Monday, November 19

Thanksgiving Candles and a Couple of Memes

My friend Michelle from Scribbit explained that things can get pretty quiet during an Alaskan winter with "all that snow and darkness and hibernation." So she created the Winter Bazaar where people can submit ideas for crafts, games, decorations, etc. based on a monthly theme. For November, it's Thanksgiving or autumn.

I'm not an especially craftsy person, but I thought these jack-be-little pumpkins candles were just too cute and easy not to submit. I didn't even have to go to a craft store to make them, just the supermarket.

Here's how to do it:
1. Buy some jack-be-little pumpkins or other small, decorative gourds.
2. Place a votive candle on the top of the gourd and trace it.
3. Using a small pairing or carving knife, cut the top of the gourd and remove the seeds.
4. Place the votive candle snugly in the cut-out. (If you make the circle too big, then fill the inside with some aluminum foil to prop up the candle.) You could also make a larger cut-out and place fresh cranberries around the candle, but that's a bit too craftsy for me.

You Make Me Smile Award

I received an email from Chris of Melecotte saying that she named me as a blogger who makes her smile. As you can imagine, that made me smile, and so does Chris. We've been visiting each other's sites for months now, and I think our shared New England heritage has helped cement our friendship. Chris writes honest, funny posts, leaves sincere, thoughtful comments, and is an all-around sweet blogger.

Now for bloggers who make me smile:

Aria of Passionate Nonchalance. Maybe it's because we are both native Rhode Islanders living in Southern California--I don't know--but Aria's blog appealed to me immediately. I love the way she finds humor in the mundane and always seems to be having fun. Plus, she knows what I mean when I say I'm making "the gravy."

Gattina of Kitchen Unplugged makes me smile for many reasons, not the least of which is her endless creativity. Gattina's site is definitely "eye-candy;" but she's more than just a pretty blog. She's a talented cook who creates unique recipes and styles her food in ways that never fail to inspire me.

Kate of Kate in the Kitchen manages to see humor in everyday situations and writes about them in a way that makes you feel like she's talking just to you. With Kate, it's more than just the food; it's the experience that she relishes and shares. Plus, she carves her Halloween pumpkins with power tools--a drill Bit, to be precise. Look. Now, doesn't that just make you smile?

Sig of Live to Eat cracks me up. It's that simple. I love her candor, which I find both amusing and endearing. Sig just embraces life, which makes me smile.

Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy because she is remarkably observant, and her photos are at turns, amusing, poignant, and clever. Sarah's unique take on life always make me smile.

Shn of Mishmash because she writes lovingly of her family and her food. Shn's sweet nature comes across in her posts as well as her comments (which I always appreciate).

Frank Caliendo impersonating John Madden (pro football analyst and announcer). Check out this 3 minute You Tube video "Mad TV John Madden Popcorn Popper" if you want to chuckle. I like pro football, and I love John Madden. He says things so sincerely and unpretentiously that he's hysterical even when he doesn't intend to be. And Frank Caliendo is a dead-ringer for John. He doesn't just make me smile, he makes me laugh. Out loud.

Gattina of Kitchen Unplugged has tagged me for The "Four" Meme:

Four places I have lived:
Providence, RI
Chapel Hill, NC

Los Angeles, CA

San Diego, CA

Four jobs I have had:
sandwich maker-I think I can still smell pickles on my hands, and it's been 20 years.
actor-Modesty prevents me from stating the number of Oscars and Emmy's I have received.
teacher-5 years and my hair turned permanently grey. Thank goodness for Clairol.
library assistant-My boss was like Mr. Bookman from that Seinfeld episode. The job lasted one semester.

Four favorite places I had holidays:
London, England
Seattle, WA

San Fransisco, CA

Miami, FL

Four favorite foods:
pizza-any pizza
my mom's gingerbread-absolutely the very best
gnocchi-homemade and heavy
my dad's pizzelle-they're so good, he actually Fed-exes them to me

Four places I'd rather be:
setting up my Dad's Christmas village with him (while a football game plays in the background)
making Christmas cookies with my mom (my favorite Christmas pastime)
working out with my husband (I have to burn off those cookies and pizza)
in a fabulous salon getting the perfect haircut and make-up (let me know if this place exists)

If you'd like to do this meme, then consider yourself tagged!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Great candle idea! Happy Thanksgiving, from one Rhode Islander to another.

Sig said...

Delightful post Susan...Thanks so much for thinking of me :) I am soo flattered, since you always make me smile too...
Good luck with finding that perfect salon, although your haircut already looks very cute ... :)

Mishmash ! said...

First of all, beautiful-beautiful candles..the small ones would be a great centerpiece idea. Secondly, that blue shade suits u well. Thirdly, its really a pleasant feeling to see my name there, thanks and yes you did make me smile there as you do always with your funny and lively posts :) Happy Thanks Giving and Happy Holidays!


Jeanne said...

I love those squash candle holders!! And great answers in the meme too. We'll have to get you back over to London for another memorable holiday :)

Wendy said...

Fun post! Love those candles. Tell me - what's a pizzelle?

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I love the pumpkin candle idea - it might end up being my centerpiece this Friday (celebrating on a Friday)!

Thank you for honoring me....*speechless*

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Lydia-Happy Thanksgiving!

Sig-Hey, I just got a haircut today, and I'm pretty pleased! :)

Shn-See? That's why you make me smile. You're so sweet to notice the blue! :)

Jeanne-Ooh, London sounds great to me!

Wendy-A pizzelle is an Italian waffle-like cookie that is made in a pizzelle iron. I'll be posting on them soon--so stayed tuned! :)

Sara-They're going to be my Thanksgiving centerpiece on Thursday!

Anonymous said...

Shucks Susan, I'm blushing!

Thanks for thinking of me and for telling all your readers that I make you smile. I so appreciate that!

I love the candle idea. It's not too crafty (because I am a craft klutz) and it's homey too.

Anonymous said...

The candles are beautiful! You've given me the idea of submitting my (admittedly lazy) idea of displaying autumn produce in a big bowl to Winter Bazaar.

bazu said...

Lovely candles and lovely memes, Susan! Now I know why I'm getting gray hairs- teaching! Ack!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Susan that's really a fun and doable idea with the candles in the squash/gords!
Your mom & dad are lucky folks.

Susan G said...

Also inspired to make those candles for our (RI) thanksgiving. But a warning: I'm concerned that putting saran wrap even near a candle would be dangerous -- foil would do the job and not burn or emit toxic fumes. I think I'll see if the decorative gourds would take to disembowelment..

Anonymous said...

I have been on a Frank Caliendo binge lately -- watched EVERYTHING of his I could find on YouTube. His John Madden is great, but so is his GW Bush and his Robin Williams. And his Jerry Seinfeld (Why do my fingers look like little people?) Chuckling just thinking about it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Your candle holders will make a lovely centerpiece. Very creative!

I'll have to check out Frank Caliendo's John Madden impersonation. I've only seen him do George Bush -- dead on accurate and so funny.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy Thanksgiving!



Scribbit said...

I hope it's okay but I plugged this into the Winter Bazaar today, it's a terrific idea--

Stelle in Italia said...

the candles are great! it's a great idea for a decorating here in italy, since it's almost impossible get anything thanksgiving-ish (sometimes you can find things that look kind of autumny). what a great idea!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Kate-Yet another thing we have in common-craft klutziness!

Ann-It's partaking that counts! :)

Bazu-If Clairol doesn't cut it, you may to go for the real salon color. ;)

Tanna-Thanks! I feel pretty lucky too.

Susan G-Point well taken. Though the candle is encased in metal.

Christine-I just about died laughing at his GW. I haven't seen the Seinfeld one. But, I will this weekend. Thanks!

Julie-His John Madden and GW are my favorites.

Rosa-Thanks Rosa! Take care.


Stelle-I'm so glad you like them. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Oh my... I totally love those pumpkin candle holders! Great and creative idea.

Deborah Dowd said...

Your little pumpkins look great. I saw this on Martha Sewart and wanted to do it but when I got to the store, there only had pie pumpkins, not the little gourd-like ones!

Lara said...

Very cute! I think even I could handle this one.

Chris said...

Lovin' the candles! And, thanks for the kind words my friend! :)

Anonymous said...

Great to read a little something about you! I have a soft spot for homemade gnocchi too..Love the candles!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Kristen-And so easy too!

Deborah-Aw, that's too bad.

Lazy organizer-Sooo easy! ;)

Chris-You're so welcome! :)

Ronnell-How could you not love 'em? :)

Anonymous said...

oh how did i miss this! thanks so much for the shout out you make me smile and giggle too. Who's making the gravy this year? oh and any giant lobstahs for the holidays?


Susan from Food Blogga said...

No giant lobstahs this Xmas as we'll be here in CA. Maybe a spiny lobstah? :)

thepassionatecook said...

this is such an amazing idea... will have to try this soon. i am crap at decorating, always leavingeverything to the last minute as i am too preoccupied with cooking. i should really get my act together!