Ankarize and Accessorize: DIY Hair Piece

We have entered the season of weddings, parties and all out fun days. As much as I love seeing my fellow nigerian sisters rock a gele out at all events, I can’t seem to stand them on my head. I always get a headache, my neck hurts and all those pins, my goodness, I feel like a walking voodoo doll.

So, after feeling good about sewing my very first Ankara shift dress without breaking my sewing machine, I thought that having a matching hair piece would really make me ready for any owambe (party) coming my way.

And I absolutely love how it came out. It was quick, easy to make and you can practically use anything that comes your way for this. Plus, who doesn’t love a chance to dress up ūüėČ ?

These are the steps below. And you can easily download this tutorial to always have it with you any day, anytime.

Don’t be shy and share your version of your lovely hair piece at the comments below. I would love to see it.

Have fun and God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can That Money, Babay!!!

So, after all said and done for the New Year, I am so sure that many of you have forgotten what your new year resolutions are‚Ķlike me. Obviously, my list was filled with many many things like love yourself more, show your neighbours what a lovely person you are, better time management and the regular ‚ÄúNew Year, New Me‚ÄĚ. One of my main resolutions was to write more. Yet, here we are, ¬†right in the middle of March and I am just finally putting up a new blog post. Sigh‚Ķ

Anyway, better later than never, right? This year did start off on a busy note. Got a new job (part-time) and that has been keeping me busy. My choice of taking up a job was to be able to invest in myself without feeling guilty that I was giving my partner-in-crime all this responsibility in carrying us forward.

And speaking of investments, I believe that anything you spend time or money on is an investment: either on yourself or that thing that holds value to you.

So…one of my new habits is to save. Time, money, space, data, even paper. I admit, I am a borderline hoarder (…truthfully, what creative person isn’t?) but one thing I said I won’t try to save will be cans. We already go through loads of cans weekly so I can give out for recycling without feeling like a part of me is going awayūüėÜ.

So, I wanted to get a piggy bank in which I could save all the change I always had jiggling in my pockets but thought that I could easily make one instead.

So, off I went dumpster diving  (actually, my recycle box) and fished out a tomato can. Perfect. Now armed and dangerous with paper, glue and hues of color, I have my Tin Can Piggy Bank.

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The best part is that I got my handy camera ready and videoed the process. So now, I can make more but most importantly, share it with anyone who would like to make one for themselves or as a gift. Awesome, right?

So share, have fun and please show off your version right here. Would love to see yours. Till next time when the keyboard calls, have an awesome weekend.

God bless…

DIY: Fabric Swatch Carry On Bag

Summer is finally here. Yaaaaaay. And good things always come along with summer. The sun, the beach, cold drinks and festivals. I love the festival period because you can get to buy stuff, taste different food and if you are a craftie like me, get the chance to show off your skills and make some cool cash too.

After the Fundraising event at Port Stanley,, I started prepping for the events I hope to be a part of  in London, Ontario. So logistics is high priority now to ensure that I make customers so happy they come back again. But at the same time, I would really like to save some money while doing that as my budget is really tiny.

Luckily for me, my former landlady, Jane Ebbs, the fabulous Interior Designer for Interior Accents, had a stash of awesome fabric swatches and gave me a carton full of them.

Now, the original plan was to make purses and bags with them. However, I still haven’t bought the sewing machine my eyes have been on and I am still recovering from the skirt I hand-stitched ( I still haven’t finished it).

 

Also, I don’t want to use glue to make them because I would really like to have the stitches as part of the design of the purses. ¬†So my carton has been sitting there, waiting for me to have a light bulb moment…and I did.

I saw some paper bags with paper handles and I realised that I could actually turn my Fabric swatch carry on bags 3fabrics to these bags for my customers. I mean, with a huge gift like that, I can make a whole bunch and still have some for my purses. Cool, right? I know. And the best part, they are really easy to make. So easy that I was able to make video tutorials on them.

Now, what you need are:

Fabric Swatches

Scissors

Paper

Glue Gun

Craft Glue

Water

The videos are right here.

If you want the handles to last much longer, you can coat them in varnish. This would also give them a nice glossy shine and feel as well.

Fabric swatch carry on bags

The best part of this is that no customer would have the same bag, I have saved some money, reduced my carbon foot print, saved a tree somewhere and gave new life to what many would consider waste. High five, Amsa! You go, girl!!

Well, I hope you enjoy the tutorials. Please leave comments and share and have an awesome week.

Stay Artsy.

God Bless.

Music, Art and Africa

Oh wow. It has been busy these past weeks and I am finally just getting the chance to sit, relax and write. No, no need to go on and on about how great this past weekend was… Ok, maybe I will share a little.

For the first time in recent years, I  got to participate in an event as an artist and jewelry designer. And it was great.

The event “Music, Art and Africa” was organized by founders of Two Girls and An Elephant, Jacquie Gauthier and Alicia Fordyce to raise funds for the Art and Music Camp, a project of Canadian Aid For South Sudan. There was an art exhibition, a silent auction, book signing and great music from Denise Pelley.

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It was wonderful to see the works of really cool artists there. Lucy Ogletree‘s whimsical paintings brought a whole load of color to the event and Nicola Coady‘s paper collage works showed us how patterns and connections are in everything we see and do. It was wonderful also to see painted pictures of African scenery on Elephant dung paper by Two girls and An Elephant. I must say that I have a long way to go to rub shoulders with these fabulous women but was really humbled and grateful to show some of my pieces; jewelry, sculptures and paintings, there as well.

But then, don’t just take my word for it, here are pictures of the awesome day.

All in all, I think it’s wonderful that art is used to make a difference in the lives of children in Sudan. You know, sometimes we feel like art is just to make a house pretty or is strictly a luxury product. But when you see how it affects another’s life in a positive way, it makes it all worth it.

So now, off to make more jewelry and art.

Stay Artsy.

God bless.

 

You, Me and My society6

Happy new month everyone. Ahhhhh.Finally. Something new to go crazy for. Who doesn’t like new things, huh? That smell of new clothes, a new car, new paint. Also that feeling you get when you finish a project you have been working on or something quick and straight to the point like a painting.

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What can I say?  I am as surprised as you are. You paint too, Amsa? Oh yes. I have always enjoyed having paint all over me and looking like I crashed into a rainbow. There is that joy of absolute abandon when painting. That time when  your paint brush becomes an extention of your hands and anything white is in serious danger especially the walls of your rented flat.

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Well, my wall has been safe…so far. All that covers it are what I have done lately. And I might have to move to another wall as this one is getting full. But I am happy about that because it shows me that I am making some progress. I am painting more and keeping myself busy. Which is one of the reasons why I opened my Society6 store.

I am new to the game but I want to be able to see people out there enjoy my work and have a piece of it for themselves. So why not? Abi?

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So after putting up some of my work on society6, I made an order for one of the carry all pouches I made. I call it Gele beacuse it is a print of the famous headgear that nigerian women wear for events or just for the heck of it. I really like it bacause of the different variations in colors. So I clicked go and waited.

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It did take a while for my order to come. About 3 weeks. But this was from production of my carry all pouch to delivery.

And once I saw my pouch, I was totally happy with it and I already have big plans on getting some more things especially totebags. You can never go wrong with tote bags.

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So, I invite you to check out my society6 store. I truly hope you find there that you would really like. Let us do our part in making the world more artsy, right? What is also really cool is that from 1st-8th May, 2016, there is free shipping only if you use this link right here:  https://society6.com/amsayaro?promo=4CQBHQKGXPQY

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This ends exactly 12am Pacific Time so use it as much as you can.

Well, that’s it from me for this week. Working on some ideas I have that is another mash-up of my jewelry and papermarche skills. Want to know what it is? Well, you have to hold on till next week.

But in the mean time, Stay artsy.

God bless.

 

 

 

DIY: A Simple Boho Bracelet

Hello all. I hope you had a fun weekend and are so ready to end April with a a big bang. I know I am. Phew. It has been full of  activities, projects and so much work on re-re-starting up my business that I am ,right now,  just looking for a nice way to spoil myself.

So, as my plantain and fish were grilling away in the oven, I noticed how empty my hands have been lately. Going through my stash of jewelry, I realised that it has been a long time I have worn any or even made for myself. Being that I make jewelry [apart from the other activities I pursue], I took it as a sign that I needed to focus on myself a bit. And how I did this? Yep, I made a bracelet…and now writing about it (talk about being a workaholic).

Simple bracelet

Well, the bracelet was simple, quick and easy to make. I had my trusty camera with me and took pictures of the steps. Most of the beads I used were already wired for previous pieces so it took about 30 minutes to complete.

The tools and materials you need are:

1 Round Nose plier

1 Wirecutter

1 Bent Nosed pliers

20″ gauge gold wire

24″gauge gold wire

Golden chain

A wonderful mix of different beads, I used 6 to 8 different types, including a paper bead I made, paper-marche style.

A ruler or a measuring tape (my tape was far away but the ruler was close enough)

Eye Rings (made easily with 20″gauge wire)

Jump rings (or you can make jump rings with the 20″ gauge wire)

Endings (You ¬†can easily make endings too with the 20″ gauge wire)

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Start off by wiring the beads you have. For some beads, I made the eye ring with the 20″ gauge and passed it through them.

For others, I ¬†made jump rings. I also wrapped one or two beads with the 24″ guage wire as I wanted some to hang and dangle off the bracelet.

Attach the beads together using the eye rings. This is also when you hang the dangling beads as well. I put one dangling bead at each connection to give it variety and some playfullness to it.

Once the beads are connected to each other, attach the golden chain to the chain of beads. This can easily be done by passing the chain through the eye ring at the end of the beaded connection. With the 20″ gauge, I made a hook ending and more jump rings to attach to the chain. Pass a jump ring at one end of the chain where it ¬†would serve as the second half ¬†of the ending. Then ¬†connect the hook itself to the other end of the chain.

And voila. Your chain is finished. It is all in the connecting.

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And to make you it easier for you, I have made a DIY picture tutorial that you can easily download or share. Hopefully, the steps are clear enough for anyone to follow. I would love to hear your observations on this. This is my first picture tutorial so let me know.

Boho Simple bracelet

 

so That’s it. Very simple and straight to the point. I used 41/2″ of the chain for my wrist and it sits comfortably. There is also no trouble in wearing or taking it off.

So enjoy, share, make and I would love to see your version of it too.

Stay artsy.

Stay blessed.

A mother’s Heart is Your’s and Mine

Yesss, Mother’s day. A day that is celebrated over 30 times around the world, depending on what location you find yourself. So.. no matter what you do, you can’t miss a mother’s day. Right, just as it’s happy hour in another part of the world, a mother’s day is close at hand. There is no escaping it. And it’s great. Mothers should have those days, you know. Everytime I sit and think of the crap my mom took from me, I keep wondering why I am alive. Yes, I am that bad. Now, I remember the good times with her and wish she was around…sometimes ;).

Anyway, we all know how hard it is to find a gift for mother’s day that isn’t a repeat of something you got last year. My siblings and I would try to get something different like a day in a spa or a cook book but then, we always seem to revert to safe¬†gifts¬†like Ankara fabric she can sew something with or we make trendy jewellry for her (one of the pros of having us around ūüôā )

This year, all I could do was call her (Let me clarify a bit. Nigerians love mother’s day. Almost every church has their own mother’s day and our moms use them well. So, I called on that mother’s day and I will call for the next one coming up in May…just to be safe). And with that, I thought of what gift I can make that she would like to have. A gift that¬†can have more than one use (and so that I won’t feel bad if it is not used the way I want her to).

WIth a little brainstorming, suggestions from my husband, siblings and cousins, I came up with this.

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It is a tiny person carrying a heart. This is a combo of my papier marche skills and jewellry making pizzazz.¬†The heart is a pendant made with papier ¬†marche, wire, beads and nickel free chain. The tiny person is a papier marche stand just for the heart. They can be worn or they can take up more space on your momsi’s mantlepiece or office desk (they just love showing off how much we love them, don’t they?)

This represents two things for me. When the heart is one the stand, it represents how we, the children, the minions and mini-mes, always have our mother’s heart with us. It doesn’t matter how many kids she has, we all have it. It was one the reasons why ¬†each heart has different colors, different beads, wiring and isn’t smooth.

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The roughness shows the beauty of their journey. Those days when they thought they couldn’t handle it, when they thought they were bad for us, when they compared themselves to other moms and all, not knowing that that’s what helps us have a strong grip to them and ¬†also makes them interesting. The holes are for those times that we break their hearts with decisions we have made for ourselves ( bad choice of partners, being rude, no need to listening to them, we all have cringe moments). I used gold wires here to show that even bad choices can help get us on the right path to life, make us learn from our mistakes and give our moms a chance to be proud of us, which are represented by the embellishments of beads and wire.

The second meaning behind this is when moms wear the necklace. This time, the heart represents our hearts. The good days, the tears, the moments that we were proud of ourselves and who we have become. it is a testament to their presence in our lives and we want to share it with them. Also, that our hearts are safe with our mothers.

The prep for this project was straight forward. I have most of the materials in my house. It took me about 3 weeks to make 20 pieces of both the heart and stand.

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I must confess, sometimes I thought the idea wouldn’t go well. I tend to doubt myself ¬†lot. Which is why I always push through and finish a project no matter how long it takes me to. It gives me a sense IMG_3905of accomplishment. Even though there may be parts and changes I would like to make, I can tell myself that I achieved a goal I set for myself.

 

 

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I cut up wire and made those little fellows (I had a little fun posing them like boy band boys). This ¬†was fun. But I made variations in the cuts as I wanted to make both male and female stands. Then I beefed them up a bit and covered them each with papier marche paste and paper. I used normal A4 waste paper bacuse I wasn’t sure yet what color I wanted them to be and using plain white paper reduced ¬†seeing writings through the paint like you might with newspaper. I ended up just going with black cos it looks really shiny once it’s varnished :D.

After drying, painting and varnishing, I have these products. I am proud of them. They turned out better than I had hoped. And now, they are just waiting to represent you to your mother. ūüôā

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God Bless.

Stay Artsy.

P.S : If you are interested in one, please note that I can, so far, just cover Canada and US for now due to how close Mother’s day is, May 8th (Canadian) but hey, if yours is one of the remaining 30 this year, let me know. And it doesn’t have to be only for mother’s day. We can work out something ūüėČ ūüėČ