Leftover Paint

IMG_4581Leftover Paint – Acrylic on Canvas –  40x50cm (approx. 16×19.5 inches)

I know I talked about using leftover paint many times.  I think this is one of the first paintings I have created using leftover paint.  I thought I might have posted a photo or did a blog post about it, but I couldn’t find anything to give you a before photo.  Anyway, I painted this many years ago and it has been sitting on a dresser, unfinished and unvarnished.  I am not even sure if this canvas had an unsuccessful painting on it before I started slapping the paint on.  As you can see, there is a lot of texture on the canvas as I must have prepped it with some sort of texture paste beforehand.

I remember just using the leftover paint that I had and then adding more and more until I got the painting above.  It isn’t supposed to be anything.  I just really liked the colors and how they went together.  As I said, this painting was just lying around and I decided to finish it off.  Since I first made the painting, I have acquired more products and learned more techniques.  So, after painting the sides a deep turquoise, I used glazing liquid and fluid paint to jazz the colors up a bit.

I also gave it an isolation coat and a final coat of varnish which makes it nice and shiny.  Here is where it lives now.

IMG_4606 (1)Technically, this is the first painting of 2019! 🙂

 

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Making Candles From Leftover Wax

 

IMG_4564I love candles on the mantlepiece and is why I will most likely resist putting a TV here as long as I possibly can.  When they are all lit up, it makes the room very cozy, especially when the hubs has lit a fire.  And it smells good too!

I haven’t been making any art for quite a long time, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative, so I will tell you what I have been up to.  I have been cooking and trying out new recipes.  I have been moving furniture around.  I have been de-cluttering. I have been knitting.  I haven’t knitted for years and one of the ladies at work inspired me to take it up again.  I have knitted myself a hat (never done that before), scarf, and fingerless gloves.  I shall do a blog post on that soon.  I also made candles from leftover wax.

I had a few weeks off before Christmas and was really not in the mood to do any painting.  I was hooked on watching Kirsty’s Christmas and other craft inspired TV programmes.  So, I knitted myself some items all before Christmas.  It is amazing how quickly you can make something when you have the time!

So, lets talk only a little bit about candle making (because you can find out how to do it on the internet, like I did).  We were already saving leftover wax to melt down and dip pinecones into to make fire starters (hub’s idea), but I wanted to take that a step further.  Unless you can easily get to Ikea, purchasing pillar candles elsewhere is not cheap. I managed to buy a shedload the last time I was there.  But what do you do with the wax when the candle is finished (and there is a lot of wax!)? There is so much information on the internet and on you tube about how to make candles.  I watched loads.  I don’t want to sell them.  I just want to re-use the wax and re-use some of the nice glass containers that candles come in.  I am big into recycling.  I also scoured my kitchen and discovered a whole bunch of glass containers that I could re-use to make candles.  It is amazing what you can find in your house that  you could use to make a candle.  Jam jars make particularly pretty containers, especially the French ones.  All I had to purchase were wicks (there is a whole thing about the type of wicks that made my head spin) and I also bought some inexpensive aromatherapy oils to try (but not used yet).  A note on containers:  Make sure they are heatproof.  Most glass food jars are heatproof as the temperature to process food in them is quite high.  Teacups.  Make sure they have a saucer to go under them.  I have seen people use pretty cups and saucers to use as candles, but I wouldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t crack or get too hot at the bottom without a saucer underneath to protect your surface.

IMG_4562This is a collection of candlewax.  The pot is aluminum with lips for pouring.  I also have an aluminum jug (I thought I bought the large one, but no. Cheap Pyrex is just as good.) that I strain the wax into (old tea strainer) so the sand from my candle holders and other debris stays out of the new candle.  I have to say that the first time I did this I made a right old mess.  Thankfully I have a lovely retired husband who cleaned up all of the wax that I managed to get all over the backsplash.  I will never live that down.

I got all of my containers and glued in the wicks.  You really do need to do this first.  I had some bamboo skewers that I broke in half to wrap the wicks around to hold them in place.  I had traditional cotton string wicks and some fancy wooden ones that supposedly crackle when lit, all purchased off of E-bay.IMG_4566Here we have a small glazed bowl I never used (which I gave to a friend from work), some old candle jars, and some glass and ceramic containers that desserts came in.  (You can see some of the mess I made on the stove.)  I had saved the glass dessert containers to put votives in when outside (but never did), and I think that this is a better idea as I will really use them now.

Some of these came out really well and some came out very strange.  You see, wax can have a life of its own when it cools down and gets hard.  There was a fair amount of ‘tunneling’ (a wax term), so I just had to buy a heat gun (it will come in useful for other things) to melt the wax on the candle so it would look nice and burn evenly.  My friend liked her candle so much that she wants to buy others from me to give to friends as presents.  Now I have to think about what to charge her for recycled products! 🙂

I think it is worth recycling the wax if you use a lot of it, or give it to someone who you know is crafty if you don’t want to try it yourself.  My daughter made some scented candles with her boyfriend as part of a ‘date’ night and we were lucky to get one as a Christmas present.  According to Google, it takes 2-6 weeks for wax to biodegrade on a landfill site – but if it is buried, it could take years, so why not re-use it?  Here is another top tip (and a very cool one too):  you know those lovely jars that some candles come in (like Yankee Candles and other scented ones) – the jars are so nice, but how do you get the wax out?  Pour boiling water in the jar on top of the wax as high as you can and then just watch the wax melt and rise to the top.  It is what is used in lava lamps!  Once the water has cooled, you should have a hard disc of wax that you can pop out, and if you still have some wax left in the jar, just repeat the process.  So, what do you think?