Saturday, July 28, 2012

Make Your Own Lip Balm

I am a self-confessing lip balm addict.

I have lip balm stowed within arm's reach no matter where I am. I remember as a little girl, being so happy to see that clear plastic candy cane filled with half a dozen different flavors of lip balm in my Christmas stocking. I loved lip balm in tubes, tins, and tubs in every flavor and color. And I still do, only difference is now I make my own.

Over the years I have tried many lip balm recipes and formulas. I have used various oils, beeswax, butters, flavorings, colors and containers. I have made every bit of it from scratch right down to grating my own beeswax, and I have also tried lip balm bases from different manufacturers. After all that, I settled on a favorite that uses a vegan lip balm base from Majestic Mountain Sage at MMS is a company I have used for years for all my lip balm making supplies, including waterproof labels. A small jar of their vegan lip balm base runs around $8.00 and makes about 55 lip balm tubes like the size ChapStick comes in. The folks at Majestic Mountain Sage are helpful and quick to respond to my questions, and their products are super and reasonably priced.

So here we go, let's make some lip balm!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Medium saucepan
  • Pyrex measuring cup (glass)
  • Syringes, or pipettes for adding flavor
  • Toothpicks or something disposable to stir wax as it melts
  • Lip balm base
  • Flavoring
  • Lip balm tubes, tins, tubs or bottle caps
  • Stickers or labels

Fill your medium saucepan about 1/3 with water.
Next, scoop out the amount of lip balm base you would like to use and put it in the Pyrex measuring cup, or use the whole jar of lip balm base - but remember it makes 55 tubes of lip balm! Now gently place the Pyrex measuring cup into the pot of water and turn the heat on low. Just enough heat to melt the wax.

Once the lip balm base is completely melted, turn off the heat. Now take the syringe or pipette and draw up any flavorings, sweeteners or colors you want to add. I'm adding Black Cherry flavor, Vanilla Banilla flavor, and a sweetener called Sugar Kisses that will blend together wonderfully to make a Black Cherry Vanilla lip balm with a touch of sweetness. Now stir with a toothpick or something else that is disposable and won't melt when placed in hot wax.

After you've turned off the heat and added your flavors, the lip balm base will begin to solidify again so the next steps are done quickly, but safely. Remember, it's wax and it can be re-melted. Better to work more slowly and safely and re-melt if needed, than to rush and burn yourself with hot wax.
It's time to carefully remove the Pyrex measuring cup from the hot water and slowly pour the melted lip balm base into your chosen lip balm container. Once in the container, the lip balm base will sink down a bit as it cools. There are ways to make the lip balm into a dome on the top, but none of them work very well for me so I'm not going to share them : )

Lip balm tubes come in a zillion colors. I like to use clear lip balm tubes because I think lip balm is pretty and I want to see it. Clear lip balm tubes also give you the opportunity to see when you're getting low, and if you're hooked on lip balm that's important! There are also little plastic jars or tubs with really cool caps in different colors and designs, and metal tins with sliding tops, but you have to put your (sometimes less than clean) finger in them to use the lip balm and that's not my thing.
As you can see, lip balm is very easy to make and everybody loves it. So lip balm makes a great gift. Lip balm can be sold online, given away to friends and family and used as gifts, favors and stocking stuffers. So when putting the finishing touches on your lip balm, it helps to know what you're going to do with it.

Hope this post inspired you to make your own lip balm!

Please feel free to leave comments or questions on my blog.
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Many thanks to all my readers in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, and France!
Jana : )

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Made the Arnold Grummer Design Team!

I am very excited to announce I was selected to be on the Arnold Grummer Design Team! Starting August 11th, I will be devoting two blog post's a month to super cool projects using Arnold Grummer paper crafting products. Head over to to meet the awesome team of mixed media artist's that make up the design team. This special creative event will run for six months and I can't wait to get started. To accommodate the team's posting schedule, I will be changing my blog post to once weekly on Saturday's so note the change and get ready for some fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Is A Derecho?

A derecho (day-RAY-cho) is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. 

I've lived on the east coast of the United States all my life and I had never even heard the word "derecho" until a few days after one snuck up on us and beat us to a pulp. Now I'll never forget it. I've seen many storms, but this one was down right scary. During the storm we thought "this must be what the Lord's wrath is like." In the morning our area looked like a war zone. Huge trees uprooted or snapped off laying over downed power lines and crashed into houses on every street. Our power was out for almost a week and others still don't have any electric. All this during a heat wave with temperatures pushing 100 degrees and higher. All the banks and businesses were closed. You couldn't get cash, and if you were able to find a gas station open, you were gonna be there a while. We threw mountains of food out of our freezer and refrigerator - which I found more painful than the cold showers we were fortunate enough to be able to take. Generators were more scarce than the 1943 copper penny (rare and valued from thousands to millions of dollars). We had no contact with the media and no real idea what had happened or the damage it caused. Only our cell phones (not smart phones by the way) kept us in touch with family and friends, and we had to drive around to keep them charged.  But I learned a few things from this nasty storm called a derecho:

1. We are woefully unprepared for an emergency event like this.
2. I need to do more canning and drying of foods and less freezing.
3. Our society is way too dependent on computers. They run most of our life.
4. I need to find out more about the Amish.
5. Don't put things off like laundry and vacuuming. Tomorrow you may not have electric.

There was a silver lining to all this though - the wind pushed our extremely heavy back yard play set over several inches revealing a large underground bee's nest in the sandbox where our children play everyday. A blessing indeed.

Needless to say we had a lot of cleaning up to do, and of course, no Internet. So crafting and blogging were put on the back burner for a bit. But My Creative Mommy is back and should be up and running according to schedule by next week.

Thank you for your prayers, and your patience.

Many Blessings,
Jana : )