Get inspirational ideas for everyday living right in your inbox. You won't want to miss anything, so subscribe free to the Blog Feed or sign up for Free Email Updates on the latest projects, shop news, blog tutorials & more. Check out the Project Gallery, Garden, Eat & Inspirations tabs above, to see what you have missed. Browse through the sidebar for this week's Popular Posts!

DIY: Beeswax Candles


Today I wanted to share my experience in candle making.  Last November I made my first
Beeswax Candles and I enjoyed every bit of the process. My son enjoyed it as well, 
he made his own rolled, beeswax tapered candles, you can find more 
information on that post here.

I made small pillar candles made of 100 % beeswax in a couple of different colors.  
Did you know that beeswax candles produce negative ions, which cleanse the 
air of dust, odors, toxins, and pollens.  
They are completely non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic. With its healthful 
negative ions and warm, halo glow, they act like indoor air purifiers & they burn beautifully.  

The supplies that I used were the following:

- Aluminum mold (2 x 3) or desired size
- beeswax (I used a 1 lb. block- yields 4 candles)
(NOTE: Beeswax For Candlemaking come in blocks
 and Beeswax Pellets, also available in White Beeswax )
- cloth pin or pencil to hold the wick in place
- plastic plate or wax paper to protect working surface
- Metal bowl or Candle Making Pitcher
- a base for the mold to stand on leaving space in the center
- Wooden Craft Sticks for stirring
- scissors
- tape
- skewer stick
- pot
- water
- cooking spray

www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com

A) The first thing I did was measure the amount of wick that I was going to use, 
this ensures that you have enough wick for both ends.  Use a little cooking spray to spray 
the inside of the mold in order for the candle to slide out easily. Do not saturate. 
The mold has a hole in the closed end where you will pull the wick through. 

B) Make a knot leaving enough wick for the top of the candle. This end will be 
the top of the candle.
C) Take a piece of soft wax to seal that end making sure there are no leaks, then 
tape it off for extra support.
D) On the other side of the mold, pull the wick making sure it is secured.  Hold the 
wick up using the cloth pin until it is ready to have the wax poured inside of the mold. 
How to make beeswax candles

E) If you are using wax pellets, place them in the melting dish; if using a wax block, 
break it into pieces.  Make sure you measure the amount that you want to use.  
I used about 8oz.  Fill your pot about an inch deep of water.  You do not need to 
use too much water.  Place the pot over the burner and heat, do not boil.
Now place the bowl or whatever you are using to melt the wax in, on or in the pot.  
Observe and keep the heat low to moderate, watching the wax as it melts.  
Do not overheat.
F)  As soon as your wax is melted, turn the heat off and drop the color into the 
wax using a few drops. ( At this point you may also drop a scented oil if desired) 
Use the popsicle stick to stir the wax.  Make sure you have 
something to protect your hands from getting burned to handle the bowl.  
G) Before pouring your wax, make sure that the mold is steady, I used a plastic bag 
closure pin to keep my mold steady since the bottom has a bump due to the sealant.
H) Pour the wax very carefully, it is HOT.

www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com

I) Now secure the wick so it is centered using the cloth pin.
J) Wait for the wax to cool, make sure you have a disposable plate or wax paper 
underneath for any leaks. 
K-L) Wait for the wax to solidify for about an hour or so.

www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com
M) After an hour or so, take a skewer and poke holes into the wax to get rid of 
any air bubbles.
N) Let it cool for a couple of hours. then top it off with more melted wax.
O-P)  Let it cool for several hours or leave it overnight.

www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com
When the wax is completely solidified and the outside is cool to the touch, remove 
the cloth pin.
Grip the mold and turn it over to remove the tape and piece of wax at the end.  
Untie the knot.
Hold the mold upside down for the candle to slide out, if it doesn't come right out, 
you can put it in the freezer for a minute or two and try again.  You may have to 
squeeze the mold a bit to loosen candle, then it should come out.  Cut the excess wick 
on the bottom end of the candle.
www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com

In order for the candle to stand straight, you will have to level it. There are a number 
of ways to level the candle so it stands up straight. One easy way is to heat an old 
frying pan or cookie sheet and slowly rub the base of the candle over the heated surface 
until the bottom is flat.  As a final step cut the top wick to a 1/4 inch until ready for use.
www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com
www.inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com
Enjoy your candle!


Mobile Photography

(Disclaimer) *This post may contain affiliate links and I may be compensated if a purchase is made by clicking my links.
Mobile Photography: Perfect Photos in Your Pocket
Mobile Photography: Perfect Photos in Your Pocket

During this time of year, we tend to snap many photos of people we that we love, places we visit, Christmas decorations or just beautiful scenes for blogging and social media.  Sometimes I don't carry my DSL with me and so I am left to shoot pictures with my phone.  The problem?  Sometimes the photos are not as crisp as I'd like them to be.  Do you ever have that problem?  On my phone, the photos look great, but when I load them to my computer, they're terrible.  So here is a solution, Craftsy!  

They are currently offering a course on how to make the most of your smartphone camera, whether Android™ or iPhone® and to go beyond basic settings, take impressive photographs and add incredible postproduction effects.  Most photo opportunities don't wait for you to grab your camera — so reach in your pocket and get great results regardless!   Doesn't that sound great?  

Perhaps you know of someone that would enjoy taking a class with Craftsy and if you do, how about offering the class as a gift!  You will enjoy taking any course since it is set to go at your own pace.  
Drop by the Craftsy site by clicking the links on this post and learn more about their classes and prepare for awesome pictures on your phone. 

Take advantage of UP TO 50% OFF online classes - the perfect last minute gift!

Enjoy!


DIY: Advent Wreath



Last month, I purchased a set of votive candles, made out of pure beeswax.  The candles have a sweet, natural fragrance of honey and they burn beautifully.  I was inspired to use natural elements for our advent wreath this year, by incorporating natural evergreens and 100% beeswax candles.  It was difficult searching for the colors that I wanted in beeswax. 
I was interested in using the traditional purple and rose colors for my candles. I googled, “how to make beeswax candles at home”, and made my first set of candles.  The colors of the candles were perfect, and their size was just what I needed for my advent wreath.

My son, who also loves to create, was fascinated in the process of candle making.  My method was messy and unsafe for him to melt wax, so through a wonderful blogger, I found a  Beeswax Advent Taper Candle Making Kithttps://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fir-na.amazon-adsystem.com%2Fe%2Fir%3Ft%3Dinspbyd-20%26l%3Dam2%26o%3D1%26a%3DB00N37X27K&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*. I purchased a kit and followed the instructions to make the candles.  My son had a blast with his dad making these lovely candles.  There are several kits online, but the kit that we chose for this project was the Advent Candle Kit.  I won’t go into details on how they made the candles because the set includes instructions.  You may catch a glimpse of some of the process below on the images labeled (A-D).   In the end, we chose to use the candles that my son made for the Advent Wreath, he was so proud of them and how could I say no?  What you see here are the candles made by son and father.  I guess mine shall be put away until next year.

In the past years, I have shared a couple of my Advent Wreaths on this blog.  I have had different varieties of advent wreaths, but today I will share my favorite thus far.  The wreath itself still needs a little work,  but my son helped me make it.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, to be beautiful. 


This is another kit available.


When the boys completed the beeswax candles, I selected three narrow floral foams that I had on hand.  It is preferable to use one whole piece, but that is what I had at the time.  I connected the foam with long, thin sticks.  Then, I cut out the corners.  I placed the statue in the center of the foam to measure at an equal distance where the candles were to be inserted.  I cut out the holes.  I placed the figure back into the center and inserted the candles in their place.

I poured water on the foam, to prepare it for the greenery that I was going to insert.  When the foam was evenly saturated with the water, we began inserting the leaves in the foam at an angle to form the wreath.  We covered every area, to make sure that the foam was not visible.  

We keep the foam saturated, by spraying water every other day to keep the leaves green.  We love how our wreath turned out.

Below you will find a list of the materials that I used for this project.  Thank you for stopping by and hope that you enjoy your season.  Do you have an advent wreath this year?


Materials:

or
OASIS Floral Foam Cake & slice it in half
- figure or white candle for the center
- greenery such as pine or other leaves
- a platform
- a plastic plate
- water


Why Use Professional House Painters

(Disclaimer)*This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Professional House Painters. Links may be included on this post.

Our previous house is made of stucco, and when we first moved in, we wanted to give the 
exterior a fresh coat of paint.  The original color was a pale yellow, almost white.  To refresh 
the look we decided to go with a darker color, but remaining in the yellow family.
Stucco tends to absorb a lot of paint, which means more work and more paint.
For a big project like that, the best thing to do is to hire a professional house painter.
In the following, I will explain the reasons for professional house painters and why it is a better choice.

Benefits of Professional House Painters

Deciding to repaint your house is an important decision as it can bring about the aesthetic changes you’ve been looking for. We noticed the quality of paint had slowly deteriorated over the years. According to survey results, of those who contracted painters for their home, 27% sought an exterior paint project, 58% sought an interior paint project, and 15% needed both.  And of those needing interior rooms painted, 85% looked for two or more rooms to be redone. This statistic is significant because it shows that although the homeowner can do the painting, most are seeking professional workers.

There are several advantages to hiring a professional painter to get the job done. Many people simply do not have the time to devote to painting. With a hectic work and family schedule, finding time to do the job well simply isn’t in the cards for everyone. Another factor preventing people from taking on the project themselves is the fact that it is a daunting one. Not only do you need to find the right supplies and tools, but you also need to take the proper precautions to avoid compromising furniture and other household items with paint. Chances are if you are not a trained professional, it could take several days or even weeks to get the results that you are looking for.

Inspecting

House painters can offer professionalism and efficiency. Contracting a house painter means you simply do not have to worry about the project being done right or completed, because it will be. The difference is in the process. First, you can meet with an inspector who will perform an inspection of your house in order to generate an accurate proposal for their exterior painting. This inspection is thorough and may include a sketch of your home structure as well as video footage.

This inspection video will capture the areas of your home that need repainting as well as potential problem areas that could need treatment prior to the paint job. You may be wondering why housework is necessary for a painter, but the better shape the exterior structure is in, the longer the paint will last. A team of workers can then review this footage to allow them to prepare for the project and outline specific goals and tactics. Before any paint has touched your home, you could receive a detailed project outline, which is a 7-year warranty, and proper documentation of proof of insurance.



Reviewing Options

In a twenty-minute in-person review, you will receive a proposal packet with all of the aforementioned information as well as a detailed contract. This is an important step in the process to ensure that you understand the reason behind any extra work that may need to be done. No money will be paid until the job has been entirely completed. This preparation and consultation is free-of charge, and you can be given a clear timeline of the project.

Another important part of the process is meeting with a professional paint advisor. This individual can provide guidance and suggestions based on many years of experience. Picking out the wrong color for your home yourself is all too easy, as colors may appear differently on the exterior than they do in samples. Luckily, after you have selected your color pallets, your paint advisor could create digital renderings using actual photos of your home. This will allow you to see the most accurate portrayal of how the paint will look. This process alone has been known to save homeowners an average of 8-12 hours of work.

Paint Prep

The next step is preparing your house for painting. This prep work is integral for the house painters to perform their job well. This work should be taken quite seriously, and involves several steps. The first is pulling all rocks and landscaping away from the walls, which ensures that the landscape is protected from paint. Next, pressure washing can be done to the entire home to remove any dirt, debris, loose paint, and primary chalking. This process ensures that the entire home structure is clean and ideal for painting.

Stucco and drywall repair is another important process that will make sure that any structural damages are adequately fixed. Any remaining old paint will be scraped off and a waterproofing solution can be added to make sure no moisture is absorbed through surrounding soil that could compromise the paint. Any fixtures to your home, such as lights, will be removed so that they are not painted on. All removals will also be documented and accounted for. Any of the following areas could be masked for further protection:

·         Windows
·         Pools and pool decks
·         BBQs
·         Cement driveways and walkways
·         Security doors
·         Stain-grade doors

Painting Time

Last, but certainly not least the painting is executed. This involves priming the raw structuring of your house, which could include wood, stucco, or drywall to make sure the paint sticks to something strong. You can expect professional house painter to use paint of incredible quality that will not fade for years. Following high standards means the paint will be free from defects or variations in coloring. After the painting is meticulously applied, the structures will be repositioned according to footage that was taken before the job.


Quality Results

Your word can be the final one as you assess the job that has been completed. This is your chance to ask any questions about quality or function of your newly painted exterior. It is important that you are pleased with the final result, and thus you should have the final say in the matter. It is not until you are entirely happy that you will be expected to pay the quote that was previously agreed upon.

Contracting house painters can help you achieve the exact look and feel you want for your home. They understand the importance of quality, professionalism, and working on a timeline. This team of individuals will allow you to have piece of mind about the important process of repainting your home.

I was glad to have had someone else do the painting and it turned out beautifully.  With the unevenness of our stucco walls, I would have probably made quite a mess.  Happy Painting!

Two are Back! -Christmas Garlands at Etsy

garland
Hello friends, I am stopping by today to let you know that these garlands are available once more
at my Etsy shop.  There are only two rolls (9 yard roll) left from last year and I will no longer make these. 
I am trying to make this a happy Christmas for my little one and appreciate your support.  Please 
spread the word, to others who may be interested and thank you always.  Enjoy your week!  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover