Shop Local. Think Global. Traditional Glass Beads from Ghana.

Traditional Glass Beads from Ghana.
Last month, while shopping in Magix (vintage boutique of new & thrifted trends) during South Wedge-Ucation, I spotted the most brilliant blue beads, brazen against the back wall. Miniature dinner plates of zig-zagged-black, enshrined by lightening-bolt-yellow and cast against an inky blue sky, donned earring posts to mingle amongst the bead’s stentorian swag. The price tag? Barely $8. As I gushed to the sales women (both very trendy, knowledgeable, and nice) over these incredibly well priced, handmade Ghanaian beads, a moment of serendipitous sweetness poured over me. There she is, in unison, they chimed. In walked Amy Shema. Purveyor of these creations.
In short: They are Traditional Glass Beads made in Ghana, by-hand using traditional methods, from recycled glass. All proceeds go to fund the education of Ghanian children.
Pictures of the Ghanian Beads
taken in Ghana.
 
Traditional Glass Bridal Beads Made in Ghana.
Stentorian Swag. 

Traditional Transparent Glass Beads Made in Ghana.
Look for First BarbaraEllen Give-Away to Receive a Necklace!
(See Below)
Traditional Powdered Glass Beads Made in Ghana.
Notice the layers and the opaque colors.
A few weeks ago, Amy and I met at Dark Horse Coffee (one of my most favorite coffee shops) so I could learn more about these beautiful creations and this beneficial cause. I learned about the 2 different types, transparent and powdered, how the beads are made using recycled glass and traditional methods, and the cultural significance of the elegant and elongated bridal beads. Below is a Guide:
Bridal Beads: Smaller beads arranged in long strands that women wear over their hips. Not to be seen by the public.
 
Transparent Beads: Use a tool to create the bead’s hole. (Often shinier and more round.)
Powdered Beads: Do not require a tool to create the bead’s hole. Different powders add layers. (Often more matte and less round)
Hand Made: Broken and found glass crushed into powder and placed into clay molds. Each bead is shaped by hand, the artistry and technique passed down generationally. Once cooled, artisans string beads and merchants sell them at market, either raw or as jewelry.
Amy has created booklets aptly titled Bead Making and The Children of Ghana to outline the process and the cause. Aside from Magix and a few other ventures that she has endeavored upon, Amy mostly sells these traditional creations to friends and family. If you would like more information–to access these booklets or to be in contact with Amy because you are interested in viewing or buying from her collection (beads and bags!)–please send a comment below, via Twitter, or Facebook. I will send you all necessary information.
Pictures of Ghanian Beads and Cloth Bags
taken at Dark Horse.
Top: Mix of Traditional Transparent, Bridal, and Powdered Beads.
Bottom: Handmade Cloth Bags with Zipper in Array of Colors.
Strand of Traditional Transparent Glass Beads.
Handmade Cloth Bag in Vibrant Colors.
Rows of Bridal Beads, Worn Around Women’s Hips.
Great Gift for Bridal Showers!!
Top: Transparent Glass Beads.
Bottom: Powdered Glass Beads.

Shop Local, Think Global: If these beads come from Ghana and the fiscal resources, directed back to Ghana, How is this shopping local? you might ask. Local because you aid a local, grassroots cause, with a Think Global component. When you support this local cause, 100% of your resources support the environmentally friendly industry of a village and the education of deserving children. I look at it this way: Buy the beads at Wal-Mart or Michael’s … Or buy them from a local source.

Shop 
Local.
Think
Global.
Get
Beads.
 
♥ .

Fashionista’s Guide to Rochester: Victoire.

Belgian Beer Garden Anyone??
This is the first of the newest series wherein I review a local Roc hotspot
and make fashion recs for what to wear, to boot. 
**RocStyRtainment??**
 
V is for Victoire, the newest addition to Rochester’s burgeoning bar-meets-trendster scene. This Belgian addition to East Avenue nears downtown, in the seat of the Rochester Club Building, and sits directly across from the late-20’s/30-something crowd that populates Temple Bar & Salinger’s. If you’re barely famil. and all you can conjure mirrors plastic mugs, twenty-tweens, & festival gates, erase all images of the East End Fest from your mind.
 
Friday Full Moon.
Sept 28. Second Night Outside of Victoire Beer Garden.
Victoire, French for “Victory” and pronounced as such, is anything but East End & everything East Ave. With a wide array of commercial(Ommegang) and lesser-known (Duchesse De Bourgogne)Belgian drafts and bottles, including sweeter Lambic & Cider selections, along with a killing kitchen that serves a tasteful fusion of old v. new–like the must-order gourmet counter to its streetcar offering, Poutine, so common to our South Wedge
this bar is as much victory as it is versatility.

 

 

Lately, I probably haven’t been to the same bar in 3 months, let alone (ever) the same bar 3 times in 1 week. Victoire did it. Not only did I have a great time and even better drinks on all 3 occasions, but additionally, I enjoyed myself in 3 completely different settings each time I went.
Victoire Victories:
*Networking Event mid-week in the evening.
*Going Away Party/Belated Birthday during dinner crowd on Friday.
*Late-night nightcaps on Saturday.
Black Bird Cider.
Locally Made. Organically Grown.
Fav Cider at Victoire … So Far.

All completely different and all, equally as enjoyable. Why? How?Victoire’s juxtaposing versatility. Victoire is as much Belgian Beer Garden, as it is hip bar, as it is trendy restaurant. Drinks in the early evening on the garden patio beside sleek hearth where you watch from below, passer-bys who walk the streets above. Casually eating a chic palette served home-style modern on dark wooden tables of the open dining rooms, even while your friends enjoy just their beers. Or perched upon bar, seated tastefully and comfortably in front of clearly displayed Belgian drafts with names written vertically in chalk, to scan the crowd through its ebbs and flows. There is no bad seat, or bad beer, in the Garden that is Victoire. Like contrasts in flavors that add depth to both brew and menu, Victoire’s diversity manifests in the diverse crowds that it draws.

 

Saturday Late Night Victoire.
Bar is Bumpin’. Dining Areas Surround Bar. Beer Garden…Outside.
Hipster. Broster. Trendster. Oldster. Youngster. Midster. You-ster name it.Because of its various settings in its unique East Ave-Meets-Gibbs Street-Meets Downtown locale, Victoire draws in all crowds. The flat-screen TVs, smaller near the bar and larger beside the pool table, and its dinnertime offerings (kitchen closes at 11pm) circulate an interesting crowd that, like gourmet cheese melting onto hot fries, mixes nicely. In a Belgian Beer Garden with so many selections—menu, settings, crowd–it’s hard to stay away.
* * *

…And to know what to wear.
 
While, truly, you can’t go (horribly) wrong, I’d like to think that in 3 outings, I finally struck Victoire with my 3rd fitting. 
Victoire Outfits:
*Too Cas:
Cropped, Cuffed T with Zipper;
Sweatshirt Blazer; Dark, Skinny Jean; Saddle Shoe Flat.
*Too Hip:
Gray-V T; Leopard Print Pashy;
Leather Jacket; Gray Stretch Skinny; Black Bootie.
*Victoire:
Flowy Shell; Tunic-V Cardi;
Brown Pashy; Leather Jacket; Black Jegging; Brown Riding Boot.


This, my friends, is a Jegging.
(Pay no attention to my dirtied mirror/bedroom.)
(Pay plenty attention to the Subculture Mag on my floor… .)
 
I can’t so much say why the 3rd outfit worked, as it includes some of my oldest pieces (and therefore those most prone to cliche), as I can explain why the first 2 didn’t. The first, despite being for a mid-week event, bordered on the way-too-cas. Namely because Victoire, while comfortable, always boasts sophistication.Switch out the sweatshirt blazer with a real blazer and/or add heels. Cas becomes Victoire chic in an instant.
The second, way too hip. Monotone gray combined with a striking ankle bootie resembled something ofKristen Stewart angst. When you try to look glam, full make-up & done hair, with a slinky, I just don’t care V-neck T, it probably means you do care, just a bit too much. This outfit is great, don’t get me wrong. But more for an upper-scale venue, such as Victoire, during a more-cas event, such as mid-week networking. …
Makings of the Victoire Outfit.
Indigo Tunic Cardi. Shell. Black Jegging. Brown Riding Boot.
 
The third, felt oh-so right. (Where have we heard this before…?) Similar to Victoire’s juxtaposing crowd and settings, this outfit shares just as enigmatic a quality. The dark brown riding boots, tre-beat-up & without a heel, at first seem too casual and even robust for Victoire, let alone late-night on a Saturday. But not so. Somehow the sleek black jegging (go with it) blended just well-enough with the coffee brown boot and brass buckles to emphasize its industrial, and therefore modern European qualities, while the illusion of a monotone, elongated and made sexy, a subtle leg. The tunic-comfort and luxe color of an indigo V-neck cardigan allows for that I don’t care how I look attitude to sneak through, along with the comfort that comes with, but is balanced by emphasizing hips, waist, and bust. The shell? Just an undergarment. Wear whatever matches & feels good. …Leather jacket & pashy combo:  always a must. (Especially for Fall… .)
 
* * *
 
Different Outfit. Same Idea.
Love Philosophy The Color of Grace
The Art of Blushing Palette.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus: Make-Up Hint

When wearing lighter colors (close to the skin) in the winter, create a warm glow on your face. If porcelain-skinned like me, choose silver flecks in a rose blush. Rose warms. Silver looks natural. If olive skinned, go bronze.

Look
Good
&
grab  a
Belgian
Beer.
xo.