Adding Light

comments: 85

Candle1 Every morning I wake up and I think, "Oh yeah, I keep meaning to show somebody my candle!" And then do I show you my candle? No. I forget. No, this is not a metaphor. I really do have a candle and I am obsessed with the candle.

Candles Mine is a blatant copy of the candles pictured at right from the Wisteria catalog. I would've ordered theirs if the one I wanted had been in stock, but I really did go running to the web site the minute I got the catalog weeks ago and it was already unavailable, I swear! So one of the things I got on my many jaunts to Michaels a few weeks ago was red puff paint (puff paint: a very underappreciated medium, if you ask me, and could be flammable, but I don't think it will get that close to the flame when it's attended) and then I found this short wide candle at Target for $7.99. And then every night I've been freehanding this design around the side. The motif repeats four times. You have to go slow, a little bit each night, to give the paint time to dry lest you smear the whole thing and wreck it and get it all over your comforter, which would be bad since it is fabric paint, meant to stay on fabric.

Candle2 Anyway, I'm not quite done with it, but I want to use it on the table for Thanksgiving. I have this tablecloth and white dishes, and I think it will look really simple and pretty. This is actually my first time as a married lady having both my husband's and my family in attendance and I am a little nervous! Like, I thought that was just a myth or something — I'm not generally a nervous hostess, but maybe I am after all! I just want it to be nice for everyone. I think of pretty party-giving as a way of saying thank you, really. You just want it to be so nice for everyone so that they can have a special day, a day that's fancy and full and just . . . not like every other day. I remember, as a child, being so excited to get dressed up and go to my grandma's, or even just stay home for that special dinner. I have high hopes, but I always do. I guess that's the Hostess M.O.

Nevertheless, I don't think any of us can think about our own dinners, parties, or families without thinking about those who won't be able to get home, or who have nowhere special to go. There are so many ways to give and places to donate to help ease this. Last night as I was surrounded by bits and pieces of light-bringing Santa Lucia and her candles, I was reading the editor's letter from the January issue of Hallmark magazine, where Lisa Benenson, the editor-in-chief, writes in a very moving way about "adding your light to the sum of the light" — doing whatever it is you're able to do, even if it's small or you think it can't really matter much, to contribute to the collective effort to bring peace, health, comfort, and love to our world.

Here in Portland there are many ways to do that this season. Starting tomorrow, Loaves and Fishes has teamed up with many area grocery stores to make it easy for you to donate a meal to seniors when you do your shopping. Zupan's markets has partnered with the Sunshine Divison to accept donations for dinners this week, as well. Hands On Portland has dozens of opportunites not just to donate this holiday season but to get involved. Nationally, here are a few options for Thanksgiving charities recommended by the Fine Living channel. I know there are so many more, and so many more ways, and so many people who know better than I what the world needs — it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But I think that every flicker of light adds to the sum of the light, so even one way helps someone, somewhere. I would love to about what ways other people have found to add their lights, as well, especially around the holidays.

Well jeesh, maybe there was a metaphor up there after all. Two years of MFA school does this to you, I swear. You're like a gumball machine, spitting 'em out. [That one's a simile, but what's the diff. Can't help either one.]

85 comments

Gorgeous candle! You did that freehand?!

Your candle is gorgeous--very swedish looking to me. i love it! I too am hosting both my family and my husband's this year 9our first married thanksgiving, my first time hosting, and our first time really hosting people in our new house).

oh my, that is just so lovely! well well done!

Nervous......hey, your united families want the same for you, Andy, and everyone around the table. How can we miss achieving that, really, no matter where the table is. There will be laughter and tears on this very special holiday. The candle is lovely...and I would repeatas above, you did that freehand? Why am I always surprised at how talented you are, even after all this time and evidence! I love you...see you soon! (gobble, gobble...I wish I could "gobble" with sound- I'm very good at it!)

Beautiful! I love that Swedish-red-and-white look.

The best Thanksgiving I ever had was when I lived just outside Washington DC with my best friend ever, who was in medical school at the time. She managed to have the day off and we volunteered and took meals to elderly shut-ins. Some were so happy to see us and visit with us, and others just grabbed their food and shut the doors behind us. Then we went home and cooked up a bunch of ridiculously luxorious foods, like caviar and filet, and set the table beautifully for just the two of us, with our mismatched dishes. It was a combination of selfless and indulgent, and just such a happy memory.

Good luck with your big day! Don't stress too much, I can't imagine anyone coming into your lovely home and not having a wonderful time.

Beautiful! I love that Swedish-red-and-white look.

The best Thanksgiving I ever had was when I lived just outside Washington DC with my best friend ever, who was in medical school at the time. She managed to have the day off and we volunteered and took meals to elderly shut-ins. Some were so happy to see us and visit with us, and others just grabbed their food and shut the doors behind us. Then we went home and cooked up a bunch of ridiculously luxorious foods, like caviar and filet, and set the table beautifully for just the two of us, with our mismatched dishes. It was a combination of selfless and indulgent, and just such a happy memory.

Good luck with your big day! Don't stress too much, I can't imagine anyone coming into your lovely home and not having a wonderful time.

cute! i'll hafta try that ;) (i'm thinking holly leaves? they seem way easier. lol)

Are you kidding? Freehand? It looks so scandinavian and perfect.

Bobbie Duran says: November 16, 2007 at 11:35 AM

Beautiful job on the candles. Great gifts for christmas.

Oh wow! And I'm guessing that puff paint doesn't melt? Who knew?! What a gorgeous job you've done!

You're right; puff paint is underappreciated--I mean, just look at what you've done with it! That candle is redemption for all the bad puff paint projects that have ever been done in the history of puff paint. I am probably going to copy you and (try) to make one, too..And you freehanded it? Wow..

Very impressive freehand work on the candle. I can fondly remember many of my clothes being accessorized with puff paint when I was a kid in the 80s.

That's gonna look so magical on the table near the cranberries!

Beautiful work. I'm sure that it will look lovely and be appreciated by both famlies on Thanksgiving. Have a great hoilday.

gorgeous candles!love red and white, just knitted a red and off white striped hat for my son.
xox

I love getting my Wisteria catalog in the mail, I always find a zillion things I want. Wait. NEED. Great work on the candle :)

Let your little candle shine! I love it. I think it's totally appropriate that we notice metaphors in things all around us. The "season of light" isn't literally about LIGHTS, of course, it's about sharing your spirit. I like that many of the physical objects in our lives can be reminders to share our gifts or ways of understanding life.

Love your little candle. I want to do one!

Great looking candle - how very clever of you. And I have to just say that I am so in love with your puppy - he is the sweetest wee thing.

At first glance, it looks the same! Beautiful! It looks kind of Pennsylvania Dutch, which makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Your Thanksgiving will be lovely.

LOVE puff paint! I have used it to decorate vases, both plastic and glass, I've used them to create a mosiac pattern on wood, even used it as a full coverage paint on a neice's jewelry box. I haven't found anything I can't make it work on :-) If you're patient enough to have to stretch a project out between the paint drying, it can make some fabulous creations! I'm glad you've posted about the candle... not only have you done a great job on it, you've created some create ideas in my head. Thanks!

Alicia I LOVE that candle!! Such an awesome job! It will look awesome on that tablecloth! :O)

Absolutely brilliant ( in more ways than one . .. ). Very Nordic looking. Must make one too.

Very nice work on your pretty candle Alicia! I wanted to share something that my Grandma and Grandpa are doing for Thanksgiving this year if it's ok. They aren't joining the rest of the family for our big meal! Instead they are hosting a meal at their house for people they know who are empty-nesters. Folks who's children aren't comming home this year or who can't travel to get to their loved ones. Whatever the reason, anyone they know who was going to be alone on Thanksgiving has been invited to their home to share the day with others. I love my Grandparents! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and don't forget to have fun and enjoy even though you're the hostess!

ok, that is the craziest thing i've ever seen. it's GORGEOUS. a stroke of pure genius. alicia your place in the crafters alltime hall of fame is secured (as if there was ever any question).

excellent work on those candles!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.