This Christmas year I wanted to get really creative; I have all these left-over fabrics from all my handmade items.
In addition to collecting vintage fabric for one-off design pieces. I started finding ways to upcycle any excess cut fabric and contribute in reducing land fills caused by fabric waste.
Join in the fun with this fantasy narration: A journey through the creation of these ornaments and decorating the tree. I am naming it:
KAFOI DECORATES & HER ENCHANTING CHRISTMAS TREE
Once upon a time there lived a pretty little girl called Kafoi, who loved animals, nature and making things.
She lived in a beautiful green and scenic part of Kenya near the mountains called nyandarua.
Every weekend after having breakfast with her parents and helping her mother with chores in the morning, Kafoi loved to go into the forest to play with the hares. They would pop out of their holes when she whistled to let them know she was around. They loved her visits because she always brought them some sweet carrots from her family garden.
Kafoi loved to sit and watch the hares heartily eat the carrots and hop around her as they sniffed and tickled her soft brown skin. She would giggle and pet them.
After feeding the hares, as usual, she would walk around and collect anything from nature she found pretty.
This month was extra special because it was ‘the’ December that her beloved Daddy promised she could help him decorate the Christmas tree. Kafoi has been saving her collection as well as gifts from family. She needed one more thing. So, she runs to her mummy shouting, “mummy where are you?” and her mum shouts back, “I am in the garden sweet-Kafoi, what is it?” Kafoi answers, “mummy I need your spare lesos and kangas”.
As Kafoi arrives at the garden, Mummy asks, “what do you need them for?” Kafoi knows Mummy can be difficult at times so she tries to think of how she will persuade her, at the same time she gives her Daddy a long look as if to ask for support. Then he says, “darling, you had these few lesos that you wanted to give away since you are clearing out. You could give Kafoi two of them, at least”.
With the realisation, Mummy stands up with excitement and leads Kafoi into the house, heading to her chest drawer. She tells Kafoi, “here we are sweetheart, choose 2 colours and you are good to go”.
Kafoi with matched excitement grabs her 2 favourite ones, hugs Mummy and dashes out of the room like a shot.
It has been quite some time since Kafoi was last seen. She has been very busy preparing her creations. Her parents have been coming in and out checking in, wondering, what is keeping her so pre-occupied. She would chase them out, shouting, “you cannot see my designs until they are ready”, and they would tiptoe away quickly whilst laughing and saying, “okay okay, going, gone”. Kafoi wanted to present her items to her parents once all was finished.
After 2 hours the door is FLANG open and she calls out with excitement to her parents. “Mummy, Daddy where are you? I have to show you something, my Christmas tree decorations are ready. Come sit near me, over here please”. As they sit down, she places all her designs on the table and she waits for her parents remarks and feedback.
She slowly looks up at them and they look back at her, amazed. “How did you make these?” they both ask. So Kafoi picks one by one and starts to explain to them.
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGNS
Pipi ya Kosmos
Meaning sweet or chocolate cosmos. Red bow made from red kanga/leso and tiny red diamantes.
The inspiration came from the stunning chocolate cosmos flowers in the forest, with their deep red tone.
Nyota ya Lesi
Made from white with dark maroon-coloured flowers. The colours on the fabric resembles a flower called African eye. She enhanced the design with silver diamantes.
Jicho la siku
Interpreted as the days watch or eye; The bows came in orange and yellow with diamante on the centre flowers. Motivation for this bow was the orange and yellow African daisies collected to freshen the home.
Meaning royalty bird; Other beautiful animals encountered in the forest where the famous and stunning Kenyan bird called the Lilac breasted roller. On a lucky day some of their pretty feathers can be found on the forest floor or branches. The Christmas balls where embellished with them.
Lesi ya Binti
Interpreted as virgin bow; The virgin duo punctata that was a dotted yellow pretty lady bird is another creature that can be found in the forest, on the leaves of most plants. The inspiration for the white and yellow spotted bow came from this.
Koni dhahabu and Koni fedha
meaning gold cone and silver cone; Nyandarua is famous for its gorgeous pine trees. The pine trees produce cones that carry the seeds; in season they tend to fall on the forest floor. They have been painted to give them some new lease of life
Interpreted as enchanting garden; Random left-over tiny cut pieces of Kanga or leso and diamante were used to make the décor balls. This really resembles the enchanting colourful wild floral flower gardens that sprung every year in the forest floors in the African spring.
Here is the finall look. In addition to the Christmas tree is a charming African Inspired galaxy and Christmas stocking.
Here at Jijjy’s Maison I am wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
If you would like to see a video of the Christmas tree lit up watch it here. (Note: Blog post if fictional Kenyan fairy tale created by me, Jijjy, the video is a journey of how I decorated the Christmas tree with my little darling cat Gloria whilst on lock down. We spend Christmas alone, but we made it fun.