Posts Tagged ‘cosmetic craft recipes’

Business Advice Unemployment Claims

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

business woman

How Am I Supposed to Keep Unemployment Insurance Costs Down When the State Awards Benefits to People Who Can’t Even Show Up For Work? Argh!

One of the most frustrating aspects of managing a small business that seems to happen to the best of bosses is when that one former employee who was terminated for excessive absences or tardiness is granted unemployment benefits. We all know how chronic absenteeism can increase labor costs, hurt morale and lower productivity. Many small businesses have adopted a “No Fault Points System” as an effective way to deal with attendance problems. A well-crafted point system can be used to both reward workers for positive attendance habits, and to identify negative attendance trends and guide progressive disciplinary action for problem employees.

A “No Fault Points System” like this is intended to eliminate the uncomfortable questioning of the reason for the absence and/or tardiness. You don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. It also serves to eliminate accusations of subjectivity and favoritism. Under a “No Fault” system, the employee receives a certain number of points for their absences as outlined in the policy, regardless of the reason for the absence. As employees accrue more points, they receive increasingly severe levels of discipline. And after a certain period of time of improvement, the points are expunged from an employee’s attendance record for disciplinary purposes.

In some cases employers have crafted the policy to be that once an employee accumulates the maximum number of points allowed as outlined in the policy the employee is terminated.

Unemployment Insurance is For Employees Who Lose Their Job Through No Fault of Their Own

Since unemployment insurance is intended to provide workers whose jobs have been terminated through no fault of their own, an employee who was terminated under the “No Fault” points system who knew about the policy should be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, right?

You would think so, but not necessarily. When you terminate an employee for excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness, the employee is not automatically disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. This is the frustrating part. Although a violation may be grounds for termination, it may not be a reason for a denial of unemployment benefits. No-fault attendance policies by their definition do not require showing that a violation was in an employee’s control; you may have to convince an unemployment hearing judge that each violation leading up to the termination was an intentional act of misconduct before unemployment benefits will be denied.

There is a minimum amount of proof you must provide to the state unemployment office. You must prove the employee’s absences and/or tardiness were willful misconduct and this can sometimes be very difficult to do because what YOU consider to be willful misconduct and what the state considers to be willful misconduct are often two different things.

You must show that the employee willfully disregarded your business interests and you must present specific information on the final incident, the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. It needs to be focused and identify how that incident was willful and most importantly how the employee knew his or her actions would result in termination.

A common employer’s mistake is to state that the company has a no-fault attendance policy and believes that an attendance points’ violation is enough to result in a denial of unemployment benefits when it is not. The legal standard of willful or intentional misconduct is tougher than a policy violation.

The Difference Between Being Sick and Willful Misconduct

“Misconduct” under the law of unemployment compensation is basically something that the claimant did or failed to do that

  1. Caused a problem for the company, (certainly not showing up for work causes your company problems)
  2. Was in violation of a rule, a policy, or a law, (assuming all small businesses have an attendance policy, this is a slam dunk too ) and
  3. Was within the claimant’s power to control or avoid. (This is where it gets sticky.) Being sick isn’t their own fault. Since unemployment insurance is for employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, being sick isn’t misconduct and they may be awarded benefits. However, when the employee fails to follow policies that indicate the steps they must take when they are going to be absent, (most of the time this is in their control) they could be denied benefits. Make more sense now?

Good Reasons To Miss Work?

The law of unemployment compensation says you are guilty of misconduct if you are absent or tardy from work, only when you both FAIL TO GIVE ADEQUATE NOTICE for the absence AND you did NOT HAVE A GOOD REASON for the absence or tardiness.

Some examples of such good reasons include:

  • Illness
  • Accident
  • Lack of child care
  • Serious illness
  • Death of Close relative

So as you can see, the above would result in points but under the law of unemployment compensation, they would not be considered “misconduct.” Those aren’t incidents where you can assign fault to the employee.

However, incidents of absenteeism or tardiness could involve misconduct if the employee violated a part of the policy within his/her control, and you can show documentation of progressive discipline proving the employee knew that if they did it again, they would be terminated. For example, if the employee claims he was ill, but fails to call in advance as instructed but COULD have, AND fails to furnish required medical documentation as outlined in your policy, that’s misconduct. You’d still need to show that you gave the employee a final warning that knew the employee knew his or her failure to do what he could control would result in termination.

Having a Well-crafted “No Fault Points System” for Managing Attendance Can Be a Wonderful Tool But

You still need to do the hard work, the face-to-face progressive discipline for misconduct if you want to avoid paying unemployment claims when discharging someone for poor attendance. Simply assigning points until they hit a magic number may not count as progressive discipline that can justify termination in the eyes of the state unemployment office. Just make sure you outline in your policy what is considered willful or intentional misconduct. The difference is in what the employee could control. Absent due to illness, they can’t control. Failing to call (providing they’re physically able) and provide medical documentation IS within their control and is misconduct.

Make sure you give a final written warning for misconduct prior to discharge and don’t let time lapse between final incident of misconduct and the termination.

There are some additional risks. If you have 15 or more employees, you must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) If you have 50+ you must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), was amended effective Jan. 1, 2009, under which most absences due to any type of physical or mental impairment are now covered by the ADA. In the past they were not serious enough to constitute a “disability” under the ADA. Thus, many more plaintiffs than previously can now claim that they were terminated because of their “disability,” because of absences due to their disability. They will argue that a no-fault attendance policy does not meet employers’ obligations to reasonably accommodate their disability.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

The most common mistakes employers make that cause difficulty in unemployment claims based upon a discharge are:

  • Failing to give a final warning prior to discharge;
  • Inconsistent discipline between two similarly-situated employees;
  • Failing to follow the stated disciplinary policy;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office official that the employee was terminated for an “accumulation” of incidents, instead of a specific final incident;
  • Letting too much time pass between the final incident and the discharge;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office that the claimant was “unable” to satisfy performance standards
  • Allowing the impression that the termination was really based upon a personality dispute; and
  • Failing to present firsthand witnesses and proper documentation when needed.

Keeping the number of unemployment insurance claims filed by former employees to a minimum can produce significant payroll tax savings.

Also, you should monitor all unemployment insurance claims made against your account and should be prepared to contest any claims you believe to be improper. While contesting an unfavorable claim against your business requires more of your time, particularity if you have to drive some distance to appear, don’t hesitate to ask the hearing judge if you can appear by telephone. Make sure you have your witnesses with you. Any employer who participates in the claims process has a better chance of keeping unwarranted claims and charges against the account at bay.

Last but not least be picky when hiring. Your employees count on you to be picky so they don’t have to pick up the slack of someone who just really doesn’t want to work. And they also count on you to be understanding and fair when something happens that’s not within their control. And your customers count on you to be picky when you hire too!

The better the employee you hire, the better your customer service, the better your employee morale, the greater likelihood your workplace is safe, and the lower the chance is that you will have to let someone go and ultimately wind up paying unemployment insurance. The liability process begins from the day you hire. If an employee starts having attendance problems early, in the introductory or probationary period, address the problem immediately.

EcoMusings_logo7

About the Author:  Beryl Coder, of Eco Musings,  has over twenty years human resources executive experience in large multi-state corporations with over 5k employees as well as small family owned businesses with less than 15. She now owns her own small business. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice.

 

 

Soy Candles, Soaps and Lotions

Monday, March 25th, 2013

jspun

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  My name is Jennifer Snyder and I own JS Homespun Creations.

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I have always been a creative and crafty person.  I started making gift baskets and party favors, which slowly turned into making my own candles to put into those gift baskets I was making.  I soon figured out that the gift basket biz was for a special kind of customer and not for an every day customer, so I decided to focus my attention on just making candles.  I also make soap and other bath & body products, which started with a lot of research and reading about herbs, oils, and pre-made bases.  JS Homespun Creations was born in the Fall of 2010, and this year will be my 3rd year selling at local craft shows.  I participate in about 20 craft shows a year.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make soy candles, handcraft soaps, and natural bath & body products, like scrubs, lotions, and bath bombs.

4.  What are your business goals?  For this year, my business goals would be more advertising and sales.  I live in a small town, so getting my name out there has been at the top of my list.  A big dream of mine, as I’m sure with most crafters, is to one day open my own shop.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  Oh my goodness, I probably can keep NG in business!  It’s become my one stop shop for supplies.  From your fragrance oils to your plastic jars.  I love that NG has decided to add the herbs, carrier oils and butters to their product line, it has truly made my life easier!   One of my favorite products is the natural Goat’s Milk soap, I love it and my customers do too!!

Your Website:  http://www.jshomespuncreations.com

Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/JS-Homespun-Creations/163418423669880

Eco Friendly Natural Soap

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

brandon

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name  Brandon Aubol Ph.D.  BOSSANOVA

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  For many years I’ve struggled with difficult and sensitive skin, and I would frequently find myself frustrated in how difficult it was to find a quality, eco friendly natural soap that would react well with my skin while at the same time smell amazing.  For this reason I started BOSSANOVA, a handcrafted artisan soap company.  By trade, I’m a research scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and since the laboratory and analytical skills needed for this are very similar to making soap, I decided to craft and formulate my own soap.  Originally I would only give soap to friends and family members, but after much positive response I decided to scale up and start BOSSANOVA so a broader range of people could enjoy the soap I would create.3.

3.  What products do you make and sell?   We make handcrafted artisan soap bars and bath bombs and bath melts, with an eventual expansion into candles and whipped body butters.

4.  What are your business goals?   Our business goals are simple; make high quality eco friendly bath products that people will enjoy, and everything else will follow.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?   We use many of your wonderful products to make our soap from cosmetic clays and botanicals to molds to fragrance oils. Some of our favorite fragrances are cotton candy/blue cotton candy, nag champa, blackberry jam, hugo boss type, and fresh bamboo.

Your Website:  www.bossanovasoap.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bossanovasoap

Twitter:  twitter.com/bossanovasoap

What is an Emulsifier?

Friday, January 25th, 2013

emulsifier natures gardenIf you have ever seen an unshaken bottle of Italian Salad Dressing, then you have witnessed a product that could definitely use the help of an emulsifier!

In Elementary School, we all learned that oil and water just simply will not combine on their own accord.  They are just not compatible.  It is all about polarity.  Let’s magnify down to the molecular level of things and really get down to the nitty gritty.

Simply put polarity is the nature of a molecule or a compound to either be attracted to or repelled from another molecule.  The attraction or opposition is based on the charge of the nucleus, and the formation of the atoms that have bonded.  Based on this makeup, compounds are either polar or non-polar.

Polar molecules are not balanced in their chemical makeup.  Usually it is because one of the elements is pulling all of the electrons to one side of the atom.  Therefore, polar elements are constantly looking to bond with other polar elements in order to be a balanced compound.  On the flip side, if an atom is completely balanced, and has an equal charge on both sides, then it is classified as non-polar.

Now, when polar and non-polar elements are present in the same mixture what you get is separation.  Whether the mixture is stirred, heated, or shaken; eventually the polar and non-polar elements will isolate themselves from one another.  This is a physical trait, which you can literally see.  What is missing from the equation is an emulsifier.

Emulsifiers are most commonly used in the food industry.  They have a great impact on the texture and composition of food.  Another benefit of using emulsifiers in food is the extension of freshness.  Some common foods that use emulsifiers are:  salad dressings, candy, frozen desserts like ice cream and yogurts, cake mixes, and icings.  There are even foods that are natural emulsifiers such as milk, mustard, and eggs.

In the department of bath and body, or any product that is made to be put on the skin, emulsifiers will become your new best friend.  Since, in our industry, most of our scenting is accomplished with oils, it poses a problem when the product that we are creating is water based.  The reasoning- just like the Italian dressing, water and oil will not mix.  The chemistry concept to remember is like dissolves like.  This means that polar will always bind and dissolve in polar, and vice versa with non-polar.

When a mixture is water based; it is termed Aqueous.  This means that in order to mix other elements to this recipe, the additional ingredients need to be hydrophilic, or water loving (polar).  Fragrance and Essential oils are not water loving, therefore they are termed lipophilic (non-polar).

No matter how much you shake, mix, blend, or beat a mixture, if it contains both water and oils, there will be separation that occurs.  The only way to solve this is by adding an emulsifier to your recipe.  An emulsifier is quite an amazing little thing.  Let’s look at the molecular level again.  An emulsifier consists of a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail.  This is the perfect peace maker between water and oil.  This is because the emulsion allows for the lesser mass element to be “insulated” by the emulsifier to prevent it from joining the other elements with the same polarity.  What this allows for a dispersion of water and oil together and this referred to as a stable emulsion.

When an emulsifier is added to a recipe, it is drawn to the layer where binding is needed.  It is then able to position itself, by lessening the surface tension, between the oil and water.  Emulsifiers, besides being wonderful binders between polar and non-polar elements, also act as aerating agents, starch complexing agents, and even crystallization inhibitors.

Emulsifiers create emulsions.  There are two types of emulsions.  The first is an oil in water emulsion.  This is where the greater mass is water, and there are oil droplets which are dispersed into the water.  This is created by the emulsifier covering the oil particles and allowing the hydrophilic end to bind with the hydrophilic water.  Now, since both are water-loving elements, they will bind together.  The second emulsion is a water in oil emulsion.  This is where the greater mass is oil, and there are water droplets which are dispersed into the oil by the emulsifier covering the water particles.  This then allows for the lipophoic end to bind with the lipophilic oil.  With the addition of an emulsifier, both emulsions are now stable and evenly dispersed without separation.

These two different emulsions are important to know if for example you are trying to make a specific kind of cream or lotion.

In the case of water dispersed in oil, oil will encase the water so therefore the oils in the recipe will touch the skin first.  There will of course be some greasiness in the feel of the lotion when it is applied to the skin.  This is because of the oils, and will be absorbed into the skin.  These recipes are great for adding beneficial aspects of the oils directly to the skin.

In the case of oil dispersed in water, water will encase the oil so therefore the water in this recipe will touch the skin first.  These recipes have a less greasy feel to them.  These are also great emulsion recipes in situations where you are looking for moisture to be one of the benefits of the lotion or cream.

For bath and body crafters, common emulsifiers that are used are:  Borax with Beeswax, Beeswax, BTMS 25%, Carbomer, Cetaryl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax-NF, Lecithin, PEG-20 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Silky Emulsifying Wax, Stearyl Alcohol NF, and Polysorbate 80.

Natures Garden Fragrance Oils

Homemade Facial Mask Recipe

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I have come to a grave realization lately.  An awkward awareness that I would rather keep locked up and to myself.   I am trying to embrace this change, and I feel that sharing this with you may be the first step in my acceptance.  Although, let the record state that there still is a fight left in this dog.  I have hit an unwritten milestone in my life.  It may not be a celebrated achievement, but part of me has always known that this was inevitable.   I am old!

I know, I know, some people may look at me (at age 31) and say… “No honey, you are still young…”, but I know that you are slightly stretching the truth.  But, thanks for trying to make me feel better!  The real truth is, for the first time in my life, I am no longer in the young crowd.

To get down to the nitty gritty, the signs have been evident for quite some time now.   I have lost my touch with understanding the generation below me.  I look at them, like what they are wearing specifically, and ask myself when did this become the hip thing.  See, right there, I used the word hip… is this yet another sign?

To give you a little more insight, one of my guilty pleasures is gossip magazines.  I thoroughly love reading  the buzz on celebrities, even though I know it may not be true.  I just enjoy being in the know of the rumor mill.  But, now I feel betrayed.  As I fervently flip through the pages, scanning each headline and photo, I am coming to grasp that I do not know these people.  They are not my regular celebrities.  In fact, who are these kids… and when did they start gracing the pages.  Did I fall off the face of the planet and someone forget to tell me?

More than feeling out of touch, I am lost in general when it comes down to it.  My youngest sister is 19.  She is currently living with me.   We have a blast together, just like the old days when we were all growing up in the same house.   Yet, there is an adult part of me that just does not understand her.  The music she listens to, the zany hairdo’s, and the vibrant colors embellishing her face and nails.  I am so out of the loop.

More than the outside world, I seemed to be obsessed with my own physical aging.  It is almost as if I am trying to win an uphill battle.  When did this all happen?  I see myself every day, and I never noticed any of this.  I see wrinkles on my face.   There are numerous, very evident gray hairs that daunt me.  Sometimes, when I walk past a mirror, I even see my mother’s face.  (I meant that nicely, love you mom.)  Just the other day, I noticed crumpled, puckered skin above my knees.  This all has to stop!

Visualize the famous oil painting The Scream of Nature by Edvard Munch, and you will see how I am feeling right now; out of place, unsure, lost, unrecognizable, scared.

So, I am calling myself to arms.  I am not going to sit back and watch myself grow old without a war.  This fight is about to get physical, and I am engaging the first round of battle myself.  I am smart, sophisticated, and ready to face the aging battle.  Here come the facial masks.

Skin care is super important, as I am sure you all know.  Youthfulness is wasted on the youth, boy if that ain’t the truth.  I can actually remember distinctly not listening to adults who told me to take care of myself when I was young… I always thought that I had more time.  But, isn’t that the story for everything.

So, now I am taking action.  And in true perfection, Natures Garden has just ventured into the realm of herbs.  How exciting is this.

I decided among the long list of things to youthfulize myself (yes, I did in fact make that word up), I would start with my face.  I figured this would be as good as any aspect to start on since my face is what everyone sees.

Making a facial mask is super easy, quick, and very rewarding.  It just so happens that Natures Garden carries all of these supplies too!

Here are the ingredients for a Refreshing Green Clay Mask:

24 grams French Green Clay powder

6 grams vegetable glycerin

2 grams peppermint leaf powder

2 grams of peppermint leaf cut and sifted

Step 1:  Weigh out and mixed the dry ingredients together and set aside (except for the peppermint leaves cut and sifted).

Step 2:  Make a strong peppermint tea infusion by pouring a small amount of hot water over the peppermint leaves cut and sifted and allow them to steep.

Step 3:  Strain the peppermint leaves infusion through a coffee filter to remove the leaves.

Step 4:  Using 18 grams of the peppermint tea, add 6 grams of vegetable glycerin to it and stir.

Step 5:  Now, pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir.

Step 6:  Apply generously to your face and allow to dry completely.

Now, I am not going to lie to you, this mask gets tight.  I couldn’t move a single muscle in my face once the mask hardened, but it was so worth the slight discomfort.  I left the mask on for about 20 minutes.  I waited until it was completely dry and hard.  Then I simply washed it off with warm water.  What was left was a rejuvenated, younger looking face; my new face.

My skin was baby butt soft.  My pores, especially the ones on and around my nose, were tiny again.  My T-zone area was not shiny at all.  It was face perfection for me.  I am now a huge fan of Natures Garden facials!

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Recipe

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
LAVA LAMP LIP GLOSS
Recipe makes 10+ Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Tubes
Create some groovy lip gloss that looks like a lava lamp!
What You Need:
INGREDIENTS:
2 drops Tomato Red Liquid FUN Soap Colorant which is clearly specified to be used for lip applications
The reason you can create a lava look in this lip gloss, is because the glycerin portion (polar portion) of the lip gloss will not mix with the oil base portion (non polar portion). When you turn the lip gloss upside down, these layers will not mix. If you will be selling this product, please label your product according to FDA regulations.
Directions:
1. Prepare your lava portion of your lip gloss:
A. Measure out 1/8 cup of vegetable glycerin
B. Add 2 drops of Tomato Red Liquid Fun Soap Colorant.
C. Stir well until color is evenly dispersed.
D. Fill your roller ball bottles ¼ of the way full of this lava mixture.
2. Prepare your Clear Flavored Lip Gloss portion of your lip gloss:
A. Measure out ¼ cup of Fractionated Coconut Oil
B. Add 2 ml. of Strawberry Cheesecake Flavoring Oil
C. Pour this mixture into your roller ball bottles. Be careful not to overfill or the roller ball will not fit into the bottle.
NOTE: When using lip colorants, they need to be cosmetic safe, and approved for lip use. Only some of Our Fun Soap Colorants will work in this recipe; you must read the specifics of each colorant before using in this recipe. Our upcoming lip tints will not work in this recipe because they are castor oil based, and it will ruin the lava affect of this product. Our soap dyes are not approved for lip use, and cannot be used.

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

How to Make Emulsified Sugar Scrubs

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

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!   

Everything Skin with NG and Kim

Monday, October 17th, 2011

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

Enjoying Crafts as a New Hobby

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

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