Thursday, 16 November 2017

Really lazy

Oh dear, I had intended to keep up with the blog this year, but I have been really lazy.

I grew runner beans as usual, they turned out great & we have loads in the freezer to keep us going through the winter.

The sweetcorn was a bust yet again, don't know why I bother.

I didn't sow any tomatoes, still have lots of puree stored from last year that I haven't got through yet. 

Carrots were great, parsnips still in the ground but hopefully they will be awesome come Yuletide.

We had lots of nice strawberries but the raspberries were few due to the dogs wreaking the plants.

So I got on & made some more crochet items.
Jenny's Faith designed by Anastasia Roberts
I managed to get a load of old wax candles off freecycle. I've broken most of it down & melted it (still have 2 large slabs left). This has become new candles.
I will talk you through the process with pictures as I do not have video.

I broke all the pieces up & put them into spare jars & then started to melt it, some in the microwave, then adding it to the jars in the saucepan.

I used some old crayons to add colour, mainly because the wax was dirty (lots of dead flies too). I added some old wax melts to some of them, this added colour & scent (much better).
Topped them up all the way & let them start to harden, had to keep stirring for a while as the colour started to sink.

I took a metal paperclip, holding the tip I bent the 2 bottom bends either side so it could stand up & just opened them out a little for stability. I then cut a piece of string & tied it onto the tip that was standing up, lots of knots & twisting, I dipped this into some melted wax several times, allowing it to cool between & then gently pushed it into the top of the  wax whilst it was still soft. The wax does shrink as it cools & you can top up the indent you get if you want. The 2 candles on the left have just been done, the one on the right has burned for 8 hrs already with just the one wick. 

You can add the wicks after the wax has all hardened so I haven't put any in the other jars as yet. When first lit they do burn high for about 20 minutes but then settle down. You can add borax to the wick to make it burn brighter & longer but I didn't have any.

Much easier than adding wicks to the whole candle & you can easily remelt the wax if it's burned to the side, just lift the wick out & replace when it starts to harden again.
I also have been making more soap.
I wanted to be able to grow my own additives/colourings to use in my soaps but not all of it has worked out. I'm still in the testing stage but so far the only success has been the Dock roots. It has given a lovely pink, I used far too much in the test bar but it still looks awesome.
Dock coloured soap

In fact it's the same colour as the blanket I'm crocheting for my mum for Yuletide.