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Posts Tagged ‘Australian made’

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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I chose this week’s love letter for two reasons.  Firstly because I love someone who goes and does their own research and then forms their own opinion and secondly because I happened to have another call from a concerned customer this week about this very issue and so the email was timely.

As I said in return, “I get so torn between “rising above it” (which a lot of people espouse and which makes a lot of sense to me) and then being so angry and incensed that people are being completely misled and the injustice of it all (to our business, our staff and our customers).  Whilst you seem to have read through it, I hear about and meet people regularly who are reading it on a superficial level (because they’re busy) and they’re buying it.”

“Hi Cate,

I just read your post on chlorine and then located and checked out the offending website to sate my curiosity.  What an “ode to an ego” it seemed, all the way through.  The person in question is quite good at sounding as though he knows what he is talking about, at a superficial level – by subtly misdirecting the reader.  Very calculated.  It seems disturbingly personal – and directed at you.
I also felt the fuss about candle painting was sour grapes –  he offers nothing as sophisticated as your decorative pillars.  It is far easier to put someone else down than come up to the mark.
Anyhow, bravo to you for standing your ground, whilst retaining your dignity and grace.  Mr obfuscation is showing poor form and I wouldn’t buy his candles on principle (as well as the fact that I love yours so why would i change). Anyway, as I said, he offers far less in every way.
Keep doing what you do so well,
J”
Having worked every day of the long weekend, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B because it gives me work/life balance.  Having not put prices up in 8 years, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B for money.  So why do it then?  Because I’m completely obsessed with bees.  I’m passionate about minimising chemicals in our homes.  I’m passionate about the environment.  I get to meet extraordinary people.  Because if I’m going to do something a gazillion hours a week then I want to do something where I feel as if I’m making a difference.  And most of all because I love making and sending out light.  If you think about for just a second, that really is an amazing thing to be able to do with your life.
Feeling blessed,
Cate xx

 

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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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Seems we’re at the pointy end of the year from a gift giving point of view… and so a little, gentle, oh-so-sweet reminder that we’d love to solve all your gift giving woes for you!  We cater for both the complete control freaks who arrive with lists (with whom I have immediate affinity :-0) and for our many male customers who send us a list of the people they want gifts for (+ essential details) and a budget and we pick, pack & wrap.  Whether you’re looking for a gift for a special teacher, a little something meaningful in the stocking, a kris kringle gift or a sustainable, Australian made gift for all of your staff and clients we’ve got it covered.

Kris Kringle gift ideas, Australian made sustainable eco gift, corporate gift idea

Kris Kringle Sustainable Gift Giving Tree

As I write this, I’m ponder the words and philosophy of another blog I read, Whole Larder Love.  Rohan speaks a lot about the impact on the planet of consumerism and, on many levels I agree.  I reconcile what I do (selling beeswax candles and other, beautiful, Australian made products) because I know that what we do does actually make a difference to many lives and many businesses.

When you buy a Queen B candle you are supporting Australian beekeepers and the regional communities they live in as well as our staff and our many Australian suppliers.  Don’t let that just wash over you as being marketing spin (it isn’t).  Think about it for a moment.  Our beekeepers (and their hard working bees) put food on our plates, flowers in our gardens, herbs and veggies in our patches and the caramelised sunlight that we call honey in just about anything tasty.  They’re worth fighting for. They’re worth supporting and hopefully we bring you a product that makes it easy and affordable for you to show that support.  The fact that you also get to bathe in the natural wonder that is bee-created light is a bonus.  And, oh, what a bonus.  Even after a decade of making beeswax candles, the flame of a Bee Light candle can still stop me, as it grabs me by the eye-balls and demands that I get into the moment NOW.  Right now.

Conjoined Bee Lights... a happy production error.  An even more visible halo...

Conjoined Bee Lights… a happy production error. An even more visible halo…

If you’ve never noticed the aura/halo that that surrounds the flame of a pure beeswax candle (versus the paraffin tealight candle on the right), take a look the next time you light a beeswax candle.  It truly is extraordinary.

Notice the size of the flame on the beeswax candle and the "halo" around the flame

Beeswax flame versus Paraffin flame – Notice the size of the flame on the beeswax candle and the “halo” around the flame

I’ll leave it at that.  The literature says that the answer to getting people to read your blog (or newsletters) is to do short posts!  I find that next to impossible because there is so much thought behind everything that we do… and I just like a good chat.

As an aside, because it’s lovely to share a little of the magic that goes on at Queen B… you may know if you’ve followed us for a while that our continued survival is due, in some part, to ‘angels’ who turn up weekly as volunteers to package the candles.  It wasn’t something that I dreamed up, but someone, somewhere realised I needed help and it arrived.  Many of the angels who have helped have had terminal cancer and so their numbers have dwindled over the years.  At the same time Queen B has been growing.  We’re now very reliant on the couple of remaining angels (and mum and dad are being called in with alarming regularity to get me through a fix)!  About a week ago I said to Sarah (the same Sarah who writes the beautiful notes on your invoices) we desperately need more angels but I have no idea how you go about finding angels!

Fast forward a week.  A woman (we’ll call her Robin) calls yesterday morning.  She’s local.  Googled for beeswax candles.  Popped in to the hive.  We had a lovely chat and off she went with bags full of beeswax candles (and some of the DIVINE Dinosaur Designs stuff we’ve got in store).  A few hours later she was back.  This time I was upstairs and she was looked after by Sarah.  Now it may have had something to do with the fact that I was supposed to be doing MYOB, but I could hear their conversation and I hear  Robin say ‘if you’re ever looking for a volunteer… a spare set of hands… someone to help out, I’d love to come and just spend time here and help you’.  I seriously almost vaulted off the mezzanine level.  Certainly not many of the stairs were touched as I flew down them.  I could have (and I think I may have) hugged her!  All the while saying a silent word of thanks to the powers that bee.  Amazing… and nothing really to do with kris kringle or stocking stuffers or teachers gifts – but my favourite part of this post!

If you did make it to the end – thank you!

Cate 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 holderspersonalised candlesvotive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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Pollen

What a fabulous exercise that was!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who voted and commented and liked and tweeted and posted… the verdict is in and interestingly, both the official Judging Panel (Louise Olsen from Dinosaur Designs, Deb Bibby from Real Living Magazine and Jodie Warters from ISCD)  and the jury (you guys) came to the same conclusion.  Clearly we have very stylish customers!  Pollen, by Tina Murray-Walker, was the clear winner in both camps.

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey. Artwork by David Bromley

I trundled off to one of my retailers on Saturday – fabulous, Australian manufacturer, Mark Tuckey* – with my new designs in hand and was tickled yellow to discover that we are ‘on trend’ with the colour too!  What a happy surprise.  Being ‘on trend’ has never been a great driver for me as I think that non-toxic, Australian made, beautiful designs, being real and anything to do with bees are more important than being trendy, but what a happy coincidence that in this case we can have it all!  I have to say too that making the candles on Saturday just made me feel happy.

Just before I delightedly show you “Pollen” in a myriad of ways at Mark Tuckey, a thank you to all the designers for their beautiful designs.  It is testament to the quality of their work that we had our biggest response ever to a call out for your opinions.  Special mention as runners up to Ingrid Bowen for her Fez design (which came second) and to Sandy Cipriotti for Sunburst and Brenda Deguara for Bedelia (which came equal third).

As promised when I announced the winning comment (the winner was Amanda Ingham for her post on our blog) we’re offering 20% off to anyone who posted on the blog, commented on Facebook or ‘liked’ on Instagram PRIOR to 5th November 2013 when entries closed.  Your order must be in the same name as the name you used to comment, post or like!  The 20% off offer is valid until 5pm this Friday, 15th November 2013.  Simply put your name into the comments field to alert us to your revered status (and that we need to look for your comment/like/post)!

They are available in 3 different sizes:

  • 10cm medium (10cm H x 8.5cm W) with a 50 hour burn time
  • 15cm medium (15cm H x 8.5cm W) with a 90 hour burn time
  • 20cm fat (20cm H x 10.5cm W) with a 200 hour burn time

With no further ado, it is with great pleasure that I give you Pollen…

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

And just because I couldn’t resist showing the full, exquisite artwork by David Bromley and some of the amazing furniture made in Australia by Mark Tuckey and his talented team…

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Graham for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

* be careful clicking on the link for Mark Tuckey… I just spent an hour on their website dreaming!

You can read the profile on Tina Murray-Walker in this month’s Real Living Magazine by clicking on the image below:

Real Living magazine profile on Tina Murray-Walker ISCD Surface Design student and Queen B beeswax candle design winner

Profile on Tina Murray-Walker in this month’s Real Living magazine

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Queen B for Dinosaur Designs by Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy beeswax candle range

You know when you’ve wanted something for so long and when it happens you kind of have to pinch yourself?

When you’ve had your head down and your bum up for a decade and you lift your head and think ‘wow, I didn’t realise how far I’d travelled’?

How when you meet someone you’ve admired from afar you’re meant to play it really cool?

Well, this is all those things for me (apart from the fact that I’m not playing it really cool)!  I’ve admired Dinosaur Designs from afar for going on 20 years.  My sisters (who I admire) have always loved, and worn, their jewellery and bought their homewares.  I have always loved their designs and that they were Australian made.  And with 28 years under their belt hand making their wares in Australia, I admire their longevity, their ability to keep being creative and for their rolodex of friends.  Friends say a lot about a person and they seem to be surrounded by similarly passionate, intelligent, successful, beautiful (on the inside) people.

This is one of those ‘woo, woo’ stories!  Over Christmas when we shut for a few weeks, I always take some time to reflect on Queen B, and this past Christmas I reflected on the fact that the things that I have enjoyed most in the past decade have been our collaborations – Joost, Vue de Monde, Grandiflora, Bollinger, Swarovski, Dior, Penfolds, Cartier, World Wildlife Fund (Earth Hour)… there have been many, and they are the ultimate 1 + 1 = 3 testament.  I put 2 names on my list of people that I wanted to collaborate with:  Dinosaur Designs and Signature Prints (who make all the Florence Broadhurst fabrics and wallpapers… again, right here in Australia… and again, recognised globally).  And here’s the ‘woo, woo’ bit… not 48 hours back in the country I received an email from Dinosaur Designs wanting to meet.  Woo, woo – yay and woo, woo – thank you universe.

So, I’m not playing it cool, I’m stoked!  I’m excited that some of the greatest design talent in Australia has chosen to work with the best that nature has to offer (beeswax) and with this humble little business that we know as Queen B and together we’ve created something extra-ordinary.  We’re not necessarily an easy business to work with!  I won’t add colour to the beeswax (because then you’re combusting a dye… which creates emissions).  I won’t add fragrance to the beeswax (and we lose a lot of jobs because of this) because then you’re combusting an oil… which creates emissions.  I won’t use toxic inks (which means we can’t match PMS colours)!  There’s a list of things and many companies have walked away because they want scented, coloured candles.  You know you’re dealing with the company with both ethics and substance when they take that list and create something beautiful that worships nature.

OK, so I’m not being ‘cool’ at all!!

So, here they are.  They are very limited edition and you can find them at Dinosaur Designs 7 stores (including New York), at Dinosaur Designs online (where you can also pick up some of the beautiful homewares that inspired the design) or at Queen B’s hive or Queen B online.

Available in 3 different sizes and 2 different designs, with the extraordinary long burn times that you’ve come to know and love about Queen B’s pure beeswax pillar candles.  With iconic Dinosaur Designs applied to the pure beeswax wraps, they’re a beautiful and functional piece of art.:

pure beeswax hand-rolled pillar candles by Queen B for Dinosaur Designs

Queen B for Dinosaur Designs pure beeswax candle range

 

Totem
Small Beeswax Pillar Candle (50 hour burn time)
Medium Beeswax Pillar Candle  (90 hour burn time)
Large Beeswax Pillar Candle (200 hour burn time)

Boulders
Small Beeswax Pillar Candle (50 hour burn time)
Medium Beeswax Pillar Candle (90 hour burn time)
Large Beeswax Pillar Candle (200 hour burn time)

 

 

Here are a few other beautiful shots

Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs pure beeswax candles by Queen B

From Louise Olsen’s Instagram feed

 

Beeswax hand rolled pillar candle by Queen B for Dinosaur Designs

Our pure beeswax pillar candles burn down inside their individually painted wraps

 

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