20 February 2009

Migration time...new blog!!

So, a few may remember a short while ago I wanted to migrate to Wordpress but confusion reigned and I ended up staying with Blogger. Well, things have since changed and now I present to you: tails.co.za!!

This will be my new blog home, powered by Wordpress.org and I hope you'll continue to follow my blog from there!

Over the next week or so, you might see things changing...this is just me customising (yay!) my new blog so please bear with me.

Thanks everyone, for the support!! See you at tails.co.za

08 February 2009

Bonnie, Badger & Enya

Bonnie, Badger & Enya

Today was spent photographing a friend's pack of dogs: Bonnie, Badger & Enya.

It was a hot, sunny day, so location proved to be bit of a hassle as there was very few spots of shade for us to play but we did what we could, the dogs taking frequent water breaks (which I later knelt in all the dribbled puddles. Sigh. All in a day's work hehe).

The dogs were great, very well trained, if not too well trained. They never took their eyes off their beloved, but still gave me some awesome shots. Enya is the most recent addition to the pack, having being rescued from DARG. She's around 6 years old and has the most adorable temperment and really landed with her bum in the butter with her family!

So, before you all die of impatience (um, well I'd like to believe the anticipation is that strong ok!), photos:






Enya Paws

Enya Paws

Bonsai photos

After much procrastination, I finally got around to taking some photos of our bonsais in their beginning stages. After even more procrastination, I'm finally uploading them and blogging about them haha.

My bonsai - dont make fun of his braces haha

The bf's bonsai

Still much work to be done, but they're only nearly 1 month into training...will keep updating every month or so. The wire on my bonsai should be coming off within the next two weeks, so hold thumbs the training took.

05 February 2009

Meet Margerita!

Margerita, the flamboyant, gay, Mexican/Latino octopus who loves to party!

Sometime last year I found a blog written by a girl who goes by the name Futuregirl. Her blog, being very well written and captivating, enthralled me enough to read it from start to finish. Amongst her lovely postings, was this adorable octopus who made a few appearances under the names Sigmund the Octopus and Octophrost, Santa of the Sea.

By the time I found it, her pattern was available, free of charge! What luck! I quickly downloaded, and then proceeded to take weeks to finally get around to buying the material need. Our material store had a limited selection of felt, but nevertheless I took ages deciding on what colours. I settled for a cheery, citrus green and yellow.

The material sat in my flat for a few days, what with me being the Queen of Procrastination and all, and eventually I got around to buckling down to make this octopus.

The pattern itself is fanstastically written, but I tend to overthink things and got flustered with the how-to's of everything. Of course, futuregirl anticipated this happening to people (not me specifically, I'm sure) and made a tutorial on whip stitch. Yay!

After sewing and stuffing and sewing and stuffing, with the occasional frustrated grumble and bad stitching, I eventually got to the sucker part. No really, I mean sewing on the suckers. I threaded the needle, knotted the floss, sewed my first thread, put on a sequin, put on a bead....and realised my needle was far too thick for this little seed bead. Sigh. So, for every 48 beads, I hand-threaded each and every one onto the thread. Some of them even twice (after finding out there were two sequins instead of one, or the bead fell off, etc etc). Yes, I hand-threaded my octopus. Futuregirl, for the sake of people like me who dont think ahead, you might want to mention either a bead needle or beads that are large enough for a normal needle on your pattern haha.

Whilst finishing up on the last few touches, I was thinking of his name. Bonsai. But try as I might, he just didnt look like a Bonsai. So after more thought, I decided I'd call him Margerita. But, that named seemed rather feminine for him. So with more thought, I made him into a flamboyant, gay, Mexican/Latino octopus who loves to party. I even have his voice in my head (sounds like the hermaphrobot from Futurama in the episode "Fry and the Slurm Factory"..."Why you so stupid, stupid?")...

And so, Margerita was born! A huge thanks to futuregirl!!! You rock!!

25 Random Things

Here's the deal: Once you've read this, you are supposed to write a blog post with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, comment on the blog you read this on, to let them know to read yours!

1 - I was in a car accident with 3 other people on night of my last Matric exam. Only injuries sustained personally were torn leg muscles from the back seat crushing in (we rear ended that huge mo-fo poll on Hospital Bend at around 100km/h) though the tow truck assumed at least one of us were dead. Luckily no one was.

2 - I witnessed a death on the 29th Feb last year, where my best friend's sister passed away after being in a coma for 6.5 days. There were four of us by her bedside as she crossed over, and it's still one of the biggest moments of my life. Nothing can prepare you for the impact it makes actually being there and witnessing the death. Almost a year later, I'm still working through it, but I try keep a part of Elena with me by living life as she would - with no regrets.

3 - I am extremely sentimental, I keep almost everything, and if I pick something up that I'm looking to buy, I have to buy the one I picked up. I cant put it down and pick another of the same lest I hurt my objects feelings, who was obviously excited to be the one out of all its mates to get a home.

4 - I once got "Bad Brad"s, the guy from the first Big Brother SA, autograph. He came in to see my aunt at her work (travel agency) and she asked him for it for me. Thanks, Didi!!

5 - I'm probably one of the kinkiest people you know, even though you didnt know it!

6 - I have a few dreams: to visit Australia, to own a pet shop, and to be a successful photographer.

7 - I went cage-diving in Gaansbaai for my 19th birthday - it was amazing, and if it wasnt so expensive I'd definately go again. Though despite not usually getting sea-sick, the ride home was rough so I'd definately take something the night before.

8 - I'm feeling very broody lately :P

9 - I am extremely creative and I bore easily (myself, hopefully not others haha!). I enjoy card-making, graphic design, photography, cross-stitch, bonsai, colouring-in, and recently, sewing felt stuffies.

10 - I bought my car cash three years ago (R28,000). I worked part-time and saved throughout high school, paid for my driving lessons myself, paid for my drivers test myself, and am proud of it!

11 - I'm not that thrifty when it comes to spending. I'm an impulse buyer and curse it!

12 - My hair is naturally curly (ok, some of you from primary & high school will know this. In fact, in Matric, my headmaster called me into his office one day whilst I was passing by, only to show me the photos he was going through: he even pointed out my curly fringe from Std 6 and laughed!! Dont worry, I wasnt offended and laughed along with him :)

13 - I frequently wish I could be a tidier person. Every day I'm still trying to remind myself, put it away when you're done with it. At this moment, however, the kitchen is in a mess, the lounge pillows are all over the place, and there are clothes on the floor in the bedroom. Sigh.

14 - I cannot handle weakness. Maybe this is a weakness in myself? But either way, I cant deal with weakness in people, no matter how hard I try. I also hate inefficiency.

15 - I frequently correct people if they say "gotten". There is no such word, the Americans made it and use it, the correct term is "got". Plain and simple!

16 - I am terrible at imitating accents.

17 - I adore reading, and probably pay for most of the library's saleries with all my late fees since I take out all 7 books at a time. I also sometimes love going back to my childhood and read The Famous Five, and The Magic Faraway Tree from time to time.

18 - I have a belly ring, my ears are pierced, I have a tattoo of a spider-web on my lower back, and I had my tongue pierced twice (or was it three times?). I want another tattoo of a rat, but I'm unsure of where to put it.

19 - I like Crocs. Get over it.

20 - I'd love to learn a language. Either Spanish, Latin, or Portuguese.

21 - I absolutely loathe having strangers in my house! Or having builders near my house. Wherever I am, something always gets stolen or gets broken or just simply goes wrong!

22 - If I won the Lotto, I'd donate a percentage to animal charities, pass some to my family, buy a house & car, and use the rest to start a business. If there's any left over, I'd take my family and I on holiday.

23 - My sister and I periodically Do The Dance Of Joy. If you ever watched Perfect Strangers, you'll know what I'm talking about.

24 - I like Nutella, but I'm too cheap to buy it.

25 - My dream date would consist of time spent laughing, a tub of Bar-One ice cream, an Italian dinner with sushi starter, and there would be a slight warm breeze or none at all.

02 February 2009

A carriage ride of relaxation...

So I'm a little late in putting this out there, but its still a great memory, so I have to blog it. The Sunday before last, my dad treated the family and a few friends to a horse-drawn carriage ride (18-seater) through our CBD. It was mainly organised for my mom, who's been through so much with her sister's passing, and has had to deal with so much (sorting Didi's possessions, etc since Didi wasnt married) and needed some time to relax.

After keeping it a secret from my mom and our friends for the whole week, the day finally arrived. The carriage ride started the Castle of Good Hope where we (by special arrangement) had a few drinks on the wall before setting off.

Moving through the Castle gates

The ride continued along the streets where people waved and took photos. I cannot fault them, as I too would be grabbing for my camera if two Percherons clamoured by drawing a huge carriage. They really were a gorgeous sight! The ride itself was rather bumpy, especially when moving over speedbumps and parking lot entrances. Some of us had drinks of wine and/or champagne on the ride (again by special arrangement) but luckily nothing spilt. Please dont think me conceated mentioning 'by special arrangement' here and there, but I do so for two reasons. One, I dont want to mislead anyone who might want to hire the carriage, and two, it truly was a special evening, not one every person can experience, and I like to treasure that. Its not me being conceated, but rather just over-excited at such an opportunity.

About half-way though, we had a brief stop along the beach where we got out and I took photos of the family infront of the horses...well, those who were brave enough haha. The horses were also very relaxed and obliged my camera and I by yawning repeatedly...photos can be seen below!

The BF in front of Monty (left) & Light (right)

Myself in front of Monty (left) & Light (right)

After that we headed back and by sheer luck, I was awarded the privelage of actually driving the carriage! It was nerve-wracking to say the least to take the reins of two gigantic horses and have them listening to your instructions. Our driver, Joseph, quickly took over when the horses started veering to the right into the next lane of traffic. Whoops!

On returning to the Castle, 2 hours later at around 8pm, we attempted more drinks on the wall, but alas it was too windy, so we returned to the garden where we set up our picnic dinner (special arrangement) and toasted our wonderful hosts and my dad who organised it. Sushi and various other finger foods were shared amongst everyone, and champagne and/or wine all round!

The evening ended at around 10pm, where everyone left very happy and relaxed, with memories of a time well spent with loved ones.

More photos from the trip:

The view of the beach to our right

Rumbling down the streets of Seapoint

Light giving us a yawn

Monty giving us a yawn

Monty, "Wazzuuuup!"

The view from the Castle wall, 8:30pm

Inside the Castle garden, approx. 9:30pm

29 January 2009

I get my back into my living....


So, I'm feeling rather excited today - I've been working on my business cards! As I might or might not have mentioned, I offer a photography service: Weddings, and now Pets.

Pet photography has always been a great love of mine, and what better way to spend a day, than gamboling with various pets! I simply love capturing them in their element, capturing the quizzical expressions, and seeing the look of the owner when he/she views the images. I simply love it! So, I've decided to focus more on promoting myself in this regard, and have finally stepped up to the plate to design a business card! About bloody time, if I do say so myself! I do get people asking me for cards when I tell them about my small passion, so the time is right!

Now, as I said, I also do wedding photography. This is a rather difficult area to break into, as although the market is saturated with "wedding photographers" (I use quotation marks because these days, anyone with a camera is a wedding photographer), its difficult to actually get people to book you. Without people booking you, you dont have a portfolio, and without a portfolio, people dont want to book you. Its a catch-22 situation. Sigh. But, nevertheless, I will prevail!

I am designing two main business cards, one for wedding clients, and one for pet clients. Its simply not possible for me to put all my details on one card, and appeal to both brides and pet owners, without compromising one or the other. Although, and this only came to me right now, I could have each "card" on each side. Wedding on one side, pets on the other...hmmm......

But for now, I've designed a pet card I'm proud of! Every time I look at it, I smile and feel happy and confident. And best of all, its got my Gizmo on the card (see photo above)! She's so gorgeous! Will post examples of them when I've had them printed!

Still need to blog about a carriage ride I had on Sunday (was fantastic!) and post a photo of my bonsai haha its still alive - yay!

Title chosen from CSI's theme song, "Baba O'Riley", performed by The Who, from the album Who's Next.

24 January 2009

I am a Bonsai expert!

The entrance to the bonsai garden

Ok not quite, but I do know a little more about the practical side of Bonsai keeping than I did before today. Haha!

So, as I said in the last post, myself and the bf were attending a bonsai class today, which we did. The bf nodded off once or twice (our instructor spoke rather softly haha) but we both enjoyed it thoroughly. If thats all you wanted to know, you can stop reading and move on to your next blog, but if you wanted to know more about the day itself, keep reading.

We managed to be on time for a change, and got there nice and early, found a spot on the lawn, set up our chairs and sat down. The first couple of hours were spent listening to various points about bonsais and bonsai-keeping, from their history, to the styles, to the tools. Then we took a short break from sitting, and were escorted through the bonsai garden where our instructor explained the different trees and techniques.

On our return, we had some tea and/or coffee and biscuits and then continued our lesson. We went over more aspects of bonsai, including an in-depth look at the soil options, fertilisers, how trees gather nutrients (hmm, reminded me of high school biology!), general caring for your bonsai, and potting, pruning, and wiring (as well as had a short demo, which proved very helpful). We broke for lunch and potting our own bonsai's were next on the agenda!

Choosing our bonsais was fun, as we had a bunch to choose from, and then it was on to finding its style. To do this, you have to clear away the soil from the base to see what the root system is like. In bonsai, you want to give a feeling of age, so you need to make sure you're showing the start of the main roots, and base which was previously under soil. Once thats completed, you select a "front" for viewing the tree and start pruning - you might want to take your time on that part. Once you've pruned (selectively and probably not enough, if you're anything like me), its time for wiring. The wire must be properly anchored before you continue, which either means its stuck into the soil and wound around the tree twice, or if wiring a higher branch, wound around a lower branch before moving onto the branch you want to shape. The thickness should be slightly tougher than the branch you want to bend/shape.

Once your soiling, planning, pruning and wiring is finished, you loosen it from the pot and once its out, you remove as much soil as possible from the root system. Trim down a small percentage of the outside roots (and the tap root, if necessary), and you're ready to pot. Bonsai pots have either one or two holes, and you have to place a piece of plastic mesh over them to prevent the soil from draining out. Once thats done, cover the base with a little soil, in goes your bonsai, then fill and pack with more soil.

Once its properly packed (not too tightly, mind you) then its time to (gently) dunk your bonsai into a bucket of water. This is a sure-fire way of making sure all the gas pockets are pushed from the soil. It's complete when no more bubbles eminate from the submerged soil. You remove your pot and watch how the water drains. It should take no longer than a minute at the most (mine took about 20-30 seconds). You now add moss and gravel to decorate. Incidently, the moss never should cover more than 40-50% of your bonsai's base. After you're happy with that, you're done!

Once everyone had finished, we said our thanks, and were free to leave or wander around if we wished. I'd definately recommend a bonsai course to anyone wanting to get a more hands-on feel for bonsai keeping. I felt very nervous at the prospect of starting my own bonsai alone, but now after the course, I feel confident to start another, should I find one.

One of their main group plantings

A cascade-style bonsai

Some of the roosters and hens and chickies roaming about the nursery

Cleaning and detangling the root system before potting

Another couple putting the final touches of moss and gravel on their trees

That same couple took their two trees and joined them together. Over time, these trunks will merge to make one large, thick trunk.

Some of the finished bonsais...the bf's one is in the middle

Most of the finished bonsais from the day! Mine is the dark, rectangular pot in the front row. You cant see it too well in the photo, but I decided on a slanting/leaning style due to the natural way the roots were formed.

22 January 2009


Ficus Fig Tree Photo from Bonsai4me.com

So every few days I think about something to write, and then I always seem to put it off, thinking I'll be adding more news the next time I post. I'm not sure why I do it, but this will be the year I try my best not to procrastinate! Hold thumbs for me!

"Yea yea, but why are you excited?", you ask. I'm doing a bonsai course with the bf this Saturday. Also Viia and her bf/my cousin will be joining :) I'm uber excited, even though I have to wake up at sparrow's fart to get there (its a long drive and the course starts at 9am sharp!).

I think I did mention this in a previous post, but its R550 per couple and you get a manual, a bonsai each, and a day's worth of schooling. Its a little odd that you have to supply your own snacks/drinks and even your own chair though. I mean, for that price, surely they can invest in 10 chairs or something?? If you book late, bring your own chair, but if you book early, you get a seat provided? I dont know, just seems odd. But, I'm still excited and by Sat eve will be owning my own bonsai tree (probably Ficus/Wild Fig, as this is what they told me over the phone).

12 January 2009

Didi, my aunt, my angel

Diane (you'll always be Didi to me!)
16 May 1960 - 09 Jan 2009

This is a very difficult post for me. On the 9th of January 2009, I had to say goodbye for the final time to my beloved aunt. She passed away at 8:45pm after a long battle with cancer, which she very nearly overcame.

Memories of this beautiful woman will be with me forever. She's been in my life pretty much since I was born, and has always, always been there for me when I needed her. My sister and I lived with her for a while when we made the move from JHB to CT, and since then, I've always looked up to her. She was, is, my role model. The beauty this woman had inside her is difficult to voice, and it pains me that she was taken so soon. Her ability to love unconditionally, her compassion, her ability to forgive, everything about her is inspiring. I use present tense as I write this, because she will continue to inspire me throughout my life, as she did before.

I remember her voice clearly, especially her using my full, hyphenated name, which I rarely used, often opting to go by the shorter version. She always addressed my cards to my full name, and only in the past year have I started doing the same. Her laughter will forever ring in my ears, including her unique snort. Her laughter was infectious, I adored it. There were so many things I loved about her, too many things to write down. Even if I could, it saddens me that no one would fully understand just how special she was.

She had many dreams, some of which were mirrored by me. She loved animals, and gave extensively of herself to the benefit of animals in need in whichever way she could. Her kindness is something I wish to keep within myself, and always remember her for it.

Didi, you were taken from me far too soon. I cried so much by your bedside, but I know you are in a better place. Your heart needed to be free, and you are now reunited with those who passed before you. May they hold you close and keep you safe until we meet again. I am thankful for the time we spent together, the wise words you gave me, and the special bond between us. I'm thankful I got to know you properly, adult to adult, and it breaks my heart that you wont be around for my milestones like getting engaged, married, and having kids. I will tell my children about you, though my heart breaks knowing they will never know one of the greatest person I ever had the privilage of sharing a world with.

Didi, you taught me so much, and you will never know how much you will be missed, though I know you'll always be there by my side in spirit. I shall still speak to you, as I always did, and I will treasure my memories of you. You were such an amazing person, and you fought (however stubbornly) to the bitter end. You gave us all a chance to say goodbye, and I can never tell you how grateful I am to have spent those quiet moments alone by your bedside, watching over you. You were so beautiful right up until I left you. I was told you even looked beautiful in death, which I have no trouble believing.

Rest in peace, Didi. Thank you for a lifetime of happiness. I will never, ever forget you and I love you so much more than words can express. I still cant believe you're gone, but you live on inside all of us. Until we meet again...say hi to Brutus, Cleo, and the rest of the gang for me! I know they we're ecstatic to see you!

A special moment between you and Munchkin, that I captured - I'm not sure if you ever got to see this photo...

02 January 2009

Happy New Year

The view from our New Year's Booze Cruise

So unfortunately, (or is it fortunately), I dont have any photos from New Years Eve itself, but rest assured a great time was had by all! ;)

We were invited out to the Misverstand Dam by a Warwick, a friend of the bf's, and we happily agreed to go! Its a holiday resort with, well, a huge dam where people can waterski/wakeboard/swim/fish/etc. The last time I was there was around 9 years ago so I was keen to go back and see what had changed.

The evening was started with a "Booze Cruise" in our hosts' speedboat, where we anchored few km's out into the river. After being joined by two other boats and tying them together, we were ready to bring out the booze and chill. Most of the time was spent bobbing about in the river with our lifejackets being worn as nappies which enabled us to sit comfortably with our drinks in hand whilst floating about. I'm sure we all looked rather silly, but it was great fun!
After about an hour or two, we headed back, had a braai and got ready for the party ahead, which was a little rougher than I thought haha! My poor bf got two drinks spilt on him whilst we were inside dancing, so we ended up hanging out outside the place with a bunch of other people. Drinks were flowing and being passed around and thankfully I actually didnt get drunk! My drinks for the evening were as follows: 3x glasses of Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc Brut Champagne (though I may be incorrect about which champagne exactly - its the only label that looked familiar now), numerous swigs of champagne from the bottles being passed around (by people I knew, not just anyone haha), 1x SoCo & Lime, 3x Redds, 1x Jagermeister, 3x Jagerbombs (Jagermeister & Red Bull), swigs of tequila from a bottle being passed around, swigs of Po10cy (a caffine-fueled alcholic shooter), and a swig or two of a double brandy and creme soda.

Ended up going to bed at around 2am and woke up at around 9.30ish and had a fantastic breakfast of bacon and eggs! Then got ready to take the bf out to learn how to wakeboard!! Warwick graciously taught the bf to wakeboard, and by his 3rd try he was up!! Albeit for about 3 seconds hehe but on the 5th time he had an awesome ride of a good minute or few, which sound short, but really isnt while you're out there - I was so proud of him! He eventually tired and let go by choice, sinking graciously into the water, giving me a nice photo op! Then we headed home to laze about for the rest of the day. Another quieter booze cruise followed later that afternoon, where I took my camera along and got some scenic photos. We left promptly afterwards as the sun was setting and the drive back home was a long one, and got home at around 9.30pm. My bed never looked so good before! Hehe.

So, I hope you saw in the new year in a great way, and may the best of last year be the worst of this year!

The view from our place

The bf learning to wakeboard

Comfortably going on his 5th try!


Yes, I was there too ;P

Our host, Warwick, going Titanic-style

More photos in Recent Photos...