Madeira and its Landmarks


A brief visit to the area of Machico on the East end of Madeira led us to da Ponta de Sao Lourenco, a vista filled trek with soul stirring views of the ocean.

The volcanic rock is rumoured to contain various fossils of ancient plant life that has now been extinct for thousands of years. As we explored, we tried to discover some fossils of our own, but breaking rocks apart proved to be too tedious.

DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇOVolcanic rock in Madeira

Some of the paths were challenging, and best left to the more experienced hikers and thrill seekers. We climbed what we could, and were happy for the views.



Madeira and its Landmarks

Part one

This December holiday, we decided to leave the country to a sunny destination. My Partner is Portuguese, so among the list of possible destinations was the beautiful island of Madeira, a territory of Portugal.Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood

While examining what specific areas and towns to visit in this exuberant country, we had considered two places: Funchal and Machico. These locations are very popular for tourists, as well as being locations where my Partner has family living. When possible, it is enjoyable to see a foreign country as the locals do. I know that this is not always possible, but it offers a nice change of pace, scenery, and general attitude toward life for Western born people.

Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood2

We decided to chose our top option and stayed in Funchal, Madeira. This capital city is home to a comfortable condominium apartment in the neighbourhood of Sao Joao, which served us well as our accommodation for our trip.

Our rental car from Madeira Rentals was a sporty car equipped with GPS.

We wisely chose to spend a little extra money on a European Roaming Package for my mobile phone. It cost an extra 90$ on top of my monthly fee, but the amount of headaches that were alleviated by having access to Google Maps was well worth the cost.


Steph’s Super Shea Organic Body Butter


  • 10 oz Yellow or White Shea Butter (or 2/3rds of a 16 oz tub)
  • 1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
  • 3 ½ tablespoon Glycerine
  • 3 tablespoons distilled or natural spring water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 drops of your favourite essential oil

Pre-fluff Shea Butter in a mixer on medium with a flat paddle. I use my electric mixer on a medium setting to accomplish this.

Melt coconut oil in a small bowl. Place small bowl in a shallow dish with hot water. Using a microwave will minimize the quality of the end product.

Strain melted coconut oil and mix into a small bowl. Add Vitamin E and stir gently.

Turn mixer on medium with pre-fluffed Shea Butter and pour coconut oil and Vitamin E mixture over top. Add Glycerine.

Pause your mixing at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure a good consistent mix.

Once well mixed, turn mixer on high to whip the butter. Add 3 table spoons of water. Speed must be high to “emulsify” the water into the oily mixture, or else it won’t combine and will just sit on top.


Add in your essential oils to add your custom luxury scent!


Best stored in a jar with a screw-top lid.

Easy and Affordable Deep Conditioner Treatment for Natural Black Hair

Easy and Affordable Deep Conditioner Treatment for Natural Black Hair

  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil [EVOO]
  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • 5 tablespoons Shea butter
  • 1 cup of Store bought conditioner- ensure it has a “slippy quality” for a good mixture
  • 1 tablespoon of Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba Oil

Heat the following over a low heat in a saucepan:

  • EVOO, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter

Stir slowly over heat until it reaches an even liquid consistency. Turn off the heat. Add in the following:

  • Honey, Jojoba Oil

Pour mixture into a bowl (or your mixer bowl). Add in conditioner and mix until fluffy.




  1. Apply to damp clean hair.
  2. Cover with 2 clear shower caps and ensure all parts of your hair is covered.
  3. Steam with cap under a Dryer Hood for 20 min maximum on the medium setting.
  4. Remove cap and rinse with water. Rinse well (like for 3-5 minutes- your hair will be soaked in moisture!)

After about 3 weekly treatments you will notice a great improvement of the bounciness in your hair curl, as well as reduced frizz.




Copper body. Blue eye.

My latest work is a large acrylic painting on 3 x 4 foot canvas. 

Abstract body painting
Abstract body painting

I painted over an earlier work from many years ago entitled “Heavenly Bodies”, that had hung in the entrance way of my home.

This work is a slight departure; much of my recent stuff has been formless, consisting only of colours and moods etc.

I used bronze (or copper) acrylic paint with a metallic finish for the body which provides a warm glow. My intent for this piece was to create an earthy feeling: nature, fertility, growth, and warmth. This is also captured by the thick black outlines. 

Instead of traditional black paint, I crushed up charcoal from burnt wood in my firepit into a coarse consistency and mixed it with a thick gloss medium. The result was a textured black paint that had a slight sheen to it. I really enjoyed the process of mixing my own medium, and I feel that it only adds to the natural theme of the work. 

Thanks for stopping by!


New Art: Bow Ties!

I recently discovered an info graphic that was depicted a step by step process of how to make a bow tie.

It was a  tempting offer, since I had a few left over scraps selvages from exquisite materials I had used on earlier projects (*ahem-aprons*). I decided to give it a try, and found:

  • Bow ties are really handsome and can adorn a lot more a neck.
  • They can be made out of any material, and embellished with very different trims and lace- There is no limit to how creative you can get.
  • You can decide how fancy (or un-fancy you would like to make a bow tie depending on the pleats, material, trims, embellishments and style of the tie.
  • And finally: they are so easy to make!

Here are some great links to various styles of bows:

Simple Bow Tie hair clip

Another variation of the same method I used.


Here are photos of what I came up with:


And finally…


I had to try one on- they are too cute to resist! I wore one to work the other day, and it was a hit with my colleagues. Paired with a pale blue dress shirt, gold cuff links, and ultra skinny black pants, my outfit was feminine and chic.

Thanks for reading,







Phantom Faces in colour

My latest work is a colourful study of phantom faces.

I wondered what it might be like to draw faces on canvas with India ink, and have them obscured by blended acrylic, like clouds of colourful milk in coffee.

My favourite of the three is this one:


I wanted to capture the feeling of a first kiss. Eyes closed, and embracing the warmth of the moment, with a splash of orange excitement. I hung this 10 x 10 inch piece on the wall near my side of the bed.


The eyes have it all in this piece. The concept is similar except orange represents desire in addition to excitement. The face is nondescript and slightly obscured by green smoke. The varied shades of green in this piece represent  renewed interest, ambition, and a slight sense of greed. Though desire exists in the subject’s eyes, there is an element of greed suggested here because the desire is directed somewhere it should not be. This is further supported by the overall obstruction of the phantom face…hidden feelings.


Finally, the last but not the least of my three piece study of phantom faces. In this piece the phantom face has been completely taken over by the hot emotion of attraction. The subject’s face has been totally obscured and only the bridge of a nose and an ear can be seen.  I took my time with the application of orange in this piece. I did not want it to bleed and mix into the blue and yellow layers beneath; so I allowed the entire thing to dry completely before adding the final orange layer.

Passion, and excitement: I think my work is moving in a positive direction!

Thanks for reading,