May 31, 2009

thank you!!

I was thrilled -actually honored- when I read it. Thanks to James Girone, from  for letting me know. 

Read the full article here!

Thank you Tina and James, I love your website, and I really appreciate you taking the time to tell other people about my work.

May 29, 2009

african range {a glimpse}

Just a glimpse of the new bags. I'm using beads from Ghana, Mali, Congo, Kenya and Nigeria with crochet embellishments.
Will show more next week when the collection is complete.

I made the design of these "African Range" on Illustrator first and then I met with the ladies who manufacture them to explain how the colors should go on the bodies of the bags and also on the handles. I am very pleased with the result and the final look of them.

May 27, 2009

malaika {angel}

In a few weeks I will be saying goodbye to Kenya. It has been a luxury and the experience of a lifetime to be able to live for a few years in this wonderful land of contrasts and amazing people. I never thought I would enjoy this ride so much and that I would be so sad to leave.
At my daughter's end of year assembly this afternoon I ended up in tears listening to Kenya's National Anthem and to Malaika, the beautiful song I want to share with you! I was not alone... other parents who are also leaving at the end of the school year were also wiping their tears.
It's going to be hard three more weeks saying goodbye to friends and our life in Africa, but we leave hoping come back soon...

"Malaika" is a song originally recorded by the Fadhili William and his band Jambo Boys in Kenya, 1960. It has since been recorded by Charles Worrod, Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Angelique Kidjo, Helmut Lottie, Hep Stars, Rocco Granata, and Boney M.

Bonnie M.
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika.Angel, I love you Angel.
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika.Angel, I love you Angel.
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio,And I, your young lover, what can I do.
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,Was I not defeated by the lack of fortune,
Ningekuoa Malaika.I would marry you Angel.
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,Was I not defeated by the lack of fortune,
Ningekuoa Malaika.I would marry you Angel.
Pesa zasumbua roho yanguMoney is troubling my soul
Pesa zasumbua roho yanguMoney is troubling my soul
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio,And I, your young lover, what can I do,
Ningekuoa Malaika.I would marry you angel.
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,Was I not defeated by the lack of fortune,
Ningekuoa Malaika.I would marry you Angel.
Kidege, hukuwaza kidege.Little bird, I dream of you little bird.
Kidege, hukuwaza kidege.Little bird, I dream of you little bird.
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio,And I, your young lover, what can I do,
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,Was I not defeated by the lack of fortune,
Ningekuoa Malaika.I would marry you Angel.
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,Was I not defeated by the lack of fortune,
Ningekuoa Malaika.

Hakuna Matata!!!!

May 25, 2009

what I missed today

Been in bed all day recovering from a horrible flu I caught over the weekend. Missed my usual non-fat cappuccino at Dorman's today, but have been drinking rooibos tea thinking it might help me get better.... hopefully it will.

May 22, 2009

everything that glitters... {Friday market findings}

Lately I've developed a passion for beads. Cannot leave the Friday masai market without getting a beaded object. Yesterday I got these wonderful napkin rings.... {mine are the silver ones}

May 21, 2009

tea time {play time}

This is another color way for my tea set. The original colors are pink and celery green, but this is a special order for Chocolat Show, a shop in Paris. The ivory linen bag is also embroidered with the same flowers and colors.
The set comes with teapot, sugar pot, two cups and saucers, two teaspoons and the linen bag with satin ribbon to put everything inside after playing.

May 19, 2009

heather blue

This is the yarn that saved the day! Lovely, soft and warm baby alpaca from Peru. I just love the mix of the two hues of light blue to make a thick chunky yarn that is perfect for a two day knitting project.
Mine took only a few hours to knit but a lot of planning.

leaves {and a bit more}

Suddenly I find myself taking photos of everything I knit or print. I wish there were more hours in a day so I could read all I want and finish everything I start...
While having a nice coffee this morning (after a discouraging attempt to buy some indian kurtis for myself), I finished some leaves that I'll use on my brooches or my sisal bags.

I made these striped "bobbles" or "baubles" or "bubbles" (seems everyone has a different name for them...) on Sunday evening. Don't really know what I'll do with them but will keep you posted!

These will look great with some pink or lavender flowers and maybe some white beads.

salar de uyuni {part II}

I am so impressed by the beauty of the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia that wanted to also share these photos.  
There are more than two million llamas in Bolivia compared to Peru that has only about two hundred thousand. It is one of the reasons why I am thinking on using llama wool in my next winter collection.

Beautifully painted houses in Uyuni. Reminds me of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

May 17, 2009

weekend almost over {knitting progress}

It is Sunday afternoon and I'm quite happy with my knitting/crochet progress. I finished eight scarves and made flowers for another three. It has been raining on and off all weekend so it has been perfect for knitting and feeling the warmth of the wool in my hands.

Natural colors and a warm pumpkin hue on these scarves... they are more like necklaces that you can wear almost eight months a year if they are made with wool. The pima cotton scarves can be worn year round and they look amazing with just a white t-shirt.

I did not have enough baby alpaca/silk wool to join these flowers together, but luckily I have a heather light blue & gray baby alpaca wool that matches perfectly. I just had a 50gr. skein of the solid light blue and though it would be enough.... anyhow, I think the combination of both yarns will look really nice once it is finished. 

May 16, 2009

on my kitchen table

Sometimes I have to use my kitchen table because my desk is full.... sometimes like today is just because I have something in the oven.

Knitting and knitting this weekend!

May 15, 2009

salt not snow

It is salt not snow. One of the wonders of the world, the Bolivian Salar de Uyuni is a sight that is heard to believe is true. Who would have thought that at 4000+ meters there is kilometers and kilometers of a salt desert more than 150m deep and which can be driven on for hours and is so extense that it can be seen from outer space.

My husband is in Uyuni working this week and took some photos for me to share. We lived in Bolivia for six years and never managed to make it to the Salar as our kids were still too young to make the trip. 

Salt is collected in these piles to be sold in bulk to processors.

Hard to tell where the sky stops and the ground starts.

May 14, 2009

kazuri (small & beautiful in kiswahili)

Whenever I visit a Kazuri shop in Nairobi or Karen I'm always amazed by the creativity of the women that create these amazing beads. Kazuri started their business back in 1975 and now are sold worldwide. 
Each bead is hand made and then painted individually which makes them one of a kind.

May 13, 2009

last night's rain {all night...}

Coming where I come from, I do miss the rain.... and it is now finally raining in Nairobi.

The bees were also quite happy this morning.

May 11, 2009

beaded flower scarf

Last night while watching a terrible movie I finished this scarf. I have been wanting to incorporate beads into scarfs and tried adding some to the fringe end of this one. I think it looks very nice. The beads are ivory colored and henna bone beads.

May 10, 2009

more printing

The red elephants finally dried and I could print the yellow ones. Will wait until tomorrow to maybe add another color.

While the yellow elephants were drying this afternoon I printed some in navy blue.

May 9, 2009


This morning I completed only one color of my elephant fabric... I wanted to add more elephants in other colors but the weather in Nairobi today was very humid and the red color did not dry. This is how it looks. Will try to add another color tomorrow.

May 6, 2009


Accessories are a very important part of my collections. Since I started I have been adding more and more each season. For next Fall-Winter 09/10 crochet headbands take center stage.

Joined granny squares to make headband in baby alpaca and a blend of baby alpaca with bamboo. For the ends I used tiny ivory crochet flowers.

These come in all colors from the collection to match every outfit. In cotton and baby alpaca.

May 5, 2009


I've been posting about details on the new bags I have been working on but did not show the finished product. Each one is different from the other one.
Working on creating new colors and designs for the flower range and a new range that will include some local trimmings as well as striped handles and neutral colors. I think I will call it the "African Range".
Ivory sisal bag with raspberry flowers.

Chocolate sisal bag with heather blue and pearl hydrangeas.

Ivory bags with mint and raspberry crochet flowers.
One of my favorites has ecru and golden flowers with beads.

Photography: all by me.
01 09