Scenes from the party…


That would be me in the black & white dress on the right

We are back from our mini-vacay where yours truly celebrated the 15th anniversary of her 25th birthday.

We had so much fun, we didn’t want to come back. The kids were ready to move into the absolutely fabulous Wyndham Kingsgate Resort in Colonial Williamsburg. Seriously this is the best way to travel if you have kids.  Forget cramming everyone into a hotel. Get a Resort apartment. Indoor Arcades, playgrounds, pool, movie room, fully stocked kitchen, washer/dryer in your unit…I could go on. It was absolutely fantastic!

As for the party, what can I say…anytime you get together old friends, add a splash wine, and a pinch of great conversation and music = best time ever!

My awesome stepson X (on the left), the ever fabulous Sugar and her husband


Some friends, and my Bestie LaQ on the right of the picture.

It’s me again Smile


My fantabulous cake! Made by Impressional Sweets in Hampton Virginia. For those of you who know my work, you will recognize my crochet earrings and leather clutch purse recreated in cake form. In all my focus on the party décor, I kinda forgot to focus on the cake. I just figured I’d pick one up from Sams, and call it a day. Unbeknownst to me, my bestie, LaQ had already ordered one for me! She referred the cakemistress to my portfolio site, where she duplicated my design in cake. Amazing. The level of artistry in this cake blew my mind. Oh, and it was deeelicious!

If I ever doubted the love of friends and family (and I never have), it was reinforced this weekend.

My fabulous sister-in-law flew down from NYC to celebrate with us. She did most of the cooking and tidying up during our stay, so that I could focus on the party prep.

My fantastic brother-in-law DJDolo, couldn’t be there in person. Through the magic of technology he was able to live dj for us from all the way in NYC! He dj’d the whole thing from around 8:30pm to 2:00am using a service called UStream! Check out his music stream here. I cannot thank him enough.

Last but not least, I am extremely grateful to my bestie, my sister from another mother, LaQ. Without her help, none of this would have been possible.  Not only did she provide us with the use of her time-share, she grocery shopped for me so we’d have food waiting for us when we get there. She also ordered my fantastic birthday cake seen above. I could not ask for a better friend. Love ya, girl!

I had a wonderful time and it was so nice to see our old friends. I had so much fun with the party décor that I am going to dedicate a whole separate blog post (and possibly a segment) to that.

Stay tuned.

travels and such

So this past weekend we hitched our wagon and headed to our old stomping grounds of Hampton Roads Virginia.
The occasion was my extra son’s 17th birthday weekend, so we thought it’d be nice to go see him. Since it was also father’s day weekend it was particularly nice for The Hubs to be with all his children. (The Hubs is not in this picture, but just pretend that the tall handsome young man in the pic is him, because they are uncannily almost identical. X is just a darker shade of his dad)



Of course it didn’t hurt that we were able to squeeze in visits with my bestie and a few other friends.  Is this not the yummiest baby girl you have ever seen? She almost makes me long for another.  She belongs to a friend who also happens to be a crafty Mama. She crocheted the this stinkin’ cute winter hat for the baby, and yes, I made Mom put it on so I could get a pic.



We didn’t see everyone we had hoped to see, but you can only cram so much into 2 days.  Never announce to everyone that you will be in town and that you will see them. It simply will not happen. There’s always next time…

All in all we had a great time! There was food, fun, family and friends. It was worth the 10-12 hour drive, and almost worth the horrible hotel. I’m sure we will one day laugh about the not-at-all magificent accomodations.  The first room we were assigned had been double booked. What a lovely surprise the dirty tub and towels, full trashcan and full fridge were! Just imagine the comedy that would’ve ensued had the original guests come in as we were getting dressed! My bad on that one, since I booked the hotel.

Along the way we passed through my other old stomping grounds, West Virginia (add this to your ‘did you know’ file about me.) Yes, I am a proud West Virginian *by way of Nigeria* of course. I managed to snap a picture of the gorgeous Mountain State capitol building. Of course my impromptu iPhone pic could only do it so much justice.



Great trip, now off to the sweatshop I go! Next show: this weekend Cincinnati Final Friday PopShop.


I just about hyperventilated when I saw THIS at my favorite thrift store today!

This knitting machine is a toy I had when I was about 8 years old in Nigeria! I remember playing with it trying to figure out how to use it to make all those fabulous projects in the manual. It’s actually not a toy but an actual craft machine used to make granny-circles which can then be used to make a bunch of projects. I would often tell my daughter (who’s just a little older than I was then) all about this machine.  I don’t think I ever really made any projects with it, but I remember it fondly.

Now that I have this machine in my possession I understand a little better my attachment to it. This machine reminds me of my mother who passed away when I was 9 years old . She used to sew and knit and do all these projects with me, and this is one of the machines we played with together. After her death and the chaos that ensued, I lost track of the machine. I have no idea what ever became of it.

Fast forward to today.  I was browsing my favorite junky-pile Goodwill outlet.  Let me just say how much I LOVE this thrift store. I find the most obscure, usable, bargain-riffic items there! So there I was doing my usual browsing when this box jumped out at me.  It came with the original box (with the 1970’s pictures) and the original instruction manual! There was no question that I would buy it, especially since it cost me a whopping $1. All my memories came rushing back, and I couldn’t wait to show it to my daughter.

I know that my Mother is not present in the machine. I know I don’t need it to remember her, but it feels like I found a connection to her, and also a connection that I can now share with my daughter. I look forward to sharing my memories and experiences with her while teaching her to use it.

Raucous Dinner Parties, Oh how I miss you! And other musings…

Oh how I miss entertaining!  Especially after having recently returned from Norfolk, Virginia, our previous hometown and site of our parties of old. Formal dinner parties have never been our style in the AfroMartha household.  We love just having a random group of people over, add some good food, some off-the-beaten-path music, and Voila! you’ve got a night of interesting conversation and a great time had by all.  Man, our get-togethers used to last till 2, 3, and sometimes 4 in the morning.

Ever since we moved to the Midwest, though, we have not been able to make those same kind of connections. I’m sure part of the blame has to lie with us, but boy it’s been tough! Maybe it’s because we’re a little old to be starting over. After all, those connections we had in VA were made mostly when we were young and childless. Out here in the Midwest it just seems that most of the folks we encounter already have their own social networks and aren’t interested in adding new people. When someone does happen to come by, we tend to hold them hostage long past when they intended to leave.  Hmmm…I wonder if that’s why they don’t come more often?

It’s not that we haven’t made any friends at all. I made one good friend and several acquaintances. Poor Mr. AfroMartha has made mostly out-of-town acquaintances due to his traveling for Capoeira.  This has to be tough for him because he’s such a social butterfly. We haven’t made any ‘couple’ friends, and definitely no ‘raucous dinner party’ type friends. Most of the people we meet generally tend to not be interested in doing out-the-ordinary things, like Brazilian music, or Afrobeat, or long evenings of stimulating philosophical discussions. Salt of the earth people though.

Well, I miss it.  I crave it.  Even my cooking has gone downhill since I have no one to entertain. I don’t bake like I used to or try new dishes like I used to.
I must find some people.  I know they are out there…they have to be. I resolve to extend myself and really go out of my way to meet some people. Got suggestions? Let’s hear it!

On a brighter Note…

Today was a very productive day. Operation Purge and Declutter had a banner day. I finally got rid of my stash of bottles and jars from my Taiwosoaps days.  I had tried to sell them on Ebay and Craigslist, but got nowhere.  The thought crossed my mind to just drop them off at Goodwill or even the recycling plant.  That just made me sad because I wanted them to go to someone who would use them.  Who better than a fellow soapmaker?! A quick google search turned up Tanya Brown of Living Simply Soaps less than 5 miles from me! She was so happy to receive my offerings that she gave me a few bars of her absolutely delectable soaps.  Good thing too, because we were running out of soap and I was thinking of making some with the rest of my stash.  Now I can wait a couple of weeks.  Check out her store, you won’t be disappointed! It felt great to bless someone with supplies in the same way I was blessed when I first started out oh-so-long ago. In return, I get a clearer cleaner space in my home.

After dropping the containers of, I got to work on the pile of children’s clothes that needed to be taken to Goodwill.  I got those sorted and dropped off as well!

Phew, all that decluttering got me so wiped, I decided to take a quick nap.  Well, the joke was on me, because guess what I came down to after my nap?  I left the 3 musketeers to make some art to occupy themselves, and this is what happened:

Good thing I had thought to put down the plastic table cloth on the table, and aprons on each of them… The little one, aka Prince Ruckus used so much paint I couldn’t pull off his paper without tearing it. Very nice work they did though, I must say.

This one’s my personal favorite though… it’s Fire!

And here’s The Princess with her “Well, I didn’t do it” Stance.

At least the cleanup was easy. They had fun and it bought me a few winks. Plus they didn’t burn the house down, which is always good a good thing.

Renegade Craft Fair…plus all the traveling!

The AfroMartha household has been so busy adding mileage to our vehicles that I have been seriously lacking in my posts.  Sorry!

Lotta, Me, my Daughter Yejide

As I mentioned in my last post oh-so-long-ago, I went to Renegade Brooklyn.  And what a wonderful time it was! I got to meet other artists/crafters and indulge my love of all things creative.  And yes, I met Lotta!  She was so gracious and approachable.  My daughter and I got to stencil a tote bag at her workshop and I got to pick her brain a little… it was quite busy at her station but she still took time out to make each person feel welcomed.  She even autographed our tote!  Check out picture on left.

I am now ever more resolved in my decision to pursue screen printing/printmaking.  I love the instant gratification and the permanence of what you create with this medium. Had I taken a serigraphy course in college I would have been hooked sooner.  Better late than never.

I am working on a new product line while perfecting my technique.  In the meantime I also discovered another designer, Jenny Sauer of Three Sheets 2 the Wind.  Her work is simply marvelous, and it’s exactly what I hope to be doing (and better) someday!  I was so excited that she lives/works in the Cincinnati area. I had visions of somehow working my way into apprenticing under her.  I was so excited that I commited the faux pas of comparing her to another artist. OUCH.  I meant it in the most sincere and complimentary way, but I realized too late that it’s never a good idea to compare one person’s work to another. I tried to clean up my comment with a comment, but it’s already out there.  You can’t take it back. Well, I guess I blew that.

Oh, finally I picked up my own copies of Meg Mateo Ilasco’s “Craft, INC” and “Craft, INC Business Planner.” Awesome.  A must have for anyone who has wondered where to even begin to organize the different facets of having a creative business. I hope to work through the workbook successfully before venturing back out to the business side of things.

And now, I get ready to get back on the road again!