One Devastating Fire

180373cf8432143ba3d109There was a devastating fire that affected the “Old Town” district of Shangri-La, China late last week.  I wanted to share this story with you, because The Rocking Yak calls Shangri-La home.

You can read more about it on The Rocking Yak’s blog.  While you’re there, make sure to follow the blog.  It’s the best way to stay up-to-date with what is happening at The Rocking Yak!

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Arabs with Altitude Update

A couple weeks ago, I shared a fun youtube video produced by the Arabs With Altitude expedition team to Everest.  It was a fun a little video the team made at the start of their expedition.

I wanted to share with you an update of their historic summit.

The team made it to the summit of Mt. Everest on 5/21.  I am excited for all of them. Climbing Mt. Everest is a huge feat, but I am especially proud of Raha Moharrak, the first Arab woman to climb Mt. Everest.

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While we’re on the topic of Mt. Everest, (I’ve been a little obsessed with the mountain lately.  I get like that sometimes), another great expedition that took place at the same time as Arabs With Altitude, is the United States Air Force 7 Summits Challenge.  This group of airmen climbers also reached the summit of Mt. Everest last week, 2 days earlier. You can read about their experience here.

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Just for fun > > > I found this free pattern for a chalk bag!IMG_2019_medium

Yak Milk Soap

011510_M__06835.1353287610.1280.1280  Yak milk is high in fat which is needed for survival through the harsh Himalayan winters.  It is this yak milk that is used to make Yak Butter tea, and is a staple to the Tibetans’ diet.

Some of our friends on the Tibetan plateau have started using this fatty milk, along with local herbs and minerals to make handmade soap!  The result is a rich, and moisturizing bar of soap.  No synthetic ingredients are used in the production of the soap, making it a true natural soap that can be used for washing wool.

The Tibetan cooperative makes the soap in small batches using the cold process method.  Once ready, each bar is cut by hand and packaged for sale.

You can purchase some in the shop!

To learn about AmdoCraft watch the video below and visit their website.

 

Yak Milk Soap

011510_M__06835.1353287610.1280.1280  Yak milk is high in fat which is needed for survival through the harsh Himalayan winters.  It is this yak milk that is used to make Yak Butter tea, and is a staple to the Tibetans’ diet.
Some of our friends on the Tibetan plateau have started using this fatty milk, along with local herbs and minerals to make handmade soap!  The result is a rich, and moisturizing bar of soap.  No synthetic ingredients are used in the production of the soap, making it a true natural soap that can be used for washing wool.

The Tibetan cooperative makes the soap in small batches using the cold process method.  Once ready, each bar is cut by hand and packaged for sale.

You can purchase some in the shop!

To learn about AmdoCraft watch the video below and visit their website.

 

Tibetan Jewel Dream Catcher

Tibetan Jewel CollageThe lands of Tibet hold a special place in my heart, that inspire much of my work. This dream catcher is no exception. The silks remind me of the prayer flags found among the Himalayan foothills, and the metal bangle and amber bead reminds me of the traditional adornments the Tibetan women wear to the horse festivals.

For those who are interested, this dream catcher is available in my shop!

Mandalas

mandala-new-beginning-websI was looking around on Etsy the other day, when I discovered MandalaArtByCloe.  I was immediately drawn in by the bright colors, and contrasting designs of these mandalas.

mandala-create-1The artist, Cloe lives in Amsterdam.  Her hand woven mandalas are inspired by the ancient mandalas of Tibet and Mexico where mandalas have been used for their calming effects on the mind.

earth-mandala2-copyThe icing on the cake for me, is the knowledge that a portion of every sale is given for the support of a Tibetan family and their guesthouse in Nepal.

lily-mandalaGo check out her website Art by Cloe!

How can you not want to follow this climb?

This is a group of Arab climbers who are working to raise 1 million dollars for Nepali education projects. Check out their website and get to know the climbers. They will be pushing for the summit in just 1 week!

I wonder how these climbers will feel after the climb?

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

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 I was invited to attend the 40th Anniversary Sheep & Wool Festival in Maryland! I am very excited about the opportunity to go and promote The Rocking Yak.

I’ll be spending the week packing my bags and getting everything ready for the festival.  If you’re in the area, stop by! We’ll be in the Farm & Garden building booth #2.

Saffron Orange & Maroon Red

When that first spark ignited in my heart for the people of Tibet, I found that, to me, their culture was synonymous with saffron orange and maroon red. For the most part, this is because these are the colors that the monks wear.
Monks-Robe

The traditional robes worn by today’s Tibetan monks originated 2,500 years ago.  Monks of that time, would scavenge cloth that had been discarded for reasons such as, being chewed by mice or oxen, being soiled by childbirth or menstruation, or being used to shroud a dead body. This cloth would be cleaned and any salvageable areas would be cut out and sewn together.

iStock_saffronA dye would be made by boiling the bark of trees, plant juices, leaves, fruit and flower juices along with the roots and tubers of plants over a long period of time. The maroon color of the outer robes that we see used today became the traditional color of Tibetan monks because at the time it was the cheapest dye to produce.  The inner robes are usually a bright saffron orange. Often, spices and heartwood from a jackfruit tree would be used  to achieve this color.

saffron yarn & fabric
Do you have certain colors that you automatically relate to a certain place?