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This year, I had entirely too much fun coming up/making V-Day gifts for my boyfriend, Dan.
The gift I’m most pleased with was the custom wine label. Orginally, I was going to design a card, but Dan is an amateur wine enthusiast so it inspired me to do the label. The following is a close-up of the label design, and then the bottle with some other packages I wrapped for him.
Next up, a just-for-fun gift: A sock puppet!
And finally, a photo of the whole grouping – definitely the most effort I’ve ever put into packaging anything!
My “custom CSS” for my WordPress.com blog will expire tonight 😦 Because I’m working on a new site design that will run off of WordPress, I will not be upgrading it over here. SO! Stay tuned for my new site design, coming soon!
Spurred on by the desire to present on something truly awesome for Awesome Camp, I have written “The Basic Guide to Print Layout, Slide Presentations, & Web Design.” I will be publishing it as a paperback and ebook on Lulu.com, and it will also be available on Amazon. I also plan to create a mini deck of cards with 20 of the best tips from the book, to be sold separately and printed by Moo.
I would appreciate some volunteer copy-editors for this effort. Knowledge of the subject matter is not required; amateurs opinions would be appreciated as much as professionals! For your help, you will receive credit as an editor in the book, as well as a copy of the paperback.
Suggest Tips & Tricks
If you’re not the copy-editing type, then share your best tips and tricks for any of the subject areas. If your suggestion is chosen for print, you will receive credit and may choose either the ebook or mini card deck.
The book will be ready for the copy editors by midnight CST tonight. You will have until Friday, Jan. 22, at noon CST to return your proof and/or submit tips & tricks.
Please use the comments to contact me about this opportunity! I appreciate your support!
I last left off after our elephant encounter. I’m currently drafting this post on my iPod Touch as I’m sitting on a plane halfway between SA and Dakar. I will do a post of pics and video in the next few days.
I also now realize that I failed to mention who was on this trip with me. The 14 Scharfs were who decided to trek to South Africa for a family vacation: Grandpa & Grandpa, my uncle and his wife and 4 kids, my aunt and her daughter, another cousin, and of course my parents and me. We had an amaaazing 2 weeks with a minimal amount of stress, fuss and worry. My family rocks!!
So anyway, back to the story: Saturday, January 2, we drove from the elephant location (Nelspruit) to Joberg so we could catch a fight the next day to Cape Town. That night I was so exhausted I fell asleep shortly after arriving at the hotel at 7pm and slept until about 4am. When I woke then, it was to find the room very hot because their was no electricity. I admit I became quite frightened, but calmed a bit when I realized the cousin I was rooming with was awake too. Then we heard two scary screams. I didn’t think I would sleep again but I did somehow.
I liked Cape Town from the beginning. We had a hotel within a ten minute drive from the waterfront. The waterfront was full of places to shop and fun restaurants. Of course the seafood was great (I even fell in love with calamari) but if you think Nebraskans know how to fix steak, you need to go to South Africa. Oh. My. Goodness. *drools* Even my 80 year old Nebraska cattle rancher grandpa claimed he had the best steak of his life! I would also recommend trying kudu which is a deer/impala/antelope like animal that is served similarly to steak.
While at Cape Town, we also went on a harbor cruise on the Jolly Roger pirate ship. This fine vessel was chosen by my 80 year old Grandma 🙂 A small dolphin pod surfed in our wake and we saw several seals cracking shells on their bellies. My dad and I are also convinced we saw two great whites beneath the waves (actually quite possible since they offerred shark cage diving not too much farther up the coast).
We left Cape Town and made the short drive to the wine country and Stellenbosch on Jan. 5. On the way we stopped at a winery that also had several hand-raised cheetahs which we were able to pet! After seeing the wild ones on the safari, it was extra cool to be up close and personal.
The main reason for visiting Stellenbosch was because one of my cousins decided to study abroad there next semester. We stayed in the oldest hotel in all of South Africa! After 2 churches burned down on that location between 1642 and 1800, the hotel opened in 1802.
The 6th was spent touring two of the maaaany wineries around Stellenbosch. The first we visited had a castle for their goats, and the next had glass blowing. The countryside was beautifully lined with rows and rows of grapes.
Today, Thursday Jan. 7, the Scharf clan trooped over to check out the University of Stellenbosch. It was a lovely campus and boasts the largest underground library in the southern hemisphere. There was also an on-campus store selling 3 things: student ID photos, flash drives…. and stun guns. Overall though we liked what we saw and are sure she will have a great time!
We departed from South Africa at 1:50pm local time. After an hour delay, we nearly missed our final flight. It was a photo finish to an amazing trip!
Tips For Future South Africa Travellers
- The South African currency is the rand (currently about 7 rand to one dollar).
- Meals average $6-8 fastfood and $10-15 for a great steak or seafood dinner. If you order salad, specifically say if you’d like it before your meal!
- There doesn’t actually seem to be “fast” food. In fact, everything operates much slower than Americans are used to. Expect your food 1-2 hours after ordering.
- Tap water is generally safe. Save a few rand and specify wanting a pitcher of tap water when at restaurants or you may get sparkling in a bottle.
- Absolutely make sure to do a safari!
- “Chips” usually means French Fries.
- Make sure to drink lots of water and wear sunscreen!
- There are many market places to barter for great take-homes.
- You will hear musical hits from United States artists from the 70s to today, all on the same radio station and in even the most modern places.
- Don’t be alarmed at the locals walking between cars stopped at a light. To them its a perfectly acceptable time to try to sell you goods.
- Almost every sign is written in English so you should have little trouble navigating, although if you rent a car you may want to rent a GPS too.
- Visit more than one location and drive between them when possible. South Africa has a rapidly changing, very beautiful landscape.
Stay tuned for the visual story!
Happy New Year! When you were celebrating at midnight, I was riding elephants at 9am.
We arrived last Sunday, and dad and Uncle Bob were immediately forced to learn to drive on the left side of the road… at night… In the pouring rain! Luckily we rented GPS so we got to our lodge safely and without getting lost.
For those who don’t know, this is South Africa’s summer. Also it is very green with lots of trees and mountains, nothing like the Sahara my ignorant self imagined!! It’s very, very beautiful.
Tuesday we headed out to our second place which was a lodge on a wild animal reserve. The road was terrible, but the setting was well worth he journey! Shortly after arrival we went on our first safari. My crew didn’t see much, but the other half saw lions! Fortunately they videotaped their encounter.
The next morning we went on a 5am safari. This time we saw giraffes and a “not at all relaxed” young bull elephant. There were also many impalas and a cool chameleon. Our guide seemed to enjoy educating us about all of the birds too. We also went on an evening safari which had similar animal results. Afterwards, the chef had prepared a “braai” which was a bbq. It tasted great at the time but I was sick throughout the next day.
Yesterday was when I was sick, and it started when we were on the early morning safari. The road was very bumpy which didn’t help things. However we did see a cheetah which was very rare, especially since she was with her two cubs!!
Then we had to pack up and travel about 3 hours to where we are now. On the way, we stopped at several scenic outlooks which I didn’t enjoy too much because I just wanted a bed 😦 I opted out of celebrating the new year and slept instead to get better.
As I mentioned, today we rode elephants. We first received a very thorough education about their anatomy, eating habits, and how they were trained. It was very cool and everyone loved the experience, especially Grandpa!!
And that is all I have for now 🙂
I know I’ve not kept with my last year’s resolution to update 5x a week… yeah, just a liiiitttle bit of a fail on that one 😦 Maybe next year??
Anyway, I am headed off today to SOUTH AFRICA so I will have limited access to the interwebs from now until Jan. 8.
Considering how much I enjoy reading tweets and the amazing articles attached to them about graphic and web design, I am sory to miss the wealth I’m sure is coming down the pipes especially as we enter a new year!!
Here is my small request:
Please either @5t3ph or comment on this post any new and awesome graphic and web design links so I won’t have to miss it all! I would appreciate it very much 🙂
Thanks so much!
I hope you enjoyed your holidays and have a wonderful new year!!