Back in August I posted the news that I have become a design team member for Many Hands Marketplace - Kazuri West and I showed you my Samunnat Flowers which use the gorgeous 'Bindu' beads made by the inspirational ladies of Nepal. I mentioned that I also had a small collection of African Kazuri beads and I was hoping to show some pieces made with these before now (but you know how life can sometimes change our plans) but finally, here are my Kazuri Kritters! I always like a touch of whimsy in my life and so as soon as I spotted these little handmade animal shaped buttons I knew they would be a perfect fit for me. I've created a set of three brooches and I've used lots and lots of seed beads from Preciosa Ornela to give each animal their own special shady tree.
Each piece is only 3 inches (8 cm) high but they took many hours to make as the 'leaves' are created with layer upon layer of small seed beads. And so as I was in full whimsical mode, I wrote each animal a little story as I beaded. Read on ...
It's a searingly hot afternoon and Cheetah sits in the shade of his favourite tree. His belly is full from an earlier feast but still he hides in the long grass observing a herd of wildebeest - it's cheetah nature. He frowns as a lazy fly buzzes around him, flicks the tip of his handsome tail and yawns. Cheetah can see far, far into the shimmering distance and yet he doesn't notice a pair of Seeall birds nestled quietly in the foliage right above him. The birds watch Cheetah watching the wildebeest watching a dark shape in the shadow of the well known Cheetah Tree.
It's a bright African morning, the sky is cornflower blue with dazzling white clouds billowing on the horizon. Zebra stands under a Scarlet Blossom Tree contemplatively munching a fragrant red flower. His beautiful reverie is broken suddenly by an egret swooping down nearby. Zebra snorts, stamps a hoof and testily swishes his tail about his stripey muscular buttocks. And then he remembers the taste and the smell of those delicious rare ruby blooms that lay in abundance on the ground around him and he licks his lips in contented anticipation. All is right in Zebra's world again.
It's just before sunset. A lone Pearlfruit Tree stands drenched in the heavy honey-dripping light making the fruit gleam like stars in the night sky. Giraffe stands under the tree with the weeping branches swaying and rustling around her slender elegant neck. She knows from experience that the enticing looking fruit are bitter to taste and will only dry her already parched and dusty throat even further - the real prize is the young fresh leaf buds that sprout high in the centre of the tree. She stretches upwards, effortlessly strips a twig and slowly closes her long dark lashes as she tastes the juicy sweetness.
I hope you enjoyed looking at my Kazuri Kritters and reading their stories and I hope you see what I see. Don't forget you can help support the work of Kazuri West by purchasing the beads, buttons and finished jewellery and if you would like to create your own mini safari, the animal buttons are available from this page.
See you next time!