Category Archives: Autumn Inspiration

Set The Thanksgiving Table

Well, I have waited until the last minute to set my Thanksgiving Table and write this table setting post. I must admit I have been side tracked with a large scale home organization project and have been more focused on Christmas parties and getting ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday because I get to spend time with my family, eat traditional foods and watch football ( I have 2 boys and a husband who love sports!). It is usually more of a relaxing time before the big Christmas rush.pillar candles painted glasses

Table decoration use to mean a nice floral centerpiece and possibly a few candlesticks.  Today’s table can be considered decorated with even less for a minimalist or rustic look and can be decked to the nines with anything and everything you can imagine.
This year for my holiday table I used things I had on hand with the exception of a silver pumpkin I found on sale at Hobby Lobby. I had some other cheap pumpkins from the dollar store that were very fake looking and some dollar store gourds as well. I spray painted them in copper metallic and gold metallic. I would love to have a large cornucopia arrangement for the table but I didn’t have time to make one this year and I decided I really didn’t have room to store it. I did buy a bag of real white pumpkins at the grocery store and put them in a decorative bowl on the kitchen table and will use them for the “place cards” with each persons name on them for Thanksgiving dinnerpumpkin place settingI have china with both gold and silver trim so I used some of each.  I think the more different things you mix together to make it your own design and the use of things at different heights makes your table all the more interesting.

pumpkins and gourds tableBuying live mini pumpkins, using a vase for natural twigs and berries or a hurricane or large glass jar with a pillar candle surrounded by nuts or unpopped popcorn are great for last minute table décor especially if you have no place to store decorations.
If there will be young children at your Thanksgiving table you may want to opt for kid friendly décor. Cookies or cupcakes decorated as turkeys in the middle of the table or at each place setting create a fun and festive theme. Thanksgiving morning have construction paper, water soluble markers and scissors and ask the children to make turkey decorations by tracing around their hands. There a tons of craft ideas for children on Pinterest that will include them and take the decorating challenge out of your hands!

We are having a small family gathering for Thanksgiving this year so I am contemplating doing a turkey breast in the crockpot with orange juice, whole cranberry sauce and Lipton onion soup mix.  I will have the other traditional sides to accompany my turkey but I am planning on a scaled down version this year.

If this is your first time to cook the Thanksgiving meal and host the dinner prepare some of the dishes ahead.  Many years ago one of my family members was so excited to host the family for Thanksgiving and had worked for weeks preparing dishes ahead and freezing them.  On Thanksgiving day she took them out of the freezer shortly before we were planning to eat.  That was before microwaves were as good at defrosting as they are now and instead of eating at noon, we ate very late that night.  So, I tell you that story to say time planning is key.  Also, I would advise that you don’t try some new recipe you have never made unless you have had it prepared by a family member or friend.  I have tried some recipes that look and sound fantastic that just aren’t.  Stick with what is tried and true and ask your guests to bring a dish or help you in the kitchen if they make something everyone already loves.

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Fall’s Grand Entry

If you think about it Fall makes a grand entry in the parts of the country that experience all four seasons.  Some years it is less showy and doesn’t seem to last as long.  When there is the perfect mix of rain, warm sunny days and cool nights the Fall colors are an extravagant showcase.  I like to call it God’s watercolor!  Regardless of where you live or whether it is a great year for Fall foliage, you can create your own grand entry.  Let’s get started by first assessing what your  decorating style, space and budget are.

Your space will determine how much you can do to decorate.  Don’t be discouraged if you have a very small entryway or live in an apartment without an entryway you can still show off your style and creativity.

The budget is probably the largest factor determining how most of us decorate.  I saw some gorgeous large metallic pumpkins at one of the local décor cottages that I would love to have.  Their price was out of my range and I didn’t want to store them either so, I am going to spray paint my own.  If budget is not a concern for you and you aren’t crafty I suggest you go to Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or one of your local stores that has home décor items.  For the rest of you set how much you want to spend and then look for ideas that fall within that range.

fall entry7Style is one of those things that is hard for me because I like it all!  Rustic, earthy, natural, crazy, colorful, metallic and grandiose.    I use to pick a style and then wish I had chosen something different!  Now I just mix them all together and that makes me happy!

I like to start with a container.  If you have a vase or lantern use it.  For those who don’t let’s make one.  There are lots of options.  Use an empty mason jar or wine bottle.  Spray paint an empty jar or carton.  Wrap an empty Pringles can with newspaper, craft paper or scrapbook paper.  Basically use something you  already have.

fall entry1
A few fall touches

Go outside and collect pinecones, acorns, leaves, sweet gum balls (surely this is the only purpose for them!).  You can use all of these items as they are to scatter on your entry table or use as vase filler around stems of Fall foliage in your vase or around a candle.  If you like your styles mixed like me and have any metallic spray or craft paint …gussy up a few.  You can buy apples or small pumpkins or small artificial pumpkins to mix in.  Again, leave them as they are or paint them depending on your style and budget.  Next, search your house for a tray, a candlestick, a pedestal, old linens or burlap.  Try mixing the different items together by layering and having varying heights.  You could even add a fun picture of your children playing in the leaves or a framed quote about Fall.   Mess with it until you love it.

fall entry5

Many homes have an entryway that is consumed by coat closets or a stairwell that has a bannister.  Decorate it!  You can buy a Fall garland or make your own.  This could be a fun project for you and your children.  If you have an apartment use a wreath on the inside door or the door to your coat closet.

fall entry9

Not into decorating for every season, or simply don’t have the space or time, consider transitional decorating.  Use elements that can be used through Fall, Thanksgiving and the Christmas season.  Replace the turkeys with angels, a Santa, reindeer or nativity.

I can’t wait to tackle the dining room table next post!

Autumn Welcome

Nothing says “Welcome” like your front door to your home or office.  That is why curb appeal is one of the most important factors to get people to want to take a look inside.  Have you ever received a present that was so exquisitely wrapped that you couldn’t wait to see what was inside?  One of the easiest ways to celebrate Fall and to add a festive touch to welcome your guests all season long is with a wreath and a few pumpkins. I created this double wreath with two grapevine wreaths, an artificial vine of leaves and pumpkins, small artificial bouquets from the dollar store, artificial grapes, clumps of artificial nuts from a Christmas sale bin at Hobby Lobby, Raffia, sprigs of evergreen, you name it the more variety the better.   The only tools you need are some wire cutters to take apart some of the bouquets and florist wire or bread ties.  Start with vines or swags and greenery and then add in the colorful goodies!

Double the impact-Two grapevine wreaths attached together with loads of Fall florals
Double the impact-Two grapevine wreaths attached together with loads of Fall florals.
All things Fall
All things Fall- artificial gourds, sunflowers and various clusters of yellow and orange with pops of white and purple.
A few fake pumpkins and mums in pots at varying heights
A few fake pumpkins and mums in pots at varying heights

When you arrange your front porch you can vary height using steps, a stool, a wagon or

Urn topped with a wreath and stacked with pumpkins
Urn topped with a wreath and stacked with pumpkins

wheelbarrow for interest.  Add an outdoor lantern if you have one.  Use what you have and recycle or up cycle an item instead of buying something new.  It’s fun to use an unexpected treasure to create a unique display.  If you have an urn type flower-pot you can simply lay a grapevine wreath on the urn and stack some pumpkins in the center.

No  flower pots for the front porch, not to worry.  Use a few of the plastic jack-o-lantern buckets with a handle to display your mum.  You can spray paint them gold or silver and turn them backwards for a classy fall look.

Dollar store jack-o-lantern buckets

 
 

For a totally “green” option buy a large pumpkin, cut a circle out in the top the size of the plastic pot your mum came in and place the mum in the top of a real pumpkin.  Use the flesh to make pumpkin treats then dry and roast the seeds for snacks.  After the holiday season is over plant the mum.

pumpkins as the"pot"

If you like the look of white pumpkins but can’t afford the price then buy the size you want in a fake orange or real pumpkin and paint it white.  If you are good at calligraphy monogram your initial or a saying such as Welcome Friends on your pumpkins.

Calligraphy Welcome
Calligraphy Welcome

For your Fall door décor take the head off of an old rake monogram letter wrapped with jutehandle, add some fall berries and twine or raffia.  Another inexpensive idea is to take a foam wreath or a cardboard monogram letter or large circle and cover by wrapping with twine, burlap or fall fabric.  Add a few artificial fall flowers and leaves, some rusty keys, pinecones or acorns with hot glue.  Tie a wide ribbon or strip of burlap to hang it from and voilà you have a simple creation that will hang between your door and storm door and would be perfect for an apartment door decoration.

Now that you have ideas to make your front door  SCREAM welcome….our next Autumn Inspiration will be to create the warmth and festive feel of Fall after you cross the threshold!

Autumn Inspiration

Autumn is known as the Fall in the United States and Canada. It is the season that marks the transition from summer to winter. I love Autumn. Have you noticed that as soon as the stores put the 4th of July things on clearance they are bringing out Halloween merchandise and before Labor Day is over the Christmas Decorations are beginning to fill the shelves.  Autumn is by far my favorite season.  In my next few posts I am going to address some of the activities, décor and foods that make this season so special to me.  So come to my Fall Party!

To inspire you with the things you think capture the essence of Fall for you try this exercise and share it with your friends and me of course!

Fall Alphabet Vocabulary:

A=autumn
B=bales of hay
C=cider
D=Dog days of summer
E=equinox(the autumnal one)
F=football
G=gourds
H=Halloween or hayrides
I=itch (this was hard but hay fever makes my eyes itch)
J=jackets
K=kettle (as in black kettles)
L=leaves (leaves of Fall colorsGod‘s masterpiece)
M=maze (Corn mazes are lots of fun) and mums (my favorite fall flower)
N=November
O=October or orange
P=pumpkins
Q=quilts (at craft fairs and to keep warm)
R=rake
S=scarecrow
T=Thanksgiving
U=umbrella
V=vampire (costumes not the real thing)
W=walnuts
X=? I couldn’t think of a single one for Fall
Y=yellow
Z=zucchini

Stay tuned for loads of autumn inspiration….