Summer Entertaining DIY: Seashell Candles

Image courtesy of Banana Grove Designs

After returning from a family vacation, I always wonder what to do with some of the souvenirs we collect along the way. In the summer, it’s so lovely to walk along the water collecting interesting stones and beautiful shells and I came across a great little DIY project that will make use of the many seashells I tucked away.

Per DesignSponge, where I found this quick, easy and cheap craft: This is my favorite sort of project, one that takes next to no time and very little money. All you need are some shells (I used the leftovers from summer collecting), a few tea lights and something to melt the wax. If you’re lazy and using small shells like I did, you can just melt a few tapers over the shells, but the proper method usually involves making a simple double boiler.

Materials

  • shells
  • tea lights
  • double boiler or a heat-safe bowl over a pot of simmering water

Instructions

1. Remove the wicks from the tea lights by peeling off the silver covers.

2. Place the wicks in the bottoms of the shells. (If the shells won’t lay flat, you can lay them on a crumpled paper bag or cloth to keep them level)

3. Place the leftover (without wicks) candles in the double boiler and melt. (You can also melt them in a non-stick pan. You’ll just need to clean the pan while it’s still pretty hot to get all the wax off.)

4. Carefully pour the candle wax into each shell, leaving at least a half-inch of wick exposed. This step can get a little bit messy, so to avoid wax spills on your table, it’s best to place your shells on a piece of aluminum foil or paper before pouring.

5. Wait for them to dry completely and then set on the table!

Candles Off Main Explores Our Summer Scents

We were thrilled to see a fun new video posted by our friends at Candles Off Main, featuring a few of their favorite spring and summer candles from Linnea’s Lights. See which scents were at the top of their list and then pick up a few from their well-stocked e-shop!

What fragrance  of ours do you enjoy most in the spring and summer months?

Summer Vacation: Hiking Through Acadia, Maine

Image courtesy of apt11d.com

I just got back from a wonderful, and much needed, summer vacation with the family. This year we visited Maine, hiking Acadia and thoroughly enjoyed the Atlantic Ocean and the lakes. It was a great way to reconnect and the time spent outdoors left me inspired.

People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery. I would highly recommend a visit!

Berry Delicious Summer Pudding

image courtesy of food52.com

Summer is here and I always find myself indulging in yummy seasonal fruits around this time of year – they’re just too good to resist. It seems that every time I go to the market, I make the mistake of overbuying fruit and forgetting to remind my family to eat it. I hate letting the fruit go to waste and recently came across a brilliant recipe on food52.com for Berry Summer Pudding. There are only a few easy ingredients and you can change up the fruit combination if you want (this recipe calls for blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries). It’s perfect to top off a summer cookout if you have a surplus of uneaten fruit and white bread hanging around ( and even stale bread is ok for this).  So celebrate, have some friends over and enjoy the sweetness of summer and this delicious recipe!

Bring the Garden In

Image courtesy of Saipua

As Spring quickly moved on to Summer, the flowers in the yard have been in full bloom. Apartment Therapy recently posted a very timely piece with some lovely ideas for bringing the garden in,  and they were also kind enough to include us in the piece. With so many floral scents in our line, you’ve got some wonderful ways to freshen up the home for summer!

Try some of our favorites:

New! Wild Fern

New! Peony

Magnolia

Tuberose

The Diary of A Nose

Since I’ve built a career in the world of scents, I am always interested to hear what has inspired some of the world’s most renown olfactory experts. Jean-Claude Ellena, the official perfumer of Hermès, shares his thoughts on perfume in his new memoir and I think this will be the perfect summer read for me.

A scent is such a personal thing, capable of transporting you to your past, of kindling fantasies… out of thin air. It is quite a task (one that I love) to create each candle, capturing the essence of the candle’s namesake (Peony, Vetiver, Wild Fern…). And so, in the name of research, I am looking forward to sticking my nose into this memoir by Jean-Claude Ellena, the official perfumer of Hermès: “The Diary of a Nose: A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur“. Available now from Rizzoli.

Per the Rizzoli website:

An intimate exploration of inspiration and creativity, from the “parfumeur exclusif” of the house of Hermès. Where does inspiration for this visceral art come from? How does one capture the essence of emotions, of desire? Jean-Claude Ellena has a sublime gift. As “parfumeur exclusif” (or “the nose”) for Hermès, he elevates fragrance to an art form. A “writer of perfume,” his concoctions are as finely composed and evocative as a haiku. He is also a conjurer of sorts: “I create an illusion that is actually stronger than reality . . . you enter the scent and follow the path.” The Diary of a Nose is a collection of Ellena’s meditations on the world of scents, and what stirs his creation of some of the world’s most desired fragrances. Inspiration can come from anywhere—a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy. Though each smell has its own distinct character, a gifted perfumer creates olfactory experiences that are intensely personal and unique, that blossom on the body and leave a trace of us lingering after we have left a room. Seductive, delicate, and elegant as any of Ellena’s creations, The Diary of a Nose seeks to capture the most elusive facets of this rarefied and mysterious art.

About the Author

Jean-Claude Ellena has been the exclusive perfumer to the house of house of Hermès since 2004. Over the course of his career he has created some of the world’s bestselling fragrances, including “First” from Van Cleef & Arpels, “Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert” from Bulgari, and “Déclaration” from Cartier.

For mixing, matching, traveling and gifting

Good things come in our small packages

Linnea’s Lights Mini Votives: 15 hour burn time

With Spring and Summer around the bend, I look forward to some weekend trips out of town. One of the first things I pack are a selection of our smaller candles in my favorite scents like Cashmere, Ocean and Sweetgrass. Petite but as powerful as our traditional size candles, our mini votives come in a variety of classic Linnea’s Lights scents. Without taking up much space at all, they make great hostess gifts if you’re staying with friends or family, or perfect if you just want to make a new space feel like home! They can be lit alone or try combining different scents together and enjoy a unique atmosphere.

Our mini votives are available online at Urban Farmhouse for just $15. Which scents will you bring on your next trip?

BYO Candles?

Image courtesy of tumblr.com

In these final dog days of summer, I’m trying to take advantage of the next few weeks of wonderful weather. I thought the perfect way to enjoy a warm summer’s night would be to host a garden party for friends and family. This time around, I wanted to bring the scents I love so much while inside, outside, and thought our Garden Mint candle would be just the thing.

Garden Mint highlights the yard’s natural, welcoming perfume and is absolutely perfect for these final hot summer evenings. A perfect aroma to take the edge off summer’s fiery heat, watery notes of garden mint leaves mingle with cucumber, spearmint and hints of citrus. The scent is known for its therapeutic & cooling properties and has a gentle aroma that is never overwhelming. This an important thing to consider at an event revolving around dining;  you never want to compete with the aroma of a home cooked meal!

We love the balance of using our candles both inside and out, they’re multi-taskers just like us! As always and no matter where you’re enjoying your candles, just remember to always keep your eyes on a burning candle and never to leave one unattended. Candle safety comes first!

Pick one up at Candles Off Main in time for your next dinner party.

Beat the Heat with Homemade Ice Popsicles!

Image Courtesy of Vogue.com

Before summer comes to a close, I like to make the most of seasonal produce and flavors that just aren’t as fresh the rest of the year. The perfect way I’ve found to beat the heat is by indulging in a nice cold popsicle. I found this Honeydew-Lime Pop recipe on Bon Appetit and thought it would be a fun activity for you and the whole family. I also enjoyed this recent article from Vogue about ice pops and their evolution. I’m excited to enjoy these next few weeks of summer with my family and indulge a bit with these refreshing icy pops!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups 1″ cubes peeled honeydew melon
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup mild honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preparation

  • Purée all ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a food processor until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium pitcher; strain, pressing on solids to extract purée. Divide among molds. Cover; insert ice-pop sticks. Freeze until firm. Dip bottoms of molds into hot water for 20-30 seconds to loosen pops. Remove pops from molds and serve.

How easy does that sound? Do you have any favorite popsicle flavor combinations I should try?

Introducing: NEW Hearth Candle!

Summer is fantastic, isn’t it? The sun, the outdoors, it’s all great, but I have to say there’s something beautiful about the cooler months. During Fall and into the holiday season my home becomes my sanctuary. I live for the hours when I’m free to curl up on the couch and let the warmth of the fireplace engulf me. The smell of the embers are so enticing and relaxing. It seems to lure the rest of my family away from their rooms and down the stairs to the comfy couch and me. That scent is home to me.

With my new few posts here on the blog, I wanted to give you a closer look at each new candle we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. Production is in full swing here and the studio smells divine!

This fall Linnea’s Lights is introducing a new scent named Hearth. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature. On brisk nights, find comfort in hearth and home. The candle’s scent will linger throughout your whole house creating a loving and warm environment. Smoky & captivating cedar wood is kindled with sweet amber and leather accords to welcome you.

Available for purchase, Fall 2012. Which season do you look forward to most?