Monday, March 22, 2010

Earth Hour candle-lit dinner

Earth Hour has been held annually since 2007, when it began in Sydney. The following year other cities, including Christchurch joined in, to help raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour 2010 will take place on the 27th March from 8:30pm - 9:30pm, wherever you are in the world. Participants are asked to switch of their lights, and other non-essential appliances for one hour.
One way to join in is to have a candle-lit dinner. These hand-tipped tapers made from recycled convent candles are great for the dinner table. They don't smoke or drip, are fragrance free, and fit into most standard candle holders and candlebras. I have used some modern ceramic holders from nood. They would also look stunning in an antique candle holder.
My range of recycled wax candles also includes floating citronella candles, and recycled tealights. I am also working on a range of soy container candles, but unfortunately I can't guarantee they will be ready by Saturday.

Thanks for all the encouragement received in response to my last post. It's lovely to see how supportive the crafting community is. I'm slowly getting myself sorted into the swing of things, you should start to see some new products soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Taking the plunge

White Water Rafting at KiwiWise
After the events of the last few weeks, I think it's time to bring out some cliches and metaphors. I know how much everyone loves them! Anyone who knows me well, will know that the mere thought of jumping into water fills me with a little fear. Which I think makes the title of this post an apt metaphor for my story today.

After being made redundant a few weeks ago, I have kept thinking how this could be the perfect opportunity to work for myself. I often think how if I had more time, I can do more of the things I've been wanting to do for my craft business. However it seemed that the sensible thing to do was apply for a new job, so I did that a couple of times, but my heart wasn't really in it. So I began to think of ways to make self employment work. I could do freelance graphic design work as well as the crafts, and maybe take on temp work while I built something up.

I'd been given the opportunity to meet with a lifecoach, which I took, because I needed someone to give me that final push. You could sum up the whole entire session with two words – 'do it!' She said the best thing to do was to focus all my energy towards it, as that was the best way to get the momentum going, and not worry about applying for jobs or doing temp work. So this week I have begun thinking of myself as self-employed, and looking for opportunities to make it happen. It's a bit scary to not have the security of a salary – though that had already gone, so probably not something to worry about too much. It's also really exciting, as this could go in any direction. As the cliche goes, when one door closes, another opens. I have been busy looking for new ones to open, and have found a few already.

As a footnote, here is another story. When I was a teenager, I went on a rafting trip on the Buller river. After we'd been paddling down the river a while, and negotiated Ariki falls, we stopped next to a small cliff face (2-3 metres above the water). Everyone except for me scrambled up the side of the bank, and jumped into the water. I was encouraged to give it a try, but I was rather scared, as I couldn't swim. It was pointed out to me that I was wearing a wetsuit and lifejacket, so that wasn't a problem. I finally plucked up the courage to climb up the bank and jump off the cliff, and it was awesome, I loved it. I went to go back for another try, but it was time to move on, I'd sat there worrying about it too long.

The moral of the story? You dont know if you don't try. I hope you're feeling inspired, because I most certainly am. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Teacups and Bicycles

An odd combination, I know! I promise I won't try to combine the two, as that will most likely result in some broken china, and maybe a few tears. I went up to Nelson for the weekend, and come back with an interesting haul.

Twelve teacups, sourced from secondhand shops and a kind relative. Once I get some soy wax, I will make these into teacup candles. So if you see any that you absolutely love, and must have, let me know and I'll put it aside for you.

I also brought back this antique silver plated candle holder that my grandmother gave to me when I was a teenager. It needs a good clean, but I think it will look great with some of my hand-dipped beeswax candles in it.

I also picked up a folding Raleigh 20 bike that was just hanging about, waiting for a new owner underneath my parents house. There are a few bikes there, most of which my brothers had raided for parts during their unicycle building/riding phase. This one was the most intact, it was only missing a seat and brake cable. So after a trip to a bike shop and Kmart for a new seat, cable, tyres and a basket, I'll be all set! It's other appealling feature was that it was much easier to fit in my car than one of the larger bikes. It's also blue, so it matches my car, other bike and my helmet! I won't post up pictures yet until it's all ready to go, as it is caked in mud and has a wheel removed so isn't very photogenic at the moment.

In other news, I was made redundant from my job last week (I probably need to update my profile now!) The plus side is I will have more time to spend on my crafts. The downside is that it probably won't be able to pay all the bills for a while. So I'll try to spend a bit more time on it while I search for a new day job.