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november book giveaway!

October 31, 2014

Mast Brothers Chocolate pleasure in simple things

It is that time already…time to announce the winner of the October giveaway and to announce the selection for November!

Congratulations to Phyllis for winning the October giveaway book The Cheesemonger’s Seasons: Recipes for Enjoying Cheeses with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables by Chester Hastings. Enjoy!

The November selection is a wonderful first cookbook by The Mast Brothers! Do you remember when I took you to their flagship factory and retail shop in Brooklyn for a Friday field trip?

a Mast Brothers Chocolate Products pleasure in simple things

Rick and Michael Mast are chocolate masters. Roasting cacao beans in small batches, The Mast Brothers create truly handmade chocolate – one of the few American chocolate makers to do so.

In this first cookbook, Mast Brothers Chocolate:  A Family Cookbook, the brothers tell the story of how they began their journey as chocolate makers.  And, in keeping with the Mast Brothers’ philosophy – elegant simplicity – recipes emphasize great ingredients and straightforward preparations. This book includes beautiful photographs and the Mast Brothers’ signature custom paper designs throughout.

page from the Mast Brothers Chocolate Cookbook pleasure in simple things
I plan to use recipes from this book to make some very special chocolate gifts for the holiday season.  Win a copy of this book so that you, too, can use the recipes to create some very special (and delicious) gifts. Just leave a comment, and you are entered to win!  Good luck!

Instagram users – for this month’s challenge, the theme is gratitude. Please use the hashtag #pleasuregram to share your photos.

November 2014 Instagram Challenge pleasure in simple things

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a safe Halloween and a wonderful weekend.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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in awe of autumn

October 28, 2014

view of Heublein Tower from a distance pleasure in simple things

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I visit at least one spot each year out of my normal routine (like when I took the fall steam train ride) to observe the beauty of autumn. Sometimes, removing myself from my daily surroundings really helps to provide me with a new perspective and an added appreciation for the beauty of nature all around me.

fall trail walk in CT pleasure in simple things

Placing myself in some new surroundings was my intent when I made a visit to Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury, Connecticut to hike up Talcott Mountain to the Heublein Tower. With two friends joining me, we picked a day that ended up being a beauty! The sun was shining and the weather was perfect! We probably missed the peak of the changing leaves by a week, but the foliage views were magnificent just the same!

beauty of fall at Talcott Mt State Park pleasure in simple things

The hike on Tower Trail to reach the Heublein Tower, at the top of the Talcott Mountain, is about 1.25 miles and we were enjoying every step of it!

enjoying ct in the fall pleasure in simple things

Because of the time of year, the views were fantastic the entire walk; causing many stops along the way.

Heublein Tower in Simsbury, CT pleasure in simple things

It was fun having a destination, but the hit of the day was definitely the foliage – not the tower!

fall beauty at Talcott Mt State Park pleasure in simple things

The tower is a 165-foot structure built as a summer home in 1914 by Gilbert Heublein.  Heublein was a celebrated German-born hotelier and restauranteur as well as an innovator in the American gourmet food and liquor industry.  The tower holds some interesting history…in the early fifties, two future presidents visited the tower – General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was asked to run for office there) and Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors’ Guild!  History buffs are sure to enjoy the photographs and historical information on display throughout the building.

fall at Talcott Mt State Park in CT pleasure in simple things

The tower is open and accessible to the public through the entire month of October.  The hike to the tower is a wonderful family outing, especially since it is not a difficult climb and the park requires no admittance charge or parking fee.

looking up at fall trees pleasure in simple things

Once at the tower,  visitors (like me) can climb the six-storied structure to the top and admire the beautiful views of Connecticut and beyond.

Heublein Tower window pleasure in simple things

On the horizon, Mount Monadnock, eighty miles away in New Hampshire, is discernible.  To the northwest, the Berkshires dominate the horizon.

water view from the Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

In addition to river views, Long Island Sound is revealed as a thin blue streak to the south.  Those with sharp vision can see an area estimated to be 1,200 square miles.

view from Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

This photo is the view out the door of the tower as we were leaving to head back down the trail…

view of front entrance of Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

And, this view is one from a stop along the trail heading down the mountain.

walking the trail to the Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

A truly wonderful afternoon sharing the beauty of the season with friends –  in awe of autumn.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Craftberry Bush and Friday Finds.

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christmas in october

October 24, 2014

brush trees terrain pleasure in simple things

Hi friends!  Earlier this week I shared my first Christmas post of the season with a gift tag tutorial.  Today, I am continuing the holiday spirit with a shopping trip!  Who doesn’t love a shopping trip, right!  For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some of the items I’ve seen on an early shopping trip and am excited about for the upcoming holiday season.  So, grab a cup of cocoa or tea on this cold, windy day and enjoy!

The first photo is one of some bottle trees at Terrain.  You probably already know of my love for Terrain.  This season, they are carrying bottle brush trees in many shades – including aqua and teal (did you see the photo on my Instagram?)…so exciting!  Another really cool item I saw in the Westport store, was a candleholder in the shape of a house and made of cinnamon bark…can’t you just imagine the smell when the candle is lit!?  I wish you had a scratch and sniff screen!

cinnamon bark house terrain pleasure in simple things

I also loved these cocktail napkins..so natural yet elegant!  Since there are only two Terrain stores in the country, you may not have the opportunity to shop this fabulous home and garden resource.  If not, take some time to check the website for some great holiday inspiration.

cocktail napkins terrain pleasure in simple things

Talking about inspiration…what about this chalkboard wrapping paper at Paper Source!  Definitely 50 feet of fun!

chalkboard wrapping paper source pleasure in simple things

Christmas always involves ornaments and I love looking at the variety of ornaments offered at each of my favorite stores throughout the holidays.  With my passion for typography, I could not ignore this stunner from Pottery Barn!  I want to hang them up in many word combinations…like fa la la and ho ho ho!

Initial Ornament pottery barn pleasure in simple things

I have been enarmored with this mistletoe ornament at Crate & Barrel for a couple of years now…so happy they are still offering it!  I love to put them on packages of bridal shower or engagement gifts…so lovely!

silver-mistletoe-ornament crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

I LOVE this Terrain ornament!  Any favorite dried flower can be added…from your own garden or from a special bouquet!  Even a lock of hair or small photo would be a great addition!

terrain ornament pleasure in simple things

Mercury glass votives are always a lovely way to add some sparkle during the holidays.  This year, Crate & Barrel not only offers some really inexpensive options, but has colors that remind me of the sea.  At only $4.95 each, you can create a pretty cluster at a reasonable price for a beautiful sea inspired glow.  :)  Also, be sure to check out their snowflake hurricanes.

mercury-turquoise-tealight-candleholder crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

Fresh flowers are great all the time, but at the holidays they are always a requirement.  Anthropologie has not yet put out their holiday merchandise, but I love these pinched vases as an artistic way to display a few beautiful blooms.

pinched glass vase anthro pleasure in simple things

Ballard Designs always offers some beautiful holiday items, and this year is no exception.  These gray and white antler totes really appeal to my neutral color passion!  The Suzanne Kasler collection this year also features bears in a gray tone.

Tote bag ballard designs pleasure in simple things

Christmas is always so very exciting for the children and it is wonderful to find great items for the kids (or the kids in us!) :)  This cookie stamp from Crate & Barrel is sure to leave a smile on the faces of the kids during a Christmas Eve cookie making session for Santa!

cat-baked-for-santa-cookie-stamp crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

Decorating the children’s rooms in a special way during the holiday is a great way to add to the excitement to the season.  This year, Garnet Hill  has a pattern called “North Pole” that is cheery and seasonal…

north pole sheets garnet hill pleasure in simple things

And, for the cutest little night light, how about this flameless squirrel candle from West Elm that can be used all year long!

west elm squirrel light pleasure in simple things

With all the shopping and decorating, a relaxing cup of tea is always in order during the holidays…even better in a pretty mug.  This monogrammed vine mug is from Terrain and oh, so pretty!  It would also make a great holiday gift for that special teacher!

vine mug terrain pleasure in simple things

The last item I am going to share is also from Terrain.  I love this inexpensive hanging zinc bucket as an alternative to a front door wreath!  Filled with greens or holly, it makes for a really interesting addition to the outdoor decor!  Don’t you love the dots!  It would also make a great indoor organizer for wrapping supplies.

zinc wall bucket terrain pleasure in simple things

So that is it for today’s Friday field trip!  I hope you enjoyed our little preseason holiday shopping trip!  There is so much more to explore as the stores start stocking up…let me know some of your favorites!!

Please note that none of the photos in this post were taken by me…they came from the respective store websites.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Shabby Nest.

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anthro inspired holiday gift tag

October 21, 2014

finished holiday gift tag pleasure in simple things Anthro inspired

It is not even Halloween…why am I sharing a Christmas craft?  Well, we had a rainy weekend last weekend and I decided to make some gift tags for the holidays. Having some items prepared in advance definitely takes some of the pressure off come December! (Although, traditionally I have done my Christmas wrapping the day after Thanksgiving! I know – cringe worthy for any last minute types out there!)

supplies for holiday gift tag tutorial pleasure in simple things

Anthropologie always has such cute tie-ons as part of their holiday wrapping each year. This year, one of the designs reminded me of a hand painted Christmas card I had made many years ago. It had been an easy design using watercolors – I had done an abstract tree by just making a few horizontal lines on some watercolor paper. Anthro has done the same type of design as a holiday package tie-on, adding an embellishment that I think is so cool – a twig wrapped in green string as a tree trunk!

Their design inspired me to create some gift tags reminiscent of the design I had used on my cards so many Christmases ago. Today, I am sharing a tutorial.

make watercolor lines for xmas gift tag pleasure in simple things

If you don’t have watercolor experience, don’t be intimidated! And, you don’t need any fancy supplies. When I made those tree Christmas cards years ago, I used paint from a dollar store children’s watercolor set! That is all you need to create this card! You can pick up a kit (that includes a brush) at a dollar store or children’s craft section of a bargain store. Watercolor paper (don’t use regular paper) is available in craft or hobby stores. The amount you need will depend on the number of cards you intend to make.

Think about the shape of a tree and picture a triangle shape on the watercolor paper. For purposes of this tutorial, I made pencil marks to better guide you (my triangle is 3” high). If you need to make your own pencil marks, you will want to make them much lighter than this so they will not be visible on your finished card.

Using a brush dipped in water, brush the water onto the paper in the triangle shape. Don’t saturate the paper; just give it a light wash of water in the triangle shape.

finishing watercolor lines for holiday gift tag pleasure in simple things

Next, mixing water with the green paint, paint random horizontal lines across the paper using the triangle as your guide. Some of the lines may stay within your imagined/pencil triangle shape and some may be a little longer. Make one or two lines at a little bit of an angle rather than perfectly straight across. Once you are happy with the look, leave the tree to dry.

using a twig embellishment for holiday gift tag pleasure in simple things

Next, load a little bit of paint on the brush. Hold the brush over the tree and lightly tap the middle of the brush handle…this will give you some speckling on your paper. See the green dots on my card?

You may want to experiment and try a few trees to get a better feel for the paint and the paper before you create a final tree.

completing twig embellishment on holiday gift tag pleasure in simple things

Next, find a thin twig to use as the trunk of your tree (mine is 4 ¼” high). Using green thread, string, yarn, or twine; wrap a length around the middle section of your twig – securing with dots of glue. Use a glue gun to attach the completed trunk onto the painted tree.

 attaching embellishment on holiday gift tag pleasure in simple things

Cut or rip (for deckled edge) the tag to desired size (mine is 5” x 6”).

If you want a little bling – add some optional glitter. I finished up my card by brushing on a little glitter paint in random spots using a cotton swab.

That’s it! You have a beautiful, hand painted gift tag for your holiday wrapping!

 finished Anthro inspired holiday gift tag on package pleasure in simple things

I am using my creations as flat gift tags, but they can easily be adapted to a folded card or a tie-on (by adding two small holes – one on each side of the twig, and using some green thread to tie onto a package) if that is your preference.

I don’t like writing names on my gifts…I always identify packages by the wrapping theme/color or by writing an identifying letter or initial somewhere on the package where not readily visible. If you would rather have names on your tags, simply add the words ‘to’ and ‘from’ with a thin permanent marker.

writing on gift tag pleasure in simple  things

If you make your tag into a folded card, include a few holiday words inside – like: Oh, what fun! Jingle all the way! Making it Merry!

Rather not make your own tree gift tags? You can always get some similar ones, gratis, at Anthropologie when you make holiday purchases!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with NancherrowCraftberry Bush, Crafts a la ModeLiz Marie, and Elizabeth & Co.

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halloween treat boo box care package

October 17, 2014

a halloween care package ingredients for treats pleasure in simple things

Do you send Halloween care packages? For today’s Friday field trip, I am taking you into my kitchen to share a fun idea for your favorite college student or friend – a ‘boo box’ containing a kit to make pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats! The box contains all the premeasured ingredients needed to create this favorite treat with my seasonal spin!

With all the ingredients to make pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats measured out and ready to go, this kit is sure to be a hit! Once this package is received, a pan and a few tablespoons of butter is all that is required to make up a batch of tasty Halloween treats. Students can be very resourceful and will probably score the butter from the campus cafeteria …include a disposable foil pan in your kit if you think your student might not already have an appropriate pan.

a packaged marshmallow for a halloween care package pleasure in simple things

The ingredients are easily packaged right inside a cardboard mailing box. I line the inside of the box with bubble wrap before adding the bags of ingredients. Adding some extra Halloween fun to your mailing box is easy. Before packing up your kit, think about spray painting the entire inside of the mailing box black, gluing some spiders or creepy things inside, or adding some glow-in-the-dark paint! Some fake spider webs from the dollar store are also a nice touch!

care package for Halloween treats pleasure in simple things

Choosing a box that has a little extra space can provide the opportunity to include a few other Halloween surprises before mailing. (I noticed they make Solo cups in black or orange lol!) In my box I added some fun Halloween straws and some candy corn treat bags.

halloween fun pleasure in simple things

For my recipe, I used pumpkin spice Oreo cookies to add a seasonal taste to the treats. Oreos now come in so many flavors, it is easy to choose one that your recipient would enjoy. If you would rather not use the pumpkin spice flavored variety…maybe candy corn flavored cookies? If you prefer, you can substitute the cookie ingredient for a favorite candy of the recipient. (When the holidays approach, use this same recipe, switching up the cookie flavor to gingerbread or candy cane! )

halloween care package treat bags pleasure in simple things

As an option, add an additional ingredient bag(s) of chocolate chips for melting – a chocolate drizzle or zebra drizzle (regular and white chocolate) can be added to the top of the bars.

Be sure to include instructions and a personal note!

writing directions for a halloween care package pleasure in simple things

FOR YOUR BOX. Package the following ingredients, each in separate cellophane bags: 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal, 16 (crushed into crumbs) pumpkin spice flavored Oreos, and 10 oz. mini marshmallows. Note: you can choose to separate the cookie crumbs into 2 bags since some are for the bars and some are for garnish.

FOR YOUR WRITTEN DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING PUMPKIN SPICE TREATS. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter (not included in this package) over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal and 1 cup of cookie crumbs and stir to coat well. Press into 13 x 9 x 2 –inch pan coated with cooking spray or butter. Sprinkle remaining cookie crumbs on top. Cool. Cut into squares. ENJOY!

pumpkin spice rice krispie treat pleasure in simple things

Of course, you don’t need to send a ‘boo box’ to try the recipe! :)

Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Please note that I used Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and Nabisco Pumpkin Spice Oreos in this recipe.

Sharing with Finding Silver Pennies,  Craftberry Bush, Crafts a la Mode, and The Shabby Nest.

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beach house dresser redo

October 14, 2014

 beach house dresser Annie Sloan antoinette chalk paint pleasure in simple things

Today I am sharing a summer beach house dresser redo. I am really proud of the finished piece because I think it captures the spirit of the owner’s personality while still keeping the nostalgic vibe of the house.

beach dresser before photos pleasure in simple things

The dresser is really, really old and had tons of paint on it! I probably spent more time stripping the top of this piece than the total time I spent stripping all the pieces I have worked on in my lifetime! Yes, I did think about abandoning the stripping – painting the entire piece would have been so much easier! But, I just couldn’t do it! This dresser has been in a family beach house at least three generations and I really thought the best way to pay homage to it was to have a little bit of the original wood intact.

collage of after photos beach house dresser pleasure in simple things

After all that stripping and sanding – I can’t even fathom how many coats of paint were applied to the dresser – the piece of wood that made up the top wasn’t even very nice! The piece seems to have been homemade and possibly constructed of scrap wood. It definitely has tons of character!

beach house dresser Annie Sloan antoinette chalk paint pleasure in simple things

I chose a dark stain for the top, hoping the finish would be a little more forgiving to the not so great quality of the wood. I chose Minwax Dark Walnut stain and added three coats of Minwax Satin Finish polyurethane.

top of beach dresser pleasure in simple things

Although the owner of the beach house loves color and would have enjoyed a bright colored dresser, the man of the house really didn’t want any color at all! I think I came up with a good compromise by staining the top of the piece and adding a little color and metallic to the drawer fronts. I know the owner well enough to know her style is definitely one that includes tons of color and plenty of glam!

For the drawer fronts, I mixed Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White with Antoinette and a touch of Graphite to create a shade of pink that coordinated well with the dark walnut stained top.

ASCP dresser after pleasure in simple things

After adding a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, I did a second coat using dark wax and finished it off with some touches of gilding wax. I added the gilding wax to the drawer pulls and top edge of the dresser.

after photo beach house dresser pleasure in simple things

I am thrilled with the way the dresser came out – hopefully to be enjoyed by many more generations!  I was asked to give new life to all the bedroom dressers in the house, so I am looking forward to additional inspiring pieces! Thanks for joining me for today’s makeover.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Finding Silver Pennies, Sand & Sisal, and Coastal Charm.

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visiting a sheep farm in ct

October 10, 2014

a sheep by fence pleasure in simple things

I have to admit that the 332 miles of shoreline in my home state is my favorite part, but there are so many more places to visit in Connecticut!   And today, for Friday field trip, I am sharing one of these places – Connecticut’s largest sheep farm.

a sheep in CT pleasure in simple things

a sheep barn in ct pleasure in simple things

Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm, located on a 175-acre setting in the town of Lyme, has been owned by Stan and Suzanne Sankow since 1984.

 a sheep on a sheep farm pleasure in simple things

 a flock of sheep pleasure in simple things

Named after the creek that runs through the property and continues on to the Connecticut River, Sankow’s is currently home to 600 sheep.

 a sheep on a CT sheep farm pleasure in simple things

 sheep in a sheep barn pleasure in simple things

The farm makes and sells artisanal sheep and cow’s milk cheeses as well as yogurts, milk, and gelato.

farm market at the sheep farm pleasure in simple things

The wool shop features handspun wool garments for sale and the farm store also sells fresh lamb meats and homemade entrees such as white bean chili and lamb curry stew.

wool items made from sheep's wool pleasure in simple things

I have to say, I found the idea of purchasing lamb meats or entrees made with lamb a little unnerving after feeling like I developed a relationship with the resident sheep! But, I did leave the farm with some sheep’s cheese that I later used in a pasta dish back at home.  Afterward, I felt really guilty about eating it because I learned, that although sheep’s milk has more calcium than cow’s milk, it also contains almost double the fat!

 hay bales in a sheep barn pleasure in simple things

a sheep closeup pleasure in simple things

It is a lovely time of year to visit Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm to spend some quality time with these gentle animals while admiring the (soon to be) breathtaking backdrop of fall foliage.  It is open 9 to 4 daily.

 a lone sheep on a sheep farm pleasure in simple things

I hope you enjoyed today’s visit to the sheep farm!

a sheep peeking from the barn pleasure in simple things

Fun sheep fact…What do you call a group of sheep?  Did you say flock?  Herd, mob, drove, or trip are also used!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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keeping it neutral – white party pumpkins

October 7, 2014

white pumpkin with sand dollar pleasure in simple things

White pumpkins are the best pumpkins. I think so anyway! Never a big fan of orange pumpkins, when white pumpkins started showing up on the scene, I took notice!

white pumpkins in neutral beach scene pleasure in simple things

Every fall, I use tons of mini white pumpkins in my decor. And, every fall I change things up a little. Today, I am sharing a few of the white pumpkins around my home this year so I can show you how easy they can be adapted to a fall party or get together.

white pumpkins on a fall mantel pleasure in simple things

SET THE TONE.  Since small pumpkins only cost one or two dollars, they are an extremely inexpensive way to decorate. If you are putting together a fall mantel or buffet table, a group of white pumpkins can add a lot of impact and create a wonderful fall atmosphere for very little cost.

white pumpkin with twine and acorns pleasure in simple things

Try to find pumpkins with interesting stems to add some real character to your display! :)

white pumpkin mantel pleasure in simple things

Here I put some white pumpkins on the mantel with some acorns I collected. A great way to add a sense of warmth is to add a scarf to the mix. Using one I already had, the total cost of decorating the mantel was only a few dollars. Isn’t this an elegant way to decorate for a fall get together?

white pumpkin mantel with acorns and scarf pleasure in simple things

BY THE NUMBERS.  If you are hosting a shower or other large party this fall, white mini pumpkins are the perfect way to display a table number! Or, use a cluster of number pumpkins as a centerpiece. A permanent marker is all you need to create these typography inspired pumpkins!

white pumpkins with numbers pleasure in simple things

Even if you are not hosting a party, they look great in clusters around your home! Most of us have numbers that hold a special significance…add them to a pumpkin!  A wedding date, jersey number, or house number are other numbers you can add to mini pumpkins. Don’t you love the black against the white?!

I love adding hollowed out pumpkins with votives inserted to add some additional atmosphere for an evening get together…they add such a nice glow!  With so many colors and scents of candles, it is possible to get really creative.  I don’t like scented candles near food – but elsewhere think about the many possibilities – maybe a black candle scented like licorice!  On the buffet table, you can also serve your condiments inside hollowed out mini pumpkins.

white table number pumpkin pleasure in simple things

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR…party favor, that is!  Okay, so I mentioned the low cost of mini pumpkins. How inexpensive is a mini pumpkin used as a favor? You can add any embellishments you like. This pumpkin happened to be created as a special remembrance for a friend, but could easily be used as a party favor.

pumpkin with sand dollar party favor fall wedding pleasure in simple things

I just added some ribbon and a little sand dollar…so sweet!

I hope you are inspired to use white pumpkins in the decor for your next fall party!  Please share your pumpkins on Instagram with hashtag #pleasuregram!  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at The Shabby NestCraftberry BushFinding Silver Pennies, Sand & Sisal, and Elizabeth & Co.

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let’s give them pumpkin to talk about

October 3, 2014

candy corn white pumpkin pleasure in simple things

I am not big on Halloween decorations. As a rule, I don’t decorate with traditional Halloween colors because I love all things neutral. I gave you a taste of this last year when I shared with you some of my white Halloween decorations.

That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally use other colors in my pumpkins…just to change things up a little. The velvet pumpkins I make each year have been created in most all colors.  Here is a recent batch from this year…

a cluster of green velvet pumpkins pleasure in simple things

But, for Friday field trip today, I am sharing a few pumpkins I created for my home that were inspired by Halloween candy…maybe it will spark some ideas for some pumpkins for your own home!

Even though I don’t normally decorate with black and orange, there is one Halloween color combination I do enjoy! I have used the iconic white, orange, and yellow colors of candy corn on everything and anything from treat bags to Jell-O! It is an instantly recognizable color combination that screams (pun intended) Halloween almost as much as a pumpkin!  Using orange and yellow paint, it is easy to create a mini ‘candy corn’ white pumpkin.

pumpkin fun with black and candy corn spoons pleasure in simple things

This year, the colors of candy corn also made it onto some disposable wooden spoons to make quick and easy fun dessert spoons.  I just added a little bit of paint and some dollar store spiders to create a whole lot of Halloween fun!

The other candy that inspired some pumpkin fun for me this year was black licorice. Inspired by this black treat, I created a few black pumpkins to use in vignettes throughout my home.

a black plasti dip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

My first, the one that really took on the look of licorice for me was painted with Plasti Dip. If you follow the blog, you know that I love Plasti Dip and use it in many different ways. (On wooden spoons or seafood forks to name two favorites!)  For my black ‘licorice’ pumpkin, I used the Plasti Dip in a spray can to create a shiny black finish…spooky!

 odd man out black plasti dip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

After creating that pumpkin, I started playing with some different textures in black.

a  black onyx sparkle pumpkin pleasure in simple things

For a glittering, sparkly pumpkin, I used Martha Stewart’s glitter in onyx…I think this little vignette using an Anthropologie planter and some black amaranthus creates a great Halloween feel.

While crafting some of my velvet pumpkins this year, I created some in black to add another texture to my collection of black pumpkins.

black velvet pumpkins pleasure in simple things

It is always so fun to try different ways to decorate pumpkins! I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my candy inspired pumpkins for Halloween on Friday field trip today…I can’t wait for next week when I share some of this year’s neutral themed pumpkin designs!

fun with  pumpkins small black plastidip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fabulous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at The Shabby NestCraftberry Bush, Crafts a la Mode, Nancherrow

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october book giveaway!

September 30, 2014

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

It’s that time! Since it is the last day of September, I am announcing the winner of the September book giveaway and the book selection for the October giveaway.

Congratulations to Lee from Texas, winner of the book Inspire: The Art of Living with Nature. Lee was chosen at random from the selection of people responding in some way through the blog, social media, or email to let me know they wanted the chance to win. I know you will find this book inspiring Lee!

For October, I have chosen the book The Cheesemonger’s Seasons: Recipes for Enjoying Cheeses with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables by Chester Hastings. Organized by season, this book provides ninety of the author’s favorite inspired recipes that combine fine cheeses with the ripest, freshest fruits and vegetables. It is a must-have for a cheese lover’s cookbook shelf.  Win this book and you will be rewarded with new ways to celebrate the deliciousness of cheese!

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

We all know once October concludes, the holidays seem to arrive fast and furious! Don’t we all enjoy finding some new selections to serve our guests each year?  Recipes from this book are the perfect way to create some new dishes to serve during your holiday entertaining.

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the October selection. The winner will be chosen at the end of October – chosen at random from all comments left to me on this post, social media, or email asking to be entered.  Good luck!

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

For those of you following on Instagram, this month’s challenge is to share photos of pumpkins…you know I am partial to white pumpkins, but any pumpkin that hits your fancy will do! It would be great to see some of your design creations using pumpkins or some photos of your visit to a nursery or pumpkin patch…have fun with it!

Can’t wait to see the posts!  And, if you aren’t an Instagram follower – why aren’t you?!  I love Instagram and sharing inspirations – I invite you to follow along @pleasureinsimplethings.  Remember to use the hashtag #pleasuregram to share your pumpkin photos during the month of October. :)

October Instagram challenge pleasure in simple things

Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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