Fifth Anniversary Edition!!!
As you may know, Mabel started out as a hobby 5 years ago. My late husband had nicknamed me "Martha White" (after a cooking company) so I used that. I love to cook and make things. I was sick of buying Yankee Candles for $20 each, but when I would enter a candle store, I sure wanted them all. So, when I learned how easy and fast it was to make my own for some $4 each I started making other kinds of candles. My kids also loved to help make them. When I saw how easy that was, I began writing books about it. Making candles turned into making melt and pour soaps, which turned into making lip balm, which turned into making natural household cleaners and everything else that piqued my interest. Customers would ask where to buy their materials, and even I was challenged with finding quality vendors. So, Mabel started selling materials a few years ago to make the neat products I write about, at the best prices I could offer back then, and my three daughters at the time were around to help with shipping. Our main target was making the lives of busy working professionals easier, fun, affordable and interesting. Our customers loved it. As of last month it also appears we will have our own magazine soon and have renamed to the Mabel White DIYCorporation.
Back to how we grew. The company started skyrocketing just about the time my helping hands went off to college. At that time I realized I had better not use the name "Martha" and after a brain storming session where "Mabel" was born. The more the company grew, the fewer support systems I had locally to me. Mabel does have a strong editorial and creative staff--but they are spread across the country. They help with customer questions, researching quality manufacturers, and a myriad of other tasks.
Five years later, I realized it was our Fifth Anniversary and decided to really examine the growing needs of the company. Until this year, I made the company grow with its own profits and and high quality, but small staff. I decided it was time to invest in more shipping staff, consistent product inventory and an expansion of that inventory. This was all done a few weeks ago. We also began focusing on securing better prices for our products by buying in volume. Our total staff agreed on two main things: We would stay interpersonal with our customers and never compromise quality. Those are two major mistakes companies tend to make when they grow.
The end result? Truly fast shipping, more strength in our inventory and happier customers. In gearing up for Spring 2005, we have developed one of Mabel's most playful Newsletters. We recently hired Monique Schalk, as a Creative Art Director and Lead Photographer. Monique is an Alumni, along with Deborah, of the Ringling School of Art and Design. We also secured other quality staff to support the ever growing Mabel White Company. Below is just an example of the neat things we added to our line:
Creativity is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to
The Best of Mabel
White 2005 by Deborah R. Dolen
Okay, that Archives page. Many customers do ask where they "read this" or "read that." The fact is, we wrote so much material over a five year period even we have a tough time locating an article if we want to use the idea. For Mabel's Fifth Anniversary, we created two main structural pages: one that indexes all of our articles by area of interest known as The Best of Mabel White; and one geared towards toiletries, known as Pick Your Project. These pages also help us teach and entertain easier as the weekend or holidays approach. We have also placed these links at the top of the Archive page, so perhaps the Archive is not needed as much. Click here for The Best of Mabel White and click here for Pick Your Project. Enjoy!
The Mabel White House
Truly a moment we have all been waiting for. One mark of our Fifth Year Anniversary includes the opening of "The Mabel White House." The Mabel White House was designed as a peaceful retreat in which readers could actively participate. Many customers have followed us our whole five years. We welcome the opportunity to get to know them better. The Mabel White House was designed with conducting craft and spa type classes in mind. What we developed is more than just an experience. It is a lifestyle. Click here for more info on the Mabel White House.
Table Setting Made Easy by Monique Schalk
When Deborah found out I had a background in catering, she asked me what stood out as the most interesting aspect. I told her it was the way I used bamboo sticks to perfectly engineer my space. Then she asked me to write about that, so here it is:
The first thing I learned in catering was how to set a table like an architect. I had a little trouble at first, always staring at the table wondering why I had no space for a center piece! So I thought about using a "grid" in order to expand the space I had. Guests always asked me "how could a table be set so perfectly?" Below, using four place settings, the pictures show how easy it is.
First, I set out the four place settings. When I am finished with that, I can see just what kind of centerpiece would fit this table, and how high I want that to be. For this small table I set a candle in the middle and used shorter sticks to create another symmetrical design within the centerpiece. I used a few fresh roses to go on each side of the candle. Click thumb nails for a better view.
Have fun partying! ~Monique
Petal Pushovers by Staff
During a video shoot for Mabel, Erica, a new Mabelette, was asked to prepare drinks for a table outside. She not only prepared them, she floored us with what she did.
Erica grabbed the thin bamboo sticks we usually use to grill and skewered edible Impatience petals of all different colors onto the top of the sticks. She then found some pink raffia and tied it around the top of the glass. Total cost? Probably 40 cents but the effect was beyond fun and surprising. So, all being photographers, we threw more petals on the top of the table and all took a photo of the glasses. Yes, a drop of food color was used for effect. Not only can you skew petals, but you can also skew fruit! How cool is that? And you thought these were just for the grill! If you want to get real fancy you can rim the glasses in colored sugar.
Caution: Just make sure the petals you use have no pesticides and are in fact edible. Here we used Impatience, our all time favorite plant, but rose petals are great also. Click here for a list of edible flowers. There are just so many things you can do with them. The downside? Use them as last minute decor as they can wilt in the hot sun.
The Best Vacuum on Earth by Deborah R. Dolen
Until now, vacuuming had to be the most despised chore in the house. One reason is that the vacuum typically weighs more than the consumer. My children hated it so much they figured if they broke the vacuum, they would not have to vacuum. It is very easy to say "Mom, the belt broke" or "it's not working" for mysterious reasons, and then split the home scene. This left me with two problems. A dirty carpet and an allegedly broken vacuum.
Enter the Eureka Boss SuperLite Bagless Upright Vacuum, 405A. For $36.63 at Wal-mart who can go wrong? When it comes to cleaning, nothing's worse than a heavy vacuum. The Eureka Boss SuperLite weighs less than 8 lbs, cleans beautifully and is fun to use. Strong enough for all jobs, its powerful wide-track brushroll has an electronic on/off that allows you to change from carpets to bare floors with the flick of a switch. This is tiny, cute and powerful.
Cake-Decorate Your Bath Products by Deborah R. Dolen
When I made bath bombs for the Easter Issue and used simple "flower power" sugar cake decorations, I was just playing around. Making actual bath confetti is hard and time consuming. When I used the bath bombs a month later I had a ball! The little flowers floated around and did not bleed at all. In fact, when I drained the bath tub they were still there and so pretty, I did not want to clean the bath tub!
This not only established that I could use sugar cake decorations for bath bombs, but for even more fun projects, like a bath fizzy recipe to give as a last minute-type gift. To make a bath fizzy gift I would use 1 cup of Epsom salts, 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of citric acid, and a teaspoon of these little sugar cake decorations. Click the thumbnail to see how it worked.
Bee Pollen Oil Benefits
How do you improve upon perfection? Make it smell good. We have heard so many raves about our bee pollen infused oil, we decided to add the scent of honey. Many nurses swear by our oil, and many people have told us it heals minor wounds so fast you can almost see the skin healing. Establishments such as tattoo studios report healing of superficial wounds taking about 1/2 the time to heal using this oil. Nurses love our bee pollen oil for its moisturizing capabilities as they report chronically dry hands, a form of contact dermatitis, from wearing gloves all of the time. Bee Pollen oil lotion is about the only lotion I made during my first few years. I did not feel I ever needed preservatives as bee pollen is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. I was in for a shock when I found I needed to use preservatives for other types of lotion making. For anyone suffering with chronically dry skin, I challenge them to use this oil and I guarantee it helps. Unless, of course, you are allergic to pollens and bee products. Click here for the Bee Pollen Oil or here for the body butter.
is fear, holding on a minute longer.
The Best Light Bulbs by Deborah R. Dolen
We have all heard of "planned obsolesce" and we have also heard light bulbs could be made permanent, but then would result in less profits. Living near an airport once, we were always changing bulbs until we started purchasing the same ones the airports use. These days I just buy the ones for garage doors, called "heavy service" and they last a very long time in the home. Garage doors can shake more than a plane going over a house. Garage door bulbs come in various wattages and it is important to use the wattage recommended for whatever light source you are using. But buying heavy service bulbs is very much worth the time it takes to find them. I hardly have to buy a light bulb. It is almost a foreign word to me now.
New EOs & Absolutes & Blends! by Leane Ketcherside
Our new Essential Oils and Absolutes are so fantastic, I wish I could make the Internet Scratch-and-Sniff-able!
Hormone Balancer by Leane Ketcherside
Many women begin having menopausal symptoms as early as their thirties! I know I did, and I thought I was losing my mind! My doctor told me I was experiencing "Peri-Menopause", and that it could last 10 years or so before actual Menopause! And now that I'm forty-something, the spit was hitting the fan around the Ketcherside homestead. My poor family walked around in sweaters all summer because I kept the thermostat set at 69, and still got the night sweats. I decided that any more of this was flat-out UNACCEPTABLE!
I dug into research and hit on some Herbal and Essential Oil remedies, but I really hit the jackpot when I discovered Vitex Essential Oil. Steam distilled in Croatia from the leaves and twigs of the Vitex Agnus Castus plant, Vitex EO is believed to balance women's hormones. It's so powerfully balancing to women that men found that they can't even be near enough to do the distillations or even bottling without suffering from headaches, nausea and dizziness. HA! Makes me wonder how they'd handle menopause!!
After exhaustive research, I came up with my Hormonal SOS EO blend. Formulated to be used in a bath before bed, this blend has helped me tremendously, as well as every "Hormonal" woman I know. A combination of Vitex, cooling Peppermint, calming & balancing Clary Sage and Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oils create a powerful synergy, and is carried in a base of Fractionated Coconut oil to an exacting dilution ratio. All it takes is 5 drops per bath, and a 10 ml bottle lasts 31 days.
The only other thing I take is a Tincture of Vitex, 40 drops in a glass of water first thing in the morning. That's it. I no longer wake up in the night drenched with sweat, my cycle is finally normal again, PMS is much improved, and my mood is, well, fine by me! I still keep the thermostat low, but that's it. No hormones or fistfuls of herbs to choke down.
You can find Vitex Tincture in your Health Food store, but I make my own because I like to control the strength as well as what goes in it. It's easy to do: Just take 1 cup of Vitex (AKA, Chaste Tree Berries) and run them through a food processor to nick the berries. Place this in a glass Quart jar and fill with high-proof Vodka. Seal well and allow it to set for 2 to 4 weeks, and shake it every day. Then just strain out the berries and store in a dark glass bottle. We do have choices, after all!