Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Welcome to Modernity, and Burkinabé Goodies

Today has been an exciting day! C. gave me an iPhone (thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!)..... oh my goodness, my life is changed! I've been putting off joining modernity on this front because I have a tendency to lose expensive items (like fancy cellphones!), but its already so amazing that I can text with my friends all over the world for free over the 3G network. I feel soooo much more connected. And yes, email access at all times has its perks ;) (And draw backs, though I haven't linked up my work account yet which is probably for the better.)

And. And I'm in love with Instagram, and the camera capacity in general. I'm still in the very early stages of getting the hang of things, but follow me as I learn! I always see things out and about that I want to photograph, but I forget my camera at home or feel awkward busting it out all the time. Now that its easier to take every day photographs, I'm seeing Dakar in a whole new light. I wish I had had the iPhone on my recent trip! Next time ;)

The King of Morocco is coming to Senegal and its a big deal. 
These signs are all over the place! 
Gotta scratch the backs of your fellow Big Men.

I wanted to share my "loot," so to speak, from my last trip... but there's a fair amount and I haven't been able to photograph it all, so I guess I'm going to reveal the goodies in batches. Let's go backwards and start in Burkina Faso :) I was thinking about buying a bronze figurine, but I chickened out/couldn't make up my mind. I also didn't discover the AMAZING artisan market until hours before my flight home, so I didn't have much time to browse. I'm still thrilled with the surprise items I did pick up!

First, this awesome necklace. It was a bit on the pricey side by African standardsbut still under $20 (and Megan probably could have made it for me!), but I loved the color and I was really looking for something out of the norm for me. I very rarely wear necklaces; in fact the only jewelry I change day to day is my earrings. Otherwise I wear the same three rings and the same bracelet every single day, and I never take them off. I was drawn to this necklace for the red/teal contrast and the beautiful beads and decided it would be a lovely statement piece for the right outfit. I wore it today!

So, I have a thing for purses and bags (and baskets) in general. I was first leaning towards a tote bag made from recycled rice bags (still want one), but I decided that this shoulder purse was more unique to Burkina Faso and a useful addition to my existing bag collection (I have one other very used leather shoulder bag from Morocco). I of course love the teal and purple, and the leather color is new for meits kind of a chartreuse but somehow it totally works as a neutral. I also love the purple accent fabric, a piece of "cotton tissé," a traditional woven fabric common in Burkina with some metallic accent throughout. Finally, that tiny pointed peak over the back of the purse, plus the pretty stitching.... I can't help but admire this bag out of the corner of my eye ;)

Ahhhhh, the Burkinabé baskets. They are gorgeous. So colorful and practical. I saw some small Burkinabé baskets in Senegal when my mom was visiting and I knew I had to find the real deal on my next trip to Burkina... the bright colors, the useful size and shape, the pretty handles, the intricate pattern and details on the sides. It is perfect! It is also ideal for storing and displaying my growing collection of African fabrics. They had previously been tucked away in a suitcase, and now they're right at my fingertips and pretty to look at, even before I use them in an upcoming project. I think these baskets would be perfect for storing blankets by the couch in a living room, or magazines, or books, or toys. I'm quite smitten :)

I also got C. a woven leather belt (not pictured—sorry!) and myself a very special textile I will feature in an upcoming post dedicated to fabric. In the future, I would still love a bronze figurine, and now I know where to find a good selection. The problem is I have so many small decorative items, part of me wants to start looking for larger statement pieces. But the larger bronze figurines are a) crazy expensive and b) kind of over the top. I also think it would be really great to find C. a handmade leather briefcase. The leatherwork in Burkina is beautiful.

And I think that wraps it up for Burkina Faso? Coming up: fabric, books, and magazines from Ivory Coast, and more fabric and coffee from Cameroon! I started with the best, I guess :)

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