Posted by Cobi on Monday October 26, 2009 at 07:00 AM
This Halloween decorating trick is a so easy, it’s scaaarry.
Have a boo….
My friend, Maureen found a great little gadget at Homesense called a Candle Carver. Since it isn’t always easy to find seasonal things there, we also sourced it on-line at The Great Canadian Gift Company. At $14.99, it isn’t cheap but it’s Made in Canada of stainless steel so it isn’t going to break after one use which makes it worth it to me.
I think there are lots of holidays I would use this little sucker ~ not just halloween ~ imagine a row of Asian pears at Christmas…lemons and limes in the summer….
Another idea it’s got me dreaming of is individual desserts. I haven’t tried this but I think it would be yummy: Make holes in enough apples for each guest to have one and fill with warm butterscotch sauce. Serve on a pretty dessert plate or saucer with more apple wedges for dipping. Does anyone have time to try this and let us know how it goes? mmmm…..
The other good thing about this little carver is that it’s a small item to keep in a drawer with your votives between parties. The rest of the centrepiece can be eaten or composted after use.
Have a Wicked Halloween!
ps/ If you want to do this without the carver, try stamping the pumpkin with an empty aluminum holder from a votive candle (like using a cookie cutter) then use a paring knife to cut out the hole. Might not be as neat but it will work too. Be sure to use a vegetable with a flat bottom! We don’t want any rolling pumpkins….
Posted by Cobi on Monday October 19, 2009 at 07:00 AM
Here’s a quick organizing trick.
I loooove jewellery but really struggle with storing it.
Bangles are especially bulky, and take up a lot of room in my little chest of drawers.
Here’s my latest solution: we all have glass vases floating around that we don’t need….
I feel like I just killed two birds with one stone because by doing this I managed to get rid of two vases off of my stuffed vase shelf at the same time ~ oh bliss!
Yes, I do have to empty out the vase if I want a bracelet at the bottom, but it isn’t a big deal. The best thing is that by being able to see them, I find I’m wearing them more. It’s the worst when you have great stuff and forget to wear it.
I bet there are more uses for glass vases if we put our minds to it….let me know if you use them for other things!
Posted by Cobi on Monday October 12, 2009 at 07:00 AM
I wanted to show you my dishes this week because they work so well for the Thanksgiving table, they always make me happy.
They’re called “Woodland” by Spode.
Each plate has a different duck or bird in the centre which makes them fun to collect and keeps my daughter Charlotte amused when setting the table . I think she’ll have memories of family dinners with them and since I plan to give them to her one day I think of them as ‘future heirlooms’.
There’s something about the brown transfer pattern and scene in the middle that’s elegant and earthy at the same time. They’ve been a joy to add to my other patterns and work so well with hearty fall and winter fare. It’s also great that they’re dishwasher and microwave proof.
Charlotte and I always collect leaves for place cards (just use permanent marker), impromptu coasters and general scattering about on tables and mantles. So pretty and easy to do while the turkey’s cooking.
Here’s a nice picture of some pieces in the Horchow mailorder catalogue in the states…
Spode is available at lots of independant china and dinnerware stores across Canada including Ashley’s in Toronto.
Anyway, must run and join the fun ~ Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Posted by Cobi on Monday October 05, 2009 at 10:24 AM
Sometimes we all feel like we have to advocate for something that we think is being overlooked or snubbed because of an old idea or incorrect perception. Today I am advocating for Electric Fireplaces.
Yup, it’s true, the old lightbulb and orange paper trick is something I think deserves more credit! No special wiring, no special venting, no different than buying a lamp, it’s quite a decorating find!
We put one into our screened in porch a couple of years ago. I am not going to suggest you do the same because they really aren’t meant for outdoors and can’t be guaranteed against the elements, but that’s not my point - I already have 2 working fireplaces inside our house but if I didn’t I would definitely consider one of these.
The point is, that I still marvel at how smart it is and how few people have them.
Here are the top 4 reasons why I love them:
Installation - like I said, it’s no different than buying a lamp. Seriously. All you need is a wall plug on the wall where you are placing it. If you have that, you simply go pick a style, it gets delivered, the guy plugs it in, pushes it against the wall and that’s it. Did you hear that ladies - no husband, brother or handyman needed!!
Profile - it’s very narrow. If you’ve tried to retrofit your home for a gas fireplace, you’ll know that there is a significant depth required for safety reasons and it can get complicated to set the box into the wall, etc. (read: construction, mess, expense). These suckers are only about 16” deep and don’t take up too much space in your room, yet have enough of a mantel to decorate (love that).
Look - There’s a large assortment of surround styles available, but what I was more concerned with was the look of the flame. No it’s not real but the new technology of using lights and mirrors is quite convincing! You would definitely think it’s real on first glance. Also, even though gas flames are real, I often find the logs to be fake looking and so really, what’s the difference - a fake fire is a fake fire.
Heat - it throws a nice amount of heat for a regular size room. Sometimes our gas fireplace will sweat us right out of our basement. This little guy doesn’t throw too much but just enough to be comfortable sitting near by. Of course, you can set the remote to ‘no heat’ and just have the look if you like.
Anyway, for the ease and cost (ours was about $2,000 for the unit, no labour cost) I think they are definitely worth considering if you are looking to cozy up a room and create a focal point.
If you want to check out the looks available, a few of the big brand names are Dimplex, Burley and Classic Flame. If you are in Ontario, I would also recommend going to the store we bought from, The Electric Fireplace Shop. Two women own the business and completely focus on electric (obvious by the name!) and really know their stuff.
Let me know if I’ve convinced you ~ or if you already agree!