Hobbies, Life

Shelbey blog

So it’s pretty common knowledge nowadays that everything we’re used to using is bad for you. Who knew that applied to candles, too? Apparently the burning paraffin and the burning scents are toxic to breathe.

My mom loves candles, so for Christmas I decided to make her some candles using only organic beeswax, organic coconut oil, and natural substances for fragrances (like dried lavender, cinnamon, lime zest, etc.). That’s why today I’m going to show you how to COMPLETELY FAIL at making candles!!!

Here are the two recipes that inspired me. May you have better luck than I did:

How to Make Beeswax Candles

DIY Autumn Cinnamon Spiced Candle

What I did was basically triple boiled the things . . . which wasn’t how they did it in either of those tutorials but I hate reading instructions, so I didn’t bother really reading through their processes (similarly, when cooking, I look at the ingredients, scan the instructions, and fill in the mental blanks with whatever I feel like doing). Maybe that’s where I went wrong. Just a thought.

triple boiling

It was slow going, but all seemed to be going well until I took the candles out to cool. Almost immediately, all the scented ingredients either fell completely to the bottom or floated to the top. Stupid chemistry. I don’t know how the lady in the second tutorial achieved some adorable speckling of cinnamon throughout her candle because I pretty much proved it’s not possible.


And guess what? Despite me putting like five zillion times the recommended amount of scented stuff, these candles smell like NOTHING. Nothing, I tell you. Not even beeswax.

Lastly, only the wax within a half-inch radius of the flame actually melted (do you love all that burnt lavender too?). I had this dream that these candles would burn like normal candles do, where all the wax melts, but apparently my vision was too lofty.


Aaaaand this is reason #120 why I am not a lifestyle/health/homemaking blogger. Don’t worry, my mom is still keeping up the charade that they’re the greatest candles she’s ever seen.

Hobbies, Life


I don’t really have much to say. So here are some paintings.

This first one is probably my favorite. On the left is the photo inspiration, and it may be the worst photo of all time. It was taken after I glanced out the window at my parents’ house and saw the most gorgeous combination of colors I’d ever seen. I was too lazy to get off the couch and take a proper picture, but I snapped a quick one so that I’d be able to paint it later. I got pretty close! This was only my third painting (in my adult life), so I’m still learning.

Sunset 2Next, I wanted to paint the adorable daisies that are outside my window here in New Hampshire, and the gorgeous poppies that were outside my window until a couple weeks ago. Of course, both would look better in a meadow! This one is a little bit fifth grade for my taste, but like I said, I’m still learning. Shoulda made that sky and hill darker.

MeadowThe last time I’d painted before this was last summer, when I created this fiasco, haha. It’s really hard for me to get colors that I like with these darn acrylic paints.


I don’t think impressionism was successfully carried out here. It reminds me of the Rouen Cathedral series by Monet, which I personally think is hideous (sorry, Dad and Bernie*).

Impressionism worked a lot better in the first painting I ever did. It’s part of a two-part series by myself and my sister, Caitlin, that we did for my mom’s birthday a few years ago. Because that’s the kind of daughters we are: “Here, Mom! Gifts for your birthday, made with your canvas, your paint, and your paintbrushes!” Mine is the one on the left (featuring our cat, Lord John Roxton III) and Caitlin’s is the one on the right (featuring our dog, Scout).

Scout and Roxton

My mom even hung them up in our house. She’s always made me feel like my art was the best thing she’s ever seen!

Here’s to amateur art!

* My dad is obsessed with Monet and Bernie was my art history teacher in Paris who introduced us to many things, including the Rouen Cathedral series.