paperwhites in monogrammed tea cups
paperwhites in monogrammed tea cups

I’ve taken a little breather from my 50:fifty project to get down to the business of preparing for Christmas.  Each year I love to come up with something homemade to give – most often it is a handmade ornament or something sweet like my favorite meringue covered pecans. This year I fell in love with these monogrammed tea cups from Terrain.  They are more than a tea cup – they cross the line over to mug-ville and I like that.  I decided to plant them up with some rocks, moss and a paperwhite that can easily be removed now or later so the recipient can use their gorgeous mug for the hot stuff.

handmade cinnamon chai candles
handmade cinnamon chai candles

My new favorite things to make are candles.  I’ve made a few and have sent them out into the universe to see what people think and by universe – I really only mean to my  NYC and Boston family.  They are my sniff testers this year.  So far my coriander scented candles got a big two thumbs up.  For the holiday season, I’m going with a lovely cinnamon chai scent.  It really does smell divine.  Here is a sneak peek into my process last week …

poured candles
poured candles

The most fun for me is always the packaging.  I love weck jars and I think the candles look simply lovely in these little jars.  They have a homemade quality that I’m always drawn to and can be perfectly dressed wrapped with a sliver of twine and a kraft paper label.  These candles have just been poured and are curing. My kitchen smells heavenly.

wick cutting ceremony
wick cutting ceremony

I have found that waiting 24 hours for the candle to cure works best for me.  I wait the full 24 hours before I cut down my wicks to about 1/4 inch.

the big one is for me
the big one is for me

Wicks are cut and next up is the packaging – always my favorite part.  That big candle is for me.  Now that I’m all over making my own candles, I always have my eye out for vintage containers that would make a great candle to give as a gift.

ready for her close up
ready for her close up

My packaging is simple – a little velvet bow and a kraft paper banner that describes the scent.  This one is lovely, it’s made of soy which is better for you and better for our environment so it’s a win-win.

handmade cinnamon chai candles
handmade cinnamon chai candles

All packaged up with lovely little boxes of matches.  I’m sending them out into the world – we’ll just have to see what the world thinks!  In the meantime, enjoy your holidays and the love of your friends and family.

some of my family
some of my family

Two of my favorite peeps right here – My boy and my girl. My friend Jo tells me that someone is always picking up someone in my household.  Most often it’s my son that is always manhandling us but I realize he must get it from me because my poor step-daughter seems to be the one being tossed around for our holiday photo shoot.  Here we are at one of our favorite spots at the beach – it was Thanksgiving and it had just snowed and it was beautiful – just the way it should be.

Merry Christmas and happy Holidays to one and all ~

see you soon with the final 6 of the 50:fifty project

Ellen

 

 

3 thoughts on “Homemade Holidays

  1. Maureen Stachowicz says:

    Love my tea cup and candle! I burn the candle in my kitchen and it smells divine! Thanks, El.

  2. Ellen McHale says:

    I’m so happy you are enjoying it Maur. I’m glad you didn’t peek at the blog before Christmas then you would have known what your gift was! Now – You have to get your candle making supplies out and start making your own candles – I’ll be waiting for one. xo

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Hi, this may be interesting you: Homemade Holidays! This is the link: https://www.nelleykelley.com/blog/homemade-holidays/