Several weeks ago I put out a call for readers to share their hobbies with all of us as we all continue to spend more time at home than in previous years. Several people responded with their favorite pastimes, and I’m thrilled to share my interview with reader Stefanie Gouviea.
First, tell us what your hobbies are.
I like to read, paint and make homemade candles.
How did you get interested in them?
I only recently became interested in reading when I learned about the “Cozy Mystery” genre, and now I’m hooked. I became interested in making candles because I like to make things with essential oils and I wanted to make more homemade gifts, so this year I decided to make candles for everyone and I really enjoy it. I became interested in painting because I have attended a few paint nights in the past and found them very therapeutic, but since COVID they’ve been cancelled, so I had to figure out a way to still paint even though I am not a professional artist.
How did you learn to do them?
I learned how to make candles through Pinterest (love Pinterest), I reviewed a few different recipes and articles until I found one that resonated with me, then I came up with the idea to make teacup candles and looked up some ideas on Pinterest. The paintings I am doing now I discovered through Facebook events, this artist does live tutorials and records them, or you can just buy the recording and follow along like I did so I could take my time and pause as much as I needed to. This was the first time I’ve ever used a recorded tutorial to paint since my previous experience was in person paint nights.
How long did it take you to become proficient?
I don’t think that I am proficient in painting at this time, but I have added additional tutorials to try and suspect I will get better as I keep practicing. I became more proficient in candle making after making several test candles using different types and amounts of oils. I still don’t add color to them, but they smell good.
Do you have certain times when you prefer to paint and certain times when you prefer to make candles?
Not really, I generally prefer to do them on the weekends because I am too tired to focus during the week at the end of my workday. It breaks up my weekend nicely, especially since we can’t really go anywhere.
What special equipment do you need to paint and make candles?
The tutorials I use for painting only require us to have paints, paint brushes and either a canvas or multimedia paper. The artist teaches you how to mix colors and blend, so you don’t need extra equipment. For candle making you need, wax (I use soy wax flakes), a kitchen scale, essential or fragrance oils if you want them scented, a heat safe measuring cup or tin for candle making (I use a tin), a pot with water (candle making uses a double boiler method), wicks and a candle holder/container. Most wax kits online come with wicks, so I didn’t have to worry about that and you can get creative with the candle holders.
Do you have a favorite painting? Would you be willing to share a photo of it?
I’ve only done two paintings so far, but the one I like the most is titled, “Midnight Snowman” and I will share a picture of it.
How about a favorite candle scent/color? Do you have photos you can share?
I don’t add color to mine because I feel like it doesn’t burn right when I do, and I don’t have a favorite scent since I like all of them for the most part, but if I had to choose, I’d say the fruity ones smell the best (strawberry, mango, honeydew melon, cucumber melon). Yes, I can share two pictures of two types of teacup candles I made.
Does anyone in your family help you with projects?
No, I prefer to do these projects alone. Although, I think my husband is going to do a painting with me one night, so I’m looking forward to that.
Is there any hobby you’ve tried to do but either didn’t like it or it just didn’t work out?
I’ve tried watercolor painting and jewelry making, but I didn’t like either one.
Thanks so much for sharing your interests, Stefanie. It was a pleasure hosting you here this week.
Until next time,