The Playground and Then Some…

So we arrived at the playground site shortly after 0630 last Saturday, the 14th.

The hubs was the mulch team captain and I got sidetracked by registration and some other administrative stuff (counting who came from where), so I didn’t get to mulch until well after ten o’clock.

This is how it turned out:

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So this week, after working all day, most days, I did some more candles. Soy wax is amazing to work with.

Until you try to make a pillar candle the first time. I used duct (duck?) tape to secure and seal my mold but it didn’t exactly come out like I’d hoped. I put the following on Instagram and tagged it #pillarfail:

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See what I mean? What should have been a 6″ pillar ended up at 3″ and then the other half of the wax ended up in a few clam shell molds for wax melts.

This weekend I got busy with the candles, body butter, sugar scrub, and bread.

I got an early Christmas present by way of a KitchenAide mixer and went a bit crazy, going all Domestic Goddess on the hubs. It’s Sunday night and I’ve started sour dough starter, and baked two loaves of whole wheat bread and two loaves of discard sour dough white bread, plus numerous candles (including pillars that I plugged off with plumber’s putty, which is da bomb!), and spearmint body butter and sugar scrubs. I labeled all the candles, scrubs, and lotions, boxed what needed to be boxed and pretty much kicked my feet up today.

I am also working on post-processing a friend’s fashion show, and hope to have those images done by Thanksgiving.

Winter…It’s craft time here!

Until next time…


The Power of One (times a whole bunch!)

KaBoom! Play matters for all kids

KaBoom! Play matters for all kids

So…I’ve never been one to volunteer (except for when the Girl Scouts made us sing at a retirement center, and since then I have been ridiculously freaked out by really old, drooling people – I’m sorry. Some things you never get past, even when you are well on the way to being what you fear…).

Getting ready to start...

Getting ready to start…

A few weeks ago, however, our PR rep at the hospital sent out an email asking for volunteers for a KaBoom playground at a local park, downtown. The pre-build would be today, and the actual build would be on Saturday, the 14th of November. I signed up for all the days, because a day of hard labor is always better than a day behind a desk at work. Plus, I am handy with miter saws, measuring tapes, paint, primer, rollers and brushes.

The site...

The site…

I arrived at 7:15 to help our PR person set up Bagels, cream cheese and coffee, provided by our local Panera Bread. After breakfast and registration, all of us met behind a tractor trailer to start unloading playground parts, equipment and hardware from the truck to a static trailer onsite.

Moving the HUGE slide...

Moving the HUGE slide…

Prior to this, we signed up for the teams we wanted to be on. While my love of the miter saw was there, I also love to paint, so I jumped on the “Prime” team, which scraped the old paint off and primed the Kiwanis train station.

Getting the RIDICULOUS amount of heavy playground equipment out of the truck to the storage trailer was a labor of love by twenty or so volunteers. Some of the equipment was light, and some required 8 or more people! I would have taken more pictures, but I was busy carrying heavy stuff. (When we all introduced ourselves we had to state our favorite way to play, and mine was walking/jogging and weight-lifting…so go figure…)

I met people at work that I didn’t know, re-connected with people I did know, and met an employee’s brother! One of my team said, “Oh! You’re Johnny’s wife!” Will I EVER live that down?

This was MY project du jour. :)

This was MY project du jour. :)

So, I gave up a day of PTO, and for a good cause. I hope that my grand-babies will play on this playground someday.

The power of one is pretty amazing. You multiply that by a BUNCH of socially aware people? That equates to something simply amazing!

I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like! (Especially since I carried a couple of caterpillar heads and a body to the build trailer!)

I have to say that while I was surrounded by many people that were born and raised here? Even after only having been here almost 20 years (that will happen in April of 2016), I felt like one of the family! (Small towns/growing towns=tight-knit…just sayin’.)

Becca & me...

Becca & me…

I will update you after Saturday. We need to be there at 0630, and I’ll be a mulching-by-the-fountain fool, but hope to have pix to share with you of that and the finished project.

Until next time? Don’t be afraid to spend some time working to give back to the community that gives to you!

Soy Wax…For The Win!

Soy Wax, 10# bag

Soy Wax, 10# bag

So, I took some down-time this weekend. I made soy candles and wax melts.

My primary source for project instruction and supplies is Candle Science.

I initially wanted to just do wax melts for my Scentsy burners, but I found that soy candles are just as easy to make.

Today I did a batch of three 8 oz jelly jar candles, green, with an Amber Noir scent and four clam-shell packs of purple colored “Day at the Spa” scent.

Color and scent.

Color and scent.

I used both Ecosoya PB and Golden Brands 464 soy wax. The 464 for the jelly jar candles and Ecosoya for the clamshell wax melts.

My first project was the green jelly jar candles. I was a little leery of wax on the stove top, so I had my fire extinguisher on the counter by the stove, you know, just in case, because we all know if it weren’t for bad luck…. *shrug*

Got it melted down, and heated it to 185 degrees (Fahrenheit) and added about three drops of liquid color. I stirred it in, then removed from heat and added an ounce of the Amber Noir scent, stirring about twenty times counter clock-wise, then clock-wise before letting it cool to 135 degrees. It was at this point that I poured it into three 8 ounce jelly jars.

Poured with no issues.

Poured with no issues.

I’d placed my three jars, wicks and wick bars into a 170 degree oven to warm, because that’s what the directions said to do. They said warm to 125, but the lowest setting on my oven is 170, so I threw them into the preheated 170 degree oven while the wax was cooling to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. I poured my wax into the wicked jars and had no pulling from the glass or any other anomalies that can sometimes occur with soy wax candles. (Beginner’s luck?)

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Empty clamshell molds.

I cleaned my melting pot and went again with a half pound of Ecosoya PB for 4 clam shell molds of wax melts. This time I used purple dye and “Day at the Spa” scent. Now that I had a bit of a grasp of what I was doing, I was comfortable bumping the stove temperature to medium from medium-low.

All poured and ready to set.

All poured and ready to set.

When the melted wax hit 185, I added three drops of liquid dye and .75 ounce of scent and stirred, then let set until the wax temp hit 145, at which time I poured it into the clam-shell molds.

Almost done...

Almost done…

I set everything on the dining room table to set/cool.

I am hoping to do some pillar candles, as well as more wax melts/tarts for Christmas gifts as additions to my favorite body-butter scents.

When I do the pillar candles, I will share that adventure, as well.

When I’m not working, y’all know I’m going to be home-making SOMETHING for my friends and loved ones for the Holidays.

What are your favorite crafts to give as gifts? Do any of y’all make soy candles? Share your secrets!

Until Next Time…