Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Colour Collaborative: October: Halloween


I don't really go in for Halloween much. Sorry. It's partly because when I was a child we didn't do much for that day; instead all the fun, feasting and sparkle at this time of year was for Bonfire Night on the 5th of November. I have no Halloween references or traditions from my childhood to replicate with my own children now. And when it comes to the usual seasonal decorating reserved for the 31st of October...I have mixed feelings.The goulishness, the colours (black, neon orange, slime green, eugh) leave me uninspired. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone else the fun, the fancy dress, the trick or treating, the sweets - please, have a great time! 



But pumpkins I like. I like their soft autumnal shade of orange. It speaks to me of harvest and bounty, of preparing for the coming winter, of giving thanks. I like the tradition of placing a light inside the pumpkin, of the glow of light in all that darkness. I recently visited my local farm shop and bought a few squashes. Yes, not pumpkins, I know. Acorn, Harlequin and Moonbeam varieties, among others. They are all quite unlike your usual uniformly round fare, instead they are full of their own colours, shapes and interest. 


Utterly beautiful in their own, unique, gnarly, knobbly way. 


And they make perfect tea light holders. 


I just drew around the tea light, carefully cutting a hole using a small, sharp paring knife, then carved away the flesh until the candles fit snugly. I had to level the bottoms so that they were stable, and this is why they're on a plate, to protect my table from squash juice.



 So much easier than carving a pumpkin!


Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River

And October's guest poster, Steph at Woolythyme

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

46 comments:

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

It's funny how Halloween is growing and growing nowadays isn't it? Nothing to do with company making money out of selling more decorations/sweets/costumes, obviously. It wasn't a huge thing in my childhood either, there was the odd trick or treater, but not lots. When we moved to where we live now, a smaller village, I noticed a huge change. Trick or treating is big business here and we get hoards of children doing the rounds in the streets, parents in tow, standing at the end of drives. You have to man the door from about 6 to 8 with bowls of sweets ready to go. Well, you don't have to of course, but we like to. I'm not sure why there is such a difference but I confess, I quite enjoy it!

S x

Ladybird Diaries said...

Halloween now is quite different from my own childhood experiences of it too. Although we did celebrate it and my parents made costumes for all 3 of us and my mum always made toffee and tablet...fun times! But there was no decorating the house or anything like that. I just love your little squash tea light holders, they are so pretty and look gorgeous lit. Such a clever idea.
Marianne x

Anne said...

Beautiful autumnal colours. We are Bonfire Night people too and very happy to let halloween pass by without a celebration. I like the idea of putting the tea lights into the squashes; maybe I could replicate with my pumpkins, except that they've grown so enormous I could fit in a floodlight.

Kate Eastwood said...

I'm with you on this one Gillian having not really done much halloweening as children, but love the pumpkins and the warn orangey glow they give. Your little squashes are perfect, so pretty.
Kate xx

Kate-Em said...

Such a great idea to use the squash as candle holders, think I will give that a go. We never celebrated Halloween when I was young, it was all about Bonfire Night which I love.

galant said...

I'm with you 100% re Hallowe'en and Trick or Treat. Indeed, I would go further - I don't like Trick or Treat, an import to this country. Bobbing for apples and other Hallowe'en games are better than dashing around the countryside, knocking on doors and demanding "Trick of Treat". Husband usually says, when children say this, "I'll have a treat, please!" which leaves them dumbfounded!
Margaret P

Anonymous said...

We don't celebrate here either. I find the whole aspect of the day a bit blah :( but pumpkins? now that is a lovely way to decorate :0) thank you so much for sharing Gillian.

Chickpea said...

What a good idea they look fab!

steph said...

what a lovely post...I must admit, I do enjoy the color and frolicking leading up to Halloween, but then I REALLY enjoy the warm colors, the nesting feeling that these colors give me and the Thankfulness of the Harvest season passing that brings us to THanksgiving. I do exactly as you do with the pumpkin/gourd lights and ---- of course, all those yummy pumpkins giving their 'lives' for my pies!!!!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hoorah someone who isn't into Halloween either! When I was little it was definitely all about bonfire night, because my Mum and Dad threw a huge firework party every year. It was the best fun ever. I do park my bowl of candy on the table in the hall every year. And every year no ones knocks. It's that kind of road. Actually the other year a group of teens knocked after eight. I opened the door. They had made no effort. I told them so. I shut the door. The pelted my window with eggs. I chased them down the street barefoot, dressing gown flapping in the breeze, yelling obscenities. A true Halloween witch ;)
I adore the pumpkin tea light idea
Leanne xx

SaraJ said...

I thought I was the only one who didn't do much for Halloween. It would appear not! :) Like you, it was all about Bonfire Night for us, and my friends. Because we live on a lane, we don't even get any trick or treaters calling, which is a blessing. I'm so "Bah, Humbug" about it!
Your tea lights are very creative. x

SaraJ said...

Brilliant! I love the idea of chasing them away in your dressing gown! Sounds like something I would do. :)

Jennifer said...

I think this is a very fresh approach to Halloween. I really enjoy all the trappings but then again I'm used to them because Halloween has always been this way for me. I always like to look at the squash in the stores but never know the right thing to do with them. This is a very nice idea.

Ingrid Orens said...

The same here about Halloween... In Belgium, it's more something commercial, but it lacks the underlying tradition and history... So I'm no fan...
But pumpkins on the other hand, oh yes :-) !

Anonymous said...

Hi Gillian, oh my days your squashes look fabulous, loving the tea light idea, very stylish too.
Blogland is a very inspiring place.
Helen

Jennifer Tulip said...

Beautiful colours! Such a good yet simple decoration idea!
Miss Tulip x
The Thrifty Magpies Nest

Brenda Fricke said...

Beautiful pics! I'm with you on thoughts of Halloween.

Annie Cholewa said...

They look wonderful, your candle holder squashes, very elegantly seasonal.

Isn't it funny how families differ in what they focus on celebrating. Hallowe'en was the bigger thing in our house growing up, I think because with my and my father's and his mother's birthdays falling one after another in the latter part of October there was always a party happening that could be Halloween themed. Decorations were all home made though - woolly finger knitted spiders webs with pompom spiders featured large one year I remember - there was no orange plastic from Taiwan.

Tracey said...

Love that idea, we are not really in too Halloween but my sons still love cutting a pumpkin, how I would rather do this x

Christina said...

I am not much into Halloween either, it is not a tradition I grew up with in Switzerland (although I hear it is getting to be a big event there, too). I do absolutely love your squashes, they are so beautiful. And I do have to copy your idea of using them as tea light holders, if I can get hold of squashes that is. Thank you! x

Anonymous said...

They're just kids, after all. No need to be mean spirited --just don't answer the door.

RedSetter said...

I couldn't agree more as Halloween isn't a 'major' celebration in our family either. We used to have a cake and dook for apples but that was as far as it went. I now have some nice candles and holders but that's about it. I have always fancied a Jack O'Lantern but never managed to get enough enthusiasm to do one. However, I absolutely adore your little squash tealight holders and definitely will give this a go.

A little happy place said...

I love the pumpkin candle holders! I do agree about Halloween, when I grew up and before children it didn't feature at all. However where I live now, the town celebrates every 'holiday' with gusto and you can not help but get drawn in. We're having a party tomorrow night with our friends, all in fancy dress, everyone bringing a hotpot and we're going to play apple dunkin' and other fun games

Pati from London said...

Love the idea of the tea light holders, brilliant! I am not keen on hall owing, either. In Spain we used to celebrate the 1st of November as alll Saints day and venerated the deceased in the family. I have always thought it was a sad day..... Pati xx

Michelle H said...

Ugh, I was just complaining to my hubby about Halloween. I would love to skip it, but being married to someone who enjoys costuming means we don't! Our town does throw a nice party for the kids, all free. They enjoy that, which cuts down our trick or treating considerably! Last year we bought our own candy, went to the party, came home, watched movies, and ate candy - without sore feet or grumpy, tired kids! This year will be the same, it is supposed to rain tomorrow, heehee. I try to be patient with my halloween happy family because I go insane for December, and Christmas, lol. In fact, here Hallmark starts playing their Christmas movies the day after Halloween, which I love - I work on Christmas stuff while watching them so everything isn't crammed into December!

Susan Smith said...

I'm with you about Halloween, which we've never celebrated either, but I do love pumpkins, both for their quirkiness in shape and colour and also to eat. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones & pie, all so yummy. Loved your photos and hope you have a good "bonfire night", next week. Take care.

CJ said...

You've found some really beautiful squashes there, and I love the simple idea of putting candles in them, they look fantastic. I'm not a fan of the gaudy commercial Hallowe'en either, but it's all looking very stylish with you! CJ xx

Clare said...

I'm loving all the colours and such a great idea to place a tea light in the Squash simple but effective, my only contribution to the Halloween is a crocheted garland, but I do have a pumkin my nephew carved for me just need to stock the cauldron up with sweets and we're all set.
Clare xx

Anonymous said...

I've commented on several blogs this week about how I don't like Halloween and have decided not to "do" it with my little babe. The gore and scariness, the commercialization of it, the candy - really what is good about it!? But Autumnal decorations - that I like. Your candle holders look great!

Mel @ Coal Valley View said...

Well my Mum is American so as a child she went all out decorating the house even though we were in Australia and were the only ones in the street doing it. Now I'd rather leave it alone but it has become such a 'thing' and all the families around here go to the beachside suburb down the road for trick-or-treating. It's all a bit silly but we do it anyway as the kids love it...I love your little squashes although we would still call them pun pins or gourds, squash are tiny yellow vegetables here, I wonder what you call them there? x

Mel @ Coal Valley View said...

pin pins? I mean pumpkins :-)

Anonymous said...

Halloween is another American import. I lament the Americanization of Britain. Through the 1960's & 70's, especially (& probably the 1980's, too), Britain did not do the American thing and celebrate Halloween, it was just Guy Fawkes Day in November. I'm American (so we have been trick or treating & carving jack-o-lanterns since the 1960's), with an English dad.

rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilly said...

What a fab idea to create tealight holders out of pumpkins - and I agree, it's much lovelier than all those eugh-y spiders and spooky ghouls! Although my favourite thing to do with a pumpkin is to turn it into yummy soup or delicious pie :-)
Happy weekend,
xx

rachel said...

Beautiful squash - lovely colours and shapes. What you need is one of these http://www.gadgetepoint.co.uk/prod-candle-carver.php

Ali Whale said...

I was just saying to my daughter this morning that I couldn't be bothered with carving a pumpkin but want to let the children where we live know that we are in for calling, you have given me the perfect answer - thank you. Last night my daughter was practicing her Halloween make up - very scary. She's not going door to door, other than calling at friends to compare outfits!
Tonight I will be waiting to see the little children all dressed up with their parents waiting at the end of the drive while they make their way down and knock tentatively, hoping for goodies. I really enjoy it, but I'm glad I'm not the one trawling the streets any more.

Marion Ogden said...

I like the idea of turning those squashes into tea light holders. Very clever. I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween either and neither did my husband so it's something we're not into as a family. Maybe when the kids are older...Have a fun weekend! x

Julie said...

Love the idea of using small squash to hold tealights. I tried to find some this year as I didn't fancy a large pumpkin but none of the shops had any! Will have to try a farm shop next year. We don't really do Halloween either though we consider ourselves Halloween-friendly and do have sweets to give to the children who call. We've had some really cute ones this evening in their costumes. x

Sarah said...

The little squash are lovely, aren't they? Such sweet names too. They remind me of New England. I always think I'd like to grow some purely for my aesthetic pleasure at this time of year.
I don't have many Halloween memories either, but one year when we were maybe seven my friend's dad decided to go native and carve turnips instead of the American pumpkin.
It took him ages and he resorted to screwdrivers and chisels. They ended up looking severely maimed. Quite horrific actually...
S x

Thrifted Treasure said...

I love this idea, gorgeous :)

Amy at love made my home said...

A lovely take on Halloween. I like the way that you used your different squashes for the candles, that is a great idea. xx

Jacqui Galloway said...

Great idea.....so many colours and varieties.
Jacqui xx

Alison said...

Your squash tea light holders are very pretty. My 70's and 80's childhood didn't feature Halloween at all, it was much more about Bonfire Night. Where we live now it is quite an event, having a Canadian neighbour got everyone else joining in and we use it as an excuse for a get together as there are so many children on our road.

Taciana Simmons said...

Such beautiful colors Gillian. I have to say I didn't grow up having any form of Halloween but I do like to celebrate a little. Hopping all the best for the kids and you. Have a wonderful week :)

Gillian said...

Great idea! I'm glad to find someone else who doesn't really 'do' hallowe'en.

The Creative Academic said...

We don't really 'do' Halloween either. I carved some pumpkins (poorly - they looked like they were laughing rather than being scary!!) and the girls dressed up (but they do that everyday really!). I love your squashes - such a clever idea and they're so autumnal. xx