We’ve just returned to the brownstone apartment on Beacon Hill, my home away from home.  Dinner in the South End left us full and content – duck prosciutto, Margherita pizza, pasta Bolognese, and sparkling Rosé – with dessert still to come!

Boston Skyline from Jim & Joni's
Rooftop Sunset in Boston Beacon Hill Brownstone

I’m feeling inspired, as always, after a good meal in Boston.  I begin fussing around with pencils and notebooks while Jim pulls Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer to thaw and banters on with Kiersten and Nick about tonight’s movie choice.

Dinner at Coppa - South End Boston

“Let’s watch El Dorado!” I chime in, because I’ve had ‘El Canción del Mariachi’ stuck in my head all day (and since I’m not pitching Moulin Rouge, I actually have a chance).

I win.  “But only because it’s a thrilling action film,” Jim jokes exclaims seriously, “not because of Antonio Banderas.”  He says not to press play yet.  Joni wants us to go outside on the deck first because she has been waiting for the perfect moment for something and this is exactly it.

I step up and through the little screen door onto my favorite rooftop, a patio the size of the whole apartment.  Waiting in the late summer night is Joni sparking a candle-lighter over the small glass table, its flicker glimmering back onto her still wine glass.  She stands back up and shows a pleased grin.  The colorful votive holders I painted for them for Christmas are glowing for the first time in a triangle before me.



  • Glass Candle Holders
  • Cheap Paint
  • Brushes
  • Candles

Making a Mess

Mix water and paint with a medium brush and slosh in around the inside of glass candle holders.  Focus on your color choices.  Create dimension and texture by dribbling the paint down the outsides.  There’s hardly the chance to make mistakes, even if the color turns brown.  Just make them look good.

You will be satisfied by the colorful flicker and the simplicity of this project.  These make thoughtful gifts for many people.

Sloshy Paint Painted VotivesTea LightsPainted Light

I found the idea for painted votive holders from the blog, Once Wed.