Busy Elephants

My mom has a thing for elephants; she has all sorts of collectible elephants that she’s promised I can use to build candle gardens with, so there are more elephant themed gardens to come.  She’s even promised to donate some of her prized elephant candles (some, not all) to the cause, which I am thrilled about.  My mom has been collecting elephants for many years now and has a substantial collection; most of them have been given to her as gifts over the years.  It’s really convenient to shop for birthdays and Christmas when your loved ones have collecting interests.  For example, my loved ones know they can buy me candles as gifts and I will be thrilled.  My mom is always happy to receive a lovely elephant figurine and she has a number of shelves and curio cases that are dedicated to her collection.  The elephants in this arrangement were all purchased by my mom specifically for candle garden use and I decided to do the busy elephants garden.  In this context busy has a couple meanings, to me the elephants seem like they are working, most likely because they are carrying candles around on their backs.  The arrangement itself is very busy as well; this is my usual preference as I like when an arrangement captures the eye to examine the detail.  This one took a few weeks to pull together and uses a fair bit of candles.  The brown stained bamboo pieces covering the base are from a placemat that my mom gave me a set of for Christmas and I cut it apart so I could use the pieces in this arrangement.  Although I do love the placemat set, I’ve sacrificed a few to the candle garden gods already and I suspect there is more destruction to come.  My favorite part of this garden is the pillar candles in the center, they are fabulous looking candles and they seemed to go well with an African/elephant theme (these are African elephants).  When the pillar candle on the holder melted, it made an odd splash of wax over the center elephant’s trunk that I really can’t account for.  It seems to have defied the laws of gravity somehow.  I wish I had been watching when it happened so I could see how it formed, because I’m baffled about it.  It sure looks neat though.