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Archive for October, 2013

One of our retailers, Hamptons House, was recently featured on the Georgica Pond blog and, apart from letting you know about this gorgeous store and about a great interior design blog, some of the photographs of Queen B candles in the store were just so beautiful that I thought I’d share them with you too.  All photographs taken by Mel and copyright Georgicapond… a visual story of 1 + 1 = 3 (Monica’s extraordinarily beautifully created goods + Mel’s talent for photography = inspirational viewing and reading)

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

8cm Solid Pillar and 20cm Beeswax Taper in Brass Reversible Marilyn candleholder (oh, and some beautiful butterfly thingys)

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

A beautiful Asian urn?… no, all I see are our beautiful Bee Light candles in a Brass Mini-Marilyn with a Brass Reversible Beehive peeking in on the left

 

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

Another 8cm Solid Pillar & 20cm pure beeswax taper candle in our Brass Reversible Marilyn Candleholder

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blo

You may have thought this photograph was of a book?… but if you look carefully, to this mother it is of her beeswax Jam Jar Tealight children!

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

8cm Solid Beeswax Pillars, 12cm Beeswax Tapers, 15cm & 25cm Drippies… surrounded by other beautiful wares

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

Our first collaboration with Joost from almost 6 years ago – our Eco Bulb candle

Queen B beeswax candles at Hamptons House Fairlight featured on Georgicapond blog

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… a bowl of Jam Jar tealights with other beeswax goodies on shelf!

 

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Somewhere, and I have no idea where, I have a reference for the scientific literature upon which this claim is based.  When I first put a website up for Queen B (which is over a decade ago now) every single claim and statement was fact checked be me.  Those fact checking references were duly recorded somewhere clever about 7 laptop computers ago and for the life of me I can’t find where it is.  And, if you google it, you really just find lots of beeswax candle website all making the same claims and all quoting one another or, quoting some random health blog with zero scientific validity.

The question was put to me again recently by a couple of asthma sufferers (air quality in Sydney has been badly affected by the bush fires with particulate matter levels 1,000 times over the ‘safe’ limit).  All I had to offer in the absence of those elusive links to the actual research are photographs that I’ve taken of my candles at home because I find it so fascinating (as an aside, yes I probably do need to get a life)

The theory goes like this: dust, pollen, pollution, viruses, smoke, germs, aromas etc are all positively charged ions that float in the air (because they are lighter than air).  A beeswax candle when it is burning emits negative ions (as does a waterfall, or those ionisers that you plug into a wall or himalayan salt crystal lamps are also said to, but I haven’t done that research).  The negative ions emitted by the candle attach to the positive ions floating in the air and that forms an atom which is heavier than air and thus drops to the ground or, if it is close enough to the candle, is drawn into the pool of wax.

I personally think that a picture speaks a thousand words so here are just a few from my candles that I burn at home.

when burning a Queen B pure beeswax candle is a natural ioniser

A beeswax candle is a natural ioniser – the proof is in the wax pool

purify the air you breathe by burning Queen B pure beeswax candles

Another glimpse at the air borne dirt pulled out of my living environment and into the pool of beeswax

The negative ions emitted by a pure beewax candle draw air borne dirt into the wax pool

The negative ions emitted by a pure bee wax candle draw air borne dirt into the wax pool

Which brings me to my final point which is about the candle care.  Depending on how much particulate matter is in the air where you live (and it tends to be high if you live near main roads or if you live near building works or even if you live next to bushland) there can be quite a bit of dirt in the pool of wax and this can affect how your candle burns.  A couple of things to note:

  1. Sometimes the top of the wick will look “dead” (see photograph below)… that is where the dirt is trapped and that is why we always say that you MUST trim the wick of your candle whenever you go to relight it.  It is trimming off the ‘dead’ part of the wick.  Lock that one into your memory bank… it’s critical.
  2. Sometimes the dirt may gather around the base of the wick and when you go to relight your candle you will have trouble relighting it.  This is a basic physics problem – if the dirt is stopping the wick from drawing the wax (it’s fuel source) then the candle won’t light properly and will go out.  The solution: when you light the candle, hold the flame of the lighter or the match to the base of the wick until you can see that the wax changes colour and starts to melt… that shifts the dirt clogging the wick and allows the wick to draw fuel.Beeswax candles are exceptionally clever, the candle will work it out from that point on, you just need to give it it’s fuel source.  I generally don’t suggest tipping out the wax (because you’re tipping out hours of candlelight)… the candle will work it out.

In the photo below you can see both the ‘dead’ top of the wick and the dirt gathered at the base of the wick.

purify the air you breathe with a pure beeswax candle

A beeswax candle is a natural ioniser when lit – note the ‘dead’ tip of the wick (where dust is gathered) and the dirt at the base of the wick in the pool of wax

Yours in pursuit of clean air and nature’s finest light,

Cate xx

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One of the exciting things we’ve been working on this year is a collaboration with the International School of Colour and Design (ISCD) with each of the students in the Surface Design course coming up with a potential new design for our rolled beeswax pillars.

The first batch of designs are in.
We’re spoiled for choice and we need your feedback.

We’re potentially launching 2 new designs… depending on your feedback.  The first design we’ll be launching was chosen by a judging panel consisting of Louise Olsen (Dinosaur Designs), Deb Bibby (editor of Real Living magazine), Jodie Warters (Surface Design teacher, ISCD) and me.  The winner will be announced (and profiled) in the Christmas issue of Real Living magazine (on sale on 11th November).

Our potential second design will depend on your feedback.  For me, there was at least one other design crying out to be part of the Queen B range.  But ultimately the success of any new product is completely dependent upon having customers that love it.  Please be opinionated, it will only take a second – you can comment below or comment on our Facebook page.  I’ll be picking one entry to win a prize pack valued at over $350 (that’s 1 in every size of the new design & a pack of Jam Jar Tealights because they’re gorgeous).  The winning comment will be picked on Sunday, 3rd November @ 5pm and my decision is final!

Vote loud.  Vote long.  Vote strong.
Here’s your chance to shake off the shackles of your day to day life and be a product designer for a minute… and you’ll have my heartfelt gratitude too.

Here’s the line up (and following is a closer up photograph of each design).

Rolled beeswax pillar candles ISCD Surface Design competition line up

Please be opinionated – tell us which is your favourite design and why (click on the image to see a larger version)

In no particular order, the designs are as follows:

Natural Threads surface design by ISCD studen for Queen B candles

“Natural Threads”

Starry Night surface design by ISCD student for Queen B candles

“Starry Night”

Art deco sunburst surface design by ISCD student for Queen B candles

“Sunburst”

Tribal surface design by ISCD student for Queen B candles

“Tribe”

Pollen surface design by ISCD student for Queen B candles

“Pollen”

Wings surface design by ISCD student for Queen B candles

“Angel Wings”

Fez Lantern surface design by ISCD student for Queen B beeswax candles

“Fez Lantern”

Bedelia surface design by ISCD student for Queen B beeswax candles

“Bedelia”

Diamonds surface design by ISCD student for Queen B beeswax candles

“Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

A very big thank you also to Louise Olsen, Deb Bibby and Jodie Warters for being on the ‘pro’s’ judging panel and sharing their time and expertise.  It was a privilege.  And it heralded a whole rethink about Queen B and what we do.

Surface Design judging panel for Queen B rolled beeswax pillar candle 2013 design

The Judges – Jodie Warters (ISCD), Louise Olsen (Dinosaur Designs), Me, Deb Bibby (Real Living Magazine)

Thanks for being part of this journey with me.  There is no Queen B without our customers.  It is you who ultimately keep our dream alive with the choices you make.

Cate xx

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Hopefully we make perfection in a beeswax candle look effortless at Queen B… the reality, however, is that whilst we may look beautiful and graceful above water, below the surface we’re going like the clappers.  The training process at Queen B is long and rigorous and there are a LOT of candles rejected along the way.  One’s that won’t burn properly get melted down again, but there are many with slight blemishes that will burn perfectly and wear their ‘scars’ with pride!  They go in to ‘Seconds World’ – first place that most visitors to the hive go.  For the next 48 hours (or until we sell out) we thought we’d open it up to our loyal fans that can’t make it to the hive.

bargain beeswax candles with slight blemishes

A brief glimpse into the delights awaiting homes in Seconds World

There are many things that are ‘one off’s’ (or ten off’s as the case may be) and others that we can safely open to the masses without creating disappointment.  For the next 48 hours (finishing at 11.59pm on Tuesday 8th October 2013 – unless we run out prior) we’re making the following Seconds World bargains available:

1. 4 x Seconds Squat Pillars – 20% off and usually just because the Queen B wax seal logo wasn’t quite perfect when applied… each candle has an approximate 40 hour burn time (designed for longer burning – 3+ hours at a time)

Bargain beeswax pillar candles

Seconds world squat beeswax pillar candles

 

2. 3 x 15cm Narrow Pillar – Honeycomb – 20% off… these one’s may lean a little or have a top which isn’t perfectly flat (and I am a bit of a perfectionist, so often the flaw may not even be visible to you).  Approximate 50 hour burn time each.

cheap beeswax candles

Seconds World – 15cm Narrow Honeycomb Beeswax Pillar candles

 

3. 2 x 15cm “Chubby” Beeswax Pillar Candles – 20% off… usually just because the Queen B wax seal logo wasn’t quite perfect when applied… each candle has an approximate 100 hour burn time (designed for longer burning – 3+ hours at a time)

beeswax church pillar candles

Seconds World – 15cm Chubby beeswax pillar candles

 

4. 4 x Burning Love candles – 25% off… these are surprisingly tricky to make and are for the realists… for those with slightly flawed relationships… with scars and blemishes… with slight cracks, a slight hole in the head or a marginally bruised arm (we’ve discounted them accordingly… and funnily, they’re a favourite amongst customers who visit the hive)!

burning love beeswax candle for flawed relationships

Seconds World Burning Love… for the realists out there

 

5. 4 x 15cm Solid Pillar – 20% off… and usually just because the Queen B wax seal logo wasn’t quite perfect when applied… each candle has an approximate 40 hour burn time

bargain beeswax pillar candles with slight flaws

Seconds World 15cm Solid Beeswax Pillar candles

 

6. 3 x 10cm Medium Hand-rolled Honeycomb Beeswax Pillar Candle – 20% off… these one’s may lean a little or have a top which isn’t perfectly flat (and I am a bit of a perfectionist, so often the flaw may not even be visible to you).  Approximate 50 hour burn time each.

slightly flawed hand-rolled beeswax pillar candles

Seconds World 10cm Medium Honeycomb Beeswax Pillar candles

 

The road to perfection is littered with experiences that make us who we are.

Cate xx

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