Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Studio Africa Happiness

A photo I took on my last trip to Mali, I love the advertising murals you find around the country, there is something very nostalgic about them. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup Fever: African Inspiration with Africa Atelier

As the world cup kicked off in South Africa this week Etsy's Storque gave me the opportunity to share my inspirations from the African continent with my fellow Etsians and showcase the some of the gorgeous African products you can find on Etsy. Have a look here!

Four Bangle Bracelet with African textile patterns bydesignforest. Nollywood Starlet Outfit by Lulunyeusi . A Handmade Tote Bag made with textiles from Ghana by DellaLA , and FunkyDada's African Print Throw Pillow Cover.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

African treasures...

A treasure trove of trade beads...

Antique Bohemian trade beads

Antique African tear drop trade beads produced in Bohemia until the 1950s. These beads were traded in Africa and used as a means of currency. It is still one of the most popular beads in Mali, adopted by the Fulani and Peul women as traditional wedding jewelry. The bead can also be found in triangular shape but is much rarer. I photographed this necklace on a sisal baobab tree so the beads look like a papaya, ripe for the picking!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Inspiration of the week

Seydu Keita, one of the most celebrated West African photographers, portrays the society of his native Bamako, Mali during its transition from colony to independent state. Beautiful, no?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Win an Africa Atelier piece!

For a chance to win a piece from Africa Atelier's collection visit Luphia Loves blog by following this link:

The giveaway is open until Saturday 8th of May, hurry!

Friday, 30 April 2010

The summer Sorbet Fringe Collection has arrived!

Welcome to the official launch of Africa Atelier's Summer Sorbet Fringe Collection, a collection of fringed necklaces in super sweet sorbet colors!

Inspired by my time spent in Spain and the sudden burst of spring...
(ice cream photo from flikr by myfirstjobsecondshift)

... I created a design for a super light but really showy summer necklace...

... and made it into a collection...

... to be worn whatever your style!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Banksy in africa

They're from 2009, but I've only just come across these images that Banksy made in the suburbs of Bamako, the capital of Mali, so I thought I'd put them out there on this inspiration Tuesday for anyone who's missed them !

Strawberry offerings

I'm taking a break from snowy Stockholm and landed in Italy to be welcomed by blooming spring and an evening of drinks on the terrace with friends, joy! I was surprised to be offered a whole punnet of strawberries instead of the usual bottle of wine by one of my guests. What a great contribution to an evening (and breakfast the next day!)

So I thought I would ask you, what do you like to bring to your hosts? I'd love some new ideas!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Fly away Friday...

Its Friday and I have that fly away feeling, so I found myself browsing through some photos of my last mad trip - on a motor bike through Rajasthan, India. I'll wish you a happy weekend and leave you with some of the people that helped us find our way: two hairdressers, a camel herder, a railroad master, a rice farmer and a business man...
Photos by me.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Happy Earth Day!

OK so every day should be Earth Day but I'm happy to celebrate it as it gives me the opportunity to shout about the my latest ethical brand findings! This time I'm focusing on 'made in africa' and I've hand picked a few brands that believe in trade not aid and do it the green way!

Mar Y Sol does tropical chic with these glam clutches made in Madagascar using renewable and natural materials.

Its hard to believe that each of these pieces from UniquEco is made from repurposed flip-flops collected on the shores of East Africa and transformed into jewelry, accessories, toys and art. Personally I'd love that baby elephant on my terrace!

The Kikapu Company has gone back to basics with their eco-friendly baskets produced sustainably in Kenya. They last a lifetime and you can carry anything from your grocery to a small goat in them!

The Kitengela glass studio is one of Nairobi's key attractions with it's glass sculpture and mosaic gardens and magical shop. Their products are made with glass recycled from old bottles or glass windows.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Inspiration of the week

Kehinde Wiley, Los Angeles based visual artist who calls his work "operatic bombastitude". Inspirational? I think so, if only because it is so unusual! Above, his protrait Rubin Singleton, below in collaboration with Puma - cool sneakers!

Monday, 19 April 2010

In the mood for ice cream...

My monday mood is inspired by ice cream colors, the creators of these beautiful pieces are, from top left:

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Vote for my Crystal Chandelier Necklace!

I SOOOO excited that my Crystal Chandelier necklace has been nominated for The Daily Green Trash-To-Craft Challenge! The winner will be featured on TheDailyGreen.com, if you love it please vote for me here!

The necklace is made with micro brass seed beads from Kenya, a crystal chandelier bead and a faceted glass bead - both made in Bohemia and brought to Africa by European traders to be used as a form of currency. I love using old beads and giving them a new life, upcycling at its best!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Emerald Cluster in the making

This is my first custom made piece so I thought I would do a little 'making of' reportage as a little extra treat!
Skinny golden chain - check
Emerald vintage Bohemian beads - check
African micro seed beads - check
Tools - check
Ready to go!
Beads are threaded together really tightly and kept in place with the micro brass seed beads.
Thread cluster onto the skinny chain (not as easy as it looks!)
One emerald cluster necklace ready to adorn and embellish a beautiful lady!

N.B. The emerald green beads are vintage faceted trade beads bought in Africa - they were produced in Bohemia around the early 1900s and taken to Africa by colonizers and traders to be exchanged for local goods.

If you like this, have a look at my shop where I have a similar cluster necklace on sale!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Samule Fosso: Inspiration of the week

Samuel Fosso is one of Africa's most prominent photographers and my inspiration for the week! Mr. Fosso owns a photography studio in the Central African Republic where he started taking self portraits at a young age to send back to his family in Nigeria in the 1970s. These are no ordinary self-portraits though! Fosso brings together kaleidoscopic backdrops and unlikely outfits with his narcissistic and somewhat camp persona which I find really powerful and lighthearted at the same time. Enjoy!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Some of my favorite things

I'd like to share with you some of my favorite things from Etsy on this sunny Monday morning:

Handpainted Metal Number Sign from FarmhouseVintage
Mia - rope and chain necklace with lace by Louloudo
Pink frilly knickers by Aliceswonderpants
Aphrodite Spring Fashion top from Artlab
Bella Mode Tutu Skirt by Princessdoodlebeans
Secret Garden Belt by Lirola
Amelie Natural Flower Headpiece by HeadCasebyG
Mustache Handkerchief by avrilloreti
Super Classic Bow Brooch by AAliciaAccessories

Happy week to everyone!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Treasure chest

Old wood printer's drawer box that I found at a market a few years ago, the perfect home for my jewelry and beads.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Stockholm Style

My first posting from Stockholm, Sweden. I didn't really know what to expect before arriving, my knowledge of Sweden extended to Ikea, gorgeous blonde women and swedish meatballs. So not very much really! So here are a few of my recent discoveries:
1) The men are also gorgeous!
2) Everyone is really stylish; men, women and kids! It's a quirky nordic style which is a little vamp pixie inspired for the women and a viking dandy look for men
3) They procreate! Every hot young couple is surrounded by many cute and equally stylish kids and the city is really child friendly

I'll keep updating more findings but for the moment I'll leave you with these pics of Swedish Style (photos from fashionising.com)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Champagne Tassel necklace makes it big!

I'm thrilled that my champagne fringe tassel summer necklace has been handpicked by Etsy members and featured on Etsy's Treasury! Click here to go see it live on Etsy until the 7th of April.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The making of...

The making of - I've resurfaced from my move from Spain to show you a little sneak preview of something I'm working on for the summer inspired by Spanish fringed flamenco scarves and all that Ole'! This is a mini collection of maxi fringe necklaces in soft summer colors, light & comfortable but really showy. A little off my African theme, but if I just couldn't resist!