Friday, July 25, 2008

Candlemaking & Gem Separating

So we're getting ready for sweet Lovebug's blessing and just trying to take one day at a time. It's really hard getting stuff done with this extremely mobile and curious 7.5 month old :)!
Yesterday it was candlemaking and glass gem separating...

I made soy pillar candles with eco cotton wicks (no lead), and got all my supplies here locally. Although they are super simple to make, it did take me awhile - well, because of the 7.5 month old, and I only have three molds. They turned out well though...just added lavender EO (essential oil) to give them a little scent. As far as the amount of EO, I really just eye it and see what works. Been making soy candles off and on the last couple of years and it's really enjoyable. It takes me back to when I was young because every year we went on a field trip to this place where they lived like pioneers in log cabins. You got to make candles there, amongst other things the settlers regularly did like butter-making and weaving, but I always looked forward to making my candle!

Little info on candles...I know candles can be lovely - they create a certain ambience and can often smell wonderful. But green homes should do away with traditional paraffin candles, as they are not very healthy for the earth or for you and your family. Paraffin candles are petroleum-based (and we all need to do what we can to reduce our petroleum use) and produce alot of carcinogens and soot. Unfortunately that soot is gathering on your walls even if you can't see it and whilst breathing in that yummy apple cinnamon scent, you're also breathing in those carcinogens :(. Plus, most of the "yummy" scents are made up of not very natural ingredients and many traditional candles still have ones with lead (ones that are imported, as the U.S. actually banned the use of lead wicks) which is emitted into the air and can accumulate in your body. Not so lovely...

Soy and beeswax are the most eco friendly candles out there. Both types of candles burn cooler and slower (thus, last longer), which helps distribute the fragrance better. They are VERY easy to clean up, are non-toxic, and produce far less soot than traditional paraffin candles.  However, these eco candles are typically expensive (why, I don't know) so if you can, try to find materials to make your own and you'll save some money, or if you can afford it, there are some great eco options out there. Whether making your own or buying, essential oil-scented ones are best to look out for instead of synthetic ingredients and cotton/hemp wicks. Mmmmmm - much more lovely!

Oh, also as an alternative to candles - something we often do is put some drops of our fave EO (or fresh herbs from our garden) in a pot of boiling water on the stove and let that simmer for awhile which makes the whole house smell wonderful. Sometimes we'll walk around with it too in order to disperse the scent or leave it sitting somewhere (in a safe place) that needs some deodorizing. :)

The glass gems are from my sis's wedding and I'm still trying to use them here and there. I only want the clear ones for Lovebug's blessing, so I've been going through and separating them (and being extra careful so my very mobile daughter doesn't find one on the floor and put it in her mouth!). I'm going to be making little favors out of them as well as using some in the decor...I think. We'll see!

More blessing stuff to come - it's going to be a busy weekend - let's see, some sewing, painting, flower-making, and more....Have a wonderful one!!!


Thimbleina said...

Well I didn't know all that about candles. I shall certainly be more mindful when I buy them again. I don't buy the scented ones or use airfreshner for the fact the ingredients aren't usually natural.

Hope you have a wonderful blessing and can't wait to see photos.

Jade said...

As I burn my Tyler yummy scented candle... Thanks for the update. So love, how on earth does one make a soy candle you are speaking of? :)

Okay, I promise after this one I will buy no more. But can I at least get my money's worth? I did mop today with vinegar, water and tea tree oil. :)

Love Squalor said...

that smile is perfect!