15 Smart DIY Holiday Gift Ideas From Pinterest

Pinterest A thoughtful gift you made yourself says even more than a high price tag.  Pinterest is a major destination for crafty people looking for inspiration. We prowled Pinterest to find some of the best DIY treasures that you can gift your loved ones this holiday season.  With these homemade gifts, you could even avoid the mall altogether. Make your favorite photographer a more stylish …
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From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil

Picking Oranges
Maria Teijeiro / Getty Images

Several folks have written saying how much they love the Orange Creamsicle soap recipe I posted earlier this week. It’s the first time I’ve used orange essential oil in a while, and I’m glad I did. I used to use it a lot…but have gotten out of the habit. It’s uplifting, versatile, affordable and delightful – and really marvelous in practically any blend for soaps and candles. It also has many other household uses.

Orange Essential Oil in Soap Making and Candle Making

From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 13:40:38.

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Soap, Dignity & Faith – an Update from Haiti

Hopefully you remember the story of the Lovin Soap Project which has been traveling to Haiti to teach women in tent villages how to make soap – and through it, transform their lives. Amanda Gail and Benjamin Aaron are back in Haiti today, working with the women of the OFEDA tent camp. Talk of body care products was weighed down with heavy news that the women are going to be evicted from the land the camp is on. So not only are they losing their homes, but the community they have built.

There are still glimmers of hope, however strained it may be. As Benjamin wrote to me today, “Soapmaking and bodycare production are the vehicle in which positive and fruitful change will come to pass. Under the circumstances of today’s events, which aren’t anything we can really grasp, they showed up. The women we teach have complete faith in the process, in themselves and us. They know they will be successful.”

Take a minute to read the whole story at the Lovin Soap Project website. You can learn more about the project and how to lend your support.

Soap, Dignity & Faith – an Update from Haiti originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 18:56:52.

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Where Do Essential Oils Come From?

distillation of essential oils
Original Artist: Stradamus – Hulton Archive / Getty Images

I’m doing some cleaning and organizing in my essential oil closet. I find myself sniffing every bottle and just reveling in how lucious all of these scents are! I’ve stated many times how much awe and appreciation I have for essential oils. They are amazing and powerful natural elements! We may know that they come directly from the plant’s “essence” – but how do they get extracted from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots or other parts of the plants? Here’s more information about water and steam distillation of essential oils.

“When we peel an orange, walk through a rose garden, or rub a sprig of lavender between our fingers…what exactly is it that we can smell? Generally speaking, it is essential oils that give spices and herbs their specific scent and flavour, flowers and fruit their perfume.” – Julia Lawless inThe Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils

Where Do Essential Oils Come From? originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at 14:40:07.

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A New Soapmaking Book from Two Expert Soapmakers

Natural Soapmaking HandbookIf you remember “Soap Naturally: Ingredients, Methods and Recipes for Natural Handmade Soap” by Patrizia Garzena and Marina Tadiello, you qualify as a “longtime” soap maker. Their book, which is now long out of print, was one of the first comprehensive overviews of soapmaking. Well, this dynamic duo of soapmakers has come out with a new series of books, designed to be affordable, yet useful, called “The Super-Naturally Series.” The first of the books, “The Natural Soapmaking Handbook” is a marvelous compendium of all things soap – and I do mean all things soap. In just 150 pages, they cover (or at least discuss) practically every method and variation of “from scratch” soapmaking – cold process, hot process, liquid, transparent, whipped, and more.

Read more about this great new addition to my library of soap making books.

A New Soapmaking Book from Two Expert Soapmakers originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Monday, July 29th, 2013 at 21:19:05.

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Where Do Essential Oils Come From?

distillation of essential oils
Original Artist: Stradamus – Hulton Archive / Getty Images

I’ve stated many times how much awe and appreciation I have for essential oils. They are amazing and powerful natural elements! We may know that they come directly from the plant’s “essence” – but how do they get extracted from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots or other parts of the plants? Here’s more information about water and steam distillation of essential oils.

“When we peel an orange, walk through a rose garden, or rub a sprig of lavender between our fingers…what exactly is it that we can smell? Generally speaking, it is essential oils that give spices and herbs their specific scent and flavour, flowers and fruit their perfume.” – Julia Lawless inThe Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils

Where Do Essential Oils Come From? originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 at 23:21:07.

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From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil

Picking Oranges
Maria Teijeiro / Getty Images

Uplifting, versatile, affordable and delightful – second only to lavender, orange essential oil would be the one that I most recommend be in your soap and candle making cabinet. It’s marvelous in practically any blend for soaps and candles and has many other household uses.

Orange Essential Oil in Soap Making and Candle Making

From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 at 13:40:38.

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