What kind of Toys your child plays with?

Kawallu Wood Toy – copyright Nativa Store. All rights reserved.

Have you noticed how toddlers can spend hours playing with a simple object (whether is a ball, a spoon, or any other bright colorful item) getting entertained like it is the best toy on earth?

Kids always want a trinket. And parents are always interested in providing the most safe and entertaining experience to their loved offsprings. But have how much thinking parents give to the materials used on their children’s toys?

Rainbow color pencils – Copyright Nativa Store

Think about this: particularly among toddlers and babies, those objects of affection are frequently chewed, squeezed, salivated, stepped on or shared with dogs. And while plastics are easy to wash,  and in most cases are very affordable and convenient, they have also be found to release harmful chemicals into the air, and our bodies.

Plastic are also generally toxic to produce, to use, and to dispose of. Even worse, plastic waste is accumulating in giant gyres of debris in the ocean, and sometimes rivers and lakes where, fish and birds ingest them with terrible consequences.

But, luckily, when it comes to our kids’ toyse can all make safer choices.

Wood, cotton, cardboard, wool or felt are some of the many eco-friendly materials recommended for a fun, playful, non toxic doll or ball.

Nativa Store features a new collection of organic toys for your kids. Visit our Children section and browse through our, fun colorful toys and accessories for boys and girls.

Worried about Cell Phone Radiation?

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Recent reports from World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that the use of cellular phones could be dangerous to your health.

Cell phones emit radiation to send voice and text messages between you and the other caller. Recent studies of frequent cell phone users suggest increased risks for brain and mouth tumors and children’s behavior problems.

To be on the safe side, Nativa Store wants to suggest the following tips to reduce exposure:

USE A HEADSET OR SPEAKERj0410143
Headsets emit much less radiation than phones. Choose either wired or
wireless (experts are split on which version is safer). Some wireless headsets emit continuous, low-level radiation, so take yours off your ear when you’re not on a call. Using your phone in speaker mode also reduces radiation to the head.

LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS
Your phone emits radiation when you talk or text, but not when you’re
receiving messages. Listening more and talking less reduces your exposures.

CHOOSE TEXTING OVER TALKINGMP900409320
Phones use less power (less radiation) to send text than voice. And unlike when you speak with the phone at your ear, texting keeps radiation away from your head.

POOR SIGNAL? STAY OFF THE PHONE
Fewer signal bars on your phone means that it emits more radiation to get the signal to the tower. Make and take calls when your phone has a strong signal.

SKIP THE “RADIATION SHIELD”
Radiation shields such as antenna caps or keypad covers reduce the connection quality and force the phone to transmit at a higher power with higher radiation.

LIMIT CHILDREN’S PHONE USETeen breaking up over a text message
Young children’s brains absorb twice the cell phone radiation as an adult’s. Teenagers are heavy cell phone users and tend to be even more exposed to possible cell phone effects.

HOLD THE PHONE AWAY FROM YOUR BODYChaguar green sachel w Iphone
Hold the phone away from your torso when you’re talking (with headset or speaker), not against your ear, in a pocket, or on your belt where soft body tissues absorb radiation. Avoid carrying your cell phone on your pant pockets, or clipped to your waist as it could potentially affect your fertility. It is advisable to carry your cell phone on a convenient bag or tote.

Nativa Store carries a nice selection of eco-friendly  satchels, purses and handbags for both men and women, that are ideal to carry your cell phone with style and color. Check them out!

A trip to Santiago del Estero

IMG_0082This January Michelle & I continued our quest for meeting outstanding artisans during our field trip to Argentina. Thus one early morning we packed water bottles and plenty of healthy snacks and embarked ourselves in a visit to the amazing province of Santiago del Estero. Located on the central north area of the country, Santiago is a very hot and dry region. Temperatures easily reach a 100 degrees in summertime and rains are very scarce.

(You can watch a video about our visit to Santiago del Estero clicking here)

Intricate wool patternsAfter a couple of hours we started to spot several workshops adjacent to the highway. Local female artisans displayed colorful hand-woven rugs, table runners and bed covers that were to die for!

As we browsed through their treasures, we discussed with them the various techniques they used for producing these beauties. Some have their own sheep and sheer them to later spin and dye their wool.

IMG_0095Every bright color used to produce these pieces are obtained by using natural elements like onion skins, yerba mate, beets, carrots and local trees & flowers. One of the artisans showed us how he boils the wool with those pigments and later hangs the skeins in the sunlight to dry them.

Most of the weavers have their wooden looms located under a tree, across their workshops, thus we were able to see them at creating intricate patterns in ponchos, carpets, sashes, pouches, jerguillas and garments with impeccable skill.

Visiting Santiago was delighting for us. We met lovely people with whom we will continue to work in order to bring you their exceptional creations through Nativa Store.IMG_0131

Please visit our site to browse through the beautiful bed covers, belts, and home decorationitems from Santiago del Estero. We are sure that you will love them all!

See you soon!

Chile

Last December we flew down to Santiago de Chile in search for new gifts and independent artisans.  We were welcomed by a sunny and warm Monday morning and after checking at the hotel, we visited several workshops around town.

The Republic of Chile is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south.

Chile is the world’s largest copper producer  and its also known for its exquisite lapis lazuli, a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color. So we focused on those natural materials to incorporate new items into our catalogue.

Copyright Nativa Store 2010. All rights reserved

We also discovered  a gifted wood-carver who designed elegant Tea boxes in a variety of beautiful woods: Teka, Rosewood and Sandal among others are part of his stunning beauties. This gentleman carefully designs and hand produces a wide range of wooden artifacts and kitchen ware that are exquisite to see and use since you know that no artificial element or machinery has been part of the manufacturing process.

Copyright Nativa Store 2010. All rights reserved

Chilean Andes are a very popular spot to visit during winter time. Winter at the Southern hemispheres is opposed to the northern hemisphere, so the season goes from June 21st to September 21st. If you have the opportunity to explore during the cold season, you will be able to see locals wearing colorful alpaca wool hats and bean hats with intricate patterns. They are simply adorable, practical and very very warm!

It was a short but very sweet visit to Chile, but we promised ourselves we would soon be back exploring its many regions and markets.

You will surely be able to learn from our trips to that country at Stitches & Threads and at Nativa Store.

See you soon!

All pictures have by Copyrights by Nativa Store 2011. All rights reserved.

Filtire, a divine yet disappearing treasure

filtireWhen we were young, back in our home town, people used to carry cotton handkerchiefs. I mean not just in case of emergency (a stubborn cold or an emotional tear), but also women carried them as both an elegant and practical accent to their wardrobe. Sometimes handkerchiefs dressed up a plain top pocket or were simply included in every lady’s purse. Ahhh… those times where objects and accessories were not all disposable! You might consider unhealthy having to use a washable handkerchief to blow your nose or wipe your salty tears and to re-use it later,  but certainly chopping a tree is not healthy for the planet either!

j0402392I particularly remember the beautifully embroidered filtire handkerchief my mother used to get me. They were generally in pastel colors, embroidered with exquisite precision and beauty on one of is corners. They were so delicate and feminine that it was nice to sport them among your personal items.

During our trip to South America, we met María Suarez, a sweet and soft-spoken embroiderer who has excelled the art of filtire for the past 40 years. Her workshop is located in the province of Córdoba (Argentina) at the foot of a dormant volcano. We visited her with the idea of including some of her outstanding creations in the Nativa Store catalog.

Our craft is disappearing. There are very few of us left who master this skill” says María “I am happy to share my creations through Nativa Store with discerning customers from around the globe, since whether it is a place mat or baby bib, they will acquiring a one-of-a-kind piece that has been crafted with love and a sacred tradition.

Filtire embroidery has been around for many centuries. You can find it’s origins in Spain or France and it was brought to South America by the Europeans. The technique is used to embellish delicate accessories such as placemats, baby bonnets, blouses, cotton skirts, dresses or table clothes and napkins. The technique is extremely time-consuming and intricate. It requires a piece of cotton cloth, great lightning, superb vision and creativity. Firstly, the embroiderer determines a graphical pattern to follow. Sometimes designs resemble a flower or a geometrical image. Afterwards, cotton threads are grouped by two (horizontally and vertically) and are carefully stitched with white cotton thread first, and later cut to determine small empty squares in the shape of a checker.

Nativa Store’s 2011 Spring collection includes beautifully designed filtire pieces. Each of them is the result of many hours of intense labor and great dedication. Including these eco-friendly handmade treasures is our testament to the few remaining artisans to continue creating this pieces with great love and passion.

Hope you love them as much as we do.

See you soon!

New 2011 Spring Collection

Divine Clay trays. Copyright Nativa Store 2011. All rights reserved.

Eclectic as usual yet always featuring eco-friendly, handmade catalog, Nativa Store is about to unveil its new 2011 Spring Collection.

Nativa Store 2011 Spring collection (click to watch a Collection Preview)

A stunning array of one-of-a-kind accessories, home decor, jewelry, toys and many other beautiful items crafted with love and passion by gifted Latin American artisans.

Rosita Clutch. Copyright Nativa Store 2011. All rights reserved

We invite our readers to browse

through our catalog and quickly make your favorite item yours. After all, there is only one of each! No two pieces are exactly the same. While materials are used in several models, you will notice that the carving or the weaving technique varies from piece to piece to make yours really unique.
Remember, when you purchase a Nativa Store gift you will be supporting a community of Latin American artisans who apply their craft, tradition and passion to the item you are acquiring.

See you soon!

Ponchos: a versatile garment from the Pampas

You have probably spotted it on a chic lady ordering a latte at your favorite coffee shop. And yet, you recall reading about it on your old highschool Geography handbook… Wait a minute…what exactly is a Poncho? is it a trendy accessory or a folk garment? Well my friends, the answer is both.

A Poncho can be worn as a fashion statement and yet as a testament to the native South Americans tribes.

Originally hand-woven from Alpaca wool, ponchos had a very simple design: a square of material with a hole in its mid section so your head can go through. Easy, practical, warm and generally lightweight. A keeper for Spring & Fall!

The beauty of ponchos is that you can wear them for any occasion. You can squeeze it in your purse to protect you with elegance on a chilly Spring dinner date, pack it in your suitcase next time you take a trip to the countryside, and you can use it to wrap your child with warmth and love next time he falls asleep on the back of your SUV. Ponchos are the perfect accessory. Ponchos can be colorful, chic, made of wool, felt or fabric. They always come handy and we all should have one for our year-round wardrobe.

Nativa Store‘s newly released 2011 Spring collection features exquisite ponchos and pashminas that are fully woven in Alpaca wool by Argentinian female artisans.

Alpaca Poncho. Copyright Nativa Store 2011. All rights reserved

Some of them are decorated with silver beads and others have been threaded with suede.

Check them up and let us know what is your favorite style!

See you soon!