LouisianArtisans represent the state of Louisiana on Etsy.com, from the mouth of the mighty Mississippi to the Tex-Ark-Ana border. They are a team of mini local groups united as a whole across Louisiana. With so many wonderful handmade items, its clear that they are passionate about what they do.
On August 13, 2008, a group of about 30 Louisiana Etsians gathered in a chat room on Etsy.com to discuss forming an Etsy street team. We voted on a name and, almost three months later,` there are 154 members and growing daily.
Since the LArtisans Team (as they are known on Etsy) consists of members all over the state of Louisiana, local mini groups meet monthly to discuss the group, their businesses, and, of course, to have fun.
On November 4th, the LArtisans Team will have "Bayou Boxes" for sale. These boxes will consist of promotional goodies from a few participating members. The boxes contain samples from their stores, so you can try before you buy. All proceeds will be donated to Louisiana's coastal restoration.
I am proud to be a member and the president of this amazing group of artists. Browse through the great items made in Louisiana: http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=tag_title_all&search_query=lartisans+team
For more information on the LouisianArtisans, visit http://www.lartisansteam.etsy.com/.
Don't know what Etsy.com is? Learn here.
To take the handmade pledge, go here.
If you are like me, you have gotten swept away with the “all natural” craze. And, why not? I have almost completely changed my diet to organic foods for the sake of my husband's and my health. I want my family and myself to live as long as possible. Who doesn’t want to take better care of themselves, their families, and the world?
However, businesses are always trying to increase sales. And, for the sake of increasing sales, they tend not to correct myths that help better their product. The one that comes to mind right now is the corn syrup myth. “All Natural” fruit juice companies never said that corn syrup was harmful or bad for you. However, they made it look extremely unappetizing, showing commercials with pure corn syrup in a cup. They wanted you to think that it was bad without ever saying it. Obviously, it worked causing corn syrup producers to retaliate and put an end to the rumors. Rumors are nasty and can ruin everything and everyone in its path.
The reason I mentioned this is because of the myths behind paraffin wax. I have researched this subject multiple times because I want what’s best for my customers and my products. My results have led me to keep using paraffin wax for pillars and votives, but for container candles, soy wax has been proven best. Here are my findings:
· Soy Wax does not produce soot.
“All candles produce soot,” according to the National Candle Association. It is part of the process, when you burn a candle. Soy wax happens to produce more white soot than black soot like paraffin. But, the amount of soot that is emitted from candles is in no way harmful to the user. The same amount of soot is emitted from your toasters, ovens and cooking oil. If you keep your wicks trimmed to ¼”, your candle will produce little to no soot.
· Paraffin wax is toxic.
Paraffin wax is actually a natural resource. Many vegetables and fruits have paraffin wax on it to make it shiny. It is also used to make some candy goodies. But, I do not recommend eating your paraffin candles. They may smell good, but they won’t taste it. :) Paraffin is a byproduct of crude oil (a.k.a. fossil fuels). Yes, it comes from animals. But, it comes from animals that have been extinct for centuries. They were not killed to make the wax.
Neither wax is more environmentally friendly. Soy wax is a renewable resource, which means it can be reproduced, when it runs out. This is not the case with paraffin wax. Both candle types hold scents and dyes very well. Soy wax is an extremely soft wax, which makes it great for container candles. Soy wax also burns longer in containers. However, it does not make for good pillar or votive candles due to its softness. Many additives need to be added to the wax. Paraffin wax is harder and more able to hold its shape for pillars and votive candle.
So, now you know, what type of candle you choose is your preference, but not to be based on what is least harmful. Know the facts, not the rumors. Being more informed insures that you get what’s best.
Some websites, I used for the information in the article is:
1. One that makes or sells candles.
2. A retail dealer in specified goods or equipment: a ship chandler
Referring to the first definition, a chandler, these days, is more specifically known as a candlemaker. It seems easy enough to be called a chandler. But, those in the field, that use this title, handle it with care.
I love candles. If you would have entered my bedroom in high school, you would have remembered seeing oodles of candles. Yes, I used the word oodles. To take it further, what you would have remembered about my candles is that each one was unique. Not the normal, plain candles you see everywhere.
Candles are a fantastic way to bring style, ambiance, and, of course, mask aromas of your stinky family. Admit it. Your family stinks. When your kids come inside from playing outside all day or your husband… (Well, men just have to exist to be smelly.), the term, “You smell like a dog,” is not an expression for people who smell good, and you know you have told that to your family.
It was no surprise to my family, when I started creating candles. I made my first one, which I still have and would never burn. From then on, I was hooked. I began making so many candles that my husband demanded, “Either start selling them or I’m throwing them in the trash.” I decided to start selling them, but I wanted to do it the right way. I take pride and care in my candlemaking.
Candlemaking is a serious business. If made wrong or used improperly, there are serious safety consequences. No one wants a burned house or a faulty candle that doesn’t work or could harm someone. I joined the IGCA (International Guild of Candle Artisans), which is a group of candlemakers who pledge to product test their candles and support each other with candlemaking advice. You can rest assured that every line of my candles has been tested before being made for sale. Not to say, that every so often there is a lemon, no one can prevent that.
Still, being a chandler is more than all of this. It is a tradition that has been around since men first made fire. I love traditions and feel, in a small way, that I am carrying on this tradition that started so long ago. To read a quick history of candlemaking, visit IGCA’s section devoted to it, The History of Candlelight.
So, love chandlers, love candles, but, please always use candles with as much care as it has been made with.