AFRORETRO™

MADE IN LONDON • INSPIRED BY UGANDA • DESIGNED BY US • MADE FOR YOU

AFRORETRO Beating The clock

Who we are, LifeAnna-MariaComment
Anna blanket stitching her Chrisy=tmas Star. Wax print on tree bark cloth. Fabric Ear bobs. Elk Ear bobs.

Anna blanket stitching her Chrisy=tmas Star. Wax print on tree bark cloth. Fabric Ear bobs. Elk Ear bobs.

Wowser. The moral of this story is that if you leave things to the last minute you WILL get them done, you WON'T die and yes angels will visit you at 2am with cherry beer!

AfroRetro embarked on its first ever outing, a craft fair hosted by Stitches In Time at Limehouse Townhall. I find the name Stitches In Time rather ironic as what we didn’t have was time! So AfroRetro is my Little Big Sis and myself, we both have other full time jobs...well full time-ish. Lilly (Little Big Sis) organises sleep overs at a famous London museum to over 400 excited kids once a month and I am a freelance actor (…I did say full time-ish). It just so happened that the same week as our debut craft fair, Lilly had 480 - 7 year olds wanting entertainment and their adults wanting entertainment with an educational slant. Meanwhile I was work-shopping a brand new play with a performance at the end of the week. They say a change is as good as a rest, so we embraced this saying and slept no more.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when the clock is ticking. Just to add to our challenge, we have just moved into our new place, so much so that the only room half decent is the studio. The rest of the house has made me adept in the art of contortionism, plus I can sniff out fabric and jewellery findings in a room full of unmarked identical boxes better than a sniffer dog looking for weed at Camden tube.

It felt like the crystal maze, each evening or afternoon bringing a new challenge. The tipping point came when a package I had waited in for wasn’t delivered, despite paying for next day delivery (tut tut tut Royal Mail). It was then withheld from me at the sorting office as I had no proof of address and the postie didn’t leave a card (shame on you Postie). My pleas of not having proof of address because I had only moved in and the fact that my creative future lay in the contents of the envelope (earring hooks) fell on “computer says no” ears! Even after an unexpected show of solidarity from the women of St Reath Ham queuing with me, who I have to say argued with a ferocity as such, you would have thought them part of the AfroRetro family! If I see those women again I will hug them on the street and make them AfroRetro Badges of honour. So I was left in the rain, package-less, tears streaming down my face with my almost dead IPhone getting seriously wet; yes that was a low point. But that was one moment that contrasted the many highs along the week that make it all worth it.

100 Earbobs made. (An Earbob is a Southern American, perhaps old fashioned word for an earring. Little Big Sis read it, liked it and adopted it). A piece of dead tree from the garden fashioned into an organic jewellery display (…I hacked it off with a blunt sickle…its amazing what the universe throws you when unpacking from being in storage for 6 months or what your boyfriend buys at The Green Man Festival in a moment of hippie drunkenness). A massive thank you has to go out to the 2 angels that appeared at various times over the week, bearing food, cherry beer and the generosity to be AfroRetro elves till the early hours of the morning you know who you are ladies.

So come Friday at 1pm we were loaded up at the bus stop travelling to a part of London that would have been local to us 3 weeks ago. Sods Law.

What happened next…watch this space…