Remembering the Dead

About 8 years ago I was asked to engrave and paint the names of the soldiers who died in the Lebanon on a memorial candle.  The candle was especially made by Larry Kinsella of Moth to a Flame Candles.  It was made in 4 sections to make up an entire sized candle of approx 6ft.  Sadly such a large candle was needed to allow space for the names of the 47 soldierswho died while on UNIFIL duty between 1978 and 2000

I never had the opportunity to see the candle in the Cedar Room of Arbour Hill Church of the Sacred Heart (church of the Defence Forces) until today.  The church always seemed to be closed until by chance when passing I noticed the gate was opened so I had to have a look inside.  I was delighted to finally get to see the candle memorial in place together with other mementos of the Lebanon UNIFIL mission which include a book of photographs and details of all the soldiers.  It is such a peaceful and dignified room that fittingly remembers these men and according to Betty, one of the ladies who look after this room and the church, this is a room that is often visited and very recently the church held the marriage of a son of one of the fallen men and poignantly a bouquet was placed on the open memorial book in his memory on his son’s wedding day.

Army Memorial Candle.     

I was honoured have created part of this fitting memorial and so pleased to finally see it in place.

May they Rest in Peace

Flower power on Candlelight!

I’ve sometimes been asked to engrave and paint customers favourite flowers on candles either for weddings, Naming ceremony, and recently an 80th birthday and golden jubilee.  For weddings the engraved flowers can compliment the real thing!

Wedding Orchids

These square candles were especially ordered for Anita & Philip’s wedding.  Orchids being the flowers on the day.  I usually use pillar type candles, but can source other shapes and sizes when requested.

Personalised Birthday Candle for a Daffodil loving Granny!   This was done recently – not much hope of finding  real daffodils so these make a lovely alternative!

Golden Rose to celebrate a nun’s Golden Jubilee.

Not a flower, but an Acorn symbolising growth and hope for a baby’s naming Candle

Oak Leaf this time – part of the logo of the Seven Oaks hotel in Carlow

This is the top part of a 6ft display candle engraved for a candle company.  This shows the symbol of the Beeswax Candlemakers

Not really flowers, but the new logo of the Gaelcsoil in Carlow incorporates a tree signifying growth with symbols of the ethos and aspects of the school interspersed with the leaves of the tree.

Wedding Candle with interlinked rings and olive branch.  Date is in Irish – its June by the way

Not flowers, but tree again – Symbolic Tree of Life with roots and branches interlinked

Red Rose on a White Wedding Candle with quotation provided by the bride

These candles were for my brother and his wife’s wedding.  The design is based on their wedding invitation and incorporates simple male & female figures and flowers

Another 80th Birthday candle with floral / decorative design – based on a wall hanging designed by Mary’s daughter Anne

These are some examples of nature on Candles – Other flowers which I’ve engraved (but can’t find photos) are Forget me nots, Snowdrops, Daisies….All commissions are accepted and I’ll be delighted to engrave your favourite flowers on candles – whatever the occasion.

Happy Easter!

Easter Vigil mass tonight in St Clare’s Church Graiguecullen celebrated by Fr Dunphy was a lovely experience, featuring among other things many many candles!  The Church was unlit at the beginning of mass.  7 girls from the local school brought the Easter light in procession to the altar.  From this candle the paschal candle was lit.  Our famous Fr Liam Lawton, sang a newly composed Easter song with the ladies choir and the entire congregation had their individual candles lit.  It was a really uplifting and optimistic aspect of the mass.   To add to the occasion there was a christening of a baby boy who was amazingly quiet – the Holy Water didn’t even wake him up!- unlike my own 6 year old who was “bored” by the whole thing!!.  His christening candle (unfortunately not one of mine!) was lit from the new Paschal candle.  The Paschal candle will be used throughout the year to light many more Christening and Wedding candles – hopefully a some of them will have been personalised by yours truely!

Christening Candle with presentation box and personalised card

The bored 6 year old was eventually rewarded by the Easter Bunny and Chicken giving Easter Eggs to all the children at the end of the ceremony.  Of course the same 6 year old Milo was keen to emphasise to me that he knew that this wasn’t the real Easter Bunny, but he decided to take an egg anyway.  I hope the real Easter Bunny does actually turn up here or there’ll be one very disappointed little boy in this house!!!

Happy Easter! – hope this time of renewal brings some optimism to us all.  Certainly on my part I’m drooling in anticipation of a first taste of chocolate since the beginning of Lent!  Yum!

Frantic Friday!

I had the opportunity to keep the display of my candles and decorations in Bank of Ireland until today, Friday which was very helpful.  I thought I it would be difficult to manage it as I was helping my friend Pam Butler organise her first coffee morning in Rathoe Hall for Pestalozzi World .  It was a small but pleasant gathering in a really lovely village hall.  More fundraising activities for this educational charity will take place during the year.  The charity is celebrating 15 years in 2010.  Have a look at their website if you need cheering up to see what can be achieved with relatively small money and great optimism and enthusiasm.

After the lovely coffee and cake I returned to the bank and met several old, new and potential customers.  On this occasion I had not only the possiblity of selling candles, but also my dainty christmas decoration boxes, and mini colourful christmas stockings which were a great hit!  There’s always the hope that some or all of the stockings and dainty decorations may grace the desk of a few Carlow Teachers – they are a suitable festive token for a child to give his or teacher….without breaking the bank!!   Such gifts might garner the approval of RTE’s Joe Duffy show and listeners today.  If you want to listen to parent and teacher opinions on gifts this is the pod cast.

If you’d like to buy any of these decorations Madeleine at the Little Coffee House in Penny Lane market on Tullow Street has a few,  otherwise contact me directly especially if you’d like them personalised.  Next year I’ll be organised for Christmas Markets!  There’s a Christmas market at Ducketts Grove this weekend – I can’t get there, but hope it’ll be good for traders and customers.  Last year it was terrific.

Also at the bank during the week I met Bernie from Malones Fruit Farm in Ballon and Elaine Kelly from “All made in Ireland”, Joe Byrne from Playball, Keith Dowling photographer,  &  Ger Gibbons Photographer

Candles for Oz

One of my very regular customer’s often sets interesting challenges for me, usually for wedding candles and I hope she’s pleased with my latest effort – Personalised  candles for a wedding in Australia with Irish groom and Australian bride.  Sometimes I use flags to represent nationalities, but when it came down to trying to engrave the Australian flag I faltered! Interestingly I did find out the origin of the design from http://www.anbg.gov.au/oz/flag.html –  Apparently the Australian Flag came into being after the federation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 Jan 1901.  The flag as it is today was adopted in 1954.  It consists of  – the Union Jack in the first quarter, the Southern Cross in the second quarter – 5 stars in a kite like pattern.  The constellation of the Southern cross is a navigational feature of the southern hemisphere and places Australia geographically and has been associated with the continent since its earliest days.  In the third quarter is the Commonwealth Star – it has 7 points denoting the six states and combined Commonwealth territories.  So there’s always an opportunity to learn something new!australian Flag

Back to the candle!  – After thinking about kangaroos, sydney opera house, I decided upon the very cute Koala bear.  But now how to represent Ireland – our flag is fairly easy to manage, maybe a koala playing a harp, anything green………….and so it came together – a very cute silver grey koala bear holding a green shamrock.  Now hopefully bride and groom will be pleased with the outcomeKoala & Shamrock