|Raspberries are ripening all throughout the valley and that means in my spare time, I am only in one place. The berry patch. I have loved the sun kissed berries bursting over my tongue, the sweet yet tangy flavors bursting in my mouth. Yummy! I have even taken to listening to audio books while out there so as to extend my time plucking berries from their thorny branches. My glee at the mound of small red berries is dampened by one thing. Those dratted thorns. They are absolutely catastrophic to my hands and cuticles. My hands are covers in minute scratches, making small tags that catch on everything! I have been using a jar of our Head to Toe cream and that has done wonders but my cuticles are still looking horrid. Come join me today for a cuticle jelly that will aid even a gardener’s shredded hands!
I wanted to start my recipe out with using soy wax. Soy wax is an amazing product. First, it is completely vegetable derived. It also is white in color. I love Candelilla Wax and Carnauba Wax but I was using other items in my formulation to achieve a beautiful yellow color. I wanted to a lighter opacity that would affect the color of my finished product.
I also added Lanolin. Lanolin is great at creating barriers for moisture. This means it prevents the water from evaporating, allowing your skin to remain moisturized and soft. One of my favorite things about lanolin is that a very small amount goes a long way. Yay for lanolin!
Next I added Golden Jojoba into my formulation. Jojoba Oil is actually a liquid wax. Its chemical structure makes it very similar to oils that are naturally occurring in the skin. This is why so many people say Jojoba Oil feels “natural” to them.
Finally, I added Squalane. It is very similar to the substance Squalene, which is a natural lubricant and moisturizer found in the skin. Squalane is derived from olives making it vegan! You will love Squalane because it really adds pizazz to your finished product.
Difficulty Rating: EASY
Start to finish: Less than 45 minutes*
Weigh everything except the Vitamin E Natural, Squalane, fragrance oil and color into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until everything has melted. (This will be at just about 150ºF so that the Soy Wax has been able to completely melt.) Add the Vitamin E Natural, Squalane and fragrance oil. Dip the end of a toothpick into the blue lip balm color and stir the color into the cuticle jelly. Allow the cuticle jelly to cool and pipette into lip brush pens. Insert the brush end into the tube and press until it snaps closed. Cap, label and enjoy!
|I find it fascinating when people are given the same basic materials but their finished products are completely different. That is one of my favorite things about challenges. Challenges seem to give people full reign of their creativity by forcing them to think outside the box. Check out what Karen thought of!
I LOVE this coffee soap. I love coffee and it’s just the best to use in the kitchen and after gardening. I made a 4X strength coffee for the liquid and added the used grinds to the soap. A little TD to give it a beautiful creamy (yeah, I love cream in my coffee) swirl. I added a touch of tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender essential oils. This could be the perfect soap ;*) And, it’s just beautiful (in my coffee hazed mind!) And yes, it’s a botanical. Coffee comes from trees, so there ya go.
Want to join in on the fun? Don’t forget, you have until July 18th to strut your stuff and have a chance to win an MMS gift certificate!
|While I had all of our great kits and other products out, I thought that it would be fun to get the kids to help me make some bath salts. They love to have products they make for use in the shower and tub, so this is an excellent idea for bonding time as well as some fantastically easy products to use for some summertime relaxing.
I gathered some Bath Salt Tubes, salt, water soluble colors, and fragrance oil and let the kids go ahead with mixing their own bath salts with the colors and fragrances they desire. Each tube holds approximately 4 oz of salt and we measured out enough to make four tubes of each fragrance. This will allow for sharing between the kids because they always want one of what the other has! (This seems to apply to ice cream as well.)
After measuring out 16 oz of salt, we added a few drops of premixed color in at a time, mixed thoroughly until we reached our desired color, then added in 4 ml of Green Tea and Cucumber Fragrance Oil, mixed again before filling salt tubes and capping. Remember to use the Fragrance Calculator when deciding how much fragrance or essential oil to use. If you use too much, you may end up smelling and/or tasting like your favorite scent for a week! This isn’t fun for you or anybody around you!
I hope this inspires you to find some projects you can do as you enjoy your summer. If it means making things with your kids, hosting a sleepover and craft night or even hosting a ladies craft night with your friends, this project is another way you can find a bunch of giggles! Bath salts are easy, simple and fun to make. If you have any ideas for some summertime products, share your ideas in the comment section! I’d love to see what you are creating.
|Sage is one of my favorite herbs. Now, I might be a little biased due to our name, but I love the scent of sun kissed sage in the afternoon. The warm, herbal scent is comforting to me. It doesn’t bring much of the way in food memories to mind, since I primarily grow the plant just for the looks rather than culinary uses.
As I can’t go anywhere without thinking what would be fun to use in soap, I decided to harvest some of the sage leaves and dry them for use in soap. I collected the leaves I wanted and then dried them on a cooling rack used for baking. It didn’t take much time for the sage leaves to dry in our arid Utah climate! After the sage had dried, I had a brown lunch bag filled with dried leaves.I decided to divide the amount into three groups so I could make three different soaps.
Join me today as I make my first batch of cold process soap with dried sage leaves and an oil infusion!
Collect needed items:
I began by weighing the oils into a microwave safe container. Then I placed into the microwave and gently heated. Once all the oils had been melted, I added the dry sage leaves to the oil. I let the leaves and oil sit for about 24 hours. When I came back the next day, the oil had solidified so I placed the container back in the microwave to melt the oil again.
While the oils were heating again, I weighed the lye. I slowly added the lye to a container of water I had measured out before melting the oils again. DO NOT add water to your container of lye.
Once the oil had been melted completely, I removed the sage leaves. The leaves were still relatively dry, despite sitting the oil for 24 hours. I suspect this is due to the fact that the oils had cooled and solidified. The weight of my oils changed by 0.08 of an ounce (2.27 grams), so I left my calculated lye amount as I had originally calculated. That being said, I won’t be doing that again! Next time, I will place my dried botanicals in a single oil (preferably liquid at room temperature) and then weigh out the needed amount of oil.
Once my lye solution and oils were within an ideal temperature range*, I slowly poured the lye solution into the oils. I used an immersion blender to mix the oils and lye solution together until I reached trace. After I achieved trace, I poured the soap into the mold and allowed the soap to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
I came back after 24 hours and cut the soap into bars. Then I placed the cut bars of soap on a piece of cardboard and arranged them to allow for good air flow between bars. I placed the bars on my curing shelf and made a note of their starting weight. As the curing process is the time that allows for any excess water to evaporate, soap cures fairly quickly in our dry climate.
Soap Notes: As I was mixing the soap, it had a slight pinkish hue. That pinkish hue did disappear while the soap was going through the gel phase and the final bar had a nice creamy color.
*Temperature Note: For most soaps, you will want to mix your oils and lye solution when both are somewhere between 110°F to 130°F. In the winter when your soaping area is cooler, you will want to soap at higher temperatures. In the summer when your soaping area is warmer, you will want to soap at cooler temperatures. This particular batch had temperatures around 120°F.
I had so much fun making this soap! Stop by tomorrow and we’ll try another batch with sage leaves!
|The Bubble Bath Gift Kit is one of my favorite kits to mix with the kids. My kids really enjoy taking a bubble bath, no matter their ages and I love how easy it is to put together. The labels that come with this kit even provide the perfect finishing touch for these bottles of Bubble Bath! Since I’ve had gaggles of kids hanging out at my house recently, I decided that I would recruit them into help me without them knowing that they are being helpful. Sshhh! Don’t tell them!
In return for their help, I have restocked my gift closet and the kids even got to take home their own bottles of Bubble Bath. Thankfully school is starting soon because I’d like to send all these kids home!
The Bubble Bath Gift Kit comes complete with -
1 gallon of Bubble Bath Base – that’s 128 oz of bubble making fun!
This kit only took a few minutes to put together, I emptied the 1 fl oz bottle of fragrance into the gallon jug of Bubble Bath and handed it over to the kids for mixing. Good thinking on my part, right? After letting the kids jump around the house as they shook the gallon, the fragrance and Bubble Bath were fully mixed. We placed the pump into the jug and pumped it directly into the frosted bottles, capped the containers and put the cute labels on. As we used Juicy Grape, the kids will definitely enjoy their next bath and I have some extras for all those “sudden” birthday gifts that are going to be needed soon.
I hope that you try any of the kits for the next time you need a fun project and gifts in your gift closet. They are definitely worth it!
I’ve been working on some ideas for new kit combinations using our fantastic bases. I love the ability to use our gift kits when I have an emergency gift I need to make, friends to entertain or even planned out gift baskets for special events like Christmas, birthdays or even just because!
Once I get some ideas from you, I’ll take them to the Graphics Team and we will design some new labels for the kits. If you have any thoughts on that front we would love to hear them!
I am running on a deadline for this project and I will need your ideas by July 25th, 2014. To submit your idea(s), simply tell me in the comments below or use the Contact Us page. Please make sure that your e-mail is correct so I can send a message back to you. We wouldn’t want you to miss out if we choose your idea. You can submit one idea or multiple ideas. No idea is too small! I’ll listen to them all!
Once we have the new kits ready to release, all participants will be among the first to know! If you didn’t enter any ideas, don’t worry. Our loyal blog readers will also get the list of the new kits a few days later. How cool is that?
So, what do you “win” if we choose one of your ideas?
- A bundle of virtual hugs!
- A really awesome goodie box from the Blog Kitchen.
- A special note card from all of us here!
Is your brain already coming up with ideas? If so, yay! We want to hear them! If not, pop on over to the catalog for inspiration. I can’t wait to see what you create!
A) Amethyst Pink is a dye. The color is migratory and can move throughout the bar of soap, making this color not a great option when attempting swirl bars. We recommend diluting this colorant into liquid glycerin because the color is very intense when used as a powder and it is far too easy to use too much. The customer had already put a 1/2 oz jar into 16 oz of liquid glycerin and the bottle was capped and shaken. For an 8 lb fat batch of cold process soap, we recommend starting with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for the whole batch. Add until the color is just a bit too dark for the desired soap. Why too dark in the pot? Because soap is translucent in the pot and opaque in bar form so while translucent it appears darker and while opaque it appears lighter. This is why when we add a bit too much it is not nearly so alarming when we look at the soap the next day. Remember, the color should only be a BIT darker in the pot than you desire in the finished soap.
Q) How do I fix a batch of soap where I used too much color?
A) The solution to pollution is dilution. An overly scented bar of soap (I mean OVERLY!) is the same as a brilliantly colored soap – unusable. The best bet to diluting this problem is to either chop or grate the finished soap into shreds or mini cubes then toss them into a new batch that is uncolored or very lightly scented (if at all). I’ve had 2 lbs of fat converted to soap and had the soap maker use 4 ounces of essential oil to scent. That is a polluted bar of soap! Dilute and save the day, and the batch of soap! How do you know if the soap has too much color? Use a white wash cloth and test. You should be able to rinse the cloth completely at the sink and not need a washing machine to finish the job. How do you know if too much scent is used? You can’t smell anything else and when in the tight quarters of a shower your eyes may even burn!
Q) How does a person use the bases? I mean like the lotion or body butter.
A) Scenting the body butters, lotions, shampoo and all of these other bases is easy! Add fragrance and color as desired. Most of the fruit, fresh or herbaceous fragrance oils will need 1 fl oz (sometimes less!) for the entire gallon of base. Add a few drops of color and stir until the whole gallon is evenly colored and the fragrance has been added. Using a strong essential oil or fragrance oil? Use our Fragrance Calculator to get the correct amount of scent! You are always ahead by scenting with half the amount of scent today, mixing well, and leaving for tomorrow. A fresh nose and a clear head do wonders for thinking and finishing a project. Because lotions can be used over and over and over throughout the day it is best to scent more subtly because the layers will build upon each other. You still want to a be socially acceptable in an elevator compartment!
Q) Should I start with the bases or the raw materials to make lotions and lip balms? I have a very limited budget.
A) Starting with the bases means your costs are the base, color (if desired), fragrance (if desired) and containers. This means you can get started for less than $50 for your project. If you start with the raw materials you will need a scale and a wide range of supplies. The MMS bases are not economy type products, they are premium, top-notch, and comparable to what you can make on your own. We know you are seeking quality products and we don’t ever cut quality. If you have a budget of at least $500 to play and you want to make lotions, lip balms and similar products then I would suggest you start with the raw material route. Being honest with yourself is very important. There are lots of raw materials you will wish to try and having a quality scale will make your time far more enjoyable. Fighting your scale is never a fun time and this one item can make or break your success with this hobby. I think those who invest in a quality scale at the onset will find their hobby to be more profitable than those who scrimp on this one purchase. If you don’t know about budgets, may I suggest Dave Ramsey?
The holiday landing on a work day always slows shipping times just a bit. Right now we are shipping almost all orders on the schedule given when the order is placed. Tomorrow we leave early and that means UPS and USPS are shipped early.
If you need anything, please put your order in today! Let us get it out the door before the holiday arrives. If you need a few hours to figure out what supplies are too low in your studio, take this evening and do a search. Put your order in overnight and we will grab it first thing tomorrow morning. Our goal is to get everything shipped by the time our phones go into HOLIDAY ANNOUNCEMENT mode at noon, MDST.
Want a preview of our holiday message? Here it is:
Dear MMS Customers, You rock! We are celebrating the 4th of July right now but we will be back on Monday, July 7. Any orders placed on the website will be processed on Monday and our target is to get everything shipped that day. Have a safe holiday. Enjoy the BBQ, the fireworks, Family and friends, weather and all things we love about the 4th of July. Thank you for celebrating with us. May freedom continue to bring so many people to peace.
|I think salt is amazing. Add a little to food and the flavors pop on your palette. Add salt to oils and you have an easy body scrub. Add salt to watercolors and get beautiful effects. Add salt to ice and you can make ice cream! Salt is truly amazing.
So when Andee approached me the other day and asked me to make a margarita lip scrub with some salt, I immediately said YES! There was no way I was going to pass up a chance at making a lip scrub using the beautifully multicolored salt from Utah. After all, why not use items that are available locally?!
I used my Sweet & Salty Chocolate Bacon Lip Scrub as a starting place for creating this recipe. I did change around a few items to create a creamy and smooth base that I could then add the sugar and salt to. I think the addition of salt makes this flavor oil seem all the more true. Yummy! I will be sending over 50 samples to shipping department to go out with orders. (That is if I can keep my coworkers from taking all of the jars home. You had better hurry quick!) Request one in your next order to try how good this is for yourself!
Weigh the beeswax, Mango Butter and Sunflower Oil into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. In a separate container mix the sugar and salt, making sure they are distributed evenly. Add the salt/sugar mixture, Margarita Flavor Oil and Vitamin E Acetate to the melted oils. Stir well. Put into jars or pots for use. Enjoy!
Notes: Much to my chagrin, I discovered I had not added the color until after the salt and sugar were added. As you can see from my photos it made mixing so difficult, I had to dump my product into a plastic bag. I HIGHLY recommend that you add any desired colors to the liquid oils prior to adding the salt/sugar mixture. It will make your life much easier.