Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Failed Bubbles and Paint Colors

Hello e'rybody! It's been 8 days since my last post, and unfortunately I haven't done anything too creative or crafty in that time...but I shall update nonetheless. 

Anyone seen this on Pinterest?

Apparently, the contents of a glow stick plus bubble solution equals some glowy neon bubbles (and a slightly disturbing, pink-eyed man). Well, Saturday night, my boyfriend, Caleb, and I went to Dollar General and picked up some $1 bubbles so we could give this a try. "Miracle Bubbles", they were called. 

Using scissors and Caleb's muscles, we cut open a glow stick inside a glass measuring cup. It took several squeezes with the scissors, but we finally cut through the plastic outer tube and inner glass tube, and then poured the glowing juice into our 2 ounce bottle of bubble solution. Time to go outside!

Unfortunately, when we went outside to blow our miraculous bubbles, we were not surrounded by spheres of luminosity. Actually, the bubbles were barely visible. If you looked closely, they seemed to have a bit of a glow, but they weren't quite as magical as we had hoped. This may have been because we didn't have enough glow sticks: chemistry.about.com's tutorial on making glowing bubbles (check it out here) says you should start with equal parts bubble solution and glow stick liquid. I'm pretty sure the liquid in a glow stick is less than 2 ounces, and since we poured it into the whole 2 ounce bottle of bubble solution, we probably should've used two or three glow sticks. So that may have been the problem! Sadly, we only had one glowstick. But hey, the mixture turned out to be great sidewalk paint!

Also, yesterday I went to my new place to test out some paint colors! Did I tell anyone I'm moving out in May? Woohoo! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of my room soon (it is actually just a room, I'm going to be living in someone's house), but for now, here are the paint colors I'm considering. 

The pink is possibly for the walls...the brown is for inside the closets. I think they will go smashingly with the yellow-green carpet :)

I would love to hear feedback! Comment below with any questions or tips :) Thank ya! 


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Monday, March 19, 2012

Luminaries...or lumieres? Either way, lovely

I am quite excited to be writing my first actual interesting post here on Carey Creates! Two nights ago, my mom and I made some wax luminaries (or is it lumieres? I just can't decide). I first saw these on Pinterest, and that sent me to this website and tutorial: http://www.thebridallounge.ie/weddingbelles/?p=3422.They seemed pretty simple to make: just dip and dry! Well, after making these babies, I gotta tell ya.....it basically is that simple!

Cute huh? We would've done them in white, like the tutorial, but to get enough wax we had to use some leftover pieces of a pink candle. That's one thing I love about this project - reusing old materials! It's perfect for that pretty candle with the wick that just seemed to disappear one day. Or, maybe if you have a couple hundred crayons.

Let's start with some ingredients!
  1. Paraffin Wax - High Melt Paraffin Wax is definitely what you need if you plan on using real candles in your luminaries. We used regular household paraffin wax, and had a few problems (as you can see in the photo above). Read on to see why.
  2. Party Balloons - NOT water balloons. They're just too small. Actually, we couldn't even fill them because they were too small to fit over the faucet. We also tried large helium balloons...that ended in a mess. Party balloons worked just dandy.
  3. A Double Boiler - we don't have a double boiler, so we improvised. See below.
  4. Cooking thermometer
  5. Two cookie sheets
  6. Parchment Paper (optional)
  7. Real tealights (in the aluminum holders) or battery-powered tealights
  8. Rice or sand (optional)
Step 1:
Set up your double boiler (or facsimile) on the stove and melt your wax. You're going to need a good amount - someone who had a similar tutorial recommended 1/2 a pound of wax for every luminary. I can't confirm that; we just used what we had, making sure we had our double boiler filled enough so we could get the desired height of our luminaries. 

This is our double boiler set-up. For more information on improvising a double boiler, go here: http://bakingbites.com/2009/09/how-to-make-a-double-boiler/

Here are our wax chunks (from leftover candles) melting down. Looks a little like meat, eh? 

In the Wedding Belles tutorial, a temperature of 180 degrees for the wax was recommended. Our wax never reached that high, although maybe that has to do with the fact we used household wax rather than high melt. At least get your wax up to 160 degrees.

Step 2:
Fill your balloons. Remember, use PARTY balloons. Water balloons will be too small. 

Water balloons                      Party balloons

Here's our first balloon:

A pear-shaped balloon like this one will give you a nice rounded shape for your luminary, but other shapes can look just as good.

Step 3:
Dip your balloons. Take it slow, and keep the balloon level. Dip it until it hits the spot on the balloon you want, then gently lift it out. After each dip, set your wax-covered balloon on a cookie sheet and allow the wax to cool and harden for a bit before re-dipping. This creates a nice flat bottom for your luminary. We put parchment paper over the cookie sheet to protect the cookie sheet and keep the wax from sticking.

Note: In the Wedding Belles tutorial, the instructions say not to dip the balloon past the water level, or it will pop. I'm not sure about you, but any time I've seen a water balloon, it's been all water, no air. Sooo, I'm not really sure what they are talking about (unless they mean don't dip the entire balloon?), but if your water balloon happens to have air in it after you've filled it, don't let the wax get above the water level.

Here is our balloon after being dipped a few times, and then several times: 

Once you've reached your desired thickness (the tutorial says 1/4" to 1/2", but ours were more like 1/8" - I think 1/2" would be ridiculously thick!), wait until the wax has fully cooled and hardened, and then pop the balloon over the sink. The top edge will probably be jagged and a bit unattractive:

But that we can fix!

Step 4: 
Level the top. You can do this by using a hot cookie sheet. I stuck mine in the oven at 200 degrees, but when I took it out, it lost heat fast, so you may want to heat it on the stove on a burner and keep it there. To level the top, just melt the jagged edge of the luminary on the hot cookie sheet until the top is even and clean. 

Step 5:
Insert candle. If you plan on using real candles, first put rice or sand in your luminary. This will prevent the wax of the luminary from melting if the aluminum holder gets too hot. Also, if you're not using high melt wax, and your luminary is tall enough, the heat from the flame can melt the top edge of the luminary. That's what happened with the larger luminary in my first photo. Your best bet if not using high melt wax is to use a battery-powered candle.

And voila! Doesn't it just glow?

(Yes, that is a different luminary than the one I've been showing you. I couldn't get a good picture of the first one.)

I definitely want to make more of these; a cluster of different shapes and sizes in white would be wonderful. Or what about layering with different colors of wax? Oh the possibilities!

What do you think? Any questions? Comment below!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blog Inauguration...Blogauguration.

Well hey there. My name is Carey and this is my sweet little baby blog, Carey Creates. As you may have guessed, I create things. And boy, do I love doing it. 

I love anything clever, money-saving, uncommon, organic, homemade, and customized. My heart is in sewing and fashion, but it also dabbles in decor, beauty, baking, and just general craftery. I started this blog as an outlet for the creative ideas swimming around in my brain and my Pinterest account (check it out at pinterest.com/caringo/). My hope is to have a new post every week; once I get the hang of this, perhaps more often! These posts will be about anything from sewing projects and DIY home decor to delicious homemade foods and ingenious repurposing. 

My main goal with this blog is to bring beautiful ideas and inspirations to you, my hip happening readers, with crisp pictures and detailed instructions. If, at any time, you feel as though the instructions are inadequate or the pictures unclear, promptly comment on said confusing blog post or email me at careycreates@hotmail.com. If you have any projects you'd like to share or have me try (I'm a willing guinea pig), send those my way too. 

Thanks for the visit, come back soon - I've got some shardigans (shirts to cardigans) in the works, and perhaps a few DIY wax luminaries will stop by! Farewell <3

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