Finally

The store is done. I am still uploading more items to it, but now it is online, running and all is working. Ive made three batches of massage oil, two different batches of soaps, two different salves (foot massage salve with lavender, mint and rosemary as well as all purpose healing salve with calendula, chickweed and comfrey) .. there are some BEAUTIFUL hand dipped tapers from Kootenay Candles, and incense, and more is being added all the time. http://www.terraspiritessentials.ca

Earthy Delights Soap
Earthy Delights Soap
All Natural Healing Salve
All Natural Healing Salve
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Well, It’s Been Busy…

It is amazing how much time (and patience) starting up this business is taking.
First of all I’ve been having a nightmare of a time with a webhosting company that I had read GREAT things about.
They advertised in their package that they offer Plesk Sitebuilder, osCommerce, SSL certificates (for $15/year) and a bunch of other included, bundled things. They also said that anyone can make a great online storefront in just minutes.
So, I was working on my site at www.terraspiritessentials.ca (the home page looked great) and when building the actual Eshop, I felt it was lacking the customizing I wanted for multiple item shipping etc. So, I asked tech support if osCommerce was available to use. They said yes, and said they would get it installed for me. Yay! Sounded great. In the meantime I noticed that neither my blog OR my Eshop was showing up through my site. The pages just came up ‘internal error’. So, I put the Eshop on invisible for the time being, seeing as how my items were not ready for sale anyhow, and went about my merryw ay investigating the osCommmerce application.
Well.. that just stumped me. What can I say, I am a noob. I really do not have a clue how to go about doing all that needs to be done to make the site look good.
And about the same time, it seemed my site actually stopped showing up altogether. Kind of cruddy seeing as how I had already been working on business card and label designs through a friend of mine. (thanks again Stephenie!)
Another thing that was annoying me was that when anyone arrived at my website – BEFORE it disappeared – , you would get a blank white page for a moment saying “you are now being re-directed”, and the page that came up would be http://www.terraspiritessentials.ca/site/home.aspx… (did the word SITE really need to be in there? And being redirected made some people feel that it could be a hijack sort of attempt).
So, back to last night. My site was gone. Yay. And NOW I was ready to start selling my merchandise. GAH!
So, trouble ticket after trouble ticket and no response.
This morning, I check my site and it was up! I was so happy to see it, lol… So I went to my control panel to open my Plesk Sitebuilder to work on my store (even my blog was showing up, so I had faith all was well)…. and lo and behold, my Sitebuilder had been deactivated.
Hmm…
So I trouble ticketed again, asking where sitebuilder went. AFter all, in my trouble ticket the night before I told them I did NOT want to use the osCommerce, that I was too crunched for time to worry about its set up, and thanks for letting me run it, but I would stick to my Sitebuilder.
Well, I get a message back saying ‘Sorry, you wanted osCommerce installed and you can not have that AND Sitebuilder’ EVEN though right on the package it says both are ‘included’….
So, now… my site is up and running, looks good, but I can not add anything to the store, or even activate it.
And I paid for this. I cant get the money back for the domain. Nor can I get the 15/ back for the SSL certificate that I found out only today would ONLY work if I used osCommerce.
WHY arent these things mentioned?
It COULD have said ‘SSL certificate and dedicated server available to osCommerce users’… and it could have said there was a choice to publish the site via osCommerce OR Plesk… but no, it clearly says in the info for the beginning site that BOTH are included.
In my trouble ticket, I apologized for the inconvenience and said that I had thought by reading the site that because it said both were included, that I could use both. It did not say I could use only one or the other, if it DID, I would not have opted for osCommerce over the Sitebuilder, as NOOBS like me RELY on things like sitebuilder to do all the work for us. (though I said it kinder than that)
I got a not so nice reply back saying ‘Nor does it say you CAN use them both. If you are not happy with our service , ask for a refund’
HUH? a Refund on a non refundable SSL certificate and a domain name that will now have NO SITE to point at? Especially when most often there is a period of time that you MUST remain at the purchasing hosts site before transfer is allowed? And here I am, 25 days away from having a new baby and Im supposed to worry about finding a new host…. with NO money left.
GRRRR. NOT impressed with Cirrus Hosting.

Anyhow.. HAPPIER stuff.
I made a half dozen tins of Baby/Child Salve. Good for anyone really.
Organic infused oils (infused the oils tonight myself) of Calendula, Comfrey Root, Comfrey Leaf, St. John’s Wort, Lavender essential oil . (all those ingredients are organic), in a base of extra virgin olive oil, beeswax and Vitamin E.

Also, the beeswax candles are available now. All the colours of the elements for the witches out there. 7″ hand dipped tapered candles, 6.00/pair. There are some handmade aromatherapy tea lights as well. And Incense from Surya and Swagat. You can check out some of the items at my freewebs store which i luckily left running…. www.terraspiritessentials.com

Crossing my fingers that tomorrow my site is working again.
Oh! and it’s my babyshower on Saturday 😀

Making Salves

From http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Herbal_Salve_Recipes

The basic salve will be a carrier for the herbs that you add to it. The herbs will do the medicinal work, not necessarily the salve base. The basic salve can be made a number of ways.

Base One

* 1 part oil
* 5 parts beeswax

Base Two

* 1 part beeswax
* 4 parts lard or lanolin
* 1 part oil

Base Three

* 4 parts cocoa butter, shea butter, or a combination
* 1 part beeswax
* 1 part oil

To make a salve of any of these, melt over low heat, and stir until blended.

Herb Infused Oil

1 part dried herbs 2 parts oil

Mix in a container and leave in a warm place for two to three weeks to infuse. When herbs have infused into the oil, strain the oil and store, covered, in a cool, dark place. The longer the herbs stand in the oil, the more potent it will be.

Good oils to use are:

* Sweet almond oil
* Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
* Extra virgin coconut oil
* Sunflower oil
* Apricot kernel oil (for facial salves)
* Grapeseed oil (for facial salves)
* Avocado oil

Always use cold pressed, organic oils for best results.

Healing Properties of Specific Ingredients

* Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is very good for the skin and is particularly good in diaper rash salve, salves for burns, hemorrhoids and the face.
* Olive oil makes a very greasy oil, which smells of olive oil. It is a superior moisture barrier that is best used in combination with other oils.
* Sweet almond oil helps relieve irritation, inflammation, muscular aches and pains and itching. It is a superior emollient.
* Avocado oil is a good base for salves that are used in treating cuts, acne, skin problems and burns. It is great for use with sensitive skin.
* Macadamia nut oil is good for burns, very fragile skin, bedsores and extremely dry, chapped skin.
* Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and is helpful for dry skin.
* Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps with healing. It also is a natural preservative.
* Lanolin helps heal dry, cracked skin and keep it soft and supple.

Remember that essential oil is not the same thing as oil or herbally infused oil. It is a very concentrated form of the herb essence. Generally only a few drops of essential oil are needed in any recipe.

Specific Herbal Salve Recipes

Now that you know how to infuse the oil, and to make the base for your salve, it is time to add the proper herbs for specific use. Many of the herbs, like lavender, are used not only for their healing properties but also because they are fragrant herbs.

When using any herb for the first time, always rub a bit of the salve, or infusion of the herb, on the inside of your forearm to test for sensitivity. Some people who are sensitive to ragweed have an uncomfortable reaction to goldenseal. Doing this simple test can help to avoid such discomfort. Whenever possible, running a skin patch test is a good idea.

First Aid Salve

* 1 part goldenseal oil
* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 drop essential oil of lavender
* 1/8 tsp. tea tree essential oil
* 800IU vitamin E

Use as the oil in any of the basic herbal salve recipes. This is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and promotes quick healing. It is good for use on cuts, scrapes, infections, or just about anything.

Lip Salve

* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part rose oil (be sure to use unsprayed petals)
* 800IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe. Coconut oil is a good oil to use with this.

Diaper Rash Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe.

Chest Rub

* 1 part rosemary oil
* 1 part thyme oil
* 1 part peppermint oil (not essential oil, homemade oil infusion)
* ½ Tsp. camphor essential oil
* ½ Tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

Use with any salve base recipe

Hemorrhoid Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part nettle leaf oil
* ½ part marshmallow root oil
* 2 tsp. powdered myrrh
* 1 part lavender oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with any salve base.

Making Oils

Well, today I am making patchouli oil so that I may make a patchouli salve… so, Part 1 is the making of the oil…. I am using the Dried Herbs, Hot Infused Oil Method:

Fresh Herbs, Hot Infused Oil

*Chop up several handfuls of fresh herbs and place in heavy stainless steel pot.

*Cover with inexpensive Olive oil or Almond Oil (I prefer to use sweet almond oil)

*Gently heat oil until herbs are wilted and remove from heat. Avoid over heating as it will destroy therapeutic qualities. Allow to cool, uncovered

*Allow the plant to sit in the oil for a few hours or overnight.

*Strain well, removing all plant bits. Using a muslin or cheese cloth cloth may be useful.

*Most of the moisture from the plant will have separated from the oil.

*Gently pour off this oil into another pan and gently heat the oil again. This allows any remaining moisture to evaporate. Each moisture droplet will rise to the surface of the oil and burst into a tiny spray. When the droplets have stopped bursting, the oil is free of moisture. This process can take up to an hour or two

*Allow the oil to cool completely. Decant into a sterilized bottle and leave any sediment in the pot. Label (plant name and date) and enjoy.

Dried Plant Hot Oil Infusions

*Coarsely chop clean, dry plant material and cover with olive oil.

*Gently heat for a few minutes, allow to cool completely. Strain all the bits of plant material. Decant into a bottle. Label and enjoy

Cold Infused Oils

This technique is suitable for flowering herbs such as Calendula, Hops, Lavender, Marshmallow, St.-John’s Wort, Melilot.

*Coarsely chop herbs and tightly pack a large jar.

*Fill and cover with inexpensive olive oil. Place lid on jar and leave in sunny place (windowsill, greenhouse, etc.) for 2-3 weeks.

*Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or muslin bag (use an elastic band or string to tie to the rim or a jar or jug).

*Squeeze oil through bag and repeat with new herbs and once-infused oil. Wait a few more weeks, strain and pour into sterilized bottles. Label and date. Enjoy.