If you are wine drinker, then you are familiar with cork. Cork stoppers have been used for over 400 years. Many of us are familiar with cork boards for posting our notices and reminder and we may even remember when cork was a popular material that was used in wall coverings during the 70's. But once we’ve exhausted these three uses, we may wonder what else could be made from cork?
The good news is that cork is a great substitute for leather. Yes, that is right. Cork can be made into a pliable, durable material that can be used for purses, bags, wallets, straps and cording. It’s lightweight and durable and very soft to the touch. So, where does cork come from?
Almost every tree has an outer layer of cork bark but it is the Cork Oak that is the major source of all cork. The Cork Oak primarily grows around the Mediterranean Sea, with the largest groves in Portugal. The Cork Oak has a much thicker layer of cork bark. The reason is that the tree evolved to protect itself from the harsh conditions of the forest neat the Mediterranean. Its nature was design to withstand frequent droughts, brush fires and temperature fluctuations. It is unique since cork actually is made from water resistant cells, protecting the interior tree.
So why choose cork over other materials? First and foremost, it is sustainable and Eco-friendly. Cork is harvested every 8-14 years off of living trees. The trees continue to grow and produce cork. There is no need to chop down the trees unlike other wood products. It has less impact on the environment than leather and it is cruelty free. One favorite quality is that it is lightweight because it is buoyant. Being lightweight makes it great for purses, handbags and wallets. You can carry your items with ease and without additional weight. It’s also an amazingly durable material, strong, pliable and soft! Choosing cork is a great way to have the look and feel of leather while preventing harm to animals and reducing impact to the earth.
We live such hectic lives. From work, family, household upkeep, traffic, news… we are bombarded with demands of our energy. Sometimes, we forget that we need to recharge and take time for ourselves. Prayer, meditation, relaxation, massage, a dip in water, yoga and walking in nature are a few ways to relieve stress. However, sometimes we still get so bogged down in life that we need a beautiful reminder to slow down and destress. This is where Jasper comes into our repertoire.
Jasper is a stone that is known as the supreme nurturer. Jasper has a mild vibration and helps to ground you and keep you out of your head. It’s a great stone to wear during times of stress and adds to tranquility. It is a good stone for unifying and to get that feeling of wholeness. Jasper aids in the feeling of balance. It’s also a stone of protection- helping you to keep your energy.
However, as with all stones, Jasper is multipurpose. Not only does Jasper help with stress but it is also good at when you need that extra energy and focus. It’s perfect for dream recall as well as determination. It’s great for projects and taps into your creative and imaginative side.
Jasper comes naturally in an array of colors and sometimes grows with other stones. Thus, different jaspers accentuate other energies. Jaspers with browns are help with protection and grounding. Red jaspers aid in removing worry. Jaspers with yellows and oranges are good for building your sense of worth and self-esteem and helps with digestion. Green jasper works on the heart and is great for inflammation.
Wearing jasper, whether in a bracelet, necklace or earrings is a great reminder to pay attention to yourself. Relax and enjoy the little things that make you happy. Life is short and it is a temporary gift… so let your worries go and enjoy the inner peace you deserve.
I’ve always loved being in nature. As a young child growing up in South Florida, I loved going to the beach and being by the ocean. In the winter months, I enjoyed our trips further out west and going out to the Everglades. As a teen, my family moved to the Caribbean and I would often traipse through the lush green jungle-like vegetation in the mountains…just me and my teenage angst. It calmed me and helped to add balance. On the weekends, I would bathe in the clear turquoise waters and play Frisbee on the soft sands with my friends.
Now in my 50's, I often go to local parks throughout Central Florida. Wooded and lush, my dog and I walk through the muck, he getting his paws dirty and me needing to wash my sneakers when I get home. What I love most about our excursions is the sounds… as a child I didn’t pay much attention to the sounds of nature, I was more enthralled with the visual. Last night, while we were at Mead Gardens, there was a symphony of birds chirping and singing. High pitched tweets, low cackling and sounds that are reminiscent of hitting a high hat on a drum set. It was amazing to hear the different birds, each with their unique song and together it was like being in the front row of an orchestra warming up for the night’s performance. Truly a grand experience.
Over the years there have been many studies showing that being in nature is good for our health and sense of well-being. However, I think most of us know intuitively how nature impacts us… that babbling brook, the sway of tree leaves in a gentle breeze, the smell of salty air… all are things that can relax our minds and bodies.
So, if you are feeling stress, or you need a break, or you just want to wander and explore, take a trip to the woods, the beach, a lake, a park, a field, a marsh or some other place where you can experience nature. You will thank yourself for the experience!
Four days into New York Fashion week and already it’s obvious. One of the trends is big bold statement jewelry, especially in the form of earrings. Not only are the earrings enormous, many are mismatched in design. It’s really time to let your earrings do the talking! Giant earrings can make any outfit special and will create interest to your look.
On the runways in New York, many of the earrings were touching the shoulder and some were beyond shoulder length. This probably isn’t practical in our real world lives. However, we can still celebrate this trend with earrings that are 2 to 4 inches in length- big enough to get noticed without looking out of place.
Embrace the trend with some of these earrings today!
Ariel Mismatched Snail and Coral Earrings - The length is 2.5" . These are the epitome of the mismatched trend.
Yvette Flower Dangle Drop Earrings Imagine these earrings with a simple white dress or a plain t-shirt, blazer and wide jeans!
Kinsley Open Rectangle Resin Earring shows you how you can take a big earring and make a casual chambray shirt special and fun!