Category Archives: crafts as a hobby

Nov
23

Recycle Reduce Reuse

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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

Nov
22

Candle Company Success Story

This entry was posted in candle company suceess, crafts as a hobby, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden News and tagged , , , , , on by .

 

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

Nov
04

Soap Oil Properties

This entry was posted in crafts as a hobby, Fragrance Oils, how to make cold process soap, soap oil properties, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , on by .

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

 

Oct
22

How to Make Emulsified Sugar Scrubs

This entry was posted in crafts as a hobby, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, sugar scrub recipe, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , on by .

This recipe for emulsified sugar scrub was provided by Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art. 

16 oz Batch

136 grams – Olive Oil

113 grams – Soybean Oil

68 grams – Cocoa Butter

68 grams – Shea Butter

45 grams – Emulsifying Wax

9 grams – Beeswax

9 grams – Fragrance Oil (body safe)

5 grams – Phenonip preservative

Plastic Jars and Lids

 

Light Scrub – add 16 oz sugar

Very Scrubby – up to 32 oz sugar

 

DIRECTIONS:

Weigh all ingredients except the fragrance oil & preservative in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70C to destroy all possible bacteria. Remove from the heat and put into your refrigerator until it reaches 45C.  Add the fragrance oil , body safe color if you choose & preservative now, then return it to the refrigerator to cool further.

Now Whip it with a hand mixer with whisk attachments or your Kitchen-Aid. Whisk until it looks like pudding . Then add the sugar and whisk until well incorporated.

Pour into jars and let sit until hardened.

For more fun recipes, videos, and soap making assistance, visit  Everything Skin with NG & Kim

Natures Garden offers many free recipes for soap, bath and body products, candles, and air freshening.  View our Free Recipe Box!   

Oct
17

Everything Skin with NG and Kim

This entry was posted in crafts as a hobby, how to make cold process soap, natural melt and pour soap, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden News, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , on by .

Hi everyone!  My name is Kimberly Sanchez.

I am the CEO & creative artist of Natures Art Apothecary & Soap Company,  in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I began soaping when I was very young doing simple old fashioned lard and lye soap on the fire. I occasionally played at it as an adult and made it for friends and family. Most of my career I was a chef and herbalist. After a serious injury where I broke my back, I had to find something else to do. I rambled through retail jobs, made my way up through management, but it just wasn’t what I needed! I went back to making soap for a fundraising project for a group I belong to and my passion was born! I had discovered so much had changed in the soaping world! there were amazing fragrances and colors and molds and online communities! So I dove in with abandon. And that was it for me. I continued to test and experiment with all the new technology and items now available in the industry until I felt I had something worth sharing with the world. And so our little business began! My husband, Art, also caught the bug. I spent many days working as a retail manager and many late nights teaching him to soap and making our new business shine. After a few years we were selling in local shops as well as online. We had an opportunity to move here to Santa Fe, where my husband was born. We jumped on it!  He agreed to go to work for Whole Foods and let me work at our business full time. I have come to love all the science and creativity there is in the bath and body industry and continue to learn and grow everyday. I love teaching about it and sharing ideas with others. I had come to know Deb, from Natures Garden Candle & Soap Supplies a few years back. We hit it off right away!  Over time we both contributed inspiration and feedback on each others ideas. And recently, on one of our phone chats, she mentioned they were behind on their soap testing for fragrances. So I offered to help. Being as I had already been doing videos on YouTube and had established viewers, I decided to do some of the testing on camera, so other Soapers could actually SEE what they did. This was received so enthusiastically, we have now expanded this to video product testing, an online presence on Face Book, Q&A night and now a blog! We are very excited to be collaborating on this new adventure together. I look forward to all your positive feedback and know you will be patient with me as I adapt to this new experience and get better with my camera!  LOL

Everything Skin with NG and Kim Facebook Page

Hugs to all~

Kimberly

www.MyNaturesArt.Net

Sep
04

Enjoying Crafts as a New Hobby

This entry was posted in crafts as a hobby, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

aromatherapy energy

Crafts as a Hobby

This morning I made a promise to myself.  I guess you can say it is a September Resolution.  I know… I know… resolutions are typically made in January to bring in the New Year, but I can’t put this off for four more months, so I guess I am bringing in a New September.

My resolution-to ensure that I spend time every day for me working on things that I am passionate about because with passion comes happiness.

Right now, since we are heading into the cooler and colder temperatures my outside activities are quickly dwindling down and turning into indoor crafts.  Plus, with the holidays approaching, it is never too early to start creating my handmade gifts for loved ones.

Just like the age old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, “Crafting each day keeps mom happy Yay!”  I suggest you give it a try.  I have a feeling that you are totally going to love it!  It is even quite possible that you will become a craddict- this is a person who eats, breaths, and sleeps their craft of choice.  And, yes I made that word up, but that is because I go through my craddict phrases all the time.   There is nothing like making something from scratch, working each step meticulously, resulting in perfection.  It is a lovely bliss.

Creating stunning products from raw materials is very invigorating.  When combined with the passion, all of the hard work is actually really rewarding.  Plus, if you haven’t noticed yet, I love doing it so it is time well spent.

Crafting allows for you spend the amount of time you want to on it.  There are some beautiful products that take seconds to create like smelly jellies, and on the other end of the spectrum, some more time consuming projects like the famous triple layered candle (these are totally worth the work!)  Even if you only allotted yourself 20 minutes today for your me time, that is more than enough to totally whip out a few batches of Vanilla Lavender melt and pour soap embeds.  Then, you get to treat yourself to a super relaxing bath as a bonus.

Get excited for me time… if you are looking to start creating some new crafts, or maybe you just don’t know where to start at all,
check out the free recipes from Natures Garden.  All of the recipes have easy to follow step by step instructions, and they include a
picture of the finished product.

Or, if you are totally a newbie… then welcome… my suggestion is to purchase one of Natures Garden’s kits and find your crafting passion.

There is such an array of different projects that you can do, not finding one is impossible.  There is something out there for everyone, every age, every culture.

The possibilities are limitless…

free recipes

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!!  Nicole

(Corporate Manager of

Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com