Posts in : 2014 August
Stress is one of the major causes of disease in America. According to the American Institute of Stress, more than 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago and 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments. Stress increases your risk of heart disease by 40%; your risk of heart attack by 25% and your risk of stroke by 50%. Just as there are a multitude of things that cause stress there are also hundreds of ways to help relieve it. Exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep are incredibly important to managing the stress in your life. Meditation, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, vitamins as well as getting time away will also help to keep your stress level down. But what if you cannot sleep? What if the worries of your day keep you awake, tossing and turning, so you wake up more stressed than ever? Sometimes trying something a bit different may just be the trick that helps. Why not try our unique Guatemalan Worry Dolls?
According to Guatemalan legend, worry dolls have the ability to take away the worries that might keep you awake. By telling one worry to each doll and then putting the doll under your pillow, you are actually freeing your mind of that worry. The legend states that the dolls will take away the worries during sleep and thereby allowing the owner of the dolls not only a good nights sleep but also the ability to wake up worry-free in the morning. These dolls are handcrafted in Guatemala and are clothed in traditional Mayan costumes. They typically stand about one-half to one inch tall. Our Guatemalan Worry Dolls come in sets of four but you may use fewer or more depending on the worries you are experiencing. Studies have shown that even the act of voicing our concerns and worries will help to relieve the stress and pressure of everyday life.
What do you look for in a purse? Something unique, something colorful or something useful with lots of pockets? We all have had that one purse that we love; that purse that is more than utilitarian but brings a smile to our face every time we use it. One of the most beautiful purses in our collection comes all the way from Thailand. The traditional Hmong designs used to create this purse are amazing. If you are looking for something that has a “wow” factor you have come to the right place!
The talented Hmong people are known for their embroidery and this large handbag is an excellent example. The intricate gold circular designs make this handbag incredibly impressive. Simply beautiful! This purse measures a generous 19″ x 12″ x 5″ and has two braided 20″ handles with a 10″ drop.
The word Hmong means “Human Being” or “Free People” in the Hmong language. Hmong history is complex. They are reported to originate from Siberia and their emergence dates back thousands of years. Over the centuries they migrated south so that today they are dispersed throughout the highlands of southern China and northern Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. There they live primarily as self-sufficient farmers and gatherers. The Hmong greatly respect their elders and ancestors. Traditional gender roles are common. Large extended families live together. They tell each other ancient stories and poetry. Women create beautiful clothing and quilts and every square is handmade by a Hmong hill tribe woman mainly living in the remote hills of northern Thailand and Laos using the reverse applique quilting method. The designs are traditional symbols for love, longevity, and life. In the majority of cases, the artisans’ incomes are based mainly on agriculture. Income from handicrafts normally provides supplementary income for the artisans and their families.
The artisans we work with in Guatemala are simply amazing. Their products are highly valued due to the incredible detail and workmanship they bring to each piece. Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. The handiwork of the Guatemalan people is world renowned. The intricately designed patterns and the exquisite quality of their jewelry and accessories is highly prized. The women of the highland villages of Guatemala learn the traditional beading techniques which they then pass down to their children. They work to earn extra income for their families and in several cases are the sole providers of the household.
One of our most popular items is the Capullo Bracelet made using Guatemalan beadwork techniques. Truly unique and beautiful, these bracelets feature a hand-woven base of Czech seed beads, richly embellished with an assortment of glass beads and semi-precious stone chips. Our Capullo bracelets come in a variety of gorgeous colors to match any wardrobe. This bracelet fits securely with a strong, hidden magnetic clasp. The unique magnetic clasp makes this bracelet easy to put on and off but is strong enough to hold securely when worn. The colors are vibrant and these bracelets will be treasured as true works of art.
World Elephant Day has arrived! On August 12, 2012 the first World Elephant Day was launched to draw attention to the plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures all over the world, yet we are dangerously close to losing this magnificent animal forever. Since 2012, strides have been made to educate people about the escalation of poaching, habitat loss and elephant mistreatment in captivity. On this special day, we need to celebrate the elephant and learn about ways to help protect these beautiful animals. Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair says it well: “We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.” Here are some sobering facts:
- The Asian Elephant is considered endangered with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide
- The African Elephant is considered threatened with less than 400,000 remaining worldwide
- The Asian and African elephant are two different species and while they are similar in physiology, they are too biologically different to interbreed
- 2013 saw the greatest quantity of ivory confiscated in the last 25 years
- The main market for illegal ivory is China, where a single tusk can fetch $100,000-$200,000
- Asian elephants range in 14 countries. In the past 50 years, the Asian elephant range has shrunk by over 70%
- In Asia, there are approximately 70,000 people to 1 elephant across their range
- There were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand at the beginning of last century. There are less than 4000 today.
- One out of every three Asian elephants left in the world is a captive animal
Here are some positive things you can do:
- Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products
- Support organizations that are protecting wild elephant habitat
- Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit
- Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants
- Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products
- Be aware of elephant habitat – do not buy coffee that is not fair-trade or shade-grown, nor products with palm oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated elephant habitats.
- Educate people about elephants
- Use your love of elephants and World Elephant Day, August 12, to start a conversation with the next person you meet.
To celebrate the magnificent elephant, lifehearthome.com is proud to spotlight our beautiful collection of elephant themed products featuring our stunning Kate Mesta elephant necklace. You might also enjoy the cute zipper pull from Thailand or the beaded elephant keychain from Guatemala.
posted in Unique and Memorable
The month of August means many things to many people. It signifies the end of summer for many students returning to school; a month to travel for many vacationers; and it is becoming known as one of the most amazing months to witness the wonders of our universe. This August boasts many astronomical phenomena to thrill star-gazers of all ages. Among these awesome sights is the Perseid meteor shower, a supermoon and the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Venus.
Many of you probably noticed our exceptionally large and bright full moon yesterday. This ‘Supermoon’ is defined as a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. Yesterday was the 4th supermoon of 2014 and the closest occurrence of the year. Hopefully, you were all able to experience the beauty of this sight. The only downside of this event is that it is coinciding with the Perseid meteor shower but you might still be able to see some of the shower by viewing between midnight and dawn and staying away from city lights.
The Perseid meteors can be seen every August because that is when Earth crosses the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris from this comet vaporizes in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the result lights up the night sky with streaking Perseid meteors. This meteor shower lasts several days and will peak during the nights of August 11-13. At its peak, the shower consists of 50-100 meteors per hour.
The final cool astronomical event happening this August is the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. People in the eastern United States will be able to enjoy a rare occurrence when these two planets will be only 12 arc minutes apart, which is less than half the width of the full moon. That’s under half the width of your little finger held out at arm’s length. If you are in a favorable location simply look eastward an hour or more before sunrise, starting in the days before mid-August. If you watch every morning, you will notice that Jupiter will edge closer and closer to Venus until they reach their closest on August 18th.
If you enjoy astronomy, then you will love our beautiful Mova globes. Each Mova globe is not only a stunning piece of art but as you take it out of the box you understand that it is not your typical globe. As the ambient light in the room shines on the globe you will begin to notice that it actually spins! Right in your hand or on the desk or anywhere there is light. There are no batteries or cords to plug in – this globe will silently spin as long as there is even a small amount of light in the room. Check out the amazing Jupiter and Venus planet globes and all the other globes in our collection!