Welcome to Funky Frog…
African beads and more!

Funky Frog travels to Ghana, West Africa to search for gorgeous African beads, baskets and more. We have visited Bead Artisans and searched all the Beads Markets for new finds to bring home. African handcrafted beads are made out of glass, metals, bone, tree resin, wood, seeds, clay, shell, even rocks and stones!!! So for those of you who are looking for unique beads to incorporate into your own jewelry check out Funky Frog’s page called – Beads. To improve your shopping experience Funky Frog has added the option to save Items for later. Check out the ‘How to’ Blog  .. During this time when travel is dangerous Funky Frog brings Africa to you… Over the years my good friend, Dela has taken me everywhere in Ghana … now he is going to pick up beads for me and post them to Montreal. And wonderful Traders and Bead Artisans that I have worked with are working hard to find the beads i keep asking for… Remember every bead you buy means Funky Frog can get More beads from the Traders and Bead Artisans of Ghana…. Every basket you buy means another basket will be bought from the incredible Baba Tree Community!!!  A huge shipment came in from Baba Tree just in time for Christmas … Just to let you know if you are in Montreal please contact me and we could arrange either a pickup or i could deliver to you. Also remember Boutique Sisi on Victoria under the Pink Awning in Westmount carries a range of Funky Frog’s Jewelry and Baba Tree Baskets you can go and see. Please call Silvia at 514-944-5232. NEW Also Pure Art has a gorgeous new location in Vaudreuil-Dorion with all their beautiful Fair Trade products. Pure Art is now carrying the Baba Tree Baskets and the G-lish Baskets. Good idea to call ahead 1-855-424-6654. Shop local for world cultures!!!

Funky Frog creates jewelry using  gorgeous African beads … Not only is each piece created lovingly by hand in Montreal, each bead is unique and handcrafted in Africa. You can see the jewelry on Funky Frog’s page called – Jewelry. Funky Frog jewelry is also carried by Boutique Sisi on Victoria Ave under the Pink awning … Ask Silvia and she will be delighted to show you Funky Frog’s creations!!!

Baskets + Curios

Baskets are handcrafted in a region in Northern Ghana called Bolgatanga.  The G-lish baskets are made from recycled plastic, fabric and the traditional rattan …and they take about three days to make. They are works of art!! The more traditional Bolgatanga baskets are weaved  with the elephant grass and have a myriad of colours , designs and shapes. Funky Frog gets Bolgatanga Baskets from the amazing   Baba Tree Community which is run by Gregory MacCarthy. When you check out  Baba Tree you will note they are “not a “project”, a charity, a foundation or a non – governmental organization (NGO)”….the ethic here is that “the weavers with whom the Baba Tree works are more than capable of taking care of themselves, excelling through their own sweat and creativity that ultimately produces Excellence”.  Gregory has created a community that just buzzes with energy and joy … Since Funky Frog can’t go to the Baba Tree, Baba Tree’s wonderful staff have picked out a really large range of baskets for Funky Frog and will be shipping them out very soon … we should have lots of beautiful baskets for amazing Christmas presents!! If you are in Montreal send me a message and we can arrange a basket showing on the back porch … dress warm, it is getting cold!!!

Visiting Funky Frog

Funky Frog hopes you enjoy your visit! If you would like to follow us on Facebook  or Instagram we would be delighted. Come for a visit and like us! Whenever we add something special to the site we will post it there as well.

Funky Frog’s Blog

Funky Frog’s Blog is where you can read about adventures hunting for beads, baskets and curios…. you can read about our visits to the Beads Artisans to get gorgeous recycled glass beads … or about how the Kokofrom Co-operative  creates beautiful brass beads and findings …or about our  Basket Co-operative Friends … check out the blogs if your intereste is piqued here …..

But, what is quickly evident when you read the Blogs, the beads and baskets that Funky Frog brings to Canada are just a part of the whole story. This story is also about people just like us but living in circumstances that we cannot even imagine … Things we take so for granted can be used to reach out across the globe and every little sustainable bit is worth it!

Out Side
the Box

Mainstream … looking up this word i found these synonyms: normal, conventional, conformist, accepted, established. Vegetarianism has been mainstreamed. i know as i have been a vegetarian for 46 years. It is the new norm and this is great. Foodies now look for ‘biological’,’vegan’ … However there is a flip side to something being mainstreamed. We no longer question it, we accept it as it is. We no longer think or even look outside the box.

I use vegetarianism as an example because it is something that is close to home for me. When i first became a vegetarian way back it seemed so ‘right’ to me i thought everyone would follow very soon. This notion faded after 10 years or so … But suddenly being vegetarian has become hip and so a new marketing tool … slap ‘vegan’ on it and suddenly it is trendy! But you can’t be a vegetarian because it’s trendy … Being vegetarian is a way of life … you must think and look outside the box.

It is the same thing with ‘Fair trade’, ‘Eco-friendly’ and the latest ‘Zero waste’ … these philosophies are not simply trendy marketing tools but deeply felt inspirations to live a certain way. If you want to include ‘Fair trade’or being’Eco-friendly’ or ‘Zero waste’ into your life it takes a lot of thinking outside the box.

And thinking outside the box takes a lot of commitment… it takes a leap. Leapfrog is Funky Frog’s recognition of this. I first went to Africa for a deeply personal reason. I was born there and wanted to see my homeland … but i found much more than i bargained for.

Going to Ghana, West Africa had me leaping out of my box! And outside the box as a leapFrog I have met so many wonderful people who are working quietly and selflessly to make a difference……

During the last visit, the 2020 Baskets and Beads Hunt we met up again with Gregory MacCarthy… such an extraordinary man. He is a Canadian now living in Bolgatanga. He is very blunt about his views. He says “Saving the poor Africans” is not a narrative that we employ. Charity often carries the subtle message: ‘’you are not capable of doing it yourselves.’’ The people with whom we work are very capable.” And he brings out the very best in the people he works with. There is no sense of ‘us and them’ with Gregory… He is very definitely at home in his community. And the product, the Baba Tree produces speaks volumes as to the amazing ability of his community! During these difficult times Baba Tree is quarantining like the rest of the world but the Weavers are still being paid to help them through … so awesome!!

G-lish Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Ghana, West Africa. The weavers make sustainable, hand-made baskets and wall art that generates incomes and choices for families. The above photo is Afil Atambire one of the baskets weavers. She has 6 children and 6 grandchildren! No wonder she has such a beautiful smile! The founders of G-lish Foundation are Godwin Yidana and Gayle Pescud who live in Australia.

In 2005, together with their five boys, Brigitte & Robert McKinnon embarked on a humanitarian trip to the jungle town of Pucallpa, in the Peruvian Amazon, to connect with two young girls they had sponsored to attend school. An eye opening experience, the family recognized a community in dire need of help, limited by a lack of access to education, housing, & healthcare. Returning home conscious of what felt like a forgotten community, the McKinnons & their five boys decided there had to be more they could do to help. Their solution came through the creation of the Pure Art Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, that would work to empower this community through health & education programs.

You too can be a leapFrog and take a leap into helping out! Be part of this circle that ripples outward…