A to Z Blogging Challenge

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today is  the beginning of my A to Z Challenge Adventure part 2!!  I can’t believe it but I am going to join the blogging fun again.   My apologies to you for not  giving any updates here for so long but  my life as mother wife and more has been unrelenting lately.  But I have missed my blogging moments and have decided to use the A to Z challenge as a  wonderful opportunity to rededicate myself to the primary focus here   Ananse Adventures ….. Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for Creativity.  I hope to be tremendously inspired as I reach out creatively throughout this Challenge and the rest of the year.  

So stay tuned for more Ananse Adventures right here in the Mocha Life !!

 

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

 

 

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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.

Ok so here we are at the end and I had a really hard time with Z!!!   So I leave you with a ZoomDo – a  craft to create your very own Adinkra t-shirt to sport this summer.   It is a pretty simple activity and over at PBS kids they have instructions for creating a  an Adinkra stamp and then use fabric paint to design your t-shirt.    The design process can be used for other creative projects like wall art.    Enjoy!!

 

 

Adinkra t-shirt craft

Zoom Do

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

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!

As we come to the next stop in the A to Z Blogging Challenge I have decided to look at Handmade books for the letter H.

Artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has an awesome site MakingBooks.com where she offers lots of great information about a variety of ways to work with children and teach them how to make their own books.   Designing and creating a book can be a powerful experience for a child.  It shows them that they can not only be readers but also writers of books!  And we all know there can NOT be too many good writers in the world!!  As mom to a growing little writer I am constantly looking for new ways to encourage my daughters  writing activities.   We have not tried any of  Susan’s projects but it is definitely on my list of  weekend “to-do’s”. 

Of course when I spied the Adinkra symbol book I was very excited!  Here is a picture of the completed project and I have linked it to instructions for the project on one of Susan’s blogs!

Adinkra Accordion book

Adinkra Accordion Book from MakingBooks.com

Be sure to stop by MakingBooks.com for instructions on how to make this great book and other great book projects.

Have you created any handmade books with children?  I would love to hear about the stories they’ve created!

Blogging A to Z Challenge

Getting this up a little late…..had to spend a lot of time last night working on a video for my girls group at church!  So sending out my apologies but now for the task at hand….. the letter F!

Fawahodie is the Adinkra symbol the symbolizes freedom!  It has become my favorite because when we have true freedom we live without restriction or inhibition!!  It is a concept that I am always striving to move forward…..As a Christian I believe I should walk easier because Jesus offers me freedom….As an African-American I believe my ancestors worked so that I can experience a life without boundaries in this country……as an Artist I believe a free mind is the place where creativity blooms. I think have to work together to further Freedom around the world for men women and children.

As we move into the Spring season I think we all feel a sense of freedom from the cold winter……what are you doing to express your freedom?

 

 

Adinkra symbol for Freedom

Fawahodie Adinkra symbol

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe means beauty

Duafe is the Adinkra symbol that  represents beauty and feminine qualities.  It is one of my favorite symbols  because I believe it represents the special qualities of being a woman.   As women we express this God given beauty in many ways such as how we dress, wear our hair and makeup…..but also in our cooking, decorating and sooo much more.

When I first came across Food Heaven Made Easy video I was immediately impressed with how the hosts create a beautiful feel in their kitchen. Nutrition educators  Wendy and Jess offer the viewers  graceful instuctions  on how to prepare a beautifully healthy meal.  Their stylish dress also adds to the Duafe of the show!   I really enjoy how they creatively present the food preparation while giving viewers nutritional information and possible alternatives.

Cooking beautiful meals is definitely an activity I enjoy as a wife and mom.  Can’t say that I am always so stylish in my kitchen as Wendy and Jess but  I definitely love this celebration of Duafe!  Maybe I need to invest in some cute aprons to improve my kitchen look!!  Any suggestions??

Here is the Vegan Brunch  episode of Food Heaven Made Easy – Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

What is your favorite Brunch menu item??

This blog post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for

April 2012.

Read more blogs posting in this challenge visit :

Adinkra Cakes

April 3, 2012

C is for Cake and that good enough for me!  With wedding season approaching I  decided to share some beautiful cakes that  I have come across on the web!  What is so wonderful about including Adinkra symbols on your wedding cake is that the symbols each have meaning so you can choose the several that are true expressions of the couple!

Some of the common symbols used for weddings include:

Adinkra symbol of faith and trust in GodNYAME NTI which represents by Gods Grace – it is a symbol of trust and faith in God

 

 

 

adinkra symbol of love faithfulness and harmonyOSRAM NE NSOROMMAThe moon and the star which  is a symbol of love, faithfulness and harmony.

Adinkra symbol for tolernce and patienceAKOMA – the heart – symbol of patience and tolerence

Adinkra Cake Jollye

adinkra symbols wedding cake stephaniethebaker.com

And here are two lovely Birthday Cakes highlighting Adinkra symbols!

This is why I love the symbols so much – each has great significance and speaks to us beautifully and boldly!

Includes Gye Nyame and Osram Ne Nsoromma

Adinkra Birthday Cake by Pona

Gye Nyame Adinkra symbol reprents omnipitence of God

Gye Nyame cake by Elsi Aikens