Thursday, January 17, 2013

re-Lit Candles - A Recycling Initiative for Literacy

Every single day, someone asks us - "What are you doing now that you are retired?"  Well, today we finally have something to show for our fall efforts.  We have posted the first images of re-Lit Candles on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest - and now - here.  My husband and I began meeting with our close friends during the summer to discuss what we would do in retirement besides drink wine by candlelight out on the deck late into the night.  We had retired from 30 years as high school English teachers, and our friend, Laurie, retired at the same time with the same length of tenure as a Media Specialist.  We commiserated about all of the books we brought home from school, all the changes being made in public schools - and all the wine bottles in our recycling.  Would the neighbors start to talk?

Sometime in August, we decided in earnest to set aside some of our newly acquired free time for the Greater Good.  And re-Lit Candles was born.  We played around with many names, but we wanted to keep a focus on Literature - and more importantly, Literacy.

We made up a word!  Why not!  Reliteration - noun - the purposeful enjoyment of natural light.

We wrote our "story" and David designed a Kraft paper label which we had printed by the good people at Ink It Press in Vermilion, Ohio.  The prototype labels were printed on the back of Trader Joe's bags, but we figured we would go broke shopping to keep labels in stock.  We found a source of bottles that were not being recycled.  Jim practiced cutting and sanding bottles, with much trial and error.  Laurie researched wax supply and wick resources.  We practiced filling containers, watching wicks burn - all the while drinking a bit of wine to keep encouraged.

David took advantage of some rare winter Ohio sunshine to take 150 photographs today.  This one features a school desk from the school his father and grandfather attended in Delaware, Ohio.  Old books make good props.  They burned plenty of candles in The Grapes of Wrath - didn't they?

Even Shakespeare looks like a good choice next to the right candle.

We are hoping to do a Craft Fair in Cleveland in February.  We are talking to area retailers.   I applied for a transient vendors license.  Above all, we want to keep the focus on literacy and intend to send a portion of our profits to a local literacy initiative.

What have we been doing?  What we enjoy, what makes sense, what is good.