[The Launchpad] Bouncy Kitty Creations

Over the past year, when I thought I was combating my quarter life crisis it turns out what I was actually doing was fortifying new hobbies and forging stellar new paths for myself. Between creating infused olive oils, repurposing and creating one of a kind jewelry and as of late – chromotherapy based soy candles – I’ve truly found a DIY niche (or three…)that I’m obsessed with.  What better way to acknowledge an obsession than by sharing it with the world; right? So, boom – over the past month I’ve been putting in some extra crafting effort and finally opened up a little boutique on ETSY; though it’s not much – it’s certainly a start!

What takes something from a hobby to more than that? For me, it’s that little twinkle that starts when I’m wrist deep in craft glue or can’t tell what color your hands were at the start of the day; for others, it’s that little bit of extra change lying around in their pocket.  Honestly, it takes a lot of trying a lot of things – and failing at a certain number of them, too –  to determine what you’re willing to work at, what you’re determined to get better at and what our overall passions in our adult lives.

As children, our parents were constantly cycling through new adventures to see what would stick – for me, there was jazz dance, basketball and a variety of other sports, music (the flute, choir, theater and music history), cribbage (look it up, it’s awesome), beading and making jewelry, student council, crocheting; you name it, I got my hands on it.  But if it weren’t for my parents, who knows how long it would’ve taken for me to hone in on some ridiculously idiosyncratic skills. A well paying job could in no way supplement how beyond happy I am that in my spare time I write, craft, DIY, practice light poi, learn coding and as of late, I’m even learning how to hoop! But, I digress; back to the main point for today: Bouncy Kitty Creations!

MADE TO ORDER: Total Chakra Alignment  || Handmade Soy Wax Chromotherapy Candle || 16oz Jelly Jar

My ETSY shop is on and poppin’ – I don’t have my full range of candles yet, but I want to test the waters and see which ones are getting some love; and then build from there.  Right now, there’s a great assortment of ‘Total Chakra Therapy’ candles – which are my personal favorites; plus a few larger holiday fragrances and mini sparkle and mini disco candles, not gonna lie – those are all sorts of adorable.  Want more? Head to the shop – use the code BOUNCYKITTYLOVE to rep the blog spot and get a whopping 35% off. Yeah, you read that right – who loves ya? 😉

MADE TO ORDER: Mini Disco Candle || Handmade Soy Wax Chromotherapy Candle || 4oz Jelly Jar

Cinnamon Chai || Homemade Scented Soy Candles || 11.5 oz Jar

[Make Your Own] Soy Wax Candles

Final Product: Lavender Pearberry Soy Wax Candle

“A thousand candles can be lighted from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

 Somewhere between the warm, inviting aromas and the twinkles of light that haphazardly stretch across the room – I’ve fallen in love with candles of all sizes, shapes, colors and scents.  Being a natural pack-rat, I kept most of the empty glassware and converted them into useful, household items like storage for makeup brushes or loose granola or rice from the market.  A few months ago when the Holiday Season was hot on our tails, I got my D-I-Y on and turned some of the empty mason jars into sparkling candles to use with tea lights and I absolutely loved the effect it had on the ambiance of my apartment.  The other week as I was deep in the throws of another internet binge I had another ah-ha! moment for the mason jars.  Instead of using them to house candles, I could literally reuse old glass containers for new candles with handpicked aromas and unique colors; genius!

If you’re like me and you’re a candle fanatic that’s willing to spend over $10 for a gloriously scented Yankee candle.  From Cupcake to Pumpkin, Fresh Rain to Clean Laundry – I swear there’s a candle scent for literally everyone on this planet.  But then I got to thinking, why keep spending an absorbatent amount of money when I could simply make them myself from the old glassware! The great thing about homemade candles is that they make excellent giftables – from stocking stuffers to birthday presents right on down to personalized bridal shower favors; you name it, there’s a great occasion for candles.  And, to boot – it’s an incredibly fun, inexpensive hobby – especially if you have a healthy collection of reusable glassware that you don’t feel like drinking out of.  If not, pop your head into a flea market or vintage store and hunt through their glassware – old glass comes in beautifully opaque colors and all shapes and sizes, perfect for custom candles!

Candle Making Starter Kit from Country Lane

There are many ways to compile a complete candle-making set; my preferred method for most things employs the GTS attitude.  So, after some searching I found a few websites for the individual pieces that go into candle making (e.g. a wick, the metal clips that attach to the bottom of your container, soy wax, color chips  and fragrances).  Hands down, my favorite site to use is  Candle Science – they have any and everything you need to DIY your own candles, including a vast array of delicious scents; finally, aromas like Pumpkin Spice and Candy Cane can be within reach even during Summer!  Or, if you want to go down a little easier path for your first time to make sure you get the essentials,  hunt for a great starter package like this one I found on Amazon from Country Lane.

Soundtrack

Because I’ll be repurposing old objects tonight, I thought getting some Do Lab into my life would be an excellent move; they always inspire me to achieve greater, do more and become the best version of myself – which, with a stellar soundtrack, is more than possible.

So necessary: Pearberry Fragrance Oil + Reusable Glassware I’ve Been Collecting

Purple, Brown, Yellow, Cinnamon Red, Blue, Christmas Green – you name it, you can color it!

Supplies

– 5 Lbs of Soy Wax Flakes (they go fast!)

-Metal Pouring Pot or Coffee Canister

Wicks with metal bottom (individually or as a set)

Mason Jars or Reusable Glassware

-30 ml Candle Fragrance

Double Boiler System

Stirring stick or spoon

Color Dye Chips (Optional and Awesome)

Wick Stickum to set the wicks to the bottom of the glassware (Optional and Awesome)

Candle Thermometer (Optional and Awesome)

20140226-224923.jpg

Pre-Tabbed Candle Wicks – uber recommend

My Ghetto-Rig Double Boiler; hey, it works!

Instructions

-Last night, I got to try something new as I set up the double boiler system in my kitchen – but it’s easy as pie and such a good trick: take your large saucepan and fill it with water and set it on the stove; fill your metal can or pouring pot with a few pounds of wax flakes and turn the dial to medium heat. 

-A watched pot never boils, but watched soy wax melts pretty quick so make sure you have your stirring spoon handy.  Before you move on, you’ll want to have all the wax melted and at about 185°

-To add color, wait until the wax has completely melted then add one or two dye chips depending on how rich you prefer your color

-When was is all melted and at the appropriate temperature, add 4mL of fragrance and take off of double boiler – the fragrance will burn off it you heat it! 

Soy Wax as it melts and blends with the Lavender Dye Chip

– To ensure that the soy wax fills the glassware completely, submerge the glass for a minute or two in hot water and bring the temperature closer to that of the wax

– Get your wick out and attach it to the bottom of your glassware

– Once the wax has reached 125°, slowly pour into desired glass and let cool overnight

My first homemade candle!

[Make Your Own] Sparkling Mason Jar Candles

I remember back in the day when Pinterest first came out – for a while, I was confused how it was different than Tumblr and I put off getting an account.  But, over time – and the occasional peak at some kickass pin boards – I discovered that Pinterest was the perfect list-making tool for those out there like myself who enjoy being visually stimulated.  As with any new social media tool, the first thing I did was sit there with my new digital moniker in hand, stare at the computer screen and mumble to myself “Now what?!”  What I really should have said was – Now, what do I share?

You can compile pin boards on literally anything and everything under the sun like new recipes, fun nail polish colors, potential breeds for your future puppy, dream vacation spots, wardrobe upgrades, etc, etc – Maybe you’re beyond single but you love the idea of planning your dream wedding?  You can create a pinboard for that.  Or, let’s say you want to travel to Europe for a 20 day backpacking trip – you can save everything from destination photo spots, ideas for brunch, youth hostels, things to pack and books to read before you go into a pinboard.   I’m sure you get the picture – they’re as creative, whimsical or as literal as you feel like and have definitely become one of my online guilty pleasures.  Hands down, my favorite board to maintain is my DIY craft board because there’s nothing quite as rewarding as hand crafting a gift – whether its for family, friends, a stranger, your pets or yourself.

One of the more hilarious things about Pinterest is the perceived high arts + crafts skill levels of the people posting.  For example, last year around Cinco de Mayo a blog I follow posted an awesomely daunting baking post about whipping up some Pinata Cookies.  They were rainbow, donkey shaped cookies filled with M&M minis…..so, naturally, I had to try it – right?  Well, suffice it to say that didn’t go so well.  At one point I had a picture, but I quickly deleted it in humiliation….after texting it to three of my friends so at least someone could get a good laugh out of it. Thankfully, there’s a website – Pinterest Fails – entirely devoted to people like me who have failed at Pinterest inspired arts, crafts or cooking adventure and lived to tell about it.  And yeah, even though that round of Donkey cookies ended up being a total bust – I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy finding new opportunities and ideas, otherwise known as “Pins” to their online community, to conquer.

Time to repurpose!

Time to repurpose!

One of the things I’ve learned my years of beading and crafting is that you need to learn how to work with the world around you – there are ample resources at your fingertips if you simply open your eyes and look.   Maybe you’re a wino in training – save the bottles and you could convert them into a menagerie of things: vases, candle holders or an essential oil diffuser; save the wine corks and you could create a pinboard, coffee table top or incense holder.  The opportunities for recycling and re purposing materials are endless if we just take a chance on our intuition and creative powers!  One thing that I’ve been compiling en masse lately are large mason jars – from pickles to pasta sauce and back down to large candles – I had a whole host of unused glass around the house.  I promised myself that eventually, I’d find a use for all of them – so I converted a few into change holders so I could keep track of quarters for the laundry, then another three into containers for my makeup brushes, eyeliner and mascara so I could keep them organized.  Well, that was a while ago and I was thirsty for a new project – after a few hours online, I had it all figured out; and quite frankly, was a little dumbfounded I didn’t get the idea on my own.  One thing that old mason jars – especially the candle holders – do exceptionally well….is (drumroll please) holding candles; tealight candles to be precise.  Per usual, I improvised from both the instructions and equipment in the original post because I’m a badass that abides by my own rules…plus, I trust the supplies I’ve acquired over time.  The end result? The perfect holiday decoration! The mason jars transform into awesome orbs with a glittery glow that you can place all around the house for some holiday flare. Now let’s get crafty!

The View From The Top

The View From The Top

Glitter + Glue - the essentials


Glitter + Glue – the essentials

Supplies:

  • Mason Jars [Pro Tip] – Next time you burn through a candle, keep the surrounding glass casing so you can reuse it!
  • Glitter: Silver, Gold, Irridescent, Multicolored….you get it, just make sure it’s sparkly and shit.
  • Craft Glue and small Brush[Pro Tip] I recommend Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage ‘Glue + Sealer Brush Applicator’ because (a) its amazing and (b) the little applicator brush is perfect for this task
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scissors
  • Tealight Candles
  • Ribbon

 

Swear By It: Martha Stewart Crafts Glue with Brush Applicator

Swear By It: Martha Stewart Crafts Glue with Brush Applicator

Get your scissors and ribbons ready

Get your scissors and ribbons ready

Aluminum Foil and my trusty Hole Punches

Aluminum Foil and my trusty Hole Punches

Tools

  • Scissors –> Next Level CraftyShaped Hole Punchers

Instructions – Time: 15-30  minutes depending on how anal much of a perfectionist you are

  • If you’re reusing an old candle – handwash the glass candle holder to remove the outside label and leftover wax, then dry before next step
  • Use a small applicator brush to cover the inside of the glass in a layer of glue (but not the bottom!)
  • Dump a sizable amount of glitter into the glass and tumble it around until evenly distributed
  • Wait about 5 minutes to see where the glitter dries – retouch if necessary.
  • Cut a section of aluminum foil to fit around the top
  • Choose one of two adventures:
  • (a) Get your 1st grader snowflake making skills on: Bend the foil twice and cut a few geometric shapes – voila, snowflake!
  • (b) If you’re a next level ninja and have shaped hole punches, bend that foil and then let the foil have it
  • Light a tealight, light it and place it in the candle holder
  • Put your patterned aluminum foil on top and tie the foil down to the holder with a section of ribbon
  • Voila, you’ve successfully started your army of sparkly candle holders!
The Final Product

The Final Product