carved squash centerpieces

November 2, 2010 § 42 Comments

Just when I thought I’d seen enough squashes and gourds adorning a Thanksgiving table, I came up with an idea of carving butternut squashes into beautiful flowers.  I’ve always fancied the butternut squash for its shape, color, and density (apart from being so incredibly delicious!).  Butternut squashes are adorably unique.  They also happen to have a substantial amount of flesh, are considerably less hollow than most gourds, and make for a divine base for carving.

What’s best is that butternut squashes are overly abundant and inexpensive this time of year.  I got mine at thirty-nine cents a pound.  I spent a miserly $2.40 on this entire centerpiece arrangement.   For a couple of bucks, half an hour of time, and a striking conversation piece, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this beautiful project.

You will need as many butternut squashes as you’d like and a paring knife.  I bought three medium-size squashes weighing two pounds each.  It takes only ten minutes to carve each one, so carve as many as your table and schedule can fit!  Just make sure these are carved on the morning of your party and kept in the fridge until your table is ready for setting.

1. Using a paring knife, peel the skin in six sections at about 1/8″ in thickness until you get to the bulb of the squash (about 3/4 down) and the peels are hanging.

2. Continue carving a second layer of six slices (petals).  It’s best to carve in such a way that the  peaks made by the previous cuts are now in the middle of the new cuts.

3. Carve a third layer of six petals.

4. Carve a fourth layer of six petals (by this time the petals are much smaller).  Cut the center flesh into a short stump.

5.  Carve the center until it is rounded.

harvest candy corn favor boxes

November 1, 2010 § 22 Comments

candy corn favor boxI started my blog days before Canadian Thanksgiving and agonize at having missed the opportunity to post some crafts for the holiday.  It’s a blessing that American Thanksgiving is still to come!  I like entitling myself to the double celebration of Thanksgiving each year, considering that three of the four most important people in my life live in America.  Every American Thanksgiving weekend has been spent at my parents’ in Michigan.  Having said that, my next few crafts may regrettably be a few weeks out of date for my beloved Canadians, but for my American family and friends, the crafts are just in season.

I hope you have an a-maize-ing time creating these delectable candy corn favors!

You will need scissors, good quality double-sided tape (I always use the ones with backing), and the following:

a. Corn patterned paper.  Don’t worry, I’ve done the designing for you!!  I am happy to provide the sheet here for free for you to download and print on cardstock.  Each sheet has two yellow corn patterns and two Indian corn patterns.  Kindly note that this sheet is only for your personal use. *Edit: I’ve had a special request for a black & white version of the corn pattern so that your little ones can color the kernels in, so you can upload the b&w version, too.  Thanks for the great suggestion, Bridget!*

b. Green and yellow crepe streamers.

c. Candy corn.

d. Yellow tissue paper.  Cut each sheet into quarters.  1 sheet (4 quarters) makes 2 favor boxes.

Now, to make this fun and easy project:

1. Using double-sided tape, roll the corn pattern into a tube.

2. Take the quarters of tissue paper and roll into balls.

3. Plug one end of the corn tube with a ball of tissue paper, then fill with candy corn, and plug the other end with a second ball of tissue paper.

4. Cut your streamers into 5-1/2″, 6-1/2″, and 7″ strips and shape into husks.  Each corn will need two 5-1/2″ strips, two 6-1/2″ strips, and one 7″ strip.  I used green streamer for the yellow corn and yellow streamer for the Indian corn.

5. Using double-sided tape, arrange and adhere the husks to cover the bottom of the tube entirely, the sides of the tube, and the top of the tube partially.

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