To Market, To Market…And Stay on the Left!

Sawubona (hello in SiSwati)

After feeling cabin fever at home for weeks in Mbabane without a car while awaiting paperwork to buy one, we finally tracked down a rental car company, so I’ve been exploring!  Sitting on the right, driving on the left, and shifting gears with my left hand has proven to be an exercise in concentration. Add in the free-roaming cows and pedestrians who loiter in the middle of the roads and highways, and you have a driving challenge, I tell you!

There are so many wonderful markets, from vegetable stalls to arts and crafts, hand-woven baskets, and blown glass. Here are a few recent finds:

Elephant painting by local artist, Pia Smith.

IMG_1410 The Swazi Candle Factory is well known in South Africa for their intricate designs. The tables outside of the shop were full of beautiful hand-made carvings and batiks

The path to Yebo Art Gallery, a new favorite creative spot to visit:

A peacock showing off near Ngwenya Glass, Swaziland’s premiere glass-blowing boutique

Local table decor to spruce up our very beige dining room (flowers are from our yard): IMG_2834The stone carving below is by an artist named Moses, who explained how the “Big Five” are emerging out of a tree.  The baskets were made by a woman named Patricia, who has a fierce love of America and our President, (whose portrait was worn proudly on her skirt, perhaps not in the most reverent place).

and lastly, a home-cooked meal made with all locally-sourced ingredients. The avocados here are especially abundant and delicious.


Until next time, enjoy the ride, no matter the mode of transportation…


Sala kahle,


Art and Soul Retreat

Welcome Book and mask I decorated to take with me

Welcome Book and mask I was sent to decorate before arrival

I attended the 2013 Virginia Beach Art and Soul Retreat this week. It was a fantastic experience, however,”retreat,” (synonymous with “relaxing” in my mind), may have been a misnomer in my case, as these were intense days of art classes. Great instructors, lots of notes, and oodles of new techniques. Great environment to be around so many talented and inspiring creatives, and to commit so much time to art.

Art and Soul 2013

Course Names and Postcard

Day 1: Catherine Anderson, photographer. Love, love her teaching style and techniques. This was my favorite day!  We made journals centered around the theme “Secret Lives of Trees.”  Learned to make image transfers and alter photographs:

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Day 2: Misty Mawn, painter and mixed-media artist. Amazing to watch how well and quickly she captures an image by sketching with charcoal- a little intimidating. Wow! We collaged onto a wood panel. Never used this surface before- great to work on.

Day 3: Lisa Kaus, mixed-media artist. Created whimsical “Winsome Treasures” with embedded objects, collage, and bees wax:

Great women, good wine bars and bistros in the area, and fun to use my hands all day to make art. Happy Creating!