Candle Lantern Redo and Updating

We like having candles on the table when enjoying our dinner outside on the patio. 
But I also use lantern candle holders when camping by hanging on Shepard’s hooks around the camp site.
The newest ones are battery operated that look and work great and not messy with melted wax. 
Recently I found an old lantern in a thrift store that was designed to hold a pillar candle. 
I thought I could revamp it with little effort and besides, it was 50% off!

Once home the lantern had to be washed and scrubbed. Because the top opens up, I was able to remove all the glass panes, including the pane that had the price written on it in crayon.

The bottom of the lantern is also removable for easy candle installation. I removed the bottom and then used pliers to remove the small attachment that is suppose to hold a pillar candle.

I will be using a battery operated candle instead, so will need a larger flat surface. 
I used a real candle just to make sure the space was going to be large enough for a battery operated candle.

Once the lantern was clean and dry, (and glass panes removed) I took it outside to paint.
I spread out paint blankets and used black metal spray paint. It is best to spray on only one light coat at a time so the paint does not run.

I painted my lantern black because it will match more of my decor, inside and outside.

But you can paint it whatever color you prefer.
For example white like this one for sale at Ikea ($14.99).

I let the paint dry on mine between each coat before spraying additional layers.
Once it was painted and dried, the lantern looks brand new!

I'm using an off white battery operated candle for now but think I will use an orange one for fall and decorate with garland and a red candle for Christmas and add a bow or garland!


Store purchased one on the left, updated old one on the right

Candle Lantern on a shepard's hook

Other Posts:


More Halloween Costume Ideas

My son Daniel as a ninja, early 1990's
It's nearly Autumn and October. Yeah!!
The weather has been cooler here during the day and chilly at night which to me is just wonderful. And we're already seeing the edges of leaves beginning to change color. I am in the mood for everything pumpkin and even found a pumpkin salsa! I'm so ready for hearty stews, college football, bread baking and hot casseroles.

We have an annual Fall Party and dress up in costumes every year which is always lots of fun, I think this year is our 11th or 12th consecutive annual party! We had fall parties on and off before that too!
This year I'm a little behind getting our costumes together, I usually start weeks earlier than this,  but this year we had an Under the Sea Baby Shower to host, a new barn to build (which isn't 100% finished) plus trying to keep up with the vegetable gardening, canning, stocking firewood for winter,  (and hay) feeding livestock and raising a pig.

Last year I wrote 2 blog posts about previous costumes we have worn, made or someone wore to one of our parties.

You can see the first post here: Halloween Costume Ideas.
If you have a keen eye, you may even see a prop or two or a cape reused in another costume.

And see the second costume post here: Halloween Costume Ideas, Part 2
I hope this post will give you even more ideas for easy and homemade costumes! ( And a couple not so easy)

Pumpkin Head
I have to tell you this is one of my favorites! This one is a creation by my nephew Adam. He found a really fun fall men's jacket in browns and oranges and then carved out a real pumpkin to use as the pumpkin head. Be warned, the pumpkin does get heavy after awhile, but it's a really great costume. He wore it to the Circleville Pumpkin Show last year and was nearly mobbed!! You could also use a fake pumpkin as the head, which would be lighter, but not nearly as cool!

A Moonshiner
This costume really made me laugh and is back in vogue because of the popular Moonshiners show on Discovery channel. One of my son's best friends, Charlie came up with this costume of bib overalls, a fake bread and old hat and a whiskey jug (or use a large dark brown bottle).

Vikings (Rathor Lathbook and Lagetha, the Shield Maiden)
Also modeled after a popular cable series, these costumes were the creation of my daughter Alexis and her boyfriend Thomas. These took months of planning and costume accessory finding, but I just had to add them to this post because they are amazing!  This costume was my daughter Alexis's most recent, but she's also in the Little Red Riding Hood costume below that she wore 10 years ago. 

Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz
I made the dress for this costume but any blue and white checked dress will do. Spray paint a pair of shoes sparkly red, tie the hair in pigtails and add a basket. A little stuffed doggie toy for the basket is a great addition.  This is Korina, who is also in the photo below (much younger) as a little Dutch Girl. 

A Little Dutch Girl
I also sewed the velvet dress for this costume for my grand daughter Korina.  But again, you can find an inexpensive beautiful little solid color dress at a local second hand store. Add the neck scarf, little white apron and a pointy white hat.

Gosh my husband and I had fun with these costumes! The base of the costume is a black outfit: shirt and pants for the man and shirt and skirt for the woman (or black dress).
For the man, tuck his pants into knee high white socks, wrap white material around both cuffs of the shirt, add a large white collar and cheap pilgrim hat purchased at a costume store. 
For the woman, wrap a white apron around the waist, add a large white collar, a white pilgrim hat and white material around the cuffs of the shirt.

Little Red Riding Hood

My daughter Alexis wore this costume to a party at her middle school. We had a red piece of material in the basket with a wolf's head mask as a prop.
I made a red and white checkered skirt, a red vest with lace up bodice and added a red cape. The basket and wolf's head really help make the costume unique.
And years later, my oldest daughter Dawn wore the same costume to one of our fall parties.

Duracell Battery
This is one of the most unique costumes I have seen. I took this photo while at Boo On Broadway, a local town center Halloween celebration.
It's made of poster board rolled into a tube, holes cut for the arms and painted to look like a Duracell battery. Being worn by a beautiful little red-headed girl with pigtails pushed this costume onto my all time favs list.

I can hardly wait to see what new and inventive costumes everyone comes up with for this year's party! I have ordered t-shirts this year and will pick up the accessories I need at the dollar store. (but my costume is a surprised!) Hope you have a wonderful autumn season,


Under The Sea Party Ideas

My youngest son and his finance are having a baby in December. Daniel and Jennica had their first date on March 17, 2010, got engaged early this year and set the date for the wedding for March 17, 2017. Unexpectedly, they found out in May they were going to have a baby. When they saw the doctor for the first time she told them their estimated date of conceiving was March 17th!!
We created very unique Pregnancy Announcement Cards to send out to family and close friends, and then started planning a baby shower. Jennica choose Ariel's Under The Sea theme and this is a few of the things we did for the party. The nursery will also have “Under The Sea” as the theme or décor so we can reuse a lot of the items we made.
Our new barn isn't quite finished, the walls have not been covered, but it worked out great for the party. 


Hot Pepper Relish

We grow numerous varieties of peppers in our garden every year, hot, sweet, mild and use them fresh in salsas, Pico De Gallo, on sandwiches, sliced on pizza, diced in casseroles and stuffed.
If there’s any left over at the end of the season, I dice and freeze them to use through out the winter months.

Recently, I've read many rave reviews online about Hot Pepper Jelly so wanted to give it a try. I made a couple batches using popular recipes, but I found it seem to lack the “hot” and the pepper “flavor” and was way too sweet for our tastes.

I played around with the recipes and decided instead to use my pickle relish recipe but make it into a Hot Pepper Relish-Jelly. Still sweet, but just not as much and with a stronger hot pepper flavor and heat.

If you’re like me, you sometimes need to come up with a quick snack to serve when last minute guests arrive. One of my favorite tricks is to pour hot pepper relish over goat cheese or cream cheese and serve with crackers.
Everyone seems to love it as it disappears quickly. This also keeps the hungry masses occupied while you finish making dinner!


Ariel's Candelabra and “Under the Sea” Party

I'm hosting an Under The Sea BabyShower for my son Daniel and his long time girlfriend, Jennica, (they got engaged early this year).
Jennica decided about 2 months ago that the baby shower was either going to be themed for a boy, (King Triton) or a girl, (Ariel). We found out in July that we're having a girl, and they're naming her Lilly! 
So Ariel's Under The Sea it is.

One of the decorations we decided to make was Ariel's candelabra.
And really it has been one of the easier decorations for the party I've made!
I was able to find an old brass candle stick at a thrift store for .90 cents. Also, used silverware at a thrift store usually only runs around .30 cents each.


Lemonade Vodka Thirst Quencher

OK, so this was going to be either a post about building an arbor in the garden for gourds and pumpkins
or a post about painting and restyling a garden lantern.
But while digging through my photos for those posts,  I came across the pics I took earlier this week for a drink I mix up!

This delicious and refreshing (with a kick) adult beverage won out over the other posts, haha
It's been a long week!

I suggest you mix this drink up the first time according to the recipe, then you can tweak it from there.  Example:  You can add more lemon or less sugar or adjust the vodka amount, etc.


Baltimore, Maryland and Edgar Allan Poe

Recent photo I took
Baltimore Poe
I have always been fascinated by what drove certain authors to write what they did, or where they were living at the time of writing such great works.  I have toured a few famous authors’ homes, or “chased an author” as I call it, including Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in New York

And we recently started a book club and along with reading books from all different genres, we also sometimes take field trips related to the current book we're reading.
For August we read two tales and one poem by Edgar Allan Poe (or more if we were so inclined). I grew up on Poe and loved his stories of lost love, terror, suspense and horror.
A few of us in the book club, The Bookworms Literary Guild, decided to take a trip to Baltimore, Maryland to visit the many Poe sites located there.
Although Baltimore has been in the news lately concerning riots and is listed on a few websites as being in the top 10 most violent cities, we found it to be a beautiful city full of culture, historical buildings and sites, harbors, ethnic neighborhoods, churches, restaurants, statues and many parks.  My nephew Anthony lives and works in Baltimore as a luxury yacht builder and assured us it’s a safe city in most areas and that we would love it.  We did.

Zucchini Bread

Yowza! What to do with all the zucchini my garden produced this year!
Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and as such, it's known far and wide among home gardeners for overwhelming crops. 

When cooking, zucchini is treated as a vegetable and is usually cooked and served as a savory or side dish. 
Botanically, however, zucchini is really a fruit.

With zucchini you can make Zucchini bread, sautéed zucchini, grilled zucchini, zucchini muffins, marinated zucchini salad, zucchini pancakes, zucchini fries, zucchini brownies, zucchini lasagna, zucchini frittata, zucchini pizza, zucchini quiche, zucchini in zucchini sauce, zucchini stuffed zucchini, and many other zucchini dishes!


Shrimp BLT Sandwich

My son Daniel is always looking for new and unique recipes for me to make.  Recently he picked up a magazine from the grocery store and marked a few recipes to try and this one for a Shrimp BLT sandwich was at the top of his list. 

My husband Bill and I just got back from visiting Historical Jamestown and Assateaque Island along the coast of Virginia and enjoyed fresh seafood for 4 days straight.  Right now, anything with seafood sounds really good to me.

Variations and Tips:

  • I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand except the Old Bay Seasoning.  I used a little garlic, course ground black pepper, Cajun seasoning and seasoning salt to replace the Old Bay. The sandwiches turned out wonderful!
  • Spring or Bibb lettuce or similar is best but a good old head of lettuce works just fine.
  • Lightly toasting the bread will help keep the bread from getting soggy.


Building A Hog Trough

We decided to raise a feeder pig this past spring for butchering in the fall.  We purchased “Burt” a Hampshire breed, from a farmer for $50.00.

Hampshire Hog History
Hampshire hogs are black with a white belt, heavily muscled, lean meat breed.  They are the fourth most recorded breed of the pigs in the United States.
The Hampshire breed is also the oldest, early-American breed of hogs in existence today. The Hampshire hog originated in southern Scotland and Northern England. These pigs were known as the "Old English Breed". They were noted and criticized for their large size, as pigs were commonly killed at 125 pounds live weight. However, they were admired for their proficiency, hardy vigor, foraging ability and outstanding carcass qualities.
Hampshire pigs were imported into America between 1825 and 1835 from Hampshire County in England. Some of the first importations were also known as the McKay hog because a man by that name was thought to have imported these hogs from England to America.