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Naturally clean this spring

Spring cleaning is one of those rituals I wholeheartedly endorse. It's like yoga for your house. It's healthy, has immediate benefits and leaves you with a gleaming sense of accomplishment. Out with the old, clear the cobwebs, let the sun shine in. I grew up in a family that applied Elbow Grease to all of life's problems and held to the adage that a house isn't clean until it smells clean. Cleaning was a group sport and participation was mandatory, but it didn't feel like drudgery. It was a family value, spelled out in spray bottles and dust mops. The trouble with fully indulging in this time-honored ritual lately is there are too many ways to introduce some not-so-healthy products into your home...

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Rasuljon, Uzbek Master Ikat Weaver

In Central Asia, the history of the Silk Road and its storied flow of textiles is alive in the rainbow of ikat fabrics of Uzbekistan. When intricately dyed and woven ikat textiles first arrived from India and took root sometime in the 18th century, Central Asian trade rulers were attracted to the vibrant silk patterns for their own embellishment. The wealthy, powerful Emirs or Khans valued the intricate silks for their robes and garments. Today you'll see the same proud tradition of wearing ikat as a symbol of status and cultural pride amongst men and women in Uzbekistan. Ikat appreciation quickly spread to further-flung countries and cultures, so that today it has a universal appeal. Bold ikat patterns can be at home in an English country cottage, a New York loft...

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Meet Tess & Tricia - Jewelry designers with substance and style

In our search for outstanding handmade design we sometimes meet designers closer to home who embody the worldwise spirit. Tess + Tricia, a mother-daughter jewelry design team from Minnesota, are two women who fit that description perfectly. Not content to make accessories that merely look good, these two dynamic designers make sure they are doing good by running a business that is both ethical and committed to improving the lives of women in their community. Patricia Weber and her daughter Tessa inspire us with their love of natural beauty and belief in empowering women through their company. Their commitment to community begins with hiring women from a nearby social service agency that focuses on intervention and recovery programs. They make sure every woman...

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Today's Bohemian Style

Have you noticed the the world appears awash in "boho" finery lately? The bohemian vibe is heavy in fashion and interior design, as evidenced by the throngs of fringed music festival demi-goddesses, all lithe and billowy, the tribal trend in jewelry for men and women, and the glorious resurgence of multi-colored, multi-patterned, multi-cultural design elements showing up in every room in the house. To be honest, bohemian luxe is really at the heart of what we do at Anima Mundi, where "worldwise" is my watchword for all that is authentic, chic and handmade. I think there is a way to bring some boho into every home, every style, every day. I don't think there has been this much ikat, sari silk, kilim and lace...

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Morocco - Les Femmes de Khenifra

Les Femmes de Khenifra, an enterprising group of Moroccan women who create beautifully wearable textile jewelry from humble hand-knotted djellaba buttons, are one of Morocco's great microeconomic success stories. Looking at what they had available to them, namely a cottage industry of crafting inexpensive knotted buttons for djellaba robes, a small group of women began working toward a sustainable business that they could build collaboratively. Their desire to create new income from their handcraft traditions, combined with the efforts of Peace Corps volunteer Linda Zahava, launched a new craft collective that gradually grew into an internationally recognized business success story. Linda's background in art and beadwork sparked the initial jewelry designs, which the women quickly adapted for making necklaces, bracelets...

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