script> Africa Moto: March 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Color Inspiration: Indigo blue

I'm finding myself drawn to indigo blue lately as I work on product development for Sunbird Collection. I should share something personal with is my favorite color. Indigo blue is such a big part of traditional textiles here in Mali, and a number of ethnic groups such as the Tuareg, Dogon and Bobo use indigo for dyeing, weaving and crafting. I couldn't resist sharing these finds with you.  Hope you enjoy!

(via Le Ndomo, Tensira, ABC Home, Hand Eye, Aboubakar Fofana)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Friday + Niarela Rue 420

These lovely goodies are the work of Bamako-based French designer Mariane Montaut of Niarela Rue 420. I found out about her when saw her work at the "So Masiri" exhibit at the Musee National here in Bamako last year. I was immediately drawn to the fabulous colors of her collections and her modern take on the traditional Malian bogolan hand dyeing process. I decided I needed to find out more, and visited her workshop in Niarela to meet her and do a bit of shopping.

I found Mariane to be a lovely and down-to-earth designer, making lovely hand woven bedding, pillows and modern furniture. I also found out that she co-owns with her husband  a beautiful eco-lodge called Kangaba just outside of Bamako, that is a perfect weekend getaway.

Above are some of the pieces from Niarela Rue 420 that I am loving that will most definitely infuse your home with color. Visit here to see more, I hope you will love it too.

Have a great weekend everyone!

{images: my own and

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Discover: Shompole Lodge

Located in southern Kenya on a private conservancy overlooking the Great Rift Valley, Shompole lodge is a conservation minded eco-lodge that is anything but rustic. It's a romantic and chic getaway "off-the-beaten" path that is just perfect for a honeymoon or romantic holiday.

Founded and designed  by Anthony Russell, a Kenyan native and founder of Art of Ventures, this luxury lodge not only supports and works with the local community it also protects wildlife at the same time.  The local Maasai community gets 30% of the proceeds made from the lodge and conservancy, which goes to improve their infrastructure and raise their standards of living. I'm truly impressed by this model of community partnership, so inspiring...

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