Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Come Play in the Sand...A Tutorial on Making Sand Candles!

It's a beautiful day on Cape Cod. Since it's spring break for many schools, people are here! (As a matter of fact, we have family visiting.) It seems as though the dull gray curtain of winter is going up, there's a full cast of players, and the director, Mother Nature has yelled: "Action"! And what is Cape Cod to those who only come during the warmer, sunnier months? For many, "SAND" and "SEA" head up the items on the list! In celebration, I bring you my tutorial on creating SAND CANDLES! I hope you enjoy the craft and my step-by-step, (hopefully easy) instructions. So, follow me and "Come Play in the Sand"!

Pieces of Dreams

Let's start with our list of supplies...You will need:

  • pillar candles of choice
  • painter's tape
  • clear drying craft glue, such as, Crafter's Pick, Mod Podge, or other glue of choice, so long as it sticks to plastic, metal, glass etc.
  • sand
  • Minwax Polycrylic Sealer
  • 3-ply jute or waxed raffia (It really has to be the waxed!)
  • sea shells (small) and having flat areas for gluing
  • scissors, flat tray or cookie sheet, nylon brushes, glue gun, water, paper towels

Gathering of supplies.

Are you ready for some fun?

Wipe your candle clean and evenly tape off the top of the candle. (Part you want exposed)...We don't want sand, glue, or sealer too near the top and flame!

Put some glue into a dish and load your brush.

Paint a nice, thick, even coat of glue onto the candle.

Notice the thick, even coverage.

If your glue coverage is spacey, like this, or beads up and drips off, you are either not using the right glue, you have not properly loaded your brush, or you have watered your product down. PS: Do not use spray adhesives!

Press and roll your glue coated candle in the sand.

Repeat!...Get a nice heavy coat of sand on your candle.

Let it set for about 5 - 10 minutes. It will be tacky and set, but not thoroughly dry. If it becomes too dry, it is hard to pull the tape and get a crisp line.

Carefully, pick up the candle and hold upside down.

Carefully, pull the tape off, with a downward and on the diagonal, motion.

Now your candle needs to set and dry for at least 1 - 2 hours.

So, here is your candle with the sand glued onto its base, all set and dried. It is now ready to be sealed. Give it a gentle little tap for luck and loose sand.

Here we have the Polycrylic, nylon brush, and prepared candle.

Gently, "dab-paint" the sealer onto the dried sand. Once coated, you can take your brush and go around the candle, gently wiping off the excess. Place your sealed, still wet candle down on wax paper. I like to let it set about an hour, pick the candle up, gently wipe excess off the bottom of the candle (being careful not to pull off any of the bottom rim of sand) and place it back down on a clean piece of wax paper to completely dry, for several hours or overnight.

On this dried and sealed candle, I have chosen the 3-ply jute for my rim-of-sand decoration. Here, I am measuring a doubled strand, before cutting.

While my glue gun heats up, with the loop on one side, and the ends of the doubled strand on the other, I twirl it into a rope!

Starting with the cut ends, carefully glue your jute roping down and around the rim-of-sand, ending with, and slightly overlapping, the loop onto the starting point.

Pick your shell and coat the underside with the hot glue, (please don't burn your fingers) making sure the parts of the shell that touch the rope and candle have enough glue to secure the shell to your lovely sand candle. WONDERFUL!

If you've chosen the waxed raffia. Take a measured piece of a thicker strand of raffia, and carefully/evenly, glue it around the rim-of-sand.

Gather a few more strands of the waxed raffia, (long enough to tie an attractive bow with sufficient ends) tie the bow and attach your shell with hot glue! (Wow! You just made another one!)

Great Job!

Here we have one all a-glow...But wait! You've got it!...It's one of those delightful battery operated candles that last and last! And, if you do this project with children, like I may be doing this week, this would be the kind to use. It's no fun having a candle in your room with the danger of fire. All they do is flick the switch and light it up! (Just like their proud little faces!)

Think Mother's Day and Summer! These will be a big hit!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cha-Cha, Cha-Cha, Cha-Cha...Changes...

A fond "Hello", to all of you out there!

This is just a short note, yet one of big recognition and thanks to my friend, CAPE COD RAMBLING ROSE, for coming into my shop and meeting with me in person. (We live and work in the same town...Can you believe it?). Anyway, not only was this woman warm and welcoming, she gave me an EXPLOSION of blogging tips! I am still in awe!...(Kind of like seeing the Fourth of July fireworks for the first time!) As the result, I have changed many things about my blog presentation...(Never in a million years did I think I could have done anything like this.)

Meanwhile, I've been busy preparing my next post which, I am excited to say, will be my first tutorial for all of you! (Guess you'll just have to wait and see what the surprise project will be!)

So, while you're at the edge of your seats, might I suggest that you check out my friend, CAPE COD RAMBLING ROSE...I think it will "tickle" your "shabby" fancy!

Many Smiles to you, Pieces of Dreams!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Full Swing of Spring

A few days ago, my fingers fumbled with a key that I eventually pressed into the door knob of my neglected Brewster shop. Upon entering, an overwhelming vision hit me in the face! Picture this…a dwelling owned by someone, who for some reason, was not able to keep up with things and suddenly had to leave the place abandoned. So, I stepped through the door and experienced a stale, winter and Christmas holiday flashback. Not only that, due to the closing of the now deceased, “Karen’s Garden Cottage Antiques”, formerly located in Chatham, there had been one of Wayne’s famous “drive-by dumpings” of stocked inventory. All this was accented with such a film of cobwebs and dust, that anyone would be inspired to whisk their finger threw it, and ponder the collection of residue. So, where on earth, does one begin?

With some help from two very kind people, we waded through the confusing maze, cleaning, unpacking, sorting and repacking. For the time being, it’s necessary to close off the back bedroom display area and use it for storage. So, I was really having difficulty with my visions for display. Everyday, I would come home feeling frustrated. Happily, by the end of this past week, the interior of the shop started to “sing spring”!

The following pictures show the “rebirth” of my original, Karen’s Garden Cottage Antiques, located in Brewster. (Kind of like the very meaning of spring!) Thankfully, we have made a great deal of progress, during the past few days. The Brewster shop now has the new and improved sign, originally designed for Chatham. In addition, my wonderful Wayne created the most charming little picket fence, surrounding the base of the sign. Even though we haven’t gotten the flowers into place yet, it cheers me up just to look at it!

Today is another beautiful, sunny day on Cape Cod. And, to all of us living here year ‘round, an increased traffic flow is obvious. Yes! The “snow birds” are returning to their Cape Cod nests, bringing activity and hopefully, business amongst the spring blooms! It’s time for the shop to be “OPEN”! To all who ride by, my new flag will wave, “Hello! Come on in!” And, as my sign swings gently in the fresh sea breeze, I too, find myself in “The Full Swing of Spring!" Happy springtime wishes to you all!

Pieces of Dreams

Wayne hit on some great new pieces of wicker to display outside...He says, "Bring those customers in!"

Walking into the livingroom area.

The shop's nice and full with cheery spring colors.

Perky pinks and lovely florals dance upon delicate dishes.

About a week ago, this vignette was still wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Lot's of great new finds from treasure hunting this week. We found the Nippon dish one place, and the vase in another...They look so pretty together!

Around the corner, into the next room, the vignettes and colors change. This is called, "making the best out of what you have".

Something new for this season...A classic antique pine dresser and one drawer stand. They've been sanded, primed and painted this "beachy" aqua and then "shabbied off" to the white primer and wood. The glass knobs really do the trick! This project was a lot of fun to do because the "shabbying off" turned out so interesting. (It doesn't always work that way!)

Close up!

Vintage wicker vignette.

Hand painted rose chest.
The tecnique for painting this little chest is called, "dry brushing". It gives a nice weathered, yet clean look.

Hand painted rose wreath table...There are those stripes again!

Pink and white stripe little vanity. This was dark and boring when we got it...Now it has a new charm!

Here we go into the next room.

Hand painted English pine mixed with vintage wicker...Interesting mix, don't you think?

More views of this room.

I dry brushed these stripes onto the back portion of this
corner cabinet. I think the stripes really enhance anything that gets displayed in it.

Close up of a pink and yellow mix of treasures.

Continuing into the hallway...

Little hallway display. I'm looking forward to once again, going beyond the door to display a bedroom. But for now, this works and we can be open!

In conclusion, this is a close up of an oil painting of the cottage. A local artist (who has other works displayed in my shop) came over to the shop, set up under the arbor, and painted this lovely landscape scene!