Tealights with secret message – tutorial

 

Today I have a little tutorial for your for a very sweet gift idea. It’s not my typical “thing” as it doesn’t involve any paints or such … but it’s quick and easy, you can send it via mail and even kids can help. So I just thought I had to share.

As you can see in the photo above I made a little tealight Advent calendar with this idea and mailed it out. But you can also easily create candles with your wishes for a new year for New Years Eve or candles with secret messages, wishes or even gifts for birthdays or just because … I love that the tealights look like ordinary tealights … until you light them and they burn for a while and reveal the secret message.

You have to let the tealights burn for quite some time until all the wax has melted. Then the white wax becomes translucent and you can see the secret message underneath. (Just a little warning – it takes quite some time until all the wax melts. It’s not done in 30 minutes!)

You need:

-tealights
-paper and a dark pen
-scissors
-optional a Candle-Liner

How it’s done:

First you cut out the message. You can print out the pdf below if you like and write your message into the circles. But of course you can also simply draw some circles (a bit smaller than your tealights) on some paper and write down your message on those.

Hint:
I wouldn’t recommend writing your message in the middle of the circles as that’s where the flame of your tealight will be and that might make it hard to read. Also, you should use a darker color to write down your message so it will be easy to read it through the liquid wax. A light pencil does not work too well.
;-)

Once you cut out the message, take the candle out of the metal tealight capsule. Put your paper into the capsule and put the candle back on top. Done!

Hint:
With some tealights you can very easily take the candle out of the metal capsule. With some it takes a bit more persuading. If possible already check when buying them whether you can disassemble them easily. I had some that were quite persistent not to be parted …. so I actually needed some metal pliers to persuade the candle to come out of the metal …

If you wanna make an Advent calendar then you need to make 24 (or 25) tealights with secret messages. Once you’re finished you can write the numbers on top of the tealights with a Candle-Liner. I had a glittery one, which I really liked. But you can of course also use any other color. I think red would also be very pretty for example.

If you just wanna give them as a gift, obviously you can make any number you want. And you can either draw little symbols or such on top – or just leave them as they are. I would however recommend to add some sort of instruction to them when giving them as a gift as they really look just like ordinary tealights and really takes some time until they reveal their hidden secret. And it would be rather sad if the person you gave them to missed their secret message just because they didn’t expect it … and didn’t look.

What do you think of this idea?

Write me a comment and let me know who’d you like to give a tealight with a secret message to?

Or tell me what little gifts that are easy and quit to make you like to give?

P.S. Here’s the pdf – just right-click and choose “save as”. Have fun creating!

Blanc circles PDF

 

Rituals for a new year

Rituals for a new year

How do you feel about the start of a new year? Do you get excited?

As you probably know – I LOVE new beginnings. And therefore I’m always pretty excited when a new year starts. However, I don’t really celebrate the year with a big party. I rather like to start it quietly, taking time for myself and for reflecting.

I thought that I will share my little rituals that I did for the new year 2016. Just a little warning – I didn’t do all of this on New Year’s Eve. I kinda spread it out over a few days … Just so you know. :-)

A workbook for the new year

One of the things that I love to do is to reflect on the last year and on the year to come with a workbook. I created my own in German – and if you happen to be German or read German, feel free to check it out HERE. But there are many English resources out there. I list just three here for you to get started. If you have other favourite resources, feel free to tell me about them in the comment section. Here are three wonderful resources:

New Year’s revolution kit by Do what you love

Unraveling the year by Susannah Conway

Create your shining year by Leonie Dawson

Word of the year

I also decided on my word of the year – as I do every year. If you’re not familiar with the “word of the year” – in short it’s a word that you choose for yourself that will guide you through the year. If you think – which word could it be? It’s usually the one that comes to mind first. ;-)
For 2016 my word of the year will be FLY. And I even created a visual reminder for myself. Hey, last year I created my art piece to remind me of my word of the year in September. So this is a BIG achievement! :-)

anatomy-of-taking-flight-ursula-markgraf-274

I got the idea for this piece from a workshop I took more than a year ago. It was an online-course by the lovely artist Danielle Donaldson. Now I just gotta frame it so I can hang and enjoy it.

Visioncards

haven-visioncard-ursula-markgraf

If you happen to have read my blogpost on New Year’s rituals last year, then you know, that I also always create a vision board. However, this year I felt like trying something new. I really wanted to incorporate all the things that are important to me this year into my visionboard. So that would include … three personal goals, three career goals and three feelings. That’s ALOT for one visionboard. So after quite a bit of thinking I decided to make visioncards instead.

So, what’s a visioncard?

Well, basically it’s a tiny visionboard for just one topic or theme, in my case one goal or one feeling. Or, that’s what I decided a visioncard would be. I  have no idea if there is an actual definition for visioncards. ;-) I just wanted to create tiny visionboards that are smaller and just for one theme … and called them visioncards.

I figured this way I can display the visioncard that is most important to me at the moment or even display several, if I feel like it. Honestly, I don’t know if this is gonna work as well or better than a visionboard, but I figured … I’m just gonna try it. And if you wanna try it, too, all you need is:

-cardboard as a background for your visioncard – cerealboxes or something alike should work great
-cut outs from magazines – pics and words that resonate with you – I actually sorted mine into different sleeves according to my goals, feelings, so it would be easier for me once I start arranging and glueing
-glue – decoupage glue works great – something like mod podge, but you can also use a regular glue stick
-optional: acrylic paints, brushes, marker, pencils …
-candle, tea, nice music – and a piece of chocolate also doesn’t hurt ;-)

Here you can see how I created my first visioncard – which is for a career goal that I have, to host my first show with my art work:

And here I’m creating my second visioncard, for a personal goal of mine, to create my own little haven:

I hope you enjoyed watching. Just for inspiration … I also made these visioncards:

explore-ursula-markgraf-277

 

abundance-ursula-markgraf-275

Now I’m curious – how did you celebrate the beginning of a new year? Do you have small – or big – rituals?

Have a wonderful year 2015 (plus ressources)

Have a wonderful year 2015 (plus ressources)

A new year started …. and I am a lover of new beginnings. I love the feeling of endless possibilities, that nothing is set yet, all open. Explains probably why I love Mondays, moving and new notebooks. ;-)

And even though most people do not share my Monday-love, most of you probably agree that the beginning of a new year has some sort of magic to it. Many people start a new year with resolutions. Unfortunately that has never worked for me. I always ended up not feeling good about myself and about what I had achieved cause usually I would find my list with resolutions sometime mid-year and realize that I had worked on none of them. :-( A tad frustrating.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Steve JobsAt some point I simply gave up and ditched resolutions for good. But by now I  have found some awesome alterantives – rituals that work for me and that help me to create a wonderful year:

1. Word of the year

Two years ago I tried something new. I decided on a “word of the year” which stayed with me the whole year. Last year I wrote a blogpost about it. For me this works really great as it is alot easier to implement than resolutions. And it is alot easier to remember, too. :-)
My “word of the year” for 2015 will be EASE. What is your word of the year?

Mixed media "Brave" by Ursula Markgraf

2. A workbook or planner for the new year

Last year I tried something else that was new for me. From a friend I got a wonderful workbook which helped me to plan out goals, to write down ideas, wishes, dreams. I loved this idea so much. I also used the wonderful free New Years Revolution kit by Do what you love. You can find this year’s version HERE. Go download it and try it out.

3. A visionboard for 2015

Last year I also created a vision board for 2014. You can see it below. I LOVE creating visionboards. You can make them big or small. I even created one in a notebook. You can create them for the whole year or for a project. They are so much fun to make and such a strong and powerful visual reminder. I hung my visionboard in my bedroom, so I can see my dreams each time I wake up or I fall asleep. :-)

Visionboard von Ursula Markgraf

If you would like a bit more instruction on how to create a visionboard you can check out this offer by the lovely artist Desiree East – she will lead an online-workshop on how to create your own visionboard January 11th.

So, now you have three ritual- ideas that you can use to jump-start your new year – having a “word of the year”, working in a planner for the new year and creating a visionboard. Which ritual do you like best?

Or do you have another ritual that you use to make certain that 2015 will be YOUR year?