Stuff and Nonsense: Read & Create: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen


Read & Create: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

I launched a new library book club this month, called Book Scents. The intention is to read a feel-good fluffy-ish book every two months, meet and discuss, and then do a craft at the end of each discussion based on scents from the book. In October, we read Sarah Addison Allen's First Frost (a novel guaranteed to sooth a heart bruised by the world's nonsense) and crafted small mason jar candles inspired by the Claire's magical candies.

This post is basically a walk through of how I led the meeting and made the candles, should anyone want to copy me.

We started with the candles as I knew from my practice candle it would take about 30-45 minutes for the candles to set.

Prior to the club members' arrival, I had set up two folding tables and at the far end of each table arranged a portable cast iron hot plate, aluminum saucepan, wax melting pitcher, and bottle of water.

At the near end of each table I arranged 5 fat Popsicle sticks, 5 4 oz quilted glass canning jars with their lids and bands, 5 sturdy paper bowls, 5 hot mats, 5 4-inch candlewicks, a strip of tiny glue dots, 5 metal wick centering bands, and 4 bottles of fragrance oils and their droppers.

The oil blends came from Nurture Soap as the Teen librarian swears by them and uses them in her crafts. I purchased:

  • Autumn Equinox
  • Awaken (2)
  • Fairy Garden
  • Lavender & Chamomile (2)
  • Maiden Rose
  • Rose Petal Preserves

When everyone had arrived, I split them into two groups of five and sent them to the candle-making tables. They added water to the saucepans, the each person put two jars worth of soy wax flakes into their group's wax melting pitcher and let the water come to a gentle simmer.

While the wax melted, they affixed their wicks to the bottoms of the canning jars using the tiny glue dots, and then slipped the wicks through the metal wick centering bands. That done, they set about sniffing the oil blends, trying to decide what they each wanted their candle to be scented with.

Once the wax was melted, the wax was divided evenly among the paper bowls, oil blends where added and stirred around with the Popsicle sticks, and then the bowls were gently cupped and the contents poured into the canning jars.

While the candles solidified, we watched a Goodreads video interview with the author and ate lavender and lemon sugar cookies (that's another post). We had actually discussed First Frost quite a lot while making the candles, but refreshed by coffee and cookies, we found new things to add. I had scheduled ninety minutes for the program and we used up every minute of it. Everyone who attended really enjoyed First Frost, the cookies, and the craft.

In December we will read and discuss Jenny Colgan's heart-warming holiday novel, Christmas on the Island, and then create a seasonal stove-top potpourri kit inspired by the book. I actually listened to the audio book last Christmas and found it both deeply, sweetly moving. I cried, I laughed, I hungered. Hopefully, the group will as well.

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