I suck at candle making, I really do. I tried it out west....I was so enthusiastic and bought tons of stuff. I figured how hard can it be? Well as it turns out, for me, it's hard. I got rid of all my supplies long before I moved. Last year, my friend Tracy told me she had a bunch of empty decorative tins she was going to toss out unless I wanted them. Being the King Moonracer of Misfit Craft Supplies, I told her I'd give them a good home.
Wasn't really sure what to do with all those tins, but I figured how hard could it be to pour wax inside and make candles? It's basic enough....doesn't require a lot of technique or understanding. Got some wicks, wax pellets, a candle thermometer and a melter/pourer.
My first attempt was a little rocky. I cooled the tins in a pan of cold water with some ice cubes. It was at this point I discovered that the tins aren't watertight. Water seeped up the edges and caused the wax to separate. I had to pour the water out of sides after they were completely cool.
So the next attempt was by keeping the tins in the pan on wax paper. This time I only poured them about half way full, then I took them outside to set up in the icy cold air (it was about 20). That worked a bit better except the wax leaked out the bottom around the edges but it scraped off pretty easily.
This time I decided to put some shells and beach glass on top of the first hardened wax. I was afraid that the top layer would melt the bottom, causing the treasures to be forced to the bottom. So instead of bringing the cooling tins inside, I brought the melted wax outside and that worked well to keep the first layer from liquifying.
It was snowing by the time I finally brought them in. This is what the treasure ones look like with their lids.
And without the lids. I think they came out pretty good!
Then I robbed some tea lights of their wicks and glued them onto some shells, then poured wax in them. The two smallest shells have been painted with metallic paint and I don't know how safe it will be to have hot wax or an open flame near it. Time will tell.
Then I decided what the heck....why not just use up all the wax since I have the tins since the weather is cold? So I spent over four hours one afternoon melting, pouring and setting about 12 or 13 more tins' worth of treasure candles. They set up so much faster when it's 25 degrees out.
A wolf charm surfaced when I was reorganizing all my beads so I made this necklace for my bff Shelly. She picked the length and the colours.
The Creatures of the Salish Sea colouring book had also just arrived and the pictures were large enough to be quick workups and there were only about 8 pages in it anyway (since the book was designed to be easily completed in the Victoria Clipper's nearly 3 hour journey between Seattle and Victoria), so I did it up one afternoon. Mine took a little longer than 3 hours because I had to google exactly what each animal looked like and attempt to replicate it with the crayons I had on hand.
Pardon the flash reflection at the bottom....I was in a hurry to shoot and upload these pics.
I rarely work with crayons these days so it was nice to use them again, although I notice they are definitely not the quality we had in the 70s. I really don't remember the wax flaking and stickiness of them at all.
I have another colouring book of Washington State history and symbols, which is also geared for kids and is another one that I finished in just a few days. I am using crayons and Crayola brand coloured pencils (usually I use the higher quality Prismacolour) on this one.
I think what strikes me most about this particular picture is the grin on the girl's face. All I can think about is, 'Girly, you are in for the hardest few months, possibly years, of your young life. You're gonna have that smile wiped right off your face in the first few weeks of this journey,' I realize the illustrators had to make the book upbeat for kids, but seeing this girl look like she's having the time of her life on the Oregon Trail is a little disingenuous when you know the history of the hardships faced by the pioneers on their trips west.