Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hand Poured Soy Candles

Hello Peeps!  Today I'm sharing a project I made before the Arts and Crafts Fair.  I made six and sold two.  Everyone loved them and immediately recognized the Franciscan Desert Rose pattern.  

I've been lucky enough to inherit my Mom's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes.  I use them every day and love them.  The tea cups are a different story; I've never used them as it would be two sips for me.  No, I don't want to say I gulp my drinks, but I'm not a prissy drinker.  Although sometimes my pinky does stand at attention!

I was going to donate the cups and saucers to the charity shop but decided against it.  I saw on pinterest where someone was making candles in vintage cups and the idea lit up the room!

I chose to use soy wax after looking into the various options of candle making.

Soy candles are made from soybeans, a natural, renewable source grown in many regions by local farmers.  Using candles made from soy supports local agriculture and farmers, allowing them to make money and grow their operations.

A candle made from soy wax burns cleaner with little soot released as the candle burns.  Soy candles are also non-toxic, so they won't release toxins into the air as they burn.  Since I have a parrot this fact was very important to me.

Soy candles typically last longer than a paraffin candle of the same size, according to Planet Green. The reason behind the longevity of soy candles is the slower burning time and cooler burning temperature of the soybean-based wax. You may pay more for a soy candle initially, but the longer-lasting burn means you won't have to buy new candles as often. 

I bought a kit that included a metal pitcher, thermometer,  wicks, some votive molds along with basic instructions.  I bought two bags of soy wax (it looked like shavings of white chocolate) and some vanilla scent.

I set the wicks in place.  I then heated the wax according to the directions and began pouring.  You can see that I have three cups and one little candle poured.
When I started pouring the wax I would hold down the base of the wick (the metal disc) with a skewer.  That worked just fine!  I made them on my cookie sheet with aluminum foil lining it for any drips.
Here they are starting to set up.  You may notice a hole in some of them.  The directions said to put a hole in them for any air to escape.  After they finished setting I poured a little more wax to even off the tops and fill up the hole.

Here is the finished product.  I didn't add enough vanilla scent to the candles. I was also amazed at how much soy it took to make these candles.  I recently bought other scents and some coloring but haven't had a chance to experiment.  

I really enjoyed making these candles and plan to make some more.  Since the wax burns so clean you can easily clean out the cup and use the cup and saucer for it's intended purpose once the candle is gone.  

Have you found a new craft that you enjoy?  Something that tickles your tummy?  Please tell us about it!



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone.  I find it amazing at the outpouring of love and support I receive from my blogging friends.  In a sense, we are a family spread all over the world!  I am truly blessed by these friendships.  Thanks to each and every one of you!
I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas.  


Monday, December 22, 2014

Green Chili Chicken Soup

Hello everyone.  Only three more days until Christmas!  I was able to get my cards in the mail and most of my gifts wrapped.  It was a nice, productive weekend.  Listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album definitely put me in the mood!

When I make this I don't follow a recipe.  I just kind of throw it together.   You'll get an idea from the photos.

Green Chili Chicken Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Salt and Pepper
3 cups chopped potato (usually three potatoes)
3 cups chopped carrots
Chopped garlic (as much as you like for your taste)
2 Bay Leaves
Frozen chopped green chili (thawed)
1 can Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
Shredded Cheese

I cook the chicken in a pressure cooker.  Add salt, pepper, garlic and some of the diced onion to the water.  I like using the pressure cooker because the chicken is easy to shred, and a little goes a long way.  A short cut could be using pre-cooked chicken.
Once the chicken is done I remove it from the pressure cooker. 

 This was a small bag of baby carrots sliced up and three potatoes (about the size of the one that isn't diced up yet).
 Using the water in the pressure cooker, cook the rest of the onion, potato and carrots until they are soft.  Once they are soft add the shredded chicken.  Can you believe that's only two breasts!

Add the green chili and the Green Chili Enchilada Sauce and let is simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of your serving.  Add a flour tortilla and there you have it.
Some of you may not have access to frozen green chili.  If that's the case you can usually find it in a can, just like the enchilada sauce.  I always buy the medium as you can never tell exactly how hot it will be.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite meal for those cold days?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WOYWW 289 - Unwrapped Presents, Unsent Cards, Oh My

Hello everyone!   I'm joining the party that is called What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Our lovely hostess is Julia at  Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  

My desk is a bit boring but busy.  I have presents to wrap, cards to send and things to put away.  
Below is my Christmas tree, cards that I've received and a VW Bug cookie jar.

This was in the oven as I was writing this post.  It's sopapilla cheesecake for work tomorrow.  That's not burnt, it's just cinnamon that didn't come out of the shaker very well.
As always, I will visit those that visit me (please leave your number) and those that end in the same number as me.  It may take me a while to come around and visit but I promise I will!

By the way, all the blogs that I follow aren't showing up in my Reading List.  Has anyone else had this problem lately?  It's happened before but it's been over three weeks now.  Also, google kept crashing while I was writing this.  It was crazy.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Two Hearts

That's one of my favorite songs that Chris Isaak sings.  I've been listening to his music for years.  His style has been influenced by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.   To visit his official site go HERE.
He put on a GREAT show!  He played for almost two hours straight with only one break - for a costume change.  This is what he came out in.  It looks like a suit of little mirrors.   
This is his Christmas suit (that's what he calls it).  There was an electronic Santa on stage and it was fun to watch Santa dance to the Christmas songs that he sang.  Evidently Santa is a groupie!  How lucky is that?!?
He sings of San Francisco and I've always thought that he was born and raised there.  In reading up about him I find out that he was actually born and raised in Stockton, California, not far from where I was born and raised.  He's a few years older than me and we would have overlapped a year in high school.  Stockton schools were a big rival for our sport teams, especially football.   He didn't play sports but was president of his high school for three years.  His senior year he was Student Body President and valedictorian and head of the all-male cheer squad.  I must admit, I wouldn't have been looking at the all-male cheer squad but now I wish I would have paid a bit more attention!
He came down into the audience and stood on a chair in the row ahead of us.  I could have almost reached out and touched him!  Oh, but that would mean I'd have to jump over a few people....
Me singing along and enjoying every moment!
I'd like to thank Vada for the ticket and Alyce for inviting me along!  Alyce took all the photos used with her phone!

Do you have a favorite musical artist/band?  One that you close your eyes and sing along with?