Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Five Favorite Things About Autumn

Fall is my favorite time of year and always has been.  There's so much to love about this season.  Here is my Top Five Favorite Things About Autumn.

1. The fall colors- The artist in me can't help but be inspired by the contrast of red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves against the deep blue of the sky.  Even the grass seems greener to me.  The pallette sure makes beautiful landscapes.  It makes me want to break out the oil paints, or at least take a lot of pictures.

2. Scented candles- I set candles out year round, but for some reason, I forget to light them during the spring and summer months.  In the fall, I almost crave them.  Perhaps I associate the candle flame with a warm fire on a chilly autumn night.  Maybe I just like the spicy autumn scents more than the perfumey floral ones.  They evoke fond memories from childhood, like making applesauce with Grandma Daisy, eating my sister Patty's pecan pie, carving pumpkins with my family, or sipping hot cinnamon apple cider after a hay ride.  Some of my favorite candle scents this season are Farmer's Market and Morrocan Market, (both Colonial Candles), and Apple Cider, (a Yankee Candle).  Yum!

3. The cooler temperatures- I've lived in multiple climates, and summer has never been my favorite.  The summer months can be so hot in the Southern states that it's uncomfortable to be outside for any length of time.  If I try to walk the dog, I'm soaking wet half a block later.  The air feels thick and stuffy, like I can't catch a deep breath.  My face feels flushed and hot, and everything swells.  Plus, there's only so many clothes I can take off before my modesty kicks in.  I tend to stay indoors more, and for me, that also means less physical activity.  It takes every bit of energy I have to get up and go.  When autumn arrives, the cooler temps rejuvenate me.  I've never been a runner, yet on crisp mornings like these I feel the urge to run.  In my opinion, there's no better time to start a new exercise program than this.  I won't have to feel so guilty about that piece of pumpkin pie.

4. Comfort food- Speaking of temperatures, who wants to turn on the oven in the middle of July? We do use our toaster oven extensively, but pot roast just won't fit in there.  If we were in the mood for a roast in July, perhaps we'd break out the crock pot, but something about summer just makes us want to grill instead, and eat a steady supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.  When those temperatures start dropping, our oven makes a comeback.  My husband loves to bake fresh bread and bagels, while I cook roasts with hearty vegetables.  The house smells fantastic!

5. The emphasis on family- This time of year has a way of bringing family together.  The return of comfort food means more sit down family meals where we linger longer and actually talk to each other face to face.  I find that I call family more often too.  Whether we are planning holiday gatherings, discussing gift suggestions, or just saying hello, the extra calls make me feel more connected to my loved ones who are far away.

What are your top five favorite things about autumn?  Post them below!

Autumn Candle Sleeve
Speaking of candles, I like to add a little bling to the outside.  I made a this sleeve to make my candle a bit more decorative.  Since it's made out of paper, you have to take extra precautions if you intend to light the candle.  You could use a no-flame candle (battery-operated) or you could use a candle that has burnt down enough to accomodate a tealight candle.  Simply insert the tealight into the center and burn the tealight instead of the pillar candle.  Of course, never leave a burning candle unattended.

To make this sleeve, take a slip of paper or piece of string and wrap it around your candle to measure it's diameter.  Then, cut a piece of patterned paper that is a centimeter longer than the diameter of your candle, so it will overlap at the ends.  I made my sleeve 4 inches wide and cut a decorative edge on the top and bottom with a scalloped edge punch.  You could also use decorative edge scissors or even tear the edge for a more distressed look. 

Wrap the sleeve around your candle snuggly and glue or tape the seam.  I used snail adhesive strip.  Next, stamp two leaves on two coordinating colors using brown ink and cut them out.  I stamped a third leaf onto the mustard yellow paper, stamped the word "Grateful" over the top of it in a dark brown ink, and used a large oval punch to cut it out.  Note: if you flip the punch upside down and the paper right side up, you can frame it better and see where the cut lines will be.  Next, stamp acorns onto white or vanilla, and color them in to give them more dimension.  Glue all of these onto your sleeve, but don't glue down all the edges.  This allows the leaves to "pop" off the page.  Lastly, take a bit of twine, raffia, or thin ribbon and tie it around the candle.  This is a very quick craft and works well with many color pallettes.  Try doing a Christmas one using pine boughs and pinecones instead of leaves and acorns.    Happy Crafting!!

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