Showing posts from November, 2014

Personal Style: Gypsy-ish

It was drizzling when I set out to shoot; I kept thinking there was no way I would make it. I used the camera hood to prevent the rain from messing with my lens. By the time I was done, it was raining and snowing a little. I was surprised that not only was I successful but that I also had a lot of fun  in the cold and wet weather...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love the idea of a day set aside to be thankful. I have so much to be thankful for this year, a very long list of things to get teary-eyed about. Here is the sum of it: I am grateful for my family and friends: both old and new. I made some wonderful friends this year; most, I have not met. I am grateful for that which drives me and makes every day a special experience. I am grateful for my flaws: they keep me humble, give me something to work on and to learn from. I am grateful to you my dear reader; I am still not sure why you bother with my blog: but thank you for finding it worth your precious time. I am grateful for Mawusi. Just thoughts of it make me feel lighter, happier. I am thankful to all of you who support this little handmade business of mine. You have no idea how I feel when I receive a purchase, a word of encouragement, a kind gesture, etc. It is a priceless gift that you give me, and I cannot thank you enough. I am grateful to be alive and silly. I skipped down the s…

Poetry: The Boy Died in My Alley by Gwendolyn Brooks

The Boy Died in My Alley
To Running Boy

The Boy died in my alley
without my Having Known.
Policeman said, next morning,
"Apparently died Alone."

"You heard a shot?" Policeman said.
Shots I hear and Shots I hear.
I never see the Dead.

The Shot that killed him yes I heard
as I heard the Thousand shots before;
careening tinnily down the nights
across my years and arteries.

Policeman pounded on my door.
"Who is it?" "POLICE!" Policeman yelled.
"A Boy was dying in your alley.
A Boy is dead, and in your alley.
And have you known this Boy before?"

I have known this Boy before.
I have known this boy before, who ornaments my alley.
I never saw his face at all.
I never saw his futurefall.
But I have known this Boy.

I have always heard him deal with death.
I have always heard the shout, the volley.
I have closed my heart-ears late and early.
And I have killed him ever.

I joined the Wild and killed him
with knowledgeable unknowing.
I saw where he …

Holiday Gift Guide 2014 | All Handmade Edition


Opinion: For You, Anything

My theory is this: if you know how to, and do love yourself, you can love others easily. This sort of love requires self-awareness. It necessitates seeing yourself as you are, understanding your needs, and being able to distinguish between them and your wants, what others want of you, and for you. Knowing your strengths, your weaknesses, and making room to improve by taking leaps out of your comfort zone. So for you, anything. But not from someone, from you to you. And anything, is only that which is best. That which takes effort. The practice of self-love.

Of course, you do not know, fully, who you are. But you have a good sense of what makes you, you. Perhaps, for you rainy days are delightful. Paradise is in bed with an exciting book. The dress you would go for is the yellow one, if everyone was not screaming at you to take the red one. Here is the thing, what you care for matters. You should take the yellow dress because even when you are dressing for another, you are really dres…

Personal Style: Sunset


Mandarin Lessons: An Excuse Note

My poor efforts to learn Mandarin is awfully static. I have, therefore, decided  to put it on pause for now. I really wanted to have that story for my future adopted children. Remember? That one about how I taught myself Chinese one autumn when I was unable to go to school? My mind is somewhere else.  But  I will spare you those details. For now, Thursdays here will be a surprise to all of us. Yes, myself included. If you are learning Mandarin, too, don't be like me. Please carry on. You're made of greater stuff.


Poetry: Elegy by Mong-Lan


& what if hope crashes through the door what if

that lasts a somersault?

hope for serendipity

even if a series of meals were all between us

even if the aeons lined up out

of order

what are years if not measured by trees

By Mong-Lan

Meet Angie of POP Jewelry Studio!

Jane: Tell us a little bit about yourself !

Angie: Hello! My name is Angie and I love color! Developing POP Jewelry Studio has been quite a little journey. I started dabbling with beading when I was 12 and discovered working with my hands was my love. Over the years I found myself in various jewelry classes that led me to the Revere Academy in San Francisco. I went through a certificate program and became a metalsmith. Now what? I felt lost after this program and needed to regroup. I began to brainstorm branding ideas and came up with three important elements: color, versatility, and affordability. Once I discovered this, POP Jewelry Studio was born.

J: What is your design/craft process?

A: I am most inspired by color. This is the main design element in my process. Everything inspires color. It may be a smell, a feeling, a mood, etc. Once I have the inspiration the creating begins. Mixing colors is sometimes successful and sometimes not. To make the earrings really POP I dome a layer…

How to Get Things Done When You Really Don't Want to!

Do not do it. What? Well if you really don't want to do something you shouldn't do it. I know it's not a perfect world and  one has to work and eat and stuff. But one also ought to respect ones feelings.  Chances are, when you are feeling strongly about not performing a task it is because you are not supposed to. Nevertheless, there are moments in life when you really have to do something you don't want to do.  Here's what I believe: everything has a price. Yes, even freebies. The question should always be is the price worth it?  If the answer is no, then I see no reason to torture myself. If the price is yes, then the torture must be endured. In which case I am grateful that as human beings we can go against our own desires, though it is often not easy to do so. In such situations, I create a vivid imagination of the good that I hope the task will eventually produce then fixate my mind on it. With this mind frame I am able to get the work done with the help of se…

Personal Style: Colorful Accessories


Art: Strobert's Exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Yesternight was rainy, but nice for a November evening. I had been home all day working on some shoots for Mawusi, then decided to stop by the Studio Museum in Harlem to see on the shelves of their gift shop the limited edition scarves they got from me; and take in their new exhibition.  Though it took almost two hours to figure out what to wear, and another hour and a half to get there, I made it in plenty of time to see everything at my own pace: they were opened till 9pm. Probably owing to the rain, there were less than ten visitors, including me. I wanted to scream "hashtag win." And I did. In my head.

Strobert's Of This Day in Time interested me most. I found her abstract paintings singular: exceptionally expressive, and wonderfully dramatic.

Poetry: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [On the bus two women argue] by Claudia Rankine

Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [On the bus two women argue]
by Claudia Rankine

On the bus two women argue about whether Rudy Giuliani had to kneel before the Queen of England when he was knighted. One says she is sure he had to. They all had to, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Mick Jagger. They all had to. The other one says that if Giuliani did they would have seen it on television. We would have seen him do it. I am telling you we would have seen it happen.

When my stop arrives I am still considering Giuliani as nobility. It is difficult to separate him out from the extremes connected to the city over the years of his mayorship. Still, a day after the attack on the World Trade Center a reporter asked him to estimate the number of dead. His reply—More than we can bear—caused me to turn and look at him as if for the first time. It is true that we carry the idea of us along with us. And then there are three thousand of us dead and it is incomprehensible and ungraspable. Physically and emotionally…

Fashion: AAKS SS15 | Handcrafted Raffia Bags

Through Twitter I met Akosua and learnt of her then on going project. Her excitement about her upcoming collection was infectious and I was curious to see her handcrafted designs. I was also very pleased with how she kept capturing and sharing wonderful images of the Northern Region of Ghana during her stay in the vicinity. From her instagram page I got snippets of Northern women meticulously hand weaving colorful hand dyed raffia into beautiful geometric shaped bags. I became the more eager to see her collection.  The wait is over and every second was worth it. I have always wanted a chic raffia bag (or a Temale bag, like we call them back in Ghana), and now I know where to go for a cool modern piece. Below are some of my favorites from AAKS SS15 collection. Find the rest on their website

Happy shopping! Jane

Experiment: Going Alone

Not too long ago I was arrogant in my belief that I would be fine without other people in my life. I was certain that I would be great, too. One of the things I love to brag about is my ability to make myself happy. I am very good at this.  Getting to the end of last year, I felt I was in too many "one way" relationships which were beginning to make me unhappy. These were relationships where I felt I was a friend to someone who was not there for me. For this reason, I would never think to call them if I needed help, and yet I hoped they would reach out to me if they needed someone. Did I need to be needed? I wasn't sure. How would it be if I went a year without these relationships? Would these people notice my absence in their lives? How will it impact my life? Will I be lonely?

November recently arrived and December might come. My year long experiment is almost at its end. I spent more time with myself this year than I ever did in the past. The goal was to learn more a…

Personal Style: Flower Power

Happiiii Fly-dai mates!

Mandarin Lessons: I Very Busy. ^_^

I do this thing where I underestimate how much I take on until I am toast and completely fatigued. Then I am surprised because in my mind I haven't done enough. 
Pinning is a lot easier now that I am familiar with all the Mandarin characters on my board. It took longer than planned.
再见! (Zàijiàn : goodbye) - Jane P.S. The title is a direct translation of the text in the image.