As I mentioned earlier today, I am celebrating the change of seasons and some changes for this blog by hosting my first ever giveaway!
I will be honest. I have had that post written for a week now. But I am a very indecisive person, and I just couldn't figure out what to give away. I always overthink these things. And by some flash of inspiration, it came to me yesterday.
"Red beads?" you say. "What's so special about red beads?" Well, my friend. These aren't just any red beads. These are red beads with a story. Two stories, really. Lets call them The Red Bead Tales.
Story One: The Tale of a Necklace Shared
It started on New Year's Eve, 2009. I was at Ingrid's house, affectionately called The Nunnery by friends. There was dancing and singing and every kind of merry-making. And Ingrid was wearing red beads. I complimented her on them, and she said, "Red beads go with everything, don't they?" Well that was an interesting though. Actually, I'd never considered it. Do they?
I gave that simple sentence an unwarranted amount of thought over the next couple of months. I determined that yes, red beads do go with everything, and I would like some very much.
Enter June. I was newly unpregnant. At the grocery store with my fresh-from-the-womb bundle. And who did I run into but Ingrid. And Rebecca, who was wearing red beads. "I love your beads!" I told her. "Red beads go with everything, don't they?" It came out before I realized I was quoting Ingrid from several months ago. I really believed it, though. I was still without my own red beads, and I decided then and there that I was going to fix that.
"Wait," Rebecca said. I'll take care of it."
The next day Rebecca came over to hang out with Malachi and I. She handed me a package that contained, of course, the Red Beads. The same beads that she and Ingrid wore. I was so excited! "Where did you get these?"
"Let me tell you about these beads," she said.
Story Two: The Tale of an African Treasure
This is a very special string of glass beads that was purchased from The Binaba Shop, a fair trade non-profit shop here in Roanoke. They are antique French beads that were made in Venice 300 years ago and used throughout Africa for trade and commerce.
I thought that was very cool, so when I had some gifts to buy a couple of weeks later, you know what I did. There are now two midwives and a doula that are wearing these beads as well.
Atieno Asiyo, the store's fascinating and beautiful buyer and manager, explained to me that many beads were created for this purpose between the 15th and 20th centuries. Evidently beads were an important part of many world cultures, and they are now collected and made into jewelry.
Since they are beautiful artwork as well as former currency, many beads have been replicated for modern jewelry. I'm sure you would recognize some of the designs. By the way, if you are local to Roanoke, please stop into The Binaba Shop downtown across from Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea. It is an awesome store with beautiful art, jewelry, home furnishings, and natural bath & body products.
The best part: everything in the shop is fairly traded and the proceeds build hospitals and provide micro-loans in Africa. If you are interested in learning more about The Binaba Shop and Atieno Asiyo, you can read "The Education of a Kenyan Radical" (pg. 36-39) online in September's Valley Business Front. There is also an interview with Atieno here.
So those are the stories of the Red Beads. I wear mine all the time. Each time, I am reminded of the sweet women who gave me or received from me the same necklace. I have discovered, of course, that there are the occasional things you can't wear with red beds. But I can wear them more often than not, I tell you. One lucky person is going to have the same great pleasure.
So, on to the details...
You can enter up to five times. Please leave a separate comment on this blog post for each entry so you will be counted in the random number generator. Leave a way for me to get in touch with you for each entry. Deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 29, 9am. I will try to announce the winner later that day. Here are the ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post stating what you are looking forward to about Fall. (required)
2. Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog, and post a link in your comment.
3. Post a Facebook status update about this giveaway with a link to this post.
4. Become a follower of this blog (see column on the right side), or let me know that you are already are.
5. "Like" Binaba shop on Facebook (Binaba Shop Facebook page).
Let the fun begin!