Lamps are not a luxury, they are a necessity. Living off grid there are few things we can live without, the oil lamps that light both the early and late winter mornings, the flames that light the evenings when the generator runs out of gas are those that are missed if were forced to do without.
I had the children drag fresh cut boughs from a tree fell for fire wood out of the woods and into the driveway, handing them small craft scissors they trimmed the smallest limbs to be used. These small branches were laid at the bottom of a quart size mason jar in a thick layer. Spruce cones were added to the jar to make another layer. I filled the jar nearly to the top with spruce appendages. I poured the paraffin oil into the jars so that it covered the spruce cones and branches.
The wick was placed atop the oil spruce blend and left to soak up both the aroma of fresh cut spruce and the oil overnight. A well soaked wick is a well burning wick, thus I am never afraid to let it soak for long periods of time.
I cut a hole with a blade in the top of the lids large enough for the wick to be pulled through. Pulling the wick through the long hole I was able to light it and smell the spruce smelling oil burn for the first time.
Mason jars have a place as a ingredient to many home improvement tasks. The warm old fashioned glow of the mason jar lamps often gives an ambiance of relaxation and seems to complete the rustic cabin look. The rustic look found throughout our living spaces is one of pastoral functionality, often made by skilled hands in the arts of authentic rustic living.