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Archive for 'Candle'

Celebrating Candlemas

On February 2nd, we celebrate Candlemas,  also known as St. Brigit’s day or Imbolc-the midway marker between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
Candlemas is a celebration of light and transformation as we mark the sun’s growing strength. As the days grow longer we start to look forward to Spring and with this growing momentum, engage our own dreams, ideas and ambitions to bring them to fruition.

Candlemas has always been a special celebration in our family.
We celebrate the day as a time to start bringing all the thoughts and ideas that have come forward during the quiet, contemplative time of winter, into a period of germination. Just as the plants are starting to wake up underground; as the sap is starting to flow again through the trees;  the young animals are growing within their mothers, preparing to be born, so are our hopes and visions.

Becoming aware of Candlemas, many years ago, also led us to take a greater pause through the winter; to be sure and slow down and use that time for meditation and clear thinking, so that we are ready to grasp the strength of spring renewal and shoot forward towards our goals.

Each year we plant a Wish Garden, sometimes with close group of friends, some years as a community party, and some years, just as a family.  We usually dip candles in our own beeswax from our hives and prepare a planter filled with earth, through the day.

This evening, before we start our evening meal, we write out our wish for the year. When the boys were younger, they would draw a picture to represent their wishes.

We each dig a little hole in the pot, fold up our wishes and plant them deep within the hole, then cover the wish with a spring bulb or some seeds, and some more earth.

Then we plant our candle on top and light it, representing the returning sun warming the earth so the seeds can came forth and flourish. The wish garden sits in the middle of the table, alight, and we leave the candles burning in the planter, until they burn down completely. Then the planter stays in the kitchen where we can watch and wait and as our little plants start to sprout, coming into full growth 4-6 weeks later- for Spring Equinox.  A warm welcome to spring and it’s renewal.

  This has been a wonderful tradition to share with others….in some years we have made one large wish garden created by our community. One year we made a wish garden outdoors in a special spot on our new porperty- a way to connect to the earth with a sense of beginnings and renewals in that new place.

One of my favourite occasions was one Candlemas that we invited everyone we knew from our different social circles to come and join us. The house was full of children and conversation and laughter. We dipped candles, had a potluck meal,  and each family created their own wish garden to bring home with them.

Just before the end of the evening, all the gardens, alight,  were together in one room- a shared community wish, full of light and warmth. It was a sacred moment.

Here’s to family celebrations, beginnings, and giving our dreams room to flourish!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Feb 2, 2013 02:07 PM | 10 Comments

How to Make Beeswax Luminaries

Are you ready for a quick, simple, yet satisfying winter project? Last night I created beeswax luminaries, made by simply dipping water-filled balloons into heated beeswax. The light is warm and the luminaries smell subtly of sweet beeswax. And because you insert a votive or tea light you can reuse them indefinitely.

Ready to get started? You can find the tutorial here.


Rachel Wolf is a self-described “crafty-mama” and past contributor to Living Crafts Magazine. She writes the natural lifestyle and natural parenting blog Clean and is working on her first book for parents and children. Aside from crafting-of-all-kinds, Rachel spends her days homeschooling her two children and running her organic body care business, LuSa Organics.

Posted by Rachel Wolf on Jan 2, 2012 09:29 AM | No Comments

Tiny Treasures- Felt Painting Boards and Giveaway

Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”.  These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of  finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!


a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.

5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt.  A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method.  All felt will work for this though!

small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors

tiny twigs

wood glue

Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.

Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.

To make the wool tree painting:

First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…

This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.

Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.

Paint the branches on your tree.  Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs.  Add a few on each side and down the trunk.

We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger.  Drop them randomly onto the tree.

If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.

Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different.  Here are some ideas:

These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.

You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks, Frost Gnomes and  Pinecone Gnomes.


National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!

Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.


Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 11, 2011 09:47 PM | 397 Comments

A Winter Night Craft

This simple project is perfect for the days leading up to Christmas and also makes a great gift.  Instructions are easy:

cut stars from beeswax

cut star shapes from yellow or white beeswax sheets,

beeswax stars on candle

place on your candle and press lightly with your fingers.

The warmth of your hand will help the beeswax stick to any candle.

completed candle
You can use these beeswax stars on any other candle you have handy. They don’t have to be made of beeswax for this to work.

That’s it!  Scroll down for resources.

Stars on finished candle

Candlelit Heart

by Mary E. Linton

warm with your handsSomewhere across the winter world tonight

You will be hearing chimes that fill the air;

Christmas extends its all-enfolding light

Across the distance … something we can share.

You will be singing, just the same as I,

These familiar songs we know so well,

And you will see these same stars in your sky

And wish upon that brightest one that fell.

I shall remember you and trim my tree,

One shining star upon the topmost bough;

I will hang wreaths of faith that all may see –

Tonight I glimpse beyond the here and now.

And all the time that we must be apart

I keep a candle in my heart.



All you need is star shaped cutters. We used Kemper Tools Klay Kutters Star Set, which includes 5 different sizes and retails for $10.95. You can buy them from Prairie Craft online. If you know of any other stores that carry them please leave a comment on this post so we have more resources! The candle pillars are made by Living Crafts contributor Jan Schubert of Bee Happy Candles. The photos of the orange and walnut wotives you see on her home page are from the article she contributed in the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts! For this project, she dipped her natural beeswax pillars in dark blue beeswax, to give them a night sky effect. All you have to do is cut star shapes from yellow beeswax sheets (we used the Stockmar brand). We bought the single color box and the color used is 05 Lemon Yellow. In her article for the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts Jan teaches you how to make walnut and citrus votives. I used her walnut votives as floating candles for my holiday party along with flowers, and it was a real hit. Here’s a photo:

Floating Walnut Candles
Orange Walnut Candles

Living Crafts Winter 2009

I’d love to hear about other candle making and decorating ideas from your family!

Today’s Giveaway

We’re offering you a complete kit, with a box of the beeswax decorating sheets, a package of 5 star cutters, and 6 each blue pillar candles for a night of creative family crafting this holiday. This package is valued at $85. To enter, please leave a comment on this post by 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 19th. Comments close at that time, and the winner will be announced Monday, December 20th.



Update: The winner of the Giveaway is Danielle:  “A wonderful family craft for the holidays, thank you!”

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 17, 2010 12:09 PM | 178 Comments


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