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Archive for the ‘Beeswax Candles & Candle Making’ Category

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always excited when I get beautiful photography, great ideas or design inspiration to share… imagine then when I have all three?!  Think the kind of happiness a puppy has when its parents come home!

 

Clever Melbourne(ish) souls – Katie Marx, Phil @afloralfrenzy, amazing photographer Kara Roselund and furniture maker Greg Hatton recently hosted a Kinfolk dinner at Butterland.  [Small digression first - I challenge you to click on any of the links and not have an emotional response to the work they do.  Their posts on instagram often take my breath away.]

 

Anyway, so, the thing I loved most when I saw the photography was just HOW accessible these table decorations are.  I’ve actually already used the idea for a dinner party of my own (thanks Katie :-))!  All you need to do is grow nasturtiums (Joost planted some on my edible balcony a year ago and despite forgetting to water them they keep growing)!  Nasturtium leaves taste really peppery.  So, a few piles of salt and some jars with nasturtiums and you’ve got the seasoning sorted.

To create the look:
* Nasturtium seeds
* Jam Jar Tealights (Box with 2 Jars + 8 candles  OR Bulk Box of 60 Jars + candles)
* 15cm Solid Beeswax Pillar Candles (Individual OR discounted in a Bulk Box of 6)
* 20cm Solid Beeswax Pillar Candles (Individual OR discounted in a Bulk Box of 6)

Of course it also helps if you have a former butter factory.

I’ll break from tradition and shut up now!  Enjoy the photographs

 

Cate xx

 

 

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles
Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

 

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One of the wonderful things about having a Sunday/Monday as your weekend is that you don’t have to go to work on Monday’s.  It’s a great time to catch up on things when they’re quiet.

Today I’ve promised myself I’ll clear my inbox, which seems to be never-ending because I keep getting distracted :-).  One lovely distraction was a beautiful photograph sent to me by stylist, Meagan O’Donoghue from The Style Palette Co.  I’m always amazed by the talents of our customers.  You’re really quite an extraordinary bunch going about your lives choosing to make a difference.  It shouldn’t surprise me given what we do, but it does and it is a constant delight.

Anyway, Meagan took a gorgeous photograph of our Mini-Marilyn Bee Light holders with a couple of Bee Lights.  And the thing that struck me as I was deleting volumes of administrative emails was just how simple the candles and the holders are but how nature is so beautiful that you don’t need to fussy it up.

brass candleholder with pure beeswax taper dinner candles

Mini-Marilyn brass candle holders with Bee Lights

So in the spirit of making it a wonderful day, we’re doing a Monday offer today - 20% off Brass Mini-Marilyn candleholders and 20% off the Pack of 10 Bee Lights.  It’s spontaneous and open until midnight tonight only.

I can say hand on heart that our Bee Lights will blow your socks off when they’re lit.  They are the ultimate testament to the brilliance of nature (and why we are so thorough with our wick testing)!!  They burn for 3 or so hours each (that’s several nights of lighting them during dinner from every candle) and they don’t drip if they are out of a breeze.

And just in case you don’t think that I practice what I preach, here’s a view from where I’m sitting right now!!  I did consider replacing the 2 in the background with new candles but decided that it was better just to be completely authentic.  This is how I stay calm on a Monday in the face of 553 unread emails!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Over and out.

Cate xx

light a candle to keep your brain calm and relaxed on a busy day

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness” Chinese Proverb

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For years when I’ve need a special gift, I’ve personalised a candle but I couldn’t work out a way of viably offering the service.  Well, I worked it out! Need a gift for that impossibly stylish friend that you’re always a little nervous to buy for? Looking for something to give in that situation where words are impossible (I particularly find this so when someone is grieving and words just seem completely superfluous but you want to show that you care)? Uninspired by the “off the shelf” options for that special occasion that you want a really memorable gift for? … allow us to personalise a candle for you. To start with we’re launching personalised candles with a range of beautiful quotes – with the quote on one side of the candle and a personal message from you to your friend on the other side – and with number candles that are perfect for special birthdays (because we’re always being asked for them)!  Imagine giving a gift of light personalised by a bona fide artistic person, armed with a paint brush, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.  No laser printing going on here folks, this is the real McCoy! Tell us your favourite quote (it doesn’t need to be one of these) in the comments field below.  We’ll hold a vote next week and if it’s voted #1 we’ll send you a candle with the winning quote on it. Each quote is one entry – multiple quotes, multiple entries!

a personalised gift to say I love you, australian made, hand painted, beeswax candle

“At one glance I love you with a thousand hearts.”

cheer up gift, maori proverb, personalised candle gift

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”

Personalised candle, eleanor roosevelt quote, friendship gift

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

baptismal candle, christening candle, personalised baptismal candle, personalised naming day candle, personalised christening candle

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

personalised candles, personalised gift, inspirational quote, unique personal gift

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

inspirational quote, personalised gift candle, graduation gift candle

“Accept your path with its many twists and turns… the adventure is in the journey not the arrival.”

I'm sorry gift, how to say I'm sorry, personalised I'm sorry candle

“Real friends are those who when you’ve made a fool of yourself don’t feel that you’ve done a permanent job!”

personalised birthday gift, unique birthday present, inspirational quote

“It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years”

Personalised gift, friendship gift, personalised candle, unique gift

“Good friends are like stars… You don’t always see them but you know they’re there”

personalised candle, inspirational quote, happy flame beeswax candle,

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers “grow, grow”

personalised candle, bereavement gift, mourning, gift instead of flowers, gift for grieving

“A luminous light remains where a beautiful soul has passed.”

Personalised gift, gift to say I love you, anniversary present, personalised candle

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”

personalised gift, wedding anniversary gift, wedding gift, australian made, hand made

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems to short”

For a special birthday, choose from our range of celebratory numbers – we’ll paint the numbers on one side of the candle and a personalised message from you on the other for a truly unforgettable gift.  You’ll be lighting up their life for years to come Personalised birthday candle, hand painted, unique memorable Australian made gift Personalised first birthday present, Australian made beeswax candle personalised birthday candle personalised birthday candle, australian made, hand painted, happy flame beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, australian made, northern light beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, beeswax birthday candles, bumble beeswax candle personalised birthday candle, queen b, bumble beeswax candle from northern light hand painted birthday candle with a personalised message and a light brighter than the northern light personalised birthday gift candle personalised gift for birthday, bee created light from Queen B beeswax candles     I include the photograph below to show you how the candles burn (i.e. down inside their hand-painted wrap leaving your personalised message intact).  Unfortunately friends don’t usually send me photographs of their candles burning :-)

unique, sustainable, Australian made corporate gifts hand made in Sydney

Personalised candle done for Joost

Looking forward to hearing your favourite quotes and lighting up the lives of your favourite people. Cate xx

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Winter finally seems to have finally got her claws into Sydney, the cold and grey days brightened by the number of candles lit at the hive.  It’s a lucky fortune, I realise, that we get to light such magnificence daily and it’s a lucky fortune that I love to share.  As you may have noticed, I’ve also been pondering gratitude, generosity, gift giving, card writing and all those wonderful things recently because I have a lot of it in my life.

Putting all of it together, I decided that one of the keys to spreading the light, brightening up the short winter days was to do an uber special, Queen B’s Long Weekend Sale.  All offers are open until midnight on 10th June 2014.  And I’ve also been giving some thought as to how you can share the light without breaking the bank and came up with a few ideas on that front too.  So, here we go.

Firstly, the most popular candles in our range – our pure beeswax tealight candles.  We’ve got the following special offers:

Queen B beeswax candles don't bumble beeswax

Secondly, my favourite candles in our range – our Bee Light candles.  I often send these out as a random gifts of light packaged in a brown envelope (as you see below)… I’ve loaded them up with an option INCLUDING SHIPPING for an additional $3  (i.e. our usual $11 flat rate shipping for orders <$100, free for orders over $100 doesn’t apply).  So you can order away to your hearts content and we can ship directly to the lucky recipient.  Tick “this is a gift” when you’re checking out and tell us what to write on the card and we’ll do everything.  For the next 3 days we’re doing these at 10% off so we’ll pay the shipping cost for you.

Ensure a happy flame with your beeswax candles with these bee lights

And as a final addition to the plethora of queenie b’s day long weekend specials, I came up with a way of sharing pure beeswax tealight love at a lower cost.  Why not buy a bulk carton of tealight candles and put together your own smaller packs.  I’ve loaded up an option to purchase the sinamay bags we use with a swing tag for $2.00 each. Buy a bulk carton of tealights.  Grab a few bags.  Use some of the tealights for yourself and give some as gifts.

sustainable packaging with queen b beeswax candles for a happy flame

 

That’s all for now folks :-)

I hope you’re having a gorgeous long weekend and hope that we’ll be lighting up the long nights for you through winter.

Cate xx

 

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This year I was invited to be the head judge for the beeswax candles and beeswax classes at the Sydney Royal Show (aka The Easter Show and The National Honey Show).  I know people bang on about things being a privilege, but it really did feel like a privilege to be doing work on behalf of the Royal Agricultural Society.  The Easter Show is an incredible institution and if you ignore the rides and show bags, it is such an important educational activity.  I was just thrilled to be doing my bit.

Interestingly beeswax and beeswax candle entries have increased exponentially since Queen B started putting entries in about 8 years ago.  It’s wonderful to see.  Given our haul of ribbons each year, I think they figured they should use my skills as a judge and allow some other people to win.

The main purpose of this post is for all of our Steiner / Montessori / creative parents & other creative souls.  Did you know that in 2014 it only cost $8 to put an entry into the National Honey Show competition?  Perhaps my favourite class for schools / kids is the decorated candle class.  It is also relatively simple to roll a taper candle.  Entries usually open in January and close in February (i.e. it’s a busy time of year).  So, why not put in your diary for late January 2015 to go to the Sydney Royal website and why not put a candle into the competition?  You’ll be supporting the Royal Agricultural Society and having fun at the same time.  All entries are displayed.

Here are a few of my photographs from the judging and the show…

National Honey Show judge at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey Show beeswax candle entries at Sydney Royal Show

Sydney Royal Show burning rolled pillar candles

National Honey Show decorated beeswax candles

National Honey Show solid beeswax pillar candles over 3cm

Sydney Royal Showcase of National Honey Show beeswax candle entries

Championship beeswax and beeswax candle winners at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey show winners for solid beeswax pillar candles

Championship beeswax candle winner at Sydney Royal Show

Winners are Grinners at the National Honey Show

 

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What do you get when you want a candle that is taller than a beeswax tea light candle?  Narrower than a solid beeswax pillar candle? Wider than a Bee Light or beeswax taper candles? And doesn’t need to be burned in a container like beeswax votive candles and tealight candles?…

You get a Queen B pure beeswax Mini Pillar candle!

mini beeswax Queen B pillar candle natural happy flame for pure beeswax light

Mini Pillar candle – 100% pure beeswax

 

Sitting approximately 5cm tall and 3.2cm wide this mini-pillar burns with a beautiful, large flame (much larger than a tea light flame).  Left out (i.e. not in an enclosed space), it won’t drip.  Put in a contained space, it can consume the wax to a much wider diameter than a tea light or votive.

You can see in the video below two different uses for the mini-pillar. The jar I use in the video has an external diameter of 6.7cm. Remember to put sand in the bottom of the jar to give the candle a level surface to sit on.

 

This candle was borne of customer feedback (and a glaring hole in our range).  I’ve already put it to work getting my Page Thirty Three Oil Burner fired up (one of the draw backs of their design is that they really need a large flame to heat that volume of water and because it is very exposed).  This little pillar rises to the challenge admirably making the oil burner work a treat.  It’s a stunning looking oil burner too.

I was contemplating product development recently and took the time to prepare a process chart capturing the Product Development Cycle at Queen B.  Sometimes I wonder why I never seem to get anything done!…

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart/diagrammatic template… let's have a meeting to discuss!

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart… let’s have a meeting to discuss!

 

To celebrate the launch we’re doing 20% off for 24 hours only.  Blink and you’ll miss it.

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There are some things in life whose worth is greater than the sum of its parts.  For me it’s enamel teapots.

When I started pouring beeswax candles about a decade ago (O.M.G!… yes, punctuation intentional) I went down to a camping supplies store to buy my first enamel teapot.  In those days Queen B was just me, pouring & rolling candles in a garage with a concrete floor.

beeswax candlemaking, enamel teapot, beeswax tealight candle, from the northern light beeswax tealight

The early days… me, an enamel teapot and molten beeswax – my happy place!

 

I digress here slightly because I wandered down memory lane and thought it worth sharing said garage and said concrete floor!

bleaching beeswax by the northern light at Queen Bee's original hive

The original Queen B hive on North Head at Manly with buckets of beeswax bleaching in the sun

 

beeswax candlemaking at Queen B's original hive

Early days… built tough – beeswax candles made to last! not for the weak knee’d.

Of course we, and our enamel teapots, now work in much plusher surroundings – OH&S now demands softer floors for our enamel teapots which is a happy coincidence for care of candlemaker’s ankles and knees.

Long term employees are the holy grail of small business and I am extraordinarily grateful to recognise that our current teapots have been in service for over 6 years.  And just to put that in perspective, that’s two teapots, worth around $30 each pouring well in excess of 700,000 candles.  I bow down in admiration.  There are few things you could buy these days that would last the test of time and extreme usage.

Your candlemaking supplies for pouring beeswax candles should include an enamel teapot

I’m an enamel teapot… short and stout… here is my handle, here is my spout – for pouring beautiful beeswax candles

 

Over the years, we’ve made sure that special enamel teapots deserve special enamel teapot holders…

Making beeswax candles by the northern light of the sun with blocks of pure organic beeswax for candles

Issy – enamel teapot lover #2

 

enamel teapot for pouring beeswax candles - first on your candle making supplies list

Kylie – enamel teapot lover #3

 

enamel teapots are an essential tool for beeswax candlemaking

Annoyingly, Tilly and his birthday celebrations got in the way of what would have been a great photo of enamel teapots… Enamel teapot lover #4

 

We’ve even had neighbours who have wanted to get in on the enamel teapot loving action (dress standards apply)…

enamel teapot, candlemaking supplies, beeswax candles

Trent – enamel teapot lover extraordinaire

 

Over the same years we’ve always bought extra when we were ordering and offered them for sale with our candlemaking supplies.  We ran out of the plain one’s (the same as what we use) several years ago and were unable to source more, but recently we happened upon another batch.  So, with no further ado, I present to you, the ultimate candle making (and tea making… and camping) accessory…. enamel teapots.

enamel teapots for beeswax candlemaking so you don't bumble beeswax candles

Enamel teapots – available in pastel yellow, blue and green

… now available in pastel yellow, pastel blue and pastel green… made tough and built to last (if you keep from falling onto concrete… or tile… or any hard surface for that matter).

Over and out.

CB xx

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I’ve had a rule at Queen B for the past decade which is that having access to someone’s inbox is a privilege and if I don’t have anything befitting that privilege to say, then I stay quiet.  It seems to breach every currently practiced law of marketing, but then again I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum… Funny, I just caught myself out…  I was about to say “I don’t like to follow rules” but if you saw the list of rules that I live my life by you’d laugh.  Let’s just say that my rules are a bit different to normal business rules!

So, why the blog post then?  Two reasons… firstly, the volume of emails and calls from you guys checking in to see whether I was OK has been escalating! (heartening to know you care).  Secondly, we’ve been doing a big clean up from last year and “Second’s World” at the hive is full and needs emptying.  And that means there are some bargains to be had.

Here’s a list of what we’ve got going (on a first come, first served basis):

bargain beeswax candles with slight blemishes

A brief glimpse into the delights awaiting homes in Seconds World

You know what else I’ve realised in writing this post?… I’ve actually missed it.  You know how when a loved one has been away for a while and you’re a little anxious about their return?  Will it be the same?  Will they still like me?  (does my bottom look big in this?!)

Sure, I promise (again) to only write when I feel I have something interesting and/or edifying and/or relevant to say BUT in truth I think I was just having a bit of trouble getting back on this horse.  Now that I’m here, I’m wondering what I’ve been fussing over.  It’s great to be back.  May 2014 be happy, healthy, fun, filled with laughter and may it be filled with the beautiful light that nature provided for us in the guise of beeswax candles.

(Belated) happy new year loved ones.

Cate xx

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The idea of a skull candle occurred to me in about March this year when I was thinking about Earth Hour.  I wanted to create a candle that was about the interplay of humanity and nature, our interdependency and humankind’s destruction of nature… how we weep or lament the damage being caused but how there is also a fragile beauty both in nature and humans.  I wanted it to speak visually about the fire within and the glow in someone’s eyes when they’re talking about something that they’re passionate about.  [Seriously, my mind has a life of it's own, I am just a casual observer most of the time.  Note to self - stop overthinking everything]!

Anyway, from the idea I then went into designing the form that our candle would take.  A skull with vines intertwined around the head and deep, sunken eyes so that it could cry “beeswax tears” and to frame the flame (trying saying that 10 times fast with a glass of bubbles under your belt)!  From there we went into mould making and then wick testing.  About 3 months had passed by now.

Because this was such an important piece to me I commissioned a local craftsman to make wooden coffins for each of the skulls.  There’s another month.

No sooner than I had nailed the right wick and the positioning for the wick (the video below is the final wick testing video) than I raised my head to see what was going on in the world and realised that skulls had become… wait for it… trendy!  Quelle horreur.  We set trends, or eschew trends completely at Queen B, we certainly don’t follow them.  So I parked the project – and gave a couple away to friends.

Enter Matt Stone, friend and chef, who mentions them in a story in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald!  My cover was blown and the phone didn’t stop.  Even then I stuck to my guns and said we weren’t selling them!

Step in a wise soul who told me to get over myself and to allow our customers to decide.  So, it’s over to you.  With no further ado, I like to introduce you to our Limited Edition Beeswax Skull Candle (in wooden coffin).  We’ve had 50 coffins made and I’m off to have them laser engraved and numbered in the morning.  We’ll be ready to ship them by Friday (this week) – well in time for delivery prior to Christmas.  There are only 50 up for grabs.

Beeswax Skull Candle from Queen B pure beeswax candles vines adorning outside of skull candle Pure beeswax skull candle on hand made wooden coffin Pure beeswax Skull Candle from Queen B on Australian made wooden coffin

Here is a video that I took of the beeswax tears and a few of the photographs from wick testing. Eyes truly are the windows to the soul

—-  

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The video is set to one of my favourite songs which is There is a Better Place by Crazy Penis (now Crazy P) from their Album The Wicked Is Music.

Beeswax skull candle with eyes aglow as it burns

skull candle from Queen B pure beeswax candles

beeswax tears of gold from Queen B Skull Candle

Skull candle by Queen B bee wax candles

Note: there is a trick to getting the beeswax tears which is to burn the candle for 3 – 4 hours each time you light it.  The candle needs to be able to burn the full width of the skull (and hence the eye sockets) in order to lament!

Love to hear your thoughts

Cate xx

 

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… and you’re invited!

VIP Christmas Shopping night

 

 

If the thought of braving a Westfield car park at this time of year horrifies you, come shopping at Queen B.  There’s oodles of parking, Australian made gifts for everyone from the blokiest bloke to the girliest girl AND we’ll have lots of one off specials on the night.  We’ve even got Mitch staying late so that you can watch the candles being made.

If you’re coming from afar, why not come along with a friend (or 3) and have a champagne on us and then dinner in Manly or Dee Why?

Looking forward to catching up with some of you then.

Cate xx

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