Making Yogurt Edition








   Letter from the Editor

The photos above have not had a chance to make it in the last newsletter, so above to the very left is the lavender deodorant, (everyone seemed to like the best,) rose bath oil (in front of the deodorant,) bath salts in the background heart shaped bottle, rosemary mouthwash to the right of the salts, and mango bath oil on the right hand side in what I call the "Mr. Moon" bottle.   Chocolate perfume, strawberry-e lip balm and angel tarts for aroma warmers are front and center.  My own patio citronella soy candle shot is to the right.  

I attended a craft show recently and was surprised to see a lady selling a dry "chocolate truffle mask."  She raved about how great chocolate is for your skin and that you could even eat it.  Of course I ran home and mixed one half cocoa powder with one half powdered oatmeal and then mixed it with honey to go all over my face.  I also threw in a few tablespoons of dry milk and corn meal to exfoliate.  I left it on 20 minutes, rubbing it in a bit. Afterward, more pores did look smaller.  The vendor recommended her mask to be mixed with water, but I know honey is great for the skin too.  In fact, this chocolate, oatmeal and honey concoction is great for the bath also.  PERLIER, a French company has always been renowned for their skin softening bath gel with real honey.  So, in a pinch you can mix one half real honey with one half milk bath foam.  It does make the skin so soft.

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Making Your Own Yogurt  I love yogurt and I make smoothies everyday, but always believed it would cost more to make yogurt than to buy it.  I figured it would take an entire gallon milk to make a few cups of yogurt.  I was very wrong.  Encouraged by a good friend of mine I went out and found "the" yogurt appliance (skipping the do it yourself beer coolers as old incubator methods) as I still prefer a time controlled appliance that I cannot mess up.  I found what I consider the best yogurt maker (Donvier) along with an unusual Bulgarian yogurt culture "starter" with acidophilus that promised to be much "richer" than the average starters on the market.  The Donvier model is about $47.  Salton, (photo on left) I discovered, also makes great yogurt, and is more affordable (about $27) skipping the cups and allowing for a one quart batch.  When you make yogurt, you do need to have milk and a good starter, always keeping some aside as start for the next time around.  The strain will weaken over time.  Well now sell the Salton yogurt maker for $29.95 and that includes a pack of the Bulgarian starter and recipe book.


I found a gallon of milk does make about a gallon of yogurt.  How very cool.  I initially hit the local stores, such as Sears and Wal-Mart and all they sold was Yogurt/Ice Cream Makers.  Those units do not make yogurt--they freeze it.  I think the sales reps never did understand what I was after.  I also hit the health food store and it does not behoove them to sell methods to make your own yogurt.  Okay, I understand. They did sell starter for yogurt makers, but it did not seem to be anything special. I had to order one direct from a manufacturer and they hooked me up with all kinds of goodies, including a unit that makes a kind of cream cheese out of the yogurt if you desire to do that as an extra step.      

The day I got my box I went nuts and got right on it.  I watched that process like I was about to deliver a baby.  My kids thought is was very cool too.  They already plan to make yogurt ice cream with our ice cream maker.  I then wrote Yogurt 2003 with basic recipes and a few great smoothie recipes. Click here to download the 5 page PDF.  Once you make your own yogurt you will never want to buy store bought again.  It is just that much better!

Basics to Making Yogurt

You would first add your gallon of milk and any dry milk or condensed milk to make it rich.  However, these are not necessary to add.  Then you have to scald the milk in the microwave until steaming to kill and bad bacteria.  After your sterile milk cools down to 110 Degrees you add your starter.  That is, either a few tablespoons of store bought yogurt (at room temp) or a starter you buy in a dry pack.  We do like the Bulgarian starter sold in Quebec City.  Once the starter is well incorporated, you then keep the yogurt at 108 to 112 degrees for at least 3 hours trying not to disturb it.  

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Bouquet Basics

Create a perfect floral arrangement every time with these easy directions:  Choose a single bloom as the focus of your bouquet and hold it in the center of the vase at the desired, (measure from the outside of the vase).   Clip the stem on an angel to let the flower drink (flat-cut stems sit flat  on the bottom  of the vase preventing entry of water to the stems). 

Continue clipping each stem so that your finished arrangements appear arched, or rainbow shaped.  I still insist to select flowers such as carnations and snap dragons that offer weeks of life.

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Making Your Own Sweet Cleaners


You can make your own aromatherapy cleaning products with essential oils, sold at health food stores and other locations.

• For hardwood floors: Add a capful of citrus-infused vinegar and a few drops lemon, pine, cinnamon or tea tree oil to a gallon of warm water; make the infused vinegar by saving citrus peels and placing them in a bottle of mild vinegar.

• For kitchen counters: Add a few drops of peppermint or rosemary oil to warm water for cleaning.

• For dishes and windows: Add 15 drops of bergamot to a 10-ounce bottle of biodegradable dishwashing liquid.

• In the dishwasher: Put two drops of lemon or orange oil in the detergent compartment to keep the dishwasher itself (not the dishes) smelling sweet.

• In the trash can: Two or three drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball in the bottom of the can will deodorize it for several days.

• In the dryer: A few drops of lavender essential oil on a clean cloth will freshen clothes as they dry.

• In your car: Five drops of bergamot oil on a cotton ball inside the heating vent should provide distressing effects for up to five days.

• In the bed: Tuck a cotton ball with two drops of lavender, clary sage or chamomile oil inside a pillowcase for restful sleep.

Does the thought of spring cleaning make you anxious or glum? Over stimulated or lethargic? No matter which way your attitude needs adjusting, aromatherapy can help, its adherents say. Here's a guide to some essential oils that should put you in the right state of mind.

• Uplifting: Peppermint, rosemary, spearmint

• Invigorating: Meyer lemon, orange, bergamot

• Relaxing: Lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage

• Distressing: Bergamot, sandalwood, geranium. 

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Nuclear Bath Bombs

How about a purple bath melt ball surrounded by a white bath bomb outer shell?  Bath Bombs are like giant alka-seltzers for your bath - they spin, whirl and swirl in your bath while releasing scent and skin-softening agents. They make bath time SUPER fun and we found a way to re-invent the basic bomb!  Using a lavender bath melt recipe for the core, we packed the exterior with our vanilla bath bomb recipe.  We did try to cut the product in half to demonstrate but that did not work too well!  Still we aim to try other colors and scents together.  

Ice Pops

Most likely available at Wal-Mart, these molds are great to have around.  We use natural juices to make ours, but as you know, you can use just about any kind of drink.  And you guessed it, they are great for frozen yogurt pops!  Why is Wal-Mart in my spell checker and words like "typo" not?


Magnet's and Frames

Okay crafter's, it is time to scour your house and collect old buttons, little silk flowers, charms, marbles, pearls, paper clips, photos or any other small object you want to collage.  Kids will enjoy such a hunt and present items you either long forgot about, or never even knew you had.  An old coke pop top can do for a simple refrigerator magnet.  You can even cut out pretty images and decoupage them onto a heavy stock piece of paper and then use a glue gun to attach the design a magnet.  I use  Aleene's Dual Temperature Glue Gun, only about $17 and it does so many things.  The glue dries clear, so I use it to stop a run in my Berber carpet, patch part of the Berber, add objects to my old wreaths,  position wicks to the bottom of large candles, as well as  making magnet's and adding objects to frames just to name a few ideas.  Plain old magnets and photo frames are offered in many sizes at office supply or craft stores.  

Frames:  My friends buy very basic frames at Wal-Mart and glue gun anything in site to them!  They may spray paint them first, they may use alphabetical letters to glue a person's name to the bottom and usually set the theme around on a photo they had in mind--such as a baby photo or a fishing trip.  Children can contribute beautiful art and collages so children are great to consult with first and invite into the creative process.  

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Patterns You Can Use 

The pattern's are for subscribers only and can be found in the year 2003 section.  You can use these patterns for many things to include taping inside a wine glass and using it as a guide to hand paint the glass.  You can also use patterns for tile pieces that you intend to non-heat gloss coat, or to make stickers, decoupage, magnets, labels, iron on transfers or basically whatever your heart desires! Just copy and paste into paint and then print!  I recommend using the highest DPI (Dot Per Inch) printer setting.

Soaps with a Purpose

You could try to sell soap all day long and not sell one bar unless it has a "purpose."  When we make a purchase it is always based on "what will this product do for me?"   Soaps that have a purpose sell best.  Examples would be a Laundry Bar, Kitchen Deodorizer Bar, Calamine, Fisherman, Mechanics and Gardener's Soap.  French Pink Clay Facial and Almond Cold Cream Soap are also top sellers.  Healing soaps such as Pine Tar for eczema or Emu for pain management are also very popular.  Exfoliating bars such as Lemon Poppy Seed or soothing Oatmeal for sensitive skin is the most popular.   My favorite is Honey Bee and Glycerin for its moisturizing and gentle properties.  The photo above is a wonderful and revitalizing Orange and Ginseng melt and pour soap.  Above all, there is no doubt the cold process soaps, such as our Emu, have the best sexy after smell that melt and pours cannot always achieve. Taken from Melt and Pour Soaps and Recipes by Deborah Dolen.  To buy the new oriental soap mold, just click the photo of the sample soaps above.

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Wax Tarts Don't Have to Be Shaped Like Tarts

Drop five of these soy based roses into an aroma warmer and you have it going on.  We used rose candy molds to make these, and of course used a strong rose scent.  Soy tarts burn soot free and have great fragrance throw.   We sell a pack of ten for $2.95.


Perfect to tuck in a suitcase or drawer to keep your clothes smelling fresh, our tarts below can be used for more than just aroma warmers.   Tired of paying Yankee prices?  We charge $5.95 for a ten pack of our heavily scented soy tarts.   They last at least 8 hours and clean up with soy is much easier than any other wax, just soap and water.  These make a great little gift too for an office friend, new bride, grandma or just about anyone! Close your eyes and be whisked away to a sun drenched afternoon on the Riviera or enjoy the home feeling of our signature fragrance "White Picket Fence."    Click photo of Tarts to order your favorite scent!


is one of our own lip balm designs packed with primrose oil, (great for PMS and change of life) along with Vitamin e Oil, SoyWax™, a touch of beeswax and a tad of color and flavor. Since we all tend to eat our lip products, we designed it to be a good thing.  

We also offer PMS Raspberry-e in a lip gloss roller which is just 1/2 primrose oil, 1/2 vitamin e and a very strong raspberry flavor.  Both lip products are $4.95. Click here for the PMS Lip Gloss.  

Contest for Craft Sellers

Mabel has about 10,000 subscribers and at least a few hundred sell items at country stores, craft fairs, or even at their kitchen table.  No one seems near each other and I doubt you would do anything but enhance your own income by sharing what works for you.  Just one example, a Craft Fair person in Maryland set out to sell soaps but swears her dip mixes and flavored vinegars sold much better and before long her focus was on the dip mixes.  I can assume that is because everyone likes to eat!  

But all of your experiences add up and it would be great if you would share a paragraph as to what you started out doing and what you ended up doing, that worked.  These tips will be compiled into a book rather quickly and distributed to all those who contributed.  I really wish all people in this focus area would participate.  Please e-mail with your story and you will get a PDF or e-Book mailed to you within a few weeks of the composite of what seems to succeed and sell best.  How to Sell Your Crafts, a great book that I wrote--I will e-mail you pronto as a gift.  I estimate there will be a few hundred entries for this composite and any idea that works is a good one, so please share.  Subject title Craft Story and mention if you prefer to stay anonymous or want your business name mentioned.

Get a Recipe Book for Free!

We are in the process of writing Kitchen Art's Volume II for the fall line.  If you truly have a recipe for stacked dinners in jars, cakes, whatever, that is your own, and does work great, please share it.  It should also be original as we sure do have enough items like chocolate chip recipes and bean soup recipes.  But if it is "the bomb" please submit.  It can even be a secret family BBQ sauce or dry dip mix.  People who participate in this and have a sincere submission will get the Volume of Kitchen Art's II when it comes out, PDF Format, and Kitchen Art's Volume I right away via e-mail.  Please e-mail with your recipe and subject title Recipe for Kitchen Art's Volume II.  Again, you can let us know if you want credit or if you prefer to stay anonymous.  

Did You Know?

  • Shrink wrap bags can make old items look new, (a blow dryer will do the shrink part) or simply tie the top like we did with the Gaggle of Ducks.

  • Dip mixes and flavored vinegars sell best at craft events.  Dip mixes usually require 1 ounce of various spices and ask for 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of sour cream.  Most dip mixes can also be marketed as a "meat rub" and as a salad dressing by alternating the dip ingredients for  2 Cups of mayo or buttermilk and 1 cup of water.  Shake well!  Popular mixes include Cajun, garlic, onion and ranch.  Some even have chicken and/or beef bullion in them.

  •   Electrosol tablets are better than any other dishwasher tablet, and they are worth the money.

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