Saturday, November 7, 2009

a pleasante afternoon

melting bees wax over an apple wood fire
This is the best time of year...when the fields are finally at rest, the leaves turn deep reds and yellows, the crisp chill air calls for a sweater and boots and the scent of wood smoke curls down from the chimney.
a pleasant afternoon to dip candles down in the old orchard.
The candlewicks are measured out by eye, cut and then tied onto long sticks with a knot on the end,
then slowly dipped into the melted wax,
lifting them and straightening by gently pulling the knot
at the bottom while they're still warm and letting them cool.
new candles cooling in between each dip into the hot bees wax.
of course, there's my naughty kitten,Willow, underneath....
batting at the candles while they cooled.
Katie & I visit and dip the candles together.
The grandchildren climb the old apples trees and eat their lunch sitting on
the branches with the kittens.
We take turns dipping.
It becomes a rhythm, dipping, straightening and hanging them to cool.
The air is crisp on our cheeks, the hot fire smokes and crackles, we hang our sweaters and shawls on a branch and decide that we should tie more wicks, it being so pleasant out.
the nearly finished candles after cutting them from their dipping sticks.
I warm a large knife and cut their ends on a wooden cutting board.
I stack them on the pantry shelf and in old baskets to store.
They smell heavenly and make no smoke and do not drip.


By the end of the afternoon, the wind has come up and the sky begins to turn a deep indigo. Storm clouds hang over us so close we could reach up and touch them.

We gather everything up into baskets and let the fire die down.
We made nearly enough candles to last through the long winter evenings in just one afternoon.
An afternoon of family and togetherness.
and afternoon spent that won't be forgotten, carrying on our traditions
with the children under the old apple trees
down in the old orchard.
Our traditions are just simple things
but ones that the heart never forgets.
I hope this finds you all enjoying this lovely fall with those you love
and making some
wonderful memories.


Bittersweetfolkart said...

How wonderful !!
I love Autumn ..its my most favorite time of the year...

Christine Crocker of Deerfield Farm said...

Thank you for visting Mandy,
Autumn is our very favorite too.
I hope that you're doing well.
take good care,

Laura said...

dear christine,

What a beautiful afternoon you must have had. There indeed is pleasure and contentment in the simple things. I would love to learn how to do the candledipping. I can smell the applewood smoke even now.
warm hugs,

p.s. I looove your new header

Christine Crocker of Deerfield Farm said...

dearest Laura,

We would Love to have you here next time we set up the iron cauldron and start melting the bees wax...oh I hope that you please do consider it!

It's always so much fun to do them and especially with Katie.

We laugh so much that we fear we'll forget ourselves and catch our skirts ablaze...(after we've scolded the children to keep away from the hot wax and from putting their marshmallow sticks into the fire and running willy nilly among the dry leaf piles with the lit sticks...)
we've had not one far...
There is apple wood smoke curling from our chimney this morning and snow falling in the mountains around us...wish you here for tea by the fire today.


joey said...

You paint a lovely picture; I want to live there

Christine Crocker of Deerfield Farm said...

Thank you for coming to visit us Joey,

what a lovely thing to say.
We love it here,too.

yrs very kindly,

Little Brown Sparrow said...

They're lovely, I so miss making candles- I've no space here at the moment to do it. I don't know if I miss making dipped ones though- they take so long! I'm not very patient. :)

I'm also really jealous of the other side of the world being in Fall right now, and I'm sitting here in the Australian 'spring'- which judging by today's volcano is just another word for summer. D:

Suzanne said...

Ahhh....I love dipping candles over the open fire:-) Have you seen Tasha Tudor's pic doing it in her book Heirloom Crafts? What beautiful pictures, wish I was there with you.
Your Kindred Spirit,

Heather said...

ah, what a lovely time! I remember dipping candles as a kid at Camp Fire Girl Camp and being so proud of my lumpy little candles ;) I'd love to do it again, just need to dig up a big cauldron like that!

Christine said...

dear little brown sparrow,

Thank you for coming all the way from down under to visit today.
I would love to send some lovely chilly autumn wind and rain your way.

Thank you dear Suzanne,

you know, I had imagined doing this for so long and when we were finally able to do it, it was even more wonderful.
I actually used Tasha's Heirloom Crafts as a quide to learn how to do this myself. It was amazing how it all fell into place.
The scents and the quietness of it made such a lovely day.

oh Heather~
We could have used your expertise as I am not a Camp Fire girl at all.
we're proud of our lumpy candles,too...and I found this big old iron cauldron on eBay,it lived just down the lane.

Thank you all for coming to visit us down in the old orchard.

Gayle said...

Christe'--I can almost smell the smoke from your fire and the wax burning. Lovely to read on an autumn day.....

my best, Gayle

katiebird said...

those are exactly the kinds of "presents" that I take with me...projects together in the quiet and the soft talking and the laughing and then the quiet work again...THE BEST time of year!

Storybook Woods said...

What a perfect Tasha Tudor day xoxox Clarice

The Rustic Victorian said...

Hi Christine,
I have not stopped by for a while and enjoyed catching up on your corner of the world. I see there is a new baby, new baby chicks, new sky, you are being blessed in so many ways. You are still one of the best dollmakers I have ever met and will have to go see if you have any new creations. The candles are wonderful, like canning, and looking at your store with a smile. I do miss much. It is nice to visit this morning.
I hope your week is full of magic!

Lois said...

How wonderful, I can remember dipping candles when doing some 16th century 'Living History' museum work in the UK a few years back, so much fun! You have reminded me that with very little equipment, it would be possible to make a good sized batch of dipped canles ready for the winter. I am so pleased to have found your wonderful blog, amd will follow with real pleasure. Lois x

Diane Costanza said...

It sounds so relaxing and natural. Doing things in the old way must give you a peace that the rest of us caught up in suburbia cannot even imagine. I envy you this piece of the past.


...Miss...Maddie's... said...

There is a magic that captivates us when we return to the ways of our ancestors.
I always find it humbling understanding how a woman could sit by the fire with only the light of a single candle stitching the quilts, samplers and garments that have transcended many generations... coveted by the hands of women today.
xo Susan

Christine said...

dear Gayle,

I'm so glad that you came to visit us down in the old orchard.
It was a perfect autumn day for it.

One of my favorite parts of it all to me is the smell of woodsmoke & the scent of the beeswax...that and the light through the deep yellow leaves agains the autumn blue of the sky.

Please come for a visit again soon.
I hope you have a pretty day in your corner of the woods,

Christine said...

what a lovely thing to tell your Momma.

I'm so glad to know that you take these gifts with you...
I know that you do.

love you, Ma

Christine said...

Dear Clarice~

oh I'm so glad that you came down to the old orchard for a visit,
it was a perfect Tasha day.
You are welcome any time. i hope that you have a pretty day there in your corner of the woods.

Dear Marcie,
Oh what a wonderful surprise to hear from you! What a sweetheart you are such lovely compliments. Thank you.
I'm so very glad to hear from you and that youre doing well and very happy!
I hope that you come to visit again.
I hope it's a pretty day for you there in your corner of the woods.

Dear Lois,

I'm so pleased that you've come for a visit to Deerfield and found us here down in the old orchard.

I would love to see your living history work! 16thc! It must be amazing!!

You're right it doesn't take much equipment and doesn't take long...the pleasantness of it makes it play rather than work.

I hope that you come again soon and we can visit down in the old orchard.

I hope you have a very pretty day there in your corner of the woods,

Christine said...

Dearest Susan,

I'm so glad that you came by to visit us here today.

I think that we appreciate things more when we follow the old ways of our foremothers.
It is humbling to think that each tiny stitch was sewn by candle and fire light...and with love.
You can't buy that at the outlet mall.

I'm so glad that you,too, are one of the keepers of old things done and made by hand.

hope to visit again soon,

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Loving this post, Miss Christine. Makes me think of dear Tasha Tudor.
Hope you are thoroughly enjoying Autumn in all its splendor, but it certainly sounds as if you are.
xo Lidy

Theresa said...

Christine what a lovely day... I could see it all in my mind... your words painted such a perfect picture.



Christine said...

Thank you Lidy,

I'm so glad that you came to visit us.

It has been a lovely autumn and our first snow flakes came this morning!

I hope that you have a pretty day in your corner of the woods.


Christine said...

Thank you for your kind words, Theresa.
I'm so glad you came to visit us down in the old orchard.
I hope you have a very pretty day there in your corner of the woods,


Debi Mullenioux said...

I could smell the fire, breathe the fresh crisp fall air and feel the special traditions and memories you were creating.

Sea Angels said...

I am in raptures, you lovely lady's...I have read on Katies blog ages ago that you dipped candles and now I have seen you do it....well via your lovely pictures of course, the candles are just so simple and so beautiful
I was reading the other day that beeswax candles are the most healthiest to have in your home.... no pollution ....what a simply lovely afternoon..
I hope you are both well and happy and thank you for such a magical post
Hugs Lynn xxx

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

How Wonderful ~ Nothing better than Family Tradition & Bees Wax Candles...

Penelope's Beehive said...

Such a lovely way to spend an autumn very special. Thank you most kindly for sharing the afternoon with your gentle readers.