Here are a few creative ways to add magical candle-glow to your summer activities. We include directions for a fun, biodegradable picnic candle-holder, how-to instructions for making luminaria, summery spirit-lifting candle ideas for meals indoors and out, and an important feng shui tip, all right here:
Turn over a carved-out half of a watermelon rind. Cut a few holes in the rind that are big enough for tapers, and voila! You have an amusing, biodegradable centerpiece. Light the candles as twilight falls, and settle down to listen to tall tales, stories about your ancestors from visiting relatives, or just the cricket symphony playing as the stars make their entrance in the dark of the sky.
You can welcome guests with a row of luminaria along the path to your door. Luminaria are paper bags filled with sand, with candles set into them. See these easy directions on how to make luminaria.
To repel pests outdoors
When you’re entertaining outside, candles can set the mood and repel bothersome mosquitoes. Citronella, which has a delectable lemony smell to us humans, is unpleasant to mosquitoes, so add citronella candles lavishly around your patio or garden. (And please check to be sure you’re using all-natural citronella, not a synthetic.)
Lights reflected in water soothe the soul and lift the spirits. You can buy flat-bottomed floating candles to place in individual bowls in front of each guest at your table, or place several in a larger bowl in the center. For an aura of romance, add fresh flowers to the bowls.
Protection for your candles
Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner on the balcony, or a candle-lit evening of family fun, your outdoor candles will need some protection so the wind doesn’t blow them out or–worse!–blow them over, creating a risk of fire. Always place candles in glasses or hurricane- lamp shades to keep them safe. You can anchor them in place with a few drops of hot wax.
Feng Shui Tip
Whether indoors or outdoors, avoid placing candles in the west or northwest areas of the house or garden. Feng shui experts believe that these areas are “metal” areas, and fire can melt them or eliminate the strength of these places.
Adapted from By Candlelight, by Diana Rosen (Storey Books, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Diana Rosen. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from By Candlelight, by Diana Rosen (Storey Books, 2002).