Buzzworthy: Beeswax, Bushel Baskets, and Lizzy Albright
Buzzworthy...as a beekeeper, so I really like the sound of this catchphrase and as I thought about writing this blog the phrase's definition "news, interesting in a way that deserves widespread talk or attention" seemed perfectly fitting.
Today, was the launch of two of my very own, brand new seasonal products...Beeswax thread conditioner and Beeswax wraps. Trust me, it was a long road to workout all of the details. But in the end...I am extremely proud of my given gifts, hard work and accomplishments...from beekeeping, to creative thinking, to making a product or two actually happen. Most of you may already know me, but for those who don't, beekeeping is a fairly new hobby and a passion of mine. We have been keeping bees for almost 4 seasons now and I am constantly reminded by my mentor's words..."to be a good beekeeping advice, it does take about 5 years." This summer was the first time that I actually harvested the honey without a fire drill and it was the first time I did the harvesting on my own. It was an amazing experience and is one, that I sort of had doubts would actually happen, but it did! Here's some great photos from my honey harvest this season...
So my thoughts as I uncovered this hive...all by myself...eek! that's a lot of bees! heck yeah...a lot of bees! I hope they don't get angry at me!
This is a frame taken out of our supers...a super hive frame is from a super box basically means honey collection that is supposed to be for us. We our course, did not touch their honey stores in the bottom two hive boxes or brood chambers. The bees need these honey stores for the long New England winter that lies ahead. Seriously, OMG! just look at this beautiful frame single frame of honey and soon did I figure out...a by product...wax cappings.
My husband and I worked one morning solely on extracting the honey. This was a sight that I will never get tired of watching.
I would carefully scrap the wax cappings and then would help my husband... load 2 frames at a time. We would manually spin the frames, slinging the golden sweet smelling honey to the sides of the extractor which would eventually collect in the bottom.
We set up a clean work area and then cranked the handle of the extractor until the honey flowed. Doesn't this sound so dang cool?
Then I washed and prepared the jars to fill with the gold.
Here's what the end result looked like. I believe, in total... it was 49, 8 oz jars this year. We harvested in mid-August (late for most beekeepers I'm sure). We have almost given out all of our honey to family and friends. And this is exactly what we wanted when we got into this hobby.
Now, here's an interesting little side bar...this is the honeycomb scrapings from this season. The bees cap their honey cells with a wax capping. This is what I was gently scraping away in the earlier above photo. We typically filter, strain and end up with a clean wax, which normally, I would let my daughter experiment with and turn into lip balm... but this season, I claimed the wax cappings. So sorry sweetie!
I thought to myself...why don't I make something for people who sew and quilt...and the idea of a thread conditioner was born. Of course, I did my homework and drew up some artwork and then digitized it. I was not 100% happy with it on the first go around...strictly speaking about my artwork...so I redrew a second design and this time I was pleased.
Next up...was not an easy step...to create a jig and to figure out precisely how to cut and laser engrave my tiny tin lids. Because of course...I couldn't just use a sticker...good grief that's so not me!
Once I had a jig to hold my lids in place...well, in my opinion, I was home free! Yeah, right? Next step, was difficult to say the least, to precisely line up the artwork and aluminium caps to be held in place by my jig. Whoa! surprising, three long days with tech support!
A few more days of practice and then success! And oh boy! don't these look professional!
Next up...to melt and filter the beeswax to remove impurities. Then to carefully fill each tin with the appropriate amount of pure beeswax. This step takes time and a steady hand.
Final steps...test! And test some more!!! Is this thread conditioner made right? And to prepare to market your baby! I had to properly prepare photos, title, description, cost, proper packaging for mailing etc...Not easy tasks, but I did it!
This whole experience from start to finish makes me beam with happiness! But my enthusiasm did not stop here...next, I figured out how to create and developed some beautiful seasonal beeswax wraps...here are some photos....
Oh yes, I made my own personal bee stamp too! well, because...I am just "so extra"...as my teenage kids would exclaim!
These are @debralinkerdyehappy hand dyed gorgeous cotton fabrics. The vibrant colors and spectacular patterns drew me in...well, lets just say...a long, long time ago! And they make for the most beautiful reusable, antibacterial beeswax wraps.
Wrap a leftover half of onion...but ha ha be prepared...this product is breathable...so your fridge just might smell like a whole lot of onions..being a person who loves to cook and bake...I do not mind one bit!
So onto my other latest Janome Maker project...Fall Fabric Bushel Baskets...yesss! I absolutely loved creating this idea, this pattern and this project for others to make. And you can do this! Here are just a few of my pretty photos and if you visit my website project page here under www.heidiproffetty.com/projects and click on the image a .pdf will display for you to follow step-by-step instructions to make your own fabric bushel baskets. These are perfect making and an ideal way to display, on your kitchen counter, your apple picking or fall flowers. And they even make a perfect personal gift basket to hold goodies for that upcoming kiddo sleepover or for that someone special in your world! And oh yes!...they are perfectly perfect to use as a spooky Halloween treat basket! I'm on it! Stay tuned!
Last up on my buzzworthy news to share is this...good read...Lizzy Albright and the Attic Window written by Ricky Tims and Kat Bowser. Website: www.lizzyalbright.com. So I have two teenagers, ages 16 and almost 18. Every weekday, this summer, I have had a 40 minute drive into my daughter's gymnastics practice. As any mother would know...this is treasured time. During the last few weeks of August, I would listen to the happenings in my daughter's world but I would also share my daily events with my daughter. And, during the past few weeks, I would often share a recap of the chapters I had read of my Lizzy Albright book. Admittedly, my daughter wasn't not hooked immediately, but further on in the book... I had her full attention. And, guess what I did not reveal the ending...I hooked her just enough to get her to hopefully want to immerse herself and read it, cover to cover. I had an idea quite some time ago when @Rickytims announced that he was writing this book, that it was going be a good read. So, I preordered this book. It came in the mail on August 23rd...now mind you, I am a crazy busy women... but I made the time each day to read a few chapters of this book. It is a fantasy...so it already checked one of my personal boxes. And as I delved into each chapter, it was truly relatable...based on a time frame that I remembered as a child. It was sweet until...about 7 chapters in...when all holy heck broke loose as the story changed and took a turn to the dark side. Twists and turns, I never expected...it's a perfect read for age's 10 and above! Spend some time...lose yourself! It's worth the ride. Sequel...Movie...please! And there is a companion quilt to make even though the story doesn't revolve around the quilt, the symbolism is there...and this would be an amazing quilt to make...
Love and friends,