Friday, April 30, 2010

Tea Cup Container Candles

Back when I was experimenting with how to make candles, I got discouraged with the pillar candle molds that you can buy at the local craft store. Whenever I sealed the opening for the wick (at the bottom of the mold) so when I poured the melted wax, it would eventually leak and make a  big mess.  So I wound up find some cute tea cups at various places like Marshalls, Ross or TJ Maxx and making container candles with them. 

Since I took the Eco-Friendly Candlemaking Class at The Nova Studio my interest has been renewed to make candles.  I found these instructions on how to make the tea cup container candles project from Martha Stewart that I wanted to share. These would be cute gift ideas  Here is cute gift  idea for Mother's Day or really any day of celebration (Bridal Showers, Bay Showers etc.).

Tools and Materials

Nested pans
Partially burned candles ( or soy candle wax from your local craft store)
Candy or candle thermometer
New wicking
Wick sustainers
Wooden skewers
Scent and Colorant (optional)

Teacup Lights How-To

1. In a small pan set over a larger pan of simmering water, melt down old candles; clip the thermometer to the upper pot, and keep temperature at about 185 degrees. Remove old wicks with tongs.

2. Cut a piece of wicking to the cup's height plus 2 inches. Clamp one end to a wick sustainer; tie the other end around a skewer. Dip wicking and sustainer into melted wax to coat them. Remove and stick sustainer to cup's bottom.
3. Pour in the wax, stopping 1/2 inch below the cup's rim. Allow wax to set, about 1 hour. The candle will harden with a well in the center. To even it out, use another skewer to prick a circle of holes about 1/16 inch deep around the wick. Pour in melted wax until surface is 1/4 inch below rim. Cut wick.
Source: From Martha Stewart Living, December 2002 and Martha Stewart website

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is the difference between sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil?

There are two principal forms of the Almond: Sweet Almonds & Bitter Almonds. Botanically, they are considered merely variations of the one type. The Sweet Almond is cultivated more than the Bitter Almond. It is valuable as a food and for confectionery purposes, as well as in medicine, being rich in a bland oil, and sustaining as a nutriment: the staying power conferred by a meal of Almonds and raisins is well known. It is only the Bitter Almond in the use of which caution is necessary, especially with regard to children, as it possesses dangerous poisonous properties.

In this article, I found through Almond Oil has many benefits for health and beauty purposes.  It is a rich source of vitamin E and some essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

From a profile of Sweet Almond Oil has the breakdown of specifications and fatty acids and this product is for cosemetic use only.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What is Rose Water?

I have seen rose water in some retail establishments and was wondering what it was used for.  So I started seeking out answers and I found the answer on

"Classically, rose water is made using damask roses, many-petaled and fragrant. These were first grown in Iran and Bulgaria, but are now frequently found in Spain, Italy, and France. However, the Middle Eastern countries remain some of the largest producers of rose water because of the availability of damasks. If one is trying a homemade recipe, recommendations for other types of roses include most of the purple shaded varieties, such as Angel Face and Sterling Silver, as they tend to be the most fragrant.

The uses of rose water are as varied and numerous as the petals of a damask rose. Most western countries are familiar with rose water or rose oil as an addition to fragrances and in body and facial creams. More recently it has been introduced as a skin toner, and many people also enjoy its use in varied applications of aromatherapy. In ancient Rome, people enjoyed bathing in rose water, and it was, and still is, considered to have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. For this reason, rosewater was frequently used to wash one's hands.

Less familiar to most westerners is rose water's use as an ingredient in food. In the Middle East and Asia, meat can be cooked and infused with it. There are recorded recipes dating back to the 8th century.Rose water also provides the primary flavor for many sweet treats. A teaspoon may be added to mango lassi or marzipan. Turkish delight, a favorite candy in many Arab countries, derives its unique taste from this flavoring. To the untrained palate, the addition of rose water is often described as tasting "soapy," but that is often because many associate the fragrance of roses with skin creams. Once used to this taste, gourmets or gourmands can delight in numerous Middle Eastern and Asian dishes which evoke traditional cuisine at least a millennia old.

Rose water flavors not only many foods of the Middle East, but also holds sacred importance in religious ceremonies of both the Muslim and Hindu religions. In certain Islamic rituals, it cleanses the body before prayer cleanses the spirit. In Hinduism, the fragrant liquid bathes the Shiva lingam, or phallus, during the Mahshirvrati festival, an annual day of devotion to Shiva, also traditionally celebrated as the day Shiva married the goddess Parvati.

Rose water can certainly be made at home with either very simple methods or more complex distillation methods. The easiest method is to combine rose petals and water in a sun tea jar and set the jar in the sun for several days. Keep in mind that care should be taken when concocting these home recipes. They are not long lasting and are subject to growing bacteria, which may be quite dangerous if used in food.

Commercial preparations come in many forms and can safeguard against bacterial formation. In addition, the buyer can choose organic preparations, thus eliminating pesticides from the roses in their food or on their bodies. However used, rose water is certainly almost universally enjoyed, with its sweet and deep aroma, and delightful and unusual taste."


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cosmetically Grade Information on Oxides, Ultramarines, and Micas

When you make your own bath and body products (including your own mineral make-up) and the recipe always calls for cosmetic grade colorant.  And you are wondering what does cosmetically grade colorants mean?  Then I would recommend checking out this article I found on the Pixie Lee Soap Forum about Oxides, Ultramarines and Micas.  It should answer all of your questions about these various colorants.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Candy Shop Sugar Scrubs

Aren't these cute?  These are a twist on an old favorite - Sugar Scrubs.  This Candy Shop Sugar Scrubs recipe from The Natural Beauty Shop is a cinch to whip up, and to make they are totally adorable to give out as gifts.  One of the comments made a great suggestion to cut the scrubs into 1"x1" cubes and they will fit neatly inside the Acetate Soap Boxes, and theyll be just the right amount for a single serving of scrub.  What a great gift to give at a Baby or Bridal Shower or any other event that favors are given out. Make sure to download the adorable labels that are available to put on your newly made sugar scrubs. .

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cold Process Soap Recipe: CocoRosa

Like these beautiful soaps and would you like to recreate them? Then check out this recipe titled CocoRosa from Soap Making EssentialsSoap Making Essentials has alot of other great recipes and informational resouces that can help you create your own soaps in your very own home.  This information ranges from a lye calculator to selling and packaging ideas. It is a great resource for your soapmaking needs.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shea Butter Soap Cupcakes - Cold Process soap

If you are looking for something cute to make at your next birthday party, bridal or baby shower, then why not create these cute Shea Butter Soap Cupcakes?  Erin from Naiad Soap Arts, generously offered to help out   Amber on this tutorial to appear on Anne-Marie's (aka The Soap Queen)blog, Soap and and the Finer Things.
To make these adorable cupcakes (without the calories) you will need to get the following ingredients for 6 cupcakes:

7.5 oz. Coconut oil 76 degree
7.5 oz. Palm Oil
6.25 oz. Olive Oil Pomace
2.5 oz. Castor Oil
1.25 oz. Shea Butter
7 oz. of distilled water
3.5 oz. of Sodium Hydroxide
1 oz. Cream Cheese Frosting Fragrance Oil
1 oz. Strawberry Fragrance Oil

There is a little extra soap incase you want to add more frosting than I did! If not, have a small plastic container ready for extra soap!

The equipment you will need to make these soap will be the following:

• Round Cupcake Silicone Mold
• 6 paper cupcake liners
• Flamingo Pink High PH Lab Color
• Iridescent Glitter
• Disposable Cake Decorating bag
• Plastic Star Cake Decorating Tip or stainless steel decorating tip
• Stick Blender
• scale
• safety goggles
• gloves
• plastic spoon
• stainless steel whisk (for thorough stirring)
• one, 2 cup microwave safe glass measuring cup
• one, 4 cup microwave safe glass measuring cup
• one, 8 cup microwave safe glass measuring cup
• one, 2 cup plastic or glass cup for measuring sodium hydroxide. (I have one measuring cup I use for sodium hydroxide and nothing else and I suggest you designate a sturdy measuring cup for this task)
• thermometer(s) that reads up to 200 degrees
• box large enough to fit the mold, and at least 6 inches deep.

For full instructions (including pictures), check out the tutorial on The Soap Queen's Blog at

Have fun!

Friday, April 23, 2010

What is Xanthan Gum?

I have seen or heard of  xanthan gum being listed as an ingredient on some of our everyday products.  I may have recalled seeing this ingredient listed as an ingredient in one of an outdated natural beauty recipe books I had purchased on  So what is xanthan gum?  According to

"Despite its rather alien-sounding name, xanthan gum is as natural as any other fermented corn sugar polysaccharide you can name. Corn syrup, anyone?

Seriously, xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process, Xanthomonas campestris. Xanthomonas campestris is the same bacteria responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoli, cauliflower and other leafy vegetables. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. The United States Department of Agriculture ran a number of experiments involving bacteria and various sugars to develop a new thickening agent similar to corn starch or guar gum. When Xanthomonas campestris was combined with corn sugar, the result was a colorless slime called xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is considered a polysaccharide in scientific circles, because it is a long chain of three different forms of sugar. What's important to know is that all three of these natural sugars are present in corn sugar, a derivative of the more familiar corn syrup. The Xanthomonas campestris bacteria literally eat a supply of this corn sugar under controlled conditions, and the digestion process converts the individual sugars into a single substance with properties similar to cornstarch. Xanthan gum is used in dairy products and salad dressings as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Xanthan gum prevents ice crystals from forming in ice creams, and also provides a 'fat feel' in low or no-fat dairy products.

Another use for xanthan gum is the stabilization and binding of cosmetic products. One advantage of xanthan gum is that a little goes an incredibly long way. Cosmetic manufacturers add a very small amount of xanthan gum to their cream-based products in order to keep the individual ingredients from separating. Despite the use of bacteria during processing, xanthan gum itself is not generally harmful to human skin or digestive systems, though some individuals may find they are allergic to it. Xanthan gum is often used whenever a gel-like quality is sought.

Xanthan gum is also used as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free breads, pastas and other flour-based food products. Those who suffer from gluten allergies should look for xanthan gum as an ingredient on the label.

One lesser-known use of xanthan gum is in the oil industry. Oil companies often use water as a lubricant for oil well pumps, but regular water is not very thick. A natural thickener such as guar gum or xanthan gum can be added to the water in order to increase its viscosity, or thickness. You could think of this as turning tap water into 10W-40 motor oil. The thickened water keeps the drill parts lubricated and displaces more of the natural oil found in the deposit area."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to make Tart Shaped Wax Tarts

Like making candles, but do not like the mess? Or have you purchased tarts before and you found them expensive?

Wax "tarts" are used to scent the home, and are burned in potpourri burners. They are commonly referred to as "tarts" named after the pastry due to their tart-like shape.

These are easy to make, and do not require a wick. If you would like to learn how to make these tarts, check out these Wax Tart instructions from Candle Cauldron.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No-Stitch Cross-Stitch

Are you big on cross stiching and would like to take it to the next level? Or you like the look, but never cross stiched in your life? Well how about etching the cross stich look on glass candle holders and place them on your dinner table for your next event. What is really great is that this craft from Martha Stewart is that it does take that much time to create them. 

First you have to download Martha's templates Letters and Patterns, and print. Enlarge template to desired size on a photocopier; cut out. Position template inside vessel using tape. With an extra-fine-tip paint pen, trace pattern onto glass. (If you make a mistake, wipe with a damp paper towel while paint is wet.) To repeat pattern around glass, shift the template inside vessel, and trace again. Let dry. It is as simple as that.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pillow Box Template

Are you looking for packaging to hold a special gift like a small sachet or some kind of special candy?  I may have found a solution for you! Here is a pillow box template from Skip to my LouSkip to my Lou is a site which is devoted to guiding you to a variety of handmade gifts that look very easy and fun.  There are alot of great ideas for parties, recipes and other handmade craft ideas. So when you have the time or need a quick idea, check out Skip to my Lou.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Learn How to Dry Your Own Herbs

Do you like to use herbs in your soaps or bath salt recipes?  And you would like to know how to dry our own herbs for those recipes?  Well, here is an article titled DIY: Drying Fresh Herbs written by Stephanie Nelson, which appears on the website site The Herb Companion under the category of In the Herb Garden.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mini Soap on a Rope Tutorial

Julieincharge from Suds N Such posted this great tutorial on how to make your own mini soap on a rope.  How fun is that? Julie had received the instructions from Angie Barrett and felt that her crafty pals would be similiar enthused about this project.  It would be a great project for your next craft night, bridal or baby shower.  If your child is old enough or interested in crafts, it could be a great project for their next birthday party.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Review: Eco-Friendly Candlemaking Class at The Nova Studio

In May 2002, I took a rolled beeswax candlemaking class at the Palo Alto Adult School which sparked (no pun intended) in my interest in candlemaking. This class was interesting, but I really preferred the wonderfully scented pillar candles that you would find in the retail establishments. So I went to my local Michaels Arts and Crafts store to purchase some candle making supplies. And soon started to experiment.

While expermenting with my new supplies, I found a a couple of things that really turned me off with melt and pour candlemaking technique. First of all, I found the pillar candle molds to be very messy. No matter how well I sealed the hole where the wick was inserted, wax always seemed to leak out and made a mess. Of course, I was not smart enough to place any paper down where I was working. But luckily enough I was smart enough to melt my wax in the kitchen and pouring my melted wax into the mold on the washing machine. But some of the colored wax did seap and stain the floor which was not in a noticeable spot where anyone could see my mistake. I wound up with some success making container candles with mugs and beautiful tea cups.

Secondly, I found the Yaley scent chips I purchased at Michaels really did not scent my candles at all. Even though I used the whole block, I could barely smell the scent I added to the candle wax. As a novice, it did not occur to me to purchase the liquid scent that was being sold at Michaels or that I could use the fragrance oils or essential oils that I had been using for my melt and pour soap projects and classes. So after awhile, I just gave up and decided to give away my supplies.

Then after years of taking bath and body products classes from The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA, I saw that Lori was selling handouts to her classes, the candlemaking class handout was not available at the time. I knew that she taught a candlemaking class but the class was rarely offered. So soon after I saw that the class was scheduled to be offerred in April 2010. So, I jumped at the chance to be the teaching assistant for the class and I am so happy that I did because it has inspired me to take on this craft again.

In this four hour class the instrauctor covers everything you need to know about making candles: basic safety considerations, necessary equipment and materials, different types of wick, how to color your candles, how to scent and mold them, as well as ideas for how to package them.

The instructor will also discuss scenting candles with natural, pure essential oils for their aromatherapy benefit and to keep our candles natural. Each student will custom scent and color (optional) their own candles. Whether you are making candles for yourself, for gifts, or to sell, this is the class you've been looking for! It's hands-on class that is packed with information.

Students get to take home thorough handouts, enough information to make natural wax candles on your own as well as a pair of beeswax rolled taper candles, a 6 oz. aromatherapy soy container candle, and 2 aromatherapy scented soy wax votives. Just to be on the safe side, please don't wear your favorite outfit to class.

Now this class is normally taught by Lori Nova, herself, but she has turned the rains over to Melanie Monteverde. Melanie has been going to The Nova Studio since 2006 and has taken classes in pouring natural candles, and making bath and body products. Her kitchen gets more use from making bath and body products than it does from cooking! She has taught students of all ages, ranging from preschoolers to adults in a corporate setting.

This was Melanie's first time teaching a class at The Nova Studio and she did a wonderful job especially with a full class! She demonstrated the techniques very well and answered the students questions with the expert knowledge she has in the subject.

I would highly recommend taking this rare class the next time it is offered at The Nova Studio or any class that Melanie is teaching. This class and all of the classes at The Nova Studio are supreme.

And if you are wondering if I have purchased any supplies to make candles. Yes I have. I used a 50% coupon last week for Michaels where I purchased a wax melting pot. I also bought some glue dots, metal candle containers (4 to a package) and some wicks. For making the votive candles, I am going to start out using the dixie cups like shown in the class. The votive metal molds at Michaels are $15.99 for 6 which I thought was expensive. So I am going to use a coupon. But as for the wax and colorant, I am going to purchase it from one of the recommended vendors in the handout. Will let you know how my newly developed technique works out.

How to Make Paper Beads Patterns

Recently, I was volunteering at the library to help out with a scheduled If you are interested in learning how to make paper bead patterns, here are instructions by A. Schurman, Contributing Writer for Ehow. These instructions are moderately difficult. According to the author, learning how to make paper bead patterns is all about knowing your rectangle and triangle shapes. Almost every kind of paper bead must start off with some sort of rectangle or triangle-shaped piece of paper. The blunt lines of the rectangle create a thick, cylinder bead. The gradual sloping lines in a triangle create a flat or round bead, depending on the angle. The bottom of the pattern determines the length of the paper bead. The height determines the width and the angle of the sides determine the shape.

I find the the beautfil color ads seem to work the best.  If you would like to learn how to make paper beads, check out this article on How to Make Paper Beads Patterns.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Callous Blend Recipe

Sandle session is almost here.  And are you suffering from callouses on your feet? Check out this callous blend recipe from Aroma Living that can help soften your feet.  Hopefully you and your feet will enjoy this recipe.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tutorial: How to make a creamy scrubs for the body and feet

Are you looking for a recipe that combines a facial scrub with a cream?  Then check out this tutorial from Duffin's Soap Bakery.

The four different scrub creams pictured here are Peppermint and Tree (with Almonds) Foot Scrub; Licorice and Tamaird; Tumeric, Tamaird, Zingber and Mangosteen Powder and Aloe Vera and Vitamin E (with Walnut).

For other recipes check out Duffin's Soap Factory's site.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is Cyclomethicone?

Definition: Cyclomethicone is a clear, odorless, silicone-based oil that is incredibly useful and versatile in a number of bath & body recipes. It is a synthetic unmodified silicone that stays on the surface of the skin - the molecules are too big to physically enter past the upper living cells. It doesn't really have any "healing" or "moisturizing" qualities in and of itself - think of it more as a "carrier." Because it evaporates relatively quickly, it is most commonly used to carry fragrance or essential oils in linen sprays, body sprays, and roll-on "dry" perfumes. It also is used in lotions to impart a slick, silky feel - and is widely used in hair treatments.

There are many different varieties and grades of cyclomethicone. Be sure that you get it from a reliable bath and body supplier. Different grades also vary in their flashpoint. The lower the flashpoint, the quicker it will evaporate. But if you are going to be shipping or mailing the product, you need to be sure the flashpoint is at least 170 degrees. Several suppliers carry "Cyclomethicone NF" which is the premium grade.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Soap Packaging Ideas

Are you looking for some new creative packaging ideas for your soaps?  Then check out these ideas from There are a variety of elegant ideas that will inspire you to package your soaps in a new way.  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Joann is no longer selling Life of the Party Soap Supplies

I was at Joann's in Mountain View, CA  yesterday and I found out that they will no longer be selling Life of the Party soap supplies.  So whatever they currently have on the shelves is on clearance. Now I am not sure if the superstores are also clearancing out their supply too so I will have to check them out.

I was happy to get some of the colorant for dirt cheap because I could always have it on hand for upcoming classes.  Although, I may have to scout out another store to see if they have the red, blue, yellow pack available.  Since it is probably the most popular color combo, I may have a tough time finding alot available to purchase.

I am sad that Joann's is phasing out carrying this line because it was nice that they would have it on sale some times. So if you are looking to purchase Life of the Party soap supplies, the only place I know that carries it is Michaels.

And it was just about 2 years ago that Joann's phased out all of the candlemaking supplies.  So it seems like Joann's carries scrapbooking, jewelry making, Wilton, and their mainstaying of fabric and decor items.

Jojoba Salt Scrubs

Here is an interesting take on a salt scrub recipe from Natural Beauty Workshop that has jojoba beads included with the fine sea salt. Plus there are some really interesting fragrance combinations such as Tequila Sunrise and Raspberry Truffles which so happens to make my mouth water.

I have never have tried jojoba beads before but it sounds really interesting.

Jojoba Wax Beads really show their true colors when they are suspended in a salt scrub. Mixing colored beads to create new and unique shades of color is a lot of fun too. Above, you can see four different combinations that I have made. Before creating the scrub, I mixed different combinations of Jojoba Wax Beads in a small, white, condiment cup.

1 cup *Sea Salt, Fine
2 ounces Organic Jojoba, Clear
2 ounces Polysorbate 20
4 teaspoons Jojoba Wax Beads (mixed or solid color)
1/8th ounce ( 4 ml.) Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil
Color Combinations (Pictured above)
A) Apothecary’s Garden: Plum, Blue, Baby Blue
B) Raspberry Truffles: Red, Plum
C) Tequila Sunrise: Red, Tangerine, Yellow
D) Vanilla Mint Tea: Green, Sierra Blue, Baby Blue
Fragrance Combinations (Pictured Above)
A) **Apothecary’s Garden: 2 parts Lavender E.O., 1 part Lemongrass E.O., 1 part Bergamot E.O.
B) Raspberry Truffles: Raspberry Truffles FO
C) Tequila Sunrise: 3 parts Orange FO, 1 part Wild Cherry FO
D) Vanilla Mint Tea: 1 part Vanilla FO, 1 part Moroccan Mint Tea FO
In a medium mixing bowl, combine salt and Jojoba Wax Beads. Once the beads are well dispersed, add the oil mixture. (Remember to stir the oil mixture well before adding it to your dry mixture.) Next, add your fragrance or essential oil. Stir well and transfer to a sterilized container.
This recipe will make a little more than 8 ounces of scrub (by volume). They look fabulous in clear containers. I recommend using either PET Jars to package these scrubs.
Mix the scrub well and scoop a small amount into a paper cup or some other small (shower-safe) container. Get in the shower and scrub away! I wouldn't recommend using this on your face, but the rest of your body should be fine. After you are finished scrubbing, turn on the shower and rinse the salt and Jojoba Wax Beads away. The beads are a little tenacious, so I like to follow this scrub with my usual soapy shower routine.
*Dead Sea Salt, Fine would also be a great option for this recipe.
**Fragrance Oils could also be used for this combination although they may require some slight adjustment

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Flower Cupcake Soap (Hot Process Method)

Julie Longyear has always loved playing with anything messy. Fortunately over the years, her mediums have matured from mud and play dough to ceramics and candles. The biggest challenge that she has faced is picking one medium on which to focus. It seems in her case, father really does know best, because it was when she followed her dad's advice that she found her favorite medium–making soaps. She'll deomonstrate her specialty, unique and decorative cupcake soaps.

Materials and Tools:

hand-held (stick) blender
ice cream scoop
measuring spoons
glass jar or other glass bowl
long-handled spoons
rubber or silicone spatulas
regular size muffin pan
cupcake papers
digital scale*
32-oz.olive oil
30 mL essential oil
1 tsp. turmeric
18 oz. Red Devil Lye
graduated cylinder (small mL measuring capability)
1 quart glass-measuring cup
1 quart plastic or glass-measuring cup
distilled water
spray bottle
plastic spoons
dried rosebuds
dried lavender buds
dried mint leaf
dried yarrow flowers
dried jasmine flowers
mask, goggles, and rubber gloves (preferably chemical resistant)

*A postal scale with a 5-pound maximum works fine–must measure to tenths of an ounce.


1. Turn on crock-pot to begin heating.

2. Measure 27 ounces of olive oil by weight into a plastic quart-measuring cup using the digital scale.

3. Measure nine ounces of distilled water by weight into the glass quart-measuring cup using the digital scale.

4. Put on mask, gloves and goggles.

5. Weigh out 3-1/2 ounces of lye by weight into a separate glass container.

6. Add the lye to the distilled water slowly, stirring the entire time. Caution: Work in a well-ventilated area and do not breath the fumes that come up off the lye-water as it dissolves. Stir until completely dissolved.

7. Add the olive oil to the crock-pot, scraping the measuring cup to get all the oil out.

8. Add the lye-water to the crock-pot.

9. Neutralize the measuring cup and spoon used to mix the lye-water using vinegar and soapy water.

10. Add one teaspoon of turmeric to the crock-pot.

11. Blend the oil and lye-water mixture in the crock-pot. Be careful not to splash, keeping the end of the blender under the surface of the oil at all times. It will become creamy and start to thicken after a few minutes.

12. Once it has reached a pudding-like consistency called trace (called "trace" because a line that you trace in the soap will remain there), put the lid on the pot and allow it to sit and cook at a medium temperature.

13. The soap will begin to bubble on the sides, and then the middle will begin to sink into the bubbles coming up from the sides. This may take 30 to 45 minutes until the center portion of the soap has totally been consumed under the bubbles depending on the crock-pot's temperature. It is better to cook slowly than to cook too hot and burn the soap. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes until the entire mixture resembles translucent, warm petroleum jelly (with some liquid floating on top).

14. Once the soap has finished cooking, turn the crock-pot off and allow to sit and cool with the lid on until it reaches a temperature of approximately 80 degrees centigrade.

15. While the soap is cooling prepare the muffin pan. Put a cupcake paper in each muffin slot on the pan. Double up on the cupcake papers to make sure they hold up.

16. Once the soap is cooler, set the crock-pot on a low setting to retain heat. Take the lid off and add 30 mL of desired essential oils scent. Mix thoroughly.

17. If the soap seems to be a little stiff or is forming a skin on the surface, add a little extra water to keep it moist. Water evaporates as the soap is sitting open and hot, so you may wish to keep a spray bottle handy to mist it to keep it moist.

18. Scoop the gooey, warm soap into the prepared muffin pan using an ice cream scoop. Work quickly so that the soap remains warm while you scoop it. Mist the soap mixture remaining in the crock-pot if it becomes too dry.

19. Once you have the cupcake papers filled, tap the pan against the table or floor a few times to help the soap settle fully into the shape of the cupcake papers. If it has cooled too much while you are scooping it won't fill the papers well, so if you are having trouble moving quickly enough, you can do a few at a time and then tamp.

20. If the surface of the cupcakes is not the ideal shape, reshape the surface with the back of a clean plastic spoon.

21. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

22. Once they are completely cool, remove cupcakes from the pan.

23. For rosebud soaps–use 5 or 6 rosebuds per soap. The stems of these are usually strong enough to poke directly into the soap. Place one in the middle and the rest surrounding the center.

24. For lavender and mint "sprinkled" soaps–put some lavender buds in a dish. Moisten the top of the soap using a paintbrush and a little water. Then press the top of the soap into the lavender, being careful not to crush the top edges of the cupcake paper.

25. For yarrow and jasmine soaps–cut the yarrow bloom into small sections. Using a needle or other pointed object make a pilot hole in the soap for each bloom section, and then insert them.

26. The soap is useable right away, but will lather best if given a week or so to cure.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

How-To Make Decorative Magnets From Martha Stewart

With their whirling, glass-coated patterns, these marbled magnets make an attractive addition to a refrigerator or any magnetic surface. What's more, they're easy and inexpensive to make, requiring little more than flattened glass marbles, decorative papers, and of course, magnets. As Martha Stewart demonstrates, you can also use this technique to create pushpins to embellish a corkboard.

Tools and Materials

Decorative papers, such as wallpaper, wrapping paper, or magazine cutouts
Paper punch (Martha uses 2 sizes: 1 1/2 and 3/4 inches)
Flattened glass marbles
Sobo glue
Super glue
Scissors (optional)
Pencil (optional)

Decorative Magnets How-To

1. Using a paper punch, cut out decorative paper rounds. Since the marbles are irregularly shaped, you may have to trim the rounds to match. You can also trace the glass marble onto the paper using a pencil and cut out the shape.

2. Using Sobo glue, affix the printed side of the paper to a glass marble. Let the glue dry, and press out any bubbles.

3. Using super glue, affix a magnet to the back of the paper. Let dry a few hours before using. Packaged in small boxes or tins, the magnets make wonderful gifts.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Tutorial: Take Out Container

Isn't this cute?  Need a creative container to put an unique gift in?   The deocorative containers you can purchase are so expensive So, why not make one that would be an original?  Check out the step by step instructions from My Creative Place! So if you would like to create this adorable Take out Container Tutorial, just check out the instructions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Is Lip Tint?

Are you wondering what ia lip tint is? Well, I found this description from Wise that should answer all of your questions.

"Lip tint is a cosmetic product applied to the lips to give them color, often without much gloss or shine included. Generally, lip tint is applied to bare lips, and the color will slightly stain the lips; it is also occasionally referred to as lip stain. One might then choose to apply lip gloss over the top of the tint, to get that shiny appearance. Products such as gloss or lipstick are sometimes labeled "lip tint" as well, however; so it can be a bit of a catch-all term.

At its most basic, lip tint is a product for the lips that tends to fall somewhere between gloss and lipstick. It goes on more lightly than lipstick, but provides more color than gloss. Lip tint frequently contains additional ingredients such as sunscreen, conditioning ingredients, or even a minty scent to make breath smell fresher. Sunscreen and conditioning ingredients are particularly helpful, because they help protect the lips from sun damage or skin cancer as well as to make them appear softer and smoother. Lip tint typically comes in a squeeze tube or a twist-up tube.

One of the benefits of lip tint is that it is generally very long lasting. If it contains gloss, the gloss will eventually be wiped off, but the color will stay. This is because it has temporarily stained the lips, and is not just resting on top of them.

This type of lip product is an excellent choice for hot summer days, or for days when it will not be possible to regularly reapply lipstick. One might also choose to wear lip liner with this type of product, to prevent it from feathering. In addition, one of the main problems with lip liner is that the lipstick tends to fade far before the lip liner does, but with a long-lasting tint, this will not be a concern. This type of tint for the lips can be removed at the end of the day with ordinary makeup remover.

Another benefit of lip tint is that it occasionally doubles as a cheek stain, which functions similarly to the tint for the lips but instead temporarily stains the cheeks, giving a blushed appearance. For someone who is traveling or who does not want to use a number of different cosmetic products, a combination product like this can be an excellent choice. Keep in mind that both stains for the cheeks and the lips tend to appear much darker in the bottle than they do on the skin."


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot Process Soapmaking Handout for Sale from The Nova Studio

Are you wanting to learn how to make soap by the Hot Process Method, but you cannot find a class to take?  Lori Nova of The Nova Studio who offers this class on a rare occasion is now making her handout available for purchase.  For a full description of the handout or to purchase this fantastic handout go the the link below:

Monday, April 5, 2010

6 Top Twitter Links – Make the Most of Twitter

Are you overwhelmed with where to begin to promote your craft on Twitter?  Then you should read this interesting article from Handmade Marketing on that very subject.

So take a gander and if you know anyone who would like to read this article, please pass the word along.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Potpourri Tart Recipe

Wax potpourri tarts are little tartlet-shaped disks of wax infused with fragrance. Place a couple into your favorite potpourri pot and light the tea candle underneath.

So you want to learn how to make these wax potpourri tarts? Then check out this step by step tutorial from The Artful Crafter.

So have some fun and try this new recipe for a new craft -
Potpourri Tart Recipe

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What is the Difference Between Lip Gloss and Lip Balm?

In the cosemetic aisle of your favorite drug store or your high priced department store counter, you will find a plethora of lip balms and lip glosses.  But what are the differences?  Well to answer your question, I looked to  According to wisegeek:

"Balm is defined as a medicated ointment that can be used to soothe or resolve skin issues. Lip balm in particular may come in small round jars, or in cylinders like those used in Chap Stick®. In many cases, lip balm may be applied with the fingers from small jars and is used to help soothe chapped or sunburned lips. This differs from the more oily lip gloss, which may contain color or glitter, and is used to give the lips a shiny appearance.

Not all lip balm is equally effective. Many are made with infusions of natural herbs like mint or chamomile. Some forms of lip balm can calm down or prevent chapping. Some also offer sunscreen to prevent sun damage.

Lip balm may not have much effect if chapped lips are related to other problems. For example, chapped lips may be indication of anemia, and lip balm will have little affect on this problem. People who are chronically dehydrated will also not see much change when using lip balm, because what they really need to do is to drink more fluids.

Some lip glosses can also be medicated and soothe chapped lips. Primarily, however, their goal is to provide an esthetically pleasing look to the mouth, which a lip balm does not provide. A lip gloss with Vitamin E or aloe vera may be soothing as well as pretty. It may not address severe chapping problems. Some people wear lip gloss over lip balm to hide the waxy appearance of the balm.

Some lipsticks may also function as a lip balm. Unlike lip gloss they tend to be opaque, rather than transparent. They may also contain Vitamin E or supplements to help keep the lips moist. Not all lipsticks provide this. In fact some have a primary ingredient of alcohol in them, which tends to dry out the lips.

If chapped lips are the result of cold sores, one should not reuse lip balm after a cold sore has resolved. One should especially not share lip balm, lip sticks or gloss with a friend, especially if one gets cold sores. These are usually a form of herpes virus that can be passed to other people. If one develops a cold sore while using any type of lip product, be certain to discard the product so as not to reinfect the area."


Friday, April 2, 2010


This recipe I found on  It is originally from Ponte Verde Soap Shoppe. This recipe makes 6 ozs of lip balm.

This lip balm leaves a smooth, non-greasy feeling and will not cake on your lips.


1½ oz beeswax pearls
1 oz cocoa butter
1½ oz shea butter
2 ozs. sweet almond oil
1-2 teaspoons flavor oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E liquid (optional, as a preservative)


Weigh all ingredients.

In a very small pan, add the beeswax and melt over the lowest setting.

Once melted add the cocoa butter chunks and shea butter, let melt, and then add the sweet almond oil. Heat through. Add the Vitamin E oil.

Remove from stove and pour into a glass measuring cup for easy pouring into lip balm containers.

Add the flavor oil, or if you would like to make more than one flavor with this recipe, separate into different glass jars or cups and then add the flavor oils. Adjust the amount of flavor oil accordingly.

Stir flavor oils in and pour into lip balm containers. If the mixture starts to harden, place in the microwave for a few seconds to re-melt and then pour.