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How Do You Use Essential Oils to Make "Aromatherapy" Candles?

The term “aromatherapy” is a branch of alternative medicine which claims that the specific “aromas” carried by the essential oils have curative effects. The healing art “aromatherapy” traces back to 4,000 B.C. where the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Persians use to burn herbs and flowers for curative and cosmetic purposes. In ancient Egypt, plant oils were widely used for spiritual relaxation, cosmetics and for embalming and mummification of the dead.

The term “aromatherapy candles” is used loosely in Western societies, because, unlike other cultures, we mainly use “aromatherapy candles” for “aesthetic” qualities vs. healing qualities. We want the calming, soothing aromas to aid in meditation, bathing and relaxing activities.

Natural candles are becoming more popular with the development of natural waxes such as soy wax and palm waxes. There is a greater desire by consumers to go “green” with all natural ingredients in candle making. Using all natural soy wax that is a renewable resource, grown right here in the U.S.A. has gained popularity in the few years, since the development of soy wax in 1998. Soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil that is non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Combining all natural ingredients, including natural scents, to make an “aromatherapy” candle is highly desirable.

A lot of so called “aromatherapy” candles out on the market today contain paraffin wax (which is a byproduct of the crude oil process) and fragrance oils that are chemically derived. Some major manufacturers have paraffin wax, combined with natural scents. Some have natural waxes combined with chemical derived synthetic scents. My idea of a natural “aromatherapy candle” is one that is all natural. So, what are natural scents? They are essential oils.

Essential oils are volatile parts of plants, trees, fruits and roots that are extracted by various methods: steam distillation, cold-press extraction, chemical solvent extraction and the effleurage method. Essential oils that are “pure” will mostly have their botanical name on the jar, and come in dark colored bottles for protection from sunlight. They should be stored in cool, dark places, and out of reach of children and pets. Other essential oils are blended with carrier oils such as jojoba and are considered “diluted”. Some candle manufacturers sell “essential oils”, but they come in clear plastic containers, and are synthetically derived, or are blended with alcohol or other solvents.

Because of their concentrated nature, pure essential oils can be more expensive than fragrance oils and come in small bottles – drams (1/8 oz), 1/6 oz., etc. They either have a closed lid or a dropper to distribute the essential oils. Price can range from anywhere from $5 to $75 for a fraction of an ounce of pure essential oils.

So, how do you use essential oils in candle making? Good question – and there are many answers to that question, depending on who you talk to. When I originally tried to research this topic a year ago, there was very little information out on the Internet, with candle supply companies, or any e-books I purchased. One year later, there is a wide variety of answers published in articles, candle supply websites, and so-called “candle gurus”. Some experts claim that usage per pound of wax is 1 oz – which is similar to using fragrance oils. Now, 1 oz of pure essential oils can be either incredibly strong or incredibly expensive. Others claim that using as little 3-20 drops/pound of wax.

I personally believe that the aromatherapy candles should use much less essential oils than fragrance oils for two reasons:

1 Style & Taste. When using essential oils in aromatherapy candles, I want a milder, less dominant, natural scent aroma from the essential oils. I don’t want an over-powering Cinnamon Spice fragrance oil aroma that’s going to fill my entire house for days. I want a “natural” candle, because I want a soothing, relaxing, mild, fresh, natural aroma that gives just enough scent to soothe my senses for a beautiful bubble bath, meditation, yoga or Pilates exercises. I don’t want the aroma competing with what I’m trying to achieve – relaxation.

2. Cost. Essential oils are expensive, and cost should be considered when buying and using “pure” essential oils in candle making. First of all one dram (1/8 oz) of 100% pure Peppermint oil (made right here in the U.S.A.) on sale was $5/dram plus shipping. Honestly, do you think you it’s cost effective to use $5 of Peppermint oil in one 8-12 oz. soy candle? I don’t think so, besides, it may be too strong. Fragrance oils (mainly synthetics) can be 10 times less expensive when purchased in bulk. I’ve used blends of essential oils with 1/6 oz. and made three 12 oz. soy candles, and they were perfectly scented. So, it’s the cost/benefit rule you have to apply in determining how much you’re willing to pay to achieve your desired outcome.

Another important consideration in how much essential oils to use in candle making, is using the wax manufacturers guide in how much fragrance/essential oils that the wax will absorb in order to make a safe candle. I primarily use 100% soy waxes for my candle making, and the manufacturers recommendation is to use 3-9% of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax. There are additives which can increase those percentages, but I mainly use 1 oz. of fragrance oil/pound of soy wax, which is approximately 6%. When using essential oils, I use much less than 1%/pound of wax. It all depends on how strong or pure the natural oil is and my taste, of course!

So, with those facts explained, using essential oils is a matter of style, taste and cost. If you are selling your candles, you pass along your costs to the consumer, but hopefully, you can market and price your candles effectively to sell them at a profit. If you are making candles for your own enjoyment, then it’s a matter of what you’re happy with – milder/stronger, and whether cost is a factor for you.



Source by Laureen Falco

The History of Scented Candles

Candles have been an important part of human society for thousands of years. Originally, the only way to possibly see once the sun went down, was from either torches, fires, or candlelight. Torches were not safe indoors, and walking from room to room carrying a portable fireplace with you was not practical or possible. Therefore, candles lit the way. Everything was done by candlelight once the sun set, from carrying out one’s chores, reading, sewing, or even signing the Constitution of the United States.

Candles also had a useful purpose in early China. There, they actually invented a type of calibrated candle called a “candle clock” that was used for keeping time. Weights were inserted into the candle at precise locations, and when the wax melted to a certain level, the weights dropped into a container below and made a noise. Imagine what it would be like to have a candle alarm clock to wake up by (don’t try to hit the snooze button), or to try to time your bread in the stove based on a candle clock?

Originally, candles were not made using the high quality of wax that we have today. Instead, they were made from whale fat in China. Later, Japan learned how to extract wax from squirrels (don’t ask me how). In the Middle Ages, candles were frequently made from the fat of various animals, such as cows and sheep. The smell from manufacturing these types of candles, however, was so horrendous that several cities banned the manufacturing process. Instead, candles were soon made from beeswax, which had a less unpleasant odor. In 1850 paraffin became available commercially, and soon all candles were made from a type of paraffin.

Those who made candles and experimented with various types of materials were called chandlers (from which we get the word today “chandelier”). From the earliest of times, candle makers added scents and fragrances to produce the best scented candles. It started in China with the ‘time clocks”. Incense sticks were often inserted into the wax to add a wonderful aroma. In fact, sometimes the incense was added at particular intervals so that the change in fragrance, rather than the dropping of weights, indicated the change in time. Later, India also discovered the aromatic benefits of using a wax made from boiled cinnamon for their candles. Unlike the use of animal fat, which smelled horrendously during the manufacturing process, the use of cinnamon provided a relaxing and fragrant aroma.

In addition to experimenting with scented candles, some ingenious candle makers also attempted to create a smokeless candle. They understood what such an invention would mean….no more wick means no more flame! No doubt fires starting from candles were a fairly common. Thomas Payne was one such individual. In the late 1700’s he attempted to invent a smokeless candle, but was not able to do so. Benjamin Franklin also started off as a candle maker before he began his political career, and experimented with various types of materials and methods for candle making. However, it would be centuries later before such technology would be pioneered and wickless candles would be available wide spread.

One reason for the delay of scented and wickless candles is because candles were put on the back burner once kerosene lamps were invented. Then, candles almost became completely extinct upon the invention of the light bulb later at the end of the nineteenth century.

However, in the 1980’s and especially in the 1990’s, the rebirth of the popularity of candles became an international phenomenon. This was due partly to their decorative value, but also to their ability to allow the stressed out, modern, over-worked homeowner an opportunity to create a relaxing environment using the aromatherapy of scented candles. At the same time, awareness over air quality and health conditions such as asthma and allergies led to the exploration for a more safe and healthy, environmentally friendly scented candle. Once again, the search for a flameless candle began, and once again, scent, or fragrance, became very important.

Armed with the modern electrical age, the invention of a flameless scented candle became possible. Scentsy is generally credited as the company that invented wickless scented candles in the year 2004 and satisfied the need in the market for a healthy, safe, environmentally clean and fragrant candle that burns a high quality wax without a flame. Instead, a low voltage light bulb uses a decorative selection of ceramic warmers to heat a scented wax bar with a very long life. Scented wax bars can be mixed and matched to create custom scents. This allows each customer to be their own “chandler”, or “candle maker” as they personalize their own candle and candle warmer to suit their individual taste.

Yes, candles have come a long way over the last thousands of years of human history. From burning whale blubber and holding your breath just so you avoid the offensive smell of the candle, to today when people actually buy a scented candle for the main purpose of the wonderful smell it emits, we can all be thankful for the age of enlightenment!



Source by Alisha Byars

Candle Making Projects That You Can Try

The Basic Candle Making Procedure

There are so many different types of candle making procedures that it is hard to choose which one that you want to try. For this reason we are going to go over the basic procedure for each form of wax. We are going to start with teaching you how to make a candle out of crayons.

How To Make A Candle Out Of Crayons

Here is a list of everything that you are going to need for this project:

crayons, if you have crayons around your home that are broken and just lying on the floor then these are great to use for this product. It is also a great way to recycle as most of these crayons would simply be thrown away. Make sure that you take the time to remove all of the paper that is wrapped around the crayons as the paper will interfere with the process.

Boiling bags, you can find these bags at almost any cooking supply store, they are great because they completely eliminate the cleanup process. All that you need to do when you’re done with them is throw the bag away.

Boiling pot, any boiling pot will do for this project.

Wicks and wick tabs.

A glass jar.

Start off with using which ever colors that you want to use for your candle. If you want to mix colors around then you can mix several colors and then simply them into the same boiling bag. If you want to make a layered candle with many different colors than simply put all of the like colors together. For example, if you want to make a candle that is blue, green, and purple then you are going to want to use three boiling bags for that. Put green crayons into one bag, blue crayons into another, and purple crayons into the last bag. You can melt them all at the same time and simply layer the candle as you go.

Put water into the boiling pot and begin to boil the water. As the water is boiling add the boiling bags to the pot. Now wait about 5 to 10 minutes and the crayons will be melted. As you are waiting for the crayons to melt string the wick through the wick tab and glue the bottom of the wick to the bottom of the jar. When the crayons are done melting you can simply pour them into the jar. As you do this make sure that the wick it is not disturbed as you pour the wax.

Not put the jar aside for 24 hours, make sure that it is in a place where it will not be disturbed by children or animals. After 24 hours the candle is ready to use and you are done with this project

How To Make A Candle With Gel

This is a list of the different candle making supplies that you are going to need for this project. You can find most of these supplies in a candle making kit or you can simply buy them individually or find items around your home.

A candle pouring pot – If you do not have a candle pouring pot then do not worry as you can easily use a double boiler instead. If you do not have a double boiler then you can make one at home with a boiling pot and an empty soup can or coffee can.

A carving knife, a thermometer, some gel wax, a zinc wick, wick tab, fragrance oils, color dyes, a metal spoon, a glass container or candle mold, and some newspapers. Ready to begin?

Step # 1. To start the gel candle making process the first thing that you are going to want to do is to choose a work area. Choose a place that is flat, level, and that will not be disturbed by pets or children. Cover this area with newspapers.

Step # 2. Now prepare the wax. Cut pieces of the gel wax in to the top pan of the double boiler, then fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with water. When you have done this then place the double boiler on to the stove top and bring the heat up as you want the water to boil.

Step # 3. As you are waiting for the wax to melt you are going to want to prepare the wick and the mold. Make sure that the mold is free of dust and hair. Now string the wick through the wick tab if this is not already done for you. When this is done then simply put the wick tab at the bottom of the mold. Many people use glue to hold the wick tab in place, this is a great idea as otherwise the wick tab may fall out of place as you pour the gel wax in.

Step # 4. Make sure that you check on your gel wax often and check the temperate with the thermometer. The gel wax should melt at around 200 degrees, you are not going to want it to get too much hotter than that. Stir the wax while it is melting.

Step # 5. When the gel wax is all melted then now is the time to add scented oils and color dyes.

Step # 6. When the wax is all melted here comes the hard part. Pour the gel wax in to the candle mold. Make sure that you take your time and that you do not burn yourself as the wax is very hot. When this is done then simply put the mold to the side in order to let it sit and cool off. Leave it alone and in a place where it will not be disturbed for about 24 hours. When the 24 hours have passed then take the mold and and trim the wick to about a quarter of an inch. You are done!

How To Make A Candle With Paraffin Wax

Here is a list of all of the candle making supplies that you need: a double boiler, some paraffin wax, color dye, scented oils, wicks, wick tabs, carving knife, scissors, metal spoon, thermometer, and a candle mold. You can easily find all of these items online or at an arts and crafts store for fairly cheap. If you want you can make the double boiler yourself using a boiling pot as the bottom pot and an empty soup can as the top pot.

Now clear a surface to work with, make sure it is flat and level and not going to be easily disturbed. Cover the area in newspapers to protect it and make clean up easier. Now when the area is prepared take the carving knife and cut chunks of the wax in to the top pot of the double boiler. Place the top pot on the stove and boil the water. Stir the wax often and check the temperature as it should melt at around 160 degrees.

Now if the wax is melted you can add the scents and color just be sure to mix them in well. When the wax is melted then string the wick through the wick tab and place it in the bottom center of the mold. Pour the hot wax in to the mold but be careful not to burn yourself. Put the mold to the side and let it cool for 24 hours. Now when the 24 hours has passed simply remove the candle from the mold and trim the wick to a quarter of an inch and you are done.



Source by Jason Kinech

How Do You Use Essential Oils to Make "Aromatherapy" Candles?

The term “aromatherapy” is a branch of alternative medicine which claims that the specific “aromas” carried by the essential oils have curative effects. The healing art “aromatherapy” traces back to 4,000 B.C. where the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Persians use to burn herbs and flowers for curative and cosmetic purposes. In ancient Egypt, plant oils were widely used for spiritual relaxation, cosmetics and for embalming and mummification of the dead.

The term “aromatherapy candles” is used loosely in Western societies, because, unlike other cultures, we mainly use “aromatherapy candles” for “aesthetic” qualities vs. healing qualities. We want the calming, soothing aromas to aid in meditation, bathing and relaxing activities.

Natural candles are becoming more popular with the development of natural waxes such as soy wax and palm waxes. There is a greater desire by consumers to go “green” with all natural ingredients in candle making. Using all natural soy wax that is a renewable resource, grown right here in the U.S.A. has gained popularity in the few years, since the development of soy wax in 1998. Soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil that is non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Combining all natural ingredients, including natural scents, to make an “aromatherapy” candle is highly desirable.

A lot of so called “aromatherapy” candles out on the market today contain paraffin wax (which is a byproduct of the crude oil process) and fragrance oils that are chemically derived. Some major manufacturers have paraffin wax, combined with natural scents. Some have natural waxes combined with chemical derived synthetic scents. My idea of a natural “aromatherapy candle” is one that is all natural. So, what are natural scents? They are essential oils.

Essential oils are volatile parts of plants, trees, fruits and roots that are extracted by various methods: steam distillation, cold-press extraction, chemical solvent extraction and the effleurage method. Essential oils that are “pure” will mostly have their botanical name on the jar, and come in dark colored bottles for protection from sunlight. They should be stored in cool, dark places, and out of reach of children and pets. Other essential oils are blended with carrier oils such as jojoba and are considered “diluted”. Some candle manufacturers sell “essential oils”, but they come in clear plastic containers, and are synthetically derived, or are blended with alcohol or other solvents.

Because of their concentrated nature, pure essential oils can be more expensive than fragrance oils and come in small bottles – drams (1/8 oz), 1/6 oz., etc. They either have a closed lid or a dropper to distribute the essential oils. Price can range from anywhere from $5 to $75 for a fraction of an ounce of pure essential oils.

So, how do you use essential oils in candle making? Good question – and there are many answers to that question, depending on who you talk to. When I originally tried to research this topic a year ago, there was very little information out on the Internet, with candle supply companies, or any e-books I purchased. One year later, there is a wide variety of answers published in articles, candle supply websites, and so-called “candle gurus”. Some experts claim that usage per pound of wax is 1 oz – which is similar to using fragrance oils. Now, 1 oz of pure essential oils can be either incredibly strong or incredibly expensive. Others claim that using as little 3-20 drops/pound of wax.

I personally believe that the aromatherapy candles should use much less essential oils than fragrance oils for two reasons:

1 Style & Taste. When using essential oils in aromatherapy candles, I want a milder, less dominant, natural scent aroma from the essential oils. I don’t want an over-powering Cinnamon Spice fragrance oil aroma that’s going to fill my entire house for days. I want a “natural” candle, because I want a soothing, relaxing, mild, fresh, natural aroma that gives just enough scent to soothe my senses for a beautiful bubble bath, meditation, yoga or Pilates exercises. I don’t want the aroma competing with what I’m trying to achieve – relaxation.

2. Cost. Essential oils are expensive, and cost should be considered when buying and using “pure” essential oils in candle making. First of all one dram (1/8 oz) of 100% pure Peppermint oil (made right here in the U.S.A.) on sale was $5/dram plus shipping. Honestly, do you think you it’s cost effective to use $5 of Peppermint oil in one 8-12 oz. soy candle? I don’t think so, besides, it may be too strong. Fragrance oils (mainly synthetics) can be 10 times less expensive when purchased in bulk. I’ve used blends of essential oils with 1/6 oz. and made three 12 oz. soy candles, and they were perfectly scented. So, it’s the cost/benefit rule you have to apply in determining how much you’re willing to pay to achieve your desired outcome.

Another important consideration in how much essential oils to use in candle making, is using the wax manufacturers guide in how much fragrance/essential oils that the wax will absorb in order to make a safe candle. I primarily use 100% soy waxes for my candle making, and the manufacturers recommendation is to use 3-9% of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax. There are additives which can increase those percentages, but I mainly use 1 oz. of fragrance oil/pound of soy wax, which is approximately 6%. When using essential oils, I use much less than 1%/pound of wax. It all depends on how strong or pure the natural oil is and my taste, of course!

So, with those facts explained, using essential oils is a matter of style, taste and cost. If you are selling your candles, you pass along your costs to the consumer, but hopefully, you can market and price your candles effectively to sell them at a profit. If you are making candles for your own enjoyment, then it’s a matter of what you’re happy with – milder/stronger, and whether cost is a factor for you.



Source by Laureen Falco

Making Soy Candles – Anyone Can Do It

Candles can be traced back to biblical times. For hundreds of years they were the only source of light in people’s homes, the earliest of which were made with tallow. It was not until the 1800’s that paraffin replaced this.

A hundred years later and electricity replaced candles, with candles being relegated to fulfilling other roles such as decoration for festive occasions, for the calm and sanctity they evoke in religious ceremonies and the general mood of warmth, relaxation and even romance.

The greatest innovation in the candle industry today is the replacement of the “paraffin” based candle with a natural wax alternative. The soy candles we make burn cleanly releasing no toxins into the air, and they produce no soot or smoke. As they burn cooler and for longer (25- 50% longer) they allow the fragrance to be released into the air for a longer period. This natural, environmentally friendly wax is biodegradable and all containers can be washed with hot, soapy water to be reused. An added bonus to this throw-away society.

Soy Candles are so easy to make when you have simple instructions to follow.

1. Choose the appropriate container for your candle. Container wax can only be used in heat-safe glassware as it adheres to the glass. Estimate how much wax you will be using.

The wax can be melted in either a double-boiler or as a do a rice cooker. The easiest way is to heat and melt half the wax, then allow the heat in the container to melt the rest.

2. While the wax is melting, prepare your containers by selecting the wick you will use and the fragrance and colour. The best thing to do,is to at first try making an unscented and uncoloured wax, so that you can get your technique right.

3. You can use a thermometer, but it is not really necessary. The wicks can be stuck down by either dipping the wick into the wax, or by using the double-sided wick stickers.

4. The room temperature can affect the finish of your candles, so make sure it is not too hot or too cold.

5. Remember, not to overdo the fragrance. 30 mls/450 mls is sufficient. The best way to use the concentrated colours is to grate them on a cheese grater. It is much easier to darken a wax colour than it is to lighten, so be careful.

6. The wax is ready to pour when the container is cool to touch or the wax is starting to cloud. If you find it has set too much, reheat it slightly or sit the container in hot water.

7. It is recommended that you leave your candles for 24 hrs to cool and set. Longer time is necessary if multi-wicked or large containers are used. If you have problems, go to our problem solving and tips for suggestions.

Selecting Your Containers

As soy candles are in jars, the most important decision after your wax is your jars. There is an endless variety you can choose from. Once you get the candle making bug, all containers will be looked at in a very different way. Half the fun is finding new and interesting jars.

There are numerous jar suppliers in Victoria and interstate, so get catalogues from all of them, compare sizes, prices, minimum orders & payment terms. Easy to do with internet access. (Suppliers, listed)

Purchasing through jar suppliers means all the hard work has been done for you by selecting the glass that is suitable for your candles.

However, if you do want to source your own here are some tips:

A good candle container should have a diameter wide enough so that it can be lit and extinguished easily. This also means that the fragrance throw will be better even if the candle is not lit.

Jars with lids retain the fragrance for longer and prevent dust and debris from falling into the candle. Do not extinguish a candle by placing the lid on.

Do not use fine glassware such as champagne glasses for candles. They may look great but they are not made to withstand a high temperature. And as the glass is quite thin, they also retain a lot of heat making them very hot to handle as well as prone to cracking.

Metal containers have become very popular as Travel Tins because they are unbreakable. Remember to source tins that are seamless. Some with joints can leak when the wax is hot. Hazardous when you are pouring and hazardous for your customers if they leak when being burnt. Apart from getting wax all over the surface it is sitting on, they can also become a fire hazard. If you are unsure, test it by filling it with water and letting it sit for a couple of days.

Ceramic is popular for feature items or a table centre piece as they can match the décor.

Jars that have a wide neck and a narrow base can cause problems when the candle is nearing the end. As the base is narrower, it means the wick is closer to the sides. This will result in a very hot jar and a jar that is normally fine may become prone to cracking due to excessive heat.

Silverware is popular for special events such as anniversaries.

If you are unsure of the suitability of a candle, test it first before offering it to any customer.

Soy wax has made candle making so easy that anyone can do it. Have a go, it’s great fun.



Source by Frosa Katsis

Making Palm Wax Candles – 7 Things You Must Know!

Have you made candles before but are now thinking about making palm wax candles? There are a few things you need to know before you start. This information will help you to make a safe and quality candle.

1. AIR HOLES Whether you are making pillar or jar candles, you must ALWAYS poke for air holes during the cooling process. When palm wax cools it forms a layer on top while the middle is still liquid. Air is usually trapped in that liquid and it makes bubbles in the wax. Those air bubbles form around the wick or wick pin (if you are making pillars). Those air pockets can cause problems when the candle is burning. When the melt pool reaches down to one of those pockets, the melted wax drains into the pocket and exposes more of the wick. If you have a large pocket and it drains all of the melted wax, your burning wick will be out of control. The candle is burning fine one minute and you leave the room only to come back to a huge flame. I am not saying that every palm wax candle you make will have bubbles, but it is not worth taking the chance. You must poke holes when a top layer has formed and the wax is starting to get cloudy. Timing is everything in this process. You do not want to wait too long to poke holes. It does not matter what you use to poke the holes as long as you mix the juicy slush enough to be sure all bubbles have risen to the surface. Poking holes in the wax is a time-consuming process, especially when you are making hundreds of candles. I believe that this is one of the reasons why you do not see palm wax candles being made by the large candle companies.

2. CURE TIME I have tested several hundred fragrance oils from over 30 different manufacturers/distributors. I can tell you that if a fragrance oil is going to have a good hot throw when lit, it will usually have a good cold throw. If you cannot smell any cold throw after 24 hours, chances are pretty good that it is not going to have much hot throw. I have never experienced any improvement in fragrance by waiting days or weeks. Remember this is not soy wax. This big difference with palm wax compared to other waxes is that it will get noticeably harder over time. Do a test and you will see. Make three candles without fragrance oil or dye. Make candle #1 and let it sit two weeks. After two weeks, make candle #2. Wait another 2 weeks and make candle #3. When candle #3 is totally cooled, burn all three with the same type/size wick and you will see the difference. This is very important to know because if you wick the candle without taking the curing process into consideration, you will surely wick it too small. I believe that a month after making is a good time to start trying to figure out the perfect wick size. There is nothing wrong with making a candle and burning it right away. You just won’t get the longest burn time that you could have if you let it cure. If I am testing a particular fragrance, I do burn the candle right away. If the fragrance is OK, then I make more test candles to cure so I can get it wicked properly. There is no sense in waiting a month to let the candle cure if the fragrance is not what you are looking for.

3. COOL DOWN How you cool your candles is also something that is important to making beautiful palm wax candles. The slower you cool the wax after pouring, the better the crystalline design your candle will have. I would recommend testing on this issue. You can get a beautiful design without doing anything. You can pour your wax into a room temperature jar or mold and get a nice results. I would try heating the jar and molds and see if it looks better to you. Also, you could cover your jars and molds to hold the heat in. Put something insulated under your candle (like a thick book or magazine) because it will help with even cooling. Your final product will show if it had uneven cooling. It really is a matter of how much attention you want to pay in trying to get the best crystallization on your candles. Just so you know-if you pour melted palm wax into a cold or frozen jar/mold, you will not have any crystallization at all. It will look like soy wax.

4. FRAGRANCE OILS Be prepared for the fact that some fragrance oils will not work in palm wax. I fairly good rule of thumb is that if it works in soy, it will work in palm. Many places that sell fragrance oils usually state whether they are compatible with soy. For every 10-15 fragrance oils you test, be prepared to have maybe one that works great. Again, this is my opinion and what has been my experience. You might experience something different. Be prepared to test and test. You will know when you have a winner. Your candle will smell awesome! I would start with 1 oz. of fragrance oil per 16 oz (1 pound) of wax. I wouldn’t worry about getting a digital scale so you can measure 1 oz (weight) of fragrance oil. Just get a shot glass and measure 1 oz. (volume). It will vary with the actual weight of the oil but not enough to worry about. If the candle smells great and performs good, go with it. Palm wax has the ability to hold more oil. If you plan on making large amounts of candles, then I would consider getting a scale and doing it the other way.

5. BURN CHARACTERISTICS Palm wax is a hard and brittle wax. It does not get soft and bendable when heated like paraffin wax. If you dropped a palm pillar on the ground it would dent and crumble. Let me save you money and time trying to find the perfect wick to burn in your candles. Wedo is a company from Germany that makes wicks just for palm wax. The CSN series wicks can be purchased at several places online. Palm wax is tough on wicks and will reduce a good flame to almost nothing within an hour. I have boxes full of wicks that were suppose to be the best and “work great with palm”. Go with the CSN line. They really allow for a clean burn that is almost required from an all natural wax. Remember that wicks in palm wax burn down then outward. Palm pillar candles pose an interesting challenge. Making a self consuming palm wax candle is even harder. Wick too small and it tunnels and barely burns half the wax or if you wick too large it blows out the side and wax goes everywhere. Let’s assume you wick it to have a melt pool a quarter of an inch from the edge, you are relying on everything being perfect. You can’t control whether the person will burn the candle for 10 minutes or 10 hours. Will the candle be level? Will there be a breeze? What if the wick is never trimmed? All of these factors can change the way a candle burns even if you have it wicked properly. Factors like these can make a precisely wicked pillar candle into a candle that has a blow through after only a few hours. Also remember tunneling flames are not attractive in a thick diameter candle. The candle will not glow and you will hardly notice the candle is lit unless standing over it. Bottom line you have to wick the pillar with reasonable consideration for variations in burning. Most people light candles and forget about them until they blow them out. Just a thought.

6. MIXING WAXES Combining other waxes with palm wax can create some interesting results. Remember that the more you add other waxes to palm it will reduce the crystallization accordingly. If you are going to attempt mixing enough wax to eliminate poking holes, I would make enough test candles to really see and be confident that the air pockets are eliminated. I would cut the candle length wise along the wick.

7. FURTHER INFORMATION One of the most important things when making candles is to remember that any changes you make can alter how a candle performs when burning. Adding or changing the amount of fragrance oils, dyes or additives can have noticeable differences when burning. Always take notes! You will never remember everything. Palm wax is my favorite wax because of its performance. It can be a headache working with it, but in my opinion, it is worth it. Hey, if everybody was doing it, it wouldn’t be fun. Happy testing.



Source by Steve Pattison

A Few Interesting Facts About Scented Candles

Candles are no longer what they used to be. It has been a really long time since candles were just a block of roughly-shaped wax enfolding a band of wick used for burning and lighting. The candles of today are scented candles and the purposes they are used for have quite a while ago exceeded the old-time conceptions of using the candles just as a source of light.

Scented candles are the perfect decoration for your home, they are beautifully designed and their fragrance fills up the air with warmth, coziness and tranquility. They are ideal for turning an ordinary night at home into a lovely sweet-scented experience adding a touch of romantic ambience.

When buying these candles customers should look for high-quality pieces. Sometimes they should spend a bit more and get scented candles rather than no scents at all, or candles that blown out once can never be relit again. Most of all read the ingredients and make sure you are aware of what you and your loved ones are breathing.

These candles are enriched with fragrance oils especially made for candles. Unlike the oils used in lotions, soaps, shower products, cleaning products and air-fresheners candle odors are especially designed for a maximum time-release.

They are made of blended wax that can hold only a limited quantity of fragrance oil. If candle manufacturers try to use a larger quantity of cheap, low-quality scented oil (in order to achieve rich-in-pure-odor candles) they cannot do it because the extra oil will start flowing out of the wax like water.

The candle market is full of a huge variety of scented candles. They come in different colors – bright-colored, one-color or comprising a mixture of colors. They also differ in shape – round or square, cone-like or sphere-like. They are also differentiated according to their source materials – they could be made of beeswax, plant wax, paraffin, soy or tallow. Scented candles can also have diverse fragrance strength. Some candles emit a mild scent that lasts for a long period of time; others have a strong, persistent odor that eats up the wax quite quickly.

The widest variety of scented candles, however, is as per their aroma. They could be scented with lavender, sandalwood or chamomile odor that has a calming and stress-reducing effect. Tangerine-scented candles have energizing effect and are used for cheering up a sad and grumpy person. If customers want to feel calm, relaxed and at total ease, they could boost their spirits lighting a candle scented with bergamot. Seasonal candles are not to forget – there are pine candles expiring Christmas atmosphere, chai candles for the cold winter days and melon-scented or berry-scented candles for the fresh summer days. For the flowers-loving people there is a huge range of flower and exotic fruits odors – vanilla, roses, peppermint, grapefruit or orange.

No matter if they are used as a decoration or for cleaning and freshening up the air, scented candles have turned into a must for today’s home, office and even garden.



Source by Marco Gonzalez

How to Make Candle Wax Yourself From Scratch

If you want to learn how to make candle wax and how to make a candle then you have come to the right place. I am going to go over the process step by step and teach you how to make a gel candle and gel candle wax. Now if you have tried to do this before I am sure that you have noticed that the gel to make candles with can be very expensive, to add to this, just going out to buy a gel candle can also be pricey. There is no reason to spend so much as you can make it easily at home for less then half the cost! Are you ready to learn how to make candle wax and how to make a candle? Alright then, let us begin!

Step # 1. First start off by mixing 1 lb of mineral oil with 1.25 oz of resin powder. Take your time and mix well. This is going to create gel with a high density which is great for allowing more fragrance in the candle. When you are done mixing then set the mixture aside for an hour.

Step # 2. Alright the hour is up! Now you are going to mix it again, this time to remove any lumps that have formed while you were waiting.

Step # 3. Now when it comes to learning how to make candle wax this is the part where you are going to want to take it slow to avoid any injury. You are going to take a boiling pot and put the mixture in it. Begin to heat the mixture on a low heat and slowly turn it higher. The mixture is first going to turn clear, then it is going to turn in to gel, and then it is going to harden. Now use a thermometer as you do not want the temperature to exceed 220 degrees. This process is going to take around 2 hours so just be patient, read a book while you wait or watch a movie, just keep an eye on the mixture and stir often. If the gel becomes hotter then 220 degrees it could burn so check the temperature regularly.

Step # 4. After the 2 hour mark the gel should be liquid are now it needs to cool. You are going to need to pour the liquid in to a container and let it cool for a while. The liquid is going to harden, when it does then this is the time to seal it, make sure the lid is tightly on there. Now you can put it away for future use or you can use it now!

Step # 5. You want to learn how to make candle wax, well what would be the point if you didn’t learn how to make a candle as well. You are going to need a glass container that is sturdy enough that it will not break when you pour hot liquid in to it.

Step # 6. Take the wick and super glue it to the bottom of the glass container, this is important as the wick will move around a lot if it is not secure.

Step # 7. Now you are going to cut some of the gel out of the container and put it in to a boiling pot and heat it up, once again to 220 degrees.

Step # 8. When the gel melts then you pour it in to your glass container, make sure that the wick is straight and not covered in the wax.

Step # 9. Let this sit for 24 hours and there you are! You just learned how to make candle wax and how to make a candle out of gel! I hope that this helps you and thank you for reading! Good luck, be safe, and have fun!



Source by Jason Kinech

See you at the Summer Market tomorrow at Our Little Caravan…

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Craft - Craft Workshops

Our Little Caravan - Summer Market 11th February 2017

The weather will be fine and it’s sure to be a wonderful event. Sarah has put in an enormous amount of effort into organising this market in partnership with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood House, and we’re really thankful to have her on the Our Little Caravan team in order to do so. Thank you Sarah!

Another event coming up very early in March, and organised by another valued member of the Our Little Caravan team, is Leanne who has secured our performer for our first live music event for the year. Al Parkinson and the babes! When you see this lady perform, you will immediately feel like Al Parkinson is an old friend. At our first live music event for the year, Al will be bringing 3 friends along as back up vocals, and we are in for a real treat. Al’s hilarious onstage banter is the perfect compliment to her soulful voice, playful ukulele, and wonderfully constructed songs of love and loss. Stories to which everyone can relate. Stripped back like old time blues, her music is what music should be; Honest and real.

March 3rd and the tickets are selling fast. Don’t delay booking if you intend to come to this fantastic event. You can book by scrolling down to the bottom of the Our Little Caravan home page.
http:// www.ourlittlecaravan.com.au

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjGoSqcKEUo
Inchmeal Cafe will be open to purchase hot drinks and light snacks on the night.

Our Little Caravan- You might like this

Lastly….I (Christina) was interviewed on a podcast last week!  It was about all the things I have learnt along the way since setting up Our Little Caravan; the collective store.  If you’d like to listen, the link is below, or you can search “Create and thrive (episode 90) with Jess Van Den”

http://www.createandthrive.com/90-collective-store-pros-cons-with-christina-douglas

Have a lovely weekend…we hope to see you at the market!

Our Little Caravan - Drop in and Craft January 2017

Let the New Year Begin

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Craft - Craft Workshops

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - What's on Early 2017

Hello Makers and Mothers of Makers…

For all of you who have felt completely unproductive in January with all the kids around and about, (like me) then relax, because February is the new January anyway!  The kids are back to school…and we are excited about the year ahead at Our Little Caravan and Inchmeal Cafe.

The next 5 months are very important, as we work hard to create a viable social enterprise, that can re-sign a lease (at the end of June) for a further three years.  You can help us continue to get the word out by telling those you know about Our Little Caravan, or like us/share us on social media.  We don’t want to be a “hidden” gem anymore!

Here’s what’s coming up!

My Little Caravan has 5 party bookings already in Feb! (if you’ll remember, it’s the shortest month of the year!) We also have a steady stream for the future months too. Please remember to allow plenty of time regarding a party date, as we can only take one party at a time in My Little Caravan, and weekends are the most popular time to celebrate. 

We are holding our first of five Artisan markets for 2017 on Saturday 11th Feb, from 11-3pm in partnership with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood House.  This will again run along the shop fronts as well as in the Neighbourhood House grounds.  We have over 20 stalls and an ice-cream van!
 
Every Wednesday beginning at 10:30am in February we are holding a Mum and Me class, open to anyone, but especially for those mums looking for a special activity to do with their Foundation Year aged school child who may have Wednesdays in February off. $25 includes morning tea for one grown up and one child, and a different craft each week in February.  Wednesday 8th Feb: dancing ribbon rings, Wednesday 15th Feb: weaving art and Wednesday 22nd Feb: seashell collages.  All activities are excellent for developing fine motor skills, which is an important requirement when you are a school beginner.
 
We are still welcoming new stall holders in 2017.  Do you know anyone who’d like to join us?  Tell them to come and visit.  The terms and conditions are very generous, as we are a social enterprise dedicated to supporting micro businesses.  We like to think of ourselves as a “brick and mortar etsy store”  

We will continue to run a regular “drop in and craft” for grown ups on Tuesdays during our trading hours. Join Jac (the Crochet Queen) as she crochets (she will even give you some tips if you ask) Only $7 to use the OLC HQ space, includes a regular coffee from Inchmeal Café.  BYO craft project of any type to work on in the company of others.

We look forward to seeing you at Our Little Caravan&Inchmeal Cafe soon.

Upcoming events in Our Little Caravan Early 2017

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Craft - Craft Workshops

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - What's on Early 2017

Hello Makers and Mothers of Makers…

I am currently enjoying the school holidays with our three sons and preparing for a busy year ahead in Our Little Caravan: the collective store.  Every week there is something new, it’s a really dynamic place full of inspiration and gorgeous things.

Please come and visit us when we re-open this coming Wednesday 18th January at 7am for coffee and a variety of low cost, simple DIY craft during our Drop in and Craft Sessions. DON”T FORGET to bring in any knitting or crocheting that you have for our yarnbombing project! (The street pole we’re decorating has a diametre of 20cm.) 

Please see below for January Drop in and Craft Sessions available to avoid disappointment.
 
There are 6 Crafternoon Workshops available for booking too.  See below for details. 
 
We welcome adults to join in with our Crafternoon Workshops while they are on holidays(not including terrarium workshop)

Our Little Caravan -Artisan Markets 2017

Our Little Caravan Artisan markets are held at Our Little Caravan, 39 Westerfield Drive, NottingHill and flow onto the street. We also partner with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood house next door.

We have a limited number of indoor stalls and the rest are outdoors and sheltered.

Indoor space is $35 for a trestle table space (you can hire a table for an additional $10 payable at time of booking)

Outdoor spaces are slightly larger. As we are along the shopfronts they are not 3x3m spaces – they are one to two trestle tables in size.

Applications for 2017:

https://goo.gl/forms/oDG0WFjqjUqH1UsN2

Craft Drop In Sessions: 
Please check the times available before visiting OLC to avoid disappointment. 
 
At a Drop in and Craft session, you are welcome to bring your child along at a time that suits you between the session time we are open for craft and stay and choose from a variety of low cost projects.  These include our popular glass tiled pendants, fabric covered buttons, fun with washi tape, DIY scrabble tile frames and lots more. Morning or afternoon tea can be enjoyed at Inchmeal Cafe.

Our Little Caravan - Drop in and Craft January 2017

Friday 27th January

10-3pm: Princesses and Pirates Theme Day: Sarah will be hosting a Drop in and Craft with a theme on Friday 27th January.  All crafts will be pirate and princess! You are welcome between 10-3 to drop in with your children and get crafting.  No bookings required

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Princess and Pirates Day
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Children's Sewing

Wednesday Jan 18th 11-1pm
Beginners Sewing 

In this workshop, your child will learn all about the sewing machine, from safety to threading.  You will spend time practice sewing and then take those new skills and put them to use on a small sewing project- a zippered pouch

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Knitted Baskets

Thursday January 19th  11-1pm
Knitted baskets using up-cycled t-shirt yarn

In this class you will learn how to turn your old t-shirts into a beautiful eco-friendly and funky small basket. These skills will enable you to start your own projects at home.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Caligraphy

Monday Jan 23rd 11-1pm
 Calligraphy and Journal Making

In this class you will personalise your own notebook, or frame a quote while learning the basics of brush lettering. You will learn the various techniques such as calligraphy, pen and brush.

You can bring a favourite quote or saying to use as your inspiration

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Chilldren's Terrariums

Friday Jan 20th 10-12pm
Wednesday 25th Jan 10-12pm

Children’s Terrariums with Jem from Source Koncept
$55 each child and $45 if you bring a friend
Details and bookings: email hello@inchmealcafe.com

In this class you can create your own terrarium, and build on it with pieces available from our store.  You will come up with a theme for your garden.  Romantic and English, or peaceful and simple.  Will parties be held there or is it a fairy-tale garden?  A little pond with a bridge, or do dinosaurs roam the landscape?  The possibilities are endless. All materials and morning tea supplied.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Beginners Polymer Clay Class

Tuesday Jan 24th 1-3pm
Beginners PolymerClay

Learn about polymer clay and make a strand of beads.  Learn how to condition your clay and mix colours. Choose from our selections of embellishments to put that special touch on your very own necklace, or learn how to make miniature figurines.

And…that’s a wrap for 2016!

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - And…that's a wrap for 2016!

Well…almost…you can still pop in and enjoy a coffee at Inchmeal Cafe between 10am-3pm until Saturday 31st December.

Then Our Little Caravan and Inchmeal Café will re-open On Wednesday 18th January from 7am.

It has been a big year, at OLC HQ

  • We’ve continued to run craft workshops and birthday parties for children in Mabel the vintage caravan.  We’ve added baby showers and hen’s parties for the grown-ups to our party options too.
  • Our community of independent artists, crafters and designers continues to develop – bringing beautiful handmade products to the general public by way of a fresh, fun, co-operative wrapped in a gorgeous little boutique – it’s a shopping oasis in Notting Hill!  We will be profiling these amazing people in 2017.  This month you can read about Sarah. http://wovenbysociety.com.au/stories/weaving-stories-trough-craft-sarah/
  • We introduced more exciting craft workshops including candle making, felting, dying, and more recently DIY terrariums with Jem. We are looking forward to opening up OLC as a venue for other makers that would like to run their own creative workshops for either adults or children in 2017 – contact us for further information if renting OLC  to teach workshops interests you.
  • We held meet-ups for a variety of different interest groups – including book clubs, craft clubs, blog writers and became a popular bus excursion venue for aged care residents.
  • We partnered with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood House to hold craft markets.  These will continue in 2017.
  • And finally (but the best of all) We welcomed Anne, who brought the best coffee in Notting Hill right to our front doorstep when she opened Inchmeal Café in September 2016.

    I (Christina) personally want to say the most heartfelt thank you from myself and my family for all the support you have shown My Little Caravan this past year. Thank you for visiting Our Little Caravan:the collective store and for bringing your friends and your family along with you. 
    We have had the most wonderful time meeting you all and creating with you and we cannot wait to welcome you again in 2017.

 

  • We have some awesome Kid’s workshops coming up in the holidays and we have started planning our 2017 classes for grown-ups too, so we so hope that you find something that tickles your fancy and entices you to join us in the new year. Every day in Our Little Caravan: the collective store there is something new, it’s a really dynamic place full of inspiration and gorgeous things
  • DON”T FORGET our yarnbombing project! The street pole we’re decorating has a diametre of 20cm.  (For those of you who missed our last newsletter- our aim is to draw attention to the street pole that directs you to Our Little Caravan&Inchmeal Cafe which is at the intersection of Westerfield Dve and Ferntree Gully Rds.)

Until then, Happy New Year! And may 2017 be everything you dream of and hope for… and then some.

The OLC Team

Don’t forget that instagram (@mylittle_caravan) and Facebook (Our Little Caravan&Inchmeal Café) are the best places to stay up to date on new classes and developments as they are released. 

January 2017 Holiday Program

Our Little Caravan and Inchmeal Café will re-open On Wednesday 18th January at 7am for coffee.  A variety of low cost, simple DIY craft is available for you to choose from in the store.  We will run 6 Crafternoon Workshops for children during January.  See below for details.  Bookings essential for workshops.

All our workshops are small, intimate and hands on classes, so you can get the maximum benefit out of your time and with your teacher. Bring a friend, and the cost per person is discounted!

Price for My Little Caravan crafternoon workshops: $45 for 1 child, $80 for 2 children, $105 for 3 children, $120 for four children

 

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Children's Sewing

Wednesday Jan 18th 11-1pm
Beginners Sewing 

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Book Class

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Chilldren's Terrariums

Friday Jan 20th 10-12pm
Wednesday 25th Jan 10-12pm

Children’s Terrariums with Jem from Source Koncept
$55 each child and $45 if you bring a friend
Details and bookings: email hello@inchmealcafe.com

In this class you can create your own terrarium, and build on it with pieces available from our store.  You will come up with a theme for your garden.  Romantic and English, or peaceful and simple.  Will parties be held there or is it a fairy-tale garden?  A little pond with a bridge, or do dinosaurs roam the landscape?  The possibilities are endless. All materials and morning tea supplied.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Knitted Baskets

Thursday January 19th  11-1pm
 
Knitted baskets using up-cycled t-shirt yarn

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Book Class

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Caligraphy

Monday Jan 23rd
11-1pm
 
Calligraphy and Journal Making

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Book Class

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Polymer Clay Classes

Tuesday Jan 24th
1-3pm
Beginners PolymerClay

ur Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - SchoolHoliday Programme - Book Class

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We’re on the home stretch now, only a couple of  more days of school to go and then HOLIDAYS!! We’re looking forward to a long lazy summer holiday, but first…a little thing called ‘Christmas’.

We will be open all this week from 7am-3pm…but this Saturday 24th Dec from 8-3 we have a Children’s Christmas Event with plenty of FREE and LOW COST activities planned for the kiddos! (so you can browse in peace!)

You can cover a box with washi tape and fill it with reindeer food!

Decorate a delicious Christmas cookie with lollies!

Make your own star headband that blinks and lights up at night!

Make shrinky dink snowflakes!

We’re bringing back the water beads, and will have some free water play activities outside for children.

And of course…our always popular, making glass tiled pendants in Mabel the caravan.  Special offer for newsletter subscribers- Make one…and make another one for free. $10 (for 2)

See you there!

My Little Caravan will be closed for activities from Dec 26th- and will reopen from Wednesday 18th January…with workshops for our school holiday program including: mini lands, mini hoops, polymer clay fun and even…terrariums for kids!! All the details will be in our January newsletter.

…in the meantime, are there any mad knitters or crocheters out there?  Want a holiday project that will help us get the word out about Our Little Caravan and Inchmeal Cafe’s existence? Then read on…

We have been given the go-ahead by the City of Monash, to have a ‘blue blade’ sign at the end of Westerfield Dve…and while this is awesome, and we are grateful to have a sign at all…we thought it needed to have something a little more ‘attention grabbing’.  So we’re going to YARN BOMB the sign post! Here’s how you can help.  

A yarn bomb is form of street art where yarn in any form (knit, crochet, latch hook, cross stitch, amigurumi, or simply wrapped) is attached to an object in the public environment.  

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Yarn Bomb

The street pole is 10cm in diameter, so if you are keen to create a piece of yarn art to join in our community project, we’d love you to bring it into the shop between the 18th- 28th January and we will fix it together and get yarnbombing!  (Look out City of Monash…maybe this is just the beginning of our yarn bombing escapades?!) 

Happy Christmas everyone! And may your 2017 be a wonderful one!

Terrariums…bloggers and a Twilight Market!

 Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Children's Birthday Parties

Hello Makers and Mothers of Makers…

This week is busy at Our Little Caravan. On Thursday we are excited to be holding our first ever terrarium workshop.  Jem from Source Koncepts will be your teacher and all participants will go home with a finished terrarium.  There are limited spaces still available.  Make a booking with Anne: hello@inchmealcafe.com

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Children's Birthday Parties

On Friday night, 25th November we have our Twilight Market!  6pm-9pm.  The makers and friends of Our Little Caravan are coming together and at this special event there will be plenty of handmade crafts and gifts to choose from.  Inchmeal Café will be open late for the event.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Christmas Twilight Market 25th November 2016

On Thursday 8th December we are hosting a Bloggers Meet Up event.  Beginning at 7:30pm, this is an event that is open to anyone who writes a blog.  If you know a Melbourne based blogger that may be interested in attending this evening –  please share this blog post with details about how to book.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Children's Birthday Parties - Bloggers Meet Up 8th December

We are open late on Thursdays until Christmas.  A perfect opportunity to shop for gifts and enjoy a coffee at Inchmeal Café.  It’s guaranteed to be a lot easier to get a car park than any nearby shopping centre!

On these Thursday afternoons, and also Saturday mornings (10:30am-12:30pm) leading up to Christmas, kids can “Drop In and Craft”.  You can choose from a variety of gift ideas, and we will have the supplies you need to create the perfect gift for a family member, friend or a teacher. Including our 3 most popular crafts: glass tiled pendants, polymer clay, and scrabble tile frames. Prices begin at $15 Add on afternoon tea for a further $5 per child.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Children's Birthday Parties - Teacher's Gift

Over the past 18 months, My Little Caravan has grown from a backyard birthday party hobby business to a thriving social enterprise. Little did I know when I brought Mabel the caravan to the back of an old shop in Notting Hill, that the collective in itself would become a community.  A grouping of makers and crafters that have a safe space to sell and exhibit their wares in a beautiful shop space and create a point of interaction with their customers. This year we have also been able to use the shop space to host craft workshops, live music events, and book launches, and we continue to collaborate with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood House to run craft markets and other community events. 

Thank you for your continued support as you spread the word about OLC and regularly visit Inchmeal Cafe to drink the best coffee in Notting Hill.

Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops - Children's Birthday Parties - Come and enjoy a coffee.

Our Little Caravan and Inchmeal Cafe

The following delightfully presented by danib@eatmystreet.net Many thanks Dani.

Looking for great coffee in Notting Hill? Then look no further than Inchmeal Cafe at Our Little Caravan. Newly opened, Inchmeal cafe is serving Dukes coffee, Tea Lady tea, fruit toast. pastries and sweet treats all in the gorgeous setting that is the Our Little Caravan Collective Store.

Owner and barista. Aline Ngo has previously worked as cafe manager at the stunning 1932 Cafe and Restaurant in Collins St.

Melboume. She has now achieved her dream of opening her very own cafe in the heart of Notting Hill.

I love to discover gorgeous little cafes in quiet, unexpected locations and Inchmeal Cafe is exactly that. Visit to try an ethically sourced coffee or tea and stay to check out the wares of local and independent artists, designers and craftspeople in the beautiful collective store that shares the building.

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

The Details

Inchmeal Cafe at Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store

39 Westerfield Drive

Notting Hill

Mon-Fri: 7:00 am -3:00 pm:

Sat: 8:00 am -12:00 pm

https://www.facebook.com/inchmealcafe/

Inchmeal Café Joins Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store

I love the word ‘serendipity’.  It’s such a lovely sounding word, and I like what it means “a coincidental happening –  a pleasant surprise.”

 It was serendipitous that I met Anne Ngo – the founder and owner of Inchmeal Café, who has joined us at Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store, in Notting Hill, Melbourne.

Inchmeal Café Joins Our Little Caravan - craft workshops

Earlier in the year, Anne’s niece had a birthday party with a small group of friends in Mabel, our vintage caravan, (the star attraction at Our Little Caravan).  The mother at this party was also named Mabel!  Now THAT doesn’t happen very often! When talking at the party, Mabel told me of her sister-in-law (Anne) who dreamed of opening her own café.  Given that I’m already living life at beyond my capacity – I had dreams of someone else running the much needed café at the front of Our Little Caravan too!  

 And so began a conversation that would lead to the opening of Inchmeal Café at Our Little Caravan, in September, 2016.

Inchmeal Café Joins Our Little Caravan - craft workshops

Inchmeal means: little-by-little. How appropriate that Anne has named her café this.

Little-by-little, My Little Caravan has become Our Little Caravan and Our Little Caravan is continuing to find ways to collaborate with others in the community and provide an experience that nurtures soul (creativity) mind (conversation and connection) and now body (nourishing and delicious food).  Welcome Anne J

Inchmeal Café Joins Our Little Caravan - craft workshops

My New Bright and Early, (and colourful) Morning Routine

It’s 5:07am on a SATURDAY and I am awake. Without alarm assistance.

That in itself is a “miracle”, but I’m hopeful it will become a long lasting habit.  I’m up bright and early this morning to put the principles of an author in the USA, Hal Elrod, and his idea of the “Miracle Morning” into place.

 Hal doesn’t have “make yourself a cup of coffee” on his list of principles to apply – but I have one in my hand, mostly because it’s my current morning habit. (One I’d like to swap for a more healthy herbal tea)

 Hal has an acronym in place to jog your memory as to what to practice in this morning routine.  He calls them Life S.A.V.E.R.S. (silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing)

 The catalyst for me wanting to investigate this morning routine, was my friend Paul.  Paul and I met at university where we were both studying teaching twenty years ago. Although we don’t live close to each other, our paths have crossed from time to time during those years.

 Twenty years ago, we still had blackboards in our classrooms, and Paul was able to produce the most beautiful chalk artwork on his blackboard. (As opposed to my slightly downward sloping script…)

 So – Paul has a gift for hand drawn lettering…and we’ll come back to that in a moment.

 Two years ago, Paul read The Miracle Morning, and said that it transformed his mornings.  He personalised the daily routine to suit him, and joined the Miracle Morning Community on Facebook. 

 A component of the daily routine that many, including him, seemed to be uncertain about, were the words of affirmation.  People would post inspirational quotes in the Facebook community to offer examples.  Paul repeated some of these in his journal for several days in a row, re-writing them each morning.  As he pondered the words, he found it helpful to play with the words on the page.  Instead of just writing them down, he started to draw them in his journal.

 This led to him sharing his work in the Facebook community.  People liked his art…and asked for more.

 Paul enjoyed making the art, and it was becoming a part of his morning rhythm, and seemed to be helping others too.  One of Hal Elrod’s team was monitoring the Facebook community and thanked Paul for what he’d been generously giving and asked if he’d consider working with them on a project idea they were considering.  Numerous people had commented that Paul should make a colouring in book, and Hal Elrod, seeing what he was contributing and how many people were buzzing about it, decided that he should be the illustrator for the Miracle Morning colouring book.  And now he is!

 This Friday night 9th September, at Our Little Caravan; The Collective Store, we’re going to host Paul’s book launch!  You can meet Paul, – colour in an affirmation page, and find out more if you are interested.  You can choose to be a part of the pre launch group which enables you to buy 2 books for the price of 1 prior to September 12th.  We’re kicking off at 8pm.  All are welcome!  Or you can go to the link below to join in with the pre launch, if you are interested, but can’t make it to join with us in person on Friday night.

 Date: Friday 9th September

Time: 8-9:30pm

Address: 39 Westerfield Dve Notting Hill

To join our advanced reader team, sign up with the link below! Be sure to also join our new FB colouring book page at The Miracle Morning “Art of Affirmations” Community

Miracle Morning - Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

Miracle Morning Art of Affirmations – Miracle Morning

The official Advanced Readers Team for “The Miracle Morning: Art of Affirmations” coloring book We are committed to changing millions of lives by sharing the life-changing power of The Miracle Morning with as many people as possible! As a “thank you” for helping us get the message out there,…

MIRACLEMORNING.COM

The Prettiest Shop on a Dead End Street

This weekend marks the first anniversary of My Little Caravan moving out of our backyard and parking behind a brick and mortar shop in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

 Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store opened its doors on Saturday 22nd 2015.  You can read about the complete shop renovation here. http://ourlittlecaravan.com.au/2015/09/03/our-little-caravanthe-collective-store-before-and-after/

 

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

Now we have the last 12 months under our belt, a journal (or two!) worth of knowledge and a lot more of an idea of what opening a brick and mortar shop front business actually looks like.

Around 14 months ago I visited a lovely shop in East Ringwood called The Fair Trader.  www.facebook.com/thefairtraderstore.  They had opened their doors six weeks prior to my visit…and I had just picked up the keys to our own shop. When I excitedly told the owner of The Fair Trader that I was about to open Our Little Caravan, she said to me “There should be more shops like us around”.  What I noticed was that there was not a trace of competition in her voice.  Just encouragement. 

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

Have you ever wondered how some businesses even manage to stay in existence?  I’m sure the “manly men” who work at Sports Turf (that’s the shop next door to Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store), must have had conversations to that effect about our small business.  We’re definitely the prettiest shop – on a dead end street!

(That’s us…at the far right end!)

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

If you had dreams or still have a dream to open your own brick and mortar shop – with the added challenge of doing so in this online shopping age – then this is the blog for you. You will read valuable information that I wish I’d known along the way, and read inspiring stories of other small, creative business start-ups – that managed to beat the odds. (We all love THOSE kinds of stories)  I will also share what has worked for us.

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

One thing I know, is that you are never done with learning. 

 I am so grateful to all the people I have met over the past 12 months that have been so generous with sharing their expertise and experiences. There will be many more people like them ahead I’m sure. I look forward to sharing their insights and my experiences with you through this blog.

Have you ever had a dream to open a shop front business?  Maybe a café or a bookshop? An antique store? A craft shop? I’d love to hear about your dreams.

Winter Holiday Craft Ideas

Want to get crafty at home these winter holidays?  Here are 3 of the most popular crafts we hold during ‘crafternoons’ in My Little Caravan.  All of them are suitable for both boys and girls.

Washi Tape

What You’ll Need

Rolls of washi tape! The good news is- you can get washi tape just about anywhere! Last year, after Christmas, I found rolls of it in places like Kmart and Big W for less than $1 for a pkt of 4 rolls! (Amongst the Santas and Christmas tree patterns- there were polka dots and stripes) You can get fancier and pick it up in homeware boutique stores (the most you’ll ever pay is still less than $5 a roll) and at around 5mts in length…that’s a whole lotta washi tape fun you can have.

 

  • Scissors (optional)
  • Wooden pegs,
  • Paper plate,
  • Piece of ribbon.

What To Do

  • Tear or cut strips of washi tape and place on the flat side of a wooden peg
  • Peg the wooden pegs around a paper plate until it is full
  • Tie with a ribbon and hang on your door handle
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

Polymer Clay

 

What You’ll Need

 

  • Polymer clay (we use Sculpey Premo, as it’s the softest clay on the market, and therefore easy for children to work with)
  • Plastic knives
  • Bamboo skewer (to make holes in the polymer clay beads)
  • Your hands!
  • String
  • An oven
  • Greaseproof paper

What To Do

  • Working on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, start by slicing off little bits of clay with plastic knives.
  • Then, with clean hands, squeeze and blend the bits together. This is called “conditioning” the clay and takes some work, as the clay is a bit hard to begin with, but then softens with the heat of your hands. The more you squeeze and flatten, the more the colours start to blend. You can mix the colours together to create new colours…much like mixing paint colours. However, if, for example, you are a 10yr old boy (my son), you might squeeze and flatten until your clay is now one not-so-lovely colour, a sort of greenish-brown.
  • When you are finished moulding your shapes, place them onto an oven tray and cook in the oven at 150C for around 20 minutes. Polymer clay is rather forgiving- if it’s slightly undercooked it’ll mean you can leave a fingernail mark if you press hard. 

If you are making a bead necklace- add some string, and tie with a knot at the end.

Other things you can make are miniature pieces (for your miniature gardens), and even Shopkins! (you can save yourself a ton of money with THAT idea!)

Polymer Clay What You’ll Need • Polymer clay (we use Sculpey Premo , as it’s the softest clay on the market, and therefore easy for children to work with) • Plastic knives • Bamboo skewer (to make holes in the polymer clay beads) • Your hands! • String • An oven • Greaseproof paper What To Do • Working on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, start by slicing off little bits of clay with plastic knives. • Then, with clean hands, squeeze and blend the bits together. This is called “conditioning” the clay and takes some work, as the clay is a bit hard to begin with, but then softens with the heat of your hands. The more you squeeze and flatten, the more the colours start to blend. You can mix the colours together to create new colours…much like mixing paint colours. However, if, for example, you are a 10yr old boy (my son), you might squeeze and flatten until your clay is now one not-so-lovely colour, a sort of greenish-brown. • When you are finished moulding your shapes, place them onto an oven tray and cook in the oven at 150C for around 20 minutes. Polymer clay is rather forgiving- if it’s slightly undercooked it’ll mean you can leave a fingernail mark if you press hard. If you are making a bead necklace- add some string, and tie with a knot at the end. Other things you can make are miniature pieces (for your miniature gardens), and even Shopkins! (you can save yourself a ton of money with THAT idea!)
Polymer Clay What You’ll Need • Polymer clay (we use Sculpey Premo , as it’s the softest clay on the market, and therefore easy for children to work with) • Plastic knives • Bamboo skewer (to make holes in the polymer clay beads) • Your hands! • String • An oven • Greaseproof paper What To Do • Working on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, start by slicing off little bits of clay with plastic knives. • Then, with clean hands, squeeze and blend the bits together. This is called “conditioning” the clay and takes some work, as the clay is a bit hard to begin with, but then softens with the heat of your hands. The more you squeeze and flatten, the more the colours start to blend. You can mix the colours together to create new colours…much like mixing paint colours. However, if, for example, you are a 10yr old boy (my son), you might squeeze and flatten until your clay is now one not-so-lovely colour, a sort of greenish-brown. • When you are finished moulding your shapes, place them onto an oven tray and cook in the oven at 150C for around 20 minutes. Polymer clay is rather forgiving- if it’s slightly undercooked it’ll mean you can leave a fingernail mark if you press hard. If you are making a bead necklace- add some string, and tie with a knot at the end. Other things you can make are miniature pieces (for your miniature gardens), and even Shopkins! (you can save yourself a ton of money with THAT idea!)

Miniature Gardens

What You’ll Need

  • Shallow containers,
  • Icypole sticks and twigs can be made into fences, gravel and pebbles into paths,
  • Lids, tin foil or mirrors can be used to make a pond,
  • Sand to create a desert or beach,
  • Small rocks, old branches and pieces of bark to create a jungle/woodland feel.
  • Coloured aquarium gravel, glass pebbles or sand with shells and beads,
  • Glitter for frost or as fairy dust,
  • Polymer clay to make any extras.
  • Look amongst your smallest toys to use as props in your garden.

 

What To Do

  • Choose a container- You can make your garden any size you like, depending on your container. You can use an ice cream container, plastic plant saucer, old lunchbox, or even a jar (think mini terranium)
  • You can either use soil from the garden as a base, but if you want to play with this garden and bring it inside, I recommend making some uncoloured playdough to put in your container. Then you can add artificial plants as greenery, (those little plastic trees from the toy farm sets are great) and your other handmade pieces.
  • Children have a great imagination and there are lots of themes that you could choose, Get your child to design their garden ideas on paper to get started. Here are some ideas:

Construction Site with diggers, trucks, sand and gravel

An Enchanted garden with fairies, wooden toadstools, small animals

Prehistoric Garden with dinosaurs, volcanos

Jungle with lions, tigers, monkeys,

A traditional mini garden complete with paths, flower and vegetable beds and a scarecrow

Miniature Gardens What You’ll Need • Shallow containers, • Icypole sticks and twigs can be made into fences, gravel and pebbles into paths, • Lids, tin foil or mirrors can be used to make a pond, • Sand to create a desert or beach, • Small rocks, old branches and pieces of bark to create a jungle/woodland feel. • Coloured aquarium gravel, glass pebbles or sand with shells and beads, • Glitter for frost or as fairy dust, • Polymer clay to make any extras. • Look amongst your smallest toys to use as props in your garden. What To Do • Choose a container- You can make your garden any size you like, depending on your container. You can use an ice cream container, plastic plant saucer, old lunchbox, or even a jar (think mini terranium) • You can either use soil from the garden as a base, but if you want to play with this garden and bring it inside, I recommend making some uncoloured playdough to put in your container. Then you can add artificial plants as greenery, (those little plastic trees from the toy farm sets are great) and your other handmade pieces. • Children have a great imagination and there are lots of themes that you could choose, Get your child to design their garden ideas on paper to get started. Here are some ideas: Construction Site with diggers, trucks, sand and gravel An Enchanted garden with fairies, wooden toadstools, small animals Prehistoric Garden with dinosaurs, volcanos Jungle with lions, tigers, monkeys, A traditional mini garden complete with paths, flower and vegetable beds and a scarecrow