Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Stress Relief!

Every year I say I am going to start my holiday shopping early. Every year. Although my intentions are good, between Thanksgiving day and New Years Day, my stress level usually rises from my normal 2 to a constant 10! Maybe it's that my job is busiest this time of year, maybe it's my business being at it's peak, maybe it's the person who just about ran me over in the Target parking and to top it all off, the social demands of the season. Yep, you got it! I am EXHAUSTED every night when I pour myself into bed and my body feels the stress of it all!

Although I certainly don't know the answers even how to prevent the stress of the season, but one thing I DO know is your sense of smell can play a huge role in stress relief! That's right...smelling things can cause a alter your stress level!

I have come up with some amazing ways to use our scents to melt away the stresses of the season!

A hot bath with some amazing bath salts, cold process soap to wash away the stress and lotions and body sprays so your body, mind and soul thank you!  A Clamshell Melt or a candle! The sense of smell is so powerful that you can literally change your outlook!

I loved this soap so much when I made it, that I thought, what would make it even more relaxing? The colors! Cool shades of blues and greens with white.....That just soothes me right there!  For this project you will need the following:

Cold Process Soap Mold
Olive Oil
Palm Oil
Coconut Oil
Ultramarine Blue Gel Tone
Neon Green Gel Tone
Titanium Dioxide
Bubbles & Lights Eucalyptus Spearmint Type

Following the instructions for Cold Process Soap and Safety Rules mix your lye as you normally would or mix equal parts lye and water by weight. Cool to room temperature.

Mix together 1 pound each of the three oils and then divide them into three separate containers for mixing. Add about 1 tsp each of the three colors into each pot that have been diluted in about a tbsp of warm water. This will help prevent the colors from speckling and more evenly distribute them. Add 1 oz of scent to each container of oil.

Prepare your mold. I use wax paper to line mine, others use freezer paper, parchment paper, and some even use plastic bags. Whatever works for you. :)

Mix each of the colors and pour into the mold, allow the layer to set up a bit before pouring the next layer

This is a photo of each of the layers being poured. The layer below it is solid enough to support a new layer being poured on top of it. This will allow for nice, even layers in your finished soap.

This is a photo of it cut. This is an easy soap with lots of amazing potential. Match with candles, lotions, body spray, room spray, hand sanitizer and more! The possibilities are endless! Make gift baskets with the matching products for your next show!

I've compiled a list of aroma's that work well and have a relaxing effect. Spring is a great time to introduce your customers to new products & ideas!
Basil Sage Mint, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Frankincense and Myrrh, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary Mint, Sage & Citrus, Sandalwood Vanilla and Ylang Ylang!
Give a line of Relaxation scents a try this year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Givinging Thanks & Giving Back

In the grand scheme of things it's easy to forget how lucky we are or worse yet, that others...often people we know, neighbors, friends, relatives don't have it so great. Times are tough.

For every 1 in 6 people in the United States, hunger is a reality. It can happen in poor neighborhoods and middle class alike. Poverty and financial hardships are reality in every sector right now for people who cannot afford to make ends meet. These people are very often hard working adults, senior citizens who live on fixed income without enough means to get by and of course children. In the land of plenty, America, no one should ever be forced to go without food for several meals let alone several days but it happens!

Thanksgiving time is a good time to reflect on not the things we want but instead to be thankful for all we DO have. This year I tried thinking of all the ways to help and came up with some unique ways to incorporate this idea into my business. This project is unique in the sense that it all focuses around food and ways we can all help! Food shelves across America have an incredible need this year.  For this months project, I am focusing on hunger. Probably not the easiest thing to hear but its real and we can help and here is a unique way to make that happen!

This finished project is perfect to make and sell at Craft shows, on your website etc. with the profits going to a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen in your local area. They are made from partially recycled materials (the can) and from a food grade soy wax, Ez Soy. The impact just a few dollars can make is high. Pay it forward!

To find a food bank near you:

What you will need:
Empty Veggie and Fruit Cans (*With the lids taken off using openers that do not leave sharp edges!)
Ez Soy Wax (On sale this month at BCS!)
Fragrance (I chose Strawberry Jam but really any fruit or food scent would work well for this)
Dye if desired (I used Red Dye #1 Color Block)
CD wicks (For a 2.5" diameter a CD 12 for a 3" a CD 18 etc. If you need help with wicking, just ask me!)
Wick Stickums
Labels (I used the Kraft Brown Print your own labels from BCN!)
Warning Labels

To make your candles:
EZ Soy™ to 175-180*. Add your dye and blend well, then add your fragrance and blend well. Allow the wax to cool to about 105* and start stirring. When the wax reaches a slushy stage, it looks similar to an Icee starting to warm up, pour the wax into room temperature jars. The actual pour temp of the wax is about 95* but because it is not completely fluid at this point, an internal temp is hard to achieve. Pouring hotter will result in more frosting and tops that are not completely smooth.

We recommend using chip, block, powder or flake dyes with soy waxes. Liquid dyes can cause excessive frosting due to the solvents in them. If your tops are not smooth, try pouring a touch cooler. If they are lumpy try a bit warmer. It does take some trial and error testing to determine the exact right pour temp for you.

We hope all of our customers and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Just a reminder that Bitter Creek and Bitter Creek South we will be closed November 22 & 23 in observation of Thanksgiving.