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New Pile of Sticks Ready to Become the Next Tea Light Holder

New Pile of Sticks Ready to Become the Next Tea Light Holder

Late yesterday afternoon, after much pestering, my daughter finally convinced me to pry myself from the computer in exchange for some fresh air.  

She has her own little, pale blue, dust pan and whisk broom and loves to follow me around the garden and sweep up any stray clippings or dead leaves that get missed.  I give her lots of “big helper” encouragement since she does such a good job cleaning up after me. 

Whenever I’m out in the garden, I undoubtedly end up at one of the many over-grown shrubs, with shears and lopper in hand.  This isn’t really a project that should be started when dusk is just around the corner, but that never stops me.  Yesterday afternoon/ evening was no different.  When I was finally at a stopping place (nowhere near finished), it was completely dark and must, I thought,  have been near my daughter’s bedtime.  I couldn’t go inside though until the patio was swept and all my tools put away, after all, this is a hotel. 

Of course, I had to go through all the branches to make sure I wasn’t throwing any “good ones” away.  Finally, twenty minutes later, my daughter and I were heading in.  

Tuesday’s are my favorite day of the week since I have the day almost entirely to myself.  My husband works during the day (he usually works afternoons & evenings) and my daughter is at pre-school.  So, whatever I had originally planned for the day was overshadowed by this beautiful new pile of sticks – go figure.  I had to break the promise to myself regarding the unfinished crochet projects.  “I’ve been so good, I deserve a change of pace” I reasoned.  I can always find a good reason to do something I would rather be doing.

Tea Light Holder #2 Made Using Recycled Glass, Tree Branches and Hemp Cord

Tea Light Holder #2 Made Using Recycled Glass, Tree Branches and Hemp Cord

 I jumped right into creating my second tea light holder, utilizing the lessons I’d learned from the first one, which took far longer to make than it should have.  This time I used white glue to hold the hemp cord to the branches as I tied each one.  The first time, I tied them all first, then ended up having to tie many of them a second time when I glued them.  This one still took longer than it probably should have, but next time I should have the process down pat (ha ha).  I also used a different sized jar which I think I like better than the first.  This jar was the same height but the mouth of the jar was one inch less in diameter, two inches, which is the perfect diameter for a tea light.  Here’s how it finally came out.

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How a Pile of Sticks Becomes a Rustic Tea Light Holder

Me prunning shrubbery in the garden. Last Summer I spent quite a few afternoons pruning shrubs in the garden that had grown completely out of control during the worst of my illness.  I didn’t use an electric pruner because they’re loud and leave shrubbery looking “shaved” and unnatural.  Instead, I got out my hand pruning shears and loper for larger branches.  The process probably took ten times longer than it should have (and it’s not officially finished).  I found it very therapeutic, although I won’t spend too much time pondering why I find wielding sharp objects and chopping branches relaxing.

As I chopped away, I began looking at the branches as I threw them in the compost bin and noticing the beautiful shapes some of them made.  As with many things, I thought they were too beautiful to throw away, so I threw them into a broken plastic planter under the stairs, sure I’d find something useful to do with them.

My bucket of "sticks"

Every time I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I glanced at the pile hoping an idea would materialize.  A few days ago, one finally did.  I had just washed out an empty glass salsa jar and voila – the idea was born!  I love homey feel of the rustic style and I think this piece would fit right in.

I already had a big spool of natural colored hemp twine that I’d used to string beads, so I used it to wrap the branches together.  I found some large wooden beads that weren’t much use for jewelry making (the hole was too large) so I strung them on with the twine.  It took me some time to figure out the best way to achieve the results I wanted, so I had to rewrap many of the branches before I got it right.  Hopefully, the next time I make a similar tea light holder, it’ll go a little faster since I know what I’m doing now (yeah right).

Here is the finished product.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  Next time I’d like to try a taller jar so I’ll be able to use some of the more uniquely shaped branches. Rustic Tea Light Holder  Click the photo below to see the listing in my Catalina Inspired Etsy shop.