Monday, November 23, 2020

Rolling Beeswax Candles

I spent many happy hours yesterday making hand-rolled beeswax candles.  I taught myself through trial and error and learned to make them years ago.  I even went into business making them using natural golden, honey scented wax sheets, made a natural wrap of corrugated brown paper, tied them with raffia and stuck dried "Pearly Everlasting" flowers in the tie and sold them in the gallery at Vista House for years.  :-)  I thought I'd show you what I learned so you can make some for yourself or for gifts.

I used to buy my wax sheets through Ruhl Bee Co. but when I went to find their website, they'd gone out of business.  :-(  The people who bought their company only carry the natural golden color sheets.  SO.. I went to Amazon and I found these - you get 10 sheets of any color you want.  I ordered a package of bright red and a nice green.

The photo shows the red pretty well but it's actually a bit darker and the green is darker too.

You'll need:  A craft mat or cutting board to work on, a utility knife or box cutter, ruler and a t-square, scissors to cut the wick.  The sheets are 16 1/2 inches by 8 inches wide.  First up you measure to 8 1/4 inches and cut the sheet in exactly half.  I use a t-square when cutting so the edge is straight.  NOTE: Try to have your wax at room temp, cold wax is much harder to manipulate.

I used to fold up the edge to insert the wick and this time came up with a clever idea of using the cardboard inside the box to use to turn the first fold up, this makes it more even.  You only want to fold up a bit because the first roll makes or breaks the tightness of the finished candle.  

Next you lay the wick on the sheet and cut it with 1/2 extra to stick up over the top to light.  You can then use the first wick and use it as a measure to cut the next wicks ahead of rolling the next candles.

I put the end of the wick into the rolled edge and press it down and around the wick to hold it into place while I roll the rest of the wax over the wick and tuck it so it's round, not flat when I begin to roll.

Then you make the first roll.. it's very important that it's tight and round.  You also must not do it so tight that you mash it.  But if it's too loose it won't be a well-made candle.  You'll learn as you go what works.

This is what it should look like when you're ready to roll...

My rolling technique is to use both hands, even pressure on the whole length of the candle, roll.. roll.. 

While rolling you need to make sure the edges are even, if you are not keeping even pressure it can start going askew.. if that happens you can unroll it carefully until it's to the point where it's even and then continue.

Roll.. check to see it's even on each end.. roll..

When it's all rolled up.. take your thumb and gently press the last edge to the candle.  Not too hard or you'll squish it.  :-)

This is what it should look like on the end when done.  Tight but not crushed.  

Ta-dah.. one pair done.

Then a green pair.

The beauty of these candles is they are a bit sticky so they stay in candleholders well.  Plus if the holder opening is small you can press the base of the candle narrower, carefully, and it should fit any holder.  Also - the finished candle is the perfect size for most candlesticks.

A red pair.  And they smell divine, like honey.  Some hints for successful burning of these - never burn them in a draft as they will drip, don't put them under a ceiling fan, open door or window.  Keep the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch for even burning.  Never leave a burning candle unattended.  Keep away from pets and children.  Blow the candle out if it's smoking or the flame becomes too high.  When it cools, trim the wick and re-light.

Did you notice my new header?  There is a Corbett Area group on Facebook and I was scrolling down and lo and behold a local woman had stopped and taken a photo of our barn and trees with colorful leaves.  I asked her if I could use it on my blog and she agreed.  Isn't that cool?

OK, have a wonderful week my friends!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Friday, November 20, 2020

🍁 🍂. The Pin Oak is RED 🍂 🍁

🍁 🍂 Each year near Thanksgiving our massive Pin Oak tree turns brilliant red and I love it!  We are blessed with a sunny day after several days of rain.

I have to leap at the chance to capture it when it turns the perfect red as soon the color will dull to a red-brown and our famous East Wind will scatter these leaves around the grounds.  

I set my iPhone to wide angle lens which encompasses the whole tree but it makes it look small and it's huge.

Actually, a lot of the leaves are on the ground so it was fuller 2 weeks ago.

The farm place hasn't been very photogenic of late with grey and rainy days so I snapped a shot in the sunshine.. the chestnut leaves are gold and brown and the ground is covered with bristly nuts.  Soon the deciduous trees will be naked.  

Wide angle shot.

While I was out on the deck the sun was illuminating the long needle pine I dug up when it was 6 inches tall.. I have got to find just the right place to plant it and get it in the ground.  But I can't figure out where!

Dayle dug this one up also and it's his Bonsai tree.  Problem is I would get upset when he'd snip all the healthy little shoots off.. I begged him to give it a break and let it grow.  It's taken a few years to fill out a bit.  I like it better now!

During a dark evening I lit the candles on the table.  I so enjoy candlelight.  In fact, I have ordered some beeswax sheets in green and red and I will be rolling my own candles as soon as they arrive.  :-)  Check this space next week for a post about how to make your own candles.  I plan to gift them to friends and family for Christmas.

I had to share this photo I saw on Facebook.  Isn't it pretty?

I have ordered a narrower Christmas tree which hopefully will arrive next week and as soon as it's delivered I want to put it straight up and decorate it.  It's a thing!  A lot of people are over 2020 and need some JOY and are putting their tree up early.  I'm on board with that - how about you?  

((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Roasting Chicken

Chef Dayle produced a wonderful dinner for us yesterday.  We have loved Costco rotisserie chicken for years but we always wanted to be able to make our own.  So since we're staying home more due to the virus I googled how to roast our own. 

Here is the recipe I found and it's worked beautifully for us.  You can click on this to make it bigger and print it up if you'd like.  We don't use 8 cloves of garlic, more like 3, but you can experiment with that.  We also don't use the lemon but I'd like to try it.  Let me know if you make this and how you liked it.  We get the whole raw chickens from Costco.

I set the table with my jadeite.. :-)  Dayle also made some sage dressing to go with the vegetables.

I'm of the assumption that things taste better on Jadeite plates.  :-D

I gathered my pilgrims and turkey around for dinner.  Yes, I'm a character.  I'm okay with that.  :-)

I received "happy mail" today - and hand washed it.  I got a pair of candleholders - the color is called "clam broth" as it's more translucent than much of the jadeite is.  

I did some googling and the plate that came with them is from the 1930s and is called "Elizabeth" from Fenton Glass Co.  The candleholders are called "Flower" or "Lotus".  

I have collected 3 of these tumblers, they are newer made but I love them and they go great with my vintage pieces.  I had to buy another set of S&P shakers to get the missing S lid for my swirl shakers.. I thought it would be easy to find another lid but I was wrong.  

The weather outside is frightful.. but we have the fire blazing and leftover chicken all set for dinner.  I hope you're staying safe and well.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Monday, November 16, 2020

Chicken Soup and Sourdough Bread

My sister Denise has really been enjoying the sourdough starter I gave her and has made lots of bread, crackers, biscuits, etc.  She showed me her latest bread and shared which recipe she used - from King Arthur flour website.  So, I showed Chef Dayle and he whipped up this beauty.  It's wonderful as just a few ingredients, flour, active sourdough starter, water and salt.  No added yeast.  Isn't it a beauty?

It's baked inside our big turquoise Le Creuset French oven and you line it with parchment paper so there isn't even any clean-up.

I showed my sister the inside and I thought it had too many holes and she informed me that this is the way it's supposed to look.  :-)  The taste test was positive.. it's delicious!!  Crusty exterior and toothsome inside.. yummy.

Then our chef made a big pot of chicken soup - with carrots, onion (from our garden), green beans, potatoes, peas, celery and corn.. plus noodles.. and chicken!

4 meals from this big pot of soup.. with bread and Irish butter on the side.  :-P

We decided that we needed a lamp to brighten up the lefthand corner of the living room.  So, Dayle started doing a search on FB MP (marketplace) for a vintage piece.  He showed me several and we finally agreed on one and picked it up on Sunday.

It looks just right in there and goes well with the pitcher and bowl my friend Shirley gave me for my birthday a few years back.  :-)  Oh.. and Betsy.. I got that vintage book for your granddaughter Piper, I need to send it to you, my friend Bev gave it to me to give to you!  :-)

A close-up of the hand-painted roses on the lampshade.

The Christmas Cactus aka Schlumbergera bridgessii is is bloom - this one is very special to me as I rescued it from my mother's room in her assisted living facility not long before she passed away.  It was dried up to the point of dying and I brought it home, put it in my garden window and watered it.  It rallied and put out buds and these amazing flowers bloomed.  I felt it was my mother reaching out from the beyond to say hello.  :-)

This big pot of 3 colors of the plant is right behind me.. looking over me.  Oh how I love growing things in my home.

Remember the little houses and trees I showed you the other day?  I actually thought that the little houses could be lit with tea light candles but when they arrived I was disappointed to see no hole in the back.. so I put on my thinking cap and ordered some tiny "firefly" lights and poked them into the houses while wrapping the wire around the trees.  I like the lighted effect on them.

I had to share this t-shirt design.. I can so relate to this.  LOL!

And this happened yesterday and it is so exciting!  What an amazing thing to do.  We have LIFT OFF!

That's it for me.. I have a bowl of soup and a slice of bread calling to me.  I hope your week ahead will be great and be safe!  
((hugs)), Teresa :-)