Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Friendship - I'll bead there for yoooo

The Friendship

The Friendship is a fast an easy way to earn your beads, rather than buy them.

Simply find some shops you think would be interested in Mzuribeads,
and follow the two simple steps shown bellow to making it work.

Click on the image to zoom in.

If you have not already done so, please first subscribe to our mailing list on our home webpage,
or email Kirstie at to introduce yourself to us.
Otherwise, you can start right away.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meet the beaders in Uganda

Mzuri Paper Beaders in Uganda

Today, I want to tell you a bit about the paper beaders in Uganda. Mildred, Edith, Gertrude and Harriet were the intial four women we started working with. Bellow is a picture of my brother Angus and I with them back in 2006. We are sitting in what we was the first Mzuribeads office. It was an open space offered by a friend. It had no roof, and rubble for walls and flooring. It was more on the lines of 'historic ruins' than a ' office space', but it was filled with our intial enthusiasm and ambitions.

Mzuribeads founders, (from left to right), Gertude Naiga, Harriet Yiga, Kirstie MacLean, Angus MacLean, Edith Namanda, Mildred Kibahigire.
Established 2006

We then started to train the friends and neighbours in Ndejje, the village these women lived in. Bellow are a few of the other Mzuribeads members.


Harriet gave birth to her third child whilst I was working in Uganda with the women in 2008. I was happy that Mzuribeads could financial assist her hospital fees, and that her baby was born safely, and is now seen modelling Mzuribeads (:Lydia
Although very shy, I think Lidia is one of the most beautiful young women I've met. She is Edith's second eldest daughter, and is seen here modelling a necklace.

Daily Life
Cooking and Washing are the usual daily chores, that take up most hours of the day around beading. Above is Ediths home, where we hold meetings and spend hours chatting, translating, and trying out new techniques, materials and crafts.

Meetings and Accounts
Meetings and accounts are often long winded, and challenging. But, we are particular about the system in which we work, and ensure that we spend as much time as possible voting, discussing and achieving positive results.
Watch a snippet from one of our meetings bellow

Chicken Farming
With Edith's savings she has started to take farm chickens. They usually are found wondering around the land around her house, and are later sold or used to farm the next generation. It is a long term investment for many of the women.

Written by Kirstie MacLean
Mzuribeads Director

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Worlds Largest Recycled Paper Bead

Rollin Rollin Rollin...

I decided to attract some attention for Mzuribeads, by rolling an over sized, rather useless, but amusing gigantic paper bead.

As far as I have been informed this is
THE Worlds Largest Recycled Paper Bead.
I would love to make that official, but I have yet to meet anyone willing to sponsor me with the £400 fee charged by the Record Book folk.
So, you'll either have to challenge me, or just have to take my word for it (;

I rolled this in Botanical Gardens, Glasgow West End.

I first put together lots of magazine covers with clear sellotape.

I measured it 1.4metres across, and made it as tall as I had enough recycled paper for.

I then measured with string, and then cut a perfect triangle.

I then called in a friend, and began the rolling of the paper bead

We rolled, and we rolled
...making sure it was even on both sides and as tight as we could get it.

And, that was it!
Bellow is a picture of me and my brother, (Angus MacLean), with the finished 1.4metre recycled magazine paper bead.

I was pleased that a recycled paper bead could be made that large, and in a few hours.
But, it was too slim and the gaps between each layer were to wide.
I knew it would be more effective with a greater length to roll in,
(more paper to roll in would add to the thickness)

So, I went a little further... I collected some bus stop ad size posters, with thanks to, and head on out to my friends empty candle factory in Govan. ( ShearerCandles)
I did exactly the same thing as with the covers of the magazine in the first bead, and taped all the posters together, then cut out a perfect triangle.

Because of the length I made it, it took a loooong time to roll, and my arms started aching, but the result was a thicker bead.

This is me with the finished 1.2metre recycled paper bead.

Written and rolled by Kirstie MacLean

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mzuribeads - Giving the paper beads a new look

I went to the theatre last night to see La Boheme with my friend Bobby, but it was a disappointing production...So, instead of written on Mudhut, I'm going to write about my work on Mzuribeads tonight.

I've been trying to come up with a new look and logo for Mzuribeads. Since I have failed ): to come up with any ideas myself. I thought I'd pick three logo/images from some of my most current inspirations.

So, here they are together with Mzuribeads put into their style bellow.
Please leave your comments, and tell me which one you like most.

Written by Kirstie MacLean
Director of Mzuribeads

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