Posted in Candlemaking

Lavender soy candles

Between work and keeping up with my personal life, I haven’t had much time to work on my crafts recently. It’s been much too hot to work on the blankets and what not I’ve been crocheting, and then it occurred to me that I haven’t done any candle-making in over a month! My local Wilkinson’s (a sort of bric-a-brac shop you get in England) had a set of 12 300ml jam jars for £6 that I’d had my eye on for a while, so I popped in and picked them up one weekend and got to making!

Calculating how much wax I needed per jar, I figured out I needed 202.4g or so of wax for each candle. I wanted to make a couple of candles in this one batch so I filled up my double-boiler as much as I could with my soy wax flakes while following my measurements, and managed to have enough space to make 3 candles. As all the wax melted down though there was a lot more space in the double-boiler, so I might be able to make a larger batch next time if I add the wax a little bit at a time.

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Lavender seemed like a nice colour for the summer and I hadn’t made any candles in this colour before. I added all of my colouring in at 75ºC and it turned the liquid wax a nice grape-y shade of purple.

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For the first pouring, I filled the jars up to about four-fifths full. The second pouring was about 30 minutes later. Unlike last time, I didn’t have to reheat the double-boiler for the second pouring as the wax was still liquid. That just proves how hot it’s been!

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The wax is a much more of a lavender rather than a purple when it’s set properly.

I gifted two of the candles to my neighbours downstairs and next door. They were really pleased with them and said they looked nice and professional which was lovely to hear. Sitting on the couch the other day, I heard something being dropped through the letterbox. My downstairs neighbour had dropped off a cute assortment of ribbons for me to use as a thank you for the candle! It put such a smile on my face!

My music for this candlemaking session was ‘Hardwired…To Self Destruct’ by Metallica and ‘Helplessness Blues’ by Fleet Foxes. An interesting mix!

Posted in Candlemaking, Crochet

Blue Sky tag

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Robin over at Imperial Crochet to do the Blue Sky tag! Thank you for thinking of me Robin!

Living in England, it’s less of a Blue Sky tag and more of a grey-sky-some-blue-if-you’re-really-lucky tag.

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If you squint you can see The Shard!

The Rules:

  • Give 11 questions.
  • Tag 11 people.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Don’t forget to thank the person who tagged you.

1. Why did you choose the name of your blog?

I like trying my hand at loads of different crafts so I wanted a name that would suit that rather than being crochet-centric. My partner and I also have a running joke about when I got confused between an atelier and an abattoir…

2. Which of your own blog posts is your favorite?

I don’t have many to choose from but I’ll have to go with my first post. I’ve been trying to get into writing a blog for years but couldn’t pinpoint what sort of tone of voice to use, but I feel just having a nice relax and putting all the details about candle making that I would want to see in a post seemed to work out nicely.

3. Do you have a set schedule for blogging? Morning, evening, daily, weekly?

No schedule unfortunately! Working at a music venue means I work different hours and days depending on what gigs we have on, so I have to squeeze my crafting and blogging time in around my work.

4. Have you ever done any published writing outside of blogging?  Books? Articles?

Not yet. I did Creative Writing at university and specialised in poetry. One of my tutors said I was good enough to be published and it is a goal of mine for the future to have my work published.

5. What is the title of your most useful book?

‘The Candlemaker’s Companion’ by Betty Oppenheimer for candlemaking and ‘200 Crochet Stitches’ by Sarah Hazell for crochet. Oppenheimer’s book is great for people new to candle-making and answers lots of questions for veterans too. Hazell’s compendium includes a beginner’s guide to crochet and has over 200 different, beautiful stitches all documented clearly with pictures. They are both invaluable!

                  

6. What is the title of the last book you read for fun?

It was Professor Green’s autobiography ‘Lucky’. I’m a fan of his music and have enjoyed his appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and other shows. He writes non-fiction well and takes you on an informative and funny journey through his childhood, his various shady dealings and his well-earned rise to fame.

7. Who is your favorite celebrity?

The Youtuber Markiplier (aka. Mark Fischbach). I play a lot of video games so I like to keep up with Markiplier’s videos to see the newest games and I enjoy his humour a lot. He does a lot of work for charity and his fans, and is just a really nice guy. He’s also quite handsome…

8. What is your favorite song?

I listen to way too much music to have just one favourite song! Some of my more recent favourites are ‘Moth Into Flame’ by Metallica and ‘Forever Young’ by Rhiannon Giddens and Iron and Wine.

9. Where would you love to go on your next vacation?

My last holiday was a city break so I would love to have a proper sun, sand and sea trip as my next vacation. Spain maybe?

10. Is there a skill you’d like to learn?

Always! I love learning and am always trying to learn a new skill in one way or another. I’ve got a dressmaking class this weekend and I’m waiting for the next term of my evening BSL (British Sign Language) classes to start!

11. Cats or dogs?

Both! All animals are amazing. Being allergic to fur and feathers has never stopped me from loving all animals or living with a cat of my own.

I’m still new to this blogging thing and so don’t have 11 people I can tag with this. Feel free to tag yourself and do your own Blue Sky tag if you would like to!

Posted in Candlemaking

My first time working with Soy Wax Part 2

It’s been a couple of days since my first try using soy wax for a candle and overall it’s turned out quite well!

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The colouring has made the wax a sort of powder blue which is interesting as the liquid wax was a vivid turquoise colour. The manufacturer says to only use liquid colours with the particular wax I was using so I wasn’t sure if the colour flakes I used would bond at all to be honest.

It’s not a perfect candle by any means though! There are visible lines from the different pours and once the candle has been lit for a while it seems to… well “sweat” is the best word I could use to describe it? A clear liquid oozes from the top surface and sits there. I can only assume from what I’ve been reading that this is a result of the colouring but I’m not really sure.

As I say, it’s not perfect but it’s turned out great for  first try with a new material. My next step will be to get some smaller containers so I can experiment with the different qualities of the wax more.

Posted in Candlemaking

My first time working with Soy Wax

After a nice picnic in the park, I decided to have my first crack at making a soy wax candle. All of my previous candles had used paraffin wax, and I had heard conflicting things about soy wax’s similarity to paraffin so I didn’t know how well my first attempt would work.

The wax seller recommends using this soy wax for container candles (not pillar-type candles) and so I used a jam jar I got for £1 from a local store.

The container weighed 75g and the container with water in weighed 441g. 441g minus 75g is 366g, divide this by 20% (as the wax reduces as it melts from solid to liquid) means that I need 292.8g of wax.

The colouring I use recommends 1g of colour to every 100g of wax, and so I weighed out my wax and 3g of light blue colouring. I used slightly more colouring than recommended as I wasn’t sure how well the colouring would bond to the soy wax compared to the paraffin.

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The wax started to melt started to melt at about 30-35ºC, which was much lower than the paraffin wax melting point. After this temperature the soy wax melted at a fairly similar rate to paraffin and had a slight yellow colour whereas the paraffin was melts clear.

Adding the light blue colour turned the liquid a sort of aquamarine colour.

I prepared my jam jar container using a 4-ply wick that I had pre-waxed myself in some leftover paraffin wax, as well as a metal wick sustainer and a little sticky dot to keep it stuck to the bottom of the jar.

I used the tack pour and cap pour methods that I learnt about in ‘The Candlemaker’s Companion’ by Betty Oppenheimer as I have had persistent problems with craters in my candles, as well as wicks coming loose and these methods seemed like they would help.

My first pour was at 60ºC and filled the jar up to 1.5cm high. I waited 10 minutes for this to cool and did my second pour (also at 60ºC), leaving some wax in my double bolier for the cap pour.

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The second pouring took about an hour to cool enough for me to make the holes necessary for the cap pour. The third pour was at 60ºC again.

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As I was doing the third pour, one of the holes I had made for the cap pour melted a bit and collapsed into an air cavern, but I’m hoping that the wax that flowed into it will set and cover it up.

The candle will need to set overnight but I will update with how it turns out soon!

My music for this candlemaking session was ‘No Mythologies to Follow’ by MØ and ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ by SHVPES.