Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hurry Up and get it Done....

Halloween is right around the corner now - managed to find 1 pre-carved pumpkin in my decorating stash and plopped that into the window (guess we'll call it done for this year). 

I have been commissioned to sew a custom costume - unfortunately it is needed for next weekend, guess I will be doing a marathon sewing session tomorrow; but tonight is all mine.  Time to get started on Christmas gifts for family and friends.  Not giving away too much information but I am thinking ornaments - hand sculpted.  I am trying multiple brands of polymer clay to see which ones work for me as well as testing different paints.  More details as I progress on the trials.   

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Candle making sucess - well sort of

After a bit of study, some patience and a healthy dose of trial and error I think I've got it.  A nearly perfect pour on my candle.  I will admit that the white area of wax near the top is entirely my fault.  I knocked over the candle right after I filled up the cooling well.

I completed the test burn, I would say the results came out about average.  In a nutshell here is what I have learned and will now apply to further candle making adventures.

#1 A  pint jar will surprisingly take 16 oz or 1 pound of wax to fill

#2 Warm up your container prior to filling

#3  Pour your candle at a slightly warmer temperature (poured mine at 180 degrees) 

#4 Be prepared to fill the void (cooling well) left around the wick as the wax cools and shrinks

#5  If using straight paraffin do not add a hardener such as stearine (stearic acid) The wax will be too too            hard to burn properly.   

#6  I used a wick rated for pillars 2 inches to 3.5 inches in diameter - this is a bit too small.  I need to use the      next size up.

#7  If using a good quality scent be prepared to use a maximum of 1 oz of liquid scent per pound of wax.         Coffee was the aroma of choice for this adventure therefore using the entire ounce makes a pleasant           scented candle lit or not - some fragrances will be altogether too strong for this amount.

Lastly and most importantly remember to relax, take your time -working safely and enjoy the creative process.    

Friday, October 7, 2016

Container Candle Folly

Time to start thinking Christmas gifts.  My family has always made our gifts to friends and each other (don't get overwhelmed it doesn't happen 100% of the time)  and seeing that it is now October I had better get going.  Nearly everyone loves a candle right - even if you don't light it a well scented candle generally is appreciated.  On to the fun -

I've done it before and not always with the best of success.  What does any crafting junkie do first; check Pinterest.  Overwhelming contradicting information Aargh!!  Ok I'm smarter than that, time to check the candle making suppliers. After all you should know how to use the products you are selling - some information there.  Oh well lets dive in worst case scenario I end up with an ugly candle that won't burn and I will have to remelt the wax.  I do know enough to not burn my house down.

Heat the wax to the proper temperature add colorant remove from heat cool a little add desired scent stir gently pour and voila candle.


Ok #1 paraffin wax shrinks when cool had to add additional wax to fill well - oops used all the color used a bit of white.  Notice the lines across the candle near the bottom and the odd cloudy bit near the top.  Not a perfect pour inconceivable according to various trouble shooting guides, could be caused by wax was poured at to low of a temperature - or the container was too cool and the candle hardened to rapidly.  I can work with that.  Now on to a burn test......


#2 See how this candle is melting the wax only in the center, if allowed to continue to burn you would "drown" the wick in the puddle of wax and if by chance you got it to keep burning it would melt out the core only.  Back to the trouble shooting charts: the advice use a larger wick - I know the wick should be the correct size for this candle.  Possibility # 2 the wax is too hard , I must admit I added stearin to the paraffin this is a chemical the will increase the burn time by hardening the wax.  The solution add beeswax to soften.  Got it two minor corrections to make.  Candle put back in the double boiler to melt the wax out of the container - make my corrections and start again.      

The lint fire starters are done.  They aren't the most beautiful ; but if they work I can overlook the cosmetic unpleasantries.  I did manage to create a total of 72 - according to the information I found one starter should burn for 15-17 minutes.  A match or lighter will be required to get these going.  Hope to try one soon.  As an added bonus I used all the old wax up.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

I've been busy busy busy - September has flown by and now it is time for Fall crafts, winter prep and assorted projects.  Currently I am finishing the last of the alterations on a wedding gown.  The Bride has an infusion pump and needs access on the wedding day.  I am adding two disguised pockets into the sides, hopefully when I am done you won't see anything from the outside.

Today I am about to make some dryer lint fire starters, cross your fingers I will be able to make a dent in the old wax in my pot.  I want fresh for Christmas projects.        

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Blog Focus

Well it took me a little longer than an afternoon to figure things out.  Since I seem to have trouble focusing on just one discipline I will share information and experiences as they happen.

Be warned I tend to multi-task, actually there tends to be a minimum of six projects being worked at once.

As of September 4, 2016 on the urgent pile: My niece's homecoming dress, a custom fit undershirt for my brother, a life size emperor penguin sculpture.  Within the next two weeks I need to strip/repair/ frame and install an antique front door - followed closely by a new basement exit door same work required.  The garage roof needs to the stripped, repaired and re-shingled.  The flower garden needs some attention weeds and mulching and it looks like I have honey bees using a corner of the porch as a hive.Looking to the future I am in the planning stages of a beaded flapper dress.

All the while working on the last fine art challenge issued by my Grandmother - she challenged me to complete the entire alphabet in art, A and B are done and C (Cleopatra lounging on chaise) a large format oil painting is in process.

Coming up next:  Lessons learned, machine embroidery on chiffon and organza.                       

Saturday, September 3, 2016

After a long hiatus I have decided it is time to return to my blog.  I have a new vision/direction for this blog and will highlight the changes by this evening.