My halls are all decked out for Christmas. How about yours? This year it took me longer to decorate because I decided to use some of my decorations differently than I had in the past. After selling our business I had a large tub of decorations that had been designed for the office and are made of some of the same materials and by the same person as the decorations I had for home. I didn’t make the decorations originally I had a friend in the
floral business (The Orchid Lady) make them several years ago. This year I “reworked” them. They were starting to come apart and I wanted to add in the extras. I used the matching wreath from the office over the mantle and used the extra feather garlands that once hung on office windows for a “low centerpiece” on the table. The decorations in the basement area all have the same style and color scheme incorporating lots of gold, copper, burgundy, glitter and feathers.
The main level is mostly done in a more rustic and natural theme with lots of reds, plaids,
Santa’s and some chartreuse mesh ribbon thrown in because I love that color. I replaced my accent color of teal in the family room with red pillows and green candles. I was so excited this year to have a mantle over the fireplace. My son is pretty handy and he built one just in time for me to decorate. I have included a picture before the decorating began so you can see how great it looks. The garland on the mantle drapes down and I had
difficulty getting a good picture of either feature. The tree in this room is not identical to the mantle garland but it has some of the same elements. Again, I had some table decorations from our previous business that I took apart to use on this tree. The main part of the decoration was a greenery spray that included pinecones, feathers and chartreuse berries. I had added the chartreuse mesh ribbon, some copper velvet ribbon and some burlap. Though I love the copper ribbon it just didn’t go with any of the other decorations so I took them apart and saved the copper ribbon to use in some other project next fall. I usually put a garland on my banister that has a plaid ribbon intertwined with the pinecones and greenery but I discovered the finish at this home is softer than our previous home and it was scratching the woodwork. And yes I did try using pipe cleaners and felt. So, I had just enough of the garland to go on top of my cabinets in the kitchen along with a few of the things I needed to move to make room for some more Santa stuff. I took the ornaments I had hung in the dining room last year and hung them in the breakfast area using varying plaid ribbon. Then I created a centerpiece tray using a collection of pewter measuring tankards, a cheap metal tray I picked up last year at IKEA, some pine cones I already had, extra ornaments and peppermint candy from Dollar Tree. I have to say this was the most fun! So now the kitchen and the family room have a correlating theme.
I bought a third tree this year at Hobby Lobby. I knew the minute I saw it I wanted to use it in my dining room to display my late aunt’s collection of Christopher Radko ornaments.
It is a 6 foot skinny tree made of champagne tinsel. What I didn’t realize was that my aunt also had the very first ornaments my grandparents had bought in a little box labeled where and when they were bought in the 1930’s. There were some other ornaments that were bought in California when Grammy and Gramps worked in the shipyards during the war in 1942. I added a few glass ornaments from early in my marriage and voilà! I have the perfect vintage tree. I absolutely love it. To pull the room together I used a collection of hand blown clear glass ornaments to make a faux chandelier from the chandelier by using gold and silver stretchy package ties to suspend them at different lengths. I decided to use a mixture of gold and silver chargers on the table and combined gold and silver banded china. I placed a crystal nativity set on the buffet between some vintage vases which are not holiday themed but seemed to go well with the whole effect. Plus I didn’t have a place to store them as they are quite large.
I hope you have enjoyed my house tour! Next I will share some decorations from a few friends and perhaps a Christmas craft or two.
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.
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 dinner. I 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.
Buying 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.
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:
B=bales of hay
D=Dog days of summer
E=equinox(the autumnal one)
H=Halloween or hayrides
I=itch (this was hard but hay fever makes my eyes itch)
K=kettle (as in black kettles)
L=leaves (leaves of Fall colors–God‘s masterpiece)
M=maze (Corn mazes are lots of fun) and mums (my favorite fall flower)
O=October or orange
Q=quilts (at craft fairs and to keep warm)
V=vampire (costumes not the real thing)
X=? I couldn’t think of a single one for Fall