Friday, May 19, 2017

Ladybug candles




I've been working on so many new projects I did't even realize that the roses out back had been blooming.  Stopping to smell the roses had never rang so true.

Last year aphids had invaded two of my rose bushes so badly that no amount of hose spraying would rid them from my beloved plants.  I'm not a huge fan of neem oil, it stinks and leaves my roses sticky.

I resorted to ordering ladybugs from the net and released them one evening.   The next morning I woke, eager to see the progress those adorable and hopefully hungry little beetles had made...but there wasn't a ladybug in sight.  A few days passed and I was lounging outback when I heard the neighbor behind us calling to his kids "Come look!" he shouted "look at all these ladybugs."

"Traitors" I thought

His little ones started giggling and I could hear the thudding of their foot falls as they raced around the yard for the next hour "get that one daddy"  So I grabbed the dusty bottle of neem oil and set to work listening to their laughs, delighted that at least someone got to enjoy them.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Giant Sunflowers and Soy


These are the big mommas to the smaller sunflower floating candles that I've shared in previous posts.  Come to think of it, I think I did share these back in the candle making blog days.. jeesh that has to be 10 years ago or so. 

I decided to dust off the, well, dust from the molds that have been living on a shelf, forgotten, ignored.  Their immense size use to put me off.  They are more costly to make being that they weigh close to a pound.  Over the years I've shelved a lot of the bigger molds opting for the smaller more manageable pieces.

But I've been rethinking the larger candles recently and with summer approaching faster than I can say, grab the sunblock, lets hit the pool, I've decided to give them another go.

Lets face it, summer is pool time centric in the Valley of the Sun and there's no better way to spend those too warm evening bbq's than pool side, lit by candle light.

I've been playing with soy wax the past few weeks and even though I enjoy the soft creamy ease of it, I have huge reservations on how well it can stand up to the upcoming summer heat.  I swear, sometimes I think soy wax can melt at the slightest touch, I can't imagine what it'll be like when summer actually comes.  Mixing it with paraffin has yielded better results and burn tests have been amazing too.  Pool testing is next on the list...long lazy days of floaties and sunblock are next....

As I'm typing this post the temp outside is an irrupting 103 degrees.  Yesterday it was only in the 80's, so I'm gonna grab my towel and floatie and head out with thoughts of soy melting in my head and as I bob along through the rest of my afternoon maybe I'll come up with a way to ship soy wax during the summer.

Friday, May 5, 2017

playing with palm wax




I can't believe it's taken me so long to try out the awesomeness that is Palm Wax.  The feathery crystalline effect of it's finish is beyond stunning; now I have a new wax to add to my collective addiction.

I feel like a newby candle maker all over again.  Testing 20 different wick sizes and the challenges of side blow-outs, slow burns, drown outs and the dreaded melted down to a nub in 15 mins.  I swear, I turned my back for a second and the thing was a pooled mess on the counter top.

For a wax with a high point melt it sure melts down quick, even with a tiny wick...bigger is much better in this case as that fuel has to burn up fast and hot or your left with drips and blowouts.

One thing I didn't expect was how brittle the wax is, and how worse it was when I added fragrance oil.  Is there a way to combat this?  Since I use silicone molds and removing the candles from molds puts stress on the piece, I've broken a few them with the simplest of tugs.

I'm weary of using additives which could prevent the wax from creating that crystallizing effect that I'v fallen head over heals for.


I tested two different types; Glass Glow, which is formulated for containers but can be used in other applications as it isn't sticky or soft like other container waxes.  And Palm feather pillar wax which had an amazing opacity that gives that crystallizing finish a massive pop!  I can't wait to test out colors!  Does UV inhibitor effect palm wax?  Guess I'll find out soon.

I don't know yet which of my new palm wax creations will be added to the site, right now I'm just enjoying something new and all those experiences that go along with it.


 
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