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Espresso Candles

16 Dec

Leonora, I know you’re one for homemade arts and crafts and do I hope you’ll be proud of my efforts. I’ve never made a candle in my life. In fact, I could hardly call myself a crafter at all. I like to eat. That’s my thing as you well know! However, whilst looking for some new vases in the local charity shop I stumbled across an espresso set for just £4.99. I know! I don’t even like coffee but I just had to have it. Anyway, I decided that I’d make a cheap homemade candle set, something quite cute that could provide a function but also look great in a kitchen, lounge, or even dining setting.

Making candles is extremely easy Leonora, I’m surprised you haven’t turned your graceful hand to it. I bought all the equipment from WhicksnWacks, a great little online store that had the items to me in just a few days. The entire lot cost me just under £13 and I have enough wicks and dye for more future crafting. It seems far easier to make your first candles in a ready prepared holder, such as these espresso cups, so that you don’t have to worry about getting the right shapes or having to pay for moulds.

Melting the wax was extremely easy, and then the dye block was simply grated into the liquid until I had the right colour. I warmed the cups first in warm water so that the china wasn’t cold. Working out how to attach the wicks was a little tricky as the first time I attempted to pour in the wax the wick simply floated to the top. However, I found that standing them upright in the cups and pouring a tiny amount of wax in, which was then allowed to harden, allowed the wicks to grip the bottom. I also used elastic bands to keep the wicks upright and straight as, when you pour the warm wax in, the wicks have a tendency to flop to one side.

Then it’s a simple case of allowing the wax to harden completely, cleaning off the cups from any excess wax which may have dripped, and fashion them into a perfectly placed piece of decor! I simply love them. Of course, they are my own little novelty as they’re the first I’ve ever made but they are both cheap and quick to make. Overall, each candle cost approximately £4 to make and that includes the extra’s that I can use again in addition to the plates and milk jug. I think it’s a fabulous thing to have made, and once I’m more adept at making such things they will be great Christmas and birthday presents. And, with the containers being recycled from charity shops, no two candle sets will ever be the same.


National Cupcake Day

14 Dec

Now Beatrice, before you start, I know that cupcakes are an American treat and that the English version is our own traditional butterfly cake. However, that doesn’t stop one enjoying snacking upon several when the time comes, especially when they are still warm from your AGA. And now that you’ve perfected the cake, I can happily say that I will continue to relish your cupcakes. Indeed, I enjoyed the perfection trials immensely!

Tomorrow, December 15th, is National Cupcake Day in the U.S. What a fantastic day to have! It’s just as well I don’t reside across the pond as I fear that this Algenon would be far too fat to fit into his braces. However, just because our American friends will be enjoying the experience doesn’t mean that we can’t either. Of course, I won’t be able to revel in the fantasticulously lovely Magnolia’s Bakery cupcakes, as seen on screen in Sex and the City, but that doesn’t put an end to my plan. London has a number of fantastic outlets, including Lola’s available in the Selfridge’s food hall and the famed Hummingbird Bakery. So, one way or another, I will be breaking from English tradition and enjoying an American holiday for one day. Please don’t scold me – and don’t tell Lady Shropshire, she’d be horrified

Beatrice’s New Knitting Bag

28 Nov

Oh Algenon and Leonora, I have found the most wonderful knitting bag. Now I’m expecting a grandchild it is frightfully important that I have everything in order.  I’m going to knit your baby a matinee jacket too Leonora. The perfect time for knitting is during our wonderful afternoon tea. I just have to be so careful not to drop a stitch.  I haven’t knitted anything since  Bunny was on the way, but now she’s having her own baby I really must get back into knitting.

I was perusing the counters in John Lewis when, what should I come across, this perfect bag for my knitting paraphenalia. Don’t you think its just ideal? With so much to knit before the baby arrives I’m going to be in scarf, bootie, and bib heaven!

Perhaps next time we take tea we can all knit together. I’ve found some lovely patterns by Debbie Bliss.



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