Creative experiments: plant collage

Soon after I moved to the UK, around 10 years ago, I bought my first house plant. It has been with me through moving house, several times (including moving city – twice!), and through all kinds of neglect (I know, shame on me). The poor thing got bent out of shape – literally.

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Photos from The African Market at Old Spitalfields, London

I spent Monday hanging out with Lusungu at the Creativity and Noise and Merkato stall at The African Market Bank Holiday Festival, presented by Open the Gate at Old Spitalfields Market. There was entertainment, food and a variety of African and African-inspired art, design and crafts. I got to chat to some of the designer-makers and creative entrepreneurs – it’s always inspiring to be around other creative people!

Enjoy the photos and do check out these great brands and makers. Prepare your senses for a print and colour explosion!

(Photo above: recycled textile pouches by BURST. Contact: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com)

 

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Lusungu with his screenprinted Creativity and Noise t-shirts and Merkato baskets and toys

 

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Happy customer Winkate, rocking her brand new Africrown tank from Creativity and Noise

 

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Woven plastic bags from Senegal, available from Serenity Bags: senebagz [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Hoodies by Open the Gate

 

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Shoe laces by Open the Gate

 

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Trying on a fabulous corset by Evie Nix (don’t ask about the face!)

 

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More ankara/wax print goodies from Evie Nix, including bangles, cuffs and earrings

 

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Wishlist: this green weekend bag  and the yellow Choolips dress, available from Sapellé

 

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Textile recylcing – lavender pouches made from wax print off-cuts. By BURST: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Beaded bracelets from Sapellé

 

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Loved these shirts, shorts and t-shirts by TYMO

 

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After years of communicating virtually, I finally got to meet fashion designer Fée Uhssi in the flesh!

 

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Dolls by Verona.C

 

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And the lady Verona herself!

 

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Bibs and booties from the House of Loulee

 

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Lucy of House of Loulee. Last Christmas she custom made some beautiful boots for my friend’s 18 month old and a funky sweater for Lusungu.

 

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Story time!

 

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I didn’t catch the name of the last band that performed. Let me know if you did!

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo (except the one of Lulu, taken by Yvonne of Evie Nix), with a little love from VSCOcam.

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Earth Day Celebration: Nature as Creative Inspiration

Earth Day Squash

 

Nature has always been my number one source of creative inspiration. The diversity abundant in the flora, fauna and landscapes that surround us have been inspiring artists, craftspeople and designers, around the world, for centuries.

In this late Earth Day post (you may have noticed TypePad was down for a few days last week), I wanted to share some photographs I’ve taken – most of them recent, thanks to my new enjoyment of Instagram, and a couple from the archives. 

 

Patterns in nature

Wundanyi Taita Hills Plants Pattern
 

The leaves above were found in my Aunt and Uncle’s garden in Wundanyi, a beautiful town in the Taita Hills. I love stripes in general so these leaves caught my eye. The photo was taken on my phone and I had some fun with VSCOcam to play with colour (the leaves are actually a dull greyish green) and really bring out the pattern.

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Buy African: Madwa – Accessories and Home Furnishings Inspired by African Craft Traditions

Madwa-Woven-Basket-Clutch-Bags

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Incubating Handicraft in Kenya

Craft-Afrika-Logo

Having spent a few weeks at home in Nairobi, Kenya; having seen all the potential and opportunities for handicraft enterprises and; having seen that the opportunities are primarily exploited by foreigners, I can't be happier to share news of Craft Afrika's new business incubation program.

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Buy African: The South Is Blooming – an Online “Mixstore” for Cosmopolitans

Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action. 
 

Cushion-Covers-Embroidered-The-South-Is-Blooming-Online-Shop-Keiskamma
Trilby-Hat-Clutch-Bag-Wax-Print-The-South-Is-Blooming-Online-Shop
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The South is Blooming shares the creative talent of contemporary makers in southern Africa with the world. The online boutique showcases an eclectic range of craft and design including fashion accessories, books, music, toys and more. 

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Buy African: Online Shop Beldi – Celebrating Moroccan Handicraft

Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this new "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action. 

1-Beldi-Morocco-Design-Shop-on-Afri-love-Antique-Berber-Pillow

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Top Afri-love picks for the Women at the World Festival 2012, at London’s Southbank Centre

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The Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival returns this month to coincide with International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March. Celebrating the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, there is an even more exciting line-up of activities, talks, debates and performances than last year.

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Women of the World (WOW) Arts Fair tomorrow, London UK

WOW-Arts-Fair-Asilia-design

International Women's Day is tomorrow and to celebrate, Old Spitalfield Market in London is holding a Women of the World (WOW) Arts Fair. Female artists and craftspeople from around the world will be exhibiting their wares. There will also be a sales and trading training workshop and an appearance by Mel B, of Spice Girls fame. More details here.

Flyer design by Asilia (more images here).