Monday, November 19, 2007

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!