Solo Rose & Vanilla

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Rose & Vanilla

Postby Amelia on May 30th, 2016, 11:15 am

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67th Spring, 516AV

Ever since the disastrous reunion with her girl friends last season, Amelia had developed a newfound passion for candle making. It was strange; she had never shown an interest in the hobby before -- though granted she did appreciate a fine smelling candle as much as the next person. Perhaps it was thanks to the severe humiliation she had felt when she’d sat with those very same young women who had framed her childhood, feeling more out of place than she ever had done before.

They had all been so painfully stupid, gossiping and chirping away about pregnancies, engagements and late-night kisses with rich merchants. And not so long ago, Amelia would have been joining in with their petty competitions. In fact, she would have probably been winning. Amelia was gifted with an easy kind of confidence that she wore like a string of pearls; from the way she smiled, to the casual formality of her mannerisms. She been sculpted over the years – mainly by her own hands - to flow easily in almost any given social situation. This ease did not stop at silly competitions held by silly girls who wanted to validate their silly lives.

And yet that day, whilst they had been celebrating Maria’s fast-approaching due date, for the first time Amelia felt out of touch, separate from the rest of them. There had been too many sly looks and snide under-the-breath comments about her father’s adultery, which had left Amelia and her mother with significantly less wealth than the rest of her friends’ families. If their change in status had not been enough, the fact that her pig-of-a-father’s choice of whore lover had been one of Amelia’s close friends certainly made interesting gossip.

All of this had culminated in a horrifically painful evening wherein Amelia found herself the centre of pitying comments and awkward silences. Even now, the mere memory of her friend’s faux-sad faces and pouted bottom lips made her skin crawl.

But that evening had resulted in something else other than humiliation. Amelia had walked away from her gaggle of friends feeling as much pity for them as they no doubt felt for her. Beyond their husbands or their squealing infant children, they had relatively little to give the world. Throughout the evening, she had longed for her friends to ask about her sewing and fashion design – the single aspect of her life that Amelia felt had improved significantly since her father’s departure.

But of course, these girls hadn’t. They cared little about improving oneself and one’s knowledge. If it wasn’t expensive, shiny or luxurious, it wasn’t worth talking about. They flirted with various hobbies and interests – candle making had been the flavour of the season that day – but none of the girls stuck with anything long enough to be of any use. When Amelia had finally managed to bring up the topic of her own passion of fashion and dressmaking, they had smiled at her and feigned interest just long enough for her to realise that they simply weren’t interested. Or, even worse, they presumed Amelia’s interest was as temporary as their own.

Amelia realised that was why she was suddenly so interested in candle making; it was an attempt to rise herself up above her friends. She now saw them for what they truly were, what she had once been: silly girls, playing silly games hoping to win silly victories. Strip them of their jewels, their dresses or their families’ wealth and you have a helpless girl. A child.

Amelia had had to toughen up, to harden herself to survive in a world where that very luxury had been taken from her. The money she spent was what she herself had earned, and the joy she felt for buying things had been replaced by an even greater joy for making them. The couture dresses she wore were now of her own mind, or own hands. Even if it was just a handful of dresses, Amelia had made an impact on the world.

And so what if this newfound interest in candle making was little more than an attempt to better herself, in comparison to her friends? Surely the fact that she was trying to improving her knowledge and skills was a good thing, the ends greatly outweighing the means. This could be a new business, a side-line to her main focus of dress making. After all, Amelia had quite the eye for pretty things, aromas included.

Clarissa Montague was the same candle-making instructor that Amelia met last season at Maria’s baby shower. Thankfully, though, none of the other girls were with her, and instead Amelia sat amongst a group of kind-faced strangers. Most were women. Perhaps they were also trying to fill a void in their life with delicately scented wax?

“So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s begin.” Clarissa clapped her hands together to attract the attention of her mismatched students. Amelia lifted out a sheet of parchment and a quill, ready to play the dedicated student. “For those of you who do not know, candles can be made with several different types of wax. Beeswax, for example, is one of the most common thanks to how readily available it is. But beeswax candles do not hold fragrance well, nor colour, and so for today we will be using soybean wax.”

This was the same wax that Amelia had used in her previous lesson with Clarissa. If she remembered correctly, the wax was produced by heating raw soybeans to an incredibly high temperature after cracking and rolling the pods, producing soybean oil. The oil was then treated and cooled into a wax.

Much to her delight, Clarissa outlined this exact process next, holding up a small handful of raw soybeans. “Soybean wax is softer than others, but when combined with fragrance oils or colour, candles made of soybeans will burn slower than other waxes. Soybean is also an aromatically neutral, so there’s no competition for odour, either. This makes them a perfect wax for what we’ll be making today.”

Clarissa swept a hand across the table that separated her from her students. The table was filled with various glass jars that contained oils and a collection of dried flowers. “But first, we’ll need to make our fragrance oil to give our scented candles their scent. Please, go ahead and make your decision. Choose wisely!”
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Amelia
Easily underestimated
 
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Rose & Vanilla

Postby Amelia on May 31st, 2016, 6:41 pm

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Amelia had given this some thought already. The last candle she had made under Clarissa’s supervision had been lavender, and she wished to stick with a floral theme. Rose was her flower of choice, but Amelia wanted a second fragrance to compliment the sweet floral scent of roses.

Sliding the jar of rose buds and flowers towards her, Amelia lifted the lid and inhaled deeply. That warming, sweet fragrance lifted up to greet her, and the seamstress was unable to stop herself from smiling instinctively. Rose was a delicate fragrance, and would need a similarly sweet fragrance to go with it.

She tried lily flowers, but their strong aroma was too much – Amelia sneezed, much to the delight of her fellow classmates. Daisy was too subtle, and would be masked by the more powerful rose. Amelia moved to the dried herbs, picking up rosemary – similar in name, too different in odour – and thyme. Both were too warming for Amelia’s liking. They reminded her of her mother’s hearty cooking. Lemon was possibility – the citrus notes would certainly break through the rose scent, but would it be too much?

Finally, she slid the jar containing vanilla pods over. As soon as she dipped her nose to the open jar, Amelia knew she had found her second fragrance. The sweetness of vanilla would compliment the floral rose but without overpowering or hiding under it.

Once the other students had made their selection, Clarissa gestured to the row of pots and pans that lined the rear wall of her studio. “In order to infuse your candles with your chosen fragrances, we need to use a base oil – one without a strong fragrance itself – to carry the fragrances. To do this, we heat a small jar of oil that is packed with your chosen fragrances in a pan of water.”

She demonstrated this by filling a small, empty jar with dried cherries, and then pouring in a pale oil into the jar. The oil seeped to the bottom of the glass, raising up and submerging the fruits. Clarissa then sealed the jar (“very important,” she said carefully), and placed it into a metal pan with water.

“We’ll boil this water for thirty or so bells, and work on our soybean wax in the meantime. Those using two or more fragrances will need a jar for each flower or herb.”

She gave a nod, signalling to her students to begin. Amelia moved handfuls of rose flower heads into one of her two small jars, before filling the second with six vanilla pods. When both were full, she frowned. There were several options of oil for her to use, from olive oil or sunflower oil, and the seamstress had no clue which was most suitable for her candle.

“Rose and vanilla, you say?” Clarissa said thoughtfully when Amelia had asked her question. The candle maker paused momentarily, considering the decision carefully. “I would say sunflower. It’s a lighter oil, and should carry your fragrances well without loosing any of the odour.”

Though she had not considered it as integral before, Amelia was starting to appreciate how delicate the act of balancing fragrances was. Not only did she need to consider which aromas worked well with others, but she also needed to ensure that the base she used – that is, the material which would later carry the fragrance, in this case the oil – was suitable as well.

Not for the first time, Amelia wondered why she had had to choose such a complicated hobby to fill her time.
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Amelia
Easily underestimated
 
Posts: 156
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Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2015, 7:30 am
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Rose & Vanilla

Postby Amelia on June 3rd, 2016, 7:08 pm

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After submerging her rose buds and vanilla beans in the oil, Amelia added the two sealed jars to a pot filled with water. As instructed by Clarissa, she subsequently placed this pan over a flame to boil.

“It’s possible to do this without heat,” Clarissa explained patiently as she watched her students buzz around her, “which you might want to try at home. Simply fill the jars with your chosen flowers and oils, like now, and simply store it in a dark place for two days. Takes much longer, of course, but the effect will be the same.”

Amelia made a note of this. At home, she stayed as far away from the kitchen as was possible. She had no knowledge of, or interest in, cooking, and it was the one thing that seemed to make her mother happy, providing food for their duo of a family. Of course, Jona Trisswell was just as terrible a cook as her daughter, and Amelia suspected that part of her mother’s newfound love of cooking was due to the fact that Amelia’s father – that pig of a bastard – had complained so passionately about his wife’s cooking. Even in his absence, doing something that Jona knew would upset her adulterous husband would be hugely rewarding. It was the same reason that Amelia put up with her mother’s half-cooked yet burnt offerings without much complaint.

Piggish fathers aside, Amelia had little intentions to even boil water at home. She far preferred her time spent designing or making the latest fashions, or twisting her hair into some new style of braid.

“Whilst our oils are infusing,” Clarissa started, gathering her students back around the large wooden table, “we can begin to work on our soy wax.” Amelia, like the rest of her group, sat at the table at Clarissa’s instruction. In front of each student was a pestle and mortar, alongside which sat a plate of raw soybeans.

Amelia found herself sat beside a timid-looking young woman with dark hair cut into a severe bob (too harsh for her pale complexion and soft facial features) and an older woman with hair long enough to brush the top of her arse. Both women desperately needed style advice, as well as a serious talk about updating their wardrobes.

Clarissa went on to explain to her students how they needed to crack down the soy beans with the pestle and mortar in order to speed up the process of heating them. Amelia watched as her classmates and teacher set about this task as if it were the most natural thing in the world, bashing and rolling the pestle around in the granite mortar.

Which is the pestle, and which is the mortar? Amelia asked of herself as she inspected the granite bowl. It was surprisingly heavy – was that normal, or had Amelia been dumped with the broken pestle or mortar? Even the stick (this must be the pestle, she decided eventually) weighed far more than she initially expected. She picked it up gingerly, as if it might jump of her hands and clobber her head. Carefully Amelia dropped the pestle onto on the soy beans, cracking the seed open with a satisfying clunk.

“Here, love. Let me help.”

It was the older woman to her left, the one with the endless hair. Wearing a kind smile on her lined face, she gently took the pestle out of Amelia’s hand and starting grinding away. “You don’t look the sort to have ever used a pestle and mortar, before.”

Was that intended as an insult? Amelia watched the woman’s face carefully for any sign of smugness, but found none. Perhaps she was being too sensitive, too quick to assume the worse of someone was probably nothing more than a kindly fellow candle-maker-in-progress. This is what those damned girls have done to me, Amelia thought ruefully, remembering the bitchy comments she and her friends would constantly make in regards to other peoples’ appearances and lives.
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Amelia
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Rose & Vanilla

Postby Amelia on June 5th, 2016, 3:42 pm

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”Thank you,” she murmured softly, realising that her silver-haired classmate had been grinding at Amelia’s soy beans with any trace of appreciation from the blonde, ”and no, I’ve never used a pestle and….” she frowned, ”whatever it’s called, before.”

“A mortar.” The older woman said, still wearing that same patient smile. She was the epitome of a grandmother, Amelia realised; kind, generous, helpful and with enough patience to last a lifetime. The perfect woman to dump your squealing children with whilst you lived your life. “Don’t worry, dear. I used to be quite the cook in my youth. I still enjoy it, of course, but just not professionally. My name’s Marjorie, by the way.”

The seamstress was quite sure that most people hearing such titbits of strangers’ lives would be interested in them simply for the sake of learning more about another person. But for Amelia, the process of learning about a stranger bought with it the consequence of instinctively and mentally planning a new wardrobe. Instantly images of practical dresses and tops filled her mind. Mid-length sleeves, so Marjorie wouldn’t risk dripping them into whatever she was cooking.
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Amelia
Easily underestimated
 
Posts: 156
Words: 149648
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2015, 7:30 am
Race: Human
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Rose & Vanilla

Postby Wymez on December 10th, 2017, 12:39 pm

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ImageAmelia
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Skills
● Candlemaking - 3XP
● Perfumery - 1XP
● Observation - 3XP

● Organisation - 1XP
● Socialisation - 1XP
● Fashion Design - 1XP

Lores
● Clarissa Montague: Candle-making instructor
● Beeswax: Most common wax
● Beeswax: Does not hold fragrance or colour well
● Soybean Wax: Softer and burns slower than other waxes
● Soybean Wax: Aromatically neutral
● Perfumery: Figuring out complimentary scents
● Fragrances: Rose, Lily, Daisy, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon, and Vanilla
● Candlemaking: Combining base oil and plants to create fragrant oil
● Candlemaking: Understanding differences between base oils
● Sunflower Oil: Properties
● Candlemaking: Heat and heatless fragrant oil creation techniques
● Marjorie: Grandmotherly candlemaking student with endless patience

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I absolutely adore Amelia, how you write her and how you turned what could be a very mundane skill building thread into an interesting glimpse into her life and story. Beautifully done and thank you for such a lovely little read. Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your grade and don't forget to delete/edit your request in the grading queue.
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