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We are about to launch a new body butter and could use your help! We’d like to ask you what scent of body butter would you prefer the most? Please take a couple seconds to help us out! Thank you so very much! We are so excited to have a new body butter; a lot of people have asked us for one.


Making soap is rewarding, exhilerating, exciting, and somehow slightly addictive.  First batch and second batch are still curing and drying on their racks as they will need to continue for about one month up to six weeks before being fully ready.

The first batch I made was Lemon Litsea Poppyseed.  “What’s Litsea?” everyone immediately asks me.  It is a very strongly citrus scent produced by a Litsea tree’s fruit.  It smells very lemonlike, yet even more intense than lemon essential oil.

My second batch was Tangerine Ginger soap.  It is a nice deep orange color from the tangerine essential oil plus my addition of apricot seed powder to give it an exfoliating quality.  I cannot wait to try this one with its wonderful scrubbing and exfoliating apricot seed beads and its lovely tangerine essential oil scent!

Then the most recent batch was SUPER Peppermint!  In fact, I am thinking I may have miscalculated how strong Peppermint Essential Oil really is, making our entire home strongly scented of Peppermint.  So refreshing though!

I may have to possibly “cut” the peppermint batch into another plain batch so it is not quite so strong on the nose!  Wow!  I will have to ask my soap mentor, Michelle Blackwood, what she thinks about this.

Super Peppermint Soap

Finally, one of my readers had made a request to see me “all suited up” in my goggles, waterproof apron, & rubber gloves up to my elbows in preparation for soapmaking.  This was taken while I was in process of making my second batch of soap just over a week ago.  You have to prevent getting lye in your eye so you don’t suffer eye damage, you must not breathe the fumes for possible lung damage can occur, and you must also avoid getting any lye or lye water on the skin as well to avoid burns.  Thus the full-on suiting up!  With the right precautions, it is very safe and fun to make soap.  You just have to learn a lot about it before diving in, and take the precautions needed, and then it will work out great!

For the love of Lye (I am holding lye water solution)

Soapmaker Model

Yes I am a soapmaker model.  I make soap and I now model my ridiculous outfits and goggles for all the world to see.

I am winking at the camera.  I love it!

My soaps will be available for sale beginning March 15!

Check my website for them to pop up for sale (right before St Patrick’s Day!):
www.craftybynaturestudio.com

www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com


After much research, reading several books, and travelling all the way to Rapidan, Virginia to train with a soap maker, I finally made cold process soap all by myself!  Once I wrote and rewrote my own soap recipe and ran it through a soap calculator online (google soap calc to find one), I finally have my recipe written so yesterday I set aside 2 hours to make my very first soap!  I began by combining the liquid oils into a huge stainless steel pot.  I added all the solid oils such as coconut oil and cocoa butter, into a double boiler to melt them.  I headed out to the garage with my distilled water, suited up in my rubber gloves, apron, and goggles, and fetched the proper amount of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) to add to the water.  Never shall I add the lye to the water indoors, for the fumes are extensive and they burn your lungs should you breathe them.  So outdoors is the place to incorporate the lye into the water.  The cold, distilled water rapidly within mere seconds will turn up to about 200 degrees fahrenheit from the chemical reaction between the water and lye.  It is intense, and it warrants repeating – don’t do this inside your home unless you want lung damage.  I looked like a soap astronaut all suited up in my goggles, apron, and rubber gloves up past my elbows.  But I was READY for this! 

After the lye water cools down to about lukewarm, it is a good time to add it to the oils, and so I did.  I used my new favorite appliance, a stick blender, to quickly bring the soap “to trace.”  Trace, is a wonderful phenonenon when your soap becomes just thick enough to add the essential oils, superfat it with shea and vitamin E oil, and to then pour it into the mold.  I decided on a massive loaf shaped mold, about 15 inches long.  It yields 15 soap bars assuming you slice them 1 inch thick as is customary.  After pouring them into the mold, you must let them sit in the mold for about 18 hours minimum.  I couldn’t wait, to be honest.  I pryed and pulled my soap out of the mold at hour 17.  Admittedly, it was still a bit soft, and some of it broke off from sticking to the mold too well.  Next time, I think I will line my mold even though the maker of the mold says it is a liner-free mold.  I think the one place it really stuck was the bottom or floor of the mold.  The rest was wonderful and didn’t stick.

This morning I awoke as if it were the best Christmas morning ever.  It was the morning to slice my soap into bars after carefully pulling it out from the mold.  I was in seventh heaven slicing my very own soap with the soap miter box slicer I picked up online.  All in all, my very first soap making went extraordinarily wonderful and I think I can barely contain my eagerness and excitement to make my next batch!

This first batch is a lovely Lemon Poppyseed, using only all natural ingredients that are vegan-friendly and scented with only pure,  essential oils of Lemon and Litsea  Litsea is a lovely plant that has a very citrus forward scent with notes of evergreen in the background.  It is the freshest of all citrus scents in my opinion and a very welcome addition to Lemon.

These and more soaps will be available for sale after their curing time which is between 4 to 6 weeks.  

logs of soap in the molds
 

Slicin' Soap!

 

here are my first soap bars!

 
 

soap bars drying on the drying rack!

 
 

Announcing Crafty by Nature’s newest product launch, Hint of Tint Lip Balm!


Come check it out on www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com in our etsy shop!


Remember to visit our facebook page to Like us, at www.facebook.com/craftybynature

 

 


Crafty by Nature started in 2010 after the prior year’s Christmas present went over wildly successfully!   Karen and Nick, owners of Crafty by Nature, set out to put together a fun garden-themed gift basket for Christmas presents.  They put the gift baskets together, had them all ready to go, and lined up in a row.  “Something is missing,” Karen said. 

After extensive research, trial and error, and some tweaks to the recipe, Karen made her own recipe for Gardener’s Hand Salve to add into the garden gift baskets.  The recipients of each gift basket seemed content enough with their garden gift basket, but after they each tried on the new hand salve, that is when things really started happening.  People began calling Karen and Nick to put in orders for more of their “wonderful hand salve.”  Some were saying they needed more for themselves, others said they need a bunch for their coworkers, and many said they must get more for their friends. 

Karen and Nick discovered that with working in the pottery studio so much with clay all over their hands, that this hand salve became very valuable to keep on hand.  After more and more people got their hands on our hand salve, a few people said to us that this hand salve is great but it needs a stronger, more comprehensive name rather than just Gardener’s hand salve.  They asked us to rename it because it really works so well and it is not just for gardener’s.  One person claimed that Gardener’s Hand Salve sounded “too wimpy for this awesome lotion!” 

After our customers suggestions came in, we renamed our original formula hand salve the Working Hands Skin Repair.  Working Hands Skin Repair is made using the same recipe and care as our original recipe.  Due to the enthusiasm and support of our customers, we have started a little brand name. 

This is how Crafty by Nature began.  This is our story.  Our products carry on our story and our new customers become woven into our story.  From our family to yours, we wish you happy, healthy skin!

Sincerely,
Karen and Nick
Crafty by Nature
www.craftybynaturestudio.com – our main website and shop
www.facebook.com/craftybynature – our facebook fan page


MEET KAREN BUONCRISTIANO OF CRAFTY BY NATURE!

Author Written by Princessofallthingscrafty on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM Date
 

 

 Quick Note:  Karen will be at the EcoChic Craftacular at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville this weekend.  May 14th and 15th! May 15th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

 

 

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My husband and I started Crafty by Nature by narrowing down the many crafts we were making to 2 main areas, Pottery and Lotions/Natural Skincare.  We both produce pottery on the wheel in our studio.  Together, we are able to offer a variety of different styles of pottery and offer my skincare and lotions line.  I also teach pottery classes for both individuals and groups.  You can contact us to sign up for a class or a kiln share by visiting our website  http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.  A kilnshare is when you have pottery to fire but no kiln, so you have Crafty by Nature to fire your pottery!

 

2.) What do you do apart from creating things?
We both have full-time jobs that keep us very busy.  We also spend time hiking with our two cute dogs, kayaking, gardening, and basically spending time outdoors.

3.) What first inspired you to become an artist?
I think I was definitely encouraged to produce art and crafts from an early age by my creative parents.  I was always reminded about the value and enjoyment of art and we often visited art galleries and we produced our own art.

4.) Please describe to us what your creative process is.
For pottery, we try to think of making things that people will find useful and actually make good use of.  A lot of times, we see people wanting to find a purpose or use for each piece of pottery, so we try to plan for that. 

For lotions and skincare, I try to make my skincare items as natural as possible, and I get inspired by natural ingredients and try to find uses for them.  I often try to make my own recipe of lotion and then have to use trial and error to get the recipe just right.  Sometimes it takes several tries.  Once I get it, though, I know it right away!

5.) What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I cherish my wonderful handmade purple earrings and necklace made for me by my amazing friend, Cathy.                                       Thanks, Cathy!

6.) What advice would you give to artists that are new to Etsy Team Columbus? 
I would encourage artists new to Etsy Team Columbus to be patient with the process of getting slowly woven into the group and to give it at least a year.  I have made several really great friends with Etsy Team Columbus, and countless contacts, but it did take some time to get there.  Be patient and try to come to the in-person meetings.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
For an aspiring artist, I would recommend you just keep trying no matter what.  Keep promoting yourself because you are your best, and perhaps only, promoter.  Keep trying no matter what and never give up.  Promote using blogs, websites, etsy, and facebook.  Print ads are not so effective verses their extreme cost; I learned that the hard way!

7.) What do you like most about being a member of the Team?
My absolute favorite thing about being a member of Etsy Team Columbus is whenever I have a problem or question and I can post it to the entire group easily.  Usually within minutes or hours, I have several very useful responses and/or solutions!

8.) What features do you like most about the Etsy website?
I really like the feature that allows us to copy a listing.  It is very useful when we need to list similar items but don’t want to re-type everything out again each time. 

9.) How do you promote your work?
We use facebook and have a facebook fan page / company page that is www.facebook.com/craftybynature.

We have a blog that we try to write to as much as we can at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.wordpress.com/.

We have our wonderful etsy page at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com/.

And finally, we have our main website and store at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.

10.) How are you surviving the economy in relation to your business?
We started our company, Crafty by Nature, in early 2010 and had lots of initial big purchases to deal with such as a kiln, potter’s wheel, supplies for lotions, glazes for pottery, and festival fees.  We just keep on pushing forward as best we can.  We have noticed that people see the real value of buying handmade wonderful pottery, or “real” pottery.  Also people have been more than willing to purchase handmade, natural lotions and skincare.  People seem to be aware of getting back to real, handmade, and from the earth types of goods.

11.) Where would you like to be in 5 years, 10 years?
We are really hoping to be doing more sales online through etsy as well as through our main website and to get into bigger craft shows within 5 years.  Within 10 years, I am extremely hopeful and motivated to do my very best to have one of us be able to go fulltime with pottery and skincare.  Yes, I am saying within 10 years, I hope to have one of us quit our current fulltime job and go into lotions and pottery fulltime!  It might just be a dream, but I hope we can make it happen!

PS:  Word from the blog writer:  I personally have tried Karen’s Lotion and lip balm and it’s wonderful!

1 comments:

Hev-Vin Designssaid…
Very interesting interview. Enjoyed it and now I want to try her products!
May 15, 2011 8:48 PM  

Post a Comment


The Columbus Craftacular is coming May 14 & 15th

3rd Annual

Columbus (Eco-Chic) Craftacular


Saturday May 14th 10am – 6pm

Sunday May 15th 12pm – 5pm

 

Outdoor & Indoor Eco-focused Arts & Crafts Show
Whetstone Community Center
Clintonville,Ohio

The recreation center/community center is near entrance to

WhetstoneParkof Roses, directly next to Whetstone Library.

 

The address is: 3923 N. High Street
Columbus,Ohio 43214 

 

Our 83 different vendors will challenge themselves to bring

a more “green” concept to some of their wares. This can be done with awareness during all stages of creation:


  • purpose/use
  • raw materials
  • manufacturing process
  • packaging
  • waste produced
  • natural or recycled content

 

Live acoustic music from local bands features some of the areas talent and gives a fun atmosphere to the event. 

Activities, demonstrations and games from Craftacular sponsors aimed at teaching fun ways to think green! 


Swag bags (full of goodies) will be given away to the first 50 people who make a purchase each day!

Bags will contain samples from exhibiting vendors and promotional items from the rest of Etsy Team Columbus.


Sign our guestbook with your comments and questions you may have. 
You might have pottery questions like “How can I get personalized wedding pottery for so and so?” Or you might have skincare questions like “What are the ingredients in your lotions and where do they come from?”

Come and join the fun by signing / posting your comments and questions here.  We LOVE feedback from our customers and potential customers!!!  It is a great way for us to learn!  Here’s your chance…

http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/Guestbook.php


I am so lucky to have the greatest customers!  One wonderful customer of mine, Sue, had purchased a piece of pottery from me, entered my raffle to win my giant gift basket, complimented me on all my stuff, had a wonderful & cheerful conversation, and then vanished.  But not for long. 

A few days later, I told myself that I really must pull the winner’s name out of my raffle container.  I pulled the name, Sue, and immediately emailed her.  I was so excited and surprised when I figured out that it was the very same Sue that was so delightful to meet, talk with, and sell pottery to!  A little time went by as we all are busy, but Sue has now posted a lovely little write up with gorgeous photos of how much she loves my handmade skincare and pottery!   Without further ado, here is Sue’s lovely post from www.sunnyhawklane.blogspot.com :

“I’m on a winning spree.  Truly winning, not winning in some sarcastic-Charlie-Sheenish way.  At my last craft show (I make jewelry and sell at craft shows….my jewelry site —which needs alot of attention— is here:  http://www.sunnyhawklane.com/ in case you are curious), I didn’t win the raffle (I usually do, it’s so weird), and went home thinking, ah, well, can’t win EVERYtime.  A few days later I get an e-mail telling me I have won this wonderful gift basket from a crafter I met that I went ga-ga over….Karen makes VEGAN hand-cream AND awesome pottery.  I bought this wonderful bowl from her:

So, I thought it was amazingly cool that I won these items:

See more of her lovelies here:  http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/  (Note:  she uses beeswax in some of her products, so some are not strictly vegan….check ingredient list).

I love her stuff so much that I am going to order some things from her to give away here, on the blog, in July, to celebrate my one-year vegan anniversary.  More on that in June.” 

     – Sue of Sunny Hawk Lane


Introducing our newest product with its new and improved product label, “Heal, Dog, Heal Puppy Balm!”  Apply to your dog’s paw pads if they are dry or cracked or need a little tender loving care.  Heal, Dog, Heal Puppy Balm is also quite useful for doggie cuts, scrapes, and abrasions.  

heal, dog, heal! - puppy balm

Just apply to their skin or paw pads, and wait for the wonderful healing power of comfrey herb in this balm begin to do its work.  Safe for all pets and this formula contains only natural ingredients that are either plant-based or natural beeswax.  If your pet begins to lick the balm, there is no need for concern since our formula is safe and natural.

Please feel free to send us any questions or comments!  You can reply to our blog directly, or you may wish to email us to our gmail account, at craftybynaturestudio@gmail.com

Comes in an easy to apply lip balm tube, so there is no mess!

easy to apply, dogs will thank you!

Have a wonderful day and take great care of your doggie pals!