Thursday, January 7, 2010


Nothing says Africa to me quite like the journals of the dishy Mr. Beard.
The beauty, the mystery, the cruelty, the blood and gore of Africa..... It's all there, between the pages of the most exciting journals of our time.

"When you look at his diaries, you think, The man is mad!" - Iman

"The diary habit began back when Beard and Radziwill were lovers and Jacqueline Onassis gave him a leather-bound journal he proceeded to fill with all manner of debris. Year by year, the diaries piled up, overstuffed volumes grotesquely swollen with the detritus of a life, each page densely layered with photographs and an astonishing assortment of other items: tiny rodent skulls, candy-bar wrappers, keys, buttons, flamingo feathers, a pocket from a pair of velvet jeans, peanut shells, dried leaves, plastic cocktail stirrers, a piece of a cereal box, mysterious newspaper headlines (woman saved from slime!), bones and rocks, smears and dribbles of blood (always Beard's favorite artistic medium), intricate line drawings and elaborately inscribed quotations, cigarette butts, rubber gloves, matchbooks, fish skeletons, plastic ketchup packets, a desiccated lizard, a dung-beetle foot—the variety is endless." - quote from an article in Vanity Fair, about Peter Beard, here. It's well worth reading! Beard is quite a spicy character whose story is bound to be made into a blockbuster film one day...... Maybe it's been done already?

"A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garbs, draperies of morning mist and mirage." - Karen Blixen

All the images are from Peter Beard, a boxed, double volume set by Taschen. I used the kuba cloth as a back drop ( in case you thought it was part of the journal:-)

Visit Peter Beard's website here.


  1. Hi there!....

    I'd love any of the 3 carved amulets please!.....

    ...and I'd make a Kuba Cloth inspired background to put them on...


  2. i would love the beads and and one of the amulets
    its my birthday on january 15th :)

  3. Oh My!
    1. I would dearly love the comb for a tapestry beater.

    2. the beads

    3. and any of the wooden amulets (let's say the right one)

    Thanks - I love African art!
    Laurie @

  4. What a wonderful post on the fabulous Peter Beard!!! I would LOVE to see one of his journals up close!!!
    And, what a wonder-full giveaway!1 How would one decide between these treasures if lucky enough to win!!!!?? My fav is the comb, then the amulet, then the group of stones and bone.......
    Even if I don't win - thanks for a wonderful post!!!

  5. What an intriguing journal!

    It's hard to decide - but those beads or the tin lizard are fabulous!

  6. The three figurines are speaking to me in strange, but thrilling tongues...

    Nice journals too!
    And congratulations on your 200th post!
    xo FM

  7. I was completely unaware of the fabulous Peter Beard. Now I must find out more! Gorgeous post, Robyn, as always.

    Yes, please put me in the drawing for #4. I'm feeling lucky!

  8. Your photography is excellent Robyn! The kuba cloth is the perfect background for the journal pages. I really love those Peter Beard journals. They are still on my wish list... Humm...the amulet you carved in the middle me thinks. Fingers crossed! And congratulations on your 200ish post! Your blog could easily be a double volume leather bound box set warped up in kuba cloth! I already feel like a winner because I get to read your blog.

  9. 1 2 6

    yes, the yummy peter beard with all those intense photos he took...good description...and beautiful placement with the stones (of course) and cloth.
    and i'll be IN: items 1,2,or 6

  10. Oh, do count me in! The three amulets have my heart!

    And I share your love of dear Mr. Beard. I've always found him fascinating, if a wee bit frightening!

  11. Hi Robyn!

    I will definitely check out Peter Beard. Cool.

    You are so sweet to have another giveaway! I would be delighted with the carvings (the women), or the tiny gecko.

    Happy new Year!

  12. What a fascinating post-- I have seen Peter Beard's collages before but they are always so incredible to look at over and over. OUT OF AFRICA is one of my favorite movies and book-- so is WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham--have you read it?
    All the items look lovely but having to choose 3-- the wooden comb, the middle wooden amulet (would love to have one of your pieces) and the soapstone carving.. with fingers crossed :-)

  13. Is it lucky to be first? I love the Peter Beard journal entries...and I will (probably) have to go have a look...Would love the beads and any of the amulets tiny gecko is my style, too.

  14. I have recently found your blog and absolutely love it! I lived in Ghana for a year... more years ago than I like to think... and loved it. Africa is an amazing place.

    I would a carved amulet or the beads.

    Congratulations on your 200th (205!) post!

    Debbie L

  15. amulets, beads, carvings...all would be loved and treasured here!


  16. ohhh make me chooose.... oh dear...
    sigh... hmmm ok beads...
    and I am entralled by this post, what amazing diaries!
    and Congrats on your 200th+ postand giveaway, I am at the same place too! it is remarkable huh!! blessings to you dear!

  17. What an interesting journal that looks to be - and what beautiful Kuba cloth - as for the beautiful things you display for the giveaway - how could I possibly choose - they are all so exquisite. The amulets are particularly interesting - I have a book on amulets, many of which I have tried to reproduce as embroidery. I do so love your art over there it is so inspiring. Happy New Year to you.

  18. What an amazing book. Yes, such an active life would make a good book and with looks like that, I doubt the actor could top them. Even better, I just checked out his website and his art is thrilling.

    As for the goodies, I would pick 2, 6 and 7. This seriously tests my ability to make decisions ;)

  19. I would love to join, but I can't chose. I think these are all wonderful giveaway's as I like African arts very much.

  20. any carved wooden amulet, robyn!

    and happy new year to you... i don't think i've said that yet...


    (smiling at PB of course : )

  21. dear robyn, just send peter beard! seriously your post on him and his work is outstanding! the kuba cloth is a wonderful backdrop! If I were a winner I would go for #8 the tin guy! lyle

  22. I have this PB set've done a fab job of photographing the pages! And what a life he led!

    Your giveaway items are all so lovely.. i think i would have to narrow it down to the bicycle, the middle amulet and the soapstone carving..but really receiving any of them would be a treat!

    Congrats on your 200th's always a feast for the eyes and soul when I come here.

  23. I saw an exhibit of Beard's journals a few years ago and was so blown away by them - just so full of life... Journaling has never looked the same to me.
    Are the carved figures done by you? for any of those, I'd throw in my name :) xo

  24. Congratulations on your 200th post! That's quite a milestone, and each post has been an informative visual treat! I'll pass on the giveaway, but I look forward to many more posts from you. Now to go check out this Beard character ... :)

  25. Oh Robyn
    I am never good at give aways, (or raffles, or lotteries)
    I would dearly love one of your amulets but I know getting stuff to Oz is difficult so if by any chance my name came up, something you know would pass through customs, perhaps the tiny lizard.
    I must look more into Beard.

  26. Is it ok for lurkers to jump in? If so then i"m here.
    I would love one of the little womenfigures in the middle or the bike.
    And the 15th.......... i'll be in Maroc, thoes that count for Africa?

  27. Great post, never heard of pete but will check out the website. He looks interesting but I am not sure about his friends (Jackie O?) ...people who just don't know what its like to struggle to pay the mortgage. As usual you invoke thought and debate, great brain food.

    Kind regards Dave

    P.S. Count me into the give away. You choose what you can bear to part with.

  28. I an sure I said congrats at 200 but just incase I didn't...CONGRATS!!

    I won't ente your draw because it would cost you a lot to post a parcel to NZ..but just for the record I really love the amuleets, beads and comb! All of these are lovely though and I am sure the lucky winner will be very happy!

  29. "Dishy" as well as talented!!!
    Fascinating really, these journals are amazing...what a passionate collection of images...

    Love to be in the draw...and I choose the amulet, amulet and um yes the amulet :) xx

  30. Wonderful post...your placement of cloth and stones...masterful! Congratulations on 200+ postings...all pretty amazing!
    If I'm not too late:2 or 5 or 6 or anyone you choose.

  31. the carved soapstone is beautiful ... the post on Beard is fascinating - i look forward to exploring.


  32. Congrats on another inspiring post--and the 200th one at that! All of your treasures are wonderful but I think I would love to win the 3 carved amulets.

  33. THREE things? You are a generous soul R.
    I would treasure just one of your amulets.

    Thanks for the info on Beard. I shall go and look at his site now.

  34. Robyn - Thank you again for a post of intrigue and shock. Love the giraffe poem. I have only seen a giraffe in the zoo so the poem helps paint a truer picture of a wonderfully shaped and colored animal as it moves across its homeland.

  35. Congratulations on your 200th (205th) post! What a lovely post it is, too. I have heard of Peter Beard but haven't known much about him. I love the photos of his journals. I will have to check out his website.

    As far as the giveaway, the choices are hard! But... my choices are:

    -Bicycle crafted from rusty wire (I'm a bicyclist)
    -Any of the carved wooden amulets. They are all lovely.
    -The soapstone carving from Zimbabwe.

    I have an "Africa" shelf because a friend who lived in Mali for several years brought me lovely hand-painted fabric, beads, a favorite bracelet. I would love to add to the shelf, although I would probably use any item from you in a mixed media piece.

    Thanks for giving us all the chance to have a little bit of Africa in our lives.

  36. that comb is is IT!!!!!
    no more no less.

  37. i'm surprised at my greediness.
    especially since i'm a minimalist...
    i should also have commented on that post of yours.
    it was interesting...i always learn something when i come here if not get inspired. it is actually a bit much for my brain that kind of art. its a LOT to take in.

  38. Congrats on your 200+ posts Robyn. I can't imagine anyone not wanting one of your amulets. The lizard broach is something I would use because I love broaches. I have an affinity with bicycles too. I wasn't aware of Peter Beard. The name did sound familiar but I wouldn't have known why. I love to read diaries/journals and I think this appears to be a must read. I learn so much from your blog. Keep on postin.

  39. What fabulous journal pages, I've encountered Peter's work before, just amazing.
    Congratulations on your 200th post and thank you so much for the chance to share a little of your world with your very generous give away. I would love any one of the three amulets, the beautiful comb or the wonderful bike, a real work of art.

  40. The book and the Vanity Fair article were both fascinating. He is truly one of a kind.

    As for the give-away, I would count myself lucky to have just one of your amulets. You are generous to offer three items. If I was chosen, I would chose the left and middle amulet and the wooden comb. My fingers are crossed!

  41. I am with Willow: I was not aware of Beard but am enthralled and will be checking him out. How wonderful of you to have a drawing. I guess since 6 and 8 are my lucky numbers that I would take either of them. Malachite is also my stone so the beads would work there for me too. Thanks for offering!

  42. I visited South Africa last March, and I can say without a doubt that it was beautiful, moving and life changing. I just found your blog and I am enjoying it immensely.

    Gorgeous book!

  43. Fabulous! My three favs are the soap stone carving and the middle and right amulets.

  44. Congratulations on your 200th post.
    Thanks for introducing Peter Beard to me - wasn't aware of him. Those journals are going to be on my wishlist and thanks for having this great giveaway.
    My choice of goodies are 1, 2 & 3.
    This was a difficult decision to make.

  45. A very generous gesture, thank you from now. I Know I'm a lurker (but a really persistent one) and maybe only I make the effort of write when there is a gift, but I'm out of practice and I have to use a traslator.
    If I have to chose, first any of the wooden amulets (i like to have something made for you), second de bicycle and at last the beads.
    Congratulations for your blog y thank you for the artists and places you make me know.

  46. I've just googled Peter Beard, contemplated what I'd like and am typing them down before I go check out Beard. (Gee what a busy morning ;-))
    I think I'd like 6,4 and my favourite of all, number 9!

  47. Happy 2010 Robyn. Thanks for bringing (South) Africa close to me through your blog. I would love to have one of your carved amulets.

  48. What a wonderful givaway, I found your blog through another blog, if I'm lucky I like number 1 - 2 - 3, Congratulations on your 205th post on your wonderful blog.

  49. Sorry, I couldn't resist your giveaway, all of them are beauties, so count me inn - and sorry normally I read your very, very interesting posts without a lwaving a comment. This doesn't mean that I am bored by it, not at all. So gongrats with your more than 200 posts, a book worth!

  50. What a wonderful giveaway! I love the wooden amulets - #4 is my favorite, the wire bicycle, and the #7 soapstone carving. I had to read the list twice because I was drooling over he fabric shown in the picture. I have been making quilts from authentic african fabrics - the super dutch wax pieces are my favorites - and the fabric in the picture rocks! Congrats on your 205 post! paltier at rpj-aps dot com

  51. beautiful journal...transports me across the world! I know nothing about Mr Beard and am quite curious to investigate this interesting being.

    The amulets and beads all fascinate me..but the piece of cloth (not in the give away) even more so. Anyway, I want to say I so appreciate your stopping by my blog today and all the thoughtful words you shared.

    Your comment on my entry: The Soul is Always Praying brought to mind a favorite quote of mine that comes from a Chasidic Master...the Kotzker Rebbe... he said "There is nothing so whole as a broken heart"

    I had a heart breaking experience with beauty yesterday morning as the sun made me cry. I have the post written but need to upload it...
    All of which goes to show (I think) that true wisdom is always present in every generation across all cultures and physical landscapes!

    Time and space are such funny constructs.
    gentle steps

  52. thank you for the glimpses of these fascinating journals, and for such a lovely give-away.

    if I were so lucky as to be chosen, I would love the wire bicycle.

    thanks again for your great blog!

  53. oh that journal wonderful, I keep thinking of starting one!

    7. is wonderful
    4. is wonderful
    9. is wonderful.

    but then I like em all! wishes Blu x

  54. One of these days, I'm going to buy that Peter Beard set for myself. My Hot Afro book arrived a couple of days ago. What fun! It looked as if it had a bit of a bad ride from South Africa, however.

    Those three amulets are wonderful and I can just see them on my desk now inspiring me to work each day.

    As usual, Robyn, thanks for putting together this wonderful blog for us.

  55. I've only commented here a couple of times, but I devour each post.
    So intriguing, this Beard guy, I'll have to read up on him.
    I love all the give away items, but the bicycle and your carvings really jump out at me. Thanks for the opportunity.

  56. Congrats on your 200+ post. I have loved them all and look forward to the next 2000! Such a generous giveaway. Hard to pick, but I would say comb, beads, and any amulet.

  57. OK, got my fat little fingers crossed tight! I love the comb, and any amulet and those wonderful beads. All of the options are treasures. Thanks so much for the chance to have something from such a interesting, inspiring artist/country!

  58. Fascinating- Love the journal idea of compost in a book! WOW! I would so love to have the bicycle. Please enter my name and give it a kiss for good luck!
    I am so inspired to keep that which should not be kept in my journal now.

  59. Oh, and the beads and the tiny gecko!!! Wonderful!

  60. I love the middle amulet, the collection of beads, and the tiny wire gecko broach--Happy New Year!!

  61. man, I have to move this boxed double volume of Peter Beard to the top of my wish list and I would love any of the carved amulets and those beads!

  62. Greetings Robyn,

    What a wonderful idea and the selection is terrific and having the possibility of selecting an item so that it means more to the winner is perfect.

    Though I have a favorite of the wooden amulets, there is also the element of surprise, so I would not wish to know until I were to open the package.

    All three a beautiful and would go well with my African mask collection.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

  63. Found you and your blog only months ago "by accident". I can honestly say it is one of the most creative-ly wonderful things which happened to me this year.
    Living in a directly opposite climate and in some ways, culture, here in upstate New York USA, your work is so "differently" inspiring for me.
    I would love to have something from your give away to constantly inspire this year of my own "Great Change"
    I would choose #7, 4, or 1. However, will treasure any of them if I win! Thanks for the opportunity.

  64. Another fascinating post Robyn, I had not heard of Peter Beard - thank you for the introduction! Your photos are beautifully styled!! Congrats on your 200th+ post - and here's to many more! I'd love to be in the draw - I love your carved amulets, (4 and 5 are my favourites) and tiny wire gecko 9! x

  65. how lovely :)

    lets see ......
    1. the comb
    2.wooden amulet in the middle
    3.the tiny clutch of beads

    all the best to me :)
    happy new year robyn :))

  66. I wouldn't mind have the bicycle; think I'd attach it to some type of messenger bag, with fabrics of an african theme, so it could continue it's travels.

    Thinks for writing your bright and colorful blog. I'm happy I stumbled across it.

  67. Oh, this is so much fun. I would especially love to have the carved wooden comb... or any of the woooden amulets!
    And your Peter Beard books look so amazing. Thanks for sharing his incredible pages. Roxanne

  68. P.S. I just ordered the books! Roxanne

  69. I look forward to each posting in your blog. I would love the bicycle, or the comb, or the beads.

  70. I've already won a giveaway of course, but that comb is to die for! Thanks for another enlightening post and congrats on #200!

  71. Your posts are always very magical...the Peter Beard Journals are WOW! Your photo's are awesome, I love the stones! The little giveaway treats are delightful, it's so hard to choose...the soapstone carving is gorgeous, the tin lizard makes me laugh, the gekko is sweet, the beads and the comb are beautiful, the carved figures are mysterious, and the little bicycle is very cool! I think it's a toss up between the tin lizard and the bicycle...they both tug on me in a special way...

  72. Peter Beard's journal looks intriguing. Thanks for sharing. My favorites are:
    1) Soapstone carving from Zimbabwe
    2) Any one of the amulets
    3) Tiny clutch of beads from Malawi, Malachite, buffalo horn and bone


  73. I am really drawn to the tiny gecko broach, the soapstone carving, and the wooden comb.
    Thank you for sharing the Peter Beard images. They are quite wonderful.

  74. I'm so lucky I havent missed your giveaway. I'm just back from holidaying at the beach for the last week with my MIL....very nearly didnt get a comment in!

    My favourites are:
    2. the beautiful carved comb.
    4. the wonderful carved amulet (love all three you have carved).
    7 the soapstone carved faces.

    What a wonderful collection of treasures.

    Love the Peter Beard journal pages and will definately try and see if they are available at my favourite art bookshop. Have admired him for ages.

    Jacky xox

  75. let me see, tiny wooden amulet, tiny wooden amulet or I know tiny wooden amulet. Just love images of a female deity and they are so hard to find.

  76. What a wonderful diary that must be. I will try to see if I can find it at our local bookstore. So many lovelies you have up for offer. I'd love the beads, one of the amulets and a wild card surprise! :-)

  77. All of the choices are so interesting but the three I would love to win are 1, 2 & 4.

    What a lovely way to mark a milestone, Robyn!

  78. I´m a still reader of your wonderful Blog from Germany.
    My favorite is the carved wodden amulett in the middle, it remains me of the goddess :o)


  79. Lizard or gecko or beads... would be simply scrumptious!!! not that i'm likely to get drawn, due to the volume of responses!!!

  80. Such amazing gifts. They are all lovely but I really like the carved wooden comb, the clutch of beads and the middle carved amulet.

    The amulets are wonderful, they remind me of the pagan venus, only more flattering.

  81. what a wonderful giveaway!!
    I would love to win ..

    the carved wooden comb
    The carved wooden amulet... middle
    the carved wooden amulet.... right

    Thanks so much, Congratulation for your 200th post.


  82. Thank you for introducing me to Peter 's journals...I had not heard of him and his wonderful collection of evidence. Journals are sacred prayer books in my heart. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
    I would love to own and wear the woman amulet if I could be so Lucky...2431 audrey drive west...newark,Ohio 43055 USA

  83. Hi Robyn, your blog is very inspirational.
    My eye keeps traveling to the beautiful comb!

  84. Hi Robyn, your blog is most inspiring.
    My eye keeps traveling to the beautiful comb.

  85. Peter Beard has been a favorite of mine for many years. I have an old magazine with a photo of him journaling in a tent in Africa...I wanted to move into the tent...sans Peter:) but with my Husband ;]
    Thank you for the links.
    How lovely to have a choice of a gift my choices would be: Wooden comb, and any of the wooden amulets...are they carved by you?
    Your kuba cloth is beautiful.

  86. What a wonderful job you did on the journals! Really made me want to learn more about Mr. Beard.
    I always go away from your blog feeling very inspired. Thank you for that.
    I would love the #5 amulet - or the comb if your were to pick my name!

  87. I'm in Morocco right now and have picked up pages from a children's workbook, bottle caps, wire bits, tobacco seals, a piece of tile and a bit of plastic with the Moroccan star for my journal.

    I would love that bicycle or the soapstone carving or an amulet.

  88. Those books from Tashen are interesting aren't they?

    Beads are very cool and there are many there, but that rusty bike from wire there sounds very inviting.

    Nice work! Cheers!

  89. Hi Robyn - What a great post - I never tire of looking at Peter's work. Love the books too. We can just go to them again and again. A life well lived, so full and amazing. You live in an amazing place as well - so inspiring. Fran

  90. Zimbabwe! anything from Zimbabwe please.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    I love your blog except for the snakes (tho I love the pictures of the snakes).
    Happy days,

  91. Love the Beard post; the choices have to be the carved pieces. It is continually amazing to leap into your blog magic, Joan Tucker

  92. Oh what an education you give us Robyn!! What a character Peter Beard turns out to be. Fantastic!!! I will try and get myself a copy of the book. Its one of those- must owns.
    And since everyone here has been demanding things left right and centre (3) why must I not do the same :) For me it will be the amulet right, the amulet left & the carved black comb. I send you a hug for this post! :)

  93. Ooooooh, such a difficult choice. Congratulations on your 205th blog post. Your blog is a visual delight. I would like the three wooden amulets. They should not be separated, I think.

  94. From a link of another link of another other link I have found your site. I am enthralled by your art and the sharing of your view of Africa! I have added your blog to my RSS feed so I can go back over every single thing you have posted! In the meantime I will live vicariously, especially if I win (wink) I like the soapstone carving, the beads, and the wire gecko. Gina

  95. wow,those incredible books!! Peter Beard..........weird + wondrous! Thanks for the giveaway.
    Definately the little masterpiece of a bicycle!
    missy from the bayou

  96. nifty selection...are the amulets your carvings?

  97. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  98. I bit the bullet and ordered Peter's journal and it should arrive on the 19th...I can hardly wait. I would be happy with one of your beautiful amulet women if I could be so lucky...Robyn you have given me a thirst to visit god child is in Law school and will be visiting Tanzania ( sorry I am tired) to learn and hopefully help with the children and the foster care system and work on a child's right.
    Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  99. Peter Beard sounds fascinating Robyn. I have never heard of him before but sounds like he would make an excellent read.

    Love the tokens selection. I would plump for the comb, soapstone and an amulet.

  100. What a great blog, lovely photos.
    Mnnn, the comb, so graphic!
    the amulet in the mmiddle (looks like me!) and the to hold and roll around.
    I'll be back.

  101. Congrats on your 200th post, Robyn!
    Would love to get them all ... teehee. NO I'm not greedy, but it's hard to make a choice. All pieces are gorgeous. I would be delighted with one of the carved women, or the rusty bicycle. Thanks for your generosity and the opportunity to win one of these amazing pieces.
    I had not heard of Peter Beard as yet - thank you for the introduction! I'm off to look at his work.
    Hugs and Love,

  102. Wow - too cool to pass up this chance! Congrats on lots of blogs and many followers! It was Difficult to choose - but here's my entry.

    1. Wooden Amulet Center
    2. Carved Comb from Mosambique
    3. Soapstone carving from Zimbabwe

    Always love your artwork.
    Best wishes from Denver, Colorado USA.

    Chris Beikmann

  103. Have always been a fan of Peter Beard..
    I would love the beads (can already feel them in my palm, i like to hold and caress smooth stones, beads, sea glass...) and the lizard, and the gecko.
    Now lets see how my luck holds! Thanks a lot in any case.

  104. Another gorgeous post Robyn! And what delightful treasures... honestly there isn't a thing there I don't think is lovely - all wonderfully evocative of southern Africa - and I simply cannot pass up the opportunity to win one of your beautiful amulets so am going to plump for one of those please and, because I LOVE a surprise, leave the choice of any of the other goodies to you! Now, crossing fingers and toes... :)

  105. I heard about peter's amazing story and journal many years ago(painted with blood very often!!!) he's amazing! there was some pages of his book publish in a magazine. that's how I found out about him. I have saved them of course and bound them as a little book!