Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beeswax Candles - My First Try at Making Them...


I got the brilliant idea one day to try and make beeswax candles after reading an article in Mother Earth news about them. Since I have a bunch of hives, I asked my beekeeper if he had any beeswax he could give me.. and he left me this;
This is beeswax after being removed from the hive and it is dirty! Well the article said the best way to melt it was to put it in a cooler with a light bulb overnight, which I did.

But it didn't work at all. I asked around and found an old crockpot that someone didn't use anymore and started melting the wax in that.

It worked a lot better but once it was melted, what do I do then? I first tried to put it in a plastic container but couldn't get it out very well.
Now What?

Then I lined it with foil and that worked better.... came out like this. 
The dirt went to the bottom so I could scrape it off... I ended up melting it 4 times. The next weekend I was going to make candle but didn't have anything that would work for a mold. So I used a plastic egg carton from Costco. (Not paper which would stick, or styrofoam which would melt) They had little gaps between the cups that I filled with wax and then I used a bit of wax to hold the wick in place.

Wicks with wax 

Filling them up

All the way full now

Waiting for them to cool

Once they cooled the popped out pretty nicely but man were they ugly!
Not pretty to look at!

They did burn nicely though!
So now I need to find a proper mold to put these into... so that I don't have short, ugly candles. Oh and this ruined a bunch of utensils so you have to be careful of what you are doing....


Saturday, August 15, 2015

More Critter Pictures 8/15/2015


The drought is so bad right now that tree branches are falling off the trees and the deer are eating my hop plants! Hops are stinky and sticky and last year they left them alone, but not this year. 
Hop with snipped leaves

This was a zucchini plant

Tomato and hop plant both eaten down by the deer

I saw a tarantula out as well - and this is really early for them...I hope this is a sign of a wet winter!

This year I once again put out a stock tank for the bees and the other critters, and filled it with water. It has a float to fill it when the water gets low, and last year I had no issues with it all. But last week when I came home the float was knocked sideways and water had been running for a while. Since the camera is pointed right at the tank now, I was able to see how long it was running (1 week), and who the culprit was that knocked it (mama deer). Here are some pictures from the last month or so of the shenanigans that go on when I am not here or I am here and asleep...

The water on my driveway made me very popular!

Turkey family is still going strong!

Love this capture of the woodpecker flying at the camera

Skunk covered in stickers.. but I am not volunteering to brush him.

Hate the raccoons!