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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beads for Hope and Learning

On a recent outing Best Friend and I headed to Nashville to visit the big flea market.  But once we got there, we found out we were a week late! 

But it wasn’t a loss at all… there was a bead show going on!  Well alrighty then… let’s go shopping.

However, since I hadn’t planned on looking for beads I didn’t really have my mind wrapped around what I needed.  So I was mainly enjoying the beauty of all the beads shining under the lights.  It was all pretty much the same booth to booth, tho I did find a couple very inexpensive yet pretty stone cabochons to wire wrap.

It wasn’t until the very last booth that I saw something unique.  I could tell the beads were handmade as I approached.

I was greeted by Melody MacDuffee and while I shopped she told me about the history of the beautiful jewelry and beads.  

(photo used by permission)
The beads are made in West Africa in the country of Ghana.  It is a joint venture program set up to help teach youth viable skills to keep them off the streets and safe from the dangers of the streets.  Thru the money they earn, they can support their family and/or pay for an education. 

The colors and patterns are fabulous.  Talk about eye-candy.  The prices were very good and there was a wide variety to choose from…

From earrings… (The Ghana artisans also do wonderful wire wrapping as you can see on these earrings.  There’s even more to show you farther on…)

Like these.  The patterns of the wire wrap taken from tribal symbols. 

I loved these simple rings.  Such a clever idea!

And there were necklaces.  Lots and lots of necklaces…

From the simple…

…to the ornate.

The wire wrapping is truly amazing. 

All the links on the bracelets were handmade.

And look at these.  I couldn’t believe the detail of the work.  Around the stones it almost looks like lace.  In the upper left corner are wire wrap beads! 

Seriously, look at this work! 

Here’s what they look like strung on a bracelet.

I picked up a few to use as accent pieces.  Here’s what a single beads looks like from different angles.

These are head pins using the tribal symbols.  Again, I will be using these as accent pieces.

A ring I bought.

I really liked both the colors and pattern of these beads.  I’ll have fun designing a necklace around them.

And this is the finished necklace I bought.  I put it on right then and wore it for the rest of the day.  Got quite a few compliments on it too! 

If you would like to learn more about these beautiful beads and the group who makes them, check out their web site at:  http://www.soulofsomanya.net/index.html


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