DIY Colorblock Beeswax Citronella Candles

By July 28, 2014 Decor, DIY

We decided to make these candles on a whim while walking through Micheal’s looking for inspiration (we find ourselves here a lot…). We knew we wanted to experiment with candles but wanted to try something that we hadn’t seen before. Welcome DIY Colorblock Beeswax Citronella Candles! We were drawn to these tiny flower pots and decided to add some citronella (a natural mosquito and bug repellent), making them the ideal outdoor candle.

Outdoors

Preparing the Paint

Painted Pots

Painted Pots

Painted Pots

Supplies:
-6 small flower pots
-outdoor paint
-painter’s tape (as we learned from not having any, electrical tape will do in a pinch! and if you remember from our geometric coasters, masking tape will work as well)
-paint brushes
-1lb organic beeswax
-candle wicks
-around 1/2 tsp of citronella essential oil
 

We started by painting the pots. Place the painter’s tape on the flower pots where you would like your block of color to end. Press down firmly. Tip: try ripping the tape lengthwise to create a narrower piece. This will help get it to lie flat on the round object. Once you’ve done this, paint the colors to your liking. We chose simple black and white as a contrast to the organic looking ceramic pots. If you try something different, show us! Let these dry and then peel off the tape.

Process

Now for the candles! We used a very makeshift double boiling technique to melt the beeswax (as if you were melting chocolate). This worked for Tara in the past with soy wax, but the beeswax really stuck to the pot! If you try this method, you might want to use an old bowl or an actual candle making pot. It took us about 5 minutes for the wax to melt fully. Next we added a few drops of the citronella essential oil (amounting to about 1/4 tsp). Although it smells very powerful at the time, the smell fades dramatically once the candles cool. We recommend adding about twice this amount.
 
Next comes the fun part! We used the metal base of the wicks to cover the hole on the bottom of the flower pot. This worked surprisingly well. Katherine held the wick steady while Tara poured in the hot wax. Then we held the wick in place with pencils or scotch tape. This was not the best method in the universe. Open to tips please! We found the wax started to crack around the wick after it cooled. We guess it’s from the wick moving around too much. Any ideas? After your candles cool, they are ready to go! The citronella should ward of the mosquitoes while you hang out on the patio.

Candles on the patio

Black and White Candles

Homemade Fruit and Veggie Chips

By July 15, 2014 Food

With summer in full swing, we’ve been craving fresh fruits and vegetables. We decided it was the perfect time to try our hands at making fruit and veggie chips. These turned out pretty well and were an awesome snack to take to work the next day. We definitely have some room for improvement but are excited to share our process with you! Here’s how we did it.

Apples with Cinnamon

Baked Apple Chips

The Fruit: Apple Chips
3 apples (we used golden delicious and fuji)
Cinnamon Sugar (2 parts sugar & 1 part cinnamon)

Directions: We don’t have a mandolin so we sliced everything by hand and did our best to get the slices as thin as possible. This is the hardest part! We placed the apples evenly on a baking sheet and sprinkled each side with the cinnamon sugar. Then we baked these at 250 degrees for around an hour, flipping halfway. The edges will start to curl up when they are finished. Use a metal spatula to remove them and place them on a cooling rack. These will still be more soft than crunchy, but are so delicious and really pretty!
Chopping Beets

Lemon with Beet Juice

Baked Beet Chips

The Root: Beet Chips
3 beets
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 clove of minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slice the beets as thin as possible. Add the beets to the bowl and mix them until they are fully coated in the oil mixture. Allow them to marinate for 15 minutes or more if you’ve got the time. Place them evenly spaced on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. They will start to look darker and shrivel up a bit when they are done. Place them on a paper towel to dry out (think bacon here).

Fresh Kale

Baked Kale Chips

The Leaf: Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
Generous pouring of olive oil
Paprika
Cumin
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper

Directions: Of course! We could never forget our friend kale. We love kale. Wash and dry your kale. Chop (aka tear) it into bite size pieces, removing the stems and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. We didn’t use any strict measurements here but instead just kind of eye-balled it. First we poured some olive oil over the kale and shook the pan around until it was evenly coated. Then we just went to town on the spices! Bake at 300 degrees for around 30 minutes. Pro Tip: Be careful with the cayenne pepper- it comes out pretty fast and makes for a spicy snack.
There you have it! Our novice attempt at veggie chip making! We welcome your feedback and tips if you have any. Happy snacking, friends.

AIGA 50

By July 11, 2014 Design

aiga black

If you’re a designer, you may be familiar with AIGA but, if you’re not, we think you really should be! AIGA is a “professional association for design that’s committed to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.” They have over 68 chapters and 25,000 members. We both joined the Virginia Tech student chapter our sophomore year and Tara will be serving as Co-President in the fall. One of the greatest perks of our memberships, is access to the job listings that are available on the AIGA website. It is an awesome resource! They also hold tons of interesting events in cities across the country. Being in DC for the summer, we decided to attend AIGA DC’s biennial design competition and exhibition called AIGA 50 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. It was a lovely night with incredible design entries and tasty appetizers and cocktails. Below you can flip through their publication of the winners.

 

We definitely recommend exploring their website to see if they have a chapter near you! In addition to job listings and cool events, your membership gives you access to many contests and (student) scholarships. This past spring, Tara and two of her classmates worked on designing a website for AIGA Virginia Tech that we can share with you when it’s live in the fall!

Blog Illustrations

By June 25, 2014 Design

As we mentioned in our very first post, we feel so inspired everyday to explore a variety of creative outlets. While we certainly focus on design, we have so many other loves and interests we want to share and experience with you! Here are the original, hand done illustrations that we created during the initial branding of our blog. Even though we’ve only done a handful of posts so far, we’ve covered almost all of these already! These drawings were way outside of our artistic comfort zone at the time and really helped us see our vision for The Mountain Creative come to life.

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On another note, we would also like to give a very big Thank You to Maja of Artsy Shimmer for nominating us for a Liebster Award! A Liebster Award is a great way of giving recognition to blogs that are lesser-known. We’d like to continue this awesome tradition by sharing a few up-and-coming blogs that we enjoy reading and think you all might like as well.
Pretty Paper Things
A La Place Clichy
DW Draws
KITKA design toronto
like / want / need
STILL
The Plumed Nest
Whorange
Miss Mélange
RISING*SHINING

First Aid Kit

By June 15, 2014 Music

Have you heard of the band First Aid Kit? We first discovered these fabulous Swedish sisters when they gained internet fame covering a song by one of our favorite bands, Fleet Foxes and have been deeply in love with them ever since. We listened to their second album, The Lion’s Roar, pretty much on repeat during our freshman year of college. Needless to say, we had been waiting VERY anxiously for the release of Stay Gold (which came out on June 10th). We went to see them play at the 9:30 Club in DC on the 12th and it was pure magic. Below are some slightly blurry but incredibly dear to us photos of our absolute favorite ladies and biggest artist inspiration. Please go listen to their new album and their old ones- you won’t regret it. Let us know what you think! Has anyone else seen them live? We’d love to hear about it!

First Aid Kit

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First Aid Kit

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Oh, and we really enjoyed the opening artist as well who was a Johnny Cash-esq singer/songwriter named Willy Mason.

We’re on the Move

By June 8, 2014 Photography

We’ve moved to the nation’s capital to work this summer! We spent the better part of our spring semester laboring through the process of finding the summer design internship. We could dedicate a whole post to that topic but the wounds are still a little too fresh. Instead, we’ll start by sharing our respective morning commutes! Tara is working as a Mobile Design Intern at the Washington Post. Katherine is juggling two Digital Design Internships- one at RTC Agency and one at Cambridge Associates. Here are some iPhone pics from our first few days.

East Falls Church Metro

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