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Free Hippy Shopping Bag with every Order over £30

free hippy shopping bagsHello Cosmic friends!

Now that plastic bags are banned in the UK, you need some fab reusable bags for your shopping trips.

So here’s a funky offer for you:

Receive a free hippy shopping bag when you place an order for £30 or more (excluding postage costs).

Quote reference FABBAG2015 in the notes section on the checkout page.

This offer is only valid while stocks last.

And all SALE items qualify!

So grab yourself some bargains, get those Christmas gifts early and receive a little treat in return.

Happy Shopping!

Christiane

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Gifts For Hippie Chicks

gifts for hippie chicksIt’s the season to go gift shopping again, and you may be wondering what to get for your boho, dreamy, floaty, new age, spiritual, environmentally conscious friend or relative.

Choosing gifts for hippie chicks isn’t that hard, once you know what makes them tick. On the photo above you can see a few gift ideas, which you honestly can’t go wrong with. Here’s why:

1. Turquoise Ruffle Scarf – because it’s crochet (a hippie’s favourite) and handmade here at Cosmic HQ. No slavery involved in the creation of this unique, stylish and cosy little number.

2. Chunky Jade Bracelet – hippies cannot have enough crystals and gemstones in their collection. They are healing stones, didn’t you know? And they spread so much positive vibes. Lots of bracelets are in the sale, so check out the others, too.

3. Red Crochet Flower Brooch – because hippie chicks are a bit like butterflies, they love flowers. They love to adorn their clothes and bags with flowers. Flowers everywhere. Buy them one, which lasts and they can stick anywhere they like. And yes, it’s handmade here at Cosmic HQ, too.

4. Pink Embroidered Jewellery Roll – for all those healing crystal jewellery pieces. And this one is sparkly and fairly traded from India. See the full range of jewellery rolls.

5. Turquoise Brocade Purse – because it’s sparkly, fairly traded and fits into a tiny handbag or trouser pocket. More purses here.

6. Hand-embossed Leather Notebook – perfect handbag size to record poems, thoughts, dreams, quotes, words of wisdom and phone numbers of lovely people. Also, its paper is made of recycled cotton waste. No tree had to die in the making of this product, and the pattern contains flowers, too.

Happy Shopping!

Christiane

 

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Summer at Cosmic HQ

It’s summer at Cosmic HQ, and the living is easy. What are we up to?

1. We’re looking at beautiful new products to stock in time for the busy autumn season…

new stock shopping

2. Lunchtime is spent outside, feet up:

summer at cosmic hq

3. My crazy little lunch dish: fresh strawberries with Eaton Mess ice cream. The perfect balance of healthy food and naughty indulgence…

strawberries and ice cream

4. The neighbour’s cat being nosy, looking into the kitchen:

violet spending summer at cosmic hq

5. Oh look! A crystal ball and a heart-shaped pebble found on a beach in Yorkshire:

crystal ball

6. Wearing a clear quartz bracelet. Check out our range of gemstone bracelets, most of which are now in the sale:

clear quartz crystal bracelet

7. Oh, and this is me with my soul card. Why not treat yourself to a Tarot or Oracle deck today?

selfie with my soul card

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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How To Make Tea Light Candles From Leftover Beeswax

beeswax candles tea lightsNatural beeswax candles are my favourites; they smell of honey, are completely sustainable, and they are healthy for you (unlike the paraffin variety).

Intricate designs can sometimes cause the candles to drip, but any leftover beeswax from a candle isn’t wasted. You can use it to make tealights.

How to make tea light candles:

All you need to do is collect leftover beeswax in a cheap non-stick cooking pot and buy some reusable tea-light holders (you can even re-use the metal holders) and wicks.

For tea lights you don’t need to collect that much beeswax as long as you have enough to fill at least a couple of holders.

If you have a lot of wax, you can melt it in stages, otherwise it can take ages to melt.

Rather than buying an expensive candle melt pot, I simply use one I bought in a Pound shop – really cheap. You don’t need to spend a fortune on that.

Melt the wax in the pot on a low heat on the hob. It will take about 10 – 15 mins for all the wax to melt depending how much there is; the more wax, the longer it takes.

beeswax tea light

Keep an eye on the melting wax to avoid burning.
And once you’ve made them, you can use a large ivy leaf and cones for decoration.

But remember – always burn your candles and tea lights safely on a heat-proof surface.

 

Links:

Reusable tea light holders and wicks supplies (UK)

beeswax tea lightsBeeswax Pillar Candles

If you can recommend alternative UK suppliers of candle making supplies, please leave a comment with a link.

 

 

Celebrating Buddha Day

Pewter BuddhaBuddha Day is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which means that this year it’s on the 6th May, when Buddhists all over the world will be celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha over 2,500 years ago.

Yet another reason to celebrate here at Cosmic HQ!

Buddhism is becoming more popular in the Western world as people discover its spiritual wisdom, and personally I love surrounding myself with Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes. A Buddha in your home is said to bring health and good luck.

Place a Buddha figure in a position, where it faces the entrance to your home, so it invites positive energies, peace and happiness into your living space.

A meditating Buddha invokes an atmosphere of tranquillity and relaxation and also encourages you to meditate and explore spiritual truths.

Buddha Day is a joyful festival, when devout Buddhists and followers offer flowers and food as gifts to Buddha when visiting the temple. They also make a special effort to bring happiness to disadvantaged people like the elderly, sick and handicapped by distributing gifts and money to care homes, hospitals and other charitable organisations.

Celebrate Buddha Day by starting the day with a short meditation just after you get up – ten minutes in a quiet space, when you let your mind focus on positive thoughts and affirmations.

Meditation is an important component of Buddhism as it promotes the development of mindfulness and concentration.

Light a candle and if you wish you can play relaxing music. You don’t need to be a master of any meditation technique; it is more important that you feel calm and positive by the time you have finished.

Enjoy the process and think about how you can help someone on that day; spending money isn’t always necessary; instead it may be more worthwhile spending time with someone who tends to be alone or supporting a work colleague under pressure.

There are many ways, how you can make a positive move towards your fellow human beings, which is one of the key elements of Buddhist teachings. Most of all enjoy the day, and perhaps the constructive actions you take on that day may well have beneficial effects beyond the Buddha celebrations.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Go shopping for Buddha Day supplies:

Buddha Figures and CandleholdersIncenseCandlesHanging CrystalsSoft Furnishings

Some Things To Do In York

ghost walk in york

If you are planning to visit York, then why not try something different:

1. Go to a Vegan café/restaurant

El Piano is situated on Grape Lane right in the centre of York.

Here you will learn that Vegan and gluten free doesn’t have to mean bland and boring.

It’s Spanish food at its best, spicy, fragrant and generous portions.

I told you in my previous post, that I’m not too fond of the big brand coffee places, and at El Piano you are served a big jug full of properly brewed coffee for just £5. More than enough for two people.

But because El Piano is a vegan place, the milk served with your coffee isn’t cow’s milk. You can choose from a variety of different kinds of milk (including soya), but I recommend you try coconut milk.

Granted, a taste you need to get used to, but I discovered coconut milk as something quite delicious on its own.

2. Have Dinner at an Independent Italian Restaurant

It’s easy to go for the familiar Pizza Express, but why not go instead to a quirky little Italian restaurant called Il Paradiso Del Cibo on Walmgate.

Last time I went, the tiny place was packed and fully booked, but the owner managed to set up a table for us somehow. Fabulous food, great value and friendly staff.

3. A Ghost Walk

If you love all things spooky, and you’ve already visited the York Dungeon, then get yourself to the Shambles meet-up point for a ghost walk.

Be mesmerised by a delightfully creepy guide leading you from one haunted place to the next.

At £5 per person, it is great entertainment for the whole family.

York is packed full of eating places and offers a wide variety of entertainment, but it’s often the not so obvious, unassuming hole-in-the-wall that is worth checking out.

Next time you visit, what will be your exciting new discovery? A pretty independent boutique, cosy restaurant or wacky activity?

Whatever you do, there will always be new things to do in York.

Christiane

 

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And if you like spooky stuff a lot, especially quality things, then check out these hand-carved crystal skulls we currently stock:

Beware of the Big Brand Brainwash

big brand brainwashThankfully, the big brand brainwash no longer has an effect on me. I can’t remember when I last went to Starbucks.

At first, it was the novelty and the dazzling selection of coffees – Latte, Americano, Macchiatto, Frescato, Schmuckato…. all in different sizes – regular, tall, grande…

But then I realised that a coffee at Starbucks is actually quite expensive, I mean REALLY expensive, and I started to wonder how they can make people spend a fortune on a cup of coffee.

It’s not just Starbucks, but also Costa Coffee, Pret-A-Manger and all the other high-profile chains that offer over-priced food and drink consumers are so willing to pay for without thinking twice.

But why?

What’s wrong with the independent coffee shop or tea room that offers your favourite hot beverage at half the Starbucks price?

Is it because they don’t offer a free Wi-Fi connection? Or are you worried about taste and quality?

Who says that the big brands’ products are of high quality anyway? Do you find yourself being sucked into the clever marketing without realising? Perhaps you have fallen for the big brand brainwash.

Granted, the drinks taste the same in every Starbucks or Costa Coffee, regardless where in the country (or even the world) their branches are. Taste is consistent, even the Rocky Road cake in the London Starbucks tastes exactly the same as in the Leeds branch.

We just know what we’re getting; it’s familiar and perhaps risk-free. But when we settle down for the well-known and usual routine, decay sets in. We are no longer prepared to explore new and often more exciting territory.

All these big brands love to hype their coffee and tea as fair trade and superior, but to be honest, fair trade is far more mainstream and widely on offer now than it used to be. Even most independents have jumped onto that bandwagon.

Superior product quality is always questionable, especially when it’s hyped in the company’s marketing campaign.  Often it’s just another big brand brainwash.

So why am I writing about this?

Well, next time you are thinking of heading to Starbucks or Costa again like a drone, I’d like to ask you to seek out that little independent place and give it a try – just for a change.

Independents struggle to keep going, because people have been manipulated by the big brand brainwash, yet there are some real gems amongst the independents.

I challenge you to seek them out in your area and support them instead of the big brand chain store.

As you know, the big brands cleverly avoid paying corporation tax in the UK, yet the independents are unable to pull this kind of creative accounting heist.

The big brands claim they create new jobs, but there are people employed in independent shops, too.

Many independents don’t survive for more than two years, but they are beginning to strike back with exciting niching like the London cat café, Seven Arts café in Leeds and Yorkshire’s own Betty’s Victorian style tea rooms.

I challenge you to seek out these gems and support their dedication, innovative ideas, personal service and artisan skills (often their patisserie and breads are far superior without costing more than the big brand products).

Let’s not create a world, where the only coffee shop you can go to is either a Starbucks or Costa, while independents have gone out of business.

Let’s aim to keep our high streets more colourful, quirky and exciting.

Do you have a favourite independent coffee shop you visit regularly? Please tell me all about that little gem you’ve found. I’d love to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

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How To Create DIY Happy Jars

happy jars

Here at Cosmic HQ we love creative ideas that are inspirational and fun. 

Our guest blogger Laura Fernandez shows you how you can record and collect your happy moments in a simple yet imaginative way, and even turn them into a gift:

There is nothing like happiness coming from one simple jar and that is exactly the purpose of happy jars.

The do-it-yourself, happy jar also called as ‘a jar of happiness’ was created to bring back smiles and laughter amongst friends and family. One simple concept of happiness can take a person a long way and that it exactly what this jar does.

People have confused happy jars with cupcake jars or candy jars but this concept is completely new.

The basic purpose of a happy jar is that it acts like a simple reminder of all the good things that happened in a month or a year. With small things a person can go back into time and remember all the small, but important things about his or her life.

The do-it-yourself process is simple and requires just a handful of items. This is how it works:

 Things Required

A person takes a large or medium sized jar with a lid. Some people like using fish bowls instead as well.

He or she needs to place it in one of the busiest parts of the house, let’s say the kitchen or the sitting lounge. Next to the jar should be a pen and a notepad containing small pieces of paper.

Some people also like to add instructions next to the happy jar so that anyone passing by can read the instructions first.

The Setup

The best part about happiness jars is the personal touch. Some people keep candies next to the jar and some people keep photo frames to remind them of best times and close relationships. However the main step comes next.

The Purpose

An individual is required to write what made him or her happy that particular day, fold it and throw it in the jar.

The essential part is to add the date so that it could be recorded. Happiness has no boundaries and so doesn’t the happiness jar.

A person can write anything or everything that made him or her happy, whether it was a newly bought piece of clothing or an act of kindness that someone else did.

happy jar ideas

Some people also like to add receipts of memorable times or trinkets of any kind.

Opening the Happy Jar

An individual carries out this practice of writing on small pieces of paper and putting it in the jar for an entire year.

It is usually opened up again on New Year’s Eve, which makes it a perfect time to reminisce about the past.

The happy jar reminds a person of all the good things that happened to him or her throughout the year and makes the person thankful for all the blessings.

Make it a present

When a happy jar is shared with another person, he or she can give it to the partner as a gift. The jar or the bowl can be wrapped up in a nice wrapping with a bow and can be presented on New Year’s Eve because that is the time to share the happy jar.

A happy jar is a happiness recording system which might not be a famous concept but it is certainly a unique one. Years pass by for people and they hardly remember what they did all year. With the help of a happy jar, special or happy moments can never be forgotten; in fact they will always be remembered and cherished till the happy jar exists.

Author’s bio: Laura Fernandez is a content marketing writer working for an established marketing agency in NYC. She loves re-doing her interiors over and over again and is usually on the phone with Homejoy making plans with the staff there.

Have fun creating your own personal happy jar!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

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Top 10 Gifts for Her

top 10 gifts for herWith the Christmas season coming up yet again, it seems to get harder every year to find gifts that are thoughtful and unique.

Women tend to get toiletries, perfumes, chocolates, candles and the odd tipple, but why not choose something more unusual this time? Something hand-crafted and fairly traded from India or made in the UK?

Forget mass-produced merchandise from China. Here you can find some lovely things that are produced in small quantities yet very affordable.

So, if you’re struggling to find that perfect present, one of our top 10 gifts for her will be perfect whatever the occasion:

Satin Velvet Scarves Turquoise Detail1. A Beautiful Velvet Scarf

Stunning designs and super-soft. Hand-embroidered and fairly traded from India.

 

 

 

Sequined Velvet Bags Black/Purple2. A Pretty Velvet Bag

Unique designs for all occasions, hand-embroidered and fairly traded from India.

 

 

 

Large Embroidered Notebooks3. A Handmade Notebook

All of our notebooks and journals are made from recycled materials.

 

Carnelian Bracelet

4. A Gemstone Bracelet

Many are in the SALE right now, and they all come in a FREE gold organza gift bag.

 

 

 

5. A Mystical Pewter Brooch

Hand-made by an artisan co-operative in Cornwall.

 

Quartz Crystal T-light Holder

 

 

6. A Sparkling Quartz Crystal T-Light Holder

Looks stunning on the coffee table – and it is said to have healing properties too!

 

7. An Incense Selection Gift Box

Entirely natural ingredients, delightful fragrances and fairly traded from India.

 

Purple Embroidered Keepsake Box

 

8. A Hand-embroidered Keepsake Box

Very pretty, for photos, letters, cards, crystals, jewellery….

 

 

Sun Wall Plaque9. A Magical Sun Wall Plaque

This ancient symbol of enlightenment is hand-cast in Cornwall.

 

Celtic CD Greeting Card

 

10. A Music CD Greeting Card

A musical gift and greeting card all-in-one. Relaxing, new age music. Suitable for all occasions.

 

And if you join our mailing list, you will receive a 10% discount voucher.

Happy Shopping!

 

Clear Your Mental Clutter, Get A Journal

Velvet embroidered notebookToday’s guest post by Julie Rowlands, the Fast Forward Coach, explores the joy and therapeutic effect of writing a journal. If you are new to journaling and need some cues on topics you can write about, here are Julie’s inspirational ideas:

One of the best ways I know to clear my head of the mental clutter that often accumulates there, is to write a journal.

I love writing, to me, there is something really special about writing in a beautiful journal or notebook with a special pen. I have a stash of what I call my ‘special pens’, which I use regularly to write. Actually they really are nothing special except they are purple, and they write in purple ink. ( I am a purple girl from way back, long before it was fashionable to be a purple girl!)

All of my journals are written in purple ink, and for me that makes them unique and for me, more special.

What makes journal writing so special?

There are lots of reasons, here are six of my favourites.

  1. It clears my head, I tend to write as I am thinking and some days that is very mixed up and other days very clear. Getting it out of my head and down on paper is a wonderful way to create space for more new ideas.
  2. It is a wonderful record of my journey, my life. Reading some of my journals from years ago gives me a new perspective on where I have come from, what I have achieved, as well as the challenges I have faced and overcome.
  3. It is a great reminder of particular incidents I may have forgotten, that seemed very important at the time. Often gives me a different perspective.
  4. It is a  wonderful sounding board to record my frustrations and anguishes, and guess what?  Just writing them down helps clarify the real issues.
  5. It is a fantastic tool for expressing Gratitude, even if it feels at times  like there is little to be grateful for, just writing something down often gets me thinking of more that I can be truly grateful for.
  6. It is a fantastic way of documenting my goals and dreams, and my written steps to achieve them.

Is there a special way to write in a journal? A formula?

Personally – I don’t think so, the important part is for you to create a habit around it, so you write regularly, and that you make it a special activity just for you.

To help with this I suggest you buy a special journal or notebook to start with, but in reality a plain notebook will be just fine.

I  suggest you try challenging yourself with questions, to stimulate your thinking.

  • What have I learned here?
  • What could I have done differently or better
  • What did I do really well?

Ultimately it is your special book, and your special time, so Enjoy!

So, what are you waiting for? Choose your favourite from our beautiful range of fairly traded, handmade notebooks and reap the benefits of journal writing.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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