the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!

Rub-a-dub-dub, ever feel like you are alone in your tub?

1 Comment

Candles seems a rather distant reminder of my possibly slightly more trendy (at the time) younger self. Or actually now I think of it, my little set were distinctly trying to be ‘un-trendy’ as far as popular culture of the 90’s went and were a little bit more into hippy-dippyness, but by rather sensible standards though of course. We didn’t get up to anything too far along on the Woodstock scale of things; we were in rural England after all.
Anyway, burning candles and joss sticks, and shopping trips to Natural Selection were all the rage, and if you didn’t own a pair of Dr Martins with coloured laces well then frankly, you might as well listen to Top of the Pops.

Digger as you know tends to be somewhat lacking in the romantic gestures- he’d rather change a punctured tyre for me, or unblock the drains, or ban me from using the superglue again, and assume that transmitted to me words of l’amour and le coeur). And so dusky candlelit dinners are not often on the cards, and that is even without taking into account the ‘Tiddler Effect’, a well-known to our household phenomenon where somebody-mentioning-no-names refuses to go to bed until past midnight on any given days that potential gourmet aphrodisiacs are found to be in the fridge.

In line with my general thriftyness, I don’t like to turn down anything that is offered for free, so I ended up last week with a free carrier bag of candle odds and ends. Lets specify that again, there were lots of ends of candles, and they were pretty much all odd-one-outs. Multicoloured, broken, a jumble of beeswax and paraffin, and completely stuck together in this heat, this was like Joseph’s technicolour dreamcoat in a bag.
Tiddler was put to task sorting them into colours, a task she will happily do for hours with any mixed up coloured items. Note to self though, don’t try it again with a bag of Jelly Beans which all got sorted into one category- Tiddler’s Tummy.
Then with no candlemaking equipment we had a shot. Not bad I feel for the frugal, make-do-and-mend side of things, but I’m also going to try and get Digger to have a conversation with me in the candlelight glow from these, even if it is only to see where to put the car-jack.

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The red ones

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The cauldron of blood

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recycled yogurt pots

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Recycled wicks

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Lollipops and blutack

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Tension on the wick, looking remarkable like the puppy’s tail

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Here’s a few I made earlier (a nod to Blue Peter)

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Waiting for it to cool

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The finished article in Digger’s handmade centrepiece candle holder (see he made that years ago for me, but we never use it!)

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They are not tiny candles, they are massive fir cones, brought all the way from the west coast of Italy in the back of Leo. 

And if this inspires you to look a little harder into the flame the next time you light a candle, these are two thoughts you might like to ponder on.

quote-nirvana-is-not-the-blowing-out-of-the-candle-it-is-the-extinguishing-of-the-flame-because-day-is-rabindranath-tagore-182116baf66daff9c914d0d1e3e0fd51b9eefe

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Author: Theskinflintphilosopher

Call me thrifty, prudent, tight or even a miser, but squirreling money away is definitely my thing. The ins and outs of how saving money became a lifestyle, in order to work towards a specific lifestyle change. Follow me on that journey and learn to look at life in a different way.

One thought on “Rub-a-dub-dub, ever feel like you are alone in your tub?

  1. Over on facebook, a friend and reader asked me about the wicks- so here is a copy of the reply to that:
    For the wicks I was able to mostly use again half used wicks that I was able to fish out of the saucepan once the wax has melted- obviously using the little kiddie size yogurt meant not too long a wick was needed. But I did also use some waxed garden string for the others, which doesn’t burn as well.
    I did look it up in a lovely titled book of the forgotten arts, and in there the advice was it should be cotton, and rather than twisted it should be plaited- apparently as plaited wicks burn they curl over and self burn, so the wick gets reduced down alongside the wax, and that discovery was a candlemakers revelation as it meant the job in big houses of Candle Trimmer was no longer required and huge numbers of people employed to keep the candles in order lost their jobs!
    So if you had cotton thread you could have a go at making your own, dip them in wax first to make rigid, then tie up taut and central. (or I think you can buy wicks on Amazon!)

    Like

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