Pumpkin with the Marigold and Tarragon Hair - E. Berry's Entry in Pumpkin Decoration Contest  and another entry from another person "Pumpkin with bar of soap in mouth"

Garland Autumn Fest is going on today from 10 AM to 5 PM.  There are all kinds of things to see and participate in.  I entered a pumpkin decoration contest.  Actually there are two:  1) for those under age 12 years and 2) for those over the age of 12 years.  I love to make pumpkins that resemble paintings done by Hieronymus Bosch.  To make a pumpkin like the one on the left you need one pumpkin, three squash ( two round ones appropriate for eyes, a long one for the nose and a round one for the mouth.  Pull a bouquet of marigolds and tarragon from flowers that are blooming now from your garden.  Using a nail, drive two holes with a hammer into the nose gourd.  Insert a wooden skewer into the holes and push them through until they stick out about half an inch. Position the nose where you want it on the pumpkin and holding the gourd in place, gently tap the skewer until the end of it is flush with the top of the nose gourd.  Follow these steps to attach the eyes and mouth.  Soak the freshly cut flowers in water.  Using the nail, hammer holes in the top of the pumpkin (hair follicles).  Stick the stem of the flowers into the hole.  [Note:  if you want the flowers to last more than one day you will need to cut a circle in the top of the pumpkin and remove that piece.  Stick a vase with water inside and then place the flowers in the vase.]

It's lots of fun to be a part of the local scene in Garland. You'll see all the important people.  For example, when I was down there this morning I ran into Mayor Doug Athas and also his assistant, Beth. We have a great mayor who is very active in all of our community activities.  He was wearing a T-Shirt from todays Purple Passion 5K Run, a collaborative event  benefitting the Garland New Beginning Center and Hope's Door, a nonprofit devoted to helping families affected by domestic violence in Richardson.  Doug often attends several events daily, particularly on the weekend.  



Cameron Fuentes from White Rock Soap Gallery

There are lots of carnival type games for kids where they can throw balls for prizes.  In addition, there is a bouncing house and lots of cute dogs that members, perhaps from Pawsibilities are walking around in hopes of making connections with new owners.

I talked with two new entrepreneurs this morning:  Cameron Fuentes, from White Rock Soap Gallery and Adam Dodson from Cowtown Candy.  It's was interesting to me to note some similarity between their two stories, even though one was selling soap and the other was selling candy.

Cameron who graduated this past June with a degree in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin was given a book on soap making for Christmas last year by his father.  His business, White Rock Soap Gallery, has been in operation for about six months.  From the looks of things, business is booming.  His soaps are beautifully packaged and include some interesting combinations.  For example there is a lotion that Cameron offers that is in solid form.  You pinch off a tiny piece of it from a small can, just a bit larger than a lip gloss can.  It's amazing the moisturizing power in such a small piece.  In addition his soaps have some surprising mixtures.  For example, there is a bar made from rosemary and charcoal.  I was a bit surprised about the charcoal content, but Cameron assured me that charcoal has a purifying affect on the skin.  For more information on his company, visit his website at


Adam from Cowtown Candy Co is from Ft. Worth; however, like Cameron, he too recently moved back to the area from Austin.  Candy is not something new to the life of Adam.  HIs mother has been making candy in her own candy business ever since Adam can remember so he knows the business well.  His specialty includes various twists on peanut brittle.  Adam sells all kinds of peanut brittle--from jalapeno peanut brittle to chocolate peanut brittle to coconut peanut brittle.  And yes, he also sells the traditional peanut brittle.  He confessed to me that the traditional recipe is his favorite.

I sampled them all and I like the chocolate hot/spicy peanut brittle best, but all of it is fresh and delicious.

Speaking of "delicious", I stopped by to chat with Stephannie Cole from Pic-licious.  Stephanie uses local sources for her supplies.  Her food products are all pickle-based and quite interesting combinations.  For example, she makes sweet and savory, "guilt-free" dessert pickles featuring: Caramel English Toffee, Dutch Chocolate, French Vanilla Ice Cream, Banana Cream Pie, Cheesecake and Peach Cobbler.  She makes beverage pickles such as Pina Colada and Hurricane Rum.  She makes fruity pickles such as strawberry and grape. As Stephanie says at her site, it was Pic-licious Her pickles will add a new twist to any meal.  To contact her directly, call her at 214-670-2042 or you can write to her at  She already has a restaurant in Irving that is serving her zesty marinades.  



Well, you can stop sniveling and listen up:

Two more great events are coming up and both are scheduled to be held in downtown Garland on the square:


Saturday November 1:  The 2014 Mosaic Festival

The 2014 Mosaic Festival is a celebration of our city’s cultural diversity! Enjoy music and dance from around the world. This free event provides an opportunity to foster greater understanding, appreciation and respect for cultural diversity. The event is Saturday, November 1 on the square in Historic Downtown Garland from 9 am to 2 pm.  Loving Garland Green will have a large booth at this event.  We plan to feature many plants and cultural items for sale.  The theme for our large booth will be Dia de los Muertos in honor this Latin traditional holiday devoted to honoring the dead.


Saturday November 8:  The Garland Mistletoe Market

Kick off the holiday season with some great shopping with unique and festive vendors, yummy culinary items, gifts galore, live entertainment and fun for the kiddo’s! It’s all happening in historic downtown Garland & supporting Good Samaritans of Garland. AND bring some canned & prepackaged to donate to Good Samaritans…They need LOTS of holiday pies as well, for their pie drive! This event is produced by Eventive Marketing Solutions and is presented by the Garland Downtown Business Association, and supporting Good Samaritans of Garland.  Loving Garland Green is also getting things together for our booth at this event as well.  I was over at Margie's this morning after I returned from down town.  She has some great ideas for plate flowers to stick in your yard for the holiday season--red and green, with snowmen and more.

Vendor spaces are still available, for more information, contact Kirk Lovett at Kirk@EventiveMarketingSolutions.Com or at 866-242-8078

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