Friday, 30 January 2009

Thank you to all who have left comments; I appreciate it. No, I do not have an online shop (yet) but hope to in the near future.

As to my photos I have to confess that they were taken by my daughter who is very good at it. But now I was lent a camera together with instruction manual and told to try "my own stuff"!

And now to the next part of engagement / wedding customs from my part of the world.

The next part of the proceedings will differ from area to area. I will tell you now how typical Yoruba people go about it all. 

First the grooms family will choose an alaga, who is a professional go-between for the family. Such a lady must be fluent in more than one language, she must possess humor, must have dignity, but above all she must know how to speak well and interestingly. She will gather all necessary information about the groom and his family in order to present their case to the bride's family. After such a person has been chosen, the family will then propose to visit the girl's family for a first informal meeting, after they (the girl's parents) have decided on date and time. This initial visit usually involves only the senior female members of the groom's family and the mother of the girl, sometimes supported by other females from her own family.

On this first visit a few gifts are brought like a basket of fruit or fruit juices or assorted biscuits or a mix of all of them. They will be made welcome, some refreshments will be offered and then they will be asked the purpose of their mission. Now the alaga will introduce the visitors by name and who they are in relation to the groom. Then their case will be stated which sometimes can be very amusing, because the alaga will tell of how boy met girl, how he cannot live without her anymore, how lean he has become pining for her. Extolling the beauty and virtues of the girl, proclaiming that it can only be her and no one else for their son! In short they have come to ask for the girl's hand in amrriage.

Since no father or other male is around, the mother of the girl or next senior female relation will  assure them that the proposal will receive consideration in due time.  That was step two.

Step three by tomorrow!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Well, the bridal set I mentioned some days earlier is almost complete, just the earrings remain. When those are done, I get to practice taking pictures. That is one area which needs serious work to become proficient in producing quality photos fit for the web.

Coming back to the bridal theme, I will attempt to narrate some typical traditional wedding customs from my country. Today will be the first instalment.

Typically when boy meets girl they have to go steady for quite a while before they can broach the subject of marriage to their parents. First the parents want to know: "Who is he/she? Who are the parents? Is that person from a reputable family? What has he/she to offer you in married life? What qualifications/ income/ prospects?" When all those questions were answered satisfactorily, grudgingly the parents will allow the prospective spouse to be introduced in the home. More often than not the father will absent himself with the excuse: "This is women's stuff!"

The first meeting is arranged and spouse to be will be welcomed and then undergo some serious grilling as to all questions mentioned above and of course about his/her intentions regarding their precious child! After being accepted as serious and well-intentioned the next part for the proceedings will be planned by the parents. What is to come is most elaborate and time-consuming but also a lot of fun!

The second instalment will follow tomorrow! I hope you enjoy reading this post. 

Monday, 26 January 2009

Yesterday I was too lazy to work with my wire. Instead I managed to read all my emails and then watched my favourite cooking programmes on tv, cooking being just on equal footing with jewellery making! After that straight to the kitchen to get dinner ready. I wish I could say it was masterchef class, alas the couscous was soggy and the chicken overdone! But it was edible.

Today was straight back to my bridal project at hand; the bracelet is almost completed. It took a while to figure out the correct ring size to do romanov on 8mm Swarovski crystals without the rings bunching up into a cupshape. The bracelet alone took 160 rings. Will see how many I need for the necklace, must be over 400. Which means I still have to coil 8 metres of wire by hand and cut the rings, again by hand. This is definitely not the most exciting aspect of the work! What is exciting is the finished product, when everything has come together as planned.

There is one romanov bracelet I made a while ago, so I post a picture of it for all those who have not tried it yet!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Harmattan is back again! This dust haze from the Sahara really blankets everything including the inside of your house.To run around with a duster in hand will make someone dizzy because of the speed with which all is dusty again.

And it makes one sneeze! So when you work chainmaille the rings are flying off in all directions, seriously. Therefore I left the rings alone today, instead had a good time out stocking up on wire. Also made some macrame friendship bracelets for my daughters shop.

Now I am working the blog after finally having got the look I like! And for good measure I am adding another picture.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

As promised, some pictures of my earlier work.

Now a surprise! Bad economy and all, there are BRIDES and they want to sparkle and glitter on their wedding day. So I am delighted with a custom order of necklace, bracelet and earring set just for such a big day. When I complete the set I will post a pic or two.

Which brings home a point: there are always occasions for spending on luxury items like jewellery, eg. anniversaries, birth of a child, weddings, birthdays etc. etc.

So even if the market for regular jewellery is slow, one just has to find the market for the others!

And now I am off hunting for them!!!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Greetings and welcome to my blog!
Starting as a complete newbie in the world of blogging I am sure there will be mistakes which need to be sorted. But as time goes on I will become more proficient. So bear with me!

My involvement with jewellery and crafts in general goes back a long way (way too long). Today I show you my "Crazy Heart", one of my favourites, because it is not predictable, just like me!

More pictures by tomorrow!

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