Day 2 – To dye, or not to dye

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Day 2 of my coffee rehab is almost complete.  I’ve not been at all bothered by my lack of coffee today, although I did look at the machine when I was on my lunch in work.  I was good though.  I turned away and didn’t look back.  If I’m going to do the non-coffee, I’m going to do it properly.  Afterall…  I’m getting used to the taste of tea.

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If I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve never been a tea drinker.  Tea was just for the elderly…  Or for when I was ill:  But even I can’t deny that tea tastes so much better when served in a real china cup, and it makes you feel all posh.  Someone pass the cucumber sandwiches.

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Drinking tea out of a mug, like I have been doing, just isn’t the same.

I went to Asda (again) last night.  Wow.  Anyone would think that I had a bit of a thing for the place…

Anyway, I thought that I would have a quick look at the hair dyes, mainly to get a price on any ‘super bright’ ones that I could use to ‘dip dye’ my hair.  Last time I bought an auburn cherry coloured dye, which looked ok but not great, and I’ve always wanted to dip my hair again.

Normally, nothing catches my attention, and it’s just various blondes, reds and browns that line the shelves, however this must have been a sign.

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Excuse the nails.  I am in desperate need of a manicure.

These three caught my eye.  All three are semi-permanent, and according to the box, usually last between 8-12 washes.  Because of the colour of my hair, this would probably mean that it would last about 3 months in mine, until it gradually washes/fades away.

Shocking pink, raspberry and electric blue.  I liked the blue and the pink, although the more I starred at them, the more I wasn’t convinced.  The blue wasn’t enough of a statement, but the I thought the pink was too much.  Hence, I bit the biscuit (so to say), and I bought the raspberry.

Here’s the dye in action…

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It wasn’t until it was already on that I read the instructions…

You normally always apply a permanent dye to dry hair.  One of the differences between semi and full is that you’re supposed to apply a semi to damp hair.  Oops.

Anyway…  I think it would have only made a big difference if I was going to be having the dye all over.  As I was only having it ‘dipped’, or in this case ‘painted’, I didn’t think it would make much of a difference, and may even be more vibrant.

45 minutes later, I was out of the shower, and hair was wrapped up in a towel.  As with any big change, I was rather anxious as to what it had turned out like, but I was patient, and only dried my hair 20 minutes after having it wrapped up.

This morning I straightened my hair (hubby dearest did the back for me), and here’s the result:

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Not the best picture in the world, but it didn’t come out too badly, huh?

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I made teacup candles

On 28 July 2013, it will be my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.  I had planned one of their gifts many, many months in advance.  In fact, it was around May 2012 when I first got the idea…

The three of us were walking around St. H. town, when I thought of looking for something to upcycle.  I was diving in and out of charity shops, bought a few old beaded necklaces…  You know, so I could pull them apart and make other items of jewellery for my Treasures and Trinkets.  Anyway, as we were nearing the car park, there was one final charity shop that I had not yet checked.

I had a look around, and there they were, just sitting at the back of a shelf.  No one had taken an interest for quite some time, as there was a layer of dust on them.  There were two, fine bone china teacups and matching saucers.  Excellent condition.  They each had a rose on them, and said “Ruby Wedding” in a lovely font.

I immediately pointed them out to M.  “What do you think of these for my mum & dad?”  M asked what I would do with them…  I ummed, and ahhed, and I didn’t know.  I looked at the price sticker…  £1.50 for the set.  How could I not?  I mean, if I couldn’t think of anything to spruce them up, I would simply clean them and give them to my parents as they were.

Then I had an idea…  I bought a large “church” candle from Asda (£2).

Several months went by, and that brings us up to yesterday.  I asked M if he could remember where the teacups, and candle, were.  After an hour or so of searching every nook and cranny of the garage and house, M found everything.

So, here’s how I managed to make teacup candles, with no experience what-so-ever.

Items Required

Teacup

Candle(s)*

Large glass bowl

Large pan with water

Old chopstick (be aware – you will never be able to eat with this again)

Wooden skewer

Wooden toothpick

Scissors

Pure essential oil

Something to pour the wax (I  used an old measuring cup)

Method

1.  First of all, you need to make sure that the glass bowl can ‘sit’ on top of the pan.  When you have sorted that out, fill the pan with water.  The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water at all.  If it does, empty some water out.

2.  Chop up your candle, being very careful not to cut the wick.  You’ll need this for your teacup!

3.  Put the chopped up wax in the glass bowl.  Put the bowl on top of the pan of water, and heat on a medium-high temperature on your hob.

4.  Now it’s time to prep your teacup.  Place the wooden skewer over the top of the teacup.  Wrap the wick from the candle around the skewer a few times (don’t worry about the excess length – we’ll sort this out later), and position the wick straight down in to the teacup.  Make sure the wick is touching the bottom of the teacup, and ensure it looks to be (near enough) in the centre.  (I hope that bit all made sense!  Ha ha.)

5.  Straight back to your heating wax…  Use the old chopstick to gently circle the melting wax.  The trick I found here is not to let the wax boil.  As I said, I had a large “church” candle, that measured approx 5 inches tall, by 6 inches circumference.  It took about 25 minutes for this to completely melt.

6.  When your wax has completely liquidated, add 1/2 teaspoon of your pure essential oil, and stir for a further minute.  I chose lavender.

7.  Turn off the heat, and pour the liquid in to your prepared teacup.  Don’t worry if you knock the wick…  Luckily, it won’t set immediately, so you can reposition it.

8.  Put the bowl back on the pan.  Make sure the heat is off.

9.  Here’s the boring bit.  After about 30 minutes, the candle will have gained a “skin”.  You need to pierce the skin, using the wooden toothpick.  Don’t be afraid…  Push it in, nice and deep, somewhere near (but not touching) the wick.

10.  After a further 30 minutes, or so, you will need to pierce the “skin” again.  Choose the opposite side to pierce this time.

11.  That’s it.  Leave your candle to dry out overnight, and leave your leftover wax (still in the glass bowl over the pan of water) where it is.  You’ll need that again in the morning.

12.  *yawn*  After not sleeping, through sheer excitement because of your amazing talents on making a teacup candle, it’s time for the final part.

13.  You will find that your candle has “sunk” in the middle, around the wick.  Don’t worry if this has happened.  It just means that there was an air bubble that popped and settled after you pierced it last night.

14.  Reheat your wax – good job you left the equipment out, eh?

15.  Simply top up your candle with the melted wax.  Don’t get carried away here.  You shouldn’t be filling up the teacup, simply topping up the well that has appeared, with a little extra to cover the rest of the candle.

Ta-da!!!

If you’re planning on burning your newly made talent, don’t light it until at least 24 hours after you have completed the process.  That will give it time to settle (, and prepare itself for you melting it again!).

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