29 November 2009

Oliver and the Apples

Last weekend I wrote about the auction for kj's Wishes and Dreams Foundation - see post here. Everyone who got involved was really generous and four hundred and fifty dollars were raised that weekend! Fantastic! The winner of the auction for my painting was none other than.... a parrot!! And not just any parrot either!! Oliver, the larger than life, Congo African Grey Parrot, to be precise! He and his owner, Debra Kay had battled it out with BT to win a 'surprise' painting by me!! When he realised he had won, Oliver was very excited and immediately sent me an email telling me all about himself and what kind of painting he would like!

So without further ado, I have great pleasure in presenting........

drum roll please .........................


a watercolour painting of a parrot, commissioned by a parrot for a parrot!!

As you can see I've included the crown you so desired, Oliver, and your favourite snacks! I do hope you like it - I had fun researching Congo African Grey Parrots and eating apples!! By the way, the crown is really gold and VERY shiny in real life - the scan simply doesn't do it justice! Click image to enlarge, then click again to magnify more to view in detail!

26 November 2009

Etsy shop - SALE + Free shipping this weekend!

Hello! A little bird told me ...

that there's FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING ON ALL ITEMS in the etsy shop


there's up to $20 discount on selected jewellery items!!

Starting Friday 27th to Monday 30th November inclusive!!!

P.S. Last day for shipping before Xmas will be Friday 4th December, so hurry on over soon and take a peek at what's on offer!!

23 November 2009

On the Jim Thompson Trail - Cameron Highlands

photos : http://www.jimthompson.com/

Perhaps those of you who have travelled in the Far East will have come across the name Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King. Jim Thompson single handedly revived the cottage industry of silk weaving in Thailand during the 1960's and was renowned throughout the region for his expansive nature and gracious hospitality. His house by the klong in Bangkok was always full of good food and good cheer and today his spirit lives on in silk emporiums, the Jim Thompson House and museum and restaurants throughout the far east.

But - did you know, that this man disappeared without trace one evening in March 1967 in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia?

Moonlight cottage http://ipohtalk.com/camerons/camerons.html

Thompson was visiting his Singaporean friends the Lings at Moonlight Cottage. Following a picnic on Mt Brinchang, he and his friends went back to enjoy a siesta and then he simply vanished. Stories about his mysterious disappearance abound - there are numerous theories as to why Thompson was never seen again, some plausible and others complex and far-fetched. For example, many believe that he was kidnapped for his previous involvement in spying activities. Others reckon it is more likely that he was eaten by a tiger, murdered in a botched robbery, or fell into an aboriginal animal trap (a pit with a spike) and buried by the the local people (Orang Asli) when they discovered what had happened. It has also been said that he may have eloped with a beautiful local girl! Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain Thompson's disappearance and there were some reported sightings of him after his disappearance, but what happened to him still remains one of the greater unsolved mysteries of Southeast Asia.

Map of the highlands

Well, a visit the Cameron Highlands is certainly not complete without a search for the legendary Jim! We recently spent a couple of days in this beautiful cool region which is 3 hours drive north of Kuala Lumpur. Whilst there we followed the Jim Thompson Trail which was not far from our hotel , the Cameron Highlands Resort. Our guide (one of the original search party back in the 1960's) provided us with an interesting short trek through the jungle, peppered with stories about the legendary Thompson and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna of the rain forest. Unfortunately, I don't have many good photos as the late afternoon light in the forest was dim and our guide set a cracking pace!! We saw a lot of trees, fungi, ferns, ginger plants, bamboo, rare orchids and animal tracks. We heard many birds and insects and babbling streams, but we didn't find Jim!

At ground level fascinating fungi. This one's a Stinkhorn fungus - see my blog post here.

Magic mushrooms!

statuesque ginger,

and small bright flowers.

Tree trunks and branches are festooned with wet moss,

orchid plants

and ferns

Cameron Highlands was named after William Cameron, a British Government surveyor who discovered it in 1885 whilst on a mapping expedition (on elephant back!) of the Titiwangsa range. However, he failed to mark his discovery and it was not until 1925 that Sir George Maxwell recorded Cameron's discovery and decided to develop it as a hill resort.

Mock tudor buildings abound in the Camerons!

The fame of Cameron Highlands grew during the colonial era. The British were attracted to this cool hill station; its climate tailor-made for nostalgic reconstructions of English cottages, narrow village lanes, invigorating hikes through the countryside, rounds of golf and afternoon tea and scones accompanied by jam made from locally grown strawberries.


Tea Plantation

British planters soon realised the potential of its fertile mountain slopes for growing tea, then a prized commodity. Cameron Highlands is still home to many tea plantations, as well as strawberry and vegetable farms, jungle trails, cascading waterfalls and rose gardens.

We visited the verdant Boh Tea plantation.

Tea pickers

Tea plant

The production process

Various grades of tea

Flowers in the plantation gardens

Our hotel room

Late night snack!!

Highly recommended holiday destination!

Art Exchange

I had a mail box brimful of envelopes last week!! Look what I received in the art exchange I've recently taken part in!

Thank you Vicki and Susan! Matching colour schemes!!

Thank you
Shirley, Cecilia and Stacey

and thank you Monica!

This has been such fun to take part in - thank you Joss for inviting me!

22 November 2009

Auction for the Wishes and Dreams Foundation

My lovely friend kj over at Options Asscociates has set up the 'Wishes and Dreams Foundation' to help others less fortunate. Today over at her blog there is an auction! I am contributing a watercolour painting and Marianne has already made a beautiful Mandala. These are to be auctioned off to the highest bidders. If you'd like to help the Wishes and Dreams Foundation (you don't necessarily have to join in the auction) it is possible to contribute in various ways. Kj has all the information over at her blog, so please do pop in to get all the details of this really worthy cause.

By the way, I haven't decided on a subject for the painting yet but will discuss this with the person who wins - if you've been following my blog you'll know the sort of work I do!

21 November 2009

New Kits on the block



I've been wanting to show you my new kitties for a while now, so without further ado, please meet Charlie and Bob. Both were adopted from the local vet - we only went for one, but couldn't leave the other behind all alone... Poor Bob, he only has one eye and we think he may have been treated badly in the past as he is taking his time trusting us. Despite the lack of an eye he really is a quite a handsome furry fellow with bent and fluffy tail - he is greedy too and polishes off every scrap, including Charlie's rations! Charlie is much leaner (no wonder!) and is also very handsome - he's a ginger panther! He is very loving and relishes a comfy lap!

HRH Tia, ( ' Oh, Black and White One') is not amused by their arrival on the scene and till recently has been avoiding them as much as possible, taking her meals alone, by room service in the spare bedroom!

Bob is intrigued by Tia, follows her around the garden and dearly wants to be friends!

Tia, on the other hand has no time for young whippersnappers and sticks her tongue out!

Well, raspberries to you too then!

And back! I win!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin