Posts Tagged ‘frame’

Making a beeswax candle

There’s not a lot to it but I thought I’d show you as we ended the second day of the beekeeping course by doing it and it was lots of fun.

It’s not complicated at all. When you have a manmade hive, you get frames to fit into the boxes and these will each have a sheet of wax made from melted down beeswax and moulded into sheets that the bees will build cells onto.

When you get some of these wax sheets, instead of putting them into the frames, you can make candles out of them! It’s much quicker than dipping wicks into hot wax over and over again and it’s less faff. Check it out.

You start with a sheet of wax and a wick.

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You stick the wick down and curl the end of the sheet over it, like so…

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You keeping curling the end over and over till at last it picks up momentum and you can just roll the whole thing up.

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You can then warm the edge a little and smooth it down…

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….giving you a fully working candle with just a few minutes of work…

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Ta dah!

Into the dragon’s lair

The other day, I mentioned that I was going on a trip to the local drunk’s flat because a friend had asked me to help him put a framed picture on the wall (my friend owns a gallery and does framing etc). Well, this is the story of that day.

You know how, when you have someone coming over to do something, like you know the gas man is coming to read the meter, you clear a space for him. Say it’s tucked in the far corner of the basement or somewhere awkward, you move some stuff out of the way so it’s easier to get to. Well, Mr Red Wine had evidently cocked a snook at that type of thinking and done absolutely nothing to make our visit easier. In fact, it looked like he’d thrown everything he owned onto the floor and bed and sofa, just before we arrived.

Confusingly, the front door didn’t open properly. It got a little way open and stopped. I now realise it was because he had the sofa right behind it. It was quite wierd because he had a space either side of the sofa that he could have moved it into, so the door would open properly. But he’d pulled it directly into the line of the door.

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As we carried the frame into the flat, I had to open the kitchen door and go a little way into the kitchen, to allow us to manoeuvre the frame inside.

It was awful. Awful. Months old dishes were stacked in the sink and everything was slightly tinged with dried-on reddish grease and dust.

As we passed the sofa to get the picture inside, I noticed the one shiny grease-covered spot where he obviously sat, the rest of it was covered in mess. In front of the sofa was a long coffee table, every inch covered in mess and cigarette stubs.

We had to hang the picture on the wall behind the bed and, as he’d moved none of his mess to allow us to get near the wall, we realised we’d have to stand on his bed. We asked Mr Red Wine if he had something we could put on the bed to stand on, to save us standing all over his pillows etc. He got us his dressing gown and kind of threw it on the bed. To be honest, the dressing gown looked it had been used as a doormat so not the best thing to put on a bed but we didn’t question it. We just said thanks and got on.

It was so hot in his flat and I had foolishly worn a scarf which I then couldn’t even consider taking off because there was nowhere clean to put it down.

So onto the bed we go, which was a bit dirty and, wierdly, had a huge pink fish-shaped fairground cuddly toy on it. We were trying to hang the picture but it won’t catch on the hooks so my friend asked me to take the whole weight of it, so I dropped onto my knees and held the frame up.

At this point in my visit, I thought, where did it all go wrong? I was brought up well, I went to a good school, I’ve got degrees, I have a nice job and wonderful friends. How did this happen? How did I end up on my knees on the local drunk’s bed in his flat? Something has gone terribly wrong here.

It was at this point I also thanked myself for changing out of my open Crocs into a pair of closed laced shoes.

Once we had managed to hook it into place, we scarpered quickly, reeling from the experience, and sighed with relief as we went back to our normal greaseless, bedbugless lives.

And that is the story of my visit to Mr Red Wine’s house.

A few follow ups and a ladle of soup

A little while ago, I wrote a post called Sometimes I Think Too Much about a girl who was new in the area and had asked me to go for a drink, in a best-friend-date type of way. Some of you asked about how it had gone.

So here’s the story. The next time she came in, she mentioned needing a job, I said we had one. Two and two were put together and they equalled my new potential best friend and I working together. It was all ok for a few weeks. Then she got another job and left. And that was that really. Done.

Clearly I gave it way more thought than it warranted when she asked me out for a drink.

The second thing is that the local drunk who featured in “Are these donuts?” recently took a picture to a gallery nearby to have it reframed. It has been reframed now and, as the owner of the gallery is a friend and has a bad shoulder at the moment, he has asked me to help him go to Mr Red Wine’s flat and help him reframe it.

That’s right. I get to go INSIDE Mr Red Wine’s flat! I am beyond excited. I imagine it’ll be like one of those programmes called Grime Fighters or something, where cleaning companies go into old flats which are full of crap and pizza boxes with mould growing on them and rats running around.

My gallery owner friend has pre warned me that we will have to stand on Mr Red Wine’s bed to hang the picture and that it is alive with bed bugs. He also said I shouldn’t worry about just standing on stuff as I walk in the flat as there is no free floor space anyway.

It is going to be mental, I can tell.

Also, a few days ago, whilst at work, I was leaning over a bowl of soup to get something and there was a ladle in it with a hook on the end, for hanging it up with. Somehow the ladle hook caught on my apron and as I stood back up, I pulled the ladle with me, which was full of soup, and scooped it onto myself. It went all down my front and onto my Crocs and in the little holes and into my feet. Niiiiice.

I just thought you might like that little story.

Nothing to get excited about? Yes there is!

I’m handing over to my regular guest blogger again today… Enjoy!
Well, I suppose it had to happen – an art exhibition about “invisibility”. I couldn’t see the point really but at the moment there is a gallery in London which has an exhibition on called – Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957 – 2012. (£8 entry fee!)
One of our national newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, reported that the gallery “will gather together 50 ”invisible” works by leading figures such as Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Yoko Ono for its display of works you cannot actually see.” Now just read those last 7 words again. Yep that’s right you can’t actually see them. It is thought to be the first such exhibition staged at a major institution in the UK. At this point I’m struggling with the concept of “display”. The gallery director says that “….art is not about material objects but about setting our imaginations alight…..” Oh well that’s ok then. As well as empty plinth on which Andy Warhol once stood, Yoko Ono will be contributing a series of typed instructions encouraging visitors “to conjure up an artwork in their minds”. Are you getting the idea now?
Check out the picture below and ask yourself can you believe this? Someone who has paid £8 to look at nothing!


A woman at the gallery looks at Tom Friedman’s ‘Untitled (A Curse)’, 1992
The Daily Telegraph also conducted a survey using the following question:
Can an empty plinth and a blank piece of paper be classed as art? The two possible answers were:
1. Yes – art is about the concept or
2. No – there is nothing there.
The results are surprising – “No” has got 2,714 votes (86.3%) & “Yes” has got 431 (13.7%). Now it’s not surprising that the “No” vote is winning but it is surprising that 431 people thought looking at nothing could be classed as art.
Some of the comments about the gallery & the exhibits are quite interesting:
Dbarry said this: “Tried to pay the entrance fee with invisible money. Needless to say it didn’t work.

Maria Sol said, “Am I studying History of Art for this kind of nonsense?? I’d rather be unemployed, than an advocate for this snobbish “idea” of what art is. JMW Turner, please, COME BACK!!!!”

Ajikan said, “Since it’s all in the mind, there can be no point in going to the trouble of making the trip to the Hayward Gallery and forking out the admission charge to ‘see’ a load of formless ideas. Since there’s nothing to see in the first place, why not just publish the catalogue of exhibits and be done with it? After all, the logical conclusion of all this is an exhibition that doesn’t happen at all and occurs only in the mind.”

Don’t know about you but I can’t disagree with any of those.

But hang on a mo’. It’s given me an idea – what about having my own exhibition? Here are the first three exhibits. On a recent visit to a couple of memorable sites in Liverpool I was able to get the following pics.

See No.1 below. What – nothing on the pavement? Of course there is! All I want you to do is imagine you can see Paul McCartney, stepping on these two old paving slabs and then walking in through the front gate of his home at 20 Forthlin Rd in Liverpool. These are the two actual paving stones he would have walked on to get to his house. (The newer white ones, to the left of the picture, would not have been there when he was there.) I’ve added a view of the front door and the sign in the hedge outside just in case you thought I’d taken a picture of just any old paving stones. Now you’ve got it haven’t you?

1. Paul McCartney – “Coming Home”

Front Door of 20 Forthlin Road

National Trust Sign outside the house

The second site was the school John Lennon attended (1952-57). Nothing on that piece of ground? Of course there is! All I want you to do is imagine you can see John Lennon walking across that piece of ground into the school. (I included the bottom of the gates in the pic so you could see, in the second pic, that they are they actual gates to Quarry Bank School -its name was changed to Calderstones some years ago following a tri-school merger.

2. John Lennon “Going To School”

Front Gates to Quarry Bank School


Now for the third exhibit. I don’t normally allow people to see my private art collection but in the context of today’s blog I think it would be helpful. Here, on the lounge wall, is my picture – Polar Bear in a Snowstorm (by the artist Ian V. Zeeble). It’s unique – the artist told me there are no copies or prints so it may well accumulate value in the years to come! It’s there just to the left of the plant. Can you see it?

3. Polar Bear in a Snowstorm

A friend was visiting a couple of days ago and suggested it really needed framing. (He has a similar picture called: 3 Skiers Buried By An Avalanche by the same artist.) I hunted round and eventually decided I would buy a wood finish picture frame. Here’s the result of the framing:

I’m not sure about you but I feel this does not really add to the aesthetics and in fact may prove a distraction to people as they look at the main picture. Think I’ll probably leave it unframed but I’m definitely getting into this invisible art thing. Wow factor? Off the scale!

So there you have it. Probably a new experience for you but quite exciting eh? At least it should have “set your imaginations alight” as the director of that gallery said. Well it has, hasn’t it?

In the spirit of the blog, I was going to paint my reaction to the exhibition in London but I think Edvard Munch has done a rather better job than I could do. Here’s his effort (sold in May 2012 for $119.2 million!)

Nothing to get excited about? There sure is.