I love scented candles and I think it’s safe to say I’ve got an unhealthy addiction to these and reed diffusers. They make my home smell amazing and different scents remind me of certain things or times spent with people.
A beautiful daffodil scented candle reminds me of a wine evening spent with my sister Zoe. It was summer and we’d just bought a new patio set so Zoe and I sat in the garden and enjoyed it (and a few glasses of wine). This was until Zoe smelt the rain – obviously a special talent on her behalf, and I insisted on folding all the furniture up and taking it inside just before a thunderous downpour. In my defense, it was new and I couldn’t leave it to get wet for the first time!
Another sandalwood and amber candle brings back memories of the first Christmas we celebrated in our house. Ed and I spent the whole Christmas together – something we hadn’t done in our 8 years as a couple! The candle was huge and an early present to myself (well why not) and it lasted throughout the whole festive season.
It would be nice to think that someone is reminded of something when they burn one of my candles.
So what scent to use in my new teacup candles? A recent present from Ed sorted this problem out, a gorgeous orchid with a delicate but sweet perfume. I moved Bumbleblue into the kitchen to start creating the candles…
I think the secret to making candles (and I’m by no means an expert) is ‘slowly does it’. Adding the wax slowly and in parts seems to create a more even candle in the end but this obviously requires a little patience! While the wax cooled, I got on with painting the wooden heart tags to add a touch of colour to the cups.
Tied together with string the teacups are finished off with a brown label and a little hand painted wooden heart tag. This turns them into a proper present and a great gift for someone who is as crazy about candles as I am!
My hand painted keyrings always seem to go down very well whether it’s in one of my online shops, my website or at a craft event. When I’m preparing for a show, I usually pack as many as I can make because they just fly out!
They were one of the first ideas I had for a product when I started working with wood, and I still make them pretty much the same way. As the old saying goes ‘…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…’
Each keyring starts life as a disc of fine quality birch wood. My fabulous Dad then has the fiddly job of drilling a hole through each one and like a true professional he never moans, even when I turn up with 30+ little circles!
Each one is painted with a few coats of Farrow and Ball and is slightly sanded down giving it a lovely smooth surface with distressed edges. The letters are painted on by hand with a very small paint brush. As time consuming as this is I find it quite therapeutic, even though I tend to go a bit cross-eyed after the first 10 or so.
A little bit of string tied in a bow holds onto the keyring and adds the perfect shabby chic finishing touch. So there you go – it may only be a little thing, but I put alot of care into the making of every Bumbleblue keyring and I hope that anyone who buys one is happy with their new purchase.
It’s great to hear that after giving someone a present, but it takes some work. I’m not someone who can buy a present in a hurry – it’s got to be just right, and if it’s been uniquely hand made just for one person, even better!
Online market places are great to shop and seek out those specially made products. I have shops on a few selling my wares and it’s a selling point to be able to say everything is hand crafted for each individual customer.
A new venture in this field is a fantastic new website ‘What I Always Wanted’. It all started with two friends Ann Ellison and Deborah Bancroft, who started a mission to showcase ‘…the work of creative and innovative British gift and homeware designers…’
I first spoke to Deborah a few months ago when I received an email from her telling me about a new website to sell hand made products. I’m always intrigued when it comes to new selling platforms and the enthusiasm of these two was infectious! They have created a clean and fresh backdrop for the most gorgeous products (including mine!) All the individual designers are introduced so customers know who they’re buying from. Shopping online can be a very ‘robotic’ process, so I love this personal touch. You can browse products by category or by designer if you like the work of someone specific.
With Facebook and Twitter accounts and a blog which regularly features the sites sellers, What I Always Wanted is constantly promoting themselves and with that, us.
If you haven’t already found them, I would really recommend paying them a visit especially if you love browsing through carefully designed and lovingly created products. You’re sure to be spoilt for choice!