Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Imbolc.


Today the boys had a friend over for some Imbolc crafting. We made orange skin beeswax candles, painted terra cotta pots and planted crocus bulbs, baked sugar cookies that the boys rolled in golden sunny sugar, and celebrated the returning sun.
"Fire and purification are an important aspect of Imbolc (St. Brigid's Day). The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months."
Tonight we will have dinner by candlelight, burning our sun shaped orange citrus globes to light our way into the coming spring, read some poems, and have a cozy evening at home.


It is easy to make orange skin beeswax candles. Our friend brought the oranges - the tops cut in a zig zag pattern, and then all the fruit center removed (yum), leaving a perfect shell for the beeswax.

I melted beeswax in a double boiler we use just for candle making.

We then put 2/0 cotton wick into a wick holder, and pinched it closed with pliers. I dipped the wick into the melting beeswax to coat, and dripped a bit of beeswax into the orange to secure the bottom wick tab in place. We then wrapped the wick around a chopstick balanced on top of the orange...to hold the wick straight.


Once the wax was melted, we chatted with the boys about wax safety, and then with me holding their hand over the handle and guiding the pot, we poured the cooling beeswax slowly into the oranges. We left just under an inch of space of headroom at the top of the peel. We let the candles sit to harden/dry. When they are hard, we unrolled the wick, and trimmed it down to 1/4 - 1/2".


The candle is ready to burn - the orange ball is so sunny and inviting and the smell of beeswax is amazing. We will burn these tonight, and continue to use the candles until the peel is no longer fresh, and will then peel it off and use the candles in a heat safe dish or canning jar until they are done!


Happy Imbolc to all of you...to the return of the sun!

32 comments:

Lane.like.the.Street said...

Hey, just wanted to say hello! I'm a mom living just north of Milwaukee and I check you out from time to time, I like to catch up with you guys every once in awhile!

ladybug-zen said...

oh wow! Denise, that candle is amazing! the whole day sounds fantastic.
Happy Imbolc, indeed.

Sam said...

Your orange candles look wonderful. I've never tried candlemaking - I shall add it to my list of things to try!
Happy Imbolc :-)

Eluciq said...

oh i wish i was with you today...this looks like a lovely way to spend a monday...i can pretend i can smell those yummy candles!

happy Imbolc Day! It is looking like a happy day filled with spring and light!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

What beautiful way to bring a little light to your holiday celebration.

Stephanie said...

I love the candles.
I also love that you planted bulbs!

Happy Imbolc!

Did the pot on your stove just make you so happy?
I burned today, tomorrow I'll boil. :)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is SO cool! I've never seen this before, what a fabulous idea! I'll be linking to this post, what a fantastic project!

denise said...

Thanks everyone! It was fun - and tonight as we let the candles burn awhile, the smell of beeswax mixed with the orange oils in the peel and smelled AMAZING!

stephanie - ohhhhh, yes. I simmered that pot'o'spices/herbs/oil all day. Mmmm. :)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Mmmmm! I can smell the orangy scent of the candle burning in the orange globe!

Happy hello to the return of the sun!

Sara said...

What a nice way to celebrate. Love the candle. Happy Imbolc.

Lizz said...

I too had written something similar about today and see others in blogland as well. Neat.

Lovely lights!

so NOT cool said...

I know, I know ... I keep grasping winter, but I'm trying. I've been going through my seed catalogs and picking out heirloom tomatoes.

Happy Imbolc!

La casa nella prateria said...

Lovely! And the candles are beautiful!

Sarah said...

Love, love the candles. I'm going to stick that on my list for next year! They are much prettier than snow candles :)

Tara said...

Orange candles are amazing!

Happy Imbolc to you and yours as well!

P.S. I'm adoring your new header photo :0)

Amy Bradstreet said...

Blessed Imbolc, Denise! It looks like you had a meaningful day and evening. The beeswax in oranges is just beautiful. Great idea.

LisaZ said...

What a great idea! We made candles yesterday, too, but not orange rind candles. We'll try that soon!

Anet said...

Delightful! I can just imagine the smell of the bee's wax and the orange, mmm...
Happy Imbolic!!!

Lisa said...

We made candles too yesterday! We made ice candles, I posted it if you want to see it. I love the candles in the orange peels...beautiful! Happy Imbolc!

Dawn said...

The return of the sun is most definitely something to celebrate. Those orange peel candles are so pretty.

Dawn said...

And the same to you~

Orange ans lemon rind are two of my favorite scents...the candles are fantastic!

:)

Stephanie said...

beautiful. thanks for such a good idea. :)

Laura @ Our House Of Joyful Noise said...

Hi Denise!!
I visit your blog here every week or so, and always enjoy it, but I don't believe I have ever commented. Since I have complained about non-commenters, I decided I shouldn't be one myself, ever. SO HELLO!! I do love visiting your blog, and seeing all of the wonderful things you create with your boys. I am really loving those orange candles, and the way you all grow stuff always inspires me. BUT...I need to visit here more often, because we haven't grown much yet! I feel like I don't know enough to even grow a vegetable.lol We've been creative in many other ways though!
I'll be back, and will try to comment more now. : ) Happy blogging!

Annie said...

Holy craft day. Go hard or go home, eh? Looks like so much fun. I love those candles. Very pretty.

Pampered Mom said...

What a neat candle idea! It never ceases to amaze me how many things you can do with beeswax!

Chic Cookies said...

I love this! and great photography. I posted on this project for my edible crafts column at craftgossip.com. (You can see the post at ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com)
thanks for sharing! meaghan

Banuca said...

Great... Nature crafts... I liked it :)

Leslie @ Crunchy Betty said...

I ended up here via Pinterest, and I just have to say - LOVE this idea. Love it so much it hurts. Thank you for sharing, and I cannot WAIT to try it!

Make handmade said...

So cute ideas for parties. i like it very much. thanks

CeeJayRose - Little Bits of Everything said...

That is so neat! I'm going to have to do that soon. Currently I'm saving orange peels to make enzyme cleaner though. This will be next.

Anonymous said...

This blog was amazing. I would have never thought of doing these things as a way to celebrate Imbolc. You make them sound so incredibly easy! I love your orange skin candles. What a amazing way to pay homage to the Sabbat together as a family. Happy Imbolc.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing idea! I have a lot of old candles that can't be burned anymore cause they are too small so I will melt them all and create new candles with the melted waxes! I now have some thing to put my new candles in!
-Microbe CF