Thursday, December 27, 2012

Africa Shirts & Bags 4) Sale

This shirt was designed and created for a fundraiser towards our Mission Trips to Africa. It is a nice quality, pre-shrunk cotton shirt. Unisex in sizing. 

The shirts are digitally printed and really wash & wear nicely. 

Front of Shirt: "Heart graphic - One Another" with Africa.

Back of Shirt: 
"Love one another as I have loved you" John 13:34 is screen printed on the upper back of the shirt 

If you care about:
      • PEOPLE
      • & AFRICA
then this shirt will be a great fit for you. Made out of a great quality pre-washed cotton. Right now we have small and medium in stock. We are happy to get another batch printed up if enough peeps show interest.  We also have several other products that represent things we love:

Custom Designed Shirt
by Imani Design
This aqua colored shirt was designed and created for a fundraiser towards one of our Mission Trips to Africa. It is a 100% cotton shirt. Women's sizing. Shirts are a lighter weight cotton then our Black Africa Shirts.  ***We also have some Children's sizes

Custom shirts are screen printed with quotes by Mother Teresa fit into the continent of Africa:
"We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love. If you can't feed one hundred people, just feed one. Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Spread love everywhere you go. Intense love does not measure, it just gives."-Mother Teresa

Across the other side of the shirt is a 4 Africa logo.

Right now these shirts and bags are available in my ETSY STORE ! So easy to pick one up quick!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

GREAT Christmas Gifts of Faith

These Necklaces are the PERFECT Christmas gift for a dear friend or family member. For Just $20 you get a custom piece of jewelry beautifully presented on a handcrafted card that displays the scripture the necklace represents. If you do not see the scripture you are looking for you can also custom order whatever scripture you would like. Ordering is SUPER SIMPLE! Just click on the box to the right and enter which scripture you would like and hit the "Buy Now" button. 



 ACORN Necklaces are $22

Thursday, November 22, 2012


What could be a better gift then a pair of handcrafted earrings made with paper beads made in Africa? Oh wait- I know... a pair of handcrafted earrings in a Maasai Gift Bag from Africa. Can you say... BONUS!

And all for only $20! 

Now that is a fabulous gift that keeps on giving. By purchasing these earrings you are not only getting a really cute gift for someone - you are also helping those that handcraft the beads. A percentage of all sales go back to help people in Africa. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Fun for on the RUN..... or for a bazillion other occasions: family game night, homeschooling.
Each bag is only $18 - all bundled up in a REALLY unique fabric cinch bag. The bags were made in Tanzania by collective group of women. Maasai women made the bead embellishment, another group of women sewed the fabric bags made of a Maasai Blanket "Shuka".  The bag contains instructions for several games from around the world and right here in our own country. Dice, Dominoes, Bead Counters and a score pad. What a fun and unique Christmas Gift. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

ENJOY: Autumn is in the ATMOSPHERE

Can you hear it? Have you seen it? 

The wind has started it's dance premiere of fall 2012 with the leaves as it's partner. They are swinging, swaying and dipping their way into winter.

It is one of natures most beautiful acts. 

As the seasonal curtain of fall opens it boldly introduces colors that are so vivid & stimulating. The bright yellow, orange & reds all swirling together. The cool, crisp touch of the air on our skin may leave us feeling chilly but the warm, rich colors that cling to the trees and carpet the ground resonate deeply in our souls. 

Somehow fall has a way of swooping onto the scene of what appeared to be a blank stage. Was summer really that far off in the distance? No, not really. Did summer give a poor performance that left us feeling in want? Most certainly not. So, what is it? For me I think it is the display of splendor that delivers an invitation to all five senses. Change is in the air - and we can't help but participate. 

Grandma's old canning jar converted

 The Five Senses of Fall:
        1. Sight: gorgeous rich colors
        2. Touch: crisp air, cozy soft clothes
        3. Smell: cinnamon, apple, pumpkin & spice 
        4. Taste: cinnamon, apple, pumpkin & spice :)
        5. Sound: the wind, the crunch of leaves                      
So here is my response to fall's gracious invitation: 

My pledge to fall:

I will do my best to fully & completely appreciate all you have to offer. I promise to take the time to focus my view & give my full attention on your beauty at least once a day. I will snuggle into cozy warm, richly colored clothing & accessories that reflect your beauty.

One of my favorite creations: Chunky Cowl
So cozy! 

I dully promise to inhale and ingest the bounty of the season. (Sounds oh so appealing, doesn't it?) Baked apples, pumpkin custard & spiced cider BEWARE! And... I commit to listen. Listen to the children laughing as they frolic in the leaves, the chatter of friends meeting indoors over a cup of chai, the crunchy sound of leaves beneath my feet as I take a stroll, but the BEST OF ALL...the sound of my Creator speaking to me in and throughout
 His B E A U T I F U L creation. 

Great are the works of the Lord; 
they are pondered by all who DELIGHT in them. 
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever. 
He has caused his wonders to be REMEMBERED;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
Psalm 112:2-4

Here is one of my favorite fall looks. The soft, soothing loose knit infinity scarf in a creamy, rich mustard bamboo yarn softly draped around the neck. Pair the cowl with some edgey earrings made with a worn black & brown leather with silver circular elements and you are fitted for the season. 

Baraka na wewe,
 (blessings to you)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weathered Hands & Loving Hearts of the Masai Women

Masai women of Engikaret beading with  a friend who helps them to sell their goods.

You really wouldn't believe how hard these women work. That is until you took a glace down at their hands. Instantly you become aware of the intense labor these women face daily. They cook, they clean, they gather, they build. They do almost EVERYTHING in order for their families to survive. The women are the ones who gather the materials, prepare and build their manure/mud huts (Boma's). They are incredibly amazing. 

Whenever our family is in Maasailand we always jump at the opportunity to walk out into the great expanse of what appears to be nothing but desert. It never fails - I will be walking for what seems like quite some distance along a barely evident trail in the dirt when all of a sudden we stumble into a village of boma's. 

It is amazing to me how the huts blend, by design,  right into the surrounding land. These villages are built & maintained by the women but ruled by the men. Many of the Mama's of this land are still what we would consider to be children,12-14 years old. As much as this may seem heartbreaking in our culture it is very common in theirs. The girls are chosen by the husbands at a young age. Many are still in their Mama's bellies when they are picked for marriage. It is quite common for them to be one of 10-12 wives to their husband. Their lives and activities are chosen for them pretty much from beginning to end. 

Take a moment and think about what it might be like to have no voice. No matter how hard you tried to speak, write or communicate nothing would come out. Or if you could manage to finally blurt something out you would be beaten, knocked down and wounded. I imagine this is what life holds for them. 

I can tell you LOVE can bring change. 
I have seen it with my own eyes - I have touched it with my own hands. 

Love brings hope. Hope springs forward into a new way of life where you can see possibilities that you were once blind to. These women are learning that they are loved. They are being cared for. These precious women are learning that God loves them and has a plan for them. They are also being educated about health, as well as being taught skills. There is opportunity for them, hope and most of all LOVE! This is life changing.

Making jewelry is one opportunity these women have been given to help change their futures. Culturally beading is woven throughout the history of the Masai.  However creating a product that the world wants to purchase and wear is one of the areas that our friends have been helping them with. I do believe they have done a splendid job with the final product though!

These are just a few of their beautiful designs. There are many more in my etsy store listed at the top right. Won't you help me in the journey to help make a difference in someone's life. Bringing hope to  the hopeless is the BEST thing you will ever do.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Layers: That time of year again!

Multi-Strand Chain Necklace $34.99

Oh how I LOVE the fall. The leaves are turning bright, beautiful shades of orange & red. Apples are just awaiting to be munched & crunched with their juicy ripeness. The waft of cinnamon & fall spices is permeating our senses. And yes - that cool crisp air is silently sweeping into our midst.

I love how that cool, crisp air brings me out of the casual flip-flop, t-shirt, lazy daze (yes, I meant daze, not days) state of mind and into a more deliberate expression of style. As I trade in my short sleeves for long ones I also begin to embellish. Out comes the jewelry.

Silly or serious - funky or conservative - tribal or floral - whatever my mood, I can reflect it in my choice of garb. Today's fit? LAYERED! 

I have so many different styles of jewelry in my etsy store. Probably one for every single mood I have ever been in. If you know me very well you completely get what this statement reveals. I have A LOT of variety in  jewelry lines.   

I hope you will take a few minutes and check it out! 

Baraka (Blessings),

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TOGETHER: a Labor of Love

Pamoja 3 Strand Necklace
(Together in Swahili)

TOGETHER.  Depending upon our life experiences this word has the potential to stir up many different thoughts, emotions & beliefs. 

The meaning of this word for me has sojourned the distance from here to Africa...half way around the planet. Along the dusty path of this journey this word "together" has not just changed but has become of far greater worth to me. It is deeply planted into my heart. It has become a huge part of what our family stands for.  

Let me tell you, show you, a bit about the journey.

TOGETHER our family began traveling to Africa.
yr: 2007

We began to discover the very essence of ...

Soon the word TOGETHER in it's rawest form
spanned the globe.
(my daughter Maddy in 2008)

5 years later, 5 journeys later, and TOGETHER has grown roots even deeper into our hearts then we could have imagined. Together now represents:

LOVE   Compassion      FAITH    Hope
     STRENGTH      Family

This year, while we were in Arusha, Tanzania, one of our dear friends shared her beautiful handmade jewelry with us. She carefully handcrafted every single bead with precision. This in itself is a labor of love. It takes a substantial amount of time to create one single bead - let alone the amount it takes to have enough made for one necklace. 

You would think with the amount of hours she has spent meticulously laboring to create each bead  she would want a sound return on her investment. She made... she should profit - right? That would be the way here in the States. Yet this precious woman breaks the sales revenue down into percentages for different people she does life TOGETHER with: a Children Home (orphans), HIV Support Group, Maasai Women. She stops herself from just handing out money like band aids by getting everyone that benefits  to contribute something... TOGETHER all are invested. It is BRILLIANT!!! It is beautiful. It is a wonderful example of doing life TOGETHER.

Jacinta - white head wrap, purple top.

Here is this beautiful woman working side by side with the Maasai. This was taken 4-5 years ago. She has been consistently working with the Maasai to help empower the women by teaching them trades and providing opportunities for them to sell their goods.  She is constantly creating more & more TOGETHER. One minute with this precious lady and you can feel instantly you are now walking TOGETHER through life with her from that moment on. 

Can you see it? Just within this post there are SO MANY levels of TOGETHER! It doesn't end here either. It continues. We all make a decision individually to be a part of TOGETHER. I hope you seek out your TOGETHER and truly value it deep within. EMBRACE it.

I have many of the items that have been made by the Maasai women and other women in Arusha, Tanzania in my etsy store. If you would like to help support them TOGETHER with me you can purchase one of their pieces. They are B E A U T I F U L ! 

                  Baraka (Blessings),

Friday, September 14, 2012


Well last week Imani Design was approached, through one of our online sales venues, to provide a product line sheet to an online magazine based out of NY. This was indeed encouraging as we were sought out vs. seeking opportunity. The only small (okay GINORMOUS) challenge was we had just returned from Africa and I was befriended by a not so welcome flu bug of some sort. 

Being the main designer for Imani - (not to mention my co-designer Maddy is living in Africa right now) - this left a bit of a void in "hit the road running" action. Well no worries - I figured - we had a bit of time to get the ball rolling again. Oh.... did I mention upon our return my head was spinning with fresh ideas and designs for our tribal designs, yet I was trapped unable to move, bound by lack of energy? 

Well - in the mental fog of this illness I was harboring I received a follow up email from the fashion editor... it went something like this. " Deadline is this Thursday night as our board will be reviewing it Friday morning to decide what we will be purchasing". She was most apologetic for the quick deadline. You see.... she had been completely occupied  as she was wrapped up in NYFW. ( I'll give you a moment  to google that if you need to.)........................................waiting.....................................................

YES! New York Fashion Week. What? Just coming back from Africa to New York Fashion Week? Has my fever taken me to a state of ...OUT of my mind? No... this is reality. This is our world. From one extreme to another all happening simultaneously. Somehow I am not shocked, or terrified. I simply do what I can, with what I have and trust God will do what He wants done. I will just try to do my part in it. 

Somehow through the course of the last 5 days I was able to pump out some designs, hopefully a few of those inspired. The line sheet was completed on time...right down to the wire. In the midst of this I was able to function as a teacher to my kids (I homeschool), managed to somewhat have dinners on the table along with a halfway clean kitchen when my husband arrived home. All in all this was a challenge I feel I can grade with an A+. I kept balance in my home when I would typically have gone into a complete frenzy trying to please people...well the people I wanted to impress in the moment. Those that I could hear the loudest applause from... which would have come in the sound of a jewelry order. I feel as if I am finally arriving to a place where I can be a blessing to others and a blessing to my family at the same time. This has not been an easy lesson for me to learn, but boy does it feel great to be in this moment. 

I should find out soon if they want to purchase any of my designs. I don't believe I will be discouraged if they don't - I am certain I will be very encouraged if they do. In all honesty I am just really blessed they asked. It has truly helped me to identify that God makes things happen. We can plan away, exhausting ourselves in an effort to accomplish our own desires -or- we can simply sit back and enjoy the ride letting God take the lead. 

I for one am ready for the ride!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turning junky to funky...

Nothing like taking an interesting piece of history and creating a new way to appreciate it. That is what frequently drives me to get my hands -a- working. 

Example: Rollers turned Cuff
Retro curlers - vintage pieces that have a design standing on their very own. The holes in the metal punch with the wire & red rubber closures...very interesting. Inspiring really.

$24.99 on etsy

gotta have the earring option!

$19.99 on etsy

These earrings have already been on the move. This is the last pair I have available until I locate more rollers.

Check out my etsy store - we are getting ready to leave for our outreach trip to the Kibera Slum, Nairobi - Kenya and then off to Arusha, Tanzania for the month of August. All of the sales on my etsy store go towards our outreach trips.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More from the REDEEMED line...

Upcycled leather paired with copper

Copper wire, brass washers and distressed upcycled leather

I love the word "REDEEMED". After all doesn't every one of us have an area or item in our life we would LOVE to see redeemed? Some mistake we may ponder on being left in a bit of angst? I believe we all do. I also believe we find hope and courage to believe anything can be redeemed in our lives when we see it happen for others. As I work with my hands to create something from a discarded, used item I am reminded of the common quote "Trash to Treasure" where I am reminded of the path of my own life. A life that has had it's share of disappointment, discouragement and struggles yet has indeed been redeemed. God continues to show me He never leaves me, nor forsakes me. He walks with me through it all. He uses every little part of my the smallest of details in His intricate plan.  Although I am sure as long as I am on this earth I will continue to see hard times come my way I can be certain God will use it ALL, good and bad, to accomplish for HIS good. Talk about REDEEMED. 

Leather, Copper, and African Focal Bead Necklace. $24.99