Christmas Updated for Those with High Blood Pressure!     Advanced Balm & Lotion Making, Mica's, Clays and Zinc OxideJoyeux Noel!           Merry Christmas!              Joyeux Noel!          Merry Christmas!             Joyeux Noel!

For Those Alone or Attending to Those Who Are!    Last Minute Packaging That Works!      Merry Christmas at Issue?



   Being Alone for the Holidays

Clays: An Additive in Balms and Lotions

  Making a Double Bow    

          Massage Therapy Oils

Sun Protection: Zinc Oxide

Facial Mask Recipes

    Spice Recipe for Large Aroma Warmers

Chill Out, Just Do What You Can!

Bath Salt Therapy

School and Org Discount

London:  Health Secrets Unlocked

Potpourris Bath Teas 

Letter from the Editor:       Merry Christmas   Merry Christmas   Merry Christmas    

*This issue only has been modified in a bigger font for those who cannot read well and this holiday season upon us.  Do let me know if you prefer the larger font and I can keep future newsletters this way if it makes that much of a difference and/or let know if the page takes too long to load, meaning too many heavy graphics.  Click here to tell me

~Merry Christmas!  Deborah

Whip Out The Reynolds Parchment Paper!  Fast wrapping for 13 Cents!

Sorry I am so late on this fast and new year round way to wrap a gift!  Better late than never.  Reynolds just came out with "parchment paper" you can get at the grocery store.  I think one box is enough to wrap 20 individual bath bombs, soap, or other 6 ounce items.  The paper is 15" wide, so I cut 15" across to make a square.  I think it was under $2.50 a box.  So what is the cost? 13 Cents?  I was dying to know what this paper would do--since it is far cheaper in a cooking platform than a craft platform!  Well, I put a rather wet soap ball in the middle--just playing around and found it also did not wet the paper.  That told me bath bombs can stay safe from humidity in this paper, as well as the famous glycerin soap pulling water from the air issue!  You can even chalk decorations on the paper before you wrap, rubber stamp, or sticker.  You could punch heart or star holes in it before you wrap.  I think it is fine and elegant left alone.

To Wrap:

Cut the paper 15" across, so you have a square.  Put the gift in the middle--whether it be soap, bath bombs, bath melts, or other hard to wrap bath products.  Pull all edges straight up to gather and then twist a few good times, leaving the top fluffy as possible.  Have something cute to go around the neck.  The neck ribbon or raffia possibilities are endless even if you have to use a curly bow someone gave you last year.  Adding a hang tag is far easier and you can even have fun with the top--such as cut it short and place a silk flower in there.  Chances are you have silk flowers shoved in your attic, garage or craft room.  Click here if you want to know what the Reynolds box looks like.

*For Rectangle Soap you can simply gift wrap it in this paper and use a cute label to secure it.

Dumpster Diving:  Build Your Craft Center Starting this Christmas!

     The stuff we consider garbage is unreal.  Before everyone opens their presents, I already have a big clear shopping bag ready to keep what cool bows and stuff they are throwing away.  And a big garbage pail for what is garbage.  The clear shopping bag tells me what goodies I have in there all year without having to dump the contents.  I can hang it from the rafters of my craft room.  And I am not shy.  I would scoop the neighbors garbage (a few streets over--so they do not know me) because they have some real awesome garbage!  Jerry Springer does not live far away and that is a coup. But much of these pretty things can be used all year for a variety of other things.  You could potentially collect $500 worth of bows and neat "things."  Maybe vases also and such you can hand paint later.  I would hit dumpsters of large florist.    Above is me dumpster diving in downtown London!  I found neat wood wine boxes and so on.  Actually that is a little video if you click it.

The "Merry Christmas" Issue:  A Tea Party?

     I am always up for a good fight.  Oh, it is its own discussion at the bottom of this page.  Even I was getting confused as a writer as to "etiquette" these days regarding what to caption. So I said "Happy Holidays" to start, which historically did cover all basis.  Many religions are having--up and coming holidays.  Without getting into the "melting pot" we love and invite in the United States--I will just say this: 

     A consumer wrote Mabel in the States--we should say "Merry Christmas" and she was pretty irate.  I was in London a the time--where MOST of us do come from originally (bloodlines) and Ireland next door, and there is no BS about it over there.  It is Merry Christmas in London and Ireland!  So, I did not understand what was going on over here.

     Flying home I returned to see the huge debate over what we can say and not say?  So I redrafted our web site greeting to "Merry Christmas" on the site.  I do apologize but this country was built on our Founding Fathers who, as we know, brought the Christmas Traditions over here.  It can mean a lot of things to different people.  If you want to live in another country it is only polite to adapt their traditions, or celebrate your own.  Our Founding Fathers were so much more creative than we.  If they did not like the price of Tea, they threw the darn lot in the Boston Harbor!  That was nothing compared to their other antics, harmless, but usually clever.  And they were prepared to die for our dream!  Many did.  See the bottom of the page for a lot of input on this and a cute video clip by "Larry the Cable Guy."

      Did you know the word "History" comes from HIS STORY?

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Chill Out, Just Do What You Can

     People literally do stroke out more on the holidays than any other time because of the "perception" of pressure they are under to perform some things. Some things, they just feel they may not be able to perform.  When "perception of pressure" becomes a "definite fact of pressure" then you must look at WHAT the basis for the "trigger" in the first place.  It may not be that big a deal.  Most of the time--nothing is--but our health.  And being upset does not help solve the issue.  Being "aware" is fine--but being upset is not productive.  And we tend to make our health a low priority to the needs of others.  I always felt I handled stress well, but time does take its toll, years pass, and the body eventually will reveal the most well maintained "appearance."  

     My wake up call was October of this year and it was short of a heart attack. I am very fortunate--at 42 I was walking a thin line.  I laugh so much, even in hard times I can find a sense of humor.  So, I was pretty shocked to hear how very well I was internalizing things I felt stressful. Such as all of my kids being in college and the house is all too quiet.  I was about to begin taking a lifetime of beta blockers and a ton of other things I cannot even spell.  "A pill for this and a pill to control the side effects of the other pill."  That sounded to me like a life time sentence and the thought made my blood pressure rise more!   To me, that is like paying child support to Merck or any of the other mega pharmaceutical companies every month until I die.   BTW, I am the "one out of two" that are not insured in the states.  And then the pills seemed to make me sicker and more spaced out--and I was paying gobs for them.  I had to leave the environment, in my mind, to be sure of all variables. I went to a place the pharmaceutical companies have FAR less influence.  The UK, home of the oldest and most respected herbalists.

      When I left the "environment" and went to London I had zero issues with high blood pressure or heart.  Zip.  The change was pretty instant and remarkable. I discovered a TON of important things in the United Kingdom.  In short--loads of information to enhance the quality of my life, my family and my readers.  Health.  Relief and potential solutions for just about everything including cancer, diabetes, eczema, psoriases and chronic pain.  I met other people there--who were also were lucky enough to leave the states to find more help.  They were thrilled, and most had been there a few years. They just decided to stay.  They told me I did the right thing.  I did not expect to come upon them!  But I came back with so much information, it will take me this whole holiday to absorb, disseminate, and finalize my resulting film and books.  However a fraction of what I learned is available now, in the form of an e-Book called Gracechurch--where I stayed, in the UK.  I was able to get this 50 page e-book written on the long flights of my journey.  It is a little more playful than the final London Apothecary, which is intense and richer with information.

     But arriving home--here we go:  Found out Ringo, my beautiful Katrina-Wilma Rescue adopted 3 year old ran into a car. Yes, he did that.  The car did not run into him.  (I did not believe that but found out it was true.)  So, lucky just his rear foot is cast and he is on "lock down" for a good six weeks.  He is happy and in good hands.  He is also getting new names like "Clifford" and "Tri Pod" as he is so silly and not one bit deterred by his car episode.  He is huge and most convinced my cat is under the sofa.  So, he spends every waking second trying to get under the couch.  (The cat is at one of my daughters houses BTW.)  All I see is his big butt and tail wagging--the rest is under the sofa most of the day.  I dropped a book back there one day just to freak him out and he bought it! He went wild for hours, sure he struck gold.  So, if I want to buy 4 hours of writing time--I just drop book or something squeaky behind the couch.  Works like a charm.  Maybe for Christmas I will drop a real cat back there.  BTW, that is Ringo up above, to the right--click thumbnail to check out the decorations we made.

     Back to stress:  While looking at X-Rays and trying to make the right decisions with his future--(I had better sell some books)  I passed out and found out I had Pneumonia.  Ironic, I know,  but I pushed my luck in London.  (E.g., I walked bare foot in like snow to fetch the mail.  Too lazy to put my boots on.)  Real stupid if you are acclimated to Florida for 20 years.   I am not twenty anymore and invincible.  I forget that a lot.  So, Ringo and I hunkered down for five days watching the "Food Channel" and slept a lot when I got back.  The Food Channel, DYI Network, and HGTV are awesome reasons to watch TV these days.  More so, if you are sick--heck just watch them do your living for you!  I could not even lift my head.  Even if someone reported the house was burning down.  I would probably shrug and go back to sleep.  One time Ringo and I  woke up just to long enough to eat--and I just gave Ringo the same cereal I was eating.  We sat side by side eating Cheerios at the table and went back to bed.  That was funny. 

     Dog Talk and Leanne:  Ringo, he is a blessing, and had me laughing a lot--still on the sofa mission with every serious effort on his part.  Anyone alone should have a good dog-if possible.  It took me years to break down and commit.  (Animals and kids make life seem so simple.  If you want to relax just get on their level.)  I will turn on the Animal Planet to give Ringo a break because he believes the TV is real and the dogs are in our house.  He tries to lick and interact with the TV.  Couch material--I also spent a lot of time on the phone with Leane who is also recouping.  She misses our customers very much and is trying to get back after New Years.  She said her dog "Luci" goes seriously bizrk and growling only when Bill Clinton was on the TV.  She said it was hysterically funny, unreal and the family had to almost sedate Luci every time.  Leanne said she could never understand why only that one person drove her dog nuts.  I miss working with her also, so it is refreshing just to talk to a good friend if you are down.  It did me wonders.  I was trying not to bother her with shop talk that can be inevitable with me.  Gee, she had at least two neck disks replaced a few months ago.  She is frustrated she is not where she feels she should be right now.  She wants to be writing again.  So, if you are down, just pick up the phone and harass a good friend.

     When I started to get a little energy, I realized Christmas was like fourteen days away, I had no set plans and not the first decorations were going up.  Just too late in the game.  Big deal.  I lost the Martha Decor Award by default.  I was just happy to be informed shipping was almost current.  That looked almost impossible when flew in.  A ton of orders were going out as normal--but not all.  It was my fault for not ordering enough supplies before I flew out.  Every year increases so much more than the last--it is hard to gauge.  My shipping staff are mainly Amish and Mennonite--so they are not the talkative type to pick up the phone like me and my other writers across the states.  For the first time in seven years--I did think we were toast.  I called a few big hitters and had supplies overnighted to us.  We owe no debt--but still, I do not like the stress of knowing I may have ruined another persons Christmas.  I told shipping all I wanted for Christmas was for us to get current--if that was even possible.  And a true miracle went on while I was sick for the following five days.  Mabel needed her own UPS truck for the first time in seven years!  That was a funny problem.

     But all I had the energy to do was hope and trust this time.  And pray a lot!  I called what customers I could. So, I got my present and that was two hundred of extra unexpected boxes out the door and keep our reputation in good graces.  I am not yelling "Victory" just yet. 

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Being Alone for the Holidays (Or Just Not Feeling Well)

     Then it dawned on me, as the Holidays approach, other people will be alone also, and I am hardly the only person too damn sick to "show the spirit" of the holidays.  This article is also awesome if you are visiting a lonely family member and do not have a lot of time with them--you can help them do some of these things quickly!  And they will be thrilled when you leave.  So, here is what I did cheap and fast.  I did not even have to leave the house!

How to Decorate with No Energy or Money?

  • Grab some ribbon and display your holiday cards on the wall.  I opened all of my Christmas Cards and grabbed a roll of 4 inch wide gold ribbon.  I simply hung the ribbon near the most viewed empty space--from the top of the wall to the bottom.  Then I used glue dots to stick them on the ribbon, giving them an inch space each.  (I did have to glue dot the cards shut to look prettier and uniform.)  But that took 5 whole minutes and provided an instant array of "Christmas and Hanukah" looks. A beautiful display, and all I needed was long ribbon and tape.  *This was cool because I never knew where to put the ton of cards I get anyway.  So my friends and associates did not know it, but they just decorated my house with their cards!  *It is always good to keep a roll of gold ribbon on hand because it fits almost any occasion, Grab them on sale after Christmas.  **No glue dots? Use tape-making it double sided tape. ***No cards?  Cheat and use other "Thank You Cards" or print them off the net. 

  • If one or two people give you flowers--make a big arrangement with them!  A big floral arrangement ended up being my tree.  A bunch of carnations I arranged beautifully in that vase you see at the top of the page.    Now that arrangement ended up much bigger--in the photo I was just trying to show how I made two bows out of one.  If you keep your vases over the years, you should have a vase.  Fill one up a vase with water, one crushed aspirin and a 1/4 teaspoon of Clorox.  The photo to the right was a small example in my floral video about making a floral arrangement that will last for weeks--not days.  Roses die pretty fast.  Carnations and chrysanthemums are very long performers. 

     This year, someone gave me carnations, and chrysanthemums,  so I cleaned them up and made one big arrangement.  I went out side and grabbed some pine limbs right off my pine tree for my "greens."  To make your own arrangement, all you do is take your greens and start with one in the vase, and then put the next green on the opposite side.   Keep doing that and turning the vase until your vase is full of whatever greens you have. Then a few greens in the middle and around to look full.  De-leaf anything that may go below the waterline--that will also give you more room.

     THEN you start putting flowers in.  Cut each flower as you work so they can drink better.  Make sure you have a crushed aspirin in the water, and remove any leaves that may fall below the "waterline."  I like to start by putting my best focal flower in the middle and then work around that.  Alternating flowers again to be uniform.  One to the right, one to the left and keep turning the vase as you work.  When you feel "done" you can then add any accent pieces like maybe a big pine sprig or pine cone on a stick.  A Christmas bulb on a long stick?  This should only take ten whole minutes! **No flowers? Way cheaper to just buy Carnations at the store and arrange them your self.  They last the longest by far.  ***I also feel a beautiful floral arrangement saves the trees also, and allows for extra money for stuff that will last a long time. 

  • Gifts!  Because my floral arrangement is my tree, I just will put gifts and presents around that.  My packaging will be reusable!  Ornaments that open.  Saves paper, the environment, trash and the trees!  My kids are older--so I did buy those cute new porcelain or enamel Ornaments you can open and put a gift inside.  I think that was the only innovative Christmas idea I saw this year and liked.  Many mail order catalogs have their "own" and so I will collect them.  But for older kids to put inside, well they are great to hold money.  And to be fair it should all be the same monetary value.   The ornaments are only about $3 each, and it may be a little late, but here is where I got some and they were definitely cheaper in the catalog.  Solutions Catalog is one of my favorite catalogs.

  • If you are visiting relatives in "retirement" home type settings, yes, flowers do help VERY much.  Or making what flowers they got even prettier!  That is a quick "in room" project and makes them feel they helped decide something.  Giving them little things to do or read, (if they can do those things,) lasts long after your limited time.  I would sneak some lotions and essential oils in.  I think scent is a BIG issue in those kind of places and real lavender drops, on a stuffed animal, and such can drift them into a better place.  And E.O.s are strong, lasting a long time.  So strong, I would want a few soft teddy bears to change each day if I were in the infirmary. Like one Lavender, one Rose Geranium, One Patchouli.  Fir Needles and Cedarwood are also great for a change of aroma.  More so for men.  Also you may want to leave them cocoa and stuff to pig out on--if they are "allowed" to have such.

Summary:  So, that is it!  Decorations were effortless and beautiful, my floral decoration will last at least two weeks and makes me just as happy as a big tree. The gift giving does not have to involve a bunch of paper, tape and bows.  Focus can be on the best part, THE GOOD FOOD!  So, I spent 1/2 hour doing these things and went back to bed with much more Christmas spirit going for me than I had an hour prior.   The whole point is to relax, do not dwell on the fact you are "alone" if you are (I have been with tons of people and still felt alone--or worse!) And do not feel pressure that you have to do anything.  Even if you do, take it day by day.  And if you are alone, plan to accomplish some great goal that is personal to you. Even if it means reading an great novel.  And when 2006 arrives you will feel "accomplished."   I think the best part about each new year are the Resolutions!

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Making a Double Bow

This was cute and most likely an idea inspired in London because they make the most of everything they have.  I decided to make one of my long lasting flower arrangements (with mainly carnations) and grabbed a pretty ruby vase I had in my craft room.  All I really needed was a nice bow--so I grabbed some 2" crème satin ribbon and made a bow by pinching twisting method.  Once I pinched and twisted seven uniformly sided loops,  I clamped the middle.  But then I thought to leave another yard hanging and see if I could make a bow around the back of the vase.  Yep, it worked out so cute.  So the back of the vase has a simple cute French bow to offer.  Click the thumbnail photo if you want a larger view to see how pretty that small back bow came out!

Yes, that is the BACK of the vase!  The best part is you can simply untie the back of the bow--as you would your shoes and use again later.  Most bows take about 3 good yards--to do this bow have 5 yards ready. 

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Pre-Thanksgiving Articles

I did not think I could produce another newsletter before year 2006 arrives.  However, as things quieted down for Gobble Gobble, I was able to have some quiet time to experiment with some AWESOME new products sent to me, (playtime) and make my own hand made gifts my friends and associates expect for Christmas.  The results were fabulous and enough new (to me anyway) and quality material to create a new book and DVD based upon.  Here I discuss additives.  My next work is only a touch more complex than the basic theories I teach, but totally worth it. 

NEW!  Complete Mabel White Media Set on Sale! Click Here!

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Powder on Zinc Oxide for Sun Block Protection

I have been intrigued with the attributes of  Zinc Oxide Powder for quite some time.  I knew I had to study it well before I could profess what attributes it really offers.  As with anything really good, or cool, FDA has something to say about it, so here I will quote my sources and let you figure it out. 

Zinc Oxide can be used in any oil based toiletry. I love it if not just to give my lip balms a creamy opaque texture although at a low 2% of the total balm.    Too much and you will have the sun block snow skiers or surfers put on their noses.  I will make a recipe for my dogs nose for times he plays in the water. 

The idea of the Zinc Oxide Powder is after your morning bath, you simply load a badger brush with the powder and distribute on any areas of concern.  It is best to wait 20 minutes before going out in the sun so it can "set" with your bodily chemistry. It should also set before you put on your clothes as not to stain them.   I find the brush on zinc powder to be best stored in a metal travel tin.  Click here for our metal tins, here for our badger brushes and here for our Zinc Oxide Powder.  Zinc Oxide also helps prevent diaper rash and protects chaffed, irritated skin.  We add dried, pink powdered rose petals to our zinc oxide to make a pretty baby bootee blend.  The research below also promotes Zinc Oxide as a herpes inhibitor as well as an effectual  application for the prevention or reduction in episode of other annoying skin conditions.  Click here for Titanium Dioxide used to make soap white among other things. 

Titanium dioxide blocks some UVA, but not as good as Zinc Oxide.  Zinc oxide is a natural mineral, used safely for generations to shield against the harmful effects of the sun. Zinc oxide forms a protective physical barrier over the skin and stops the harmful UV rays, providing the most complete protection. Badger brushes are very hard to find--most costing $40 an upwards.  We now carry 3 different sized goat hair brushes for loading the zinc, men' shaving soap, men's aftershave and the edible love dust products everyone seems to be selling like mad.  (Vanilla Powder would be the base for the edible lines.)  Click here about the badger brushes.

Zinc Oxide
(Key Component of Pure Lip's proprietary multi Zinc)
Approved by the FDA as both a sunscreen and skin protectant, zinc oxide has long been recognized as both safe and effective. Indeed, the FDA notes "it was perhaps the most frequently used agent in topical dermatotherapy." A cold sore outbreak can be characterized by pain, inflammation, blister fluid, and infection - but zinc oxide addresses all of these problems. According to the FDA, "zinc oxide has a cooling, slightly astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial and protective action." Furthermore, several medical studies have shown that topically applied zinc oxide may yield the essential element zinc that provides a host of nutritional benefits to the skin. Source:

Zinc oxide is the only ingredient that is FDA-recognized as having both UVB and
UVA broadest-spectrum protection, as well as having therapeutic benefits.
 Source: Organic

Other Research Support Documents for Zinc Oxide:

Wikpedia     by Baldwin 5 Citations     Dr Mark Mitchnick, Medical Director      Organic

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Zinc Oxide Additive in Lip and Body Balms

To test the Zinc Oxide theory I simply melted a 1/4 cup of my All Purpose Balm Base and swirled in 1/10 of a teaspoon of the white zinc powder, known as Zinc Oxide.  It gave it a very nice creamy color.  I then swirled in a pinch of our pink mica powder and that gave it a beautiful final "plumeria" color and texture.  You can always tint your lip balm with a touch of lipstick by swirling it in the warm balm with a toothpick.  Most lip sticks contain micas as a main component.

I love the Rachel Perry Products and her Sea Kelp Scrub Mask in particular.  Formulated with a complex of botanicals and natural scrubbing agents such as Corn Meal, Almond Meal, Walnut Shell, Rye Flour, Sea Salt, Sea Kelp, Rose Hips, Echinacea, Comfrey Root and Goldenseal this has been a classic product of hers for years.  I also love Jafra's Facial scrub mask because I found them so soothing to my skin.  Well, I find Zinc Oxide is a main feature in a few of my favorite scrubs, because it is so soothing.

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Clay Additive in Body Balms and Lotions

Yes, I did find it fascinating that Burt's Bees as well as other all natural cosmetic companies are now using different colored clays in there balms to promote natural color and perhaps reduce an "oil drag."  I used my All Purpose Balm Base and found 1/2 a teaspoon of pink clay swirled in produced a beautiful effect and the desired result.  Clay can get real gunky, so only a dash is needed.  A dash of our Pink Mica Powder gave my lip balm a pretty rose pink color.  In the lip balm I also added a dash (2%) of Zinc Oxide and that gave my lip balm a nice creamy texture and opaque.  The photo to the right is pink mica.  We feel pink and white frosty micas are the only colors we need.  As you may know we have a natural coloration chart, and aim to color naturally when needed.  The white frosty mica can enhance any of the natural colors we recommend in the chart. Click here for our Natural Coloration Chart copyright 2002, that applies to most oil based home made products.   

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Elegant Bath Salts You Can Afford!

Oh, here is where the fun really began!  I know Dead Sea Salts can be expensive.  I also just discovered "Pink Hawaiian Dead Sea Salts" (I did not know Hawaii had a Dead Sea--but I will go along with that.)  They are pretty!  See the Pink Hawaiian Salts on the right.  No we no longer carry them because they are not real.  Some other vendor tossed them in pink clay was all.   

But going back to expense, I decided to create an affordable Fizzy Spa Bath Salt Bath Blend we call our Mission Spa Salt Blend, that is just effective, fun, affordable to us all, and truly beautiful!  The first of this line is a basic mixture of white salts:  Large Spa Salts, Dead Sea Salts, Citric Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda,).  Essential oil, or color based oil to preference can then be added, but color is not a priority.  To do this you shake the ingredients in a large zip lock bag.  Our salts come with a large plastic and durable stand up pouch. Heart shaped box not included. This blend still embraces the fun fizzy action, while still offering the healing attributes of the many other salts.  $3.95 a Pound.  We do not recommend any color addition for the following signature blends...

Calming Blends we created include Herbs de Province Bath Salt Blend which is breathtaking blend of Spa Salts, Dead Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, Rose Petals, and White Sage. $5.95 LB. 

Our Purity Bath Salt Blend includes Spa Salts, Dead Sea Salts, Epsom Salt, White Sage, Lavender and Rosemary. $5.95 LB.  Click here to buy these new blends and see our new Spa Salts that come with pearl mica already on them.


Suggested essential oil blends include:  Click here for Essential Oils
Per 16 Ounces of Lotion Base, Oils or Salts in Drops
Cold and Flu 6 Eucalyptus, 4 Lavender, 4 Tea Tree & or Bergamot
Detoxifying 6 Lemon, 2 Tea Tree. 2 Litsea , 2 Fennel
Energize 6 Orange, Grapefruit, or Tangerine, + 4 Ginger, 2 Spearmint
Energize 6 Lime, 4 Coconut, 2 Verbena, 2 Coriander
Energize 6 Coffee, 4 Peppermint or Spearmint
Head Ache 6 Peppermint, 4 Rosemary, 2 Lavender
Muscle Relief 6 Rosemary, 2 Rose Geranium, 2 Fennel
PMS 4 Rose Geranium, 4 Fennel, 2 Rosemary
Sensual 6 Cardamom, 4 Vetiver, 2 Patchouli
Sensual 6 Jasmine, 4 Cedarwood, 2 Myrrh
Relaxing 4 Clary Sage, 4 Cedar
Relaxing 6 Palma Rosa, 4 Litsea, 2 Vetivert
Relaxing 4 Rose Geranium, 4 Juniper
Relaxing 6 Rose Geranium, 4 Sandalwood
Sleep 6 Bulgarian Lavender, 2 Geranium
Just Refreshing 6 Drops of Carrot Seed Oil
Calming Scents Almond, Honey
CAUTION: Essential Oils you should avoid in the bath include but are not limited to basil, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, and bay (Pimenta and Laurus). Also avoid any oils that can cause sensitivity to your skin.
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Bath Tea's and Potpourris Bath Tea Blends

Bath tea's are very "in" now and I expect they will stay very popular because of their beauty, true therapeutic value, and easy access ingredients in which to make them.  Because your skin is your largest organ, and 10% of anything that goes on your skin typically does get absorbed into your bloodstream, this can be an excellent thing, or a bad thing.  Depending upon what you are putting on your skin.  Thus, the reason FDA considers just about anything that goes on your skin a drug.  And rightfully so.  Here we have developed a few beautiful recipes, and if you really get into making these, you can grow and dry your own herbs.  Growing herbs is so easy, you have to TRY to stop them from growing.  My clippings of Basil, put into water in my kitchen started growing roots!  and began to take over the whole kitchen.  To such a point I had to cut the tall sprigs, hang them upside down in a cool dark place and dry them.  The results, in part went into my cooking, or in this case bath teas.  Click here for that article.  BTW, White Sage is especially beautiful. This was our lead photo.  The ingredients were so pretty when we layered them in a clear stand up pouch--who could help but buy them!

I started hearing about bathing in tea when some people wanted an instant tan.  I found that pretty intriguing.  The recipes below are designed to layer in a clear 8 ounce stand up pouch.  Click here for our pouches. Look for the #10 pouch.  This provides enough for one or two elegant baths.  The tea can be mixed up and put into gauze sachet bags if you want to avoid tub clean up.  Gauze sachet pull tie bags can be found in bulk at any health food store.  Just hand unto the faucet with running hot water first.

Once again, when layering, pour the smallest sized ingredients in first, and bigger sized last. When dealing with herbs, ounces can be deceiving because a whole bowl full of jasmine buds ,for example, can be one ounce.  They are so light in weight.  For an 8 ounce pouch bag:

1/2 cup of Green Tea

1/4 cup of Dried White Sage

1/4 cup of Dried White Jasmine Buds

1/4 cup of Dried Rose Petals

Before you start layering--you may want to put some Epsom salts in the bottom, such as 1/4 cup.  My newest book The London: Apothecary Formulas and Blends will have many more blends targeting specific needs as well as what herbs grow best and how to dry them.  The possibilities are truly endless.

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Massage Therapy Arsenal of Oils by Elizabeth Avramidis

I have noticed Mabel gets many requests from newly licensed massage therapists as to what oils to use.  I also need to know these things as I just finished massage therapy school myself.  For some reason, people do not see the reality of the oil you choose to use; as being essential to the body work you are doing. Different oils meet different needs, and Mabel seems to grasp this idea. I not only love working with people, but I enjoy the fact that I am helping their healing process in a way of meeting their needs emotionally and physically. 

Since Mabel happens to be "AKA" my Mom, I just freak to see all of the cool carrier and essential oils in the shipping department.  She promised to develop me a "kit" for Christmas that would allow me to use high quality products on my clients in the most affordable manner.  This "kit" will supply me with the basic oils and the oils that can help me meet an individual's needs such as oil for: cramps, indigestion, headaches, etc. I mean come on any massage therapist could tell you this kit would basically be a dream come true. So, Mom and I  researched this together, and Mom just finished the proposed line in London on December 3rd, 2005.  (See the chart below...)

Let's start with the fact if you are a massage therapist in a pinch for oil (I am when I travel). Safflower Oil right off the grocery store shelf is wonderful and affordable.  Safflower Carthamus tinctures - a light and easily-absorbed oil often used in body ... amongst massage therapists because it is practically allergy-proof.  Source: UK Medic-Direct.   Safflower oil is high in vitamin e, and subsequently has a long shelf life. This applies to Sunflower oil also.  We have added Carrier and Exotic Oils Attributes and Properties to the Shopping Cart Tools Menu.  Please Click here to see that. 

Hydrotherapy:  Ice It Down!

Beyond what my Mom comes up with on affordable formulas, I have to add that I feel hydrotherapy one of the most important attributes of the healing process.  That is, using ice to calm down inflamed areas of a clients body before work is started on that area.  Once I feel the area is iced down enough, I then work hard to draw the toxins out of that area.  I believe the application of ice is the most understated but superior component of true therapy there is.  My Mom would agree.  Since she grew up glued to a keyboard, she was about to have surgery for corporal tunnel after years of abuse of hand posturing, over working her hands.  She balked big-time when I demanded to ice her hands down for long periods of time and claimed "no way could ice" prevent surgery.  After they were iced down I would pull the toxins out of her swollen palms and wrists each day.  Within 3 days she no longer had any pain and that was a year ago. She also had a shoulder injury years ago, from being pulled into a boat from a rip tide and that was flaring up again to the consideration of microscopic surgery.  Again, I iced her shoulder down continuously for days and gently worked on that area to increase blood flow, circulation and subsequent healing.  She reported no pain at all there after, and that was six months ago,  I must say, she is my best client, when she is being cooperative.

Affordability Against Performance of Base Oils D.R. Dolen, Gracechurch, London

Type of Oil Average Retail Per Ounce (Lowest First)
Safflower & Sunflower .20 Cents
Apricot .35 Cents
Babasu .40 Cents
Cherry Kernel .40 Cents
Coconut, Fractionated .40 Cents
Grape Seed .40 Cents
Almond, Sweet .50 Cents
Olive .50 Cents
Hemp Oil .75 Cents
Jojoba .90 Cents
Primrose .95 Cents
Wheat Germ Oil .95 Cents

I used the US Commodities Market reference to Average Retail, which does not include a bottle or packaging.  I noted most special cold pressed oils, such as carrot seed, and black cumin, come in at the highest range, e.g., over $1 an ounce.  Because they are superior in benefit and attributes, they are excellent to mix into an affordable blend.

Base Massage Oil Formula #1

Safflower and Fractionated Coconut Oil

For my daughter and other massage therapist, I would recommend the obvious, Safflower and or Sunflower Oil as a base oil, because they are high in vitamin e and are a great source of lecithin (phospholipids.)   I would mix it down 1/2 with Fractionated Coconut Oil, because that is another oil that performs beautifully, affordable and antimicrobial in nature, Fractionated Coconut Oil also touts long term shelf life benefits. 

Base Massage Oil Formula #2

Cherry Kernel Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil

A second oil, I would opt for is very fun, Cherry Kernel Oil.  Cherry kernel oil contains a polyunsaturated fatty acid called "eleostrearic". Eleostrearic is considered to play an important role in the production of Prostaglandins, which are an important group of hormones that are involved in pain relief mechanisms as wells as controlling cell metabolism.  It has no distinct odor or color.  This would be great to mix 1/2 down with Fractionated Coconut Oil, allowing for a longer shelf life and the antimicrobial nature of that oil.

The above base formula's are affordable, and can be intermixed.  Grape Seed Oil:  No matter what you do, you may have clients simply demand "grape seed" oil because that may be the only "buzz" word they know--or believe is supreme.  It is a massage therapist job to educate the client. Grape Seed Oil is distinct, a slight green in color and can also be purchased on the grocery store shelf, typically in the gourmet oil section.  Although more affordable if purchased on the net as are most oils.  I feel Grape Seed Oil is better used in facial cleansing crème formulas.

Adding Fancy Oils at Percentages of Total Base Formula

If I were the massage therapist I would prepare my oils on a per client lifestyle basis, using the basic formulas above.  For example, for serious sunbathers, I would add 5% Cold Pressed Carrot Seed Oil to my basic formula, to try to work out some of the sun damage, and I would charge accordingly! 

For PMS or Menopause, I would also use 10% Primrose Oil, if not more, of my basic formula.   If I am "up selling" I would explain the special oil and request an extra $5 fee, for example.  It takes a semi truck full of carrot seeds to make just a few gallons of cold pressed carrot seed oils, thus the reason it is so expensive.  But healing, carrot seed oil sure is.  Black Cumin is another very expensive, but magical type of cold pressed oil.  I love it for my facial cleansing milks.

Jojoba Oil extremely high in cost, although, if I were a massage therapist I would make it 5% of my total blend.  The benefits are just countless and most of the public knows this.  Any time you purchase oils be careful it is not already blended down and just APPEARS to be 100% Jojoba.  It is easy for the best of us to make these mistakes due to big fonts and tiny ingredient print.  Some do not even disclose, and they simply get away with it.  Jojoba Oil should be a pretty golden color and not very thin.

Color and Scent?

To help Elizabeth identify her blends, I may put one drop of our non-toxic oil based dye into her formulas.  Such as one drop of red into Formula #2 to give it a blush tone.  For fun. I may add a few drops of almond flavor oil.  Smells great!  Formula #1, maybe one drop of blue for a slight aqua look.  A drop of juniper essential oil for a slight clean and natural scent.  However she did mention allergies as a concern.

Adding Essential Oils

Beyond the basic formula, jojoba inclusion, specialty oil option, you can take a massage session to another level with the inclusion of essential oils.  Essential oils are so potent, only a few drops are needed, say per every two ounces of massage oil.  Shake well and let loose!  If you include a repertoire of Essential Oils, you opt to just let that be your hallmark and not up charge in this area.  As I said, as few drops are enough to work even more magic.  We will offer an essential oil massage targeting chart in the next news letter.

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Spice Recipes for Large Aroma Warmers

Large meaning the new chocolate fondue sets operated off a tea light.  As I found, the units can also be used for simmering spices and making the whole house smell great.  I started this project as pre-Thanksgiving and guests thought I was already cooking apple pie and such.  I feel this is great because most ingredients are right in your spice rack and are all natural.  This recipe last about 4 solid days, although you need to add water every four hours and a touch of spices into the third day.   I make sure I have a cinnamon stick in each pot to stir them as needed--plus it looks pretty.  Citrus peels can also be added for extra bang, I just did not have any handy.  I do not recommend putting oil based products, such as essential oils in as you may get concerning "snapping" sounds."  You can layer these ingredients to give as a gift n a 4 ounce mason jar if you layer the smallest ingredients first.  The large and heavy items must be on top and added last for best effect.  Cost in spices?  Under $1.

Mabel White's Kitchen Aroma Spice Blend

Designed for a quart size chocolate melter to serve as double duty.  If you are using a smaller unit, do not fill it up more than 1/2 the size of the unit.

1 cup of Water

1 tsp of Cinnamon

1 tsp of Nutmeg

1 tsp of Allspice whole

1 tsp of Allspice ground

1 tsp of Cardamom ground

1 tsp of Whole Cloves

2 whole Star Anise

1 tsp of dried Citrus Peels (optional)

1 tsp of Cardamom whole (optional)

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The Best Clay Facial Mask  Formulas

Rhassoul clay, from under the Atlas Mountains in Africa, is considered the best for cleansing as well as its therapeutic values.  A truly exquisite Spa quality clay from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas mountains of Morocco. Rhassoul is a mineral rich, reddish/brown clay that blends extremely well with water making its application to the face and skin a smooth and delightful experience.

The best Spas across the globe utilize the toning and enriching benefits offered by Rhassoul and now it's just as easy to enjoy this splendor within your own home. High in Silica, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Sodium content, this clay is surely one of the finest treasures for the pampering of your skin.  Our second and third favorites to all clays are French Pink and White China (Kaolin) Clays which purges impurities, tones, closes pores and smoothes lines.

Red Moroccan Clay is for very oily skin, and has its place, but we feel that clay and Benzonite an almost white clay) are virtually worthless and available because they are so cheap to acquire wholesale.

Our French Green Clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It literally "drinks" oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin by bringing fresh blood to damaged skin cells, revitalizing the complexion, and tightening pores. French Green Clay is marvelous for helping to clear problem skin. Use it daily on trouble spots, or weekly as part of a complete facial treatment. Mined from bedrock quarries in France, it is completely natural, unscented and fragrance free.

Clay Mask Formula #1 Rhassoul Deep Cleansing Face

1 Ounce of Rhassoul Clay and enough Distilled Water to make a paste.  Usually a 1 part Clay to 3 Parts water ratio.  Make sure pores are steamed and open before applying.  Remove briskly with warm water and a scruffy washcloth.

Clay Mask Formula #2  Agave and French Pink Clay Moisturizing

1 Ounce of French Pink Clay and enough Agave Nectar (or Honey)  to make a paste.  Usually a 1 part Clay to 3 Parts Agave or Honey ratio.  Make sure pores are steamed and open before applying.  Remove briskly with warm water and a scruffy washcloth.

Clay Mask Formula #3  Green Tea Antioxidant

1 Ounce of Kaolin (White China) Clay and enough Green Tea to make a paste.  Usually a 1 part Clay to 3 Parts Tea ratio.  Make sure pores are steamed and open before applying.  Remove briskly with warm water and a scruffy washcloth.

Clay Mask #4 For Soothing Skin with Rose Hip and Chamomile Tea

1 Ounce of French Pink Clay and 1 Teaspoon of Zinc Oxide. Add enough Rose Hip and Chamomile Tea to make a paste.  Usually a 1 part Clay to 3 Parts Tea.  Make sure pores are steamed and open before applying.  Remove briskly with warm water and a scruffy washcloth.  And go over with a gentle cleansing milk to lift any residue.

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Mabel Goes to LondonThe Covent Garden

As I mentioned in the last newsletter I  traveled to London just after Thanksgiving and I was there until December 7th, 2005.  I went there because I am convinced the mega pharmaceutical companies want repeat business here and it is my personal opinion they like to keep us sick.  The only reason they have not chased the world renowned herbalist out of the United Kingdom, is simply a matter of who was there first.  The herbalist.  Herbalist in the UK intern for five years like a Doctor.  And they look at your whole life style before they start looking at internal medicine for an illness.   The UK also has a public health care system like Canada, so no country is surgery happy as the United States is. 

In London I stayed at Gracechurch and filmed many Apothecary ideas at the Covent Garden which is famous for their over the counter healing formulas, and other true Apothecaries, you do not see in the United States.  I did get to see first hand what cool things we are not used to seeing here in the states, OTC (Over the Counter) most simple, and what they were for.   Our pharmaceutical companies have lobbying money that would make your head spin, and they are up there with tobacco, alcohol and guns.  (Referring to lobbyist in D.C.)  In fact, they probably have the most money of all interest groups.   

I did discover foods and ingredients that really may heal certain ailments and so on.  Unexpectedly, I also ran into other Americans that went there for help and decided to stay.  They happily allowed interviews and swore they were totally healed of diabetes and such.  The most impressive testimonial said he was facing leg amputation in the states, said "screw that," and went to London two years ago.  He happily reported he no longer even has the disease and never needed such drastic surgery after all. 

Critical note:  None of what I learned is a totally "magic" formula.  Close to it--and far better than what is going on in the states, but motivation plays a HUGE role in any type of healing.  For instance, the man who was facing amputation in the states--had diabetes in the first place because he was seriously overweight.  No one TOLD HIM here in the states, that if he lost the weight he would not likely have the disease, thus any need for amputation.  So when he went to the UK he was put on a better game plan. His first task was to dump 200 pounds and he did.   He WANTED to have a better quality of life, so he did whatever it took. 

I am not writing for the critically ill--I am focused more on expanding "options," and "awareness."  Often motivation does play a big role in 1/2 of our disease, and no one knows what motivates you--better than you.     I am not a Doctor by any stretch of the imagination.  But I am blessed enough to be able to leave the states for more answers when 20 years ago, I could not.  Ten years ago I did loose a husband to cancer after a five year battle, and I believe what limited resources we had back then--did give him a few extra years.  We were always open minded--with fair caution and judgment to a "cure."  So, I do not take lightly to anyone claiming they have the "ultimate cure" to anything.   

Back to what I did learn in the UK, I cannot wait to share that with you!!!  This touches upon more than just formulas and blends.  It also addresses "lifestyle" and a better way to live.   Click here for more about my trip in general.

The TV DVD Video from London is almost done and shipping will start just after Christmas.  It will be called the "London Apothecary:  at the Covent Garden." This DVD/Video will teach you how things are done in the London Apothecaries as well as a refresher on how to make balms, bases, lotions, as well as address advanced ideas I did not include in my former basic toiletry making books.  Subjects such as preservatives when dealing with water items, extending the life of your butters and other products with ROE, sunscreens and other neat things discussed in this article. The 2 Hour TV DVD Video $34.95 and the 98 page Book London Apothecary: Herbal Formulas and Blends is $19.95.  Both can be purchased together for $10 off and free shipping if you buy now.   Plus you get the Gracechurch e-book free upon successful payment completion.  *I will be signing and dating those books which were purchased prior and during my London trip.  That group knows they pre-purchased and I appreciate that.  Gracechurch, UK Formulatory is a great e-book that is now available and about 20% of the information disseminated from my trip.  Click here for new e-Book!  (*The Gracechurch PDF is automatically given to you upon payment if you buy the DVD and Book below.)

I hope you have a great holiday season!   

 ~Deborah R. Dolen

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School and Non-Profit Organization Discount

At Mabel we are very much into supporting education of our Youth as well as Adult Vocational Rehabilitation Programs.   So much, we have created a 15% discount on any and all purchases made from such institutions.  Click here for our guidelines on how the discount works.  This includes schools, colleges, universities, churches, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and like organizations.  Yes, we are all for home schooling too, if you can prove you are home schooling. 

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       Poem by Sharon Steege

       I don't know who they are
       Saying I can't greet the crowd
       The way that I want to
       Can't say CHRISTMAS out loud.

       I walk into a business place
       See things that I rather not see
       But dare I not say CHRISTMAS
       And ask for a "holiday" tree.

       What happened to freedom of speech
       And living in the land of the free
       How can they take my CHRISTMAS money
       But can't say MERRY CHRISTMAS to me.

       Men and women have given their lives
       So we could still go free
       I wonder how they would feel
       At saying "HOLIDAY" TREE.

       Come on AMERICA let's wake up
       Don't let our freedom escape
       If they get by with doing this
       What else will they take.

       This is starting to get out of hand,
       And I've begun to keep track
       Well I've just about had enough


      I hope this gets all over the net
      If we all stand united and take freedom back
     'Twill be our best CHRISTMAS YET!


I've been reading your newsletters for several months now.  I do love to get them!
After reading the beginning of your latest, I couldn't help but notice the debate over Merry Christmas VS Happy Holidays...and I remembered this video clip that a friend sent me several days ago.  I really think you will enjoy watching this comedic reading of The Night Before Christmas.  Totally me anyway. 
I hope your filters don't throw this into the spam folder.  I know you don't know me, just because I am on your mailing list.   Since this email has an attachment, who knows if it will get through to you or not.  If it does, I hope you enjoy it, as much as I did.
Merry Christmas!!! 
Stacye Vowell ~ Texas

~Editor:  This is quality.  It is Jeff Foxsworthy's Buddy "Larry the Cable Guy" Reading the "Revised Version"  Click Here to see that Funny Video

*Note: It is much easier on our band width (server speed) if you just right click and save it to your hard drive and view it there.  It is a fast file.  Either way, Ho, Ho, Ho.  Thxs Stayce!

Judea Bentley, Nebraska, is one of my right hands.  She had this to say about Larry the Cable Guy:
Larry is from our small town of 3,000 and is a well known celebrity. He started out as just some guy who would call up the radio announcer and give him crap every day.   He is our town idol!!  ~Judea

I will gladly switch Jerry Springer, near me, for Larry.  I think Larry's kinda hot. Does he have a brother?  ~Deborah

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