Are you getting excited about the up and coming holidays? We sure are. This will be the first holiday season in a few years at Mabel we will have time to put up a tree, decorate and enjoy the season. Previous seasons, sales were way beyond our expectations and by the time we even discussed putting up decorations it was already December 15th. So, we were happy to just relax. Being way prepared this season, we look forward this time to actually relax and return back to the hobbies we enjoyed before we started teaching other people. Making Your Own Chocolate would be one small example of our passions and main theme of this newsletter. After reading what was in commercial Easter Bunnies, I learned very fast how to make my family much better chocolate at a fraction of the price. Once you learn it, you will never forget how to do it. The same goes for Floral Design. I really wanted to know why some arrangements last for weeks and some keel over in a few days. Why were some designs way better than others? We have those answer to make you an expert and more. I guess our initial start years ago was how to make those $20 candles we love so much for under $4 and the rest was history. Beyond the savings, the quality in just about anything we preach is ten times better than commercial and always easy to perform.
Our DVD and Video series has just been so fun to produce, HGTV quality, and so exact and helpful to the end consumer, we now have many happy and educated consumers. Mabel added a whole new meaning to making your own products at home. Our videos show you how to buy raw products locally when possible and save money where possible. They were not designed to corner a consumer into Mabel products. The spirit of Mabel is to make quality products and save wherever possible without compromising quality, as well as making them modern and easy. Gone are the days of double broiler and long stirring methods. We have things known as microwaves and blenders.
As we being to approach season, I must mention my closest assistant, Leane Ketcherside is having unexpected, but very needed back surgery. She will be out for six weeks but hopes to return sooner. Leane is also our Essential Oils expert and can rival any person who claims to know everything about that focal area. For example, she even follows what countries have the best crops in what year. At times, she asks me to buy certain ones ahead of season because of quality. We do bicker, but she does win. Personally, I could not live without her. Beyond her acumen in essential oils, she has the same drive and passion I have always had to help people and not always expect something in return. That is rare. I met her a few years ago when she pointed out I had a typo in one of my books. My typos are not rare. She is. I wish her the best and cannot wait for her to report in officially. Everyone at Mabel can say we are ready for a fantastic holiday season! And here is our seasons theme and goal to "give without thinking": If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island, cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. - Francis Bacon
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with
your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces"
Decadent Chocolate Made Easy
Chocolate Truffles have to be the most expensive to buy and decadent to convey love compared to all chocolate. They cost at least $1 if not $5 each in the Chocolate stores. They also have to be the easiest to make in your own home.
We just melt and pour using the microwave for most techniques. When you make your own truffles they cost around .43 cents to make at the most. This topic is so powerful--we have waited a very long time to endeavor. Why? We love it so much we have to eat some just to write this article. And we knew it a year ago. And filming a DVD Video was mesmerizing.
To make high quality chocolate you would buy what the professionals call "coins" or "wafers." They come in Dark, Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate. White Chocolate actually has no Cocoa in it. It consists of mainly cocoa butter, a commodity we are already accustomed to working with at Mabel.
With the holiday nearing, it would be wise to learn how to make this simple melt and pour divine treat and recipients will always be putting you on their radar for more. It only takes minutes, yet guests assume you must have knocked yourself out. When making chocolate, any of our flavor oils mix in well, such as Raspberry, Strawberry, and my all time favorite Key Lime. If Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory did not inspire you as a child, the movie Chocolat (2000) was proof I could fall in love again with just this project.
There are some benefits in Chocolate for both men and women:
I learned how easy it was to make quality chocolate ten years ago when I read the ingredients of our commercial Easter bunnies. Primarily wax and other shocking ingredients--and then they have the nerve to be hollow. So, I bought some bunny molds, melting chocolate and save a load of money pouring my own. My kids were so thrilled it became a mandatory event for almost every holiday. Most projects took me 30 minutes and clean up was beyond easy. Making chocolate is just a neat thing to do several times a year and the results are truly rewarding.
"I love chocolate so much, if my Shiraz wine claims to have notes of chocolate, and I cannot taste it--I will stir in my own notes!" ~D.R. Dolen
I really wanted to learn how to make my own chocolate after reading the ingredients in my children's chocolate Easter Bunnies. Paraffin wax? Just gross. I found making my own so much better and all too simple. Since the day I started, it is an expected holiday tradition. Kids dig it. And the adults have their own take such as coating roasted espresso beans. I like the old raspberry jells. A popular new technique is to add a hint of hot pepper to the chocolate to give it a "kick." That'd be the Texans. I tried it and it does lighten the palette after a full meal. Chef Greg Engelhardt taught me to use Nestle chips for personal use if I was flat out of any real wholesale chocolate. The wafers in the grocery store looks like the real stuff and call the coins "dipping wax." That was so awful, even from the Craft store, same issue. Full of wax, not a true taste. I was in a bind and it prompted me to call Gregg in Nevada. I was surprised he gave me the green light on chocolate chips. So, with a little instruction, good chocolate and perhaps a few good molds you can be your own Godivaaaa.
"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world."
Lifetime Simple Skill: Floral Design by Deborah R. Dolen
Out of all of the crafts or skills I know, if I had to pick only one for the rest of my life--it would be Floral Design. Why? It would always put money on the table and I find it so relaxing. I just love the green smell of walking into a shop. More importantly, consumer tastes as well as technology change so rapidly, as well as the outsourcing of some American jobs, it is hard to keep up with skill choices. Floral design or demand is one of the few markets that has not changed much over the last 50 years. E.g., I aimed to be a mental health counselor and just as I was graduating from years of intense study, the market was gone. Insurance companies basically quit funding mental health unless it is in a hospital setting. Which brings me to another point. What is always at hospitals? Flowers. What has never gone out of style? Giving or sending flowers. What is not regulated up the whazoo? Flowers. You do not even have to go to school for it. So, yes, I never promised a rose garden in making soaps and candles, except great fun, but I must say floral design sets apart from all of the rest. If nothing else it is darn handy to arrange your own garden flowers, or adjust an arrangement you may have received as a gift. It is also great to know if you are simply getting good deals each week at the Farmer's Market on fresh cut flowers. A simple and fun skill you will find hard to forget. Knowing Floral Design also applies to Silk Flower Arrangements.
What do you need? As with any career to be dependable, focused, and professional. The only set backs I can think of is if you are allergic to flowers or cannot tolerate extremely busy holiday seasons such as Mother's Day, Valentines, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pre-planning helps reduce the work load of the holiday season, but you need to be good at money management if you intend to actually own a shop. This is because floral shops tend to make a considerable amount of money mainly around the holidays that need to have slower times taken into consideration. But even at a base level, I know I can get a $15 an hour job around any holiday, as long as the shop owner is comfortable I am dependable and worth it. I am happy just to know how to select good flowers and arrange them at home.
Silk Floral Design does not tend to be so seasonal and is always in demand. I know many people who learned Floral Design and got right in with an Interior Decorator, setting their own schedules and not necessarily needing a shop. In any way I look at it, Floral Design is one of the easiest and enduring skill worth knowing. Because I love Floral Design so much I brought in many experts and consultants for this filming. I wanted to ensure full coverage of topic as well as any new technology. We had a blast and the best part was personally handing some 28 beautiful arrangements to folks at a long term care facility. Our DVD Video on Floral Design ending up being a two part series. Part One, Arranging Flowers in Vases. Part two, Designing Flowers in Containers. Both are about an hour long and both are sure to please you. We covered everything you need to know, and some rules even a floral shop owner may not even know. There is enough information in the two together you could be a lead designer at a floral shop. With the holidays just around the corner, you will be happily apply your knowledge and saving money. Flowers are not generally expensive, the design is. Click here to see about our Floral Design videos.
"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses."
- Alphonse Karr (French novelist )
Attaché: Mabel's Signature Rose & Demanding Replacement Roses
Prior to filming the Mabel Floral Design series, the Mabel White Staff met with the best rose growers in the world known as Rio. Rio Roses are world famous because of their outstanding standards of care, color, bloom, performance and lifespan. Rio was kind enough to offer a personal tour and an education/training session.
A week after the tour, Mabel was bestowed the honor of having the newer Rio roses known as the "Attaché" as her signature rose. The Attaché is known for being the most fragrant rose on the market. As Rio explained, most fragrant roses typically go to perfumeries. Mabel loved it because it is also her favorite color. Click photo for larger view. They stated the Esperance was one of Oprah's signature roses (shown last) and the Aalsmeer, a deep yellow rose (shown right) was Martha's. Mabel really loved the Escimo, a beautiful white rose. (Shown below.)
When you buy roses for any reason, you can demand Rio in just about any color. There is not much of a price difference, if any. The only difference is that the vendor knows you are not going to settle for a possibly inferior rose. During the Rio tour we understood why some roses never open and just keel over, and why the Rio Rose is at the other end of the spectrum. They are known to last 8-10 days and offer blooms as big as a baseball. It has to do with the commitment to proper cutting and constant "cold chain." Rio cuts their roses under water and ships them straight up, causing as little trauma to the roses as possible. Most importantly they make sure the roses stay cool from the moment they are cut until they are in the hands of the consumer. Why does this all matter?
Demanding Replacement Roses
It matters when you are spending major dollars on roses and find out they never opened and just plopped over. Worse, the person who gets them not likely to complain or tell you. Many vendors cannot afford to ensure constant air control and will skimp. You will never know. Rio taught us every day in 20 degree temperature saves 3 to 4 days of the life of the rose. If any part of the shipping chain skimps on A/C for a day, there goes 3-4 days of the pleasure of that flower. This is typically the case. Bullets: Ever wonder why your roses never opened at all and died? They were cut too soon and then sold to a low end market. Floral shops know when they cut corners and buy from a low end market. Know the terminology--"Bullets" and they will have to keep replacing your roses until they get it right. Rio taught us you can tell a bullet if the rose is very tight. If it is very tight, it is unlikely it will ever open. You need not tell the giver, you have the right to talk right to the shop. High end roses such as Rio can be in the area of a dollar wholesale, depending on locations. So the floral shop may have $15 in a wholesale arrangement that will truly perform. Low end, risking bullets are around 30 cents a rose. That means the floral shop has $5 in a wholesale rose arrangement. If a floral shop is charging $35-$125 for a dozen roses it should be nothing less than Rio or at least roses that last 8 days and truly open. Beyond Blossoms (Link Above) has the best Guarantee on the internet, as well as best prices and same day delivery.
From now on you will love getting roses more because you know what to expect. When you get them, they should be de-thorned and defoliated. That means no leaves should be under, or near the water level and the floral shop knows this. If they are, they rot fast. If not de-thorned, the roses cannot drink as much water by far. Holidays they tend to cheat and just shove 12 roses in a vase without any prepping. You can forgive them, and remove the lower leaves and slide a utility knife access the thorns to remove the thorns, if you want them to last the longest time. Do them one by one if you are afraid you will ruin the design. Re-cutting the bottom a bit also helps. Changing the water every few days with a crushed aspirin also will keep them looking their best. Placing them in the coolest area of your home/office is another attribute. However, if you notice all of these factors and your roses do not make it past four days, you can also think about calling the shop and demanding nothing less then a replacement. The sooner the better. More so if they are tight and look like bullets. Chances are someone paid around $100 for you to enjoy them. Be prepared to stand your ground. This can work in the reverse if you sent a loved one expensive roses. Good Luck!
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~Walt Whitman
Cuticle Cream Recipe: Great to Carry in Purse
This was just an awesome idea from one of our customers, Susan Wetzel. It could not come at a better time as I have been busy--straying from my passion of balm formulations. She swears this formula is just great for dry cuticles and that putting the product in a twist tube makes it ultra easy to transport in her purse. I was so thrilled. The recipe? We used the recipe and added a neat touch of our new non-toxic oil based dyes--in this case a drop of hot pink. No, the color does not impart into the skin. This makes enough you can share some with your friends or reserve them as Christmas presents. Click photo for bigger view!
Cuticle Stick Recipe (Makes 8 .04 ounce tubes)
In an Anchor Hocking glass measuring cup put:
1/2 Ounce of SoyWax
1/2 Ounce of Beeswax
1 Tablespoon of Shea Butter
1/10 of an ounce Castor Oil (Pipette Full)
1/10 of an Ounce of Jojoba Oil (Pipette Full)
1/10 of an Ounce of Rosemary Oleoresin Extract (ROE)
1/10 of and Ounce of Vitamin E Oil (Pipette Full)
and melt in the microwave for a few minutes until melted. Consider the glass hot and use a mitten to remove it from the microwave. Stir in:
1/10 of an Ounce of Tea Tree Oil (Pipette Full)
1/10 of an Ounce of Bulgarian Lavender Oil (Pipette Full)
1 Drop of Hot Pink Mabel Oil Based Dye
Mix well and use a pipette to transfer the warm oil into balm twist tubes. Allow a few hours to cool.
Blemish Stick Recipe Enhanced (Makes 8 .04 ounce tubes)
Another great item you can carry in your purse. In this formula we chose a Lavender oil based dye. We found 1/2 a drop is more than enough. Using the recipe above for Cuticle Cream, simply add 3 drops of Camphor and 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oils (to help dry out a pimple) and replace the pink dye with purple.
Natural Face Toners and Make Up Removers by D.R. Dolen
When I met Leane Ketcherside, our Essential Oils Expert, a few years ago, I was always under the impression I could not afford essential oils. I am hard headed and it took her a long time to make me understand I could not afford not to have them, a little goes a long way, and they truly do heal. When she brought in Hydrosols, I was really lost. She explained Hydrosols were another affordable way for a consumer to secure as close to the benefits of the actual essential oil as possible. Basically floral water.
The hydrosols sure did look inviting and now I use them for removing make up and toning my face after cleansing. I simply fill up one of our spray mist bottles with Rose Hydrosol as my toner, and Lavender Hydrosol as my make up remover. Because I have very oily skin, I will use Neroli (Orange Blossom) Hydrosol a few times a week to keep the oil in check.
Rosemary and Witch Hazel Hydrosols (half of each mixed) helps stimulate and promote hair growth for balding hair. Spray on affected area after getting out of the shower,
We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Making Solid Perfume as a Gift
Solid perfumes can go for as high as $20. You can make a bunch for as little as $1.00 each, the container being the most expensive part. We used our heart shaped tins and simply tied it with a pink sheer ribbon. Sheerly splendid! I have talked about solid perfumes in the past, but for some reason, this is an area that still confuses people. Can it be that easy? Uh, Yeah.
Basically you can use our all purpose balm base, as if you were making balm, and add your favorite scent to satisfaction. Perhaps the satisfaction part is where people get confused. If it were my perfume, I would do the following. Each "pipette" we sell sucks up about one tenth of an ounce. I would add a pipette full of fragrance oil to every 1/2 ounce pot I planned to make. Each pot or tin us usually one half an ounce. So, I would do a 4/1 ratio. Meaning I would melt .40 ounces of balm base and then stir in .10 of an ounce my favorite fragrance or essential oil. I did use one drop of our rose oil based dye per cup to achieve the color. Our new oil based dyes are awesome and non-toxic.
Solid perfume stays on longer than sprays and travels well as long as it is not around direct sunlight. Popular scent idea's include: Lavender, Lilac, Rose, Lilly of the Valley, Sandalwood, Patchouli, or my favorite Leather. Leather is so cool because people love it and ask what I am wearing. It was a mistake I made one day. While spraying my car I got some on my clothes. I cannot count how many people asked me that day what I was wearing. Casmir has always been one of my top favorites, primarily Vanilla notes with a touch of mango. I cannot find Casmir very easy these days and I just found out Burberry for Women is almost just like it. Actually a tad better. Burberry was marketed much more zealously is why it is better known than Casmir. Either way, we plan to add designer scents back in very soon. Our customers who love Channel and Cool Waters for Men, are driving me nuts about getting it back in. They are exact, but they do cost much more wholesale. To buy wholesale you need to buy about 50 gallons of each. It tends to make the price of gas look great. But do consider making solid perfume or men's scents as gifts. They will be a solid hit for those who love perfume.
Secret Blessings: Personal Healing Experience by Deborah R. Dolen
Okay, now I have no editor over me for a good month so I can let it rip. As you all have probably figured out, Leane is the head of our Essential Oils Department and she is off for six weeks. She has healed me on several occasions, (and my little dog too) and every time I ask "why can't we write about it?" I get the same answer. We cannot promise results and some people will abuse a good thing and get sick. True. Essential Oils are very powerful. Someone may hear a certain essential oil in a small amount will help their pain tremendously, but in a large amount, that same oil essential oil could damage their liver. I think the worst issue is that even health food stores do not usually guarantee purity. Some manufacturers cut their product with some bad stuff. Anyway, in this rare moment...allow me to write about my own personal experiences...
Case in point: Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Hemorrhoids
Since giving birth and forward, this has been an issue. Also, as an author, or anyone who sits for long stretches of time, this could literally be a real pain in the ass. That and maybe 5 hurricanes in a row could just make one want to sit on the throne all day. Enough of that and such a person can no longer even sit or sleep because of the pain. When Prep H no longer worked I had to discuss it at a Mabel Board meeting. Doctors had no answer. One of our Experts said "Oh, no problem. In 1/10 of an ounce of fractioned coconut oil, shea butter or whatever carrier oil is handy, put 3 or 4 drops of geranium essential oil, and 2 drops of Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil. Mix very well. The Geranium will numb it and the Lavender help heal." I ran to do this. It more than helped, it was like, completely a non issue anymore. If it started up again, I would just use another tad. This would put Prep H out of business, so I can see why no one wants anything close to a cure. I did understand the warning though. Do not use more than that because it can be toxic to the liver and a person would have real problems. Serious stuff. In no manner do I recommend anyone else do this to have a life back.
Serious Canker Sores in Mouth
A friend of mine had a high level job and stress would cause his entire mouth to break out in unbearable sores. It seemed like even what the Doctor was giving him was not offering much relief until the episode was over. A mouth rise was created, never to swallow, containing 16 ounces of pure water, 6 drops of clove essential oil, 4 drops of rose geranium essential oil, 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil, and 2 drops of Bulgarian Lavender essential oil. This rinse had to be shaken very well every time. He used it about four times a day and liked it so much he asked me to make a lip balm stick with similar components. I liked it because it washed my smokers breath totally away, back when I smoked.
Mosquito Repellent Studies
Basically I have found the combination of 1/2 soybean and 1/2 fractionated coconut oil carrier base with a few drops of geranium and catnip oil to be effective for myself personally. I may bathe with the combination before going out at dawn or dusk.
Fractionated Coconut Oil in General
This is not the same as coconut oil that looks like vegetable shortening. This is a clear oil from the coconut. Out of all the carrier oils I have worked with, Fractionated Coconut is my favorite healing carrier oil, second to Jojoba and Castor oils. Fractionated Coconut oil is so great, I now use it to make my bee pollen oil.
Rash or Burn Butter
I would consider a serious allergic reaction my most recent alarming incident. In the floral video I was working with Astromerias (a pretty flower) and did not realize until the next day I was so allergic to them. Good thing we were done filming. Serious and massive red welts appeared everywhere, in 5" square patches. They were quickly turning into blisters and dead skin. Worse one major area was underneath my arm pit. So, I had a hard time putting my arm down at all. Everyone was looking at me like "What the heck happened to you?" It sure felt like the worst sun burn I ever had in my life. I was afraid anything I tried to put on it would hurt even more. Then it occurred to me, the Geranium essential oil did numb my other incident and Leane and I use Bulgarian Lavender when we get sodium hydroxide on us (lye) and she swears by our shea butter. So, I quickly melted 1/4 pound of Shea Butter and added several drops of geranium and Bulgarian Lavender essential oil. Relief was immediate and I do not recall any pain after I applied that. After a second application the next day the blisters were all but gone.
From One of Our Customers: Kari Pastor, NV
Hya! Well each time I get a newsletter, I am thrilled with all the great news and findings! I have to say that between Deborah and Leanne, I am a true believer in the healing art of essential oils! I started making cold process soaps, and the occasional splash of lye heavy soap- in- the- making, has made it a staple for me to have a handy solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water and an ounce of Lavender essential oil-in an 8 oz squirt bottle .And without the Lavender added, it doesn't heal or relieve the pain as well as it does WITH the EO added.I WILL NOT make soap without that solution handy!!!
Deborah has inspired me so much with what she has done in her life and her business, and it gives me courage to plod on in my own life efforts! I want to share the benefits of natural based soaps and balms with my friends, family, and acquaintances every day! So much science is involved in every aspect of base oils, essential oils, and herbs to add, and it is so sad that more research is not done on the ever present and handy items that are so readily available to us...Even in our own gardens!
I started selling my soaps in a local shop here in town, and between that place, and word of mouth (and lil samples I "accidentally" leave all over the place), I am on my way to having a very profitable side business going! I still make my balms and salves, and mainly the Lavender Balm, and Baby Balms, but that is thru word of mouth, but I will get that as a main line in the public with in the next few years. Mabel's has been a great source of info, and products, and just plain ole sane advice!! So come jump on the bandwagon for natural based products and great supplies...you ALL can benefit!!! Thanks again!!!
With Love and Joy, Kari Pastor
Mabel White DIYDonates "How to" DVD Video's to the State of Georgia Department of Labor Vocational Rehab per Request of Tracie Rowland.
I wanted to say thank you again. Tracie at the Department told me what all you were doing and I really appreciate it. When I first read about you on your site you reminded me so much of myself. I was once married to the most wonderful man. We had only been married for a year and a half when we found out he had leukemia. He was given three to five years to live and he lived for three and a half. I was so lucky because I found in five years what most people never find in a lifetime. I saw where your husband died. I am so impressed with you and your business. I ended up marrying again but it was not a good marriage and ended in divorce. The stress of Hugh's death and the other marriage eventually got to me. I became very ill. By the time the Dr.'s found out what was wrong with me the damage had been done. I now suffer from Chronic Pancreatitis. A lot of the time Chronic Pancreatitis is caused by alcohol abuse but I didn't drink. I had a faulty common bile duct which was the culprit. I had to quit work in 1997. I have been on Social Security but just could not make it on such a small check. I had been making my own soap and people started wanted more and then I found out that Social Security through Vocational Rehab would help you start your own business in an effort to help you get off Social Security.
I had to put it off for a year because my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I needed to take care of her. She is now in remission so I feel I can go ahead with this. I was already signed up with Vocational Rehab when mother got sick and they were so good to me and allowed me to put off starting the business until she went into remission. I read where you became ill also and I am a firm believer in how we treat our bodies has a lot to do with our health. I am working hard on trying to take care of myself. You and your website and all the things that you are doing has been such an inspiration to me. I realize that things are not going to be easy and this business is going to take a lot of work. I know it may be even years before I can breath easy about all of this but when I can read about people like you and can know that it is possible if I work hard and really set my mind to it, then that is all I need to keep me going. I love making bath products. You are such a special person in caring about and helping people who are trying to better themselves. I hope things always go well for you. I am looking forward to doing business with you, I hope, for a very long time.