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Make It Yourself: Candlemania!

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (1)


When i decided to take on candle making a few years ago, I thought it couldn't be easier. Melt the wax, pour into molds with a wick, and let it dry. "How hard can it be?"- famous last words!!


Making candles can be fun and easy if you know a few tricks, and I am here to share mine with you today! I purchase all of my candle making supplies at Candlewic- they have excellent quality, and haven't steered me wrong yet. (Yes, I am an affiliate, but only because I believe in their company so much!)


So let's get to it!


What You Need:

Candle wax: (1 lb. of wax will make about 10 votive candles)- votives are small, so a specialty wax really isn't necessary. Beeswax works fine as well as the soy wax work just as well as the pillar/votive wax for these.


Double Boiler (if you don't have a double boiler, a soup pot and a glass pyrex measuring cup with canning lids in between works great)


Wicks: I prefer to use wicks that are made for votives- they have metal discs at the bottom to keep them flat and anchored.


Coloring: This is optional. I use coloring made for candles, but I have heard of people using crayons as well.


Scent: Also optional, but who doesn't love a great smelling candle! I use scents designed for candles. A good amount of scent to use is 5-7%.  Essential oils work for this as well, but remember that essential oils are potent, so start small and increase as desired.


Molds: I as lucky- When I first decided to make candles, there was an offer for free votive molds, so mine were free! In case don't want to spend the money on metal molds, I experimented for you, and found that the little plastic "bath cups" you buy at the grocery store work too! The cups I used were 3 oz. plastic cups that I picked up for a couple of dollars for 100 cups. These are bigger than votive candles, so you will get fewer candles per pound.


After the tutorial, I will show you a few other candle ideas I have done with make shift containers and molds.


Thermometer: A candy or meat thermometer is great for this- 175 degrees is the perfect temperature for votive candles.


Parchment or Wax Paper: No matter how careful you are, making candles is messy. Having this layer between the molds and your counter not only speeds up clean-up, but will save your counter from the coloring stains. (voice of experience)




Let's make candles!!




1.) Set up the double boiler on the stove and put your wax on top to melt.



2.) While you're waiting for your wax to melt, set up your molds, wicks, coloring, and scents. Don't forget your layer of parchment or wax paper!!! Once your wax is melted, it goes pretty quickly.



3.) Once your wax is melted and consistently has a temperature of 175 degrees, it's time to put in your color and scent. Stir for several minutes to make sure evenly is mixed evenly.


4.) You're finally ready to pour you wax into the molds! Pour it close to the top, but not quite. Save some wax- once this has cooled, you're going to top it off with more. This is one of the tricks I had to learn along the way...




5.) Once you start to see a bit of wax hardening along the top edge, it's time to put in your wicks. Focus on getting the bottom centered- once that's centered, you'll have a few minutes to play with the string part. Don't worry about messing up the wax- we're going to add another layer, remember?




6.) Once the wax had hardened and cooled, reheat the remaining wax, and pour to top off your candles. I personally like a little lip at the top of my votives, so I pour as much as I can in mine. Make sure your wicks are straight. This will dry relatively quickly- about 15 minutes and you can remove from the molds.


7.) Enjoy your candles!


Tips For Easy Clean Up


Since you used parchment paper on the counters, that's easy, but you still have your molds (if you're using reusable molds) and your pans from your double boiler. Here's a fantastic trick I learned along the way:

Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Place your waxy stuff upside down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and put in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. The wax melts off, and can be wiped clean with a paper towel! Then, wash as normal.


Other Fun Candles:


You can use just about anything that will hold hot liquid as a mold, but there are a ton of things you can use for container candles as well! The only differences in technique from above is that you will hot glue your wick to the center bottom of your container, and obviously, you won't pull your candle from the mold! Check these out!



Tea cups or coffee cups! Hot glue the saucer to the cup- these are too cute! Keep an eye out at thrift stores for cute looking cups!



Using canning jars is an easy, accessible option. These are little 4 oz. jars. I have done up to pint jars. If you want bigger candles, make sure your jar is a wide mouth so the flame gets enough oxygen to keep it going.


I have seen cute candles made with terra cotta pots as well, but I haven't personally tried it yet. Use your imagination and see what great things you can come up with!


Looking for incredible candles without the mess? Look no further! Check out our Homestead Candles!



Candlewic Candle and Soap Making Supplies

Make It Yourself: All Natural Hand Sanitizer

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I get it- the world is a germy place...and everyone wants to keep away from all of the icky germs that make us sick. BUT I have always been against using store bought hand sanitizer. Not only is it full of nasty chemicals that I have a hard time pronouncing, but most hand sanitizer not only kills the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria that protects us from the bad.

Essential oils, on the other hand, have been used for their antibacterial and antiviral properties for centuries. They can keep the bad bacteria away without killing off the good bacteria.

Making your own is so quick and easy, you'll wonder why you haven't done it before now. The following recipe has vodka in it, but you can easily substitute it for more witch hazel. Alcohol is a fabulous disinfectant, so please don't discount it quickly.


Ingredients:

2 tsp. witch hazel
2 oz. vodka
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial)
5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial)
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, disinfectant)

Put all of the ingredients together in a spray bottle or roll top applicator and use as normal.

Another option is to add aloe vera gel until it's a nice thicker consistency /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} , and put in a small squirt bottle (like the store bought versions).

This is a power packed combination with a nice, clean lemon scent- you can't go wrong!

Want All Natural Hand Sanitzer, but don't have time to make it? You can buy it here!

Make It Yourself: Nail and Cuticle Salve

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Having healthy fingernails and cuticles isn't just for girly-girls. Admittedly, I don't spend a lot of time primping my nails- you'll find no sparkly nail polish, and in the summer, I'm lucky to get them clean. But, having healthy, strong fingernails has saved me from many potential finger disasters, and I can't deny the help they bring me on a daily basis.


Repairing and strengthening our nails and cuticles can be done without expensive product or chemicals- and I'm going to show you how!




What You'll Need

1/2 oz. Oatstraw- contains a high amount of silica essential to strengthening and repairing weak   and brittle nails

1/4 oz. Chamomile- anti-fungal and anti-bacterial

1/4 oz. Calendula- healing, nourishing, and strengthening

6 oz.  Olive oil ( I always make more than the needed recipe- 4 oz. for this recipe- some always gets lost)

1 oz. Beeswax

1 tsp. Neem Oil- Contains Vitamin E which is healing for both nails and cuticles

1/2 tsp. Tea Tree Oil- antiseptic and anti-fungal

1/4 tsp. Lavender essential oil- antibacterial, anti-viral, and it smells nice

Oven safe dish

Double boiler

cheesecloth

spatula

tins or jars


How To Make

1. Put the herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with oil. mix together to make sure the herbs are covered in oil. Place in a 150-200 degree oven for 2-3 hours. Strain with cheesecloth- make sure to squeeze all of the goodness out of the herbs!

2. Place 4oz. infused oil and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted.

3. Remove from heat and add the neem oil, tea tree oil, and lavender essential oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly.

4. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.






Once it's completely cooled, label and apply twice daily to strengthen and repair nails and cuticles! It will last at least a year. 


 Want the benefits of this salve, but no mess? You can purchase it here!



And the Winner of the Summertime Herbal Remedy Pack Is....

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Woo Hoo! It's finally time to pick the winner for the Summertime Herbal Remedy Giveaway! This has been such a fun sweepstakes to have! I got to hear all of your summer plans, talk to new people at the Farmer's Market, and most of all, I have a chance to help someone become more natural in their lives! I think I win as much as the winner! Thank you all so much for entering!


The Winner will receive:

Pure and Natural Anti-Itch Soap

All Natural Bug Repellent

Herbal Antiseptic Spray

Sunburn Soother

Quit Bugging Me

No More Itch Stick

Honey Burn Relief

Herbal Pain Relief

Poison Ivy/Oak Relief

All Natural Healing Salve (2 oz.)

Black Drawing Salve (2 oz.)

Swimmer's Ear Relief

all in a convenient cooler! A $75 Value!

AND I also added in the NEW Poison Ivy/Oak Relief Spray!


This prize is so awesome, even I'm jealous!


Alright...enough teasing...the winner of the Summertime Herbal Remedy Giveaway is....


Drumroll, please....


Mary Schaefer!!!


Congratulations Mary, you will be receiving an email shortly!


If your name was not selected, the Summertime Herbal Remedy Kit is available for purchase here!

There is also a mini kit available here!


BEFORE YOU GO!


Before you leave, I have an exciting announcement! For the month of July, all Pure and Natural Soaps are 30% off! This deal happens about once ayear! Hop on over to the web store to stick up on your favorites!


Also, beginning August 1, I will be raising the price of the Pure and Natural Complete Sampler Pack by $5.00. I have added several new soaps since the pack has been introduced, and now it's time for the price to reflect it. You still have all of July to try each and every kind of Pure and Natural Soap for a great Price! (The new price is great too!)


HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!



 

 

 

Summertime Herbal Remedy Pack Giveaway!

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (40)


It's summertime! It's hot, sunny, and the air carries the smell of fun! What are your fabulous plans this summer? Going on a long holiday? How about some camping time in the woods? Or maybe, you'll be staycationing at home in the peace of your garden?


Whatever your plans, sometimes accidents happen. Wouldn't it be great to have this herbal remedy kit ready for your cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, bugs, and poion plant encounters? I have one just like this ready to go!


The kit includes:

Pure and Natural Anti-Itch Soap

All Natural Bug Repellent

Herbal Antiseptic Spray

Sunburn Soother

Quit Bugging Me

No More Itch Stick

Honey Burn Relief

Herbal Pain Relief

Poison Ivy/Oak Relief

All Natural Healing Salve (2 oz.)

Black Drawing Salve (2 oz.)

Swimmer's Ear Relief

all in a convenient cooler! A $75 Value!


How cool is this?!


There are three chances to win!


1.) You can like my facebook page (you already do, don't you?!)


2.) Comment on this post telling me what your fabulous summer plans are!


3.) Follow Annie's Homestead/The Holistic homestead's blog (click the Follow Me on the right)


4.) Visit me at the Lynchburg, TN Farmers Market Fridays from 3p.m.-6p.m. and fill out an old fashioned entry.


It's that easy! On July 1, 2013, the all knowing Rafflecoptor will pick a winner- will it be you?! Good Luck to all of you!




Making Tinctures and a Recipe for Soothing Bug Bites

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)



It all starts with a little bug...with an appetite- then ZAP- He got you! The itching, the redness, it's maddening!!!

What if I told that one drop could ease your pain? It's true, and I'm going to show you exactly how to make it!

BUT FIRST...let me take you back a few months...

There are three tinctures in this recipe, so let's go over how to make a tincture.

How To Make A Tincture

Making a tincture is so easy, and requires only two ingredients- herb and alcohol (I use 100 proof vodka).

Fill a mason jar about 3/4 way of herb (1/3 for roots) and cover completely (I usually fill the jar) with your alcohol. As I said before, I always use 100 proof vodka.

Label your jar with the herb name, the Latin name (ok, I'm being a geek, but I always do), and the creation dat.

Store in a cool, dark cupboard for 8 weeks, shaking every other day. make sure to check your alcohol level- if it's evaporating to show the herbs, add more.

Once the 8 weeks has past, strain the liquid from the herb and keep in a dark bottle, in the cupboard or cool, dark spot. This will last for years.

A great post to go further in depth with tinctures is one of my favorite blogs: The Mountain Rose Blog.



Now, on to the Bug Bite Relief!!!



Bug Bite Relief

Ingredients

4 tsp. witch hazel
1 tsp. aloe vera juice
30 drops plantain tincture
30 drops calendula tincture
30 drops yarrow tincture
24 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops tea tree essential oil

Combine all the ingredients and shake well. Keep in a dark glass bottle. You an either use a dropper (what I did) or a mister top. Use within 6 months.

This makes a little over an ounce, but as I said earlier- one drop/spritz does the trick!

Want relief without the hassle of making it yourself? You can purchase the finished product here!

Pain, Pain, Go Away

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (1)

As you may know, I have already done a pain relieving salve, and I still adore it, but after doing some research, I can't ignore the benefits of these amazing herbal blends. And so, I share with you, two new pain salves.


Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for centuries to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, help bruises, and sprains. Arnica should not be used on broken skin, and should not be taken internally without the supervision of a medical professional.

I do want to add that Arnica montana is on the "watch list" due to heavy levels of harvesting. Please purchase this herb from a sustainable source, or better yet, grow it yourself!


Cayenne Pepper, another powerhouse for pain and reducing inflammation! The heat of cayenne (which doesn't burn on the skin, I promise) warms the body, dilating capillaries, and stimulates circulation. When using cayenne, and while applying anything with cayenne, ALWAYS wash your hands afterwards. I don't have to tell you how much it burns the eyes, nose, and mouth when touched.


Comfrey, oh my wonderful love comfrey...Comfrey is amazing for bruises, sprains, strains, broken bones, swelling, cuts, bug bites...you name it!


Rosemary and Peppermint Essential Oil not only smell fantastic, but are the perfect addition to any pain relieving remedy.


Alright, on to the salve recipes!


Arnica Cayenne For Pain Relief (Too Hot For Pain)


To start, we need to make an Arnica Cayenne infused oil.

6 oz. Arnica flowers (dried)

4 TBSP. Cayenne Powder

16 oz. Castor Oil (you can use olive oil, or another carrier oil)  I use Castor Oil because of it's ability to really penetrate the muscles


If you haven't made infused oils before, read how here.


For the salve:


6 oz. Arnica Cayenne Infused Oil

.75 oz. Beeswax

15 drops Vitamin E oil

15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil


Place the infused oil and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the essential oils and the vitamin E oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.


Don't feel like messing around making this? You can buy it here.



Arnica Comfrey For Pain Relief (Too Cool For Pain)


4 oz. Arnica Infused Oil

2 oz. Comfrey Infused Oil

.75 oz. Beeswax

15 drops Vitamin E Oil

15 drops Peppermint Essential oil

15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil



Place the infused oil and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the essential oils and the vitamin E oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.

 

 

Don't feel like messing around making this? You can buy it here.



In closing, I just want to remind you to please, please, please research EVERYTHING you read here and the rest of the internet. What works well for me, may be very different that you and yours.




 

 

 

 

 

Black Drawing Salve, Not Just For Granny Anymore

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Black Drawing Salve has been used for generations for splinters, bee stings, bug bites, infection, boils, and anything that needs to "draw" the poison out.

The main characters of this salve are Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay- both well regarded for absorbing poison from the body. This salve also has lavender essential oil (antiseptic, antibacterial) and tea tree essential oil (antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral)


What you'll Need

2 TBSP Beeswax
8 TBSP Coconut oil
1 TSP Vitamin E oil
2 TBSP Activated Charcoal
3 TBSP Bentonite Clay
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
5 drops Tee Tree Essential Oil (optional)


Melt the coconut over a double boiler, add beeswax and melt.

Take off the heat and add the Vitamin E oil, Activated Charcoal, and Bentonite Clay- stir to dissolve (when you think you've stirred enough- stir a little more- by this time, it's black, and difficult to see if you've dissolved everything).

Add your essential oils, still stirring, and pour into tins or jars.

To Use: Apply a small amount to the affected area, cover with gauze, and replace daily.



As you can see this is very black, and can get messy- I will say that it hasn't stained my counter, and while the activated charcoal stained my hand, when it was in the salve, it didn't stain my skin.

Want to make this salve, but don't quite know where to start? How about our Make It Yourself Kit?

Want the benefits of this Black Drawing Salve NOW? You can purchase some here.


Pain Relief Salve, Herbal Decongestant Salve, and How They Are One

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (5)



When I started this planning this project, I had a recipe that I was going to follow. Nice, clean, easy...BUT, the mad scientist in me had other plans! BWAHAHAHA!


The original recipe used coconut oil as it's base. I was good with that...until I read a great article on the wonderful benefits of castor oil, in which is states:


"When used externally (rubbed into the skin), castor oil is able to penetrate deeper than any other essential plant oil. Rubbing castor oil on the skin can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, detoxify the body and boost lymphatic circulation." (read the rest of the article here.)


Well, that was enough for me to start tweaking! But I wasn't convinced that castor oil would be a solid enough substitution for the coconut oil, which, turns pretty solid as it cools...So, I tried both! When both batches were finished, I found that they needed more essential oils. Fine- into the oven at 150 degrees just until melted, add the essential oils, stir and let re-harden.


Then it was time to get all touchy-feely with it. Between the two, the castor oil won when it came to consistency. They both rocked though!


And now, I give you the tweaked, perfect recipe for pain relief AND an herbal decongestant!


Ingredients

1/2 cup Castor oil

2 tsp. Beeswax pellets

10 drops Camphor Essential Oil

10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

10 drops Eucalyptus Oil


Place the castor oil and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the essential oils. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.


*Always, Always, Always try it on a small patch of skin to make sure your skin is good with ANY topical product!


Want the benefits of this incredible Pain Relief herbal salve but don't have time to make it? You can get it here!


But Wait! There's More!


What did I do with the coconut oil batch, you ask?! Well, on my To-Do list was also making an herbal decongestant salve. What I found was that the recipes were almost identical! AND, while making this, I felt the decongestant action of this salve! So, you can use either oil for both pain relief and taking care of your congestion.


Since I have it already made, I give you a lovely Herbal Decongestant!




Herbal Healing Salve

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (2)


This all natural herbal salve is great for just about everything! Use it on scrapes, cuts, minor burns, sunburn, chapped skin and lips, rashes, even ring worm. And it's so easy to make!




What You Need:


1 oz. Calendula Infused Oil

1 oz. Comfrey Infused Oil

1 oz. St. John's Wort infused Oil

1 oz. Plantain Infused Oil

10 drops Vitamin E Oil

20 drops Lavender Essential Oil

1/2-3/4 oz. Beeswax (I use Candelilla wax for vegan friendly recipes), depending on the hardness you like

Glass jars or tins


In a previous post, I talk about making Infused Oils. If you haven't already made these oils, and you want to start making your salve today, here's an alternative:


1/2 oz. Calendula

1/2 oz. Comfrey

1/2 oz. St. Johns Wort

1/2 oz. Plantain

6 oz. Olive oil ( I always make more than the needed recipe- 4 oz. for this recipe- some always gets lost)

Put the herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with oil. mix together to make sure the herbs are covered in oil. Place in a 150-200 degree oven for 2-3 hours. Strain with cheesecloth- make sure to squeeze all of the goodness out of the herbs!


Now, back to making salve...


Place the infused oils and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the lavender essential oil and the vitamin E oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.



Once it's completely cooled, label and used when needed! It will last at least a year. 


Want to make this salve, but don't quite know where to start? How about our Make It Yourself Kit?


Want the benefits of this incredible herbal salve but don't have time to make it? You can get it here!



11/12/12


Once you start making your salves, it's hard to stop- my newest addiction! By following the ration above (4 oz. infused oil to 1/2-3/4oz. beeswax) the sky is the limit! Here's a few amazing different salves to try:



Take Me Away


2 oz. lavender infused oil

2 oz. peppermint infused oil

1/2-3/4 oz. beeswax

15 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops peppermint essential oil

10 drops Vitamin E oil (optional)



Place the infused oils and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the lavender essential oil and the vitamin E oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.


This salve is amazing for dry skin- especially the rough patches on your elbows and knees. It's also perfect for headaches, nervousness, and stress! Massage it on your temples, forehead, or back of your neck, relax and feel the pain and stress leave.


Want the benefits of this incredible herbal salve but don't have time to make it? You can get it here!


For more information about the benefits of Lavender, click here.

For more information about the benefits of Peppermint, click here.


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