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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fair Trade Genuine Bogolan Mud Cloth is now available at Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods and at our new storefront on Addoway.com

We are so very excited to introduce a new line of beautiful, authentic mud cloth accessories on our website and through our new storefront at Addoway.com.

Each piece is made of 100% cotton, and is completely hand-made. The fabric is softer than it looks, and is very comfortable to wear as clothing. I adore the mud cloth scarves to add eye-catching patterns and a sense of global style to basics.

Mudcloth is made using an ancient and extensive process. The making of mudcloth is a time-consuming process, normally taking four days to a week to complete depending on weather. The fabric is all hand spun making a number of individual cloth strips. Each strip of cloth is then sewn together. The entire piece of fabric is then dyed in tea made from Bogalon tree found in Mali, West Africa. The tea acts as a fixative for mud painted designs that are hand painted using specially prepared mud. Some parts of the fabric are then bleached after the entire process is complete to produce the "white" areas

Normally mudcloth is made totally from scratch. The men start the process by weaving cotton thread on a loom. The loom is normally hand-held and makes a strip of cloth five to six inches wide and then sewn together. Women have traditionally painted and designed the cloth.

The first step in making the cloth is to set it in a solution that dyes the cloth yellow and acts as the fixative: typically this is a tea made from the Bogolon tree which is native to Mali, West Africa. The mud designs are then hand painted onto the cloth with the tea acting as a fixative for the mud dye. The mud used to make mudcloth is usually mixed with water and then set aside to sit for about one year. 

Using twigs or metal instruments the artist will paint the designs with the mud, being sure to saturate the area so it will not wash out. The fabric is then washed and another layer is applied over the first. The fabric is then dried and put in an organic solution to make the patterns appear darker. Finally, on black and white fabric, a soda is painted on to the areas that have no patterns. This bleaches the fabric causing it to regain its original cotton white.

A mudcloth artist is much like any western artist dealing in a specific field. Each concept must be taught and learned over a long period of time. A person wishing to work in the art of mudcloth has to be taught how to make each of the different dyes out of organic  Each color in a mudcloth sheet has its own meaning. The most traditional coloring has been the black background with white designs. This is typically used for story telling or the portrayal of a proverb.

Another color popular among hunters, and the Fulani people is the rust. This color is preferred as it does not show dirt and also as it is supposed to represent the strong supernatural powers that protect the hunters. Because mudcloth is made from the soils, it has been used as a form of camouflage.

At Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods we offer a beautiful selection of Genuine Mud Cloth accessories including homegoods, scarves, purses and Kufi hats.

The Fair Trade Mud Cloth you purchase from Oshun Spirit helps feed children, and helps women in the developing world by providing fair wages, safe working conditions, job training, opportunity, and empowerment. For example, your order of $50 provides orphaned children in Mali with 8 meals in addition to providing a living wage for the craftspeople who have produced these goods.  By purchasing products through fair trade programs, you are supporting a great cause and giving a thoughtful, one-of-kind gift. 

I hope you will shop our collection of Fair Trade clothing and accessories, textiles, totes and bags, and home goods, and BE part of the change you wish to see in the world!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discover How Distance Healing Really Works!

Quantum Physics states that everything in the universe is made of subatomic particles of energy, not solid matter as previous believed. In the early 1980’s, scientists proved that under certain circumstances subatomic particles of energy are able to communicate instantaneously with each other no matter how far apart. Whether separated by a few inches, or many thousands of miles, the results were the same. In subsequent studies, when the phenomenon was duplicated, scientists concluded the energy particles communicated at a rate thousands of times faster than the speed of light.

Quantum physicists have reached the conclusion that the reason subatomic particles can stay in contact with each other despite vast distances is not because they are transmitting a signal back and forth faster than the speed of light, but because the separateness of the particles is an illusion. On a much deeper level of reality the particles are not individual entities but are extensions of the same fundamental something, and everything in the universe is infinitely interconnected.

These "new" theories mirror what mystics have been saying for thousands of years. We are all part of a continuous whole. They suggest the reason distance healing works is because we are all one in some fundamental or spiritual way. I walk the path of the Ancient Ones who knew this as they called the rain, blessed the crops, thanked the herbs, and stood in presence of the great central sun.

A Virgo, and an Engineer (BS Mechanical Engineering RIT '82)  I am always in questioning mode. But as a healer, I can sense the energy field of the person receiving the healing and provide healing equally effectively if the person is in the same room or across the world, and I cannot question that. It is the miracle of our connectivity.

Physicists describe a unified field. This is the field in which I work, and is actually an altered state of awareness and perception in which the limitations of time and distance have been transcended. It is the fifth dimension and beyond. And it is here, now, accessible from 3-D as it has always been.

This is natural, and available to all beings for inspiration, creation, manifestation and wellbeing. It is oneness consciousness, and our true nature.

Physical distance is not a barrier to a healing interaction, in fact, energy healing can be accomplished at a distance just as easily as in person! From my own viewpoint, it is not necessary for the energy to travel anywhere as I am able to "see" the universe as being like a holograph, where the whole is contained in every part.

Time and distance are only concepts which help define our "ordinary" third dimensional reality. The laws of nature which describe subtle energies in the higher dimensions are different than those which describe the denser frequencies including the physical body. As physics explores the layers of the structure of creation, phenomena become less and less localized. And more and more connected.

Please feel free to email me at suberry@metrocast.net if you have any questions about the services listed on my websites.

I look forward to opening my heart as a channel for healing, growth and awareness in your life. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to Basics: Eating Raw

Please welcome Megha Mehta, our guest blogger today...

Hi there!

Susan was generous enough to offer me a chance to do a guest post on her blog so here I am!

I am a yoga enthusiast, wellness freak and energy healing practioner rolled into one. I write about simple everyday things that can make our urban lives more connected and healthier. You can read them at www.backtobasics.com.sg 

Follow me on Twitter at @BacktoBasics_SG !

I recently came across this book that talked about super energy-packed foods, most of them raw and decided to find out more about it! Raw foods are full of fibre, make you full without making you feel heavy or sleepy and are full of nutrients.

Personally, I've looked at salads mostly as a great option because I feel like they do wonders to my skin and they're really easy to prepare when I am lazy and unwilling to cook! :D And packing a fruit in my handbag is the quickest way to satisfy a sudden hunger pang when I am on the go!

But a bit of flipping through this book really gave me some background on how the enzymes in these RAWS (the real food stars!) aid digestion and nutrition absorption. That's because cooking all food destroys most naturally occurring enzymes in the food and so the body has to use its own reserves in turn depleting its own energy, metabolism and immunity. So adding/substituting raw foods are a great add on to your existing snacks and meals.

And if you need some inspiration here are some raw food ideas you can make use of:

- Nuts - Whether its a nutri-bar or just a small assorted pack of nuts (which you can put together at home), these are great to satisfy hunger pangs anytime of the day!

I guess it's a good idea to beware of two things - the fried salted nuts are high on cholestrol and obviously defeat the whole purpose of eating 'Raw'! And, most nuts are heaty for your stomach so if you feel your body doesn't take too well to it then go ahead and soak it overnight before eating.

- Veggies - Carrots - The easiest to peel and completely ready to eat, you can store it in a box to eat later or eat them right away. They are really high on vitamins and fibre. One of the ways I know many people enjoy this is as thin sticks with Thousand Island dressing or any others as a dip.

- Avocado - Some people categorize them as fruits but whichever name you call it by, avocados are a great energy packed food. Some people like to eat the pulp with a few sprinkles of either salt or sugar. Other ways are to roughly mash it and mix in with tomatoes lime juice and parsley for a yummy vegetable dip!

- Fruit - Kiwi - These citrus fruits are a great source of fibre and really good for your skin. Although I prefer the fruits that I can carry in my bag and munch on at any time of the day, Kiwis just need a mention here for the fact that they're bursting with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, antioxidants and much more!

Here's hoping that these ideas set you on the path to raw food habits soon :) By substituting for complex combinations of cooked food, this habit can make your life that much 'simpler'!

image credit: myelomahope.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Free Pandora-style Journey Beads and goodies from Oshun Spirit. Yes, free!

Would you like five free Pandora-style Journey Beads?
How about a free Tiger Eye Pendant Necklace from Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods?

It's true! Yesterday I listed a few items on Listia  which is a new kind of auction site where you bid on items using credits instead of real money.  And you get the credits for free! Begin with signing up using this link and you'll get fifty right away because you're using my referral link. There are lots of things on Listia you can bid on and win with just those first 50 credits, and most offer free shipping. The category structure is similar to ebay and includes antiques, collectibles, fashion, electronics, home & garden and more!

Plus, you can earn 10 more credits just by tweeting an item or sharing it on Facebook before you bid. If you list an item to "sell" (that's free) you'll get another 100. And once you get rolling its easy to earn even more credits, for example you can earn 50 credits by inviting 6 Facebook friends who participate in any auction.

I'll be listing items from Journey Beads and Oshun Spirit from time to time, mostly just for fun and to promote our new Facebook Fan pages... but there are some pretty cool goodies I want to bid on too! Not only is it a great way to get visibility for the storefronts, Listia auctions are a nice way to say thank you to you, my loyal customer friends. Some of you may have already received free credits from me this morning through Facebook.

So please take a moment to "like" our fan pages if you haven't already done so  http://www.facebook.com/JourneyBeads and http://www.facebook.com/oshunspiritstore  and you'll be among the first to know when the freebies get listed on Listia

It's fun. It's easy. And you can score some of your favorites from Oshun Spirit and Journey Beads for free! Sign up here and take a look at the first five auctions!

http://www.listia.com/auction/809965  Tiger Eye Pendant
http://www.listia.com/auction/814853  Five Tibetan Silver Journey Beads with Dream Charm
http://www.listia.com/auction/814052  Five Tibetan Silver Journey Beads with Hope Charm
http://www.listia.com/auction/816822  Three Pandora-style Halloween beads 
http://www.listia.com/auction/816861  Five Pandora-style beads pictured above

Good luck on your bidding!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Discover super-soft, eco-friendly organic Bamboo clothing at Oshun Spirtit Earth Friendly Goods

Clothing made from bamboo is nature's answer to our needs for everyday fabric, in an environmentally sustainable form. Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. Bamboo fabric has been growing in popularity because it has many unique properties and is more sustainable than most textile fibers.  

Bamboo fabric is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, and is to some extent antibacterial. Our Bamboo socks have been customer favorites since we introduced them in 2003. In fact, we are often sold out! Bamboo fabric is favored by consumers wanting to purchase sustainable textiles, because the bamboo plant is very quick growing and does not usually require the use of pesticides. As a result, plantations can easily be kept organic and replanted yearly to replenish stocks.
  • Bamboo is 100% naturally grown, without assistance from man.
  • Bamboo thrives naturally without using any pesticides or fertilizers
  • Bamboo fibre is 100% biodegradable
  • As the fastest growing plant in the world, bamboo grows to its maximum height in about 3 months and reaches maturity in 3-4 years.  It spreads rapidly across large areas.  Because of this, bamboo is known to improve soil quality in degraded and eroded areas of land.
  • As a grass, bamboo is cut, not uprooted, also helping soil stability.  Bamboo also can grow on hill slopes where nothing else is viable.
  • The amount of product you get from an acre of bamboo is 10 times greater than the yield you get from cotton.  In an age where land use is under enormous pressure this is huge.
  • The water requirement for bamboo is minute, mainly just from what falls.  As opposed to cotton, whose water requirement per shirt's-worth is huge.
  • Because Bamboo retains many of the properties it has as a plant (highly water absorbent, able to take up three times its weight in water) it has an excellent wicking ability that will pull moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate. For this reason, clothing made of bamboo fiber is often worn next to the skin. 
In contrast... synthetic performance fabrics are made from petrochemicals, a non-renewable fossil fuel.  You get clothes which get smelly really quickly. Bamboo has antibacterial qualities, which bamboo fabric is apparently able to retain, even through multiple washings. This helps to reduce bacteria that thrive on clothing and cause unpleasant odors. It can also kill odor causing bacteria that live on human skin, making the wearer and his or her clothing smell more sweet. In addition, bamboo fabric has insulating properties and will keep the wearer cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Our Bamboo scarves are very soft and can be worn directly next to the skin. Many people who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibers, such as hemp and wool can wear bamboo. The fiber is naturally smooth and round so there are no sharp spurs to irritate the skin. 

Shown above: Our luxurious Silk/Bamboo scarf (70 x 18 inches) is hand-loomed and cashmere-soft. A Fair Trade hand craft from Thailand, shown in Marigold. Several other colors available at Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods, and at our new storefront on Addoway.com!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fair Trade African Black Soap is now available at Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods

The average person absorbs nearly 130 chemicals each morning through the use of skincare products. (The average woman will ingest nearly four pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, but we'll save that for another day!) But if you are thinking that maybe its time to stop feeding your skin chemicals, and are searching for organic skincare that is handmade with handpicked ingredients, I'd like to introduce you to African Black Soap.

African Black Soap is generally made in West Africa. Although some types are made in the United States and Europe, soaps from these countries are mass produced and are not true African Black Soap, and probably have artificial ingredients added to them to give the dark coloring. Fake African Black Soap will stain your washcloth, it contains dyes.

True African Black Soap is created from the leaves and bark of trees and plants which are burned in a kettle. These include leaves from banana trees, plantain skins, leaves and bark, palm tree leaves, cocoa pods, and shea tree bark. Water is then added to the ashes and then filtered. Oils including shea butter, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter are added to this water to create the soap. The soap is then hand stirred by local women for at least a day and then set out to cure for two weeks. Each region and tribe have their own recipe that has been handed down through generations. 

The color of African Black Soap varies depending on the region it's made in since the availability of the ingredients varies. African Black Soap from coastal regions of Africa contains a higher percentage of coconut oil whereas soap from the interior regions contains more shea butter.

It is important to purchase only Fair Trade African Black Soap. Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that helps producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, and wine.

Dudu-Osun is regarded as the finest African Black Soap, and it is made with all organic ingredients including cocoa pod powder, honey, shea, and tropical herbs. It is a Fair Trade product. Ose Dudu (doudoun) comes from the Yoruba languages of Nigeria, Benin and Togo and means literally Soap (ose) Black (dudu
). It effectively restores damaged skin and is helpful in healing chronic eczema, acne, freckles and dark spots. Dudu-Osun is with Osun (Camwood extract) citrus juices and native honey. It also contains organic Aloe Vera.

Use this soap on your body, face, and hair. You will look and feel as if you've spent hours being pampered at a Spa. Not only will it leave you glowing, it has amazing healing properties which help  relieve rashes, scalp irritations, scars and stretch marks and evens out your skin tone. Black soap gives your face a deep cleansing, leaving it fresh and healthy, and it diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.  It is appropriate for all skin types, as it is purifying and balancing.  Use it to soften rough skin, balance oily skin and dry skin, and heal acne, blemishes and other skin problems.

Sound too good to be true? You be the judge! I'll be adding little samples of Dudu-Osun African Black Soap in all outgoing packages in the next few weeks so you can experience it for yourself. Dudu-Osun African Black Soap can be purchased at Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods and at our new storefront on Addoway.com.

May you be beautiful!

image credit: ilovemylocs.blogspot.com