Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My friend makes candles ...

My friend makes candles - not as you or I might make them, in the kitchen, as a craft or hobby, but professionally.  Whenever we meet up she is always besprinkled with glitter.  Her face, hands, hair, clothes - you name it, it's glittery.

She invited me down to her lair some time ago, and the other day I finally got down to see her workshop, having dressed in old clothing just to be on the safe side.

Behind the striking red door, reminiscent of a fire station, lies a muddle of machinery, wax, paper and other paraphenalia.

The wax is melted in this vat, about two feet in diameter and waist height.  Quite a lot of wax!

Melted wax is poured into moulds of various shapes and sizes and allowed to set.

No, not a modern sculpture - this is a pile of wax encrusted pencils used to secure the wicks in the moulds - just like you would if you were making candles in your kitchen!

you can see the rough edges on these floating candles - and here's the high tech tool used to make them smooth enough to sell ...

Yep - a craft knife just like you'd use at home!  You can see where the glitter comes from, can't you?  I arrived back home glinting in a subtle fashion, very glad I'd worn old clothes:)

She's a clever lady, and I had no idea how hands on it was.  I had imagined machines doing all the work, not an upscaled version of when I'd made candles from a craft kit years ago.  Fascinating.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Grow your own sweets! Psallis

I've just posted on the foodie blog about these wonderful, sweet, tasty fruits - you might want to check it out:)


Friday, 12 August 2011

Long time no see!

I'm sorry, I've been neglecting you, and I don't even have a good excuse:(  I've been reading rather a large quantity of books about Christmas, or centred around Christmas trying to sort out my primary texts for my upcoming PhD and somehow the days just fly past!

Oh, and I'm also having some work done in the garden, just look at what I've survived!!!! 

The footings are in place between my neighbour's garden and mine.

The wall begins, adjacent to an existing piece of wall at the top of the garden - the ugly pillar you see will be concealed later.

Scaffolding grows, like an ill-tended plant, straddling gardens.

The glorious British summer accounts for the heavy tarpaulins atop the scaffolding so that the poor guys could work despite the rain!

I survived, but, as you can see, my potatoes suffered, as builders dumped heavy buckets of mortar on them, or simply trampled them underfoot.  I screamed, but silently, of course.

If you're good, I'll show you the completed wall soon:)

Enjoy the summer