• Nov
    22

    Pay it Forward


    by Cathie
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    Especially during this time of year we find ourselves a bit more charitable and friendly. If we can keep that feeling throughout the whole year just imagine the positive change we could make. My daughter came home the other day with this amazing story that I thought I would share with you:

    “The other day I decided to treat myself to an afternoon snack and I went to Baskin Robbins for a scoop of my favorite ice cream. I remember counting out my change in my car to make sure that I had enough money and found that I just barely had enough. When I went up to the counter to order my ice cream the employee informed me that the person who had just left had actually paid for my scoop of ice cream – for no reason but to be nice and pay it forward. I was thrilled and it made me feel so happy that I decided to pay for the person behind me. As I was completing my transaction, the cashier told me that everyone that came in during the last two hours had done the same thing and passed their kindness forward to the next guest. I felt so happy to have been able to participate in this wonderful experience. It was only a few dollars but ended up touching several dozen people and brightening their day.”

    My daughter’s story touched me and again made me realize that even a small gesture can really turn your day around and remind you of the kindness in the world. The pay it forward challenge is a great idea because it makes everyone’s day a little bit better and leaves a smile of everyone’s face.

    The next time you are in the drive through or in line at Starbucks, think about this little story and consider paying it forward. The gesture might just come back to bless your day as well. Also consider our Whisper of Kindness Cards if you would like to show your appreciation, gratitude or just happiness to another person. These kindness gifts will warm your heart and help to brighten the day of those who receive them. Pay it forward everyday!

    Leave a little Whisper of Kindness card wherever you go.

    Leave a Whisper of Kindness card wherever you go.

     

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  • Nov
    19

    Stylish and Cozy


    by Cathie
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    What is the history of the scarf? There are reports of types of scarves being worn as early as 1350BC. Evidence has shown incidences of scarves in ancient Rome, China and Egypt. Scarves have been used for many purposes other than as a fashion statement, including representing military rank, status in society and for practical uses. By the 1900’s the scarf was solidly placed in fashion history as a very versatile and stylish accessory. Many of us have our favorite; the soft one that keeps us warm; the silk one we wear on special occasions and even the outrageous hot pink leopard print one we bring out when we are feeling crazy.

    Now we are entering winter and in most parts of the country we are beginning to feel the chill in the air. Unless you happen to live in Southern California, where we are in desperate need of rain but seem to just have Santa Ana winds and red flag warnings. But even in Southern California, we love our scarves.

    Most of our scarves come from artisans in Thailand and are made from soft acrylic yarn or beautiful silk.  These fair trade products will become treasured additions to your wardrobe.

    Blue acrylic scarf from Thailand

    Soft and cozy acrylic scarf from Thailand

    Soft and Stylish!  This beautifully hand-woven acrylic scarf from Thailand will be one of your favorites.  It is so soft and comfortable that you will never want to take it off.  The lovely blue color will enhance your wardrobe and can be worn with casual jeans or a for a more formal occasion.  You will love the softness and will appreciate the quality! This scarf measures approximately 70″ long and 13″ wide.

    This scarf in made in Klum Doi Tao, located in the hills of rural northwestern Thailand. The local area is inhabited by both Karen and Tai peoples who traditionally work side by side in cooperative efforts. Being primarily farmers, the villagers grow their own cotton, and produce and mix their own natural dyes. By developing their time-honored farming and weaving skills, they naturally constitute a sustainable and eco-friendly enterprise.

    Hand-woven silk scarf from Thailand

    Museum quality silk scarf from Thailand

    This museum quality hand-woven silk scarf is incredibly beautiful.  The intricate design is created by very talented artisans of eastern Thailand. This scarf is more than an accessory, it is truly a work of art. Treat yourself or a loved one to this lovely and unique silk scarf. This hand-crafted scarf measures 70″ long x 16″ wide with the decorative weaving measuring approximately 9″ on either end of the scarf.

    These beautiful silk scarves are produced by the Ban Napho Weaving Group, a women’s cooperative in Isan, Eastern Thailand. The group, which produces the most spectacular silk fabrics, is consistently recognized and featured in Thai Government sponsored programs that support rural enterprises. The villagers routinely experiment with dyeing techniques and weaving methods to create unique, original and stylish silk scarves and shawls that can be worn to all occasions, including casual wear, formal evening wear, weddings, and proms. The villagers conduct the entire process of feeding silk worms the mulberry leaves, collecting the cocoons, unraveling the silk thread, dyeing the silk, creating the designs, and hand weaving the textiles.

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  • Nov
    10

    Thanksgiving – A Time for Family


    by Cathie
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    This time of year inspires us to gather our family close, eat lots of great food and watch many hours of football. It is a magical time of year that just gets more and more important as we get older and our families expand. Traditions that can be passed down through generations are celebrated and embraced. There is something so special about sharing family traditions with your own kids. Having children is amazing milestone in one’s life and is especially meaningful during this time of year.

    The artisans in Indonesia create amazing works of art that depict this special family relationship beautifully. This exquisitely hand-carved wooden sculpture, for example, depicts a loving couple embracing a child. It shows the balance of mother, father and child in perfect harmony in a modern representation that will become a beautiful centerpiece in your home. If you are looking for a holiday gift or a gift for the birth of a child, this sculpture is perfect and will be cherished by the person receiving it. Hand-carved using Suar wood in Indonesia by master artist Made Wirata.

    If you are looking for Indonesian crafts for gifts this holiday season check out our beautifully hand-carved wooden sculptures.

    Indonesian hand-carved sculpture

    Beautifully carved wooden sculpture from Indonesia

     

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  • Nov
    01

    Not Just for Identification Anymore


    by Cathie
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    Dog Tag Necklaces

    Beautiful and Unique – Kate Mesta Wearable Art

    Dog tags being used as identification dates back many years. It is now a part of the uniform of soldiers in most countries. Dog tags have now found their way into fashion; displaying personality traits or artistic flair as a very distinctive accessory. In the last few years, since about the 1990s, the popularity of dog tag jewelry has grown and is particularly represented in the music industry. The design of these dog tag necklaces can be as unique and individualized as the people wearing them.

    We are excited to be able to bring to you the amazing jewelry of Kate Mesta! Kate Mesta is famous for creating one of a kind, wearable art. She creates all of her jewelry in her studio in Laguna Beach, California and her work has been featured at many celebrity events. She has even created a special “Dancing with the Stars” line. Her jewelry takes the typical dog tag necklace idea and spins it around to make truly one of a kind artwork that you can wear. Each necklace is made one at a time by hand so no two are exactly alike. Her jewelry has been worn by such celebrities as Selena Gomez, Ellen Degeneres, Dick Van Dyke and Sharon Osbourne to name a few. Owning a piece of Kate Mesta jewelry is like owning a piece of art that you can wear!

     

    Dog Tag Necklaces in a Variety of Styles

    Variety and Individuality! Perfect gift for anyone.

     

     

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  • Oct
    19

    A New Halloween Tradition!


    by Cathie
    posted in Inspiration
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    We love Halloween! We love trick or treating! Our neighborhood is ideal for this annual event. Flat streets, sidewalks, good lighting, lots of participating homes – the perfect place to go trick or treating on Halloween night. We end up having over 100 kids, teens, families and pets visiting our home. We actually sit outside on our porch since the onslaught of visitors is constant. We encourage all ages in our neighborhood; no one is too old to dress up and have a good time. In fact, our most memorable trick or treaters last year were a trio of teen boys who dressed up with guitars and cowboy hats and serenaded us to earn their treats. Our house is known as the “water house” since we have begun a tradition of providing water bottles and juice boxes for thirsty travelers. We have been amazed at how many kids and adults alike will choose the water over candy or other treats. At the end of the night, we have given out several cases of water and juice plus several boxes of candy. As parents, we loved our kids to go out trick or treating and return to revel in the glory of their filled pillow cases of treats. But we also knew that we did not really want them to eat all of that candy. So what is a parent to do?

    We came up with a twist to our Halloween traditions. We called her the “Halloween Witch.” Similar to the tooth fairy, the Halloween Witch would exchange candy for gifts. Our Halloween Witch legend went something like this: The Halloween Witch would visit kids on Halloween night and see if they were feeling generous. The Witch would then come and take the offering and leave a small gift. The size and quantity of the gifts would be dependent on the generosity of the offering. The Witch knew which candy the kids liked and didn’t like so a bigger gift would be given if the offering included some treats that were favorites. Gifts would range from a new toy or maybe a new dvd or book to a trip to a favorite park or beach. The Halloween Witch would leave a note along with the gift to thank the kids for their generosity. Occasionally, our kids would go overboard in the excitement of the night and give everything away. When this happened the wise Halloween Witch would return some of the favorite treats along with the gift.

    So now what? You have what is probably a large supply of candy offered up to the Halloween Witch. You don’t want to keep it around the house for the kids to find, so what options do you have to spread the sweet wealth? We usually donated our goodies to the local school for the teachers as a special treat. Another great idea is to go to the local fire or police station to donate or perhaps find a charity that sends gifts to our troops. These ideas are wonderful and you can also involve the kids by having the witch leave a note with instructions on how to make these donations.

    Enjoy this very special time of the year and have a very safe and fun Halloween! If you are looking to start your holiday shopping, please consider visiting www.lifehearthome.com – Providing inspiration as well as unique and meaningful gifts to touch a heart and brighten a day.

    The Halloween Witch

    The Halloween Witch

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