The Day After Christmas Mess

I don’t know about you, but my house looks like a Christmas tornado has blown through it. There’s boxes and toys everywhere, and this morning, before I did a quick sweep, there were still bits of discarded wrapping paper here and there. We have a lot of family to visit during the holidays, and our house becomes nothing more than a quick stop to pick up baked goods, stash our new gifts, and grab the ones that need to go out. By the time we get home on Christmas evening, the place is a wreck.

It’s not a lot of fun coming home to it, if I’m honest. The house is in desperate need of a deep cleaning, and all I want to do today is read a new book and maybe make a pot of soup so I can use my new soup mugs from my mother-in-law. I can’t even think about making soup until I can uncover my kitchen. I’m really thinking about doing all my cleaning today and then taking down my Christmas decorations early. I usually wait until New Years, but this year I think I might be done with it all.

One problem is that I don’t know what to do with all our new stuff. I don’t come by organizing naturally (except lists–I love lists), and I’m not sure what the best approach would be. I’m going to be combing Pinterest for organization ideas, and I just borrowed Organize Now! from Kindle Unlimited. Toys need tamed, sewing stuff needs a better home, and I won’t even go into my school cabinet. I was supposed to work on that cabinet way back last summer, but then I started working on my novel, and it never happened.

I want to get all this started so I can enjoy my very favorite month of the year–January. That beautiful month where it’s too cold do much outside, so you are forced to cuddle up and read and sew and write. Don’t get me wrong–I love being out and about in summer, but I really loved the forced calm of the winter months.

If you have any great organizational tips, be sure to let me know in the comments!

The Day the Dog Ate the Christmas Gifts

Technically, Gunther didn’t eat all the Christmas presents. He only ate the candle supplies, and thankfully–he just sort of chewed them up. I imagine we would have had a fairly expensive vet visit last week if he’d actually eaten all six bags of wicks.

DSC_01361

That’s right. This sweet baby destroyed six bags of wicks, one 10-pack of clamshell tart cases, and he tried to sneak off with a freezer bag of fragrance oils. Thank goodness I caught him with the oils. Who knows what that would have done to him.

Out of twenty planned candles, I was only able to make nine. Nine. Needless to say I had a little more Christmas shopping than I had planned for. Those candle tutorials will have to wait as well.

Gunther still feels terrible, I’m sure. Right now he’s snoozing on his cozy microfiber blanket in front of the Christmas tree, wallowing in remorse.

December Candle Fragrance and Jar Testing

I’ve been busy testing the new jars and fragrances I purchased. I have a love/hate relationship with testing. On one hand, it’s really fun to try new fragrances and jars. On the other hand, it makes you want to pull your hair out when things don’t go as planned.

I bought Candle Science’s Tumber Jars, and they are absolutely gorgeous. They are 3 1/4 in diameter at the top. Since I’m using GW 464, a wax I am very comfortable with, I was pretty sure an Eco 14 wick would be perfect. I was wrong. For some unknown reason, the melt pool the wick is creating isn’t reaching the edge of the glass. Or even close. I replaced the Eco for an RRD wick and then an LX wick. Nope. Not working.

I ended up double wicking the jar with Eco 8. That’s crazy–it seems like overwicking on a major scale–but it is burning so nicely now. I have about a 1/2 inch melt pool after about 3 – 4 hours of burning, the flame is a good height, and though it does flicker a little more than I would like, it looks good. I might try a couple Eco sixes later. We will see.

Moving on to fragrances. All tested in GW 464 with Eco wick at 7% fragrance load. I make little votives for my fragrance testers. They don’t require a lot of wax or fragrance, and it gives me a good idea if the scent will throw at all. All of the fragrances are Candle Science Brand except for the Pumpkin Souffle which is Peak’s.

TestVotive

Here are my results from this batch:

Red Velvet Cake  –  Excellent hot/cold throw. Very strong to the point of almost overwhelming (and a little nauseating out of the bottle). My husband swears it’s a true red velvet cake smell–vanilla with a hint of chocolate. I smell carrot cake. Whatever. It’s definitely a bakery scent, and my son was really bummed when he found out it was a candle on the counter and not a cake in the oven. It’s much yummier burning than it is as a straight oil.

Black Raspberry Vanilla Type – Excellent hot throw, decent cold throw. After about an hour and a half, the little votive completely filled my bathroom with scent. Very pleasant, and it smells much nicer burning than it did straight from the bottle. I detect very little vanilla fragrance, but the raspberry is pretty true.

Peach  – Good hot/cold throw. This is a pleasant peach scent. Maybe a little sugary, but my husband really likes it that way. Not much to say. I like it; I’m happy.

Apple Harvest  – Excellent hot/cold throw. I’ve made dozens of candles in this fragrance, so there was no reason to test it. It’s awesome. Beyond awesome. After pouring the candles, my kitchen was filled with this fragrance for a good day and a half. They are boxed up now, but I can still smell them. This isn’t a traditional cinnamon apple. It’s a little brighter, a little more complex.

Blueberry Cheesecake – Excellent hot/cold throw. This is the free sample I received, and I’m very happy with it. Honestly, I don’t think it smells much different than the Blueberry Cobbler (which is also really yummy). I get a faint cheesecake note, but really it’s the blueberry that shines through. Everyone seems to like this one.

Rosemary – Haven’t tested yet. I’m the only one who seems to like this scent, so I think I’m going to save it and make myself a few Rosemary/Orange/Spruce candles after Christmas.

Pumpkin Souffle (Peak Candle) – Excellent cold throw, weak hot throw. This was the free sample that came with my wax. As I mentioned a few days ago, I haven’t had much luck with Peak fragrances in GW 464. I’m not going to give up on this one yet. I have a bag of EcoSoya Advanced, and I have noticed that many fragrances that don’t do well in 464 work great in it. The scent itself is different. I don’t smell much pumpkin. It’s a very sweet spicy smell. I’m not sure I like it, but both my mother-in-law and Jake say it’s not bad. I don’t want to judge it until I really smell how it burns.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll be posting the tutorials soon!

December Candle Supply Unboxing

You know what’s exciting? When the UPS man rings the doorbell. At least, I think it’s exciting. Everything is finally here! I ordered two boxes of Classic Tumblers (12 in a box), a 10-pack of clamshell tart cases, and five 4 oz fragrances (apple harvest, peach, rosemary, red velvet cake, and black raspberry vanilla type). Candle Science, being awesome like they are, added in my free sample of blueberry cheesecake fragrance, which I was able to pick out when I made my order.

CandleSupplyHaul

Add all that to the 10 lbs of wax I bought from Peak, and I’m all ready to get started! Tonight I will make a test candle to determine if my Eco 14 wicks will be the right size for this jar, and then I’ll make small votives to check fragrance throw in the wax.

I’ll let you know how it all goes!

Fast Shipping and a Free Sample!

FreeSample

Remember the post I wrote yesterday about candle supplies? I made the order yesterday afternoon, and the package arrived today! Granted, Peak Candle is located in my state, but still–it’s impressive. As always, Peak tucked a surprise free sample in my box. I love that about them–it’s like a Christmas present just for me.

Now if you read yesterday’s post, you might be wondering why I have a shipment from Peak when I said I was going to order from Candle Science. Well, I ordered from both. Candle Science has two shipping warehouses now: one in Nevada and one in North Carolina. Because Nevada was out of my wax, they were going to send it from North Carolina–which meant double the shipping.  Knowing Peak carries GW 464, I went ahead and ordered it from them. It saved me about ten bucks. That’s a significant amount when we’re talking about shipping costs.

Plus…free sample!!!  Now, I don’t always have luck with Peak fragrances in soy, but I’ll definitely make a test candle and see how it does. Candle Science also sends out a free sample with orders, but you get to choose it, so it’s not a surprise. Honestly, that’s usually a good thing, but still–surprises are fun!

It’s December? When Did That Happen?

Has anyone noticed that this year, especially this autumn, has flown by? It was summer, like, two minutes ago, wasn’t it? Well, it doesn’t matter now, because it’s officially Christmastime! Yay! Sort of. I had this crazy little goal this year. I was going to make one quilt a month, and then by December I would have twelve quilts to give to my beloved family members for Christmas. You want to know how many quilts I finished for this project? Zero. That’s right. Not a one.

Productive, aren’t I? It’s alright. I have a plan. It’s called….come closer….gift cards!

And candles. It’s been probably been over a year since I made candles, and that’s just crazy. I love to make them, but when you sell something for money, you start to get sick of it. That’s why I no longer craft for profit–that, and I didn’t find crafting for profit very…profitable (even when my sales were great).

So, be prepared for a few candle tutorials this month. Maybe. Remember the quilts? Don’t get your hopes up. I will try. In the meantime, here are a few candle tutorials to get you started. If you’re looking for supplies, I have one website for you. Candle Science. Hands down, they are the best for soy candle supplies.

Here’s some of the fragrances I will be ordering from Candle Science:

Apple Harvest – This is a wonderful spicy apple fragrance.

Black Raspberry Vanilla Type – I haven’t tried this one, but Candle Science gives it a three leaf fragrance rating, so it should do well in soy.

Red Velvet Cake – This is my niece’s favorite dessert, and I think she would love some candle tarts in this scent.

Rosemary – I love this fragrance! Oh, my–it’s good. It doesn’t smell like rosemary essential oil, it smells like rosemary the herb (not as strong). If you mix it with some orange essential oil, and you have the most wonderful fragrance.

Peach – I haven’t tried Candle Science’s peach, but I hope it’s not too floral. I’ve had trouble with that in peach fragrances in the past. We will see.

I will also be ordering GW 464 Wax, Classic Tumblers,  ECO 14 Wicks, and 12 Piece Clamshell Tart Molds.