Well, it's that time again. We look back on the year that was and decide what things we would like to change for the coming year. January is a fresh start -- a chance to stop all those bad habits or form fabulous new habits. It's tough to change, but we at Artisanal Booty are excited about what this new year brings. For some extra fun, we thought we'd share some of our plans with you this year.
1. More (...just more)
It's hard to believe that we've been a company for almost 3 years now! We've always run Artisanal Booty along with our normal day-to-day, holding down 9-5s and going back to school, and sometimes we haven't spent the time we'd like going to markets and developing new products for our customers. In 2019, we want to attend more markets all year, not just at Christmas time, and develop more new products for all of you.
2. Practice what we preach
It's easy to fall down on bad habits when you're busy and while we recommend that people eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and have a good skincare regimen, we definitely fall short. This year, we're focusing on taking our own advice!
3. Try new things
We've met a lot of fabulous people running small local companies over the years. In 2019 we're going to refocus on trying out new products and services and spreading the local love!
Well, that's what we're planning to work on in 2019. Wish us luck and share your new year's resolutions in the comments if you're so inclined.
As I sit here in a quiet house before the excitement of Christmas Day starts, I am taking a moment to reflect on the season and the year that has just passed. This year has at times been busy, stressful, and tragic. It would be easy to dwell on those moments and think of 2018 in terms of its low points, but the year has also been exciting, joyful, and full of laughter and love. This holiday season in particular has been a reminder of the strength of good friends and family to smooth over the low points in life and help to create more happy memories.
We're so grateful to our friends and families for their love and support this year. We're also grateful for all the wonderful new people we've met in this crazy adventure that is Artisanal Booty.
So this Christmas, we would like to wish all of you a joyful season with your family and friends however you choose to celebrate. We hope you remember the good times from the year that's almost passed and use these last precious days of the year to create new happy memories. Take a moment for yourself and relax; you deserve it!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays. We can't wait to see all of you again in the new year!
We love a good skin care routine. And what better way to amp up your daily game than with a simple skin care regimen. From Morning to Night, we’ve created some fabulous natural products to take care of your skin care needs.
Why Artisanal Booty?
Let’s go back to the beginning. Our journey started when we started paying more attention to the products we were buying and putting on our skin. Where did they come from? What was in them? Were they really helping us or making problems worse? Eventually through discovering that natural products are just as good, or even better, we realized creating our own natural skin care products was the only way to know the “what where and why”! We came to the great conclusion that what we had crafted was amazing, and we knew that it had to be shared. So here we are today, to help you take our natural skin care products and use them to their full benefit to give you amazing skin!
Every good skin care routine starts with a great cleanser. The problem we had was most cleansers stripped our skin of the good oils leaving our skin dry, dull, and more prone to break outs, over active oil production, and poor reactions.
Once we discovered oil cleansing, all of the negative reactions we had to other cleansers began to disappear. While using oil can sound daunting (read all about why it’s fantastic here!) it’s actually so good for your skin. Oil gently removes dirt from your pores and balances your skins natural oil production. And it works wonders for quick and easy make up removal.
So, we created Face Cleanser oil, with different blends suited for all skin types and to help focus on specific skin issues.
To use, apply about a nickel to quarter size into your palm and massage on face. To enhance the effectiveness use a steam bath, hot damp towel, or just stand in your hot shower for 5 mins, then use a damp face cloth to scrub away the oil.
Check out our etsy shop for our citrus Face Cleansers!
One of our biggest concerns using off the shelf face creams was the fact that water and other chemicals were listed in the ingredients. While drinking water is a huge part of life, saturating your skin with water tends to dry it out.
If you read the full list of ingredients on any bottle or jar of face cream, somewhere one there should be oils or butters. Those are the ingredients we want! And love!
We’ve tried Face oil samples from time to time and found we really enjoyed using them. It was a no brainer for us to add our own Face Oil to our product line.
To use; post cleansing, we recommend using a few drops (less than the size of a dime) and massaging into your skin. It’s non greasy and absorbs beautifully to protect your skin and balance the natural oils.
Check out our fantastic line up of Face Oil here on our etsy shop!
Don’t stop at Face Oil!
There are 3 very important things your skin needs that while we’d love to give you, you have these things already!
1. Sleep. Like your body and your mind, your skin needs rest too. You know the saying, “I need to get my beauty sleep” ? Well it’s true. Your skin is your biggest organ and needs just as much rest as the rest of you! Creating a regular sleep routine will help, and your skin will love you for it.
Check out this article by the Alaska Sleep Clinic how "lack of sleep is ruining your skin".
2. Water. Your body needs water. And plenty of it. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times. So we’ll stop here. ;)
Read all about the advantages of drinking water by Livestrong.com here!
3. SUNSCREEN. And not just in the summer, all year long! While your body may be covered in the winter, your face is still exposed and needs protection from the sun. Here are some of our favourite sun screens for all budgets!
Tarteguard 30 Vegan Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 by TARTE
$40.00* CAD at Sephora
Ultra Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 by SHISEIDO
$28.00* CAD at Sephora
Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate SPF 60 Face & Body Sunscreen by AVEENO
$12.67* CAD at Walmart
ClearlySheer SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion by Coppertone
$8.88* at Walmart
*Prices as of July 15, 2018 via website links, check your local stores for current pricing and availability
Have a favourite sunscreen? Tried our skin care products? Leave us a comment below!
Follow us on Instagram, and tag us in any of your Artisanal Booty product posts @artisanalbooty with the hashtag #artisanalbooty
Our 2018 segment of Loving Local has come to a delicious end. Delicious? Oh yes. We love getting to meet new makers and seeing all of the beautiful crafts they curate; but there’s something about our foodie friends that stands out (maybe because we get to eat it and we love food, hehe!)
At the beginning of June we sat down at Rise & Grind downtown Victoria with the lovely and talented (Patricia) Trish Francis of Kettle & Hive. Kettle & Hive creates a delicious Citron Tea, which comes in several yummy flavours.
What is Citron Tea? Popular in Korea, Trish has brought this lemon and honey beverage to Victoria for us Canadians to fall in love with! Citron Tea has a consistency similar to a Marmalade, made with Honey and Lemon, which you mix with hot water. It’s that simple!
Trish has always loved experimenting with food. She started making a lot of marmalade, and after creating a lemon and ginger marmalade that was so delicious, she thought it must be able to work as a beverage base. And not only did she want to be able to make a tea, she wanted to make sure she could create a product free of added pectin, citric acid, and white sugar. Through much trial and error, she succeeded, and her version of Citron Tea was born.
At first her tea was just a honey and lemon base. But because of the benefits many other plants and spices have for us humans, she created a few more blends. Currently available are Citron Tea with Extra Honey, Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne, and her newest blend Mighty Medley (with all three; Turmeric, Ginger, and Cayenne). You can enjoy any of these flavours hot or cold!
Kettle & Hive has be running since May 2017. She struggled perfecting the recipe, and finding the right person to work with to help create a label, but everything came together and it definitely shows. Her Citron Tea quickly became a hit! So much so that trying to balance a full time job and running a small home business turned into her quitting her job and doing this full time!
And not only does she operate Kettle & Hive, but she also owns a candy company, Island Specialty Sweets! You can usually find her standing behind the booth for one of these great businesses at many of the markets in Victoria (and surrounding areas). While the candy business takes up a lot of Market time, you’ll be able to find Kettle & Hive at the Crafted Farmhouse in September, the Out of Hand christmas market, and the first chance & last chance christmas markets in Sidney this Winter.
While you can’t buy her products online yet, you can find Kettle & Hive in stores at Peppers (in Cadboro Bay), Belinda’s Biscotti in Sidney, and Sea Cider in Saanichton.
Trish is looking forward to be able to spend time creating new flavours for her citron tea, with different citrus bases, and cold beverage teas as well. But for now you can enjoy the five delicious flavours ready to go hot or cold, and in some fantastic drink (and food!) recipes we got form Trish too!
Kettle & Hive Citron Tea Recipes:
Lemon Drop Martini
2 oz Extra Honey Citron Tea (dissolved in water and cooled)
1.5 oz Vodka
Mix and pour into a martini glass rimmed with sugar and garnished with lemon! Enjoy!
1 Cup Frozen Mangos
2 Scoops Turmeric Citron Tea
Splash of Peach Juice (add more if needed)
2 oz White Rum
Mix in blender. Pour blended mixture in a bellini glass. Enjoy!
Ginger Cocktail (created by a customer!)
2 oz Ginger Citron Tea (dissolved in water and cooled)
1.5 oz Gin
Topped off with Ginger Ale
Pour ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Enjoy!
Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken
3 TBSP Lemon Ginger Citron Tea
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Marinate chicken (or pork, salmon, or tofu) in half of the mixture for at least 1 hour. Bake in the oven (follow standard baking times for your meat/tofu). Halfway through baking, brush the remaining mixture on top as a glaze. The honey caramelizes on top and the lemon gives a fresh bright citrus taste perfect for a summer dish! Enjoy!
These recipes are amazing and we can’t wait to try them over and over again! Follow Kettle & Hive on Instagram and watch out for upcoming market dates, and hopefully more yummy flavours!
And remember to keep on Loving Local!
Robyn & Beki
April showers really did bring May flowers, and now those flowers are blooming in the beautiful sun! That’s right, we just finished an amazing month of May, and we really are lucky to live on this wonderful island where we get months of spectacular weather.
Along with the best weather in Canada, we also have some of the most amazing makers, and the maker trend is certainly booming as we meet more and more makers and crafters every year.
This month we met Olivia Crossman, a BC born and bred gal (from Kamloops to Sooke), who started her home based business Circle & Stone only 7 months ago in October/November of 2017. (And to add to our “it’s a small world” remark from last months post, Olivia is really good friends with Melanie from Decor by Nature, whom we met last summer and featured on our Loving Local segment as well!)
Olivia is a mom working a full time job, and really needed a creative output at night when the kids were in bed to really give her something to put her artsy side into. Something she could have that was just hers. She started doing little crafts here and there, like cute little baby headbands. However, that wasn’t quite enough for her. She start exploring the craft of jewelry making; not just stringing things together though, she want to make and form the pieces by hand. She dabbled with moulding silver, but found it too frustrating to start with. But she wasn’t going to give up, and then she found concrete jewelry! That’s right.
Circle & Stone is a variety of handmade concrete beaded jewelry. It really spoke to her as she loves the earthiness of concrete that really brought in the wildness and her love of the island, along with the versatility of the pieces she’s able to make.
Some of her pieces she adds in jewels and stones to give the necklaces and earrings a more feminine touch.
When she first started, she found it frustrating not having her ideas turn out how she wanted them to right away, such as the silver moulds, but she’s looking forward to trying them again in the future! And being quite new to the maker seen, she jumped into a spring craft market and experienced that first market stress (we’ve all been there) she wasn’t prepared for- but we think she did just fine!
One of the most positive experiences she has had so far was the response stores have had to stocking her jewelry. She currently has stock in The Crows Nest, in Campbell River, and Gatley in Vancouver. She also sells on Etsy.
Her favourite piece that she makes she calls the “Wrecking Ball”; a concrete ball with gold flakes, remind her of travelling. It takes her more time to make this piece than the others but they always end up looking perfect, yet individually unique every time! It’s one of the first products she made when she started her concrete venture.
You’ll be able to find Circle & Stone at The Q Market this summer on (at least) June 10 and August 26, 2018. She’s hoping to partake in some Christmas Markets this year as well.
If you’re looking for a unique gift for any holiday or birthday, check out Circle & Stone!
Follow Circle & Stone on Instagram!
And keep on loving local <3
Well, hello. It’s that wonderful time of the year when we start our Loving Local segment up! We had such a fun time last year meeting makers from around Victoria (BC), we just had to do it again. Everyone is so lovely, and totally up to our little venture, so we figured why not make it a yearly thing! We learn so much, and are happy to be able to pass on our own experience to friendly artisans as well.
This month, we sat down with a super lovely woman named Maria of “Maria Miller Studio”, maker of handmade notebooks. We were lucky enough to briefly meet her once before back in December 2017, when we took part in the Uptown Modern Market, when she popped by our booth.
We sat down with her at Habit Coffee in The Atrium, downtown Victoria, and got to know her a bit!
Maria is originally from Coquitlam, BC (on the lower mainland) and came to Victoria in 2008. Fun fact; we found out that she and Robyn both went to the same high school (a few years apart, but that part isn’t important, hehe)! It really is a small world.
Maria started her journey back in 2016 when she looked at a pile of paper recycling, and decided, before it went off to be recycled maybe she could do something with it herself. So she turned her pile of recycled paper into new paper! It started off as something she could do for herself, making notebooks that were hand stitched, and eco-friendly paper she could use to write on. Eventually, within about a month, her craft snowballed into her business and she started selling her notebooks to the public. And Maria Miller Studio was born!
She initially started with making paper, and she’s self taught; she scoured YouTube for “how-to” videos until she finally honed her skills. Through much trial & error, she found the process to be quite time consuming being able to find the right “recipe” for her paper making, while still keeping it eco-friendly. And being an artist first, the business side of things was a new challenge for her; but we think she’s doing great!
She started off as a photographer, and since her home based business has turned into a full-time job for her, she’s been able to use her photography skills to help her beautifully crafted notebooks shine.
She told us one of the ups she’s encountered since she started was hearing about how happy her customers have been; one girl took her small journal on an 800km month long trek! And also being able to do what she loves full time has been an amazing experience for her.
Like most makers, going through ups and downs, and having to learn new skills from scratch (whether it be self taught or taking a class) she’s happy where shes ended up and wouldn’t have done anything differently.
BUT, we have things to look forward to with Maria! Since being self taught, she’s decided now to educate herself on the art and history of papermaking, if only to expand her knowledge and be able to create new products. She’s looking forward to making new types of notebooks, such as an accordian style. Currently she has 3 styles of notebooks she creates. Two are soft cover books; one with a very simple binding stitch, and one very beautifully produced with the Japanese Stab Binding technique. And one style of hardcover notebooks.
Her favourite product incorporates all her favourite aspects of her craft; hand making paper, journal creating with a stitched binding, and being able to practise painting. It’s her Handmade recycled paper soft cover notebooks. The cover is made with handmade (by her) recycled paper, with an interior of lined recycled paper made with wind power. AND if it couldn’t get any better, 15% of the sale of each of these notebooks will go towards the Canadian Wildlife Federation! As if you didn’t already need a reason to buy a notebook, help support our Wildlife!
Maria was also took part in starting a local collective in 2017 called “Local Made by Hand”; a small collective of local artisans (including Moss & Stone, who was one of our first loving local interviewees!). She’s very thankful for the like minded people of Victoria, and the public who are so willing to support and purchase locally made products from herself, and many more amazing makers. And the makers who all wonderfully support each other!
Currently Maria strictly sells her products online on her etsy store, and at markets she vendors at.
Follow Maria Miller Studio on Instagram and check out her Etsy Store.
Keep on Loving Local!
I'm going to get straight to the point here- we take care of ourselves right? Avoid toxic chemicals, read labels for allergens, etc.
And on our paths to being more natural, and using things like essential oils in our daily lives, sometimes we forget about our furry friends and the negative affect some things can have on them.
Recently I read a post (shared on Facebook) about someone exposing their dog, and unknowingly, causing toxic harm, because tea tree oil can be extremely harmful to dogs! Unbeknownst to them they were causing psychological and physical effects to their pup. This made me reach out to people who I know actively use essential oils, and have an animal friend (or two, or three... or... you get it) in their home.
My sister in law has a super loveable dog named Jema, my doggy niece, and my first instinct was to make sure she was not being exposed to, what would be to her, toxic essential oils. And then another quick text to my Artisanal Booty pal Beki to double check she was keeping the harmful essential oils away from her quirky pup Ruby, who hates me sometimes? Just kidding, she's the best! If you ever feel like throwing a ball around, she's your pup-gal! Luckily neither of them were using any "toxic" essential oils around their fur-babies.
So the question is, are you keeping your animals safe? Keep in mind, dogs aren't the only animals who can reap the harmful nature of essential oils, but also cats and other household pets.
There are many products and uses we have with essential oils. If you're a DIY'er or someone who purchases natural based products, always check the labels for ingredients. Products like home air fresheners & fragrances, cleaning products, perfumes, and aromatherapy oils or candles, can contain essential oils. Even the smallest amount on skin, or even a couple licks, can be harmful. Ingestion or skin exposure can both have harmful consequences.
Signs & Symptoms
Some things to look out for if you think your pet may have been exposed to essential oils toxic to them; unusual scent of fragrance coming from their breath or body, difficult breathing or walking, drooling or pawing at the mouth or face, vomiting, abnormal tiredness or weakness, muscle tremors, or redness and burns on skin.
If you are going to use essential oils, make sure you definitely avoid the following around, on, or near your pet; cinnamon, tea tree, thyme, birch, wintergreen, clove, oregano, anise, garlic, horseradish, juniper, & yarrow.
Use (with caution)
We say with caution because you always want to check with your vet before using essential oils on your pet, but here are some essential oils that can have positive benefits for your furry friend; cedar wood, chamomile, lavender, myrrh, clary sage, geranium, peppermint, carrot seed, ginger, helichrysum, & marjoram.
When Using With Pets
Always remember animals are more sensitive to scents, and have a stronger sense of smell then humans do. When you are using essential oils around pets, use sparingly so your pet isn't overwhelmed with strong aromas. Never ever EVER, use essential oils undiluted on animals. And again, please remember to always consult your vet before using any essential oils on your pet. We are not doctors or vets so these lists are only a suggestion to follow, but always do your own research and make sure, once again I will say, to talk to your veterinarian. Just like humans and their allergies, pets can all respond differently to certain things, even the natural ones, so what works for Jema might not work for Ruby!
I hope this helps to make sure that any of you with animals are looking out before thinking even a natural product couldn't be harmful to an animal, because it turns out it can! And don't forget if you use essential oils on your skin, if your dog likes to give you kisses, make sure they're safe.
Hug your fur babies tight tonight!
Here are a couple links you can peruse with more information and tips:
Two very good friends of ours are engaged and we celebrated at their engagement party last night! There were games, dancing, food, and drinks! Which got us thinking, if we want to stick to our healthy lifestyle this year, how do we pick drinks that keep us on track?
Now there's a really easy answer here. Just drink water you two! That's just not an option. Nope. Not when you're put in a room with a bunch of people you don't know and games are involved.
Classic Gin & Tonic. Did you know there's still the same about of sugar in tonic water as there is in regular soft drinks? So if you're having a high ball and thinking the classic G&T has less sugar over a highball with other soda, bad news. But have you ever tried a Gin & Soda? ZERO SUGAR! Add a splash of lime and a wedge to pretty it up, and you've got a yummy drink with no sugar. This goes for most mixed drinks; vodka soda is also another great choice.
Wine or Beer?
If you're trying to stick to a lower carb and lower calorie diet, choosing wine over beer is the better option for you. And if you really love your beer, but also really want to stick to your diet, choose a light beer during your outings.
These are just a couple options you can take, but always make sure you drink responsibly! Always have a designated driver, or call a taxi. And don't drink too much; no one likes to wake up the next day feeling like garbage. And never drink on an empty stomach!
If you'd like to read a bit more in depth and get some numbers, check out this article by GQ on the best and worst alcohol to drink if you're wanting to lose weight! And if you're not into drinking alcohol, here's an article on best beverage choices by the Healthy Mummy.
We need to address one more thing. If you made a really bad decision and wore 3 inch heels, which you normally do not do, then you need to finish the party off right with a bath bomb in a hot bath to sooth your aching feet! You can purchase our fun bath bombs here in half bomb or full bomb sizes!
Have fun out there and be safe!
Of course you don't, no one does.
But if we all lived by that rule, we'd all be sacks of bones with no muscles to keep us going!
So how do we get around this? Sometimes you have to give yourself a little (or a lot of) pushing to get going. If you just *say* your going to do it, that's not really going to get you anywhere, is it? Use these tips to get yourself to stick to that resolution of "exercising more", and really mean it!
Four words we always tell ourselves, "going to the gym!". Liar. When and how do we make time to go to the gym? If you're fortunate to have a gym membership, or access to a free gym (say in your apartment building), use it! Instead of dreading the gym all day long after a hard and tiring day at work, and then skipping it all together, because let's be honest, you've been thinking about Cheetos now all day long and that treadmill just doesn't look as good, try going to the gym in the morning! What? The morning? That's right. Get up a bit earlier and head to the gym first thing! You'll be energized for the rest of the day! And then you CAN enjoy those Cheetos at the end of your day, because you earned it! (However don't eat Cheetos all the time, every day, maybe have an apple or something so you don't get scurvy.) If you're part of the "9 to 5" crowd, this should work out (hehe, get it, work out) just fine for you. Even half an hour at the gym, just before work, is better than no gym.
Okay so you don't have access to the gym (that's cool, they're expensive anyways), so head outside! What? Outside? That's right. Step out into nature. There are SO MANY THINGS that are active that you can do outside. Take up running, there's probably tons of running groups you can join in your neighbourhood if you just look and see. Or grab a friend and start jogging together, hold each other accountable and plan to meet up a couple times a week. Hate running? Same. It's the worst. So why not go walking or hiking? Walking is just as good as running, slowly speed up your pace, and you'll really feel like you've had a good work out. Check out trails near by, or head to a hill or mountain on the weekend for a leisurely hike. What about biking? It's collecting dust in your garage or storage shed probably, so dust it off and go for a pedal around your neighbourhood! Increase your distance and pace slowly so you don't hurt yourself. Or join a sports team, like softball or soccer.
It's too cold right? Obviously. Who wants to work out in the rain? No one. Ever. Except really awesome rain work out people. So how do we work out inside? Try looking up a Youtube yoga or pilates channel. Create your own routine, or find a 30 day work out challenge on Pinterest, with jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and crunches; start small and slowly increase your reps as your body gets used to being back in shape. And for the more ingenious people, who have a little more space to work with, check out Varage Sale or Used(insert your city here) or Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace; you'd be surprised how many people are giving away treadmills or ellipticals for FREE! YES FREE! Or sometimes for money, but usually a heck of a lot cheaper than brand new machines cost. Or even look for small equipment like mats and hand weights. It's amazing the set up you can make for little to no cost by checking out the classifieds!
As you can see, there are so many options. Morning or night, weekends, or vacations. Even if you took 20-30 minutes a day doing a little activity, you'll probably find your body starts to feel great sooner than later. And then you'll just be so addicted to exercise that you might even spend, wait for it, AN HOUR A DAY, exercising! Yes a whole hour! That's 1 whole episode of Game of Thrones, or 2 episodes of Friends! But you'll look and feel amazing.
Oh yeah. And now that you're exercising, you're going to sore probably. So relax with some of our soothing bath salts which you can purchase on our Etsy shop!
This year we're really taking the time to spend pampering ourselves, from the inside out, and the outside in!
We started off the year with our VERY FIRST massage and reflexology session from a great local spa in Victoria called 9 Elements Spa & Reflexology. The ladies there are absolutely amazing and really made our first experience comfortable. So obviously now we're addicted! And we have made the conscious decision to spend 2018 making sure we take care of ourselves in the best way possible- from healthy eating, to exercise, to that extra special pampering session every girl (or guy) needs once in a while!
So follow along with us, and keep an eye on our blog posts, because all year long we're going to show you, and help you, make healthy active, and loving lifestyle changes!