Playing Together Making Pumpkin Carvings and Advent Candles

thanksgiving pumpkin carving d_thumb[1]

Last fall, right before Thanksgiving, two friends Rebecca and Phyllis, joined me in producing what I called "joint posts" - but actually we just agreed to post about our own versions of the same craft project on the same day!

One of the things I have loved so much about the crafty blogiverse adventure is observing that ten people making the same basic project will almost always come up with ten different ways of making it! So it just made sense to me that posting with another person would offer readers more than one way of looking at an idea.

Phyllis and Rebecca share one thing in common - they are both devoted to their children and to giving them as many opportunities for adventure and learning as possible.

Whether it is celebrating St Lucy Day in true Danish tradition as Rebecca did in December, or creating an authentic Medieval feast complete with appropriate clothing and candlelight as Phyllis just did a couple weeks ago, they are both always thinking up ways to enrich their children's life experiences.

I have great respect for both of them.

Rebecca and I share many passions and often bounce ideas off one another. Where as we think alike about many things, when it comes to crafting - we see a project with different eyes. One way or another, we got onto the subject last summer of carving mini pumpkins to use as decorations on our Thanksgiving tables and ended up with a "joint post"!

The glowing beauties above are some of Rebecca's little carved pumpkins which she shared on her blog, Roots and Wings.

I just knew HER mini pumpkins would be fabulous!

thanksgiving pumpkin carving f_thumb[1]

And look at these! I love her idea to carve meaningful words on the pumpkin surface. You can see how beautifully these worked into a table setting on her post.

I am definitely not as clever as Rebecca when it comes to carving pumpkins. In fact it is almost embarrassing to show my minis next to hers. But seeing her little white ones inspired me to pick up a few for the Thanksgiving table at Diane's house.

P1090496 The pumpkins I had carved for my post (a couple weeks before thanksgiving) had developed an interesting ...hum... fragrance that I was worried wouldn't marry well with the foods Diane had planned for the day. So I did some quick, simple carving on the white ones. Even as simple as they were, they gave off a warm and inviting glow scattered among the ears of Indian corn and fall leaves.

 I really like the white minis even better than the orange!

my garden e_thumb[1]

Rebecca is not timid! She will try anything!

my garden h_thumb[1]

She built these lovely boxes for her garden.


Which inspired us to build similar boxes in my garden! Of course the area looks pretty ratty now and my beautiful gravel is covered in an inch of pine needles. But this summer I will take another picture so you can see how great they look filled with blooming perennials.



Just in time for the beginning of Advent, Phyllis joined me in making advent candles.

Well actually, her children joined in. Phyllis, a mom dedicated to homeschooling her children, writes three blogs and most of what she shares involves what the children are learning and doing and making. Even meal preparation often becomes a learning opportunity.

With her guidance, her children made several different advent candles, starting with Mod Podge, tissue paper and permanent marker - which is what is going on with the one above!


Then Mod Podge, tissue paper and Gallery Glass Liquid Leading.


They made paper bag luminaries using a similar technique on plexiglass.


And permanent ink and Mod Podge colored with food coloring. I am going to play with this myself this April!

For Phyllis - crafting is all about the children. She doesn't write many craft tutorials - she writes about what the children are learning and how they are learning it! And as I said, many meals, and art projects and play times are just an extension of current lessons.


All Things Beautiful is a home school journal and a great place to find inspiration for teaching almost anything from the movement of ocean currents to Jupiter and the movement of it's moons.


On her blog Household Ways, she posts a new recipe almost every day and when it is time to make a special dish from Egypt or a special holiday dessert she gets the kids involved!

And on the Berg Blog, she shares their everyday adventures like the Medieval Feast or a trip to the beach.

Rebecca and Phyllis, again I thank you for taking the time to share in our joint adventures this past fall. I know it took time and thought and effort to produce these posts and believe me I appreciate every bit of each. I hope you enjoyed sharing the adventures even half as much as I did!

Rebecca, thank you for the inspiration that led to my beautiful new 4'x6' raised planters surrounded by a gravel path. We didn't get them finished until late in the season last year, but you will see soon how pretty they look.

Phyllis, I have said this before to you and I will say it again. You are an inspired, and creative teacher. A priceless gift to your children. And I hope that once your children have graduated, there will be opportunities to share your gift with other children.

My thanks to both Phyllis and Rebecca for allowing me to use some of the images from their blogs to illustrate my little thank you post!

Great pumpkins! It' not so

Great pumpkins! It' not so much the tradition in Switzerland to carve pumpkins, but some people are starting doing it. Lots of fun!

Pam I just adore you! Thanks

I just adore you! Thanks for the super sweet words. It was so much fun to do that joint post with you. I have loved getting to know people from the bloggy world, but you are my favorite! I only wish we lived closer as I know we would have a blast together! I cannot thank you enough for the conversations we have had and the thoughtful advice you have given me. I have so much to learn from you! ;)


Imagine my surprise when I

Imagine my surprise when I just clicked on your post, just because I always read your posts, and I saw all the wonderful things you have shown and said. I have a lump in my throat now because of all your kind words. It is a good thing I can type and don't have to talk! LOL Thank you. It is I, however, who has benefitted the most from my knowing you for your wisdom and talent come across every post.

I love Rebecca's blog - I

I love Rebecca's blog - I especially enjoyed her St. Lucia post, it's so much fun to see how other people celebrate! :)

I haven't been to Phyllis's blog yet but am exciting about checking it out, thanks for sharing the links and photos!