Thursday, 5 November 2015

Nordic November! Nordic light antler candle holder.

I am so in love with Scandinavia - isn't everyone I hear you chorus so I have decided to invent Nordic November to focus all things Scandi which is also quite relevant to the run up the Christmas.

Our northern neighbours always seem to be able to hit the style nail right on the head. They get it right and boy do I love grey, red and white together. If it involved antlers and winter imagery, I am sold!

Speaking of antlers....have you ever had a completely perfect day? Full of Danish Hygge? A week or so ago, Rob and I decided to spend the day at Snettisham Deer Park in North Norfolk. We rugged up because it is getting a little late in the year and we set out.

The view from our tractor during the safari
Well the sun was out, the fields were green and the deer were so friendly that they came up to us during our tractor safari and ate out of our hands! So worth the day if you find yourself in this part of the world. Of course, Snettisham is so much more than just the deer. It is a proper working farm and there are lambs, goats and so much more. The staff give demonstrations and children (of any age!) can join in.

I love deer so much! To me, they are the ultimate symbol of my part of Europe and everything that I love about living in the north.

Proud and beautiful!

The stag himself.  You can see how close we could get too!
You might notice something missing in the photo above....disappointingly, we had arrived a week after the rangers had removed the stag's magnificent antlers. I stupidly forgot to check so he was a bit diminished in his beauty. But you know what? It didn't actually detract from the day. Next year, I will ring first and check!

With his harem of ladies.
I can imagine how he would have looked with his crown still on. It is usual practise to remove the antlers during the rutting season and it doesn't hurt the deer at all. Far from it in fact. If they neglected to do this and left the deer alone, they would often come away with horrific injuries. Sometimes, nature doesn't know best!

After the safari, Rob and I had a lovely bite to eat in the cafe - a homemade meal of Cornish pasty and carrot soup with a perfect lemon drizzle cake for pudding. Then a long walk to help it all settle. All in all, a fab day and thank you to Trevor and his very friendly staff for making it happen for us. 

Well. Speaking of antlers, I am still determined to bring you a post this week using them. Forgive me for cheating but I will not be using red deer antlers for this one. I have a small fallow deer shed and it is just begging to be turned into a candle holder! What do you think....

It is simplicity itself and you will need the bare minimum of things.
-an antler 
-a small candle cup with a spike on the end

-DecoArt Americana Chalky finish paint - everlasting

-paint brush
-drill and a bit the same size as the spike on the candle cup
-beeswax sheet and a wick (we are going to make as much of this as possible!) You could use any candle but I love these ones.

Clean your antler if needed and polish it. You can paint them but it seems a shame unless you have lots. A bit of oil and a soft cloth to polish is a better idea and it brings out the natural colours a treat.

Next turn the antler upside down so that it sits nicely and decide where to drill the hole for the candle cup. You can put a couple of these on actually. I am using one because I am aiming for the simplicity which makes Nordic style well, Nordic style. Drill your hole and check that the cup fits...

Paint the candle cup with the paint next. Now it is important to point out here that this particular paint is not made for metal and it will scratch off if it is over-handled. You are probably not planning to over-handle a candle stick so it is fine. Paint the candle cup anyway and allow it to dry well. DecoArt have specific paints for metal and slick surfaces. I am lazy and I happened to have his paint nearby. Do check their website for better options though.

Aim for a rough effect when you paint. it should not look as though it had been powder coated. Rub some off here and there too for a more rough luxe look.

Place it in the hole next and add a bit of hot glue or similar to keep it there....

That is all there is to it actually. It is simple and lovely and it allows the natural sculptural quality of the antler to really shine.

Now how about that candle? Quite often, when you buy wax sheets, they come with wicks. Trim the wicking cord about 2cm longer than you will need. Lay your sheet out and place the wick on the short side closest to you....

Now begin rolling quite firmly - the more holes between the wax, the quicker it will burn down. Keep rolling until you have a candle which will fit into your holder without straining it....

By the way, if your house is a little cold, the wax will not roll. It can crack quite easily so employ a hair dryer to get it to cooperate.

Trim the excess wax off and squeeze the candle a little to seal it. Look at that! Practically ready to move RIGHT up north and live off grid! I've made a candle!

And it looks just peachy in its holder. 

This is something that I will use and use. Mealtimes are super important events at our house and the table is always set with cloth napkins and all the trimmings. Even on a Wednesday. This is just the centrepiece to make it all very special. It will match my antler cutlery too!

Best of all, the deer himself was not harmed to make this so my conscience is intact.

Thank you so much for stopping by. See you next time!
Love and hugs
Debbie xxx