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Posts Tagged ‘hurricane lantern’

Thanks to Marge Tudor, with Entertaining At Home, for this cute idea for an Easter centerpiece, one that the kids will enjoy helping you make as well as eat. What’s better than an edible centerpiece!

Supplies needed:

An assortment of Peeps, those of-no-redeeming-social-value marshmallow treats shaped like bunnies, chicks, and who knows what else (I even saw “camo” Peeps this season); skewers (either bamboo or metal, whichever you have works fine);  filler candy (M&Ms or Hershey’s Kisses or Reeses Pieces, or anything else that you can use as the edible equivalent of sand or marbles);and a glass hurricane.

Here’s where the kids get to help. They can separate the Peeps into individual critters. If old enough, they can also impale the little critters on the skewers. Once your “kabobs” are assembled. hold the assemblage of skewers together and have an assistant pour the chosen candy in around the ends of the skewers to hold the kabobs in place. If the candies are wrapped in Easter-colored tinfoil, that will add to the colorful nature of the display and take on the appearance of a floral bouquet.

It is worth pointing out that this can be a very economical though inviting centerpiece. At $.99 a box of Peeps for 3 boxes, and 2 sacks of candies at around $2.50 each, you’ve got yourself an edible thing of beauty. Nothing wasted, or at least not in my family; there would eventually be nothing left except naked skewers.

I hope your kids will enjoy this activity and that they don’t eat too many Peeps!

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yarn 1In a previous blog, I showed several ways and suggested several others that you could use a tall hurricane lantern for things other than holding a candle. Two of my loves are color and knitting. So how is this for combining both into a unique way to decorate your home, bringing a touch of whimsy and more than a smidgen of color to a mantle, a dining room table, or a sofa table.

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Orleans Hurricane as vase 2Orleans Hurricane with pasts

Being economical or a judicious spender can mean more than not spending. It absolutely does not mean buying the cheapest solution for your particular need (the “get-by” product). The warning “you get what you pay for” is still very true. If you buy inferior quality products of any sort, you will in the long run incur greater expense.  I remember all of those “box store” non-stick frying pans I bought years ago. Always, within a short period of time, the nonstick surface began to flake off and I was back at the box store buying a replacement pan. The more economical action would have been to invest in a quality frying pan at, of course, a significantly higher cost. Once I did that, however, I didn’t incur the repeating expense of replacement pans. The quality pan was the better value.

The same situation can hold  true for home decor and serveware. One way to assess whether a piece you are considering purchasing is a good value is to consider how many different ways you can use the piece.  This thought process can also be entertaining, imagining how many different ways you can utilize a piece, or in how many rooms of your home you can imagine using the piece.

An analogy is to think of home decor and serving pieces as your home’s wardrobe. Buy classic, stylish pieces, like the “little black dress.”  These pieces become your home’s foundation wardrobe  that you can “accessorize” to bring a fresh look to a room from season to season.

As an example, let’s consider a glass hurricane lantern, with metal base and top. If you stop at using a piece like this as simply a candle holder, you’ve gotten good use out of it, but not great use. There are so many ways you could use a piece similar to this. Imagine filling it with small seashells for a seaside cottage motif.  In the spring (remove the lid) and fill it with long branches of pussy willow or forsythia. How tempting (and colorful) it would look filled with M&Ms or peppermints or any of a multitude of small candies! Fill it with pasta and beautify the kitchen counter. Put water in it and a betta fish! Use it as a holder of an artist’s paintbrushes. Using the scotch-tape frog idea from a previous post, turn it into a vase. It would be even more striking to group the hurricane-vase with two other glass vases of different heights and shapes, all with the same flowers. Remember that odd numbers are more visually satisfying.

So when you see something for your home entertaining or decorating that you are considering purchasing, ask the salesperson or consultant for suggestions for alternative uses for the product. If it’s use is too singular, it may be something you want to buy at that moment, but it may not be the best purchase you could make for your investment.

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