Winter Beauty

Elevate your mood health well-being & aesthetic Winter into Spring with these Artful Blog fabulous finds from near and afar. Who couldn’t use a beneficial beauty and beyond boost this time of year? The idea of deep rest, to replenish and renew the body mind spirit & recharge during this at-times-sluggish season is appealing, as is enhancing your beauty routine with nourishing & aromatically rich products, while adding a few essential seasonal pieces to your environment & wardrobe to refresh and organize, Artful Blog style. Comfort calm citrine calendula cream chakra curios country couture candles & more.

Magic Organic Apothecary Green Bath Potion & Balm

Fall in love with award-winning, artful artisan Magic Organic Apothecary, skincare products made in England, inspired by old herbal folklore with a sprinkling of magic! Therapeutic green bottled beauties that combine organic Yarrow with other herbal extracts & botanical oils to help nourish & invigorate the body mind spirit to improve well-being. Cult-classics include a multi-purpose beauty balm: The Green Balm, a decadent daily cleansing ritual, and some might say a miracle with all its weird & wonderful uses + healing powers. And a Green Bath Potion with refreshing Peppermint, detoxifying Fennel, relaxing Fir Needle & Birch to ease achy muscles & soften the skin. MOA spell for feeling balanced: Pour capful into the bath. Immerse in water, breathe in & let the natural essential oils clear the mind & lift your mood = magic!

Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream

Elevate your Winter skincare game with Ursa Major’s Super Natural hydration boost plus fast-absorbing Golden Hour Recovery Cream. An Artful Blog absolute favorite for its unisex qualities, healing Sunflower, Calendula & Sea Buckhorn properties + aromatics of Neroli, Sandalwood & a touch of sour Rose anchored with fresh-soaked Earth. Crafted by a great Green & grounded grooming line free of synthetic chemicals and toxins out of Vermont, with a brand ethos that comes from a desire to live a healthy, active, stress-free natural life close to the land. A stand out cream and brand in an increasingly crowded field for its philosophy, simplicity, efficacy, clean packaging & quality.

Sundari Neem Hand & Chamomile Eye Oil

Ayurveda teaches that the balancing of mind, body and spirit will ultimately lead to peace, harmony and lasting beauty, as will picking up Sundari’s stellar new floral citrus Neem Hand Oil & best-selling Chamomile Eye Oil. Positively potent travel-friendly essential oil aromatic botanical treats to quench thirsty skin. Skin is instantly relieved upon contact while the essential oils soak deep into the dermis to boost natural repair and defense processes. Sundari encompasses a complete line of Ayurvedic luxury spa treatments with worldwide distribution, that will help you discover truly healthy skin & encourage you to find your own sense of well-being.

Gülsha Rose Perfecting & Regenerative Elixirs

Discover distinctly divine & luxurious Rosa Damascena flower oil potions that are highly effective skin-enhancing elixirs for day & night. Formulated by French skincare experts & made in the Isparta region of Turkey famous for its Roses, using traditional techniques handed down through generations, with only a limited number of bottles being produced each year. It takes approximately 4000 kilograms of Roses, hand-picked before the sunrise, to produce just one kilo of pure Rose oil in an incredibly labor-intensive process. Gülsha perfectly distills this fragrant skin-loving essence & combines it with other powerfully healing & protective seed oils to nourish dehydrated skin with vital nutrients to restore radiance.

L.L. Bean Upworthy Down Jacket & Hunter Boots

Stay warm dry & stylishly seasonal in these Loden Green rural landscape classic wares. Artful Blog favorites for Gray Green rugged riding style perfection. L.L. Bean, the quintessential American company based in Maine known for its iconic boots and catalog, plus clothes & gear designed for getting out there, with cutting-edge technology for staying safe & warm. Whose motto is the outside is inside everything they make. At some point the typical New Englander stops letting the weather ruin another pair of boots and picks up a pair of Hunter boots. Then wonders how they ever did without them! Founded in 1856, Hunter is a British heritage brand renowned for its iconic original boot, and Royal Appointment to HM The Queen & HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The brand has a rich history of innovation and continues to forge designs that shield pioneers from the elements and bleakest of landscapes.

Dooney & Bourke Florentine Collection 

Dooney & Burke = vintage vibes Florentine gift to self or other that will stand the test of time. Inspired by America’s rich history in leather goods, ranging from mail pouches to saddle bags & early military gear, Dooney & Bourke known for its New England roots and heritage, designs & crafts instant classics with the perfect union of timeless American style, the highest regard for the finest raw materials & time-honored techniques of old world craftsman. The Florentine Collection with Vacchetta leather, matte Gold hardware & micro-suede detailing, has the look & feel of fine saddlery leather, and develops an even richer patina with time and use. The Artful Blog’s favorite pieces rich with enduring style, timeless versatility & effortless functionality.

Satya Jewelry Chakra Collection

Satya means “truth” in Sanskrit, and that sentiment beautifully inspires the New York-based designer yogini jewelry line of the same name, handcrafted for the modern & fearless woman in mind. Offering necklaces, bracelets, malas and earrings with symbols & semi-precious gemstones within specialty collections such as: Mandala -that embodies the divine spirit of this age-old art form, and Chakra -that delivers powerful messaging, mantras & inspiration to tap into empowerment. This year The Artful Blog choose Citrine & Yellow Jade as its empowering crystal allies for 2018. Both Solar Plexus Chakra stones -or Manipura, which governs health, self-worth & energy. Located in the seat of digestive fire, Manipura infuses the body with energy, balance & strength. In wearing these stones, you are supported to blossom in your growing spirituality, with inner peace, joy & happiness.

Farmhouse Pottery Candles & Match Striker

Farmhouse Pottery, Vermont based artisanal potters offering unique one-of-a-kind handmade pottery, décor & gifts. With original shapes brought back from another time when storage was done with handcrafted vessels. Rooted in traditional American pottery styling, basic in design, with many purposes for the home and entertaining, Farmhouse Pottery vessels are household essentials, that bring pleasure to everyday utility. Nothing celebrates seasonal nostalgia & the Winter Solstice –The Artful Blog’s second favorite season, with simple sophistication better than Farmhouse’s carefully crafted candles. With woodsy notes of Balsam Fir, Cedar & Sandalwood oils inspired by Vermont’s rural landscape, preserved natural beauty & seasonal change.

Edens Garden Single & Synergy Blend Essential Oils

While there are a lot of essential oil companies these days, only a few brands manage to get the real seal of approval when it comes to being utterly trustworthy & favored by their customers. Known for having an amazing variety of therapeutic-grade essential oils as well as beautiful gift sets & beneficial carrier oils, it comes as no surprise that Edens Garden is considered one of the best in terms of quality, price-point, selection & service. The expert aromatherapist crafted & curated collection of synergy blends are particularly noteworthy remedies, also included are 18 thoughtful OK For Kids blends, prompting everything from calm to sleep to joy. Edens Garden seasonal diffuser blend recipe: 4 Drops of Cedarwood + 4 Drops of Pine. The Artful Blog loves to drop this blend atop the woodstove this time of year for scentsational seasonal ambiance!

Alicia Adams Alpaca Baby Alpaca Throw

A 100% Baby Alpaca Handmade Throw that is softer than cashmere is just sublime. Alpaca is one of the world’s most luxurious fabrics, cherished the world over, not only for its scarcity but also for its natural attributes, its fineness, durability, and hypoallergenic & lightweight qualities. Adams’s gorgeous accessories suit any season, a swoon-worthy collection of hand-spun sweaters, blankets, robes & accessories perfect for stepping up your Winter wardrobe or gift-giving. The Artful Blog finds the throws especially comforting, perfect for Winter into Spring evenings by the fire. Alicia Adams Alpaca raises & manages its own herd of over 200 Suri Alpacas at The Artful Blog’s favorite family farm in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Pema Chödrön 2018 Engagement Calendar

Get organized 2018 old school style with the Pema Chödrön: Awakening The Heart Weekly Engagement Calendar. A perennial Artful Blog essential that features quotes from Chödrön’s Book: Living Beautifully With Uncertainty & Change. Designed to help us cultivate compassion, courage & awareness within the challenges of daily life through mindfulness & eastern philosophy. Beloved Buddhist teacher, author, nun & mother, Pema Chödrön has inspired millions of people from around the world who have been touched by her example & message of practicing peace in these turbulent times. Purchase of this beautiful engagement calendar each year supports The Pema Chodron Foundation which is dedicated to preserving & sharing Pema’s inspiration & teachings in order that they might help us all awaken wisdom & compassion in ourselves & the world around us.

Best In Balms

Enjoy the feeling of having nourished your body, mind, and spirit and carry that with you throughout your day with these extraordinary wellness beauty balms from founder-driven indie beauty brands that lean clean and embody integrity, passion and spirit. Companies that tell a story, and care about ingredients, product purity, efficacy, and artisanship. Balms made with love and plant powered ingredients used for physical and psychological wellbeing since the beginning of time, recommended by The Artful Blog to incorporate into your daily self-care rituals. For seasonal support, healthy skin, peace of mind, and scentsational aromatherapy head to toe. Miracle worker balms = the bomb gift for self, mindful minimalist and health & healing enthusiast on the list!

Black Hills Honey Farm Peppermint Lavender & Arnica Bee Balm 

 Black Hills Honey Farm is a fully integrated sustainable Beekeeping operation crafting natural personal care “Products From The Hive” developed to protect, soothe & heal. They seek to define the best practices for natural beekeeping with the secondary focus on the agricultural products of apiculture (honey, pollen & propolis).  All products are 100% natural with no synthetic fragrances, isopropyl alcohol, benzene, mineral oil, sodium lareth sulfate, propylene glycol, or aluminum. The Peppermint & Lavender Temple Rub, a personal favorite, with honey & essential oil blend of Lavender, Chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Bergamot & Grapefruit, is a headache sufferer’s must-have for alleviating aroma-therapeutic relief & the warmingly wonderful Arnica & Ginger Arthritus Rub is their best-selling product for good reason. The Bees Knees balms.

Badger Sleep Balm & Sore Joint Rub & Apothecary Badger Artwork

Badger is a small, family-owned, family-run & family-friendly company nestled in the woods of New Hampshire that began making their signature healing balm back in 1995. Now 20+ years later, still going strong, the beloved by New Englanders and beyond brand has blossomed into a full line of 100 high-quality products known for its distinctly artful tins. Badger blends the finest organic ingredients to make safe products to calm, heal, protect & treat your body. They also keep a careful eye on the environment by sourcing only ecologically harvested, wild-crafted & fairly traded ingredients. As a Certified Organic company, most products are clean enough to eat. The entire line is playful, purposeful & powerful. Personal picks: Badger’s Lavender & Bergamot Sleep Balm & Arnica Blend Sore Joint Rub. Balms for all reasons.

Botanical Therapy Antidepressant & Headache Balm

Botanical Therapy was born from a life-long love and respect for nature. Products are handcrafted by founder Michelle Jefferson, a Native-American Master Clinical Aromatherapist who honors the plants, the customer, and the research & wisdom of those who came before us. Collection includes 36 made-to-order customizable & effective adult through kid-safe personal care medicinal quality synergy balms imbued with healing energy. With care, botanical ingredients, Bergamot, Grapefruit & Lavender historically used for stimulating cheer and contentment are combined with shea butter & beeswax to create an uplifting Antidepressant Balm, and Frankincense, Lavender & Peppermint, used for reducing pain & swelling, soothing nerves, alleviating tension & creating a sedating effect, form a marvelous Headache & Migraine Balm. Excellent carry-with-you for efficacious relief on-the-go balm.

Rain Bee Essential Remedies Balm

Rain is a curated line of responsibly handmade products using natural ingredients with African origins designed to reveal and enhance the true inner beauty of your body, mind, and spirit. Indigenous plants used since antiquity by African healers are the heart and soul of the Rain range. Extracts & oils from Kalahari melons, Mongongo nuts, Marula fruit, Mafura seeds, the pods of the giant Baobab and the delicate fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom, all packed with antioxidants, moisturizers & nutrients to protect & replenish your skin. Rain’s Bee Essential Remedies harness the active properties of honey & beeswax in spa style treatments which deliver tangible results. Bee Essential Heel Balm & Sleep Balm slow-beauty remedies are must-haves for carving a few moments out of each day to practice mindful self-care & wellness. Balms created with love & care for craftspeople & the planet.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rose Mandarin & Brambleberry Balm 

Founded in 1892 the now iconic family-run Rosebud Perfume Company set out with a simple mission: To provide simple, multi-usage products that are both affordable & effective. In addition to the world-famous, cult-favorite Rosebud Salve that boasts to be the cure-all for a wide array of skin ailments, notable are the newest offerings: Rose Mandarin & Brambleberry Rose Balm which can be used as both lip & body balm, or experienced as a sensuous perfume applied to pulse points. Housed in vintage inspired tins, these balms are brimming with a Balsam of fragrant essential oils & botanicals that embraces the skin/lips. Stress-reducing flavors of Mandarin Orange, Vintage Rose, Nostalgic Berry, overtones of honey & vanilla, moisturized with shea butter & vitamin E. Sweet giftable & covetable balm.

Sundãri Makeup Remover Balm & Skinveda Saffron-Dhatelo Balm 

Ayurveda, acknowledged as the oldest medical science in India, is a 5000 year old science of life advocating a methodology that seeks to establish ones holistic balance. Ayurveda teaches that the balancing of mind, body and spirit will ultimately lead to peace, harmony and lasting beauty. Inspired by Ayurvedic wisdom Sundãri & Skinveda skincare lines embody the principles of this Indian philosophy with balanced formulations that utilize the powerful regenerative properties of plants, herbs, roots, essential oils & floral extracts to harmonize and normalize skin conditions & imbalances. Sundãri’s Makeup Remover Balm & Skinveda’s Saffron-Dhatelo Lip Restoring Balm are nourishing & therapeutic precious seed oil drenched Ylang Ylang & Sandalwood scented sublimely divine nighttime skin-loving indulgences. Science meets nature through ancient wisdom balm.

Yoga Balm & Bayan Botanicals Beauty Balm

Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth & ether, represented in humans by three “doshas” or energies: Vata, Pitta & Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body, balance is lost. Health & wellbeing depends on right balance of the three doshas = tridoshas. The term Yoga itself means to unite, combine, harmonize, or integrate. A yogic approach is inherently an integrative approach, harmonizing body, prana, senses, mind & consciousness. Yoga & Ayurveda are two interrelated branches of the same great tree of Vedic knowledge. Support your practice with joyously handcrafted in small batches Yoga Balmfairly traded, sustainable & elevated combination of seven powerful healing oils join to detoxify, promote cell growth, reduce inflammation & improve blood flow with progression toward long-term holistic wellness. Excellent before & after yoga practice & for use with healing arts clients. Also recommended are industry leader Banyan Botanicals 6 Ayurvedic balms. Award-winning Beauty Balm, with Shatavari, Ashwagandha & Rose Geranium is an essential does everything & more scentsationally balm.

Waxing Kara Sweet Lips & Sweet Body Balm

What began as artisan Kara Brook’s quest for beeswax, years later resulted in a small but mighty company Waxing Kara, a multi-dimensional “Honey House” with a full line of charming & elegantly packaged products with a mission to craft beautiful & functional handmade goods in a sustainable way using natural ingredients thanks to bees. Waxing Kara honey products are now sold in over 250 stores across the US, including Anthropologie, West Elm Local & Uncommon Goods. So in love with the conditioning Honey Lip Balm & Sweet Body Balm -right-sized solid balm made from organic ingredients including honey, coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter & essential oils to provide a rich beneficial treat for the skin. Find daily peace with this group of finely tuned aromatherapy essential oil blends formulated to recharge your body mind & spirit: Blossoms & Bourbon, Peace of Mind, Good Fortune & Strength. For transformative results, apply liberally to palms, rub hands together & inhale deeply. Bee-inspired balm.

Indigo Elixirs Balms & Prismologie Rose Quartz & Rose Balm

Interested in an exquisitely unique balm that leans toward the miraculous, magical & maybe a little mysterious? Indigo Elixirs & Prismologie have you covered. Crafted by herbalist & natural perfumer Deanna Rose in her Manoa jungle apothecary, Indigo Elixirs are healing medicines for skin & soul. As part of your dream ritual discover Lucid Dream Balm, a hydrating & calming balm to apply specifically to the third eye, temples, under the nose & on your neck, before you go to sleep, that contains occult & medicinal plants like Mugwort, which has an ancient reputation for bringing clarity, lucidity & premonition to our dreams, and Sandalwood to calm the third eye. Also features a center of Neon Green Big-Island grown & distilled Vetiver essential oil, for grounding the entire being. Handcrafted with love & plants mythic medicine balm.

Prismologie, created by a dynamic Kuwaiti mother-daughter team, is an innovative bespoke mood-enhancing multi-sensory gemstones & enriching fragrances body care range that harnesses the transformative power of 6 distinctive colors: White for Clarity, Yellow for Confidence, Pink for Comfort, Green for Serenity, Red for Vigour & Indigo for Stillness. Diamonds, Citrines, Rose Quartz, Jades, Rubies & Sapphires are crushed into the formulas for their wellbeing properties. Used on your declouge –close to the heart chakra, the Rose Quartz & Rose Body Comforting Body Balm, with its cream-to-powder texture, restorative & heavenly Artic Rose scent + subtle shimmer, leaves the skin softly kissed with light & love. Elemental healing balm.

Summer Day

… Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver

Poem The Summer Day by Mary Oliver & Illustrated Quote by Lisa Congdon. Happy Summer Solstice! The Artful Blog is taking an annual blogosphere hiatus through the Summer. Projects to create. Art to make. Journeys to take. Mysteries to contemplate. For body spirit peace of mind sake. See you on social media intermittently & back here in the Fall. Until then, enjoy the archives & the season!

Making Good

Making Good: An Inspirational Guide To Being An Artist Craftsman by Jacklyn Scott (Author), Kristin Müller (Author), Tommy Simpson (Author), Stuart Kestenbaum (Foreword), 2017.

Forty-one craftspeople answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and how he or she started and maintains a career in the arts. Accompanied by more than 260 photos showing the artists, their work spaces, and their creations, each interview gives experience-based answers to anyone interested in the lives of artists. For students and career changers to makers at all levels, this resource captures insight into the entrepreneurial nature of living a life in the arts and the choices, bits of luck, joys, and tenacity one needs to overcome hurdles in useful and surprising ways. The 41 artists from across the United States work in many types of media; they include, for example, woodturner Dixie Biggs, fiber artist Carol Eckert, metalsmith Pat Flynn, glass artist Judith Schaecter and ceramist Mara Superior. As their answers unfold, what develops is a collection of independent voices that follow unique, creative journeys in the arts, despite the twists and turns life takes. This distillation of expertise is a valuable resource to all who are considering a creative career. Great gift for artist hopeful grad!

One of The Artful Blog’s favorite New England independent bookstores,  The Hickory Stick Bookshop Washington Depot CT, will host a book signing with authors Kristin Muller & Jacklyn Scott and local artist Tommy Simpson June 17th 2017.

The Journey

We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known …
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.

~Joseph Campbell

Spellbound

Eivør Pálsdóttir Live On Frame Drum -From Trøllabundin. The impressive folk-rock singer songwriter from the Icelandic Faeroe Islands -the source of her musical inspiration, with a voice of rare power and beauty. Hauntingly atmospheric, with a resonant rhythmic sound and style that transports us into the shamanic realm of mystery and magic.

SPELLBOUND (TRANSLATION)

Spellbound I am, I am
The wizard has enchanted me, enchanted me
Spellbound deep in my soul, in my soul
In my heart burns a sizzling fire, a sizzling fire

Spellbound I am, I am
The wizard has enchanted me, enchanted me
Spellbound in my heart’s root, my heart’s root
My eyes gaze to where the wizard stood