, good and harmless". I did my homework on this remedy, and that's what inspired me to post about it. I was shocked, utterly appalled, at my previous level of ignorance about the marvellous plant known as khakibos (translatable as either khaki weed or frickin'-British-soldiers-weed).

update: a police van just drove past my window. I'm getting nervous.

Things I have always known about khakibos:

*It is named khakibos either because of its colour or because it was
brought over from South America in British soldiers' horse feed during the second Anglo-Boer war.
*It stinks.
*It's a weed.
*Everyone hates it.
*It is reputed to repel fleas.

That was enough for me to determine to rethink my relationship with the stinky stuff, and I turned to Google to help me ensure that it was safe.

Things I know about khakibos since googling it:

*It's actually a type of marigold, Tagetes minuta.
*People voluntarily eat it.
*People voluntarily farm it.
*You can use it to deworm horses.
*According to the Wikipedia page on the genus Tagetes, khakibos
is the source of an essential oil used in perfume, called tagette, and is also
used as a flavourant in the food and tobacco industries.

By this point my mind was reeling. I was having a khakibos epiphany, and I immediately put on my hiking boots and went out, armed with a large pair of secateurs, to find some. There was none at all in the first place I tried, a plot where a house is currently being built, but after a lot of searching I found two fat, healthy plants in an open veld near my house. It was as I was bearing them home in triumph that I had another epiphany.

Things I know about khakibos since going out to find some:

*It is much less common around here than it used to be.
*It looks a heckuvalot like dagga (marijuana).

So, my triumph rapidly turning into acute fear that someone would call the cops to say they had seen someone carrying large bundles of illegal drugs around the neighbourhood, I slunk back into my house. I chopped it up. It looked even more like dagga. I felt guilty. I put it in a large pot. I thought "pot" and giggled, pathetically, to myself. Then I boiled it up, cooled it down, and rinsed Kaori with it.

It turned her fur a bright greenish-yellow. This is not too obvious on her usually orangey coat, but I'd really, really love to see it on a white dog...

Things I still don't know about khakibos:
*Will it truly defeat The Fleas That Were The Real Reason For Hosni Mubarak's Resignation?

Watch this space.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

An expedition

So, for the past week I've been at the most wonderful place called Verlorenkloof. It's an annual thing where a few BAASA members from the Pretoria region get together and rent one of the crofts. I'm not really sure why they call them crofts. I think maybe it's because the people who go there tend to be into either hill walking or trout fishing, and that people who go to Scotland to stay in crofts tend to be into the same things...

Anyway, we go there to paint the plants, and there are always gorgeous things to be found. Look at these photos of the beautiful riverine forest:

The last one is the most beautiful little orchid, Stenoglottis fimbriata, that I'm working on right now. You need to rotate it to the right to see how it actually grows, but I liked the composition of the photo this way.