Oprah Winfrey may have broken the hearts of many fans recently when she announced the end of her daytime show. However, I’m glad that some of her other ventures will continue – especially her support of crafters in South Africa.
Oprah contributes to their communities by selling beautiful handmade items from local beaders and basket weavers in her online store. These items are amazing with their intricate details, high-quality aesthetics and mainstream appeal.
Especially impressive (and my favorite items!) are the beaded animals, which take you on a hand-crafted safari of lions, cheetahs, giraffes and elephants. The process for creating the animals involves a team of artists that manually shape galvanized steel wire into sturdy three-dimensional frames. Afterward, thousands upon thousands of tiny, colourful glass seed beads are hand-strung onto strands of wire and securely fastened to the frames in a process called plastering or weaving. I can only imagine the effort and skill that goes into planning and executing these wonderful pieces.
To browse through various linens, photo frames, jewelry, beaded animals, african baskets, bowls and more, check out the African Crafts store. The inspiration is there for the taking, as is the opportunity to support a great cause!