Thursday, November 2, 2017

Our Kitty is Inspiring

Axol is wondering why his fur is on my daughter.

OK, our kitty can be a little aggressive.  He comes from a long line of feral street kitties from Senegal.  Who knows, maybe he has a little African wildcat running through his blood.  We all live peacefully these days but I still keep my eye on him when company comes.  No one can pet him but our family.  Those souls who are sympathetic to animals and usually can overcome the hardest animal heart are saddened by the hostility our kitty shows.  He is a tough little nut.  We affectionately call him our demon kitty.  He is almost as good as an attack dog.  Woe to any trespassers here.

See the demon horns?
My daughter is especially enamored with him.  I think she admires his fierce nature since she is a more gentle spirit.  So, for Halloween this year, she requested to go as Demon Kitty.  That is, our cat Axol.  With horns.  So you can see the evilness.

Her request inspired me to create a repeating design fabric based on photographs I took of his fur.  I then printed the design onto Spoonflower's minky fabric so that it would have a bit of a furry feeling to it and be a bit warm for a chilly trick or treat night.  Another bonus, the fabric has a bit of sheen as well.  I only ordered one yard to make her outfit but I wish I had ordered 2 because I had to make her shirt from the left over material and would have preferred a different design with longer sleeves.  But, I made do with what I had.
If you are inspired by our kitty too, the fabric is available on Spoonflower in a natural, ginger fur color and a magenta, Cheshire Cat color.
He doesn't look so tough.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Volta Region Vacation

The beautiful, lush tropical forest on the way to the falls, look up high--very dry
We took a trip the Ghana countryside during the New Years holiday.  The trip up to the Volta region is a bit of a slog.  For many miles the road is being rebuilt so future trips should be more comfortable, but we did not get much benefit since the new roads are blocked from use.  For a long stretch the road was incredibly dusty and deeply potholed.  We got stuck behind a truck which kicked up so much dust the visibility was like driving through a blizzard.
We stayed at lodge in a small village outside of Wli Falls next to the Togo border.  The lodge had a terrific garden.  To add to the relaxing environment there was no wifi and, because a large pole fell down in a couple towns nearby, there was also no electricity for most of our stay.  The hotel had a generator but since this was a holiday weekend and there are few cars around, it took many hours to get to the nearest gas station and back. To take a way from the relaxing environment, the lodge is next to a very loud church, which amplifies it's nightly services.  On our first night there was a particularly aggressive preacher loudly exhorted his crowd until 11 or so. 
The falls and the walk leading up to them are stunning. The people were very friendly.  As villagers walked past us they often said, 'you are welcome.'  The guide for our walk to the falls, added some ground cola nut to a bottle of water and it turned bright orange over a period of a half hour or so. 
On our way home we stopped by Tafi Atome Monkey preserve.  The Mona monkeys will jump right on you for a bit of banana.  The whole family enjoyed being so close to them.
In the photo essay below, I took care to not take clear photographs of people--the villages were not actually empty.
Wli Falls, the highest falls in Ghana

rocks to the side of Wli falls

Ficus tree from outside of our lodge

House in the village of Wli-Afegame

The children were interested in the goats, but the goats were nervous

Village houses being built.  Also a gutter for the rain--don't fall in.

Cocoa Bean

Mona Monkey mama

These monkeys are not shy about the bananas