Bluebird Rising

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

How to Make Four Candles That Suck in 21 Semi-Easy Steps March 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluebirdrising @ 1:13 pm
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#1) Crack the cork of a Riesling. Congratulate yourself. You have decided to spend a responsible night in, and are simultaneously vowing to create something visually beautiful for your own private space, no less. So what if you hate (and still consider) yoga a phase? You’re so fucking Zen.

#2) Do some short research on candle making, courtesy of google and stuff you forgot you pinned during a flurry of excitement on Pinterest.  Include so many ambitious words like “clean burning” and “soy” and “aromatherapy” that you begin to make your half-assed hippie self sick and ambivalent.

#3) Find results that are no less than 30 steps long. And that all include 15 materials that you do not have. Decide that candles are beyond your realm of expertise. Panic and revert to basics. Hightail to Michael’s as they are closing. Hold breath while shopping so as not to inhale the scent of that place that is plastic grapes, tacky wood glue and 80-year-old ladies past their prime.

#4) Become accosted with candle making possibilities in Aisle 13. Choose the all in one kit that comes in pastel colors and is recommended for ages 15+. Halving your age seems like an appropriate compromise when accounting for the celebration Riesling you uncorked in anticipation of this impending disaster.

#5) Speed home. Take Snelling. It’s less of a disaster than Hamline lately. Yes. I know. I never thought I’d see the day either.

#6) Light your Suede Blanc candle (previously referenced in last post….did you buy yours yet?) because you know you are about to turn on your stove, and you well know that it covers the scent of all that old, charred food you have yet to find a reason to spend four hours unchipping from your gas burners.

#7) Riesling intermission.

#8) Admire purchase. So pretty. So full of promise.

#9)  Read all directions first. Which I usually don’t do, but if 29 years have taught me anything, it’s that I now know better than to freestyle with fire. HOLD UP. IS THAT ENGLISH?!?!

#10) Quick glance at bottle of Riesling, which has barely been touched. Nope, it’s not the wine. That’s definitely French. Flip box over. YAY! ENGLISH!

#11) Place wicks in glass. NOTE: Wicks will NOT be straight initially, and they will NOT be able to stand straight on their own. Should you suffer from any form of perfection, or, you know, have the audacity to want your wicks IN THE MIDDLE of your stupid candle, please allot a 30 minute minimum time frame to fight these 1/8 inch pieces of evil. Should you suffer from OCD AS WELL AS ADD, like me (self diagnosed), allot an extra 25 minutes for the sudden movement you may make when a great song blasts across the ear buds of your iPod. Or Discman. (No judging.)

#12) Secure wicks with Yaley’s Tacky Wax (NOT INCLUDED). **WHAT??** (small whiny noise) But I bought you because it says EVERYTHING INCLUDED!!! So now I have to read all directions AT THE STORE?!? PRIOR TO PURCHASE?!? Michael’s: 1. Amy: 0.

#13) MacGyver a plan that does not give Yaley’s stupid Tacky Wax the time of day.

#14) Choppity chop. The clear square is your scent, which the box says is vanilla scented. It smells nice, for now. When it is in your candle, it will smell like crayon shavings. But you don’t know that yet. The color blocks are for coloring your candle. Which looks exciting, but will in no way turn your candle the shade you intended. The candles you wanted to be red will turn Pepto Bismol pink, and that vibrant, springy yellow color you are anticipating at will dry to the tinge of hazy, unhealthy urine. But you do not know this yet, either. So chop. Chop with vigor, in the anticipation of all the candle dreams dancing in your head.

#15) Notice that soy flakes look like coconut flakes. Thankfully, no tasting is needed, as you don’t really care to eat either. Put in a pot that looks like it will fit. Add your fancy new thermometer.

#16) Prepare to melt the wax in a double boiler. Realize that you do not have a double boiler. Decide you are a women of the future, you are invincible, and you will TAKE RISKS. Going rogue on the double boiler looks something like this:

SIDE NOTE: This contraption also requires three hands. So it’s time to put that beloved Riesling down. (Would I tell you that if it was not imperative to your safety?) Also, your eyebrows will get insanely hot. I don’t know what to tell you to do about that, but, I felt a warning was deserved. Really, I don’t recommend this method at all.

#17) Melt the flakes. Meanwhile, here is everything that happened that I will tell you not to do. Don’t breathe deeply. Don’t burn face. Don’t dance to Grimes when it plays on your iPod (Discman.) (Seriously, we have all Spotified that, already, right?!?!) Don’t drop your fake double boiler pot. Don’t try to snap a picture. Don’t try to swat cat away quickly with foot. You will trip yourself. Don’t drop everything in terror when Brickfeet stomps across the floor above you.

Really, this is the Olympics part of the process. You survive this, its smooth sailing. Pretend you’re Katniss, pouring wax in the decrepit basement of the Yankee Candle Company Factory…..yeah. No. Even Ms. Collins knew not to make that work. Moving on.

#18) Add chopped vanilla scent, add preferred colorings. and pour into glass molds with love and care. Like so:

 #19) Double your joy by scraping layers of hardened wax off of EVERYTHING in your kitchen and trying another whimsical color that will, without a doubt, fail.

#20) Finally, dig a bottle out of the recycling bin, because you are going to have extra wax that can neither be poured down the drain or into the trash. And good luck getting it into that little bottle mouth once it thickens a bit.

#21) Judge candles after they have hardened. Wonder why the color changed so dramatically, and why they seem to have dried in layers when they were all poured at the same time, and why they smell like third grade. Wonder until you can’t wonder any more, and then cut yourself a break, because this was the first time you tried something new, with arguably sup-par ingredients. Vow to never let yourself feel guilty about buying a $25 candle again. Realize that they are WORTH IT.


6 Responses to “How to Make Four Candles That Suck in 21 Semi-Easy Steps”

  1. doniree Says:

    I know this is meant to serve as One Giant Warning, but I can’t help but want, very soon, to dance around my apartment listening to Grimes, getting drunk, and exploring my crafty side.

    (Also: I’ll be in MN soon… perhaps we should get drinks!)

  2. You are always so entertaining! What’s best is that I can imagine you telling it to me and I bust out laughing. I want to go to Michael’s now. I’m also going to Spotify Grimes, since I have no clue who/what that is.

  3. Brit Says:

    I just died laughing as I can totally picture you doing this… and I’m glad you did b/c now I will read this after I buy expensive candles so as not to feel guilty!

    • I declare your right to shop guilt free. These candle people aren’t messing around.

      All I am asking for in life is a nice craft that looks pretty, takes no effort, and I can get drunk on wine while making. Is that really TOO MUCH to ask for, Universe?!?

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