Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clementines & Candles

We rarely ever have people over for dinner, and when this rare occasion occurred last weekend, we went into a flurry of house-cleaning and decorating. It was sheer madness and only really stirred up all those feelings of inadequacy for having a well-lived-in house with lots of wear-and-tear, and the constant sense of not being quite moved in because, after all, we will only just be moving again in a couple of years...anyway. By the time we were done, there were fewer piles of stuff lingering sullenly in the corners, there was a bit more glitter in the garbage than on the floor (chairs, tables, socks...), and the house smelled clean and cozy.

I remembered seeing a post that Denise from Mom in Madison wrote sometime last year about beautiful candles that they made out of oranges, but I couldn't for the life of me find it in between making chili and cornbread, so I zoomed around the internet for a bit and finally came up with a mixture of approaches that worked in the 10 minutes I had to do something festive. Here is what I did:

I used clementines, because that's what we had. Oranges might work better, being bigger and giving more room around the candle's flame - these little lanterns had seen their limit by the end of the night. First I cut through the skin, around the circumference of the clementine. This peeled off easily (probably easier than an orange would have), leaving me with two peel halves. We promptly ate the middle. The top piece needed a hole, and we happened to have some small star cookie cutters, so I used one of those to make the top hole. Then Ani helped me push in a pattern of cloves to add some good smells to the project; we popped in a tea candle, replaced the top, and voila:
(I wish the photos were better. I cannot stand the way the flash washes out the colors, and so everything turns out blurry...For now, you at least get the idea!)

It's the little things, right? It made me feel good to make these bright little lovelies and they smelled just great.


Tan Family said...

These are truly fabulous!!! Thank you for sharing how you made them.

Kerry said...

I think this might solve my recent safety issues with candles and newspapers.

Annie said...

What?! That picture is beautiful and it's a wonderful idea. Reminds me of the ones I saw on Pepper Paints way back when. http://pepperpaints.com/2009/01/05/clementine-lanterns/