Top tips for getting the best burn from your candles

As a candlemaker we want all of our customers to get the best experience from their candles with great scent throw, consistent flame and long burn time.

To achieve this I therefore test constantly for optimal quality of fragrance oils, wick size and also wax burn. I have done all I can to create the best candle, how you treat your candles will also have an impact on how well they burn – so here are my top tips.

Burn time:

I have chosen to use 100% soya wax primarily because it is better for the environment, it is vegan but also it has a low burn temperature.  A low burn temperature means that your candle containers do not get too hot, you will also then have a longer burn time from the same sized candle if it was paraffin.  This is all great, but the low burn temperature means that your first burn is extremely important.

The first time you burn your candles ensure you have enough time for it to burn.  As a guide, for a 30cl candle this might be between 2-3 hours, a 3-wick candle this might be up to 4 hours.  The best thing to do is for the first burn, leave burning until the full surface is melted. This will get you the longest life and best experience from your candle.  This will stop the development of ‘pools’ which will result in tunnelling of your candles and less and less flame and burn each time you use your candle.

Wick size:

Wick size also has an impact on how well your candle burns and flame size.  A wick that is too long will likely result in a faster burn, can smoke and also can be dangerous.  After each use trim your candle wick to approximately 5mm in length.

Rescuing your candles (when things go wrong):

If your wicks end up too short or your candle has tunnelled and has excessive unburned wax, all is not lost, you can turn this ugly ornament, back into your favourite interior accessory.

Remove all excess, unburned wax from the sides of the candle glass/container using a butter knife.  You want to take your candle back to a flat surface.  This might seem like a waste, but remember that wax that is unburned on the sides is never going to melt and your candle flame and burn will only get worse each time.

Once you have a flat surface examine the wick.  Is it long enough?  If it is too short you may find that the flame is very small and it does not establish enough to melt the full wax pool.  If you think this is going to be the case then dig out some of the wax around the wicks to ensure that there is approx 5mm of wick to burn.

Taking these measures should help your candles last longer and recover them if they have not been burned well.  These steps can also be taken if you find that you are burning your candles for short periods and you start to get a build up of wax on the sides.

Remember, never leave candles unattended or burn when you are asleep.

 

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7 ways to make the most of the arrival of summer weekend at home

It is no secret that I love summer.  It is no secret that I love parties and entertaining, and this weekend is one to ditch the boring chores and make the most of the sunny weather – especially when we don’t know how long it is going to stick around.

Whilst it is lovely to get out and about on a sunny day, many of us have spent the last 6-months with the house shut up and the heating on so now is the time to enjoy the sun at home too.

  1. Get the BBQ out of the shed

This is the number 1 must do if you are thinking about the weekend sunny weather.  There is actually nothing better than cooking outdoors.  As a Kiwi we are a bit BBQ obsessed, and a BBQ is more than Sausages it  was always a regular weekend occurrence and sometime a Breakfast treat too.  Fresh Seafood is also great on the BBQ, Scallops wrapped in Parma Ham or Prawns.

 

2. Impromptu party

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Create Ambience at your impromptu party with summer candle scents.  Sweetness & Light, Summer Nights – Citronella & Lime Scented Candle (50cl £32.50)

 

If you have done as above and got the BBQ out of the shed, then the next must do is to call some friends, have an impromptu party, the more the merrier, the better the mix of people the more fun it is.  The more impromptu party are usually the best parties.  You don’t need a lot of organising, if it is ‘with kids’ then make sure you have a few balls to get the kids in the garden entertaining themselves if it is ‘without kids’ then you could go for boules, or just simply set up your outdoor entertaining area and create the atmosphere.  Music, candles, wine, olives, crisps and cheese are the essentials and I have had many great nights where this is what we have called ‘dinner’.  Whilst it is still too early for bugs and mosquitos Sweetness and Light do have a new Summer Nights candle which is Citronella and Lime.  It is great to keep the bugs away or just to add to your party ambience.  Citronella transports you to the east so your East London garden could suddenly be a beautiful beach in Thailand.

 

3. Antipasti & Spritz

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This one is simple, and a great way to enjoy a Saturday evening with your partner.  My husband and I have had some of our best holidays in Italy so sometimes once the daughter is in bed there is nothing better than a relaxed Antipasti for dinner and a Aperol Spritz.  We have learnt over the years that our dog is also a fan of Antipasti – so if you do have a familiar situation high tables are recommended!  Otherwise you suddenly find a piece of parma ham slip from the plate!

4. Picnic on the lawn

Picnics are a fab Sunday afternoon family activity, but it can be a hassle, packing everything up, loading the car and driving to some super busy spot where everyone else has had the same idea!  Well instead do a Picnic on the lawn!  It doesn’t matter how big or small your garden is, as long as you have enough space to get a picnic blanket down then you can while away the afternoon.  Get the kids playing cricket, enjoy your afternoon with a spot of Sauvignon or Pinot Gris (again I am a kiwi so these are always must haves) but then you have no worrying about the driving!  And if you forgot something you can run inside and grab it or if someone has a desperate bathroom need, no running to public bathrooms.  Everyone is a winner.

 

5. A spot of gardening

I realise the top 4 things here have all been to do with eating or drinking but a touch of gardening is a hugely satisfying early summer weekend activity.  A quick visit to the garden centre for supplies and then an afternoon getting your hands dirty (literally).  Of course, polishing it off with a hard earned cold drink.  Number 3 on the list is a perfect activity to do next – as who wants to cook when you have been gardening all day.

6. Al Fresco Breakfast

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Taking your breakfast outside can be an incredibly satisfying way to start the day.

Ok – we are back to food, but this one is easy really.  Just eat your breakfast outside.  Soak up the fresh smells of a sunny morning, listen to the birds and just eat in a little peace.

 

7. Outdoor Yoga

I was back in New Zealand in February and whilst enjoying a morning walk and swim at the beach I saw some Yogis set up and practicing their Yoga on the beach.  Amazing idea, I do miss the beach and if I lived near and had the time this would be a fabulous way to do a weekend workout.  So many of us in the UK are not close enough to the beach to do this right?  but there are now so many great Yoga apps now, it is now easy for anyone to practice yoga at home, outdoors, without having to trek to a Gym or Yoga studio.  So why not, this Sunday (before your Al Fresco Breakfast) grab your yoga mat or a towel if you don’t have one and get outside, either your own garden or the local park and practice some yoga.  What a fabulous way to start the day.

 

What ever you do this weekend – make sure you get outside and soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy the summer feeling.

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How to make Candles a thoughtful gift this Christmas

Christmas season is almost upon us and as we begin to think about trees and decorating, visiting relatives, to do lists, turkey or goose, pudding or pie it’s also the time we start thinking about the Christmas shopping and making our gift lists for our loved ones, colleagues and clients, teachers and nannies and maybe a delivery driver or two.

 

Whoever you may be buying for, gift selecting can be a challenging task and while we often consider a candle as a great choice it can also be a bit impersonal.   To help inspire you, I want to give you some tips on how to make choosing a candle as a gift more personal.

 

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A candle just for you.. (or Laura in this case).  Photography courtesy of Jo Gray Photography 

 

Firstly, style and design. I know what you’re thinking, there are so many candles to choose from which is almost enough to send the savviest shopper into a frenzy of uncertainty! Sweetness and Light candles was inspired and created with the buyer and gift recipient in mind, so I ask you to think about these things.

 

What is their style? There are plenty of options from candles in jars, ceramic, stone and metal finishes. Our candles are all universally pleasing as it is a simple ‘whiskey’ style glass with lids in rose gold, silver or gold. We are proud of our design as we believe our selection caters to most. If you have a friend or a loved one who has a particular style you might find a tin is a good choice or if they are a bit younger perhaps you can add a motivational message. The beauty of our designs and options is we can work with you to customise the right style.

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Autumn/Winter scent, Vanilla Mocha – with or without the icons.

 

Our black glass range are uber sleek and a little bit special. The label is designed with a choice of either a geometric pattern or marble background. Perfect for people who have a very styled home and enjoy a very modern interior. And the black glass range are a bit masculine and an ideal choice for a bathroom or a man candle for that hard to buy male in your life.

 

Sweetness & Light are passionate about making candles special and personal.   Selecting the scent is the perfect opportunity to get something super special. When you have a range of scents to choose from, making a final selection can be tough! That’s why we’ve created beautiful descriptions of our scents, to help your imagination and pick something to match the person. Is it a gift for a new home or new parent, or perhaps an intrepid traveller who is notoriously difficult to buy for!

 

To further enhance your selection process, we have grouped our collections so you can browse by scent and gift type. And watch this space to browse by personality type in the new year! I highly recommend the Calm Cucumbers for the social butterfly – this scent creates a cool spa like zen to enjoy on a lazy Sunday or perhaps recovering from a late night out. Everyone knows a Social Butterfly, maybe you might be one yourself! Our Pomegranate scent is one of my favourites and a great ‘young couple gift’ and is so sweet, indulgent and just sings optimism. Classic floral scents are always excellent choices for Mums and Grandmothers though we are confident our Peony scent will be popular with hipster candle lovers who love anything new and in the moment.

 

When you have chosen a style and scent to match your gift recipient, make sure you include a lovely personal note to let them know why you have chosen it for them. Telling someone why it made you think of them is a beautiful touch and they may remember this memory when they burn and enjoy their candle.

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Sweetness and Light candles can be personalised with a message and for Christmas we will include a personal note to make it that extra bit festive and sentimental. You can browse our range here Happy browsing!

 

Kristie x

Planning for Christmas

This month Christmas has been a big focus.  Preparing a product range that could add the finishing touches to a Christmas table or make the perfect gift.  I am pleased to say the Christmas range is now live!

Sweetness & Light are partnering with Grace & Violet for a Christmas campaign, combining candles and flowers.  Because really, what goes better together??!

Laura, from Grace & Violet began planning and and one of the last things was to get some professional shots for our campaign.  We were lucky to meet and work with Jo Gray, local Hertfordshire photographer.  Jo joined us for a photo shoot for the Christmas collaboration.

I hadn’t worked with a professional photographer since my own wedding, so when Jo turned up for the shoot I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We set up the Christmas Dinner table adorned with flowers and candles.  We had a sick child and excitable Dog and Jo was a complete professional (as was Harry the Cockerpoo).

Jo started by understanding exactly what we were after, how we would be using the photos to ensure we got everything we needed.  She talked us through her plan and showed us some of the shots throughout the session so it was all very exciting!  We have ended up with a fabulous portfolio of photographs to showcase our Christmas product range.

Our campaign goes live this week as we join the masses of advertisers hoping to gleam interest amongst the Christmas shoppers.  We have fabulous products and fabulous photos we can only hope our audience love our products as much as we do!

 

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Harry, professional model, Christmas is coming