Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Love Candles

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Candle manufacturers' surveys show that 96% of all candles purchased are bought by women

I have had been fascinated with fire all my life, bonfires, fireplace and yes, I played with matches and still do.  In Florida we have a very short candle burning season  because when it is hot and humid they do not appeal to me.




Candles have been around FOREVER. Like the early Egyptians, the Roman's relied on tallow, gathered from cattle or sheep suet, as the principal ingredient of candles. It was not until the Middle Ages when beeswax, a substance secreted by honey bees to make their honeycombs, was introduced. Beeswax candles burned pure and clean. However, they were expensive, and, therefore, only the wealthy could afford them.



Colonial women offered America's first contribution to candlemaking when they discovered that boiling the grayish green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned clean


The growth of the whaling industry in the late 18th century brought the first major change in candlemaking since the Middle Ages, when spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil,



1850 with the production of paraffin wax made from oil and coal shales. Processed by distilling the residues left after crude petroleum was refined, the bluish-white wax was found to burn cleanly, and with no unpleasant odor. Of greatest significance was its cost - paraffin wax was more economical to produce than any preceding candle fuel developed


With the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candlemaking declined until the turn of the century when a renewed popularity for candles emerged. No longer man's major source of light, candles continue to grow in popularity and use. Today, candles symbolize celebration and romance.


And then there are those of us who love FIRE.... I can sit and stare at flickering candle light or any other source of flickering fire for hours.  Let me know how you feel about candles and fire.

7 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Neat Sandra.... I love candles also--and even bought a new one this year just for Christmas. I love the 'smelly' ones (Vanilla, Cinnamon, Apple Pie, etc.)... Since our Christmas tree is fake, I have to buy Evergeen candles to help me remember that great 'pine' smell....

I never thought I'd EVER get a 'fake' tree--but the one we bought from Lowe's is AMAZING. It is a great shape, has the lights already perfectly strung on it --and it doesn't shed needles all over the house....

You take such gorgeous pictures ---and candle pictures are some of your best.

BUT--since you like 'fire' --don't get any ideas to come and burn my house down. Okay????? har har har

Hugs,
Betsy

Ginny said...

Such beautiful images for the eyes! I just had to click on the first one to see what the pretty green glowing thing was. A shell shaped night light! How lovely. I had never thought about the history of candles; but I love to learn things like this! What can I say about fire? It is God's most prominent characteristic, He says that He is a consuming fire. I taught a whole Bible lesson on fire one night. So then I shouldn't say I don't like it, because I suppose we could not live without it. I do love to stare into fireplaces, but fire scares me. It 's alive and can get out of control at any moment.

Ginny said...

I just love that quote on your header!!!

Suly Creek said...

great blog!

SquirrelQueen said...

I love candles too, they make a room look so warm and inviting. Your photos are beautiful Sandra, the last one really caught my eye. It almost seems to flicker when you look at it for a few moments. I really enjoyed the history of the candle, I had no idea it had such a history.

Judy

MedaM said...

Beautiful and interesting post. Your photos are wonderful.

CambridgeLady said...

Such beautiful pictures. We have a cinnamon candle at Christmas which is gorgeous ... and always makes me quite sleepy ......

"Happiness never decreases by being shared" - too true. Your blog brings me and many others happiness - thank you.

A Very Happy New Year 2010 to you and yours Sandra xx