Sunday, March 13, 2016

Egg Cup Easter Candle

I was thrifting recently with a friend and saw some great egg cups. Their original use, however, as a stand for a soft-boiled egg, does not appeal to me because I really dislike soft-boiled eggs. So what else could a person do with some of those great vintage egg cups?



Use egg cups as stands for egg shell candles, of course!  I had been meaning to make some egg shell candles in advance of Easter, but didn't want to set them in sand or in a cardboard egg carton. Then I realized that, hey, egg cups would make perfect stands! So I ran right out and thrifted this great little yellow egg cup (and at 25 cents, I could hardly do better) and made an egg shell candle.

These are super easy to make and are great Spring/Easter decorations. Next time you use an egg, crack it carefully so you have about 2/3rds of the shell intact. Wash it out and let it dry. Set it in the egg cup when you are ready to make the candle. Then you will need these things:

SOY WAX:


I use soy wax container blend by Glory Bee. And no, you don't have to get a 10lb bag like I have---I often make walnut shell candles for sale, so I have a giant bag of this wax. But you can find smaller amounts. I use soy wax because it is cleaner-burning than standard petroleum based paraffin wax, and cheaper than beeswax.

PAPER CORE WICK


Usually comes on a card like this---you cut the lengths you need.


FRAGRANCE





I used a pink grapefruit fragrance oil made for candles and soaps. Again, by Glory Bee. Of course, you don't have to have any fragrance---this step is optional.

GLASS MEASURING CUP

Pyrex
You will need this to melt the wax in the microwave, which is the easiest way to do this. If you don't have a microwave, you can use a double boiler to melt your wax.

****Okay, now you will melt a couple of ounces of soy wax in your pyrex measuring cup in your microwave (about 90 seconds---time will vary by microwave) or in your double boiler, until it is in a liquid state. Here you will cut the appropriate length of wick from your papercore wick supply---dip it in the melted wax and put aside to dry. While your wick is drying, add some fragrance oil (if using) to the melted wax and stir, then carefully pour the melted wax into your egg shell which is standing in the egg cup. Try not to overfill, or you will have a mess on your hands. Your wax coated wick should be dry at this point, so now you can stand it in the egg shell candle you have just made. You can use a metal wick stand for this part if you want, but I don't find it necessary. I usually just lay a couple of toothpicks or chopsticks across the shell and put the wick in between them to hold it in place while the wax dries.



Waaaalaaaa! Great seasonal decorations that are easy and a bit different. Thrift a bunch of different egg cups for a multi-candle display. If you want to skip the whole egg shell thing, you could even just pour the candle wax straight into the egg cups and make your candles that way :)



I am going to give you the usual CAUTIONS here:  Be careful handling hot wax, it may burn you. If you are making these with children, supervise the children at all times. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Symbolic Heart



 I've always been attracted to the symbol of the Sacred Heart. There is something deeply resonant about the image, and while the Sacred Heart has particular Christian imagery (flames, encircled by thorns, the divine love of Jesus, the fire of God) the heart itself as a religious and pre-Christian symbol goes way back, at least as far as ancient Egypt. It is has also been used as a fertility symbol. In a simplified form, the heart is depicted as an inverted triangle. Following along with this, the heart as a symbol has also been related to female private parts--- and, when it is depicted with blood flowing from it, well, that is a connection that is easy to see. Put this together with the heart as a symbol of love and Valentine's Day, and this holiday happening as we move out of winter and into the fertility of spring, and it makes a certain sense.  However you choose to look at it, the heart is a powerful symbol. So let's celebrate the heart in all its forms, and Happy Valentine's to you!




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