Humble Beginnings...

30 + years ago--out of an afternoon of "boredom" I decided it would be cool to make my own candle.

I got part of the idea after attending a Girl Scouts field trip. The scout leaders presented us with boxes of old broken crayons and I remember thinking that maybe...just maybe...this new project would keep my mom from tossing out my old crayons (hey! they made great pretend walls/barriers for the gigantic Barbie house I would lay out on my floor (yup like a blue print)). The project turned out to be learning how to make our very own dinner placemats using the crayon shavings, hard plastic things of some kind & an iron...but the idea of melting those crayons was never far from my mind.

Fast forward to that one super boring afternoon. I grabbed some old crayons (pretty colors only of course) and then began the slow process of removing the Crayola paper from each and every one of them. I had in mind that I was going to melt the wax--I just needed to figure out a few things...

1. I could NOT use the stove top (I was like 9 and not to be trusted yet)

OHHH duh!!! I can totally use the new microwave my brother and I got our mom as a gift couple years before, that for sure would melt wax. 

2. I could NOT use a pan/container that I would have to clean or that could leave evidence of my bored afternoon.

Found a styrofoam cup, this is perfect--I can just throw it away when I'm done melting the wax in it.

3. What the heck was I gonna make? We didn't have any hard plastic to make placemats and--well I wanted it to be cooler than that!

Lightbulb!! I can make a candle, the styrofoam cup is totally a great shape for a candle. Yes!! this will work out soooo good.

I clearly had no concept of how a microwave worked and what would happen to the styrofoam cup--but in my defense, having a microwave in a home was a very new thing (we're talking the 80's folks!) and well...I was like 9!

I managed to get all the crayons stuffed into the styrofoam cup--in the order of colors I wanted to see for the outside of my candle (thinking they'd melt and stay in the exact color order I placed them in). I put the styrofoam cup into the microwave and closed the door, I selected the "Time Cook" button, pressed 1, 0, 0, 0 (yes...10 mins) and then pushed START. 

After watching the cup spin around for about 30 seconds I walked away. I mean it was going to be like 10 mins!! which gave me time to figure out what to use for a wick. Found a cotton shoe string and cut that bad boy down to the right size--now I just needed the microwave to hurry up!!

(INSERT MY FULL NAME HERE) being shouted out by my very ANGRY mom wanting to know just what the &*%$ I was doing. 

Busted... I am not even quite sure how much time had passed on the microwave, but I remember looking into it and seeing a styrofoam cup partially melting along with my crayons (who knew!?!) 

I was banned to my room while my mom cleaned it up--but not before yelling at me how I was so lucky--cause I could have burnt the whole house down AND I better NOT have broken her microwave...and I'm pretty sure she threw in a "Just wait until your dad gets home" (GULP)

My folks had that microwave well after I moved out and even my kids got to use it! But every time I opened it-- on the inside of the upper left  corner you could see a small black/brown scorch mark from the day I was really bored and wanted to make a candle. 

This is only ONE of the many things that I will never live down in my family...

It's amazing what 30+ years and the internet will solve...

~with a wink & a smile~

A'Lesha K.

 


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