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11  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Help in reconstructing this purse - the "hard/padded front" ? on: February 19, 2014 11:02:34 AM
Why does it have to be exactly like the one at hotopic?  Why can't it be inspired?   

Sew your bag like you want it, but on the front use applique for the black portion of the bag as seen in the photo link.  You could cut your design out any way that you wanted then or print it out sized to how you need it and trace that onto your fabric.  You could even use a regular sewing pattern for the bag if you didn't have enough experience to wing it and make your own pattern.   Just applique the design onto the front of the bag at the right time when constructing it.

Then you could make several with different designs or even colors.
12  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: HELP!! DIY WINE PURSE?? on: February 19, 2014 10:48:16 AM
some things in life are just easier to buy rather than make.... this may be one of them and I say may depending.  However that being said I would personally have one major issue with this and that would be how to clean it.   I hated most sippy toddler cups for the same reason, while cute pictures and name brands you would think they would think of the parent cleaning the cup especially if it rolled under the sofa or got left in the van over the weekend in the middle of the summer.  But noooooo most are almost impossible to get totally clean without a toothbrush and tools used to clean cake decorating tips and denture cleaning tablets.  Maybe that was just me being paranoid until I found the silicone topped ones that were easier to clean.  

But how would you clean this out properly?  The spigot and inside spigot, the container itself?   I guess that's why boxed wines are so popular, they are disposable.

You said your friend was a wine lover, does that included boxed wines or just the ones in the bottles?  Personally I'm NOT a fan of boxed wines including most bottled wines as I am not a fan of the vinegar taste and like sweeter fruity wines.  

If you needed to make a bag that could be reused, and while a waste buy a box a boxed wine, dump the wine or use it as cooking wine and recycle the box and bag inside.   Carefully open the box and maybe add some velcro to the closure so it could be opened and closed with ease and multiple times.   You could spray paint the box if you wanted to make it a little nicer.  Maybe use a base of kiltz to cover the print on the box first or just paint it black.    Sew a bag to fit around the box which would give you a stable base for the bag and wouldn't flop over.  Then sew the bag using stiff pellon stuff, the kind used for baseball hat bills and such.  Add a layer of softness with a layer of polar fleece or iron on fleece to the inside between the outer and inner fabric.  I have made cosmetic bags with both and it worked out nicely.   Then use your button hole option as someone else suggested to make the hole for the spigot to pop in and out of.  Don't forget to add the stiffening pellon to your handles.  You could make the handles longer because if your going to the beach you might be carrying other things and you could pop this bag on your shoulder leaving your hands/arms free for other stuff to carry.  

Another thought would be to buy a plastic container with a spigot such as ones sold for water to put into the fridge.  They come in several sizes, are rectangle and make your bag to fit this instead.  It would be heavier with the plastic, but you could also refill it as well.

A bag would be simple to sew, just cut 8 pieces of fabric the right size, (a quilting ruler and cutting mat rotary cutter makes this super simple to cut them the same) adding seam allowances and a little extra so it's not a tight fit.  And fit one inside the other, use double fold bias tape to cover your raw edges at the top and add on your handles.  It's super simple.   There are lots of video's on youtube as well.    Adding your pellon and fleece if you wanted to add a bit of softeness to the wrong side of each fabric.  Practice your button holes with scraps with the pellon added so you don't muck up on the real thing.   It doesn't need to be any harder than that.   I have made lots of bags this way, various bags for my kids and halloween trick or treat bag just using two layers of cotton for those though....   If you wanted two fabrics for the outside so the bottom of the bag was different than the top, just cut them the way you want, and sew before sewing your sides together.   Easy peasy, simple straight stitching.

Another thought is to make a round bag to fit say a liter or two liter bottle of soda.   Recycle and reuse an empty bottle and pour the wine into the old pop bottle.   You could even remove the label off a bottle and print your own fun label to put on the new bottle of wine.  Personalizing it would be fun, and still legal at the beach because it's in plastic.   If you cover the printed label with clear contact paper it will last a lot longer if your careful about washing it.   (denture tablets would work dandy here since it has a small opening)   Then once back home pour the wine back into the glass bottle it came in and wash out the plastic bottle right away and put it away for your next beach trip.

Just a few more ideas.....  
Good Luck and I hope you post picts of what you come up with!  
13  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Reusable Grocery or Shopping Bags/Totes OPINIONS WANTED on: February 19, 2014 10:24:39 AM
Life has been so busy lately.... Ugggg don't you hate how life sometimes gets in the way.   So I haven't sat at my sewing machine to do anything yet. 

But hubby has weekend plans with a hunting buddy of his (coyote tournament) so he will be out of the house for pretty much the weekend except to sleep.  So I'm going to take that as some personal time to do what I want, so this is going to be a weekend project for me.   So I hope to get some made up this weekend and I'll get some pictures of what I accomplish. 

Kaz, I like square bottomed bags for the same reason.   Even if boxes aren't put in there I think they might stand a bit better as well. 
14  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: TUTORIAL: Homemade Body Lotion on: February 08, 2014 09:21:29 AM
The emulsifier would be a big deal breaker to me.  Beeswax not really the right product for the application.  Emulsifying wax would be much better and then you wouldn't have issues with separation.

But the bigger deal breaker for me would be the lack of a cosmetic preservative.  Liquid germall plus is my preferred preservative and going by a friend of mine who had her lotion challenge tested it was recommended she bump the rate up to 1% which I do use with my goats milk lotions.   But keep in mind the goats milk is left to safe levels the preservative can handle.  Yes you can't just use all goats milk in a lotion and be safe.

But the tea would be the bigger deal breaker for me as tea is known for going moldy and I have not known anyone who has successfully used even small amounts of tea in a lotion with a preservative and not had is contain mold/bacteria when challenge tested by a lab.  This is a serious safety issue for many because the mold/bacteria can be present without being seen by the naked eye.  So saying it's good for 3-6 months if left in the fridge would be a safety concern for me.  If you had a nick (open wound) on your skin such as from shaving or even a paper cut it could cause an infection.   I do know of one person who required medical attention from a doctor because of using unsafe lotion on her legs when she had a nick from shaving.  It created a big infection that was a pain to deal with and she could easily pin point just how it got infected so badly.    And using this much tea in a product would seem very unsafe to me. 

I don't just have a business that sells handmade (made from scratch) products but I also have a forum and teach this as well and have been active on many forums in the past where this would have been given a red flag of caution to the users.

If you wanted to make this up I would make up much smaller amounts and keep it no longer than a week in the fridge.  Would you make up brewed tea and drink it 6-9 months later even if it was kept in the fridge.  No chances are better than not it would be moldy long before that time and would be thrown out.   The same applies here, but so many times the mold/bacteria can't be seen by the naked eye but it's present if it was challenge tested and it wouldn't be something you would want to use.  Sadly there are a lot of bad/unsafe recipes on the net that people are posting and passing on not realizing the reason why they are unsafe or bad recipes.

I would highly suggest investing in a preservative and know how to use it.  It's not expensive, used in small amounts, but it can mean the difference between a safe product and an unsafe one.  Especially if this is given away to friends and family or is sold.   If it's sold buyers could sue you which is why insurance for your soap business is so critical to have.

I would also suggest buying a digital scale and learning how to convert recipes from percents to weights. 
WSP has a free calculator to use to do just this.   This way you can make a small batch to start with and try out, and if you like it you can make a much bigger batch.

The recipe above contains a lot of oils and IMHO it's going to be pretty greasy feeling.....
I might suggest something like this.....
74% Distilled Water
7% Oil/Butter of Choice
8% Oil/Butter of Choice
5% Emulsifying Wax
1% Liquid Germall Plus
5% Essential Oil of Choice/Blend or Fragrance Oil

For a 4 oz (115 grams) jar you would use the following:
85 grams Water
8 grams Oil/Butter of Choice
9 grams Oil/Butter of Choice
6 grams Emulsifying Wax
1.2 grams Liquid Germall Plus *
6 grams Essential Oil of Choice/Blend or Fragrance Oil

* For preservatives I like to use a syringe and use cc instead.  I hold it with my thumb over the bottom and fill through the top, then add the plunger and put into my product.   I buy my syringes where vet supplies are sold (tractor supply) where they are used for horse, dogs/cats or cattle.  They are sterile and cheap.  This way I know the entire amount is going into the product and not left in the container i was weighing it in.

I also prefer to weigh in grams than ounces since it's more accurate. There are 28 grams to the single ounce.  So even if your +/- a gram or two your still right on target for the amount needed in your recipe.

If you wanted to use something other than water I would suggest aloe vera juice be used in it's place.  And yes even if you use aloe juice you still need a preservative.  But you can buy bottles of aloe juice in the pharmacy area of some stores where the laxatives are sold.  I buy mine in walmart in a gallon jug, but they also sell smaller bottles.  I would not make this DIY if you are using it in a lotion because of safety reasons.  If you want to make your own I would suggest using it in soaps instead. 

If you wanted to use a milk, dairy or non-dairy I would suggest using keeping that percent to 10% and taking it off the water percent.  Then using a preservative that is to be used in lotions with the oil content of your product.  Liquid germall plus is popular because you can use a high or low oil percent and it works, but it's also paraben free for those who have issues with that.   I say this because Germaben II and Germaben II E are subject to safe practice depending on the amount of oil used in your product.

The rule of thumb is if it contains water (or other liquids) or water will be introduced such as a scrub a preservative is required.  However scrubs require a preservative that will work in that application.  Liquid germall plus won't work in scrubs so if you are also going to make scrubs you will need multiple preservatives.

15  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Reusable Grocery or Shopping Bags/Totes OPINIONS WANTED on: February 08, 2014 08:13:46 AM
@ wendiek ~ Thanks for the links I hadn't seen those bags before!   Looks quick and easy which is something I like when I think that I am going to need quite a number of these bags.   I live in a very small town and actually do a very small amount of shopping here.   So most of my shopping is done on either or both of the nights my son as taekwondo class in a larger town with much better shopping choices and prices. 

@ CraftyChef ~ What an excellent point about needing different sized bags.  That would be very handy with different grocery items as some things are big/bulky but lightweight.   I also had thought about making ones with longer handles that can be put on the shoulder as well.  Many times when my hands/arms are hurting I would most definitely take advantage of that option.   But also it's easier to open doors with your hands free.   But I also live in a cold climate so longer handles are needed because of bulky warm coats......   

@ Jinjeet Phoenix ~ OMG I Love those little loops on the sides to make it easy to hang up on the commercial made thingy that hold the plastic bags to make bagging easier!!!  I never thought of that!!!  What a brilliant idea!!!   That was one thing I struggled with when thinking of this on how to fill them easily as it's not a common thing for people to use them around here so I want to make them user friendly.   But I also hope to inspire more people to use them as well.  Even if they are the .99 cent bags that so many stores offer that are commercially made.

Plus sewing these bags isn't rocket science, and my 10 year old loves to sew so it's a project I want to have her help me with.   And if they aren't perfect its not a big deal at all. 

16  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Reusable Grocery or Shopping Bags/Totes OPINIONS WANTED on: February 07, 2014 12:52:45 PM
I am tired of the plastic bags from grocery stores and super stores (target, k-mart, walmart) and I want to make myself some fabric ones.   I live in a rural community and I have never seen anyone use them anywhere local to me before, although I have seen them for sale in stores.

But I want to sew myself some pretty ones.... Although I buy most of my meat in the butcher shop, I plan on using animal print fabric for bags that will be used with meat exclusively.  Most of the meat bought at the grocery store is for my dogs, (two eat a raw diet) so I want separate bags just for meat.  That way I can make sure I don't have cross contamination with meat and non-meat items and they are washed more frequently.  

But my question is this, does anyone have a style or size they like the best?  I have seen various styles posted on sites like pinterest and blogs.  But I thought I would get some feedback from those that already use them.

I don't want them too big so they aren't overfilled and get too heavy.  I have bad fibromyalgia and often my hands hurt badly so I don't want to encourage store staff to overfill them.  But also so my kids can lift them when I get home to bring the shopping in as well.  

I'm thinking they need to be lined so there are two layers of fabric to make them more durable, as I can imagine a single layer of fabric ripping easily.   Because I want pretty bags I plan on using quilters fabric on the outside but keeping costs down a tad by using a regular solid fabric on the inside.  

I've made simple bags before that are rectangles and added matching fabric straps or is the single cut better that is shaped more like store plastic bags?

I googled these images and put them side by side in one pict in case you weren't sure what I was talking about.  I've made plenty of simple bags like #2 with cutting out rectangles for the sides and sewing them all together and adding handles.  (they make great trick-or-treat bags)

Other Options?
17  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sewing Patterns: Need your Advice & Opinions, Please! on: January 01, 2014 05:43:09 PM
* What drives you to sew your own clothing?
I have made several things for my kids when they were smaller.  But I have made a few more things for my pre-teen daughter.   But haven't made much for myself which wears plus size.  I can't say why I haven't made much for myself. 

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?
Having lost a bunch of weight.... I wear a 22 right now.  Plus size clothes are hard to find.  I don't think plus size women should wear whatever they want to.....  It's just not attractive.....   I believe in using clothes to minimize my flaws.  I like sleeves that are 3/4 length to hide my upper arms that I don't like but find they aren't that popular.  You can wear 3/4 sleeves year round and it doesn't look out of place.  I don't like shorts except for around the house, because I don't want to show off my thighs or knees to the public.  I'm sorry but on plus size women they are not the most attractive thing so they are best camouflaged with capri pants for summer time.  Dresses.... I like tea length, or calf length for the same reason.  Knees on plus size women are not attractive and the longer length is nice but maxi dresses look out of place on larger women like a tent.  Fitted in the waist is another thing.  Or fitted enough, but not loose like a tent either if that makes sense.  V-neck on tops is attractive on plus size women I think.  Showing a little cleavage but not too much or to little.   Pants that have elastic in the back of the waist band but flat in the front.  The gathers or pleats in the front add extra bulk most plus size women don't need, but the elastic in the back make it more fitted so that undies don't show by the gape in the back that is a problem with a lot of pants. 

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?   
Fitted at the waist without being tent like for plus size women.  Also necklines that aren't very high.   Some do crossover in the front which gapes and is just not attractive.   Bust line is another I think that affects all sizes.   Some women are an A cup, while others have a DD or larger cup.  Either natural or by surgery..... But busts can be either really tight or lose which can make or break a top.

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink
Oh boy..... tough one.... I never know how to answer that one myself.....  I'm not an apple that's for sure.... perhaps a pear or hourglass.  But I have saddlebags on my thighs just like my mum as they run in the family on my mum's side.......  I hate them....

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?
Yes if I like them and how they turned out.  If I dislike how it turned out it will go right in the trash....    For kids clothes that I might want later in a larger size later I will trace off and use that.   That way I can get more bang for my buck.

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?
I think the details are important.  I often just use fancy stitching to dress something up.  But I guess I sew pretty basic clothes so I can't really answer this one.  Hopefully others do.

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?
I guess I haven't done a lot of fancy clothes, pretty much basic tops and pants/shorts etc.....  So I really haven't done many alternations.

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?
I actually have, but not clothing patterns.  Clothing patterns I would but my experience with these are limited and I am guessing they would be like the one I have that the pages were clearly marked to know how to tape them together.

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?
The few times I had problems I just called my mum and asked her and she walked me though it.  But she isn't around anymore to ask so I'm not sure what would happen if I ran into problems.  Chances are I would look online for help and look to YouTube for videos on how to do what I needed to do.  When I needed help before was long before the internet.   I sewed a lot many years ago but put it away for many years and brought my machine back out and plan on doing a lot more in the future.

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?
Since I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't have a fabric store that I get to very often because of distance.  My places to buy fabric that is local is very limited so it's between walmart and a quilt shop.   Online is always an option but I haven't really taken advantage of that because you don't know what your going to get for color and I am not very familiar with some of the names of types of fabrics.  So I tend to lean towards patterns that use broadcloth for that reason.  Flannels and fleece for sleep pants and pajamas.

I hope I have been able to help you a little bit with my answers.... 
18  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Re: Baby Quilts & Other Stuff on: December 26, 2013 08:19:25 AM
I finished the second quilt, and dobok.




The back is black minky..... pain to work with but oh so soft and cuddly!

But the little dobok was greatly appreciated!

I did use iron on transfer for the patches (that I made using google for the images) and because this was a gift it's okay.  But I'm adding this note because I know many people come here looking for ideas to make and sell.  So I do want to note that it would be illegal to make your own patches like I did using iron on transfer paper and selling them.  Those patches are registered trademarked items by ATA.   That isn't a good spot to be in with BIG companies because they do go after small guys and win.  However for personal use and gifting is fine.  I did this because I didn't want the rough rough hard patches on the top of the dobok as I wanted to keep it soft.  So that is why I did what I did.

I did photograph the burpcloths and put them into an album here. http://s271.photobucket.com/user/iiapco2/library/Burp%20Cloths%201?sort=4&page=1

And I put the diaper changing pads in their own album here. http://s271.photobucket.com/user/iiapco2/library/Diaper%20Changing%20Pads%201?sort=4&page=1

I love how everything turned out.
19  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: Hard lotion bar recipe with only olive oil? on: December 10, 2013 11:28:31 AM
one thing with olive oil is that its a heavy oil and greasy.  There are other better choices that aren't so heavy and less greasy.   Not grease-less just less greasy.  So I suggest taking the time to buy the right ingredients before making this.  Rather than making it with just what you have on hand.  That doesn't always make the best product.

If you want to make this just use a dot of olive oil on your hands and save yourself the trouble of mixing and trying to get the right balance of olive oil and beeswax. 

While coconut oil can be nice IMHO it's cocoa butter that is also essential to a lotion bar. 
20  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: Lotion recipe hunt on: December 10, 2013 11:22:43 AM
I hear you on having your mum going through chemo.   Mine went through the strongest radiation possible and the strongest chemo possible along with two stem cell transplants.  But she was dealing with a very aggressive and rare brain cancer as there are such few survivors they are still trying to learn about the best way to treat this cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.  And cancer won the war for our family.  I hope your family wins the war.

What you ended up making really isn't a lotion but instead more of a non-petroleum jelly.  It has more in common with a body butter than a lotion/cream.  The reason why is it doesn't contain water, and is made with beeswax instead of a proper emulsifying product.   Body butters include both liquid oils and butters, such as shea butter, mango butter.  non-petroleum jelly and body butters contain a high percent of oils to 100% oils as they do not contain water. 

But it's actually a good choice for your mums skin, but if you wanted to take it up a notch replace the basic coconut oil and olive oil with other skin loving oils that have more benefits.  In your recipe it's the beexwax that gives its consistency.


I have a cousin (but she is so much older than me, so I don't know her well, but she was with my aunt at a family get together my dad had at his place with some of his siblings.  I wanted to make care packages for all my aunts and her since she was there.  But I wanted to use ingredients that would benefit her skin and was looking into which EO's would be best as I have several to choose from or if there was one I didn't have but it was beneficial, I was planning on ordering it.   But multiple sources it said to avoid scented products of all kinds, including deodorant, soap, shampoo if it's still being used.... EVERYTHING.  But EO because they are basically an OTC drug without being regulated with medicinal properties is why it shouldn't be used for those going through chemo.   Some FO do have EO in them so those should be avoided as well.  So just make unscented for her.  If she wants the aroma use a tart warmer with scented wax tarts.  I can't stress this enough!!!!!

I would also suggest learning to write you recipes in percents and use actual weight measures to be more accurate.   There is a calculator on the WSP site that you can enter the ingredient name and the percent and once you give it the total batch size you want to make it will tell you how much of each ingredient to use.   The benefit to this is that you can make a small 1 oz batch of your lotion, cream, body butter, non-petroleum jelly to test out.  Then if you like it you just increase the batch size and it's EXACTLY the same, and not just close.

If you want to make an actual lotion I suggest going to a soapmaking forum rather than blogs written by someone who makes it once and thinks they are an expect.  When it comes to lotions, creams and the like there is so much BAD INFO being passed around on the net because it looks good.

Given the reduced immune system of your mum because of the chemo you will want to stick with body butters that don't contain a preservative because they don't contain water.  But be extra careful not to put wet fingers into the jar when using it.   Personally I would NOT gift these types of items because of the preservative issue and just use them for personal use.  You don't know how the user will use them and if they will follow directions or not.  So best be safe right from the state.   

But if you wanted to make an actual lotion or a cream that contains water (or I like to use aloe juice instead of water) along with a percent of oils.  Usually lotions contain anywhere between 8% and 13% oils where creams are usually between 10% and 35% oils.  So the type of oil used and how much will make a difference on greasy it feels.  I haven't found a body butter yet that didn't feel greasy to some point to me.  With the rest of the percents equaling a number of other things to finish up and make 100% of the product.

If you make a cream or a lotion with water (or aloe juice with or without milk) I would highly suggest using a preservative.  This is critical if you are going to gift it.   Especially with your mom's immune system you will want that preservative to keep her safe.  Remember many germs, bacteria and mold are present long before it can be scent with the naked eye.  So that's another reason why I don't recommend them.   There aren't any affordable and natural preservatives being made.   There have been some made with natural preservatives being sold at Whole Foods and even they aren't very good and will mold.

Here is a good example.  Whole Foods brand Lotion made with so-called natural preservative.  Not very good stuff, and the crud is there long before it's seen to the naked eye, and IMHO that can be dangerous to many people.... like your mum.   Even storing the lotion in the fridge won't help, the products need a preservative.

There are a lot of blogs written by people who don't know what they are talking about, and yet others read it and accept it as gospel.  Not very cool IMHO....  But things like Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosemary Oleoresin, Tocopheryl, and other things like Citric Acid are being called natural preservatives and they are anything but a natural preservative! 
So that's why preservatives are not optional but essential.  A good option that is paraben free is Liquid Germall Plus.  You can buy this at several sites but WSP also carries it.   Use it at the rate of 1% as suggested by someone who had their lotion lab tested and they were told that by the lab.

The fun thing with lotions is you can have fun.  But you also want to keep food products to a minimum as they are hard to preserve.  No more than 10% or a total of 10% should be used of these types of products.

If you are using green tea extract that was purchased by a cosmetic ingredient vendor that would be safe, but don't make tea and try to add it to your own lotion.  Tea is one of the hardest ingredients to preserve so it's best to avoid it, and not use even small amounts!!!   

Adding oatmeal is also great but it also needs to be kept to a minimum.   Oat milk can also be used if you don't want the grit of oatmeal, but again it needs to be kept to a minimum.

Cows Milk, Goats Milk, Yogurt (natural and unsweetened), Heavy Whipping Cream are all fun and great to include into your lotion.  But again, no more than 10% or a total of 10% if you are using multiples into your product so the preservative can handle it.

But also great ingredients can be bought and added into lotions as well to really benefit the skin.

One other thing is using the right emulsifiers.  Beeswax is not a good emulsifier for lotion, the product will separate and it doesn't make for a nice product to use.  That's why few people use it and serious lotion makers buy the right ingredients.  Emulsifying wax is most likely the most common and is cheap.  BTMS is a bit more expensive but IMHO it's a lot nicer to use.  Stearic Acid is often used to thicken a product up more from what the emulsifier has done.  The job of an emulsifier to to blend the oils and water together and keep them together without separating.   

If your new to lotion making I would suggest reading up on SwiftMonkey blog on lotion making and the importance of heat and hold.  http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2010/01/if-youre-new-to-lotion-making.html
Read up on her blog in different articles about the safety of making your own.  Yes it's very important if not critical! 

If you are going to gift this please go to the FDA website and read up under cosmetics for labeling requirements.  Granted it you are not required by law to label properly if your gifting, but it makes a more professional looking product.  But eventually someone is going to ask you to sell it and in that case it will NEED to be labeled according to the law.  You can get in trouble with the law if it's not and that's not good at all.  If your going to sell then you will need insurance (not homeowners) to cover your butt in case someone has a reaction or any issue with your product and decides to sue you.   If your selling or giving lotion away without a preservative this is a good reason not to..... they can sue you over it and if they say cut their leg while shaving and applied that lotion to the leg after.  The mold and bacteria wasn't seen to the naked eye yet but present and they used it.  Got an infection that required medical care.... well you would be held responsible.   So please read up into stuff like that before deciding to sell.

If you want help formulating a recipe just let me know what you have to work with and I would be happy to create one for you.
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