If you follow my Facebook page, you'll know that I started my most recent creative adventure this past weekend . . . making candles. It started with an idea of a new product to offer in my next Holiday Craft fair (November 10th), and you know me - when I get an idea and have a vision of what I want, I stop at nothing to make it happen. Very early in the process, I realized this was more than just an "idea". I had committed to a whole process of creating, and I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. Like most things in life, I like to come here and tell you about them. So please allow me, if you will, to share my "Top 5 Lessons in Candle Making"! Surprisingly, every lesson I learned can be adapted to LIFE . . . isn't that what they say? Life imitates Art? Oh, how I love that!
My Top 5 Lessons Learned
in Candle Making
I think it's important to start out by saying I have never made a candle before. And while I enjoy them so (and you can usually find one lit in my house from October thru March), I always found it easier to stop off at my local Yankee Candle and pick up enough to last all season. But I had a vision a couple weeks ago, of my art being displayed on lovely mason jars while a soft scented candle flickered behind it. Usually, all my creative ideas start with a vision . . . a picture that appears in my head with the finished product. And when I have that picture in my head, I don't even worry about the "how" or the "why" . . . I just do it. That's exactly how this whole thing started. By just doing it. Oh, and by ordering 20 lbs. of soy wax pellets, some wicks, some jars, and a few other needed items.
Once all of the UPS boxes were opened and the YouTube videos on candle making were watched, I got to work. And yes, this is where the lessons begin.
#5. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
Candle making, as I discovered, takes a bit of time. The overall process itself is not difficult, but it requires . . . patience. There is a reason I like to hop in the car and ride over to Yankee Candle and purchase candles . . . because I can have a candle burning on my table in 30 minutes. But when making your own candles, it takes a little bit longer. Longer for the wax to melt, longer for the temperature to get where you need it to get, longer for the wax to cool down so that you can pour it into your jars, longer to watch the wax cure so bubbles don't appear. Patience and time - a necessity in candle making, for sure.
#4. You can't fake it.
Well, I guess you could. I could have bought candles and soaked the labels off the jars, and then put my own artwork labels on them. But I didn't want to do that. I WANT to do this. I WANT to make my very own candles. So, there is no faking it. Either they are going to work, or they won't. Whatever the case, I'm learning something new. Something that I never thought I would do. I've researched, I've tested, I've prepped, and I'm doing it. It's a rewarding feeling. And nope, I'm not faking it. These candles will be 100% me. I like that.
#3. Don't even think of skipping a step.
There are awesome websites out there that will take you step by step through the process of candle making. Go to them, read, watch, and learn. It's amazing what is available to us. As a young child, I remember walking over to the nearby library and taking out children cooking books, art project books and all sorts of how-to books that interested me. Now, with the just click of a button - the world is at our finger tips. Follow the steps from those who have been through the process before, and don't try and skip any. The steps are there for a reason.
#2. These boots are made for walking, and sometimes you have to just walk away.
Sometimes, even when following the steps . . . something can go wrong. On Sunday morning, I melted about 2 lbs. of soy wax pellets, added my cinnamon scented oil, and poured my candles. My wicks were not staying put. They kept pulling to the side of the jar and then the adhesive on the bottom of the jar loosened with the hot wax and I could not get the wicks to stay put. I was frustrated and almost brought to tears. I realized . . . I needed to take a break. I poured all the wax out of the jars, put it back into the pouring pitcher, and walked away. Just allowing myself that time to clear my head made all the difference. And the best thing about working with the wax . . . I can still use all of it. I'll clean the jars, reheat the wax, and try again.
#1. Never give up . . . never surrender.
Galaxy Quest". It seems so fitting in this lesson of candle making. Because when you really put your mind to it, you can DO IT! This picture proves it - here is my finished candle. I have 15 of them completed, and will have 9 more done this week. Once I add the strip of my art work around the jar, it will be READY TO SELL!!!
I did it.
And you can, too.
So there you have it.
My lessons in Candle Making (and life).
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
You can't fake it.
Don't even think of skipping a step.
These boots are made for walking, and sometimes you have to just walk away.
Never give up . . . never surrender.
I wonder what adventure we can get into tomorrow!