How Does Your Husband Smell?

I finally got some help with the housework around here and I'm using the extra time to perfect my candle making skills.  Actually, making the candles themselves has been easy - and I haven't been disappointed with the outcome of any of them.  I had no idea there was such a huge difference between a hand poured candle and the ones you buy at a store.   The hard part has been perfecting the look.  I liked the first label I made but I wasn't in love with it.

Just a few minor tweaks that took about a day-and-a-half to achieve and I had a label I feel is worthy enough for the candles. 

Thank goodness I finally have some help around here with the housework.  Now if only I could teach her to cook...

In order to perfect the labels, I had to bring out the big guns.  Meet my ever faithful HP Color LaserJet 3600n printer.

He's huge, for sure, but definitely worth his weight in gold.  Number one:  the text printing is sharp and clean.  Number two:  there is no worry about ink running or smearing - eliminating the need to spray the labels with a top coat is just about as good as having a cat wash the dinner dishes : )  If you ever have a printing project you want to protect, laser is the way to go.  The same effect can be had with a color laser copier - just make sure it's laser rather than ink.

Another reason I changed up the label was for ease in mass production.  I liked the raffia and lace and different pictures on the original labels, but realized how time consuming it would be to have to add all the foo-foos.

Plus, all those extras would add to the selling price. 

Then something too weird for description happened as I was mixing a candle with a scent labeled "Moon Lake Musk". 


 Well, fresh out of the shower and all spruced up Glen, that is.  Obviously, I think is it a marvelous scent and so do the boys - who usually aren't very impressed with any of my creative experiments.  (Golly, I wish there was a scratch and sniff feature on blogs.)

Yep, the scent got a new name.  (Quit rolling your eyeballs.  I know you'd do the same thing if it happened to you!)

Now, you know this is going to have to be our little secret - this candle smelling like my husband thing.  I don't think it is a very marketable proposition to try to sell a candle that smells like one's husband.  Besides that, I don't want people knocking on my door just so they can smell him, you know, try before you buy?

Yesterday's yield was small, but only because I ordered the wrong wicks.  In candle making size DOES matter!  Instead of filling vegetable cans, I used empty jars that had a larger opening than the vegetable cans I wanted to use.

Nonetheless, I am getting excited about this candle making ordeal.  I've already had a couple of offers from store owners to sell them!  Guess I best get busy, huh?


Candle Making for Sinus Relief

I am literally one of those people who are allergic to work.  Serious, cross-my-heart, stick a camel in my eye - allergic to work.  There is something in the air at work that totally disagrees with me and sometimes I just can't take it anymore and leave!

I feel like I'm playing hooky when I leave because my eyes quit watering and my sinus cavities open up almost immediately as soon as I leave the office.  I've tried various remedies - sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  I've come to the conclusion that I either have to suffer or leave.  I really don't want to leave permanently, I like the work and I'd miss Heather too much!

Anyway, Thursday when I left work, I spent my down time making candles.  This fall I dinked around with some regular old grocery store paraffin wax and made some grubby hand-dipped tapers.

I really like them, but they have been dubbed "fecal garland" by a juvenile who resides here and has absolutely no taste for fine art.  (Sheesh!)   These were really easy to make, but very time consuming.  Dip, dip, dip, dip, dip, dip, dip, dip, roll in cinnamon and nutmeg, dip and repeat three or four times.  Actually, I think they were dipped at least 50 times, if not more before adding the grubby effect with the spices.

I wouldn't mind taking the time to make more, but I'm not so sure our little neck of the woods is home to very many hand dipped candle lovers, so I decided to get serious and went to the experts at Candle Science for help with making real candles.  I'll skip my tutorial on candle making because their site has everything you will ever need to know about making candles.  I'll tell you about my containers.

Since I like the primitive look, I started with a cinnamon candle and went to the recycling bin for the container.

A nice 14.75 oz. vegetable can.

This was most definitely going to be a cinnamon candle, inside and out.  I painted a thin layer of Mod Podge on the can and then sprinkled it with a cinnamon/nutmeg mixture to give it that old fashioned look I am so into these days.

While that was drying I started to work on the label.

It is a most good idea to look at the label you rip off the can you're going to use to get the dimensions you'll need for your label.  I thought all I needed to know was the height and circumference.  Nope.  After spending an hour or two on the perfect label, I put it on the can and had to turn the can just so I could read the front of the label!  Back to the drawing board to reduce the front to about 4 inches.

For good measure I created two designs to see what I liked best.  The overwhelming winner was decided by everyone who walked through the kitchen.  (Wait!  Maybe I shouldn't trust the opinions of those who gave my hand dipped candles a bad name?)

I think they were right.  I was pleased with the way it looks.
I made a couple other fragrances as well:

I generally take the claims of odor eliminating products with a grain of salt. However, the Odor Eraser fragrance is absolutely marvelous and it effectively removed the bacon odor from the kitchen last night -  I was truly amazed!

Take a look at the difference between the Love Spell candle and the unidentified candle with the buttons.  The Love Spell candle poured nice and smooth with a level top.  The other one has a serious well around the wick.  That's the difference between Candle Science paraffin wax and your ordinary grocery store variety.  The difference is absolutely amazing.

The experiments - using the Candle Science wax - turned out very, very well.  I was a bit skeptical as to my ability to create a nice marketable candle... especially when I calculated the selling price to be a little over $1.00 per ounce.  I looked at my candles and wondered if anyone would pay $15.00 for one of them.  It seemed quite expensive for a home canned candle.  Then I lit them... oh my gosh!  Thanks to Candle Science, Yankee Candle Company has nothing over these aromas!  These hand canned creations are definitely the crows toes!

Now, as to the power of the candles as labelled, I guess only time will tell.  If I do get up the nerve to sell candles, I will put a disclaimer on the Love Spell candles because I just can't guarantee your honey will love you any more than he already does : )

I still have some fine tuning and practical packaging matters to iron out, but I think this is something to get excited about.  My only regret was that I didn't purchase more wicks.  I guess I lacked the confidence to believe they would turn out.  I'm heading over to Candle Science right now to order some more supplies!

Here's hoping you have a great week!  I'll be searching the house for cool looking things to fill with candle wax : )