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Archive for October, 2011

We’re calling it straight… our Santa is fat.  Like he used to be when I was little.  This rotund little fella stands around 15cm tall and burns for around 15 hours – that’s a whole lot of Christmas celebrating.

Fat Santa

Fat Santa

Santa has requested that I not give out his girth measurements and I’m happy to adhere to that.

Get your jollies with Queen B’s Fat Santa.

Fat santa in packaging

Fat santa in packaging

Despite his gorgeous chunkiness and beeswax abundance, and the fact that he was hand-poured from a teapot of Sydney’s Northern Beaches using 100% pure Australian beeswax, we’ve managed to price him at a very fetching $29.95… or you can save almost $6 per candle by buying him right now.

‘To celebrate his launch, we’ve got 20% off Fat Santa until 11.59pm on 31st October 2011.

You can see all the candles we currently have available in our Christmas range on our website.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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I’ve recently set up a new business with a good friend, Bruce White OAM (got to love those initials)!

Bruce was the gem who set up the hive for me on my balcony, and as anyone who has read this blog would know, I am completely obsessed with my balcony bees!  So I got to thinking that more people needed to be able to have bees – not just for the joys of managing bees, but because more and more people have veggie patches in the city and that means we need more and more bees in the city for pollination (not to mention the parks and gardens).  By now you can work out where the business name – Bees In The City – came from!  Imaginative huh?!

Of course, I am an expert in running businesses that make no money (and Bruce is a bit of an expert at that too), so the challenge became a way of making the venture viable.  Hence the idea to do hives for restaurants and hotels.  We provide the hives and the management expertise and honey extraction equipment and services and they have the job and benefit of using their own honey in their restaurant or selling their own honey.

Anyway, I used DesignCrowd to run a logo design competition and would love your thoughts.  You can see the shortlist and case your vote here – http://www.designcrowd.com/vote/cast-your-vote-bees-in-the-city-new-logo.

Recently my candlemaker, who had never seen a beehive before (even though we have random scout bees scoping our premises daily), came to see my hive.  I love the sequence of photographs below which occurred in less than half an hour!

BEFORE realising how gentle bees really are

BEFORE realising how gentle bees really are

AFTER realising how gentle bees really are

AFTER realising how gentle bees really are

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It’s an entire suite of Nutcracker candles to light up your life this Christmas… these designs 6 months in the working.

We started with just a Prince…

Nutcracker King candle

Nutcracker King candle

but to be honest, he seemed kind of lonely.  So I thought he needed a little female interest and, of course, she needed to be a Queen.  Being an equal opportunity employer, we upgraded him to a King!  Here’s his better half…

Nutcracker Queen candle

Nutcracker Queen candle

If you can’t bear to see them apart, you can also get them as a pair

Nutcracker King & Queen

Nutcracker King & Queen

As promised, to celebrate the launch we have 20% off all the Nutcrackers until midnight on 29th October 2011.

The Nutcrackers come packed in our beautiful, natural, biodegradable, sinamay bags.

Nutcracker packaging

Nutcracker packaging

Queen Nutcracker Packaging

Queen Nutcracker Packaging

King Nutcracker Packaging

King Nutcracker Packaging

You can see all the candles we currently have available in our Christmas range on our website.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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I received this gorgeous email a few days ago and having parents who are complete coffee fanatics, I was so delighted that we were able to help in a time of need!  I also love a beautiful email with a photograph!

The email read as follows:

“Hi Cate,
Our 50 year old wood stove is out of action this week, and we don’t have a gas stove.
What to do about my morning coffee ritual?
Then I saw your 9 hour tealight nearby!
In a few minutes stovetop coffee pot is bubbling away and coffee ready!

Thanks to a queenb tea light.

Regards
Greg James
Raglan, Vic

I am sure that Greg wouldn’t mind me plugging his fabulous Mount Cole Cottage with its beautiful organic veggie garden, chooks, alpacas and meditation room… and use of Queen B’s pure Australian beeswax candles for ambience and serenity.

Queen B tealight to the rescue

Queen B tealight to the rescue

 

So, what do you think?


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Quantcast

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I am supposed to be writing a eulogy for Wednesday but can’t quite get the words to flow.  Yet is seemed somehow appropriate to share with you one of the new candles that we’ve been working on all year.

I had the idea for this candle – Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus – almost a year ago, but it took a while to get the design right, and then a while in wick testing.

To be completely honest I would consider myself spiritual rather than religious, so I thought long and hard about making a candle that could be perceived as religious, but the design was so detailed and beautiful and what happened during wick testing was so extraordinary that I decided it was bigger than just me and my beliefs or my views and that it deserved to be shared.

Here’s what happened when I first lit the candles…

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus candle wick testing

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus candle wick testing

So, I was thinking that it was pretty beautiful, but what happened next floored me.  The design surpassed all my expectations.  Because the sleeves and Baby Jesus are further out from the flame than the rest of the candle, Baby Jesus was held aloft during burning…

Baby Jesus held aloft

Baby Jesus held aloft

How beautiful is that?

As you can see, this is not really a candle that is designed for ‘neat’ burning or for long burning.  If you’re looking for long burning candles that rarely drip, you’re better off going for our tealights, bee lights or solid pillars.  But if you’re looking for something extraordinary… something that slaps you over the head with its beauty and makes you believe in some higher power, then this is the one for you.

As promised, to celebrate the launch we have 20% off Mary Joseph and Baby Jesus until midnight on 20th October 2011.

You can see some of the detail in the robes in the photograph below.

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus detail

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus detail

and here’s how the candle comes packaged…

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus packaging

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus packaging

 

You can see all the candles we currently have available in our Christmas range on our website.

 

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

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Last week I opened the hive to see how things were going (very well it would seem) and I managed to get a sneaky shot of the other queen…

Queen B's queen bee

Queen B's queen bee

She’s the large one in the centre looking like she’s tired and over laying eggs!

A couple of other beautiful shots too… the one following is of a worker bee cleaning her proboscis (that’s the bee’s mouth) which is straw-like to allow her to suck nectar from the flowers.

Proboscis polishing

Proboscis polishing

The photograph below shows worker bees coming back to the hive with full pollen baskets (on their back legs).  The bees fly into a flower and, being covered in fine hair, the get covered in pollen.  They then use their front legs to tuck the pollen back into the pollen baskets on their back legs.  Amazing.  Pollen tastes a little like sweet, nutty flour and is packed with protein, amino acids and every vitamin known to mankind.  Good one nature.

Full pollen baskets

Full pollen baskets

The final photograph I thought worthy of sharing shows that even though all the bees in a hive may have the same mother, as half sisters, they bear the markings of their different drone father’s.  On the right hand side of the photograph below you can see a bee which has much darker markings than the bee below.  This is a good sign and tells the beekeeper that the queen bee mated with drones from other hives/with different genetic markers.

Front and centre in the photograph you can also see one bee passing nectar to another.  This is part of the process by which flower nectar gets converted into honey (ie by mixing it with enzymes in the bees stomach).  It is later matured in the hive whereby the bees flap their wings to evaporate moisture from the flower nectar (which is around 70% water when collected).  When the water content reaches 15 – 17% the cell is capped to signal that the flower nectar has been ripened into honey.

Half sisters and Sharing the Love

Half sisters and Sharing the Love

There endeth the lesson.  Can’t believe how much I love having bees.

Meant to be writing a eulogy for Lizzie.  I just can’t get those words to flow so easily.

xx

 

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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RIP Lizzie

The ONLY way that Queen B has survived is because I was somehow blessed with a group of incredible women, many going through a battle with cancer, who congregate at Queen B to do packaging, enjoy a cup of tea and share.  Most of them were unknown to me when they first come… now they count as great friends and a constant source of inspiration.

One of those women was Lizzie.  Lizzie has been on chemo for 6 of the past 8 years battle valiantly and inspiringly against breast cancer, liver cancer and bone cancer and more recently congestive heart failure caused by the chemo.  Every week for over 3 years Lizzie brightened up Queen B and the lives of those who met her.  She was at Queen B just a week ago… and on the phone just yesterday.

This morning Lizzie lost her battle… Terry lost his wife… Karina, Jimmy and Stephen lost their mum… Queen B lost an angel… many of us lost a great friend… and the world lost an inspiration.

RIP Lizzie… we miss you terribly already.

Last year we nominated Lizzie for a Rotary Pride of Workmanship Award for her work at Queen B. She won but was too sick to attend the ceremony (and hated the attention being on her)! So we later had a little ceremony at Queen B

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Discounting Policy

I have recently been giving a lot of thought to discounting and what my philosophy on this is and therefore what the Queen B policy would be.

It is tempting in a tight economic environment to just discount, but unfortunately as an Australian manufacturer with an already fine margin, it is not a luxury we enjoy.

Having said that, I am mindful that the only way that Queen B has survived this long is because of our very passionate customers.  We have not advertised in the 8 years we’ve been going (although we have enjoyed great PR thank you to a few passionate journo’s).  So, the main way that word has been spread has been through our lovely and loyal retailers, and more particularly via those enlightened souls who have burned Queen B candles and spread the word with passion.  I want our most loyal customers to be rewarded.  I want you to be able to try all the new things that consume my thoughts day and night.  I want you to enjoy the same honey aroma-ed, golden candlelit life that I am lucky to enjoy.  Most of you would subscribe to our newsletter.  Some of you also subscribe to our blog.

From now on, when we launch a new product, we will launch it on the blog with a 20% discount for around 48 hours only. 

Because I don’t want to bombard our readers email boxes with email, I tend to only do a newsletter once a month or so (a little more often in the lead up to Christmas).  This is for people who are a little interested in what we do.  For the passionate Queen B aficionados, I blog a little more regularly (on average about twice a week).  If the discount period does not coincide with a newsletter, newsletter readers will unfortunately miss out.  That may seem unfair, but I don’t want to bombard readers who want a little taste of the Queen B world once a month, with emails too regularly.  I also don’t want to hold back on launching new things because I don’t have a newsletter in the pipeline.

So, if you would like to know about Queen B discounts when they happen, you will need to subscribe to the blog.

If you have another idea, that allows me to continue running a business that doesn’t compromise in any way on quality, the environment or creating jobs in Australia, please feel free to comment!  In fact, please feel free to comment anyway.

So, what do you think?


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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I was recently ‘decorating’ our tree at Queen B for a function I was having and got myself some lovely suede thonging to hang our beautiful, glass teardrop candleholders from.  I don’t consider myself to be a doyenne of style, so I was very excited when people wanted to take them home exactly as I had them.

Cue… new product!

Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

So, here’s a time and money saver!  A beautiful, glass teardrop candleholder + 1 metre of suede thong (strap) and 2 x 4-5 hour Queen B tealight candles.  Usually a bargain at $24.95, but an absolute steal until midnight on 7th October 2011 at 20% off that price – only $19.96.  In the photograph above, the teardrop to the far right uses the full metre of thong, so there’s plenty in the pack.

Available in clear teardrops (for a limited time… we only have 24 teardrops remaining and our supplier has just told me this morning when I tried to order more that they were out and weren’t planning on making any this side of Christmas.  Ouch.  I was tempted to tell them of the Queen B philosophy of ‘just work harder’… work longer… never say no… until I was reminded of my aim for more balance in my life!

Clear Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

Clear Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

or frosted teardrops

Frosted Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

Frosted Glass Teardrop Gift Pack with tealights

 

So, what do you think?


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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With the Earthing Stubb being quite butch, I thought it necessary to even the playing field by designing the very sexy femme fatale “Marilyn” candle holder.

Again, this one is reversible, holding a dinner taper candle in one side and a Bee Light candle in the other.  So, with no further ado, I am delighted to launch our Reversible Marilyn Candle Holders.  They are available in brass or nickel plated.

To celebrate, we’ve taken 10% off the holders (that’s a saving of $4.00 per holder) and 10% off the holder + candles pack (that’s a saving of almost $8.00 per pack over and above the $10.00 saving by buying the pack) until 11.59pm on 5th October 2011.

Brass Marilyn Candle Holder

Brass Marilyn Candle Holder

 

Close Up of Brass Marilyn Candle Holder

Close Up of Brass Marilyn Candle Holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of Nickel Plated Marilyn Candle Holder

Close up of Nickel Plated Marilyn Candle Holder

 

Nickel plated Marilyn Candle Holder

Nickel plated Marilyn Candle Holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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