textileIf you love West African fabrics, beads, and embellishments, and want to learn more about them up-close with like-minded adventure seekers as you immerse yourself in Ghanaian culture, you’ll want to join Cultured Expressions’ second Textile & Craft Tour of Ghana, taking place September 15-27, 2011!  

The customized itinerary is designed to appeal to quilters, fiber artists, sewing & craft enthusiasts, dollmakers and those with related interests.  Activities include hands-workshops in wax batik, adinkra stamping, bead making, kente weaving, and a dazzling variety of “shopportunities,” from street stalls and open air markets to contemporary boutiques.  Cultured Expressions has also arranged for presentations by local artists and more.  

The events will be based mostly in Accra, the country’s capital, with overnight excursions to Cape Coast and Kumasi, and a day trip to Koforidua.  The schedule balances crafting activities with traditional Ghana tourist stops to give visitors a well-rounded understanding of Ghana’s people and culture.

Cultured Expressions is a niche company that promotes the creative use of authentic African textiles for sewing, crafts, quilting and home décor.  It specializes in fabrics, beads & brass embellishments, kits, creative supplies, and how-to project books by Lisa Shepard Stewart, owner of the company.  Its mission is to educate & inspire DIY (do-it-yourself) enthusiasts with projects, lectures and trunk shows, hands-on workshops and special events like the upcoming Ghana trip.  

In planning the upcoming Ghana tour, Lisa includes some of her favorite resources and regions for the items she sells nationally at quilt shows and events, and internationally, online at CulturedExpressions.com.  

textile_2Another component of the trip is the launch of the “CE Cares” Project, in which the trip participants will present donation items to a local organization. The 25 travelers brought cargo bags filled with school supplies, clothing and toiletries, along with hand crafted quilts, dolls and more, created by their quilt guilds, family and friends at home.  "Last year our group visited the Countryside Orphanage in Awutu-Bawjiase. This year, we've selected the Manya-Krobo Queenmothers' Association as our recipient.  The group's beadmaking businesses help to support local orphans, HIV/AIDS patients and young women."  

“My goal is for this experience to serve as the start of lasting relationships between the participants and their new Ghanaian friends” says Lisa, who has been to Ghana eight times.

CE has also organized several Quilters' Retreats at Jackie’s on the Reef (a holistic spa in Negril, Jamaica) – it blends African-inspired quilting with spa treatments, gourmet food and rejuvenating wellness activities.  This year's retreat takes place June 2-6, 2011. All of the company’s unique offerings encourage people to express themselves creatively, and to “Feel the Fabric…Embrace the Culture,” as the company tagline suggests.

CE is again working with Lorna K. Johnson of Global-Linkages in organizing this unique experience. The cost of the Textile and Craft Tour of Ghana is $4500 based on single occupancy; a suggested payment plan is available, with the final payment due on August 15, 2011.  For details and registration info on the Ghana and Jamaica trips, visit www.CulturedExpressions.com or call 1-866-MUDLOTH.