Thursday, 30 May 2013

Duwara: Full circle

When I was in Nairobi, Kenya late last year I was staying in Eastlands mlango kubwa (big door) with a friend and both of my cameras, her camcorder and all our money was unfortunate! But as my mom told me "it was baptism by fire" so I can now call myself a true Kenyan. You have to laugh about the situation, but be thankful that we are both still alive and well. So as a result of this loss the quality of my pictures has decreased significantly, but ultimately I'm flooded with pleasant memories every time I try to take pictures of the new stuff I have made. I have learned that it's the memories, people and experiences that make us, not the things that we acquire along the way. So in regards to that, I have been feeling like I have come full circle this year. The people I have met, the places I have been and the experiences I have experienced have all been blessings in full view. It has been such a privilege to feel the rough edges chipping away to me becoming a well rounded individual, and getting closer to realizing who I am and what I appreciate in life.  So this creation reflects that.

Duwara earrings are bright, bold, and so lightweight I even forget I am wearing them. I only make one of each pair and design so they are really one of a kind!

Circle earring

  Also circles just look really cute!

Smiles :) 
Tuly Maimouna

P.S I also have to note that these earrings were inspired by the beautiful designs of Luz Arte who is making crochet jewelry inspired by Spring's flowers, nature and color, check her out!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Acts of Kindness Crochet Picnics!

What is better than spending an afternoon in the sun, eating some food, crocheting, making some new friends, and occasionally having a drink? I love picnics and I love to crochet, so blending the two is absolutely mind blowing! This Crafty Chas/Tuly Maimouna mash up has been such a positive and indescribable experience so far, we have been so blessed to meet some of the most beautiful people living in the Toronto area. Every Sunday from 1:00pm - 4:00pm throughout the summer the two of us will be teaching people how to crochet in various Toronto city parks...but why you ask?

The sad thing about living in a huge metropolitan city is that seldom do you get the chance to sit down and interact with the anyone, it's a bit ironic how easy it is to feel isolated and alone in a city of roughly 2.8 million people. So as an Acts of Kindness (AoK!) initiative we decided it was high time to break down the bizzare social interactions and norms found in the city and open ourselves up to meeting new people through skill sharing. We are taking full advantage of the gorgeous summer weather and using crochet as tool to not only network, but as a means of spreading a little love...which we love to do! 

A group of friendly drop ins
Tuly Maimouna & Crafty Chas
Crochet Excitement! 
The beginnings of crochet artists

So if you're ever in the Toronto area and have a free Sunday, bring a blanket, a friend come learn a skill!

Don't work for your hustle, make your hustle work for you! 
Smiles :)

Tuly Maimouna

Thursday, 16 May 2013

'Contemporarily' Historical?

When I was in high school as a part of my a final media project, some peeps and I came together and made a documentary on HIV and black youth in the city of Toronto. Mind you the population of colour in my school was minimal, there were only three authority figures of colour and a scoop of black students. The racial divide was clear, yet the school did nothing to address that. And why should they? Most of us were there due to circumstance trying to attain our french immersion certificate. Bless their hearts, they really tried their hardest to get the darkies out by attempting to convince our parents that French was not our strong suit and we'd get better marks if we dropped out of the program. Dropping out would have led to us ultimately having to leave the school and go to schools closer to where we lived. There is always a clear message and distinction between what people say and what they do. Our school did not provide many opportunities (other than black history month) for youth of colour to address issues that are relevant to them. As I said before in a previous post, black populations are seldom represented beyond traumatic events, and this includes black history month. There is too much focus looking at the past while we ignore the contemporary issues that affect our present. There is a huge disjuncture in creating linkages between historical and contemporary 'blackness', we are contemporarily historical! My problem was and still is that black history month celebrations never seem to be more than a show, in the ones I have attended seldom have I been left thinking about current issues. That is why it was so important to make this documentary around HIV, we wanted to outline how race as a systematic reality in Canada affects vulnerability to HIV and stress why youth involvement in all capacities is beyond necessary.

While that documentary is now a bit dated and I have since graduated high school (and yes of course with my french immersion certificate), recently some friends and I got together to try and address the different aspects of vulnerability to HIV within communities of colour. Taking a more holistic look at what the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) community looks like, this multi series installment looks at the different challenges and barriers faced by young persons of colour through the different aspects of their identity beyond race. Participants were able to share ideas about what HIV looks like or does not look like, and examine the obstacles faced in those contexts. Through a collaborative effort each individual had their own installment within the larger idea of sex and sexual health. The creative process was entirely up to the group empowering them to explore more personal ideas of self, community and HIV, and to interpret and identify the intersecting points through their own eyes and own lived realities. Check the images below to see a bit of what we did!

While this is not a craft I normally talk about, it is true that different art mediums produce different responses, outcomes and interpretations. The audience is able to place themselves within an image that fairly represents the artist, and it has the ability to facilitate an internal dialogue that informs external ones. This collaborative effort was effective in doing that because each piece of work served to work as a means to reclaim space and increase visibility in a way that each individual wanted to be represented. I believe that the use art mediums has the potential to challenge ideas that place the onus of talking about and understanding race relations on populations of colour while somehow neutralizing white populations in these discussions. Artistic forms cut across all borders and transfer messages we are seldom given the chance to vocalize. If my high school experience taught me anything it was that we have to work together to create platforms where our lived experiences are given meaning and they become building blocks and tools of power for the present and future.

crafts speak volumes!
Smiles :)

Tuly Maimouna

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

R&S: Moisturizing Face Mask!

 I remember when I was a child my mom would always have some type of face mask on, and I was always afraid to go near her because she used to get a kick out of scaring me. She'd hide then jump out with her eyes opened really wide making some kinda noise...I guess you have to find the simple pleasures in parenting at your children's emotional expense? While quite traumatic at the time, to my benefit it had no lasting negative effects. Recently after reflecting on that period of my childhood I decided to bring back the face mask at a fraction of the cost and with all natural goodness! This weeks recycle and save (r&s) project is the.. 

Turmeric and Henna Moisturizing Face Mask!

I came about this beautiful mask new years eve of 2009, a friend of mine was over and had brought a container full of turmeric and she said that she uses it mixed with some water on her skin to get this beautiful glow. So I decided to building on that with a few extra ingredients I happened to have sitting around the house. Where to get the ingredients? Firstly, I don't even deal with the health food store, they are too over priced for no reason. Check any food store and you'll find everything you need. As the for the green henna I buy it at the Somali market, but if you aren't lucky enough to have access to one, any Indian food stuffs place will for sure have some. Either way, look around its a great way to get to know your neighbourhood!

DISCLAIMER: If you have lighter skin or are white the turmeric and henna will stain your skin a visible reddish this at your own risk!

1 tbs Turmeric
1 tbs Curry Powder
1 tbs Green Henna
2 tsp Almond Oil
1 tsp Glycerin
1 tbs Lemon Juice

1. First you want to prep your face by putting some lemon juice on a cotton pad to clean off your face. Lemon juice acts like an astringent or toner, and cleans the dirt and oils off your skin. Here is what mine looked interesting after a wipe down...

Cotton pad after cleaning my face

NOTE: Lemon juice is also used as a natural bleaching agent so avoid using it too often! If you have sensitive skin add a bit of water on the cotton pad to lessen the sting.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until it reaches a consistency like the picture above. You can add water if it is still too thick.
3. Apply on your face and keep it on until it starts to dry and crack (about 1 hour or so)
4. Wash mask off with soap & water
NOTE: if it is a bit hard to wash off I like to get some brown sugar and GENTLY rub in circular motions to exfoliate the rest of it off

Your skin will be feeling soft, supple and have a healthy glow to it! I use this once a week along with the brown sugar and honey body scrub I shared with y'all earlier to keep my skin game on point. Because of the glycerin and almond oil in the mix you don't even have to moisturize your face afterwards. Your kitchen cupboard and fridge provide some wonderful beauty secrets if you're willing to check em out, giving dual purpose to so many readily available and cheap goods! I haven't bought products in years simply because I don't really have to, in recycling you save some dollars in new ways! Now I have a way to scare my own children while keeping a full wallet and looking good in the process!

Smiles :)

Tuly Maimouna