Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life-Changing Sandals

No, I am NOT talking about my addiction to shoes. Neither about that rare pair of shoes that DOESN'T hurt my sensitive feet (although they WOULD be life-changing to me).

I am talking about the Massaï Project of the Spanish brand Pikolinos. For the last 2 years, this company has been contributing to the development of the activity of around 1.400 families through the remuneration of Masaï Mara women making the shoes in Kenya.

OK, I agree, you have to have a little bit of Pocahontas aspirations to actually wear them. I guess I would only wear them if they are delivered by some strong Masaï Mara men ;-)

That being said, I love the idea of succesful companies in the West investing in smaller communities and benefiting from their craftmenship. I only hope that this is a longer term investment that they are making, because if these women only can earn for a year or two, what will the impact on their families and community be in the longer run?

Ok, Sara, stop thinking, just enjoy that yet one more project is florishing in Mama Africa.

Tribel Art

OK, In general I don't really fancy the Dutch... I checked the audience I have on this blog before starting my post ;-) seems they don't like me neither! BUT that is in general. In not general, there are some Dutch whom I like, and also some great artists (and pretty girls and tall men).

Today I would like you to take a look at Dutch photographer Ingrid Baars, and more in particular her collection of pictures called "L'Afrique!". Love the way she plays with contrasts and light, while merging african tribal art and strong african faces, sensual bodies. Note the occasional accessory by Jean-Paul Gauthier. I love the complex and contemporary take on the subject, although I find most images a little tacky. Only a few would fit in my living room, but I still think that this is very inspiring work!

What do you think?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Guardian Stone of Travelers

My passion for the stone Malachite began in 1986, when I discovered this stone laid out on the floor in Zaire, where sales men tried to sell us beautiful pieces for small prices. Since, Malachite is for me the "stonification" of Africa, the one stone that takes my mind instantly to Mother Africa. I once even bought really expensive sunglasses from Dior (with my tiny wage), JUST because they had small fake Malachite stones set into the sides... How typical that I now find out that this stone is said to be the Guardian Stone of Travelers!!

Malachite comes from ancient Greek "moloché", which originally means mauve, though the most famous type of malachite is known for its green hue. An opaque stone with light and dark striations, malachite was mined as early as 4,000 BC by the ancient Egyptians. Its distinctive shade results from the presence of copper. Because of its recognisable green color and the fact that it usually accompanies copper deposits, malachite is used as a guide when prospecting for this metal. The most beautiful stones come from RDC and Australia.

I am really happy to have discovered that the beautiful house of Van Cleef and Arpels has issued an entire collection with Malachite this year. Unfortunately the pieces are too expensive for me... But each time I pass in front of this jeweler (just around the corner of my office in Geneva), I stop and dream of Africa!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


OK, back to Basics: I need to get back to sharing you the backyard of Afrika, the great, the insolite, the fascinating... Honours today to Cameroun.

This country will always be special to me, as it is the most recent African experience I have and I really love the few years I spent there. The Camerounese are special, not always in a good way, BUT they have a lot of things going for them... PINGUISS!

PINGUISS is a new dance/ music style, invented in the streets of Douala, by an artist called Daniel BAKA'A. It's danced like the Ndombolo, the Bikutsi, the Makossa or even Coupé-décalé, but it is NOT Coupé-décalé, as the singer points out in his song. What makes this dance so popular is probably it's FREEDOM: you can dance it as you want, the only importance is the rhythm (God knows that is already a challenge to many). The only thing you need is a good physical condition... beware of your hips! :-) I have to restrain myself, before I break my foot again!!!

So Pump up the Jam, make some space and let yourself go: Rhythm is a Dancer! (ok, I might be a bit abusive of these titles)

Monday, October 1, 2012


I have been less infatuated with Facebook the past weeks, the reason being that I have a new addiction: Pinterest. I have pinned enough projects to be busy until the rest of my life!! I have even purchased a sewing machine, and tons of material and supplies for all those projects, of which so far I have done none... Because I am too busy pinning and planning my next moves.

It also turns out that it is not that good for my self-esteem... when you get re-directed to all those fabulous blogs, of superwomen who cook the most delicious food (with ingredients from their very own garden of course), sew their own clothes, and are able to vamp-up about anything, live in the perfect home and are able to entertain their 5 kids in the most responsible way... I feel like a failure. Man, how to they do that! AND find the time to write about it, sharing all of that with the community? Do their days have more hours? They must have a time-machine or something: Men in Black, you were right, the world is infested with aliens!

Anyways, I DID spend the whole day yesterday vamping up the playground at my kids school AND might soon finish my first sewing project (of which the inspiration didn't come from Pinterest, but from the garbage can, where I found a maxi-cosy that I decided to clean and up-grade ;-) )... Stay tuned for the results!

Friday, September 7, 2012

When owning Jewelry becomes a Basic Need

I am in love with this jewelry... I want want want, I need need need!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ode aan Marcelleke

Here I am... Tata! ... I AM Tata! And you didn't have to do anything special for it... just be born. And Tata I will be... as long as I get to see you splash about in the bath-tub, be upset, play with everything except with the truck-load of toys I will have gotten you. Draw on my holy sofa with the thickest pen you could find in the house. Pee in your pants just as we are about to leave to a party. Tease your cousin Mila. I am looking forward to forcing you to finish your first year of piano classes on behalf of my sister, and discovering your stack of weed and having to hide it from her. I hope I will be your confident as your first love breaks your heart (I have quite some experience with that). On long drives, we would leave no political party, radio-station or film unspoken. If you really insist, we can even talk about football. I am quite flexible. I am ready for your Marcelleke... Bring it on!