Monday, January 27

Australia! Land of...

I indulged my wanderlust and was in Australia this past Christmas holiday :) I was mainly there for my friend's wedding, so I took the opportunity to travel the's some snap shots of what I got up to, I'll try keep it concise. Oh, and I was solo tripping (being brave!), hence it's all scenery.

Beautiful sunset and the Opera House (from every angle! In Sydney there's no getting away from it!)

Weird flavour combo... I was curious about what this would taste like, and also it was fun to say!

Kookaburra! They are stocky little birds that made monkey noises! What's there not to like?!

Hehehehe. Some one must be making a joke. There's also a place called Woollomooloo and a suburb called Manly because apparently when the sailors fist landed there they found a tribe living there who were manly. I kid you not.

Koala, they look quite strange in real life. Seeing koalas and kangaroos up close made me realize that they really evolved separate from the rest of the world. Their faces are quite unlike any other mammals I've seen. Did you know koalas have 2 thumbs?

Birds that looked like tree bark!

I went for a walk in Canberra and encountered wild kangaroos! See them all looking at me intently? I was scared of some form of kangaroo stampede!

 I totally geeked out and went to tons of museums, these are some of my favorites...

Eeeeee! (insert much excited arm waving*) Their collection is amazing! Total dream for art students, works by famous artists ranging from impressionism, surrealism to abstract expressionism. There was Monet, Duchamp and Jackson Pollock! All the artists I studied and love! Erm, I sneaked some photos...

Miro! I am such a fan!

This is so playful! Lichtenstein also made a series of hay stacks at different times of the day in his comic style based on the haystack studies Monet made. I love the cross pollination of art :)

Holy crapamo! Its Chuck Close! This painting was huge, those railings come up to my thigh. When you are up close you can see every single pore and hair. I stand in open mouthed awe.

There was a sculpture garden outside - this is Rodin's Burghers of Calais!

Mysterious chrome cone things in the forest glade?

Heads in a pond :D oh modern art, you are so eccentric.

I also went to Melbourne, this was the forest on Mt Dandenong Sky High. It was beautiful, I have never been amongst such immense trees before.

I was with a family friend, we went cherry picking! The sweetest cherries ever! I totally stuffed my face.

On my last day I went to the Australia museum in Sydney. This place is so amazing it needs it's own post, but I'll show you some funny photos for now :)

Behold! The Demon Duck of Doom! Oh dear lord, I die of laughter ^_^ This is apparently some giant prehistoric duck that once roamed the land.

Heehee, square poop!

There was a dinosaur exhibit there, where I found these guys...

They had such funny poses!

I also went up the tower eye, you can see it's shadow here. This is Hyde park in town. Sydney has the best parks and botanical gardens.

So that concludes my Aus trip. All in all I really enjoyed Australia and traveling alone has been a refreshingly new experience. oh hey, I also went by China before returning home, so more travel photo spamming in the upcoming post!

Super useful site for Sydney public transport:
Wonderful website for affordable accommodation:

Thursday, September 26

The mighty pomelo!

I first discovered this fruit on the streets of Cyrildene (China town in Johannesburg). Their massive size intrigued me, so I bought one even though the man tasked to sell it wouldn't tell me what they were. After describing it to my parents over the phone I have a name! We call it "you zi".

More recently I have seen pomelos (thanks for the name shop signage!) popping up in all my local grocery shops - I like them, though I can only eat about a quarter at one time. It's wonderfully aromatic, a good balance between refreshingly tart and sweet citrus flavours! You can use them in salads and savory dishes too (kind of like your pomegranates, mangoes and peaches - hooray fruit!).

Thursday, September 19

Beard love

Weee I'm baaaaack! I went through some not so great times and temporarily abandoned my blog. But now I'm better and filled with springy positivity! I'm looking forward to early morning runs (without freezing my lungs), refreshing homemade smoothies, seeing sprouting greenery and mulberry season! I also love the longer hours of sunlight, my internal clock is strictly set to diurnal - travelling to and from work in darkness is not cool! My only trepidation with the warmer weather is the increase in the mosquito population - but upon discovering this nifty mosquito trap ( I feel like the odds have tipped in my favor! (I'll let you know how that goes...).

Anyway, I made this beard related comic recently. I'm totally envious of beards, if I could grow one I would rock a fu manchu beard for it's satisfactory stroking length whilst pondering (the primary use of a beard in my opinion).

Monday, April 22

Cake cake cake

Tis the theme of my 26th birthday, I reveled in cup cakes for the whole week, every where I went I was confronted by this delectable treat, I had cup cakes for breakfast, it was great!

I dragged Alex to Patisserie in Illovo last Sunday, go there! Its wonderful!

So many options...I have to go back and sample some more...

Hmm cheese favorite!

I went with the granadilla cheese cake, it did not disappoint! The best cheese cake I've had. I was happy because their cakes are frozen and then thawed, which made me skeptical, but the cheese cake was good in both consistency and taste. Alex ordered the cookies and cream cake and that was unfortunately a bit dry, but I must eat more cakes from there to make a proper judgement :D

What's this? My boss' wife made me cupcakes for my birthday! What a treat ^_^ and she blinged it up with all these sprinkles and edible glitter! They know me so well.

A cupcake smorgasboard! Tarryn also gave me cupcakes, these awesome rich chocolate and mint ones with  a gooey caramel centers omnomnonmnom... I also made cupcakes (the yellow one in the back) they are lemon poppy seed with cream cheese icing. My first time! I think they came out nicely, and the recipe (here) was quick and easy. Personally I would use less sugar next time and maybe more lemon zest, because I like a super intense lemon flavour. I used a standard cream cheese icing, but I think I will try the icing with the recipe next time (it uses lemon juice! More lemony-ness! raaa!)

Tuesday, March 12

Maropeng cradle of humankind Duhdun duuun!

During the holiday season last year we took a trip to Maropeng and the Sterkfontein caves! It's one of the places I've been wanting to check out, they've really vamped it up since my last visit on a primary school trip :) Ahhh the nostalgia...
How awesome is this building? It's like a giant burial mound from Lord of the Rings! Hehe.

They've really gone to lengths convey the history of evolution/beginning of the world - this is the entrance to the ice age! And you go on a boat ride! and get to touch real icicles and stuff!

I'm very impressed with the museum, the information is presented in interesting ways and there are many interactive mini games to engage with children. This is a great place for a school trip or a family with kids.

Some of these could be art installations!

It took us about 2 hours to get through the museum, and we didn't even read through everything, so there is a wealth of information on display there.

After you exit through the back of the building, there is a small play ground with a mini cave for the kids to explore! There is also a restaurant/bar on the roof for the grown ups, with an amazing view.

We also went down to the caves, which is in a separate location to the Maropeng museum. That part of the tour hasn't changed much, but it was nice to go see the real thing after learning about archaeology and fossils and such. Its not a very long tour, and there are some exciting areas where you climb through narrow spaces. It's not the most awesome or beautiful cave, because it been open for so long, plus miners used to harvest the limestone by cutting into and blasting away the cave walls. Still cool to be able to get so deep under ground though! My favorite part is the under ground lake, so mysterious and really fires up the imagination!

Kapow! Higher knowledge level achieved!

Sunday, March 10

organic lace painting

This is the second painting of this series I'm doing. I'm quite happy with how it turned out, discovering accidentally that I could sort of shade with the blue ink that I was using. Yes, still pandering to my obsession with lace, this time from a more cellular, organic angle.

This is both pictures living on my wall. You can find the older purple painting here

Friday, March 1

The rise of Bubble Boy

So I've been absent for the last few weeks, but for once it's because I have been really working my ass off! I reached mental twilight zones unattained since the student days and guzzled coffee like an insane person.
This is my entry for Festival International du cinema et la mer. I found that what I learnt from working at The Deli really helped me pull my project together, so I'm going to go through my process abit - it's pretty standard.

Firstly, after deciding on the story line, I made a story board. This helped me visualize how the action will play out as well as offering reference for how my scene will be framed once I start making elements.

Click for larger view

Then I made an animatic! I was not very good at this, because my timings did change when I started animating, but it's very useful in giving you a rough idea of how long your animation would be. I also gave this to my friend so he could start considering audio for the animation.

And here are some of my final boards!

And have a look at my final animation on vimeo!

I took on this project as an exercise to see just how productive I can be when I really push myself to find time for my personal projects. So no excuses now! It's the first animation I've made that's not work related since graduating, so I'm quite happy with it :)

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