Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Candle Making Challenge

I have been asked by the lovely people at
candle making as a new craft. 
So they sent me the following products to try on this new challenge.
A selection of different wicks in various thickness
candle rods
and wick sustainers 

Different colourants 

a big bag of paraffin wax
The challenge was to make some candles without a mold and no instructions!
I was working a bit blind really but this is the result

And here's how I did it ......
Firstly, for safety, you must never directly heat paraffin wax on a direct heat source so I used an old saucepan and a tall metal container in which to melt the wax creating a double boiler.  You add water to the saucepan and heat it on a relatively low setting until the wax melts.  I added the wax to the metal container and melted until it was clear and water like. 
The wax should not be melted any higher than 90 degree centigrade because it is highly flammable.
You can buy thermometer to measure the temp from
Homecrafts Direct.
I purchased some cheap baking trays and poured the melted wax directly into the tray and then I added the colourant. 
I used about a fifth of the bottle. 
Each colour needed a new tray of melted wax.
Star Cookie Cutters
I allowed the wax to cool until it was still soft and easy to cut and used the star cookie cutters to cut out star shapes in each of the trays of wax colours.  I used the yellow and then I mixed the yellow colourant with the red to create orange.
I then used a thick needle to poke a hole through the centre of each star and used the needle to thread the wick through the metal base and the hole
I then threaded a number of stars onto the wick to create my candles
The final piece
I wanted to make something that was different that would not require a candle mold.  I had seen square stacked candles in the shops and this is what inspired me to make my own version.  I had the star shaped cutters by me and thought I could attempt something for the centre of Christmas table.
My only disappointment was that I didn't know that you have to dip the wick into wax before threading it onto the stars so that it will burn well.  I only managed to get one of the candles to burn properly. 
If anyone wants to have a go at making candles, it is a thoroughly enjoyable craft and it can be absorbing as one can create an enormous variety of candles with basic equipment. 
and also good photographic instructions.
Bee x
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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Pinning and Posting

A bit of all sorts ............
I don't know where the week has gone already. I seem to have been really busy sorting stuff out and not a lot to show for my efforts ...... bet you know the feeling!
Anyway, I have been getting the hang of Facebook and posting lots of lovely finds on my time line page.
I have been PINNING on Pinterest
If you haven't already tried it, they have opened up the site to anyone who wants to join now, as opposed to by invitation only.
Check my Pinterest boards out for links to tutorials on all crafty things, including crochet and knitting.
I've managed to get some crochet time in and finish the cushion covers I was working on ............
The first one, I have named the
Liquorish Allsort cushion
as I definitely agree with Two Hippo's comment on the colours in my previous post and every time I look at it now, it makes me think of them!  
 The edging

 the front

 A close up of the popcorn stitch block

The reverse
The next crochet cushion I made for my dear mum for a pressie to make her smile, she loves my work and is my biggest fan!
 I like the diagonal holes

 I thought I would try ties instead of buttons as a closure and I think they have worked!

The front and back are the same, I must have been having a pink and purple moment!
I am also in the process of trying to get the hang of a new camera and have been experimenting with the functions. 
So actually, I think I have had a rather productive week!! :)
bee x
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Thursday, 16 August 2012

New Crochet Blocks ........

The best thing when the creative juices are not flowing too freely is to try something new, so I've been playing with some new crochet block patterns, from Heather Lodinsky's 150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet.

The first one I tried out was number 30, the Double Crochet Square. It started out as a lovely bright pink square with accentuated holes at the corners, but as my mojo returned, it has ended up as a purple and pink square. It will make a great cushion cover just as soon as I have made the reverse. 

The other was number 8, the Popcorn Circle, a textured bobble stitch combination in two colours.  This is now turning into a granny square cushion cover too, in some lovely bright colours, pinks, purple and bright yellow and proving to be cheery and sweet.

I would recommend Heather's book as it is full of great block patterns, I have used it a lot since I got it for Christmas.

bee x

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Monday, 13 August 2012

An Erika Knight free Crochet pattern and other yummy things ...

It's been a while since I posted, I haven't had a great year health wise, so to make up for my absence, here is some lovely things to look at .............

I happened to stumble across a beautiful online magazine called Sweet Living which is full of lovely images of food, crafts and goodness for us to drawl over.  There are 3 issues to read, so far which are little beauties in themselves. 

There is a great Erika Knight FREE crochet pattern for Fingerless mittens taken from her new book, Crochet Workshop on their lovely blog too. 

I had to take a sneak peek at Erika's superb new book recently when browsing in Waterstones the other day. I love the organic simple styling of the book and the patterns so may have to purchase one day even though I am not a beginner crocheter. 

Enjoy and have fun!

bee x

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