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Candle Scents Continue Burning

Keep the candle incense burning even when the wick stops burning.  NOTE: Be sure to keep safe from little curious hands. Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

Keep the candle incense burning even when the wick stops burning.
NOTE: Be sure to keep safe from little curious hands.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

If you are one who enjoys the quality candle scents one finds at shops that sell Yankee candles or even the candles sold at Bed and Bath, you are keenly aware that these candles continue to provide a scent much longer than most inexpensive candles.

As the candle continues to burn, yet flickers out with candle left in the jar, one might consider throwing the jar and candle completely away. Personally, since these candles are not inexpensive, I have a hard time tossing what remains.  So instead of tossing, I continue to burn the scent. How might you ask?

1st – you need to remove the candle wax from the glass jar. I do this by putting the cooled candle and jar into the freezer for a day or two. This process makes it easier for you to break the wax apart, allowing you to remove it from its glass container. Sometimes the wax is already cracked for me, yet if not, I take a dull knife and put pressure on the wax until it breaks. Finally removing the chunks of wax.

2nd – place a few of these chunks in an oil burning unit, where you would normally place the oil, then below place your tea light. The tea light warms up the wax, making it liquid, allowing you to continue enjoying your favorite candle scents.

NOTE: The scent in the picture was that of Chocolate Mint, so the chunks look like chocolate chunks…BE SURE to LABEL your container or storage bag and KEEP AWAY from little curious hands.

Now, what about that beautiful glass jar that your candle arrived in?

1st, you need to clean this out, using hot soapy water. Let it sit for a bit if necessary, understanding that you might need to repeat.

Two Options:

  1. Personally, I take the jars and use them as storage units. NEVER for preserving foods, but have used them for gift containers for covered candies. I use them for paper clips, sewing supplies, etc. Once the labels are removed, they are clear containers with lids, that are functional as well as decorative.
  2. Use as gift containers.  NEVER for presenting preserved foods such as jams, jellies, etc. You can never be too sure that you have removed all the wax. I have used them as gift containers for covered candies – consider hiding a gift card within the candles. A sweet treat for any recipient. If you bake cookies (for the larger jars) be sure they are in those cellophane food bags, that not only protect the taste from potential wax residue, but also gives the jar a decorative look as well.
  3. Make new candles – this is an easy craft, but can be dangerous if you are not careful. Instead of using the wax chunks as burning chips, you can save them to reuse in new candles. Use new wax, creating your own candles. Ask friends who typically burn candles if they toss their jars, if so they might provide you the containers to work with. Craft stores provide incense oils that can be added to your wax, along with a variety of supplies. In a future post I will share how I have made candles in the past.

NOTE: For those who decide to make new candles, you might be able to reuse the wick holders that are left if you are careful in removing them from the bottom of your glass container. If not, they are not very expensive and can be found in craft stores.

Laura – Frugal Value Lifestyle

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Making Use of Worn Out Shirts

A tear, wear and some fading just means the shirt needs to be upcycled to another useful purpose.

A tear, wear and some fading just means the shirt needs to be upcycled to another useful purpose.

You can always tell a person’s favorite shirt by how often it is worn and the shaby look it acquires after constant wear.  Fortunately, when shopping for my husband, I focus on finding clothing that is made with quality fabrics so that he can wear them as long as possible.  And, in keeping to a budget, many times I am able to strike a great deal when puchasing them on clearance at the end of a season, yet, unfortunately with most of them being long sleeved.  The only drawback to the long sleeved shirts is that I need to shorten all the sleeves, as my husband finds them to be uncomfortable.  Not really a terrible situation for a wife who has been a seamstress and sewn since her early teen years.

As time passes, after continual wear and washings, the shirts present this tiring look with worn collars (that I will reverse if it is a favorite shirt), fading beyond my liking, with holes beginning to form at the corners of pockets from constant use.  

This weekend I equipped myself with scissors in hand, as I share with him the two shirts that were in the category of “must go”.  Soon after, he came to me with a third shirt that simply torn at the pocket as he began to button it up.  I smiled bravely as I graciously took another one of his favorite shirts with me to my secret place with seam rippers and scissors.  Off came the buttons first!  Then, I bravely proceeded with the sharpest shears in the bunch, and cut the shirts into large pieces of rags and piled them nicely for future use, with very little being trashed.

I realize that I could have given these shirts to a charitable organization, but I do not find it very charitable to give worn out, ripped or even stained shirts to the less fortunate.  We prefer to give these organizations items that are still in very good condition and excellent repair.  If the only reason we want to move them out of the closet is because we found we were not wearing them  because we did not like the style, then that is when the act of charity of most appealing.  Buttons in tact, zippers all working, snaps functionable.  i find it rude to give away something that we ourselves would not wear because a button was missing, a zipper stopped working, a rip in the seam, etc.

Anyway, as you can tell, these three shirts were not something I was willing to give away, and certainly not because of greed.  So i decided to take the buttons off and save them for future use, either on a shirt (or two) that I will make for my husband, replacement buttons on aother shirt (if needed), or possibly a craft requiring buttons.  I do collect buttons, but I do not find buttons on a mans shirt to be  very exciting.

After removing the buttons, I proceeded to cut the shirts into rags.  These shirts were going to be perfect for my husbands use in changing the car oil, cleaning up paint, stain and oil spills, and whatever else he can use them for. By using worn out clothing for rags, we are saving ourselves from purchasing rags (yes they sell them in auto repair stores) and making good use of them.

I also use rags from clothing that is no longer useable, for cleaning around the house, either dusting or other damp cleaning.  Although one shirt was an ideal cotton fabric for my use, my husband was out of rags and was very receptive to having a new supply to work with. I sometimes find that the fabric is perfect to use as backing for securing buttons onto other work shirts, adding patches to the inside of jeans, and other sewing purposes.  

Whatever the purpose, I make an effort to save from filling up our landfills, by either giving and sharing with others the clothing items that are in very good condition, or utilizing the worn out items in a way that will benefit our needs without having to spend our financial resources.  Paper towels are nice and convenient, but rags are always needed, and in some cases can be washed along with the rest of the laundry to be reused again.

Please consider giving to others what you tired of, not what you wore out.  And, the items you wore out, consider using them for another purpose.

Living within our means by not wasting what we have,

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Unlocking the Music in Chimes

Love my new windchime made with what we had on hand utilizing the old keys from my collection!!

Love my new windchime made with what we had on hand utilizing the old keys from my collection!!

Listen to the Chimes here –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWXjIQZipwI&feature=youtu.be

For a couple of years now I have been collecting old skeleton keys, and although I have not accumulated many, I had enough to ask my husband if he would be willing to make me a wind chime out of them.  I really love the heavier old keys.  The history behind them is a mystery, and although I have an idea to display the older keys as I find them, I thought since I had a love for wind chimes that it was possible these would create a mysterious musical tone when used within a wind chime.

The selected keys to be used on the chime

The selected keys to be used on the chime

I had to wait until I had plenty of keys, as well as deciding what we would use as a top.  We did not want to purchase a kit as we wanted to use what we already had on hand.  This meant being patient as we came across items that would make a lovely sounding chime, blending in the sounds of the keys as they blew in the wind.

These past two weeks, we have been enjoying a very relaxing vacation, taking a few day trips, picking berries, hiking and enjoying some different projects we never seem to get around to.  This past week he had discovered that we had a few items on hand that would create a beautiful wind chime using the keys that I had collected.  It was a project that we had no idea of what the outcome would be.

Items used:

  • The bottom of an old bird feeder that broke, yet we kept it on hand for possible future repair needs.
  • Bolts and nuts (David’s shop of odds’n ends)
  • Spray paint (left over from another project)
  • Glass beads (Laura’s bead supply.  David was going to use plastic ones, but Laura really liked the glass ones and since she hadn’t used them yet, well, why not?)
  • Old keys found here and there as well as some that were given to me by those who knew I was collecting them.
  •  Fishing Line
  • Heavy duty string
  • Copper tubing
  • Two pieces of a branch
  • A piece of mahogany wood that was used for the center piece that catches the wind
FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime6

This is actually the bottom of an older bird feeder. Cleaned and repainted with Rust-O-Leum Hammered Brown paint. The inside center is that of a branch that was cut and sanded, using bolted ring that David had in his stash of odd’n ends he had in his shop.

This is the underside of the bird feeder base that he used a hook that screwed into the bolt.  Basically this hardware is designed to screw together in the manner we used.  It was great that we had this on hand as it worked out perfect for  our needs.

This is the underside of the bird feeder base that he used an eye bolt and an eye nut (top) that screwed into the bolt. Basically this hardware is designed to screw together in the manner we used. It was great that we had this on hand as it worked out perfect for our needs.

As we were going through his shop of items that we were going to throw out, I saw this bird feeder piece and asked my husband what his thoughts were.  As we both looked at it, we thought that it would be perfect, then we had to keep in the back of our minds what we might be able to use to put this all together.

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime2

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime3

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime4

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime5

After a few days of laying things out and working on preparing the pieces, today was the day that my husband finished this project, using what we had on hand.  I am thrilled with the results!!  Of course, I have a new idea for another wind chime.

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime11

In case you had not figured it out, I am a huge fan of quality wind chimes, and today my husband presented me with my newest, and now my favorite one that I will enjoy for many years to come.

Listen to the Chimes here –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWXjIQZipwI&feature=youtu.be 

FrugalValueLifestyleKeyWindchime12

Listen to the Chimes here –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWXjIQZipwI&feature=youtu.be

This wind chime sounds beautiful when the wind moves it.  The blue glass beads add a hint of color.  And each copper tube makes a different tune as it meets with the others creating a gorgeous sound.

May your creative ideas mix with what you already have on hand, in order to create something unique and beautiful for you to enjoy around your home.

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

…who is already planning the next themed wind chime

Cookie Sheet to Serving Trays

Upcycled old cookie sheets into new serving trays.  Just love the colors!!

Upcycled old cookie sheets into new serving trays. Just love the colors!!

We all have cookware that eventually needs to be replaced.  In my case, a few months back as I wrapped one of my cookie sheets in aluminum to bake some chicken, my husband asked why I still had them.  I do have two really nice cookie sheets that I use for baking cookies, but they do not have the flat edges all around.  So I explained to him that these flavored items were still quite useful in my baking with no need to be replaced.

This past spring while we were out shopping, he placed a new set of cookie sheets with edges into our shopping basket.  I hesitated, thinking that it was a waste, but he was rather insistent that I have nice cookie sheets to work with.  They were not the top of the line, but as I looked them over, I could see that they were a good quality and would last me for quite some time, so this new set was not put back on the shelf.  In all honesty, I was thrilled to have shiny new cookie sheets, and have sinced used them often (and they still look new!!)

The trays are cleaned and prepped, the color choices selected from what we already had on hand. - Ready to transform the old into something new and useful.

The trays are cleaned and prepped, the color choices selected from what we already had on hand. – Ready to transform the old into something new and useful.

I am pretty good about getting rid of items that have no useful life but I did not immediately toss the old ones out.  Yet, as the summer season began to approach, I pulled these three cookie sheets out with the intention of finally getting rid of them.  Of course the time frame in which I was doing this, was also when we started to use our grill more frequently.

Everytime we had things to cook outside, we were making multiple trips to bring things outdoors.  Those cookie sheets were leaning up behind a table we have by our backdoor until we had a chance to bring them in to recycle.  As I passed by them, while bringing out another armload of things, I started to think that they might have another purpose.  So, as we were waiting for the food to cook, I asked my husband if he had any leftover rust-o-leum spray paint that he did not plan on using.

This weekend I was finally able to tackle this quick, simple project, as he presented me with a variety of beautiful colors we had.  I was thrilled to have options, but I also knew that they were not full, so it would be one can per tray.  That’s okay, because who wants to be boring with only one color?  Well, typically I like things to match, but I was fine with these options, as the color tones went well together.

Three beautiful trays, fitting nicely within each other, waiting to be used to serve others.

Three beautiful trays, fitting nicely within each other, waiting to be used to serve others.

So…three cookie sheets, that fit within in each for storage have now been transformed into three serving trays.  They will never again be used in the oven, but can be used for bringing larger amounts of items to the eating area outside, a tray of items to cook on the grill, use to bring cookies or “whatever” to share at social gatherings, etc.

My process of transformation

  1. Clean and wipe down your trays.  No sense trying to scrub all the flavoring off.  If you were unsuccessful before, why waste your energy.  Just be sure to remove anything that would cause your paint to peel in the future
  2. Select your choice of Rust-O-Leum paint.  I prefer to use what I already have on hand, but if you do not have any, the options are limitless at your local hardware store.
  3. On a dry sunny day, lay your trays out on cardboard, unless you like temporarily changing the color of your grass.  Eventurally it grows so it needs to be cut 🙂  Personally I would rather use old cardboard from an old box.
  4. Start by painting one side completely, being sure to reach every corner (otherwise you will have to do another coat).  Let this dry for at least an hour to be sure it is dry.  If it is tacky, let it dry another 1/2 hour or longer, until it is completely dry.
  5. Turn over, and repeat the process so that your trays are now completely covered.  Again, let them dry for an hour (or longer if necessary)
  6. I would recommend not using for at least a day, allowing them to completely dry overnight before using.
I am thrilled with how the set of three cookie sheets are looking with their new coat of paint.  I also feel great that I had everything on hand to transform them for practical use.  Sure, I love the pretty (expensive) trays one can find in the stores, but for outdoor entertainment, or other occasion, these are going to work out great!!

I am thrilled with how the set of three cookie sheets are looking with their new coat of paint. I also feel great that I had everything on hand to transform them for practical use. Sure, I love the pretty (expensive) trays one can find in the stores, but for outdoor entertainment, or other occasion, these are going to work out great!!

My cost:  $0  Hopefully you will have some left over from a previous project, if it not and you need to purchase spray paint you will be looking at $6 – $8 which should be able to cover at least two trays.  To be frugal, do not purchase a variety of colors, select one that pleases your eye.

Enjoy your new serving trays!!

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor