torsdag 26 mars 2015

Tutorial: Make your own candles and a Giveaway

For you dear readers who has kept on reading my blog inspite of boring and delayed posts I will have a giveaway this post, to thank you all. 
First I would like to share a tutorial with you of how to make candles. 
I guess that you have already noticed that I'm interested in non-polluting issues? I don't like to waste things that can be reused at least once before throwing away  leaving it in the recycling bin.

Make your own block candles. 
What you need:
cotton yarn (for chrocheting, any colour will do)
empty beer cans or pringle tubes etc
adhesive putty
a stick, twig, pen (of that sort)
rests of candles, parraffine or stearine
a saucepan and an empty can
(one of my burning beer can candles)

The yarn is for the wick. You can choose to twine it double or you can braid it. I chosed to braid it this time because the double twined is a bit too thin (dependes on the thickness of the yarn of course). It takes time but it's worth a little patience. You can also buy premade candlewick but then you pay for something you propably already have. 

Pinch a hole in the center of the bottom of the beer can and tuck the wick through the hole, maybe you need to use a chrocheting hook to pull the wick through (I did). Tie a knot at the bottom and secure the hole and knot with lots of putty. 

Hold the wick straight and pull a stick through the braid or tie the braid around it. You need to keep the wick in the centre.

Melt your remnants from old candles but remove the coaled wick first. For a beer candle you need approx. 400 g of material. Heat water in the saucepan on the stove and put a can with stearine in the water to melt.
When everything is melted pour it in your mold (beer can) but leave a little.
As you can see on the photo above, I have used socks to isolate the can. This was an useless experiment. I wanted to prevent pipe forming during cooling but it didn't work.
After a couple of hours, a pipe is forming in the middle. It is neccessary to melt more stearine and to fill it up. If you don't, the wick won't longer be centered and instead, you have a hole in the middle. 
It's important that you work on a sturdy surface like a kitchen bench the putty can leak hot stearine.

Leave the candle to cool over night and peel off the can. Don't throw aluminum in your ordinary waste bin. Metal and especially aluminum is very energy saving to recycle. 
This is how one of my candles turned out (below). It is made of remnants from halloween candles.
Next tutorial is a glass jar candle and also the one I will share to one of my readers...
Use an old holder from a tea candle and press the hole open with a metal pin (or something). Pull the wick through and press the hole tight again with a plier. Glue the holder to the center of the bottom of a glass jar with hot glue.

 Here's another tip I can give you: old tea light holders are made in aluminum but the wick holder is made of steel. If you put those in the recycling bin you need to separate the wick holder from the aluminum, otherwise the aluminum will follow the steel holder with the magnetic separator and end up as fumes in the air (not very good, right ?). 

Ok, well. Center the wick in the same fashion as the beer candle and do the same procedure. 

If you have some oilscents you like, you can add a few drops to the molten stearine before pouring it in you mold. 
The giveaway
Voilá. Here it is my own recycled jar candle, offered for you as a give away. I embellished the jar with some prints and scraps. 
The oil scent is all natural oils, citrus and ylang-ylang for example.
To join the giveaway you only have to leave a comment and tell me that your'e in. Leave your e-mail adress or tell me how to contact you in other ways.
Take care precious ones!!

The giveaway will be open 2,5 weeks from now, and it is worldwide of course :-)

fredag 6 mars 2015

Sports holiday hangover

I'm not sure if Sweden is unique in the way that we have a school holiday called "sports vacation" one week every February, maybe you could tell me? Well, this year school was closed for two weeks in this town due to the World Championships in skiing. I also had 1,5 week of duty as a teacher but worked two days as a volunteer at the event. 
My favourite knitted wool hat to keep my brain warm from the snow slush. 

Not usually a sports nerd but as the Swedish team took lots of medals and the event taking place in my town it was irresistable to avoid. One of my students was also competing in ski jumping.
The photos below shows the ski jumping arena with lots of drunk and crazy Norwegians waving their flags (took even more medals). Two Gripen planes passing by and a backstage photo taken from my booth selling food. 

The community tried to take advantage of all the visitors and do something cultural down town. Grafitti walls, food market, and ice statues (melting away) et cetera. 
You can see at the photo in the middle wich one who is an indoor person and who is the outdoor one. 

I promised earlier to take more photos of the buildings in my town. I love the details of this house.

Alfons was for once ready to try downhill skiing and we went to the local slope. First visit for me. Ok, we have mountains. BUT they are not Alpine mountains as a visiting polititian from the Capital claimed. Wonder if she slept on her Geography class at primary school. 
View from the top. 

It went great. As he listened carefully at my instructions, he managed the skiis only after one round.
I'm a sucker for nice views. Here's view of our beautiful lake Runn that is very popular for skating. 

 The sports vacation was too short for recovering from a hectic semester. Like most teachers I was cursed by the flu a couple of days (no time to be sick, except on holidays). My ambition was to do more than I had time to. I did take some time to paint though, wich I usually never have time for, sadly because it's very calming.  Johan says I painted his coworker. 

 Well well see each other next vacation...Easter maybe?