Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Livity for Sabi and Eugenia

So, Sabi, Eugenia, their kids and, it would seem, Edge, who was like their family, have been taken by Hurricane Tomas.
Livity Arts Studio, their workplace and home were swept entirely away under the power of water, land and the mountains. An almost unbelievable event for those of us who knew them…and many knew them. They were like family to many, good friends to more, business partners to many of the traditional crafters – Daphne Stephen, Irene Alphonse, Cathy Osman, just a few who had a special relationship with them. 
Eugenia and Sabi, Balenbouche, Summer 2010, Photo by Tricia Fay
 For the rest of us in the arts and crafts community, they were a fixture – always there – part of everything. You name the event – they would be there in some form or other…some of us would pick n choose, deciding some events ‘were not worth our effort’…not Sabi and Eugenia – they might think it, say it, but they’d be there anyway, to support the arts “Yeah man, Finola, you know…it’s what we do” That’s what Sabi would say, and Eugenia would smile and make a little face, her heart in the same place.
I remember in the midst of the troubles of the St. Lucia Arts & Crafts Coop, where Sabi was the President…we all sat outside while the Board met…we were ‘complaining’ that Sabi was too soft…many there did not realize Eugenia was sitting quietly with us. She eventually piped up and said “I’m tired telling Sabi he has to be more firm” But let’s be honest – it was not in Sabi’s heart to believe anything bad about people…he could not give up believing there was ‘a reason’ no matter how bad it seemed to the rest of us anyone was behaving.
I drove by Livity so, so many times, not stopping, sometimes missing the horn to beep “hello”, but always saying “hello” in my heart. Now I cannot help but wish I’d stopped more often. How many times have I felt that recently with the loss of people in my life? Too often.
Livity Arts Studio
 I saw Eugenia last briefly – stopped by on a rainy day to get a bamboo basket for our cat to sleep in – we have two huge ones from them for our spoilt dogs. She emerged dust covered with sandpaper in hand, from somewhere in the back…eyes puffy but smiling, working hard as always. I got my basket – which I have in my studio, the cat preferred his current bed…and I was glad anyway – I liked the basket :-)
The last time I saw Sabi, stopped at Livity, I was taking Andy and Rich from Dominica to discuss the upcoming training that the FAO, through the Ministry of Agriculture is doing. It was a great visit.  We looked around at the calabashes – carved, stained, woven onto by Daphne – we talked about it all – laughed at the number of bags of calabashes, green, dry, small, large, that we saw just everywhere, and Sabi laughed “Yeah man, and that’s not all you know – we have more!”
When we looked at the coffee beans Sabi started to talk about how long it had taken them to perfect the roasting of the coffee…I would know – we used to roast coffee and had long been asking Sabi for coffee off his land, but as it always was with him, he loved to do it himself! We talked about how most people end up burning it, and we discussed if it was Arabica or Robusta we had here – and eventually just agreed it was the best coffee anyway, anywhere – and I remarked that people had emailed us from all over the world to say so! So he asked would we like some. YES! Of course the answer came…so off he went to brew some up.
It was a great cup of coffee, fuel for more chat. 
Coffe and Cocoa beans at Livity
You know the secret to getting good colour on a calabash? I can tell you now – I am sure Sabi wouldn’t mind. Sharpie markers.
I was asked today if I’d speak to the media about Sabi and Eugenia – I’d happily do it, but you know, much as I am so involved in the arts and crafts,  much as I knew them many years, I know many more of you also shared this friendship…please share here…and I set up a facebook group – Livity for Sabi and Eugenia – so we can plan to do honour to their memory and keep their spirit alive, please do join and talk there too.
Eugenia and Sabi in St. Kitts, photo by Urmie Persaud
 If you have pictures you'd like to share, please use the kontacrme button on the right below the subscribe button.
Please share your memories 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Still Planning for Change to a Functioning Selling Website

Can't believe almost a year has gone by since that last post - I have hesitated to add new content as we have been always a short way away from getting the website going. BUT obviously that hasn't yet happened.

In the meantime, I have had it confirmed that we in the Caribbean, cannot use Paypal without a US bank account, so it makes it much more difficult for us to sell online. We're working on affordable solutions and I am encouraged to get this going by the comments readers have been leaving saying how much they want to buy items from some of the artists represented here.

I'd like to ask everyone who really, genuinely would like to do that, to leave a comment - if you can identify the person who's work you're interested in, even better, but if not, still comment and give me as much info as you can.

You can also use the Contact Us button on the right if you'd like to leave some details and be emailed when a site is up...or just subscribe to RSS or follow this blog.

Thanks for stopping by - let's hope your shopping for Caribbean gifts will soon be a reality.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arts & Crafts Village is Changing

We're going Caribbean wide!

In the coming weeks and months we'll be making BIG changes
  • We'll be adding lots of new Caribbean creative people to the blog
  • We'll be putting up a full website with shopping capability

  • We'll be integrating the Caribbean Creatives Cafe community with the Website and Blog

  • We know through our own experience that it's difficult to make a mark online by yourself, but we also know that there's so much to be gained by having an effective online presence...
So we decided to offer a collaborative project so that we can all benefit from a bigger web presence.
  • You can take part if you have your own website-even if you already have your own shopping on your site. 
  • You can take part if you have no website - even if you only make small amounts of items. 
  • Once you are serious about wanting to sell, expand your horizons, build connections - TALK TO US!
  • All Caribbean Creatives are welcome - Arts, Crafts, Gifts, Music, Packaged Foods, Books, Fashion, Accessories - you name it!
We're doing all this so that Caribbean Creatives - ourselves included - can establish business online and build online contacts for customers, suppliers, collaborations, activities, promotion.


If you are interested, drop us a line using the Contact Form, tell us a little about yourself and we'll get back to you with more information.

In the meantime - pop on over to Caribbean Creative Cafe and join there - add some photos of your products or work in progress, tell us about yourself, look at the discussions, perhaps add to the Barter Box...See You There!

Please share this post with people you think may be interested - and if you have ideas, suggestions, questions - add a comment below!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Contacts List

Are you a buyer? Would you like to have a list of contacts for the St. Lucian businesses featured on this site?

If so, please use the Contact form on the right side of the blog to send me a message requesting the list and giving me a brief description of your business - include your email address  and I will send you the list as a PDF.

I promise that I will keep your email safe and secure and will never pass it on to anyone else.

If you would like to know when we update this site - subscribe using the RSS button at the top right of the screen.

Thanks for visiting!


See how to make Cold Porcelain and a tutorial on making a dolphin at Explore Arts

Friday, March 20, 2009

Please Subscribe Again

Well, of course I'd love new subscribers, but also, those of you who were with me early on, if you're wondering why you're not getting emails or RSS feeds it's because Zookoda, who I had my subscription service with in the early days, stopped the service and I've been unable (so far) to retrieve my subscriber base!

I'm posting less often now due to other calls on my time but I am working up to a post a week on a regular basis - would love to have you with me!

So, please subscribe - again or for the first time -

 handmade album by Finola Prescott