PROJECTS~ A Tutorial

From The Project File~ 

Olive Oil Mason Jar Candles.

You know that I resist writing tutorials. It's not that I don't like to share my ideas with you, but I'm just not that good at outlining the step-by-step. I think that's because I am not a sequential thinker. My natural inclination is to go in a variety of directions at all times.

Have I told you that for this reason it's hard for Larry to cook with me? Because of what he considers my unwillingness to do things in an understandable order, I create a huge mess; which I never clean up until the end. He's more of a tidy-as-you-go-kind of guy. And I while I cook, I use every pot and pan in the cupboard, and that seems to really bother him.  Anyway, I'm digressing.

Thanksgiving is over and most of us are readying our homes for Christmas, Hanukkah, or another festive celebration, so today I want to share my version of jar candles. There are numerous Pinterest twists on this idea, but the basic candle is so easy to make, embellish and share. Jar candles are not only a festive and safe way to illuminate your home, but they are also great for gifts. In fact, we celebrated Thanksgiving with another family just today, and I took a candle to the hostess. My impression was that she was delighted with it.

So here's all you will need, which is not much really~

1. A Mason or similar glass jar with a lid
2. Wicks ↠ Purchased Here
3. Olive Oil (A large can)
4. Fresh Greenery

The Process~

I began by wandering around the yard and collecting some pine and holly. If you don't have the luxury of cutting greens from your own property, just snip some from a swag or garland you've purchased.

I picked a nice little bundle and then trimmed various pieces to a length that would fit about 1.5" below the rim of the jar.

I packed the jar with the greens. But here you can tell that I left them too long and had to trim them.

Because a I am creating a rustic Christmas feel in our home and at the Anacortes Art Walk this Friday, I have been stockpiling Burlap ribbon using 50% coupons from Michael's. I embellished the jars, but very simply.

Here's a completed candle. Fill the jar with oil as close to the top as you possibly can. The reason for this is that you want your wick to be floating up high so you can enjoy the glow! I decided to do a test and see how long it would burn, and it burned for 10 hours before I extinguished it. It would have continued to safely burn. Nothing was hot~ not the oil nor the glass. But I will say this. In one jar I put holly berries and in the other, fresh cranberries. At one point the wick floated near the holly and the berries darkened. They didn't look burned but they looked discolored. So I threw them away and will only use cranberries from now on. Olive oil is very safe because it is stable even at high temperatures and doesn't smoke. You may find after many hours burning that the olive oil level is reduced by maybe 1/2". If that's the case, simply fill the jar to the top again.

I bought an olive oil that was on closeout at Cash and Carry; a local store. I think in California the store is Smart & Final. Wherever you are, you probably have a food service equivalent.

Here are my wicks. They are 2 part: a wax wick and the cork float.

At Target I found this pretty jar embossed with a snowflake. This is the jar I used to create a hostess gift.

Using my Cricut, I cut a snowflake out of lightweight chipboard. I then used spray adhesive and authentic German glass glitter to make it sparkle. I love to shop here for glitter. The quality and color choices are amazing!

I was unsure about how to package the wick, but I remembered I had purchased these very sweet wax paper envelopes for my business cards. So I tucked 2 wicks inside and clipped the envelope to the jar. As I mentioned, our hostess seemed to really like the gift and we lighted the candle so we could all enjoy the flickering warmth.

One last note~ The reason I am specific about a jar with a lid is that you need a lid to transport the candle after you fill it. Obviously you don't put the lid on the candle while it's burning. I know I didn't have to tell you this, but I thought it prudent to clarify.

And by the way, I am not endorsing any shopping site or any brand for personal monetary gain. Just so you know.

So goodbye fall decor. It's time to move on to mistletoe and holly. This Friday is the art show I'm participating in and I must be of singular purpose all week. I look forward to giving you a full report. Until we meet again, prayers and positive thoughts appreciated!

If you have any questions about how to assemble the candles, please let me know.


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An Unpredictable Mix Of Photos And Chat

Stuff and Things.

Yes. That's what my Gramma used to say. "Stuff and things". I more often say, this and that; or if I'm in British mode, bits and bobs. It all means the same, yeah? I have a somewhat random assortment of line items from life's agenda to share today. Just some stuff and things.

First up is this big-deal piece of news that my photography is to be on display during the December Anacortes Art Walk in old town. Here's a picture of the poster I've been distributing to business in Anacortes. I am a terrible self-promoter and so strolling Commercial Avenue and soliciting window space has not been easy. But because I couldn't talk anyone else into doing it for me, I've had to man- up.

I am both honored to have been asked to participate and filled with trepidation. It's one thing to hang my own enlargements in our home or boldly post to social media. But to stand at a reception for two hours while strangers sip sparkling beverages and peruse my work represents a giant step outside my comfort zone. Way too up close and personal. Anyway, ten day countdown; we are very busy.

You all know my style by now~ big, in-your-face photos I refer to as art in the ordinary. I take pictures whenever, wherever. Unless I'm creating vignettes for a blog post, I rarely stage still life photos. As my poster proclaims, I'm free-spirited.

A random sampling of my work to refresh your collective memory~

Larry has labored for weeks crafting frames from reclaimed wood~ frames ranging in size from 11x17 to 20x30! He's amazing. I have been sanding and finishing the frames and working on decor to stage the lovely salon in which my dear friend Shawn, owner at Ryan Chanel, is hostessing this event. She has invited my mom, Jolene, to hostess with her; two of the prettiest and most gracious women in Anacortes at one soiree. I'm hoping I can just be the proverbial wall flower alongside one of my pictures; or even become a mannequin for the evening.

True to Remnant style, the frames are simple and natural. I've stained a few and dry-brush painted a few, but most are just cleaned and well sanded.

Just look at my house! Art Walk stuff everywhere~

And as an aside, Larry has been working with me on these new designs for smaller frames that showcase my work. After all, not everyone or maybe not anyone is in the market for a 20x30.

I hope you understand why I've been blog AWOL.

I have managed to pull together some Thanksgiving decor for our tiny celebration, and I wanted to share some photos with you.

Our table, decorated with mostly natural elements gathered around our property or from our favorite farm store~

The tags are hanging on the stems of fresh Bosc pears.

I have so many dried hydrangeas. After the Art Walk I'm planning to thin my inventory.

I splurged on some new napkins.

The centerpiece may very well be larger than the meal.

Rustic fall accents in the living room and kitchen~

I also want to share with you a piece of furniture we recently moved into the living room. We have owned this spool cabinet for decades actually, but only since my style reset has it felt right in the house.

This is a very early spool cabinet~a gift from Larry. It's in amazing condition, despite having spent the last 15 years in Larry's barn. 

Atop the cabinet is a tray Larry crafted for me in his spare time. It is also made from reclaimed lumber which is loaded with character. You can spot the unusual blonde veining in some of the wood.

The drawer pulls which I chose for the handles are not vintage, but they are a very cool thrift store find.

I feel more in the Christmas spirit than I have in a long time, and I think that's due in part to the fact that Thanksgiving is a bit earlier than some years. I'm ready for fall to give way to Christmas decor. In that spirit, I have been playing the Holiday channel on Pandora nightly. Christmas songs are a good antidote for stress.

These little wooden trees from Target also make me happy.

I'm so thankful for each of you that takes the time to look in over here at Remnant. Occasional bloggers such as I are not even a blip on the blog radar. For that reason, every visit from you is so special. Wishing you a very blessed Thanksgiving!


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