Thursday, February 24, 2011

Healing Lip Balm

Here is the lip balm I have been raving about and Barbara's story on how it came to be.

" Every winter, my son gets dry, chapped lips and cold sores. There are about a million different lip balms out there and I think we may have tried most of them. Forget petroleum products, they're just horrible in so many ways. The 'waxy' natural ones are too stiff and painful to put on. The natural butter and oil ones are good, but they didn't actually heal the cold sores, just kept them from getting worse. So it was time for research and experimentation.

So I started with unrefined Shea Butter, with it's whole host of amazing benefits for the skin. Full of vitamins A, E and F, it keeps skin clear and healthy while rejuvenating and healing. The high fat content makes it penetrate deeply into your skin. It has a high level of cinnamic acid, which offers some natural sunscreen protection. It is also an anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce the pain and size of cold sores.
For texture and healing properties, add beeswax. It is a natural emollient, so it helps to soothe dryness and chapping. Beeswax locks in moisture, fosters cell health and protects skin from damaging environmental factors. It is also a naturally nourishing moisturizer as well as being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant.
Most lip balms are made with almond oil, avocado oil, etc. They certainly have their benefits, but Hemp Seed Oil is the champion of skin care. It is a perfectly balanced oil containing 80% of the essential fatty acids required by skin to maintain its integrity and function. It can slow the affects of aging and minimize wrinkles by delivering the necessary nutrients and fatty acids directly to the skin. It also contains vitamin E and carotene anti-oxidants to help avoid damage and speed healing of damaged skin.
Tea Tree Oil is one of the most potent natural antibiotic and antiseptics. Terpenes and other phytochemicals in Tea Tree Oil are powerful antiseptics, antivirals and antifungals that are readily absorbed into the skin.
Voila, a lip balm that soothes chapped lips, helps prevent and heal cold sores and can help prevent wrinkles. For the first time, my son has gone through this winter (a particularly harsh, cold one no less) without a single cold sore.
This is a .15 ounce tube. This item will be sent in a padded envelope. "

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saving Money on Jewelry Making Supplies

There are a couple of things I try to do when buying supplies for my jewelry business. Free or low cost shipping! Not only do I want to save my own money, but also I want to be able to extend that price break to my customers. One thing though, I don’t ever want to sacrifice quality.

There are times items are less costly with one supplier than another but after I compute cost with shipping I am actually paying more per item.

After comparing prices, which takes a great deal of time, there are a few suppliers I use regularly who offer free shipping over a specific amount. I am not talking about thousands of dollars, a $10 or $25 minimum so it is not like I have to keep my list going forever before I make my purchase. I don’t have thousands of dollars at my disposal most months so I don’t use the $1,000.00 minimums or the 200-item minimum to get the best price.

There is one very large supplier out of California I used to use for gems and pearls but the quality had gone downhill and the cost had gone up so much I had to find others. I want to use high-grade materials in my creations. I don’t want to spend my time creating beautiful designs and then use inferior supplies.

So which suppliers do I use now? Well, there are several depending on what I am looking for.

If it is pearls, gemstones or gemstone chips on my mind I check out and Beadin Path. The quality is very good and they both offer free shipping if your order is over $10 and $25 respectively. I do not think I have EVER spent less than $25.00 when buying jewelry making supplies! If you want it quicker there are other options but I prefer the free shipping.

If I am looking for copper I go right to Accessories Susan. Not only are her prices really good but her materials or lead safe and nickel free. She also has free shipping and with no minimum!

Any glass I buy I usually go right to the artisan. I did a blog a month or two ago about what some companies refer to as ‘Artisan created’. Careful here, most of it is not created by an Artisan as we think of it. My personal favorites are Generations Lampwork and Rufus and Roxy (free shipping $25+), both found on Etsy. Generations does charge shipping but it is nominal. They are both wonderful with special orders. Seed beads in bulk is something I have yet to find free shipping for so if anyone knows of anyone, please let me know. I buy most of my seed beads from Caravan Beads in Portland, Maine. If I am just looking for a tube or 2 then Beadin Path has a good selection but Caravan is definitely my go-to place for Delica beads. Caravan also has delicious pearls.

Although Gemphora is a little costly and they do charge shipping, they have wonderful great quality gems that I have trouble finding elsewhere like Kyanite, Fluorite, and Labradorite. I always get the $5.00 donation pearls when I shop with them. They pick them so it is a surprise each time I receive an order. I have never been disappointed.

I get most of my findings and Swarovski at

I hope this helps you find some better prices for your supplies. Let’s face it, we all enjoy saving some money when we can and I enjoy begin able to create pieces without having to worry about the end price.

Do you have any favorite suppliers?

I was not paid or compensated by anyone for this blog post