Candlemaking

by onblueberryhill on May 5, 2015

DSCN4206

I found a new use for my smallest wheel thrown pots – handmade candles!

candlemaking 2

First, I made small handleless cups (aprox 3/4 pound of clay each).  I glazed the interior and the top 1/3 or so of the exterior, and used the opportunity to test out some new Mayco Stroke & Coat glazes.  Here’s what they looked like before they became candles:

candlemaking 3

Next, I stocked up on candle making supplies at Portland Homestead Supply Company, an amazing store for all kinds of lost-art home crafts.  I started by cutting wicks to length, inserting them into the metal wick holders, using sticky dots to secure the wick holders to the bottoms of the cups, and then holding the wick taut on a handy little metal tool (although I found that a pencil and a piece of scotch tape worked almost as well!)

candlemaking 4

Next, I broke up the large hexagon of beeswax and put the chunks in a glass jar, which I heated on the stove in a pot with several inches of water.  It took forever!  I could not believe how long the wax took to melt – I kept checking on it to see if there was anything I could do to make it melt faster, but eventually, I just let it take its own sweet time :)

candlemaking 5

Finally, I carefully poured the melted wax into the cups, let it set up, and ta-da – beautiful homemade beeswax candles!

candlemaking 6

I purposefully did not fill them all the way to the top, but instead left some headspace, so that you can admire the color on the inside, as well as the outside.

candlemaking 7

I used just one of my handleless mugs glazed in Mayco’s Speckled Stroke & Coat – I really like how this one came out, even though it’s a little larger and chunkier:

candlemaking 7

Pin It

{ 0 comments }

Laundry room remodel

by onblueberryhill on May 5, 2015

laundry room remodel 1

Beautiful end result for our laundry room remodel!

laundry room remodel 2

New tile floor, undercounter washer and dryer, and farm sink

laundry room remodel 3

Cobalt glass knobs custom made by Uneek Glass Fusions

laundry room remodel 4

Countertop made from recycled glass bottles, with an understated backsplash

laundry room remodel 5

Extra storage and counter space, and a new “corner storage system” for kids’ shoes, coats, backpacks, and gloves/hats

laundry room remodel 6

Gorgeous storage cubby handcrafted by my talented friend out of roughcut boards – wrought iron hooks found on Etsy

Pin It

{ 1 comment }

The first week of May in my garden

by onblueberryhill May 3, 2015
Thumbnail image for The first week of May in my garden

Oregon has had a beautiful spring so far, and everything is in full bloom around here!  The peonies are just starting to open: The native azaleas bloom in such beautiful colors, and I love their light fragrance: I’ve gotten most of the annuals planted in the deck pots, including these geranium and sweet alyssum: I [...]

Read more… →

Yoyogi Park quilts

by onblueberryhill May 2, 2015
Thumbnail image for Yoyogi Park quilts

  In anticipation of renovating my daughters’ bedroom, I sewed each of them a quilt from Cloud 9s’s Yoyogi Park collection, designed by Skinny laMinx.  There’s something I love about the colors and patterns in these fabrics, and I especially appreciate that they’re made from organic cotton.  I used similar prints from each of the [...]

Read more… →

Mugs of the day: speckled glaze and cinnamon clay

by onblueberryhill April 30, 2015
Thumbnail image for Mugs of the day:  speckled glaze and cinnamon clay

I’ve been playing around with a particular shape for my mugs – kind of square and squat, ready sturdy-looking, I think.  I’ve had good results with Mayco Speckled Stroke & Coat Glazes – these are glazed in Speckled Cotton Tail, Moody Blue, and The Blues. I wanted to see how these glazes and this shape [...]

Read more… →

Caging the blueberries

by onblueberryhill April 29, 2015
Thumbnail image for Caging the blueberries

A few improvements to the veggie garden this spring: We’ve tried everything to keep the birds out of our blueberries, with no luck – the word is out, and every season they pretty much decimate the harvest from our dozen our so blueberry plants.  So, this year my friend and general contractor constructed this ingenious [...]

Read more… →

Test knitting Rum Daisy

by onblueberryhill April 27, 2015
Thumbnail image for Test knitting Rum Daisy

Another beautiful test knit for the incomparable Thea Coleman  The lace pattern on this one is beautiful, and I love the shape – it fits perfectly across my shoulders and around my neck.  Thea’s use of short rows to give it shape and structure is really clever.  I felt like I started slowly, because unlike [...]

Read more… →

Brave Little Thread

by onblueberryhill April 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for Brave Little Thread

This is a gorgeous new yarn (at least, new to me!), dyed by a local dyer here in Portland – it’s called Brave Little Thread, and I picked up a skein of the Lighthouse DK at Knit Purl.  Several things attracted me to this yarn – the colors are beautiful, saturated and bring to mind [...]

Read more… →

Construction notes for strawberry pallets

by onblueberryhill April 22, 2015
Thumbnail image for Construction notes for strawberry pallets

I’ve tried growing strawberries in many different ways – raised beds, down a slope, in hillocks in a fenced “strawberry annex” – all with very little success.  I’m not sure what the problem is – slugs, rot, those annoying ground squirrels that pick the green strawberries and then leave them mounded up in little piles [...]

Read more… →

Ranunculus

by onblueberryhill April 20, 2015
Thumbnail image for Ranunculus

Spring has come so early here in Oregon, I’m already planting my pots of annuals!   Pin It

Read more… →

Single breed yarns

by onblueberryhill April 15, 2015
Thumbnail image for Single breed yarns

  This cowl was just an excuse to try out Insouciant Fibers 100% Jacob Wool.  The label tells you that the wool comes from Jacob sheep in nearby Port Townsend, Washington – talk about buying locally! I bought two skeins (110 yds/ea) at Tolt Yarn & Wool and liked how it knitted up on US [...]

Read more… →

Portabella pullover

by onblueberryhill April 12, 2015
Thumbnail image for Portabella pullover

I love the simplicity of this pullover – it lets the beauty of the yarn really show, and it is so soft and lightweight, I should be able to wear it almost year round  You can tell that the pattern is designed for the yarn – they’re a perfect match.  I would love to knit [...]

Read more… →

Finding beauty in simple things

by onblueberryhill April 10, 2015
Thumbnail image for Finding beauty in simple things

I can never resist a fat quarter bundle when the fabrics are as beautiful as Robert Kaufman’s Manchester, so I impulse-bought these at Purl Soho: After they arrived, they sat in my sewing room for several weeks, waiting for inspiration.  I considered a variety of projects – quilt top, pieced placemats, even a skirt for [...]

Read more… →

Color pop socks

by onblueberryhill April 6, 2015
Thumbnail image for Color pop socks

Socks really are my least favorite item to knit, but every once in a while, a combination of pattern and yarn overcomes my aversion . . . in this case, I love de rerum natura yarns, and these socks are knit on US 3s (I REALLY hate knitting socks on US 1s or 2s!) so [...]

Read more… →

Happy Easter

by onblueberryhill April 5, 2015
Thumbnail image for Happy Easter

Pin It

Read more… →

Natural dyes rainbow blanket

by onblueberryhill April 3, 2015
Thumbnail image for Natural dyes rainbow blanket

This blanket is the result of my attempt to use up all of the leftovers from the Indigo, Grapevine, and Orangina shawls.  The yarn – Local Color Fiber Studio’s three-ply Columbia worsted – is dyed with natural ingredients, and they show off so beautifully here! I cast on 125 sts on US 9s and knit [...]

Read more… →

Easter egg bowls

by onblueberryhill March 29, 2015
Thumbnail image for Easter egg bowls

I’m experimenting with bowls – different shapes and sizes – with the unifying characteristic of a brightly colored inside and outside rim, with the remainder of the outside textured and left unglazed.  The colors are a variety of Amaco (Pear, Cherry Blossom, Marigold) and Spectrum (Orchid, Celadon, Cerulean, Watermelon, Cranberry) celadon glazes.  At this time [...]

Read more… →

Spring gauze wraps

by onblueberryhill March 28, 2015
Thumbnail image for Spring gauze wraps

 recently saw an Eileen Fisher scarf/wrap that I wanted to buy, but when I saw what it cost, I thought it would be worth trying to find the fabric and make the simple accessory myself.  I found not one but two beautiful spring scarf/wrap fabrics at Purl Soho:  Kokochi Double Gauze (Silver Grey Dots) and [...]

Read more… →

Local Color Fiber Studio color family shawl: Orangina

by onblueberryhill March 27, 2015
Thumbnail image for Local Color Fiber Studio color family shawl:  Orangina

The third and final shawl in this series – see this posting for yarn and pattern info. I’ve really enjoyed using this pattern to play with color, and Local Color Fiber Studio’s natural dye colors are so vibrant and gorgeous!  I’m surprised how much I like this wooly yarn as a shawl – I would [...]

Read more… →

Woolfolk house cardigan

by onblueberryhill March 26, 2015
Thumbnail image for Woolfolk house cardigan

This project took awhile, no doubt about it – which isn’t surprising, because the FO consists of a lot of material!  The yarn is Woolfolk FAR (color 02), which has got to be the softest yarn I’ve ever knit with.  It’s a chainette construction, and I was skeptical at first as to how it would [...]

Read more… →