Archive for November, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Let’s think outside of the box with gift baskets for the any occasion.

Gift baskets, especially ones filled with candle goodies are hot commodities particularly around the holiday season.  What is really intriguing about this is the fact that now candles are being sold in stores that typically would not highlight homemade items.  Places like hardware stores, gas stations, diners, and even doctor’s offices now have special stands set up to promote these items.  So, let’s work on extending our customer base and maybe even finding new retailers for your products.

I can already fill the excitement of embarking on a brand new journey, so now, I am going to challenge you once again to start thinking outside of the box and explore some new aspects of candles and candle like items to put together in a gift basket.  By embracing change, you are opening yourself up to new surroundings.  The changes can be very little things, and anything counts.  Maybe it is as simple as changing up the color scheme of your candles, or it could be offering a new and different shape of candle.  Maybe you want to explore the world of new fragrances, and try a few that you normally would not carry.

In a quick little breakdown, here are some new “hot” ideas that you can use:

  • Get well baskets using uplifting scents, or aromatherapy scents.   These are great for hospitals and Doctor Offices.
  • Try a flameless route.  Do a gift basket that allows for clients who may not be able to have an open flame due to small children, pets, or living arrangements ex. Dorm rooms.
  • Gel candles are a great way to really get creative on a new transparent candle spin, especially when you can explore the
    fun avenue of embeds.
  • If you are a pillar crafter- octagons are different and hot, as are square shaped ones.  On top of offering the new pillar shape, you may also want to include a festive plate to burn the pillar on.
  • Layered candles can be made with complementary scents, a different scent for each color.  This is also a great way to promote some of your top selling fragrances as a combo candle.
  • Find some funky shape containers for your candles.  Different shapes are alluring visually.   Try some “funky” weird fragrances!  Natures Garden has an entire section of “weird fragrances“.  How do scents like Monkey Farts, Elf Sweat, Snowman Balls, and Easter Bunny Burps sound to you?  Have fun with it!!
  • Tart warmers are really on the rise.  So, have some fun and do embed tarts of holiday shapes.   You can even stick with the traditional colors of the holiday.
  • Votives and tea lights are the perfect size to sample out new fragrances.  You can create a basket of just these items are call it a “smorgasbord of scent”.
  • Find the interest of the community.  It is very easy to type cast your baskets to the likes of the public.  Maybe there is
    a big game at the high school… you can create some really cool candles using the school colors.
  • Let’s not forget our love birds.  Engagement and Honeymoon baskets are great gifts.  These do very well at bridal
    stores and tuxedo rental businesses.

Any or all of these hot ideas can be used to create an amazing gift basket.  One final suggestion that I can give is to print off business cards to include with the baskets, as well as some business cards to place by your items.  This allows for potential clients to contact you if they have any questions or would like to special order items.

 

I do want to remind everyone that when trying new ventures, it is always important to test first before jumping in.

 

Finally, remember, changing it up not only adds a little spice and variety to your life, but it also provides for inspiration.

 

Fragrance &
Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create,
and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

www.istockphoto.com

Ice Candles

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

How to make Ice Candles

You Will Need:

One pound of Nature Garden Pillar of Bliss Wax

One ounce of Natures Garden Fragrance Oil

Natures Garden Spectrum Liquid Candle Dye

Natures Garden Pillar Mold 3 x 4 ½

Thermometer

Pouring Pot

Spooled wicking

Sink

Crushed Ice

 

Instructions:
1. Wick your mold as usual.

2. Melt one pound of Pillar of Bliss wax to 195 degrees, and add coloring.  Drop melted wax temperature to 180 degrees and add 1 ounce of fragrance.

3. Fill your mold with crushed ice. You want the ice to be about ¾ in.  Leave a little bit of space at the top to ensure the wax will completely cover the ice.

4. Pour the wax over the ice.

5. Allow the wax to cool and the ice to melt completely.

6. Once cooled turn the mold upside down over the sink and pour out the melted ice.

7. Gently, remove the candle from the mold.  Please note it will be very fragile.

8. Trim your wick to ¼ in.  Do not light the candle for approximately 5 days.  You want to ensure that it is completely dry.

 

Project Completed by Melissa at Natures Garden Candle Supplies

Natural Body Products Interview

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Interview with Maria From Naturally Balanced

My first company name was Home Naturals by Maria when I started making body products from home while I went to school for holistic healthcare. It helped pay my tuition. But once I finished, I needed something that was more fitting. My company name is now Naturally Balanced. While I was trying to come up with names it was hard to find something that fit everything I do. I have people tell me all the time how balanced I am and since I one to go natural as I can with everything I do, Naturally Balanced just seemed to fit.

I have always had some sort of business of my own starting at about ten years old. Grandpa McKinley was a pharmacist when it was a more natural approach. I learned a lot from him and my mom who also has always shown us a healthy lifestyle. About 23 years ago my mom became ill. Misdiagnosed several times she continued to get worse, her illness is very much like Lupus, but we still call it “it” as still we don’t know what it is. Anyway, Holistic and western approaches combined are the only thing to help. So I already had an interest into Holistic Healthcare, but when I broke my back and only holistic healers could give me relief, that was my sign it was my calling. I had worked in a assisted living home and managed the Alzheimer unit and stared to research on how aromatherapy could help the residents. I was hooked! A short while later I decided to get a degree in holistic healthcare and during one of the classes we learned about manufacturing natural body products for healing and this became my stress therapy. Finally in the end I am now a nutritional consultant and life coach who loves to make body products as well.

I absolutely LOVE being able to help people with every contact I make and product I sell. Every time I help another person my heart swells with joy and love. My children can see this makes me happy and that makes them happy too! So much so the have started there own line for kids. I am excited everyday that we can share the joy. So far, 6 years later, it still doesn’t get old and I get excited over each thing I have to do for my business. It is hard to say what my favorite part is, because I love it all. But if I have to pick, it would be the world of smiles I receive from what I do and that I am able to do what I love.

The most difficult part is finding time for all I wasn’t to do and having people understand my business is not just about the smell goods, but how the products have health benefits too. I don’t make items based on smell, but how they can help someone. That’s my
nitch. I sit down with a client and find out as much as I can about them and develop a product I feel will help them. People just don’t seam to understand this.

I ran across Natures Garden on accident one day during the show and tell time on Thursday. I could feel the community of others trying to work together and not against each other and that is a hard thing to find were I live. The people on the page are kind and helpful.

I have several goals for the next year (I am a goals kind of person) however I would say my biggest goal would be to branch out of
my comfort zone and out of my community. I want to take my business to 5 more towns by 2013. Along with having consistent orders and clients from them.

This is my facebook page www.facebook.com/naturallybalanced 

My website is www.naturallybalancednm.com

My twitter is @angellatrout

My blog is on my website

My youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/wedreambig

Soap Company Interview

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique Interview

My name is Nancy Krainz. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I have been making soap since 2004. I became interested after seeing a show about soap making on TV. I starting out with traditional Cold Process and worked my way through Hot Process, Rebatch, Whipped and Liquid Soap making but always made my way back to the traditional method. I felt creativity was limited in Cold Process, so, I got into Melt and Pour soap making and discovered that creativity is limited only by ones imagination.

I started my home based company in 2005 and added many products to my line. I named the business LydiaMarie’s Bath and Body Boutique and began selling on consignment through local craft stores. I was able to get a wholesale account with a local, private owned bath and body shop and over the past 7 years have been their sole supplier for lotions, foot cream and lip balm.

I was working towards opening  a brick and mortar store when the economy went on the down swing, and, at the same time, I was diagnosed with cancer. My business was placed on hold for about a year as I obtained treatment for my illness, and, thankfully, today I am healthy and moving forward in life.

 

About a year ago I decided to get into jewelry making, so, to better portray my extended product line, changed the name of my business to Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique. It is a happy sounding name and makes me smile. I love the sunshine.

The thing I like best about owning this business is  I very much enjoy creating things. The biggest downfall is being a perfectionist. I seldom make something that I am 100% happy with. I always see room for improvement and constantly strive for perfection.

I like Nature’s Garden Candle & Soap Supplies because I very much appreciate nature and all things natural.

My goals for the coming year are to move forward in fulfilling my dream of having a brick and mortar store. 

 

Website: www.pocketfullofsunshineboutique.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pocket-Full-of-Sunshine-Boutique/147865018613996

Blog: www.lydiamaries.blogspot.com

Recycle Reduce Reuse

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse… all great ways to cut costs and save money!

Recycling is something that was ingrained in me from an early childhood.  Thanks Dad!  I like to recycle because it makes me feel good.  I get the feeling that I am actually doing my part in ensuring my children’s world and future.  After all, aren’t we just borrowing Mother Earth for the time that we are here?

We are recycling.

Reducing our footprint was something we just recently started.  Although as of right now, we are working on being more proactive in this, but it is still a work in progress.  This is one thing that we do that is really simple and rewarding.  Whenever we make trips to the grocery store, we always bring along those cloth tote bags so that we do not need the plastic bags to haul our groceries home.  I actually keep several of these bags in my trunk, especially for those unplanned store stops.  What I really love about bringing my own bags besides the reduction of waste is the additional fact that the bags never break or rip.  It always seems that by the time
I get home and start unloading, it is a guessing game as to whether or not I will make it in the house before all of the groceries spill in the driveway.

We are reducing. (Well, starting to anyway!)

Reusing is something that really appeals to my frugal side.  Lord knows I love saving money.  I constantly invent reasons to give items dual purpose before recycling them.  We use shoe boxes to organize all of our craft supplies.  We also use old margarine tubs to house Barbie’s wardrobe and accessories.  It is also true that I have sent left-overs home nestled inside empty food containers.  (I love this because I never have to worry about trying to track my Tupperware down!)

We are reusing.

It was Sunday night’s dinner that preempted me to look at the glass spaghetti jar and think, “This would make a really cute candle.”  That was all it took to get me started.  I was on the hunt for reusing!

Here’s what I found on my kitchen quest.

Candles

Baby jars- excellent ideas for cute baby shower candle favors

Cans

Plastic Lunchmeat containers- perfect for storing votives and tea lights

Jelly jars

Mugs

Glass cups

Glass bowls

 

The possibilities are endless.  In fact, these “previously used” glass containers can be really cute when decorated with some tissue paper, a little ribbon, and some glue.

 

But, do not feel that reusing the containers in your kitchen is your only option.  If you would like to reduce your packaging costs, especially on the candle glass, you can always offer your customers a refill option for them at a reduced price.  All they would have to do is bring their own containers, or their original candle container back to you (cleaned, of course!), and you can refill it.
Don’t you just love being cost effect… it is an AMAZING feeling!

 

In the realm of wax, whenever I have wax left over from candle making, I pour it in an old cookie sheet and let it harden.  Then, I use an old pizza slicer to and cut up the wax into funky shapes.  Sometimes it is confetti style, although most times it is free style.  I then put my wax pieces into an old plastic lunchmeat container and store.  Then, whenever I have unexpected guests, or I am feeling like my mood needs a little pick me up, I just toss some in my tart warmer and start sniffing away.

 

Reusing your containers is only the tip of the iceberg.  Any small changes add up to have huge results.  Get creative, and remember… “Waste not, Want not.” –Ben Franklin

 

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of

Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

Diamond Particles and Candles

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

 

You know what they say… “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and now in retrospect, so are candles!!!

The other day, I was googling.  I know, I know, you are probably not surprised!  But, I was and I stumbled upon this really interesting article.  Let me give you a little teaser as to why you will never view a burning candle the same way again.

“You have the glittering beauty of gold and silver, and the still higher luster of jewels, like the ruby and diamond; but none of these rival the brilliancy and beauty of flame.  What diamond can shine like flame?”

-Michael Faraday    Scientist/Lecturer- The Chemical History of a Candle circa 1860

We all know that candles have been in existence for many years.  The candle has actually dated back some 2,000 years.  The invention of the first candle was accredited to ancient China.  Thank you ancient China!  Since that time, for many people, there has always been an infatuation with the candle flame and its alluring and captivating dance.

Well, as it turns out, Dr. Zhou, a Professor of Chemistry has recently found that diamond particles actually exist in the flames of a burning candle.  The notion of why we are drawn to candle flames can now be explained.  Candle flames are much like sirens, calling us to get lost in their essence.  Now, one of the big questions has been solved.

In a candle flame, there are actually two different kinds of diamonds, although they are in nonoparticle and fullerenic particle form.  According to Dr. Zhou’s research there are 1.5 million diamond particles that are created for every second that a candle wick has a burning flame.  Now, hold on ladies, don’t get too excited.  The diamond particles are burned off.  Sadly, in order for the flame to stay that way, the burning process must keep going, turning the diamond particles into carbon dioxide.

Dr. Zhou also found that inside the center of a candle flame, there exists all 4 forms of carbon.  This finding is very fascinating because all four forms of carbon need different circumstances in order for their creation.   It is quite a mystery as to how this can be, but I know that I am happy knowing that my candle flames are diamond creators.  It takes crafting pretty things to a whole new level.

All of this information is great fun facts to use while promoting your candles.

One fabulous idea in container candles to really take it to the next level would simply be to extend the sparkle and beauty inside the flame to the outside.  After a candle has been poured, set up, and cured, take glue and carefully cover the outside of the candle glass.  Stay away from the opening, because you do not want to make a fire hazard.  This would not be a pretty thing.  Then, while the glue is still wet, roll it carefully in glitter.  I prefer a silver or white small grade glitter to produce a diamond sparkle that will be unmatched by other candles on the market.  Do not over glue.  I found that what works best is to squirt the glue in a paper towel, and wipe the outside of the glass down.  This will prevent the weight of the glue pulling and collecting at the base of the container.  Also, if you have patches of unglitterized surface let the candle glass dry as is, and simply touch up the glue in the area and sprinkle glitter to your liking.  Finally, add a cute thick ribbon, preferable hot pink to really hit the aspect of femininity home, and start selling away!

So, flicker away flames.  We will now sit back and awe in your wonderful luster and appeal.     

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone
Inspire, Create, and Dominate!
Sparkles!!! Nicole
(Corporate Manager of
Natures Garden Candle Supplies)
www.naturesgardencandles.com

Candle Company Success Story

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

 

Ashley & Erica From Ashka Candles

Our names are Ashley Sanatore and Erika Mutschelknaus and our company is Ashka Candles. The meshing of our first names.

We were tired of always buying candles that had amazing cold throw but didn’t smell up a room at all when lit. And the only candles that ever seem to have a great hot throw are far more expensive than they should be. We wanted to create a wonderful product with high quality and still be affordable for everyone.

Our favorite part of business is seeing the customers’ faces light up when they smell our products. Everyone always seems shocked that we are just two 26 year old girls who hand-make all of our products. It gives us a great satisfaction to know that we are making something that everyone can enjoy. It doesn’t matter if they are young, old, female, male…. EVERYONE loves candles. And being able to make amazingly scented candles that everyone can afford just makes all the work worth it. The most difficult part of our business is maintaining our low prices as the cost of all supplies rises. It is also difficult at times to juggle our full-time everyday jobs with this expanding “hobby” but we always find a way to make it work!

There are so many great products from Natures Garden Candle Supply, but the fragrance oils are just amazing! And we love the review feature! We always look at the reviews of a fragrance before we buy it to see how it has sold for other customers.  It is a great feature that we haven’t found with any other company. Our goals for the coming year are to expand more into other beauty products. We currently sell candles and lotions, but would like to add body spray and perhaps bath gel. We would also like to possibly get into a shop in the very near future. 

 

Website: http://www.ashkacandles.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ashkacandles

Turkey Melt and Pour Soap

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Melt and Pour Soap to commemorate hosting “My First Thanksgiving Dinner”.

According to my mother, now that I am 30 years old, I need to learn how to make Thanksgiving dinner solo.  Talk about a huge scary task.  I am no Martha Stewart in the kitchen, but I do make a mean pot of mashed potatoes, which is usually my contribution to this holiday feast.   However, just like a domestic turkey, that is not going to fly this year!

Wow, what a shock.  I have a very large close knit family.  With my parents, bother, sisters, significant others, and the children, there will be 24 very hungry people at my house on November 25.  This may be the first time in my life where I am thinking maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew.

This past weekend, I had the prerequisite menu meeting with my mom.  She is giving me some guidance, which I am most humbly accepting.  I guess that would be the silver lining.  I have been so worried about everything, that it seems this dinner is already haunting my dreams.  I needed to find a focus where I could put all of this negative energy to good use.  It is far too early to start shopping and cooking now, but I do have the option of making some really cute decor with the girls to decorate for this magnanimous event.  It was during this time when we were hanging all of our cute paper turkeys up that I realized we could make Thanksgiving dinner invites out of these adorable soap turkeys.

The time that is invested in these little guys is really worth it.  They are fun and festive, and a really great way to let people know that Thanksgiving dinner is something to look forward to this year.

Supplies Needed (to make 24 soap turkeys):

(4) 2 pound slabs of Natures Garden Natural Oatmeal Melt and Pour Soap

Knife

Microwave Safe bowl

4 ounces of Natures Garden Frosted Pumpkin Type Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Paint Set #3

Cornstarch

Small paint brush

(24) Sandwich size Ziploc bags

Paper and Pen

Tommy Turkey Mold Market Mold

Stainless Steel Measuring Utensil

Stainless Steel mixing spoon

Any decorative items for the paper invites (optional)

 

The Process:

 

First Step-  Using your knife, cut the Oatmeal Melt and Pour Soap.  I suggest cutting the total 2 pound slab into the perforated 40 cubes.   When all cubes are loose, put 13 of them into the microwave safe container.

 

Second Step- Start melting the soap in 30 second increments.  When all of the soap is in liquid form, remove from the microwave.  Gently stir the soap to ensure that there are no hidden chunks in the bottom.  Add half of an ounce of Frosted Pumpkin
Fragrance Oil.  Stir.

 

Third Step- Lay the Tommy Turkey mold flat.  Slowly pour the mixture into the mold cavities.

 

Fourth Step- Let the mold sit for 15 minutes.  Once the soap starts to get a skin on it, carefully move the move to the refrigerator.
Remove and pop soaps out once they are completely hardened.

 

Fifth Step- Repeat Steps 1-4 until all of the soap is used up.  When you have your rafter of turkeys finished, it is time for the next step.  

 

Sixth Step- On your clean working surface lay the turkeys with the flat side down.  Lightly dust cornstarch onto each one.  Once all turkeys have a light dusting, gently pick each one up individually to work the cornstarch over the entire surface.  Do not skip this
step.  Using cornstarch is the best way to ensure you don’t have an issue when it comes to painting.

 

Seventh Step- Get the paint ready.  This is where I really let the girls go wild.  Feel free to use any color combination of soap paint that you would like.  If you want to do multiple layers of paint, it is best to wait until the initial layer of color is dry.

 

Eighth Step-  Once all of the turkeys are colored and dry, it is time to place each one into the Ziploc bag.  You are now ready to make the invites.

 

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!
Sparkles!!!

Nicole (Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)
www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

Soap Oil Properties

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Properties of Oils In Cold Process Soap

Many of Natures Garden’s customers make homemade cold process soap, and we are the wholesale supplier of fragrance oil for many of these soap companies.  Although we do not yet sell the soap oils mentioned in this article, we asked Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art if she could explain the properties of soap oils to customers who desire to expand their line into cold process soap.  Some of these soap oils can be found at your local grocery store.  We hope that this information is as enlightening to you as it was to us.

This is not a complete list, Just the most commonly used oils

Apricot Kernel Oil: Apricot kernel oil is a light oil. It absorbs nicely into the skin and is a good luxury conditioning oil in soap – at about 5% -10%.

 

Almond Oil, Sweet:  A moisturizing oil that is very light and absorbs well. In soap it produces a low, stable lather, but is recommended to not use it more than about 5% – 10% in soap – as it’s not a hard oil.

 

Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is a heavy, green, rich, moisturizing oil that has a high percentage of unsaponifiables. It’s often used in soap recipes for people with sensitive skin. It’s high in vitamins A, D & E. You can use it in your recipes from 5% – 30%.

 

Babassu Oil:  Babassu oil comes from the kernels of the babassu palm. Its fatty acid makeup is very similar to palm kernel and to coconut oil. It’s high in lauric and myristic acid, which contribute to a nice, fluffy lather.

 

Canola Oil: Canola, a kind of rapeseed, is a good economical oil for soap making – you can substitute a portion of your olive for canola, or use it as part of your batch at 10-15%. It gives a nice, low, creamy lather and is moisturizing. It will slow down the rate at which your soap will get to trace, so it’s a good oil to add if you’re doing complicated swirls or colors.

 

Castor Oil:  Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap – a rich, creamy lather. It’s also a humectant (attracts moisture to your skin) oil. Just a little will do…5% – 8% in your recipe will work great.

 

Cocoa Butter: As it is very hard saturated fat, use with other more unsaturated oils like olive or castor. Use in conjunction with more sticky ingredients such as shea butter or lanolin. Using too much cocoa butter will result in a dry, exceptionally hard bar of soap.

 

Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. Most of the coconut oil sold and used has a melt point of 76°, but there is a hydrogenated type that melts at 92°. Some soapmakers prefer this one because it’s easier to scoop – but either version works the same to give tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap. It also makes for a very hard, white bar of soap. The collective opinion is that using more than 20% coconut oil in your recipe will be drying to the skin.

 

Corn Oil: It acts like most of the other vegetable liquid oils like soybean or canola. It can be used as part of your recipe (10-15%) and will help give a moisturizing, stable lather.

 

Grape seed Oil: Grape seed oil is a lightweight, moisturizing oil that is a good additive to soap in small quantities. It doesn’t have a long shelf life, so unless you treat it with rosemary oleoresin extract, or have a very low superfat percentage, don’t use it more than about 5% in your recipe.

 

Hazelnut Oil: Hazelnut oil has a short shelf life (3-4 months). If you want to add it to soap, I wouldn’t recommend using more than about 5-10% in your recipe because of the short shelf life. A  lovely oil, but very fragile.

 

Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. It gives a light, creamy/silky lather. Because of its fatty acid makeup, it has a very short shelf life…less than six months…so it should be refrigerated or even kept in the freezer. It can be used as a luxury healing/moisturizing oil in soap up to 10%-15%.

 

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is actually a liquid wax. It contributes a nice stable lather, has remarkable absorption and moisturizing qualities and unlike some of the other luxury moisturizing oils, has a very long shelf life – 1-2 years. Use it at 5-10% maximum.

 

Lard: Lard makes a super-hard, very white bar of soap with a low, creamy, stable lather that is, believe it or not, nicely moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats (along with beef tallow) that folks used to make soap. If you use animal oils in your soap, then combining lard with some of the other liquid oils like coconut and olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap – and is really economical. Make sure your lard is fresh and of high quality. Use it at any
percentage in your recipe, but I recommend not much more than 30-40% or so. Cold process laundry soap can be made with 100% lard with a 0% superfat percentage.

 

 

Olive Oil: Extra virgin and virgin olive oils come from the very first gentle pressing of the olives. The refined, or Grade A oil comes from the second pressing, and is lightly refined/filtered.  100% olive oil makes the famous “Castille soap” and “Marseille soap” must contain at least 72% olive oil. Olive oil is generally the #1 oil in most soap makers’ recipes. Olive oil soaps are very moisturizing, make hard, white bars of soap and are exceptionally mild. But the lather from Castille soap is low and a bit slimy. Most soap makers combine olive oil with other oils to improve the lather. Pomace grade olive oil is a thick, rich, green grade of olive oil that is obtained by solvent extraction of the fruit and pits of the olives – what’s left over after the first several pressings that give the
virgin and Grade A oils. It has a very high level of unsaponifiables (the portions of the oil that don’t react with the lye to form soap.) This will make your trace time quicker.

 

Macadamia Nut Oil: Macadamia nut oil is a light oil with a mild nutty odor. It is unique in its fatty acid makeup in that it contains palmitoleic acid – which makes it really easily absorbed into the skin – and is reported to be really great for older skin.

 

 

Palm Oil: Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities it gives soap – a hard bar with a rich creamy lather.

 

Palm Kernel Oil: Though it comes from the same plant/nut as palm oil does, palm kernel oil is almost identical in its soap making properties to coconut oil – giving a nice hard white bar of soap…with lots of luscious lather. Palm kernel oil is often available partially hydrogenated, in easy to handle/measure flakes…or just as a standard liquid oil. You can use it up to about 30% or 35% in your recipes. However, like palm oil, palm kernel oil is surrounded by the same environmental and human concerns.

 

Rice Bran Oil: Expressed from the husks of rice, most soap makers found that rice bran oil imparted nearly the same creamy, moisturizing qualities that olive oil did to their soaps. It does have a lot of the same antioxidants and vitamins that olive has, and a similar fatty acid make up. The only disadvantage of rice bran oil is its short shelf life – (6 months or so.)

 

Safflower Oil: Its fairly short shelf life. You can certainly use it in your recipes like you would soybean, canola or sunflower – at 5-15% or so. In soap, it is mild and moisturizing.

 

Shea Butter: Moisturizing and nourishing. Fairly inexpensive and easy to find. Shea butter for soap making will add a wonderful creamy lather, great conditioning properties and some hardness to your soap.

 

Soybean Oil: Soybean oil, like canola, safflower and sunflower, is often used as a portion of a soap making recipe in combination with other “core” oils like coconut, olive and palm. Use it 5-15% of your soap recipe. It is mild, moisturizing and gives a low, creamy lather.

 

Shortening: Soybean oil, in its hydrogenated form is generally called vegetable shortening & sold under generic names, or the brand Crisco. Shortening is usually a blend of soybean & cottonseed oil, and makes nice soap. Like all soap making oils, except olive, it’s not a great oil to use alone, but combining it with olive & coconut makes a good, stable, bubbly, moisturizing bar of soap. I recommend not using over 15% as it can go rancid in higher amounts.

 

Sunflower Oil: It works well with palm and olive oils to give a nice, rich, creamy lather that’s very moisturizing. Depending on the type you get, it may have a short shelf life due to its fatty acid makeup. In soap, it does well up to about 25% .

 

Tallow, Beef: Like lard, beef tallow gives you a super-hard, white bar of soap with low, creamy, stable lather that is very moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats that folks used to make soap – and remains one of the most common oils in soap. (Check your label for sodium tallowate. That’s beef tallow.) If you are o.k. using animal oils in your soap, then combining beef tallow with some of the other liquid oils like coconut & olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap. While you can use it at any percentage in your recipe, I wouldn’t recommend much more than 40% before it starts creating a brittle bar of soap.

 

Written by:
Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art.

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

Scented Play Dough

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Fragrances like Natures Garden’s Reindeer Poo make really amazing scented childrens play dough!

This weekend was a chilly one.  Snow fell in many areas, and although ours did not stick, we did not go unnoticed.  With the weather not really cooperating, my girls and I were trapped in the house all weekend long.  Not fun!

Needless to say, we were already feeling the walls closing in.  We needed something entertaining to do.  Off to google I went to see if there were any projects we could do to pass the time away.

My girls are huge fans of creative things.  They love to color, draw, build castles with their building blocks, and play with craft dough.  So, at least I knew if I could find something that was hands on, we were in there.  I knew that my mom had made craft dough with the girls before and they had a blast.  I only needed to find a recipe.

After quite a few links, I stumbled upon a great recipe of unscented play dough.  Could this play dough be scented?  Yes it can!

This craft dough is pretty basic and can be colored and scented to extend the wow factor.   My girls selected all the fun Christmas scents, and I double checked to make sure that all of the fragrances were body safe.  I also let them choose the colors for the craft dough.

Here are the supplies that are needed:

8 cups flour- I used the All-purpose kind

8 cups warm water

4 cup salt- the regular table kind

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup Cream of Tartar

Latex gloves

5 Glass plates

5 gallon sized Ziploc bags

5 Pipettes

Natures Garden Soap Dyes:  Red,
Blue, Yellow, Green

Natures Garden Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Jack Frost Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

This recipe is for a really large batch, but I wanted to make sure that both girls had a nice amount of craft dough to play with.

 

First: In a large saucepan, mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and vegetable oil together.  Stir.  Place the saucepan on the stovetop and cook over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  You are looking for when the craft dough starts to look like mashed potatoes.  The key to when it is finished is when the dough clumps together and you can pull it from the sides of the saucepan.  You do not want the dough to be sticky though.  Keep the low heat on until the dough appears dry.  You are seeking the same texture as store
bought craft dough.

 

Second:  Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.  You want the craft dough to cool naturally.  It is done when you can touch the dough and it is cool.  While the dough is cooling, wipe down your counter space with warm soapy water.  You want to do this now so that the area is dry for the next step.

 

Third:  Carefully, dump all of the craft dough onto your work space.  Start to knead.  You will knead until the craft dough is smooth.  It will almost have a silky feel to it.

 

Four:  Divide it up.  Since we are making 5 different scents and colors, you will want to separate the dough as evenly as possible
into 5 large balls.  Please note, one of the balls will be uncolored, this will be your cream color.

 

Five:  Once you have all of the balls, using your index finger poke a hole into it.  You are going to use this hole for your soap dye coloring.  One color designated per ball.  I would suggest doing this step one ball at a time.

 

Six:  Put on your latex gloves.  Take one glass plate and place a ball on it.  Carefully, start to knead the ball on the plate.  Keep
kneading until the color is consistent throughout the entire dough portion.  If you need to go bolder on the color, just recreate the ball and hole and start over again.  The tip here is do not be afraid to knead your heart out in this step.  Repeat this step for each color until you have all colors completed.

 

Seven: Once you are happy with your new bright and beautiful dough colors, stick each one individually in a gallon Ziploc bag.  It
is time to get your scent on in the next step.

 

Pause- Here is our scent to color break down we used:

RED- Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

BLUE- Jack Frost Fragrance oil

CREAM (uncolored)- Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

GREEN- Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

YELLOW-Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

Eight: Using one pipette per dough bag, drip 2ml of the fragrance into the Ziploc bag and sealshut.  Knead again, but do it in the
Ziploc bag until all of the fragrance is absorbed.  Repeat for the remaining 4 dough bags.

 

Nine: Get crafty and have some fun!  When you are finished, store left over craft dough in Ziploc bags.

 

This was really a ton of fun to do.  My girls had a blast making it and playing with it. This is something that is fun, easy, and way cheaper than the store bought.

 

Caution:  Because the craft dough is scented with fragrance oil, make sure that any surface that is used with making or playing
with it is safe for fragrance.  Fragrance can ruin wood stained areas.  Scented play dough contains fragrance;  do not allow children to eat the play dough!

 

Fragrance & Fun For Everyone!

Nicole (Manager at Natures Garden)
www.naturesgardencandles.com