Friday, January 30, 2009

Love is in the air....

For the romantics out there. There's a great set in the current Summer Mini Catalogue called A Happy Heart. I've used it to make the Valentine's Day card above.

The heart stamp was stamped in Versamark onto white card stock (which had previously been rubbed with my Embossing Buddy) and embossed with white embossing power. I prefer this approach over stamping in white pigment ink and embossing with clear embossing powder as it gives me a sharper image. Then I hand cut the heart out, leaving a small border around it. I got my trusty sponge daubers out and using Pretty in Pink and Bravo Burgundy ink pads, I coloured the heart in varying tones:

From there it was an easy run, stamp the background in Bravo Burgundy ink onto the same coloured card stock. Use the new Scallop Edge Punch to make the scalloped edge, do some more daubing of edges and tie a ribbon. Done. I think Bravo Burgundy and Pretty in Pink go well together.

I'm hoping you had a more romantic Valentine's Day than I did. My Valentine's treat was an African Drumming Party for 30-odd children aged between 1 and 9 years old. It was raining of course, so it was inside a community hall. However, I was lucky enough to go stamping with my friends on Saturday night. I'll come back later to show you what I made then.

Love Crafty Kim

In-Colour Ink Pad Re-inker Reminder

I'm back to craft posts by way of this quick reminder that if you have purchased a Stampin' Up! ink pad from the current In-Colour range, consider buying the re-inker now.

The current In-Colour ink pads and re-inkers will not be on range after 30 March 2009. And stocks may be depleted in advance of this date. So, my best advice is, if you love one of these colours:

Purely Pomegranate (who doesn't like this colour?)
Blue Bayou
River Rock
Soft Sky
Wild Wasabi
Groovy Guava

then please buy the re-inker and you'll be able to use your pad forever. And puh-lease do it soon. At $4.95 (plus 5% P & H), there's really no excuse not to. Please email or phone me 0402 347 010 now.

Love from Crafty Kim

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We're Home

Just a very quick post to let you know that Leanne and I arrived safely back into Sydney after a long flight from Cape Town via Johannesburg. The flight was overnight and neither of us managed to sleep on the plane. But it was so good to see our families, especially the kids who were very excited. Actually, after the initial greeting, the kids moved on to racing each other with luggage trolleys but we had their attention for a good two or three minutes.

Of course, we're straight back into reality with getting kids ready for the start of the 2009 school year. And the post-holiday unpacking and washing, along with the jet lag. But we're not complaining.

It's back to crafting soon but once I have viewed and sorted my holiday photos, I hope to share a small selection of further pictures with you.

Thanks again to my blog viewers for your interest and comments. I have really enjoyed your contact.

Bye for now,

Love from Crafty Kim

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Cape Peninsula

This is possibly my last post from South Africa for a l o n g time (although I do want to return one day).
We took a day tour to the Cape Peninsula which is at the south-west corner of the African continent.

The scenery really does take your breathe away, especially if you fear heights. It was a clear sunny day and as we sat eating our lunch in the restaurant at Cape Point, a better view we could not have had.

The whole area is a national park and amongst other animals, ostriches roam by the sea.

I learnt that the above ostrich, being of dark feather, is a male. He sits on the ostrich eggs at night and hence he is well camouflaged while the female has grey/brown feathers and sits on the eggs during the day. The females look a bit like emus to my eye.

There are plenty of cheeky baboons in the area. Tourists are warned to lock their car doors as the baboons can open them. This is not my photo but I found it amusing:

Better go, plane awaits.

Love from Crafty Kim

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winelands Tour

Hi again from the beautiful Cape,

Leanne and I took a Winelands tour, not so much because we are wine enthusiasts, more to take in the beautiful scenery and historic towns. Although, it was frustrating not to be able to buy a few bottles and take them home.

We first went to Stellenbosch where we visited a general store that has been preserved in its original format. For example, dry goods are still sold from large sacks by the scoop full.

It was a very interesting browse. Afterwards we visited Jordan winery. Then we moved on to Franschhoek where we visited Dieu Donne winery:

Note the roses at the end of the each row of vines. They once were used as signal of fungal disease but are just there for decoration now. We had lunch before browsing the shops in the village.

Lastly, we visted Seidelberg Winery in Paarl. In the grounds there, we found this stone labyrinth:

They also have glass-blowing there and on the way to the bathroom, I found this unique flower:

It certainly was a lovely area and one in which you could easily spend a long weekend exploring.

Time for me to get to bed,

Love from Crafty Kim

Friday, January 23, 2009

First it was photos of animals, then water and now it's rocks

Belated hello from Capetown,

Sorry for the delay in communication, we've had all manner of problems here with phones and internet. Here we were thinking that we were headed back to a civilised city. Apparently there has been a major problem with ADSL in this part of the city. And as for my phone charger, it worked in Johannesburg, Kruger, Zambia and Botswana but not Cape Town.

But we arrived safely and happily back in South Africa. I don't think SA has a city more beautiful than Cape Town, it is definitely the place to be. They even have animals here, seals (at Duiker Island, off Hout Bay) and penguins (at Boulder Beach), both very tame and friendly:

Cape Town is famous for its Table Mountain which is a tall rocky plateau situated near the ocean. Leanne and I travelled up by cable car. We went up on a clear, still day but it is often cloudy and windy- in the first picture above, the top of the mountain is covered in a cloud formation, aptly named "the table cloth".

We have also been to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 20 years. As well as this we have taken day trips to the Winelands area and the Cape of Good Hope (the southern most tip of the Africa continent). Hopefully I will get time to post about these before I leave, ISP willing.
We are home soon, looking forward to catching up with family and friends and sleeping in our own beds. But a better holiday we could not have had.
Love from Crafty Kim

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Goodbye to the Animals of Africa

Hello to you all from Botswana,
We've had a great two days in Chobe National Park. Sadly, today was our last day out on safari viewing the wild animals. We've seen just about every animal we came to see so no complaints from me but I wish we could visit again easily.
Many of the animals we have seen have young with them. It is the wet season here is everything is lush green and there are many water holes. So the baby animals have the best chance of survival. Today we saw a baby zebra in Chobe National Park. I decided to include it here since the Plain Zebra (also known as Burchell's Zebra) is Botswana's national animal.
The last animal I saw before we left the park was a Hyena pup. The adults aren't very good-looking but my picture confirms that most babies are beautiful.

The staff at Elephant Valley Lodge have spoiled us while we have been staying here. If only we could get rid of the malaria-carrying mosquitos, it would be perfect. Leanne and I are both looking forward to stopping the malaria prevention strategies soon.
We're off to Cape Town in South Africa tomorrow. We will be staying here.
Talk to you soon from beautiful Cape Town,
Love from Crafty Kim

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flight of Angels

Hello from the mighty Zambezi River in Zambia,

Thanks to everyone who has left me comments or emailed me. The internet connection here is slow so I haven't been able to access my email lately :(

But we have arrived safely in Zambia and enjoyed a sunset cruise on the River. Unfortunately, the sky was overcast so there wasn't much sunset to view but we did see several hippos playing and the pace was very relaxing.

I feel like a millionaire here, the Australian dollar buys 3,400 Zambian Kwacha. But it is a relative expensive place for tourists, I think due to its distance from supplies and high government taxes.

We took a walk around the falls today (known by locals as "the smoke that thunders") and got very wet. It was very refreshing and I would have rejoiced in it except for concern over keeping my camera dry. The falls were magnificent and are much wider and taller than Niagara Falls. As expected, I took lots of photos.

The highlight of our morning was the Flight of Angels. I got to sit in the front seat of the helicopter which has floor to ceiling views. It was fun and fast but very worthwhile. It put the whole area in perspective for us.

Tomorrow we are travelling about 30km by road into Botswana to visit Chobe National Park. We will be staying at the Elephant Valley Lodge. I believe internet access is extremely slow from there so not sure when I can post next but you're in my thoughts.

ASHLEY, if you are reading this, I love you and miss you lots. Hugs and kisses to my boy.

Love from Crafty Kim

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Our Way to "Mosi-oa-Tunya"

Just a quick post. I am currently in the equivalent of the Qantas Frequent Flyer's Lounge at Johannesburg International Airport (membership thanks to Leanne's husband, Rob, who is a very frequent flyer). Soon we are flying to Victoria Falls, known to the local people as "Mosi-oa-Tunya".
The Victoria falls is 1,708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world. It drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute. The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialisation.
I had the priviledge of visiting Niagara Falls with my parents 25 years ago so am very keen to see how Victoria Falls compares. I believe there are also lots of hippos and crocodiles to view on the river. So, after taking something like 500 photos of animals, I'll soon be the proud owner of a couple of hundred pictures of water.
I will be staying on the Zambia side of the Falls since Zimbabwe is considered unsafe for tourists. I think this is where I will be for the next two days and night Zambezi Waterfront Hotel.
I hear that it is very very hot back in Australia so I hope you're keeping cool in the water or air-conditioning. I'll post again when I can.
Lots of love from Crafty Kim

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Afternoon Meeting with Savannah, the Cheetah

Hallo (no, that is not a typo, it is "Hello" in Afrikaans),

I am currently staying here and yesterday, I had the priviledge of meeting the resident cheetah, Savannah. She is 9 years old and wild in the sense that she lives on the reserve, hunts for herself and mates with the wild male cheetahs but she is very friendly with the humans. We saw her while she was eating so were not allowed to touch her but she was happy for us to stand right near her and watch. She even purred. We are told that she sometimes she climbs into the open safari vehicle with visitors and rides around with them, looking for her prey (and when she finds an unsuspecting animal, she leaps out - but you only see the dust, she is too fast to see - about 120 kmph). But we have not personally seen this.

All in all, it is amazing stuff. South Africa is in many ways similar to Australia excepting the wild life of course. But the landscape looks almost the same at times. And the weather warm and humidity. The people all speak English and Afrikaans. I like listening to the languages and accents.

I'm not sure when I can post again but next we are heading up to Zambia, to visit and view Victoria Falls. So hopefully I can report in after seeing this spectacular scene. If you've come here, looking for craft, please forgive this travel diversion.

I am missing home, especially my son Ashley and look forward to seeing everyone again. But in the mean time, we're having a wonderful adventure.

"Dankie" for reading and "Totsiens" for now,

Love from Crafty Kim

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hello from Africa

Well from Kruger National Park actually. I am currently located here. And here is where I will be sleeping tonight:

I can't write much as we are at an internet cafe with only one PC and my travel partner, Leanne, would like to check her email too before we go on our evening safari. I know, it is tough being an adventurer!

So this is just a quick post to family and friends to let you know that I have arrived safely in Africa and I am having a great time. Already I have seen many of the animals I came to see. The highlight of today was probably the elephants. We saw a herd of maybe 15 or more females, some with calves. Here is an example:

I am taking lots of photos with my new digital SLR camera, I'm really enjoying using it.

Hopefully I can right more tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who is sending me emails and SMS messages wishing me well, I really appreciate it.

Love you later,

Crafty Kim

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going On Safari

Hello All,

Well the day is almost here. Tomorrow my travel companion, Leanne, and I leave for Africa.

I hope to check my email on the road and pop in here to upload a post or two (fingers crossed). So, please come back to check my progress.

Remember during January, you have the opportunity to earn free stamp sets via the Sale-A-Bration Promotion.

Love you later, from the wilds of Africa,

Crafty Kim

Monday, January 5, 2009

Making Scalloped Squares or Rectangles with your Scallop Edge Punch

(Photograph and card design courtesy of Beate Johns)
Happy New Year everyone, hope your Christmas celebrations were Very Merry. Just popping in quickly in response to requests for a tutorial on how to make scalloped squares and rectangles using the new SU! Scalloped Edge Punch:

The beautiful card above is made using the new Eastern Blooms stamp set and the Scalloped Edge Punch, both of which are featured in the new SU! Summer Mini Catalogue. To learn how to make a scalloped square like the one below, just click on the picture below:

If you have any questions, please get in contact with me by email or phone 0402 347 010. Otherwise, have a think about investing in this new punch. It is very handy, much quicker than using a corner rounder punch to make a scalloped border and you don't need a separate punch or die-cutting system to make large scalloped squares or rectangles.

Hope this is helpful.

Love Crafty Kim