Stone Age People: The Tribe of North Sentinel Island

Travel Tuesday: Temples of Chiang Mai

Rain Drums of Ancient Southeast Asia

SoWa Sunday is Back!!

Nautical by Nature

Trending: Mid Century Modern

Be Mine: Valentines Day Jewelry

Trend Alert 2015

Self Love-5 Ways to Recover from the Holiday Season

All About Khotan Carpets

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Stone Age People: The Tribe of North Sentinel Island

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The Andaman Islands lie in the Bay of Bengal, between India and Thailand. One of these islands is known as North Sentinel, and is inhabited by a tribe made up of an estimated 50-400 people. Very little is known about the Sentinelese people because they have a reputation for killing, attacking, and chasing off any outsider to step foot on their shore. Because of this, the Sentinel are one of the last  groups of people who remain untouched by, and basically unaware of the outside world.

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What is known

The Sentinelese people have been living on their island for an estimated 60,000 years and are thought to be descendants of the first people to migrate from Africa.

The language of the Sentinelese is so different,  even from the language of other Andaman people, that it is likely they have had no outside contact for thousands of years.

They do not know how to make fire. They have been observed to wait for lightening to set fire to a branch or tree, and then keep the embers burning for as long as possible.

There is no proof of any farming or agriculture and the Sentinelese are thought to survive mainly on fishing, hunting and gathering.

They make weapons and tools using metal, which they recover from shipwrecks around the coral reefs. This means they are not entirely “Stone age” in their lifestyle.

They have managed to protect their lifestyle from war, disease, famine,  colonization, and all threats that come with modern civilization. They have also survived countless Tsunamis, including the massive one in 2004.

 

History of attempted contact

1880-An armed British expedition sails to Sentenel Island to conduct Surveys. Their goal was also to take a prisoner, who would be treated well, and given gifts, and then released back to the tribe. This was a practice believed to prove friendliness and willingness to trade. The expedition had a hard time finding any one to take prisoner however, because the people vanished into the jungle at the first sight of the British. Eventually, the men came across an elderly couple and four children. They captured all 6 of these Sentinelese people and took them to Port Blair, on one of the other Andaman Islands. The elderly couple became sick and died quickly, and the British returned the four children to their home with many gifts. The children quickly ran into the jungle. The British focused on other islands after this incident and did not return to Sentinel.

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1967-Indian Government began a series of contact expeditions. These were led by an anthropologist T.N. Pandit who brought police and naval officers. The Sentinelese fled for the jungle many times and the expeditions failed to make any contact.Eventually the anthropologists were able to make brief contact with the tribe, bringing them gifts of coconuts and bananas, which do not grow on the Island. Most photos and knowledge of the Sentinelese were accumulated during this time.

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1975– A National Geographic film crew went to  Sentinel Island and the director was shot in the thigh with an arrow. The Sentinel warrior who shot him was seen laughing.

Early 1990’s-Sentinese started to once again allow boats to come closer to shore and sometimes greeted the boats unarmed. Every time however, the people would eventually begin making violent and rude gestures, and shooting arrows with no arrow heads, seemingly warning the boats away.

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1996– Indian government ended the contact expeditions. This was due to several deaths and hostile encounters with the Jarawa people on some of the other Andaman Islands. The Indian government also feared spreading disease to the Island people. They instituted a 3 mile mandatory distance of the Island. This is one reason that all photos after the 1970’s are from a distance, or from helicopter.

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2006– Two men were fishing and their boat accidentally drifted close to Sentinel Island and the men were killed. A helicopter was sent to retrieve the bodies but was chased away by the Sentinelese, who shot it with arrows.

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Below is  a photo of the Jawar people from another nearby island, accepting gifts of coconuts.
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Travel Tuesday: Temples of Chiang Mai

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You may have heard that our founder Kevin has relocated to Thailand. Since then, all of us at Mohr & McPherson have been continuously learning about the colorful and ancient culture of this fabulous country. An important aspect of Thai culture is Buddhism. Building “everlasting” temples or “Wats”, was a way for Thai Kings to leave their mark. The long-standing sustainability of these temples is proof of the advanced skills of the builders. There are over 200 temples in Chiang Mai alone,  many of them dating back to the city’s  founding date of 1296 AD. Read on to learn about some of Chiang Mai’s most famous Temples

Wat Chiang Man

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Wat Chiang Man was the first temple ever built in Chiang Mai. It was built in the North East Corner by King Mengrai in 1296. This temple was part of the original construction of the city, and holds two rare Buddha statues. One statue is Marble, and the other is Crystal.

Wat Phra Singh

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This is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai. It was built in 1345, and is a classic example of Northern Thai architecture. Amongst many revered Buddha statues, Wat Phra Singh houses a learning center for young men and boys who are studying to become monks.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is the most well known temple in the area. It sits to the north-west of the Chiang Mai, near the very top of Mt. Suthep. This temple was established in 1383 under King Keu Naone, and pone of Chiang Mai’s most sacred temples. The place was “chosen” by a white elephant, who was sent by a monk to wander the mountains with a Buddha relic mounted on its back. When the elephant died, The Wat Suthep temple was built in the place of its death.

To get to the temple, you have to walk up a 306 step staircase, which was built to be meditative to the climber. Or, there is a tram visitors can also take if they do not wish to climb the stairs.

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There is a shrine on the first floor terrace of the temple, honoring Sudeva, the hermit who lived on the mountain, and a statue of the white elephant who carried the Buddha relic.

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Wat Suan Dok

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This temple was built in 1371, and was originally a royal  flower garden owned by King Keuna. The King gave the flower gardens to a very revered monk from Sukkhothai.  There was a Buddhist Relic transported to this temple, and it split into two pieces. One piece was kept here, and the other was the relic strapped onto the white elephant we learned about earlier, leading to the birth of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Also at Wat Suan Dok is a 500 year old bronze Buddha statue, one of the largest in Thailand.

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There are also many white “Chedis”, and many of them hold the ashes of the former Chiang Mai royal family. This temple is also home to a Buddhist University, and is located 1km West of the city.

 

Wat Umong Tunnels

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Wat Umong is built in the foot hills of Suthep Mountain, which are still heavily forested. This temple was built in the late 14th Century, and is named for its many tunnels. “Umong” is the Thai word for tunnel.

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A large mound was built on a flat space, and then criss-crossed with tunnels.  The legendary reason for the maze-like tunnels was to keep the highly regarded but “mad” monk who ruled here, from wandering off.  At some point the temple was abandoned, and not occupied again until 1940. The overgrown, moss laden environment of this temple can partially be attributed to its many years of being uninhabited.

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Rain Drums of Ancient Southeast Asia

Our South End showroom  has just received a brand  new container from Thailand. Exciting new furniture and accessories abound, including these magnificent Rain Drums.

Dong Son Drums, also known as Rain Drums, are often casted from Bronze, and are usually decorated with tribal designs and images with themes of fertility, animals, war, deities, and nature.It is argued that the Dong Son culture of Vietnam entered the Bronze Age before any other part of South East Asia. Cast Bronze drums have been found at the most ancient Dong Son burial grounds, which date back to 1000 BC. This is how these drums were given the name “ Dong Son”. Throughout history, these drums spread throughout South East Asia, and took on different meanings based on various cultures.

Along with the Dong Son, the Karen people of Burma and Thailand used these drums to summon the rain, because of the unique, rain-like sound they make. This is how the common name of “Rain Drum” came to be. The Karen people also believe that the sounds of the drum are pleasing to the spirits or “nats”, who live in the trees and water.

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Karen man casting a Rain Drum, 1923

The drums are used for various ceremonies to summon ancestors, and for calling soldiers. A certain beat on the drum replicates the sound of marching soldiers, and is widely used as a trick to give the impression of a large army.

In Indonesia, the Rain Drums have been present for 2500 years. In Bali, which is primarily Hindu, there is a famous drum called the “Moon Drum”, that is known for its very large size. In the small Indonesian Island of Alor, “Moko Drums” play an important cultural role. A man who wishes to marry must present a Moko Drum to the woman’s family. Because these drums are hard to come by, many men or couples must leave the island in order to marry, because they cannot find or afford a Moko Drum.  Moko Drums are also heavily decorated with Hindu symbolism.

Across most primitive communities within South East Asia, possession of a Rain Drum signifies not only status and material wealth, but also the ability to communicate with and influence spirits and the powers that be. In fact, one village in Vietnam considered the ownership of a Rain Drum to be more impressive than owning seven elephants.  Although here in Boston, owning  just one elephant would probably win.

Today’s versions are modeled after drums from thousands of years ago, but in modern design they are commonly used as tables. Rain drums are great for side tables, coffee tables, and are especially common for the yard or garden. Adding a glass top is an option for making the drum seem more like a conventional table. A Rain Drum is a simple way to add a touch of exotic intrigue and rustic charm to any space.

SoWa Sunday is Back!!

 

We are so pleased to welcome back the warm weather, and SoWa Sunday with it. Open market season brings a wonderful, bustling energy to our neighborhood, as well as visitors from all over. If you are not familiar with this event, SoWa Sunday is a huge, mostly outdoor marketplace in Boston’s South End. It occurs every Sunday from May through October, and consists of three separate and unique markets, each with their own focus, as well as a diverse pack of local food trucks. It is open from 10am to 4pm.

 

Farmer’s Market

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The farmer’s market includes over 60 local farm stands, selling the freshest possible produce, herbs, and dairy products. This market also houses vendors selling unusual and gourmet specialty foods, including the best brownies you’ve ever had. The Farmer’s market is located in the parking lot at 500 Harrison Ave, right next to Mohr & McPherson. Buying fresh food from the people who grew and made it themselves is such a treat these days-well worth breaking your grocery store routine for.

 

Arts Market

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The Arts Market is located behind Mohr & McPherson, in the Albany St. Parking lot. The parking lot is filled with tents, run by individuals or teams of artisans who have come from all over New England and beyond to sell their handmade products. Here you can find arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, apothecary goods-especially hard to find products made from all natural ingredients, and an assortment of other unique and creative wares. This is a great place to shop for quality items while supporting local artists and small business owners.  

 

Vintage Market

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The Vintage Market is an indoor space, filled with the ultimate vendors of Vintage fashion, jewelry, art, furniture, and objects, providing fresh finds every week. This place is massive, and truly magical.

TAKE NOTE: The Vintage market has MOVED to 450 Harrison Avenue.

 

Food Truck Court

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The Food Truck Court is made up of 25 rotating trucks, all serving different types of food. This is the largest food truck gathering in New England. Choose from pizza, gourmet grilled Cheese, specialty panini’s, Asian cuisine, falafel, stir fry, French fries-whatever you want.The food court is located in front of the old power station building at 540 Harrison Ave.

 

Mohr & McPherson

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SoWa Sunday is also a perfect excuse to stroll through Boston’s beautiful South End, and explore the multitude of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Stop by the Mohr & McPherson Cafe to a grab an iced coffee, tea or lemonade. We are also a good alternative to the Food trucks if you are looking for someplace to take a break from walking around. This season, our cafe will be featuring a limited menu on Sunday, so we can provide faster, more efficient service, and reduce wait time.
The cafe is open from 9am to 6pm on Sunday. Our showroom is also open, regular hours of 11-7, as well as our rug gallery. This year we will be filling the gallery with home and gift items, and beautiful accessories like silk scarves, purses and handbags, and handmade jewelry. The rug gallery is also home to much of our live edge collection.

 

PARKING:
GPS address 324 Albany St for SoWa event parking under I-93 Overpass.
Parking is also available in the Boston Sports Club Lot near 540 Harrison Ave.
Street parking is also available, but requires patience, vigilance, and possibly a lot of walking-Be warned.

 

Nautical by Nature

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Nautical decor is classic. Though this look never goes out of style, it is having a moment in Spring/Summer 2015.  Often times people stay away from Nautical for fear of making their home  look like a beachside souvenier shop. To keep this look modern, go for simple pieces that have a touch of nautical flair, or choose one or two kitschy items and pair with toned down neutrals.

 

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AD Jewelry available in our showroom,  Winery ChandelierWooden trunk with strapping and handles

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Morse Pendent Rope LampSteel & glass lantern

 

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 Beaumont Sofa by Cisco Brothers, available to order at Mohr & McPherson

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Wooden blue trunk with handles. Great as a coffee table!,  Vintage orange life preserver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trending: Mid Century Modern

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Although Mid Century Modern never quite goes out of style, it has been having an extended moment in home design. The look is sticking around this spring, and there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to keep the look modern and on trend. Pay attention to details to avoid recreating your grandmother’s house, or possibly worse, an outdated, wannabe version of your grandmother’s house circa 2011.

A general concept that is definitely out in 2015 is the “Instant Vintage” trend. This was based on making something new look old, but not in a hand crafted, shabby chic way. It was more about mass produced knock offs of classic vintage styles, which lacked not only character but one of the best things about vintage furniture-quality and craftsmanship. Regardless of the trend, this season is all about authenticity. When it comes to doing mid century modern, if it’s vintage, great. If it’s not vintage that’s great too, but look for pieces that are M.C.M inspired, while still maintaining their integrity. If done right, these pieces will add a chic, contemporary, depth to your overall look,

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Another way to keep this trend fresh in 2015 is to mix it up. The whole space does not need to be head to toe M.C.M; in fact it is more modern to add in multiple ethnic accents. Steering away from traditionally vintage, loud colors such as bright orange, olive green and teal can also help to modernize your Mid Century Modern look. If you do choose a piece or two in those colors, balance it out with neutrals everywhere else, such as grays and natural woods.

These photos from Apartment Therapy show a great example of mixing mid century modern pieces with, ethnic prints, organic textures, and neutral tones to give the space an overall modern and minimalistic bohemian feel.
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If you are purchasing an investment piece such as a sofa and want to go mid century modern, neutrals are a safe bet. Precedent Furniture, which we now carry in our store, has lots of great options, including an entire line called “Vintage made modern”. Featured below are  the Astor Sofa and the Edward Sofa by Precedent Furniture.

 

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If you want to add a bold pop of color, a smaller piece like this chair is a great way to go.

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Or, go with something big and bright and tone it down with neutrals and contemporary pieces.

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George Sofa, by Precedent

Which ever avenue you choose to explore, you have tons of options. Check out some of them in our Mid Century Modern gallery below.

Gallery 

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Large mango wood cubby bookcase with five drawersLarge mango wood cubby bookcase with three drawers,

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Ryder mid century modern chest of 6 drawers, Mango wood, honey finish,  Austin 3 drawer media center in Mango wood,

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Grayson Chest 12 drawers, Easton 2 section 6 drawer Buffet

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Iron and Glass ArmioreEbony/Alberta Taylor Chair

Be Mine: Valentines Day Jewelry

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Its Valentines Day again. Time to make a lady in your life feel special. We have just the thing-Jewelry, of course.

Mohr & McPherson has a wide and varied selection of jewelry, and most is handmade and one of a kind. We have something for every woman, from simple and understated, classic silver and gold, to gems from India, to bold, eccentric pieces. What’s more, much of our collection is currently up to 40% off.

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Precious Gems

BLING earrings

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 Beads

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Copper, Silver and Gold

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Gold Collagegold sun necklace

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Bracelets

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 Earrings

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Trend Alert 2015

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 This year in the design world, it’s all about keeping it real. Whats out? Inauthenticity. That includes chalk board paint, faux fur, and Instant Vintage-something new that’s made to look old. Lucky for us(and you), we have the real deal when it comes to old furniture, rustic, textured surfaces, raw materials, and layers upon layers of ethnic prints and influences. Read on to learn more about what is trending  in 2015.

Top Looks

Eco Friendly-Inspired by Nature
This look is just what it sounds like. It’s clean, soft, neutral, and inspired by all things organic. The focus is on natural imperfection-if its lopsided, uneven or unfinished it works. Relevent materials include Copper, glass, stone, burlap, rope, linen, bone, horn, fur, and raw wood. More often than not this look incorporates raw wood in the form of Live Edge, which is a huge trend in its own right and is being used within many other decor styles as well.

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ScreenDaybedTribeca LoveseatMango Table Lamp,  Banyan Vine Sculpture,

 

Incorporated Trends:
Live edge, Cowhide, Mixed Materials, Painted wood, Textured surfaces, Nature Inspired Neutrals.

 

Ethnic Mix
This look is a large scale representation of the mixed materials trend. It’s all about the fusion and of different and often contrasting cultures, styles and textures. Getting away from the minimalism craze, this look emphasizes that more is more. Layered textiles and patterns is key, and finding complimenting qualities in seemingly contrasting items makes it all come together, often through color.  An easy way to experiment with this look is by adding bold, ethnic accents to your space, instead of starting out with loud basics.


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Chandelier, Blue Cabinet, Laughing Buddha, Folding Screen, Mirrors, Cupboard

Incoporated Trends: Textured Surfaces, Painted Wood/Pop of Color, Kilim Rugs, Mixed Materials, Cow Hide, Wire Accents, Marble.

 Industrial Chic
Once again, the merging of different aesthetics comes into play. The difference between Industrial and Industrial Chic is softness. Lighten up an Industrial decor and add soft, plush blankets and rugs in neutral tones. Incorporate raw materials and nods to nature such as live edge, petrified stumps and  plants. Or, take a soft, neutral space and add in the industrial accents such as leather, wire furniture, Edison lamps, and Industrial themed wall hangings.

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Bird Cage Lamp, Glass Coffee Table, Edith Sofa, Bookshelf

Incorporated Trends:
Mixed Materials,especially metal and wood and Mixed Metals, Wire Accents, Rose Gold.

 

 

Specific Trends

Mixed Materials
This trend is all about the clashing and merging of different cultures, attitudes and qualities, which is an overall theme in the design world this year. Wood and Metal are a common example of this trend, representing the coming together of nature and science.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Mixed Materials, Nature Inspired, Industrial Chic)

 

Rose Gold
This trend started in fashion and has spread to home design. It was once primarily popular in copper light fixtures but is now also commonly found in plumbing fixtures, hardware and flatware.

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Wire Accents
This trend is biggest in the form of lighting and side tables . It is incorporated heavily into both the Industrial Chic and Geometry looks, but can also be spotted hanging out in ethnic mix and nature inspired decors.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Wire Accents, Industrial Chic, Geometry)

 

Marble-Solid and Print
Although Marble surfaces are common in bathrooms and kitchens, marble is making its way into the rest of the home in the form of solid, marble furniture. It is also a popular print for pillows, blankets, and wall pieces.

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Live Edge

Live edge is a style of wood furniture where the natural edge of the wood is used in the design of the piece. Gnarly wood and salvaged wood which could not be used in conventional woodworking are often used in the production of Live edge.Live edge is a mix of “Western” and rustic furniture styles. It was made famous in the middle of the 20th century by George Nakashima, who was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.

We can’t really say enough about Live edge. We love it, and so does the design world. It is being incorporated in a variety of decor styles, and is  moving quickly from a trend to a basic.

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(Triple Threat Trend:Live Edge, Textured Surfaces, Nature Inspired)

Cow Hide
Nature inspired for sure, cow hide is a bold and glamorous statement piece while it also remains neutral with its organic colors and feel.

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Textured Surfaces
This trend encompasses many other trends, such as live edge. It works with the Ethnic Mix look and is definitely part of the Nature inspired attitude. Textured surfaces are multi-versitile and easy to work into many different looks, from shabby chic to Industrial.

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Painted Wood-Pop of Color
Painting a wooden piece of furniture is an easy and understated way to add color to a room. Although this specific piece is dipping into the textured surface trend, the painted wood look can also be sleek and smooth, almost glossy.

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(Triple Threat: Textured Surface, Painted wood-pop of color, Cobalt blue)

 

Colors

Marsala
Pantone color of the year- The spring/summer version of this trend is called “the in-harmony trend”. It is a much softer version of Marsala and mixes deep mauve and apricot shades.

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Cobalt Blue-Greek  Blue

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Natural colors
Inspired by natural landscapes like mountains and forests, this palette is all about toned down neutrals like inky blues and beige-grey. These colors Pair well with the raw materials found in the Nature Inspired look.

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 Rugs

Painterly
Rugs that look like paintings are huge right now. Think florals, swoopy designs, and uneven shapes.

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Tile Inspired
Rugs that look like a tile floor or mosaic.

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Kilim
Persian Flatweave

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Self Love-5 Ways to Recover from the Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is all about excess. From Thanksgiving to New Years, celebration can take the form of a whirlwind, sweeping Americans into an exhausting funnel of food, alcohol and spending. Although it can be a joyous time, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Between trying to find and afford the perfect gifts, fighting through crowds of shoppers, and socializing at numerous holiday parties, finding time for your health and peace of mind are often last on the list. Unfortunately, stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are some of the top enemies of the immune system. To stay centered, it is so important to take a little time for yourself. If you are finding yourself depleted, exhausted, or just a little off in the wake of celebration, read on. Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system, relax your mind and body, detox from too many treats, and find some of that “peace on earth”.

 

1.Yoga

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Though historians are unsure exactly when Yoga originated, they know that it started in India, at least 5,000 years ago. It is now considered a form of alternative medicine and consists of stretching, meditation, balanced poses, and breathing excersizes. The goal of Yoga is to bring peace to your mind and body, helping to manage  stress and anxiety. The practice is all about the link between mind and body, and how the state of one affects the other. The key is balance. Yoga varies in style and intensity. Certain Yoga practices facilitate extreme flexibility and physical strength. Beginners will likely benefit from Hatha Yoga, which is one of the most common forms. This form has a slower pace and gentler movements.

A study published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found yoga helped relieve chronic insomnia
“A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.” From the Mayo Clinic.

Benefits
-Reduces depression
-Increases emotional positivity and enhances mood
-Increases ability to handle stress and unexpected problems
-Promotes mindfulness

 

 

2.Meditation-

meditating novice or trainee Buddhist monk by MattRavel on Flickr

There is a vast amount of research on the benefits of meditation when it comes to mental health. It is a common misinterpretation that meditation is simply relaxation. While mediation does involve ceasing to exert unnecessary effort, it is also about mindfulness.  The goal is to empty the mind, and by doing so, you let go of stress and become more aware of reality, truth, and your own existence.

“Mindfulness helps the stress-sufferer to recognize unhelpful patterns of thought that give rise to the stress response, and also involves the active cultivation of positive mental states such as kindness, compassion, patience, and energy.  “Wild Mind Buddhist Mediation

Benefits
-Reduces depression
-Reduces Insomnia
-Increases emotional positivity and enhances mood
-Increases ability to handle stress and unexpected problems
-Promotes mindfulness

 

 

3.Sleep

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Studies have shown that lack of sleep will affect your immune system. People are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus when they don’t get enough sleep. Recovering from sickness also takes longer.  Lack of sleep spikes your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisone, which can lead to weight gain. Another study found that moderate sleep deprivation impairs your cognitive performance to the same level as being intoxicated.

“During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. ”  Mayo Clinic

 

 

4.Tea

Black and Green teas both contain L-theanine, an amino acid which strengthens gamma delta T cells and increases those cells ability to fight infection. L-theanine also promotes relaxation and well-being by increasing the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Tea also helps fight free radicals because it is high in ORAC ( oxygen absorbance capacity). Damage from free radicals can result in cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration.

White Sage, Red Raspberry, Mugwort, Echinacea are all known for their healing properties and have been used for centuries to fight illness.

Here is an excellent recipe for an immune boosting tea you can make at home.  This drink is also great for alkalizing the body with lemon, and boosting metabolism with turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne.

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Benefits
-Tea can boost exercise endurance. antioxidants in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.
-Fights free radicals and reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, parkinson’s disease
-Hydrates the body
-Strengthens the immune system

 

5.Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies are trendy, but their positive impact on health and easy, D.I.Y. nature have caused them to spread from the world of “hippie stuff” and into the focus of mainstream health, where they have stayed for well over a decade. Smoothies are a quick way to get in all your fruits and veggie servings at once, and they pack a powerful punch of nutrition. Regular consumption of green smoothies will make your body and mind feel better in no time.

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Benefits
-Clean, glowing skin
-Decreased inflammation (which can be  helpful in alleviating joint pain and stiffness
-Improved energy and mood
-A healthy immune system that will keep you from getting sick
-Increased Focus and mental clarity

 

Recipe:

  • 3 T Hemp Seeds
  • 2 cups mixed Greens (I’m using Swiss Chard and Green Leafy Kale)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh peppermint
  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • water – amount varies. Start with enough to go about halfway up your ingredients. Try blending it. Add more if it’s not smooth enough.

 

 

Helpful Hint

Immune Boosting Foods

Garlic
Yogurt
Fish
Oregano Oil
Japanese Mushrooms
Cruciferous vegetables-kale, broccoli, lettuce and cabbage
Avocado
Ginger
Oatmeal
Black Currents
pomegranate Juice
Pumpkin Seeds
Sage
Graviola
Larch Supplement

 

All About Khotan Carpets

History

Khotan was a town in what is historically known as East Turkestan now the Chinese province, of Xingjian. This remote region is larger than all of Western Europe, and is located in the center of Asia. It is one of the most Isolated places in the world, but it holds a carpet weaving tradition that is at least 1000 years old.

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East Turkestan is difficult to access. The heartland known as the Tarim Basin-is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which serve as walls against Tibet, Central Asia and Pakistan. The fourth side is cut off by vast desert. Maybe this is one reason why East Turkistan became a destination hot spot for settlers, coming from all directions. The Tarim Basin was also a significant stop on the Silk Roads. The routes south to India, north to Central Asia, west to Persia, Anatolia and Europe, all branched out from here. The melting pot of cultures in this place is represented in the “Khotan” rugs that came from here, which is what makes them so beautiful and interesting. In just one rug you can often see signs of Islamic, Chinese and Indian design/culture.

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Portrait of a king of Khotan, Dunhuang Mogao Caves, 10th century

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It is believed by historians that between 1,500 and 1,000 BC is when the first (Indo European) settlers began coming to this region, which was then inhabited by Turkic nomads. These settlers lived in Khotan and other oasis towns, and were influenced by India, becoming Buddhists. The Turkic nomads continued to stay in the mountains.

It was not until the 9th and 10th centuries the Turkic tribes adopted Islam, and forced the conversion of the Buddhist Oasis, the adoption of their language and changed the culture of the place, creating Eastern Turkestan as it is today. However, Buddhist and other cultural influences never disappeared from the carpets.

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Rug Expert Hans Bidder wrote in his book “Carpets from Eastern Turkestan (1964)

iconoclastic Islam which spread into the oases from middle of the 10th century was indeed able to subdue the religious art of Buddhism, but the new faith proved incapable of gaining any hold upon individual arts and crafts which had their roots in the traditional customs and economic existence of the oases.”

Characteristics 

These unique works of art are characterized by stylized geometric patterns, and long, narrow designs. They are meticulously detailed. Arrangements of Persian motifs that also incorporate elements of Chinese designs are common, and the central Composition is usually Chinese in style. Colors range from rich to pale pastels. Typical hues include red, yellow, brown, gold and green. The pomegranate is often celebrated in Khotan rugs, shown as a shrub with symmetric branches, or as a fruit. This was an iconic regional symbol. Local symbols like this one are combined with Buddhist and Islamic symbols, influenced by the varying residents of Khotan.

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Khotans are well suited for modern contemporary decor due to their geometric and strongly abstract nature. In the last decade, these rugs have been frequently featured in high-end design publications and are coveted by top designers.

Here are some more of the Khotan rugs we have in our rug gallery. These are examples of some more contemporary versions, with a darker color palette than the traditional

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Check back in soon to learn more about the exciting Silk Roads and the adventures had by their explorers.