Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories


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2010 – the year of craft

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of what I’ve made in the past year. No wonder I at times thought I was developing RSI in my right hand. I was knitting like crazy. Here’s what I’ve knitted/crocheted/sewn/beaded between December 2009 and January 2011 (a total of 13 months), complete with links to the relevant posts:

And, that’s about as much as I can recall right now. But I think that may do for 13 months of knitting, sewing, crocheting and beading – at the very least 100 individual items. If I remember anything else, or if you think I’ve missed something off, let me know. But I’m rather proud of that!

Here are a few pictures:

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My Fairly African range

Well, I have been adding items galore to my Folksy shop. This is now becoming my full-time hobby, it seems. And, after buying a hoard of fair trade, ethical beads from women co-operatives in Ghana and Uganda, and making new pieces yesterday, I’m feeling very hopeful that I may get my first sale.

The beads I have bought are all made from either recycled paper, glass or vinyl, and all come from small businesses in Ghana and Uganda, with opportunities for the craftspeople to make their own living. The sale of these beads provides a wealth of opportunity to people living in very difficult, and often dangerous, situations.

For example, the Ugandan Acholi beads I bought, made by the Acholi women using recycled and rolled paper are supporting 22 women out of extreme poverty. After having to flee villages in Northern Ugandan, the women resettled in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, where the only work can so easily be in a stone quarry, crushing rocks for 30 pence for a full hot, dangerous, dusty and unhealthy day’s work. With even children working in these jobs, school tends to be a distant dream. However, in producing these Acholi beads, the women in this co-operative can produce the equivalent of two days wages crushing stone in just two hours. An obvious opportunity for better health and opportunity right there.

What’s more, I’ve decided that I’m going to start donating 10% from all sales through Sophie Kingo Handmade Gifts and Jewellery to a Ghanaian charity. I’m yet to find which I would like to help, but I’m keen to be able to provide some of my takings to some social good. Put that down to my day job as researcher on YF’s CLG funded supporting local social enterprises project, and my trip to the oh so beautiful Ghana last year. So, if you are in want of any gifts or jewellery, then please do visit my online shop. And if you can’t find anything exactly as you like it, then drop me a line. I take reasonable requests. Oh, and if you have any examples of potential Ghana charities I can help (preferably with a focus on crafts as a means to address social issues) then please do drop me a line.

And here are some of my new items to whet your appetite:

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Sophie Kingo on Etsy – well and truly stocked

Some time ago I set up my Etsy shop (Sophie Kingo – Handmade gifts and jewellery) in an attempt to try and sell some of the jewellery and oyster card holders I have been making. I listed a few items back in July and have finally, this week, got around to listing more items. In fact, everything which I have to sell at the moment is now listed.

My items seems to have emerged into two themes, Africa/Tribal and Water. Here’s a taster of what you can find there:

Africa

This collection includes: the lovely Safari Cluster necklace, which incorporates an upcycled elephant pendant from my awkward teenage years/1990s wardrobe;  Dying Embers earrings, made of  lovely glass, metal and plastic beads in rich ambers and browns; and the Oyster Card holder made from Ghanaian wax print purple and white cotton fabric bought from Obuasi Market in Ghana.

Water

This collection is primarily made from blue beads and includes: Love the Rain necklace, made using a selection of beautiful glass beads, foil glass beads and a glittery button (because everyone needs buttons in their lives); 3 Blue Lagoon bracelet, including this one (number 2) made from some really lovely glass lamp work beads; and Orbit earrings – wire wrapped purple acrylic pearls.

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