Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We go to monthly art classes at a local art museum. We have been going there for about 4 years now. I will never forget the first time we went. After the class was over and we were on our way home, my son said to me, “That was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyy boooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnng. Do we have to do that again?” Well, I thought about it and I decided we would try it one more time. So we went back again.

Every month Ms. Peggy picks out a certain part of the museum to check out. After a tour of the section of the museum that they are discussing that month, the kids all go back to the craft room and work on a project related to that section of the museum. One time it was the Native American section. For their craft, they created moccasins out of paper, beads, feathers, and suede lace. Another time they studied portraits. For their craft they each had a mirror set up in front of them and they painted a self-portrait. When they studied sculpture, they used wire and ribbon and cans to make a sculpture of their own. Each month they study a different aspect of the museum and then bring it to life in the craft room.

Like I said, we have been going to the Art Museum for about four years now. My son no longer talks about how boring it is. When I tell him it is an Art Museum Day, he gets all excited and wants to know what we are going to learn about that day. One day a couple of months ago he told me that he thinks he wants to be an artist. He said he can take his art supplies with him when he goes in to space. He can paint or draw the things he sees there. After all, one of his favorite artists is Neil Armstrong.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I love candles. I burn so many candles that my husband finally bought me a candle making kit. Since then I have made a batch of candles almost every week. I give candles for gifts. I sell candles online. I have sold candles at a few local craft fairs. I love to burn candles. But I wonder what it would be like if we had to burn candles. My son recently took a class called “No Electricity, No Problem”. They talked about what life was like back in the days before electricity. People used oil lamps in their homes and they used candles. They didn’t have the fancy oils that we have today. They used kerosene, which was pretty smelly. Today we can buy beautifully scented candles for our oil lamps. I have a lamp that belonged to my grandfather that is over 100 years old. Last spring when our power went out, we used it for light. It still works after all this time.

The candles they used were usually made of beeswax. Beeswax has a wonderful scent. You can almost smell the honey still in the wax. In the class that my son took, the kids all made hand dipped beeswax candles. The smell in the room was wonderful. They had a pot of hot wax at one end of the table and a pot of water at the other end. The kids formed a circle around the table. As they walked past the wax pot, they dipped their candles quickly in the hot wax. Then they walked around the table and dipped them in the water to help cool them a bit. You could tell when the wax level started to drop in the pot. The kids were not able to dip the candles as far into it. So their candles were more like very fat teardrops than like tapers. Nevertheless, everyone was so proud of his or her finished product.

They also made a tiny oil lamp. They had a small metal tealight candle cup. They twisted a piece of wire around so that it would stand up. Then they threaded a piece of wick through the wire. They sat this wire down inside the candle cup. The teacher said to fill the tiny cup with olive oil. She said this would burn for two hours. We have not burned ours yet.

Candles have changed so much since the days of dipping beeswax. The candles I make today are made out of soy wax. Soy is much more environmentally friendly than paraffin was is. And it burns cleaner and for longer periods of time. Well, I think it’s time to go make some more candles.