Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Candles, Cars and Cows

Candles, Cars and Cows

The camera is always near to capture scenes from the Armadilla Wax Works' candle workshop and along the roadside to and from the shop. I realize that cows are not an unusual site out West but the ranch lands and native American reservation lands weave their way in and around the cities. You never know when you might see a few grazing cows or places where the antelope roam ...
As more land gets fenced in, some of these areas, and cows, are still reminders of the big sky country and the western way of life.
July 4th is a really big deal in these parts and the World's Oldest Rodeo continues to draw locals and visitors to the events and to the July 4th parade in historic downtown Prescott every year. 

The rodeo and the parade are definitely connected with lots of horseback riders proudly displaying their banners. 

 Heading out to Prescott Valley where the Armadilla candle store lives, I could not help but take a few photos from my car.

So let's get back to Armadilla Wax Works' candle making workshop and store where we make candles... so ... what's this Bentley doing in the candle factory?

Well, a portion of the space, adjacent to where candles are made, lives an interesting collection of classic cars from the elegant Bentley to Rat Rod.
               The collector is a friend with an eclectic taste in cars.
It is fun to see the surprised look on candle customer's faces when they see the room of cars from within the candle store. If they are really interested we are happy to allow them a closer look but no touching. The restorations are perfect and it is tempting to open a door and get a closer look but we respect their privacy - they remind me of brothers and sisters - happy to be together but so different in style.

Kent is finishing Double Fragrance pillar candles on the hotplate.

Son Daniel making Pine Cone candles about 15 years ago

Yes - we really DO make candles here when we're not distracted by horses, cows or cars! 

Love fragrance? You will love our
 Double Fragrance pillar candles

Choose from delectable fragrances like LEMONDROP

Love Sunflowers? 
You must see our complete Sunflower candle collection!

#FloatingSunflowerCandles are so wonderful for weddings and for any special occasion! Just light the candles in you favorite pail, punch bowl or fancy glass vegetable bowl and watch people smile.
All Armadilla Wax Works' candles are of our own original designs, also made in our own molds  right in our candle workshop in Prescott Valley, Arizona. 
Visiting us? We're easy to find! 2651 N. Industrial Way - just off Highway 69!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Greetings from Arizona

Greetings from Arizona

Sometimes just a day with clouds causes you to stop and admire the sky. People around you may think you are just spaced out but that's OK
In an area that is typically so dry it is "crisp", the clouds offer hope for shade and rain. Sometimes they are just a beautiful sight because they cast shadows and give a reminder of just how big the place really is.

These photos were taken around the area off Interstate 17 that runs North and South between Phoenix and Prescott. When the elevation increases from the valley of the sun to about 1800 feet the saguaros start to appear. They only like a certain elevation. The Sonora desert further South around Tucson is lush with plenty of really giant saguaros - they seem to love it there. In our area, we just have a swath of growth - just in a certain area. The Interstate highway is fast paced so, to take photos, it's best to take an off road detour. Not too far off road - remember - these old roads are often really rough and if you forgot to bring water - forget about going off road. Saguaros can thrive on little water, but humans - not so much.

You never know when or where you might see a small herd of cows. Arizona still has thousand of acres of ranch lands so it is fairly common to come across a scenic view like this - right off the highway. Couldn't resist stopping for this photo. The wire fence seems so small compared to big cows but it is well maintained and they seem to be happy with their area for grazing.

This area is off to the West of the highway - back around an off road - near Black Canyon City. Just before entering, a person, likely a park caretaker, walked on ahead armed with a long stick with a noose on the end - just in case she encountered a rattle snake I assume. So with that in mind, the visit was brief and never, ever, left the trail, looking down left and right, more so than at the landscape all around. Better to go during the winter rather than spring!

http://www.candlefactorystore.com/scented-pillar-candles-fragrance-layers/We are all familiar with the "Shop Local" movement and that includes "Made Local" as well. The candles made at Armadilla Wax Works take inspiration from thisterritory with colors and fragrance blends to reflect the culture and seasons. The Fragrance Layers collections offer beautiful colors and unique layers like the Copper Canyon and Aspen. The scented Shades pillars offer fragrance blends like Starry Night and Phoenix Morning Tea. Made in Arizona since 1971 - made with pride and attention to detail from highly refined wax blends to exceptional fragrances.

Starry Night scented candleshttp://www.candlefactorystore.com/starry-night/
Phoenix Morning Tea Pillar Candle


Friday, January 27, 2017

When the weather outside is frightful, candlelight is so de-LIGHT-ful! 

Take those snowy night "blues" and turn them into a sparkling centerpiece idea to spark things up!
Grab a bowl - just about any container that holds water will work - fill about 3/4 full of room temperature water; pinch the wick of the candle and gently lower it into the water and, as the song goes, "come on baby light my fire".

Floating candles are economical and so easy to use. Our candles burn approx. 7 hours - perfect for a romantic evening or a party. We suggest using glass bowls or cups because the candle light will send reflections through the water and the glass! SO pretty!

http://www.candlefactorystore.com/bakery-candles/Getting a little "cabin fever"? We still have several more weeks of winter. It's soup for dinner and baking time around the house! But - here's an idea: Instead of real cinnamon rolls - maybe light a cinnamon roll candle - all of the aromas with none of the calories!

Here's a couple of photos taken around here just so you don't feel like you're the only one with snow covering everything and making the roads icy! 

The Prescott and Prescott Valley area is at a 5,000 +/- FT elevation so we get 4 real seasons of the year. 
Unlike the Phoenix area, and on south to the border, with only two main seasons wonderful (like now) and hot (summertime) our area is still designated a desert so we have a unique combination of pine trees and cactus growing next to each other! 
These icicles look downright dangerous! but beautiful!
 Winter time can prove to be an interesting time to photograph natural scenes - if your fingers don't freeze off and your camera survives. We love to take our own photographs - not just of the candles - but it's a nice day when you can just wander around taking pictures! 
Last fall I noticed a bobcat wandering across the driveway! I'm not sure if this will show him very well but I did manage to grab a camera and give it a try.


Some folks who live back East have never seen Javalina. Lots of them live around here. They usually travel together in small families. Babies of course are pudgy and cute. But these older ones are gnarly prehistoric looking creatures with bad tempers - and really dumb! They love to destroy everybody's gardens, especially tulip bulbs.They can be dangerous, too. Best to stay clear. 
It always surprises me to see a beautiful, crisp clear sky but it's only about 15 degrees outside - so cold. Stay warm and safe this winter and enjoy cozy family evenings - by candlelight! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

One of the main highways in Arizona is I-17 and runs North/South between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Up on the mesa, just a few miles North of Sunset Point, is a Christmas tree. In a wide natural landscape, in between the North and South directions of the interstate lanes, lives a scruffy tree that receives Christmas decorations every year, somehow. No one knows exactly how this is done, or who does the great thing. The general idea is that a Christmas crew of Santa's elves selects a night with a full moon, for there are no street lights along the highway in this area, to decorate the tree. Needless to say, it brings smiles and wonder to all who see it. We expect to see it! We are grateful for it! Selfless acts of kindness always melts the heart - especially at Christmas time. I imagine these folks, human or elf, carrying boxes and boxes of ornaments, ladders and the great big star that adorns the top. There are no lights on the tree - it is simply a scruffy old tree in the middle of the highway that receives a little Christmas miracle every year. The most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen.

Highway 69 turns off I-17 to the West, and on to Prescott Valley at Cordes Junction - to the East is the famous Arcosanti - an architectural project that began in 1970 by Paolo Soleri. Highway 69 took years to be transformed from a 2 lane road to a 4 lane highway because the engineers kept running into old mines that had to be filled or, in some places, archaeological sites were discovered that needed to be protected.

Prescott Valley was once called JackAss Flats and then Lonesome Valley. This area has still retained its feeling of the West in open prairie lands, ranch lands and rugged mountains. Our candle workshop and store is on the Eastern edge of Prescott Valley next door to some of the property owned by the Fain family who founded a homestead in Lonesome Valley in 1874.

As we approach the holiday season I think about where we are - how we got here - and why do so many of our family members live somewhere else? Everybody seems to use the phrase "out West" and "back East". Well, Kent's family moved to Arizona from Kentucky in 1959, mine from Florida in 1964. The candle business started in old town Tempe in 1971 and the even though the candles have changed over the years, all are original - as well as the process developed to make the best candles we can. I often think about our people who use our candles at special events, weddings and opening as gifts on Christmas day. We are so very grateful to all of our loyal customers.

This is a photo of our store display for Christmas Morning pillars and floating candles.
We wish you a happy holiday season.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall is here!


If fall is your favorite time of the year, you've already been gathering decorative accents for every room of the house! With pumpkin festivals and farmer's markets and flea markets to shop, it's a busy time! So here's a little tip - create a simple and beautiful centerpiece with floating candles!
Just about anything will work. Honest! In the photo above I used a plastic terracotta colored plant tray set inside a real terracotta planter pot stuffed all around with a silk fall leaf garland. Whenever you add garlands or other accents, just be sure that you do not allow any of the leaves to reach over into the candle area. #PumpkinFloatingCandles are perfect because they burn over 7 hours - perfect for a party. We suggest unscented candles so the candle aromas do not conflict with the aromas of the dinner. We suggest scented for gift baskets and thank you gifts. Who doesn't love candles? They add such a romantic touch and are such thoughtful gifts. 

If the colors of the trees are starting to turn beautiful colors - maybe you would like to bring those colors to the centerpiece with #FallLeafFloating candles! Mix 'n match colors and surround your bowl with real leaves gathered from your back yard! In the image above I used a couple of old brass pots. Choose containers that will hold at least 3+ candles so they really glow!
We hope you have a fabulous fall season! Thank you for your interest in Armadilla Wax Works' hand crafted candles - made in Arizona since 1971.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Here in Arizona we are in the monsoon season. Of course we always welcome rain but this time of the year the storms can be a little scary! It sometimes feels like someone turn on a water faucet above and the downpour is like a flood rather than a rain coming down. Something even more strange is that some of the storms may bring hail as well! With dry land, the volumes of water have no chance to soak into the landscape so they start filling up dry creek beds, river beds and canals!

Monsoon clouds over Thumb Butte, Prescott

We have lived in Arizona for many years and the monsoon season does bring some relief from the heat - only to add humidity to the weather! Here in the Prescott and Prescott Valley area we are at a higher elevation than the Phoenix area - we are in a unique landscape with both pine trees and cactus! At over 5,000 feet, this area has a monsoon season, beautiful fall colors and snowy winter days.  I love the twilight time of the day especially after the storm. Here are a few images outside around the house.

Riley age 16 months; AKA Ms.Piggy, Ms.Chocolat


Fall leaf candlesOn a business note - be sure to order your hand-dipped fall leaf candles and plump deLIGHTful pumpkin candles for fall gifts and decorating! Armadilla Wax Works make the best! Thanks!

Fall Pumpkin candles

We now make our pumpkin candles with no scent - best choice when used at the dinner table, and scented with a lovely pumpkin spice fragrance for gift baskets and just a thoughtful "thank you" gift!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cool off by candlelight.

Reusable 5.5" Luminary candles for summer settings.


Ever notice that electric lights, no matter the type of light bulbs, deliver some heat along with light? At the end of the day, a twilight setting seems to feel cooler and of course more romantic. Our suggestion is to continue that idea with candlelight because of the soft glow. Actually candlelight is perfect for summer parties when everyone is gathered together on the deck or patio. 
At the Armadilla Wax Works we have designed two lovely reusable wax luminaria styles that not only create a wonderful centerpiece on a table top but they will float in a pool, pond or birdbath. 

The video above shows how we make the luminary candles in our workshop!

The reason these designs are reusable is because we have inserted a small plaster-like plate in the interior. This holds the candle light source, like a votive candle or t-light, in the center for an even glow and prevents the heat from melting through the bottom of the design. (each candle comes with a votive cup and votive candles - unscented of course.  Pretty cool!
The Deco and Lotus are approx. 5.5"  - we suggest turning off your pool filter system while the candles are used so that they will float freely around the water. Always remove them at the end of the evening.

Looking for an added "wow" factor? Use a few 5.5" Waterlily floating candles in the pool or pond! 

All of our designs are original, made in our own molds. Thanks for shopping local!

The image below is a group of Pink Waterlily
candles just finished in the candle factory. Each one 
is carefully molded and finished by hand and is
shipped in individual boxes. The interior of the 
flower burns a diameter suitable for you to insert
a small t-light into the cavity to use the candle again.