Empowerment thru creativity

1000 Shillings

Around the globe there are many who sell their creative work to support themselves.  Many times in third world countries the artisans do not receive adequate monetary compensation for their beautiful work.   It is unfortunate that some large corporate organizations who can afford to pay higher sums, purchase the artistic work at very low prices and re-sell the work for quite large profits.

The organization 1000 shillings is working to highlight and showcase  the beautiful bead work of several  Ugandan woman  at fair trade values.   This wonderful organization  was established to offer these women a platform to sell their beautiful products on the world market.  Each sale will help the artisan to build towards establishing their own local business.  This in turn will improve the life of the children and families of each woman.  These sales also will improve the local economy thereby benefiting the entire community.  With an improved local economy there is bound to more access to education/schools, improved infrastructure and more healthcare.

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

The beads being sold are all limited edition unique pieces of jewelry.  With this being a season of giving we all should consider purchasing gifts that can truly make an impact!!  You can learn more about the artisans, their beautiful jewelry and the great work being done at  the 1000 Shillings webpage. 

1000 Shillings

Sending beautiful Sankofa wishes to those celebrating Black History Month in the United Kingdom this month!! Peace and blessings always.

Celebrating Black History in the United Kingdom

Sankofa is the Adinkra symbol that reminds us to Return and Get what has been left behind.

Celebrate Duafe Dallas TX  on Sept !

naturally Isis Presents 2nd annual Natural Hair Parade

Duafe is the Adinkra Symbol for beauty and this morning I  was sooooo honored to be able to speak with a true pioneer and ambassador for African Beauty across the Diaspora–

 

the amazing Naturally Isis.  

For the second year Isis Brantley of  Naturally Isis brings us the Natural Hair Parade and Festival  in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas.    

 This parade and festival is the first of it kind celebrating African Beauty. Naturally Isis is always teaching and  sharing concepts of empowerment thru self love being a huge focus of  this parade and festival.  

If you are  anywhere close to Dallas Metro area I encourage you to head over and join the fun

 ….. on Saturday, September 1st  to be a part of this amazing event.

Listen in below to my chat with this amazing lady and learn more about Naturally Isis, her  inspiration  to host this special event – truly a beautiful  labor of love and about all the special activities planned for September 1st.

Here is a link to the chat we enjoyed

 I encourage you to consider offering donations to this amazing event to assist with the education and empowerment of women through DUAFE

Please contact the Outreach Coordinator at (404) 944-6439

or visit Naturally Isis Natural Hair Online 

 

Passing down the Traditions - So Important

Naturally Isis teaching about the tradition of Duafe

Visions of Freedom

June 13, 2012

Join the Freedom Link up

Visions of Freedom Blog Hop

Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Fourth of July are all American Holidays that commemorate historically significant days in our country centered around freedom. I have labeled this time of year Freedom Season because of all the celebrations and talk about freedom during this time of the year. Freedom is what our country was founded upon. This is sometimes incomprehensible because it is also the period in history that many Africans had their freedom taken.  There are so many historical dates around the globe that show what people have given to stand for freedom.  As we reflect on these amazing people and moments we can come together and share in the strength shown.  We can take the lessons learned and proceed into a future full of freedom for all persons around the world.

Over at KiaraBlu we have established a special place in celebration of “Freedom Season”. Kiarablu has partnered with Goddess Angelika to sponser a Blog Hop and ongoing conversation on twitter about Freedom. We would love to have you join the hop and conversation. What do you think Freedom looks like? What does it mean to you?

FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT
 
 
 
 
 
 
FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT by KAMAU66
 
 

 

Link up your blog post here: http://www.kiarablu.com/freedom

Or

Join us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freedomsvision

I came across this cute Adinkra Magnet  craft over at the blog  Sacred Arts.  I love that it is simple but allows the crafter to create a colorful  Adinkra magnet as beautiful dimensional expressions.   Cori Lynn  offers a great tutorial with pictures on how to create these magnets using inexpensive coasters glue and a magnetic sheet.   The most time-consuming part of this project is allowing the glue to dry.  I have put this one on our list of crafts to include when we study West Africa!!  I think you could take this craft and use it to create many different unique magnets…Chineese letters, Yoruba numbers,  Swahili words and sooooo much more.  So head over to Sacred Arts and get started !  Please share the pics of all your beautiful creations and I promise to update here as we create our magnets too!!

Adinkra symbol Magnets

Adinkra Magnets from Sacred Arts

africa

africa (Photo credit: qudsiya k)

The letter X was the hardest letter to find a topic to post about ….all I could think about was X marks the spot.  This is because my children love hiding and hunting for items…..detctive games and archeology adventures abound here.   Lots of sneaky, peaky walking and giggles abound!  Maps are truly part of our households idea of fun!

We have been studying the map of Africa during our Africa School lessons.   I think it is important for my children to understand that Africa is not a country!  Our first lesson was to study the five regions.  We colored and “puzzled” together the entire continent.  Our last lesson was about the Northern part of the continent.  We have idetified all the countries in North Africa and  the next session will be to create and label a pin map.

There is a wonderful site called Mega Maps  which  offers maps of the world availble for  download. The site offers visitors the option of creating maps of any size from 1 page to 7 ft across.   They are great to  use for teaching the children in your life about world geography.  Helping them to understand the many countries of the world and where they are located expands the world view of youth.   One great hands on activity my children loved was to  take the African map  – cut each region apart and glue them back together.  This can be done for all the contients and put into a goeography book for them to review and enjoy.  

 Teach the Children about the world

A Unique Map of Africa Design

United from A to Z

April 26, 2012

As this A to Z challenge rolls on and heads towards its close I am inspired to remark on the sense of unity  I have discovered.   Despite having a very difficult time keeping pace this past week due to illness…..I have continued to feel a part of this A to Z train!   Seeing all the #atozchallenge tweets and reading posts has been what made me try so hard to find a way to push through!  And now that I am feelin’ better  I am so glad and thankful for all the A to Z pull!! 

Unity togetherness

Adinkra symbol Bese Saka represents Unity, power and togetherness

 So for the letter U – I stand United with my fellow a to z bloggers.  Tha adinkra symbol BESE SAKA represents unity, power and togetherness.   I think it is the symbol that most accurately represents this challenge.  The symbol visually represents cola nuts which is an agricultural product with an important role in Ghana and has influence in bringing people together.  That is how I see the A to Z challenge an important influencer to bring folks together – So powerful!!

Heres to a fantastic finish!

One of the reasons I love Adinkra symbols and have committed to “studying” them is their long history.  It fascinates me that these symbols have been passed down for so many generations in Ghana. They are some what unique because they are a printed form of communication and historically many African traditions are oral.   This is not to say that there are not other traditional written or printed expression on the African continent because there are others for sure!!  I plan to one day explore those too!   

Available at Africancraft.com
Adinkra Stamps

The methods used to print the Adinkra symbols have been passed down too.   Traditionally the symbols are carved into calabash.  The symbol is then printed on fabric using beautiful dyes.   The cloth that is created is a beautiful expression from the printer.   We now have many ways to “create” the Adinkra symbols but it is really important to remember the traditional ways and not lose this knowledge.   One day soon I would like to try my hand at printing on some cloth –  I will be sure to share the fun here.   

Here is a video featuring the Adinkra printing tools with explanation of some of the symbols.  Unfortunately I could not embed the video but click the link and Enjoy!

Adinkra Quilt

April 22, 2012

I have looked forward to the letter Q for this A to Z  Challenge from the begining because I knew I would do QUILT!!  Now I am not a quilter….yet.  It is on my long, long list of  learning sessions I would like to incorporate into my life.  As a full time wife and mom, blogger, business co-owner and more, I just can’t find the time right now.  I do however have many thoughts about an Adinkra quilt.   With each Adinkra symbol offering us a specific meaning we are given a great opportunity to develop a beautiful expression of our inner beliefs thru an Adinkra quilt.

Adinkra Quilt

12 Block Adinkra Quilt

Quilt crafter and teacher Debby Kratovil  has a full size Adinkra quilt pattern CD available on her site Quilter by Design.  The pattern includes 12 symbols and instructions for the blocks.   She does not mention if she includes the meanings for each symbol but if you would like to  look them up   visit  http://www.adinkra.org.

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Adinkra Quilt-056

The fabric designer Kweli Kitwana has a cute Adinkra design available at Spoonflower that can be used to create a quilt.  She offers several Adinkra designs that I think could be combined with this fabric also.    I am thinking about purchasing this fabric and adorning it with the  brass adinkra symbols  (see below)

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Available @ Cultured Expressions

Brass Adinkra symbols

Lisa Shepard at Cultured Expressions  offers unique Brass Adinkra adornments for your quilt.  I think  the addition of these beautiful brass pieces will give crafters  a unique dimensional  plane to their quilt.   Cultured Expressions also has several other adornment options, beautiful fabric and many more quilt treasures on the site.   If you are planning to create an Adinkra quilt be sure to visit Lisa’s site!

Creativity is a huge part of our family life .  From the

Adinkra Symbol Ananse NTONTAN

Ananse represents creativity

tallest to the smallest, we are always working to add our own unique spin on EVERYTHING!!  It is not uncommon to hear someone walking through the house announcing “I have a great idea….you are gonna LOVE this!!”  It is just what we do and I am truly happy to be raising two creative children.

My creativity always extends into the kitchen too.   Finding new items to  cook  or new ways to prepare a food we love makes me quite happy.

I have never been a fan of American sweet potatoes ( I know that is hard to believe!) so when my friend offered me her Caribbean version several years ago I was hesitant to accept.  Being a true friend she encouraged me to try them ….”they are much better than the ones you are used to” she offered.  And to my surprise they were DELICIOUS!!   I fell in love with the Boniato.  This funny looking potato is sometimes called a Caribbean sweet potato , tropical sweet potato or Cuban sweet potato.  It  is so pleasant and sweet that I am always trying to find new ways to cook with them.

Cuban sweet potato

Boniato potatoes have a unique appearance

So here is an original recipe  developed for a potato contest I entered.   I am not really sure if it should be a dessert or side dish.  Let me know what you think please.    The Boniato can usually be found in  your local Hispanic or Caribbean grocery stores.

Sweet Potato Treasure Bites
3 medium  boniato  sweet potatoes, peeled 
1/3 c  sweetened condensed  milk 
2 tbsp butter 
2 Tbsp brown sugar
 1/8 tsp cinnamon
 Mini  marshmallows
 2/3 C cornflakes crumbs
 2 egg whites
 Canola oil 
Cover potatoes in water and boil   until tender.  Drain potatoes , 
return to pot  and cut into 2 inch chunks. Add milk and butter.  
 Mash until smooth.  Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and
 place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool. Separate 2 eggs
 whites into a bowl. Place cornflake crumbs in shallow bowl.  
Set these two bowls aside.  Remove potato mixture from refrigerator.
 Using a round Tablespoon size measuring spoon scoop a full  portion
 of  potato mixture   Place  1 mini marshmallow into center of 
scooped potato . Roll  potato mixture around marshmallow forming 
a ball.  Roll balls in egg white then in cornflake crumbs . Place 
on platter ready to be fried.
  In large skillet  heat ½ inch canola oil.  Add sweet potato balls,   fry until golden brown approximately 30 seconds to each side.  Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm.

Do you have any adventures with cooking potatoes or yams?  Tell me about them please!