Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving, possibly one of the best holiday's ever.  For me, since it doesn't have all they hype and commercialization that is associated with other holiday's we get to keep the real reason behind the holiday.  It is a day set aside to give thanks for what we have in life.  A day to remember those settlers all those years ago that were thankful for the harvest that would sustain them through the long winter months ahead. 

This year for my Thanksgiving tablescape, I decided to use things I had on hand as much as possible, as a matter of fact, there are only 3 items that I purchased new, salt and pepper shakers and a plate that I got at Wal-Mart. 
Here is the finished product that I will go with on Thanksgiving day. 

Let's get started!  For the centerpiece I used about a 4 inch wide slab of tree that we cut from our backyard in the later summer/early fall.  I used burlap that I had from last year along with placemats, napkins and an older tablecloth. 

I started by placing the tablecloth on the table and then I laid the burlap over the tablecloth.  It hung a bit long so I found some brown ribbon and gathered the burlap then tied it off in a bow.

Next comes the large slab of wood. I placed it in the center of the table. It was a good thing we cut down this tree, notice the large crack in the wood!  I don't think the tree would have made it another season. 
Then I put the placemats around the wood and adjusted the position of the wood so all the placemats would fit.
Now for the fun part!  I love lanterns and I wanted to use a lantern on the table.  I stuffed it with 2 strands of faux garland. I added pine cones around the lantern base. I got the pine cones from a hike but these are readily available, for free, in parks with pine trees. Or you can buy them at any craft store. 

Next I added faux gourds and pumpkins that I've had for years.  You can get these at Hobby Lobby or Michael's and even Wal-Mart and Target stores. I also added some tea light and mercury glass candle holders.  You'll note that some of the tea light holders are glass and dark metal, just like the lantern. 

I got the glass and metal tea lights from Southern Living at Home; the mercury glass ones came from Home Goods at the end of last season.   I also extended the display onto the table to keep it flowing and the eye moving along the display. 

Next is the place settings.  I am going to show you 2.  I have a little booklet that helps me know where to put things, you know which fork goes on the outside and where do I put the wine glass; but I use it as a guide only. 
First the table is set with my good china (Lenox, Chesapeake).  This is a more formal place setting.

I like to mix the rustic and the formal together, to me it makes the setting seem not too fussy.  It keeps it real! 
Then I set the table with a more informal place setting. 
 This is my everyday dishes.  I like the idea of white or beige dishes because they go with everything. 
The leaf dishes are from Wal-Mart a few years ago.  The black and white plates are from Home Goods last year.  Notice I put the napkins under the small plate.  I think you should mix things up.  There are no hard and fast rules that you must set your table like this or that.  Like I said earlier I do have a book for help but I only use it as a guide.  The little owl salt & pepper shakers I got this year at Wal-Mart, aren't they cute! 
I also got this owl plate at Wal-Mart.
 And these cute little fox salt & pepper shakers.  These 3 are my only new purchases this year. 
I also used pinecones for place cards this year.
My husband grew up in Dallas so we plan our Thanksgiving meal around the Cowboy's game.  Do you plan your Thanksgiving dinner around football? 

Just remember to have fun with your table!  Don't have a hunk of tree you can use?  Well, how about a wrapped shoe box filled with faux or real gourds and pumpkins?  Or a basket filled with gourds and pumpkins.  You could even line a few pumpkins down the center of the table, add a few candles and call it good, that would look very pretty. 
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.  Next week I'll be back with a Christmas craft to start the holiday's off.  Be blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Stay safe,
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I want to sit at the Kids table this Thanksgiving

I live in a 1970's ranch style house.  It is smaller but I just love it, and the view from my back deck, well the view is amazing.
That is America's Mountain, Pikes Peak.  I have a view of the entire 'front range' here in Colorado Springs right from my back deck.  The view makes up for any shortcomings that my house may have such as small bedrooms and a very small kitchen. 

As I let everyone know on Tuesday, I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year as my In-Laws are moving.  My Mother-In-Law is doing all the cooking, I am just providing the location, a pretty sweet deal if you ask me! 

My problem with any party I hold is lack of space.  Each level of my house is about 1100 sq. feet.  It is a 4 bedroom, 3 full bath ranch with a living/dining combo and a full finished basement.  While this lack of extra space doesn't stop me it does make it trickier in the winter when I get 10 or more people in the house.  So I get creative. 

This year with Thanksgiving I decided to put the kids table in the kitchen.  Now my kitchen is small and there isn't a lot of room to begin with but my nieces are 4 and 2 and it is just them so I think they will love sitting by themselves in the kitchen. 

I decorated their table with brown paper so they can color all over it if they wish but I also printed out Thanksgiving coloring pages for them.  I also bought dollar store crayons and glue sticks as well as Michaels dollar spot crafts for them to work on.  I even got them wooden Christmas stockings to color! 

I put the crayons in the little Pilgrim Hats I made over the weekend.  If you check Tuesday's blog you will see how easy it was to make them, you can also click here..

I think it all turned out cute, I know my husband thinks so.  He was helping me set this up and said, "heck I want to sit at the kids table!"

Finally today I'd like to show you what I've done outside for November.  Here is the front of my house.  Notice we still have a couple spots of snow! 
 This is the new wreath I made this year.

You can see how to make that here -
I brought the small side table from the back deck and added it here. I got the little box thing that is sitting on it at the dollar store last year.  The hay bales I got at Hobby Lobby on sale after the season as well as the little scarecrow. 

 For the front door I have a long basket that I found a few years ago at Hobby Lobby and I put some faux flowers in it and hung it from a Command hook.
I even decorated the mailbox.  I wrapped a grapevine around it and then a faux fall garland. 

Once you step inside the house you are in my entryway.  I got this olive bucket at Wal-Mart it is BH&G and was around 12.00.  I had my husband cut me some limbs from our old tree that we took down a few months ago, added some fall flowers and picks from Michael's and two lighted branches.  It looks amazing!  I had it outside but my husband asked that I bring it in so that he can enjoy it, we light it every night.  The lighted branches are battery operated and I've seen them at Target, Wal-Mart and other stores.
I'll show it to you unlit so you can see the details.
 Then lit. 
Finally my back deck.  Usually after Halloween I clear my back deck and put everything out there in storage but this year the beginning of November was really nice and in the high 60's, really nice enough to still sit out there during the day.  However, lately it has been cold and snowy so I really should pack it all up but for now I've done a bit of decorating out here as well. 
 More branches from our felled tree.  I am just getting so much more use out of this tree now that it has been cut down! 

 And finally I thought I'd leave with you some more pictures of tonight's sunset from my back porch.  Colorado has the most beautiful light.  It is also a place where you can really see how the sun moves in the sky.  It is now setting on the southern side of Pikes Peak, in the summer it sets to the north of the peak. 

Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any questions just comment here or shoot me an email -  I'll reply. 

Next week is Thanksgiving already.  Gosh Christmas will be here before you know it!  Next Tuesday I'll be back, sharing my dinning table all set for Thanksgiving dinner. 
Till then, have a great weekend, stay safe!


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I am on Facebook but not as active, however, I do post when I write a post here.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Pilgrim Hats

I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year.  Normally, my Mother-In-Law hosts and does such a fantastic job but my Father-In-Law has MS and has taken a few falls lately.  This has prompted my In-Laws to sell their home and buy a new one, all on one level.  It is a stressful and exciting time for them but needed for my Father-In-Laws safety.  We are all excited for their new adventure, which begins next week.  Yes next week along with Thanksgiving.  So this year it will be at my house, but I am lucky because my dear, sweet Mother-In-Law is still going to do all the cooking!  Yes, all the cooking.  I just have to get out of bed, shower and dress!  How lucky am I!?  Seriously. 

I decided to do a kids table this year for my sweet nieces who are 4 and 2.  They will sit at the card table that will be covered with butchers block paper.  I've got some Thanksgiving themed coloring pages that I downloaded from the internet for them to color along with some Michael's dollar store finds for them to do.  I bought crayons from the dollar store and made some cute little Pilgrim hats to store the crayons in. 

I have been going with a 'use what you've got' philosophy for fall decorating and planning this year.  In that theme I am using what I've got on hand for this project.

I've seen several 'Pins' for this project, all using black Solo Cups.  I didn't have black on hand but I did have Pink and Blue, so that is what I'll use.

For this easy project you'll need:
Scissors - I used a regular pair and a fancy cutting pair
A pen or pencil
Card stock paper or fun foam (I used fun foam as I had it).  Colors of your choice
1 sheet of black construction paper
1 sheet of yellow construction paper
Solo Cups or any kind of plastic cup
Craft glue
X-Acto or a craft knife

I made 2 hats for this project, if you need to make more, you'll need to increase certain items such as the cups, the card stock or fun foam and possibly the construction paper. 

Step 1 -
Cut out your base.  Using the CD as a template:  Place the CD on the fun foam or card stock and trace it with your pencil/pen.  Then cut the circle out.  I used fancy scissors but you can use regular ones.

Step 2 - Make the 'belt' and 'buckle' for the hats.  Taking the black construction paper on the short side, and your ruler mark out enough lines to cut for the hat belt.  Cut them out with your scissors.

Now for the buckle; using the yellow construction paper make the buckle.  I measured the width of the black strips, which are the width of the ruler or 1 1/4 inches.  I made the buckle 1 3/4 inches wide.  Using the ruler measure the yellow construction paper and make a mark at each end of the paper at 1 3/4 inches then use the ruler to connect the marks and cut out the buckle strip.

Now cut the strip into equal parts to make squares.  I made each square 2 inches.   Cut them out.

 Fold each square in half.
Now cut the center out of each square to make a buckle. (Do you like my Thanksgiving nails?)
Step 3 - Cut the top of the hat off. 
So you can put things in the 'hat' you need to cut the top - or the bottom - of the cup off.  I used an X-Acto knife to start then regular scissors to cut the bottom of the cup off.

Step 4 - Glue the belt and the buckle to the hat.  Take your glue and run a generous line of glue around the top (the normal end you'd drink out of) of the cup.  Then take your black strip and wrap it around the cup adding more glue to the end if there is an overlap.

Step 5 - Now add the buckle.  Glue the yellow buckle overtop the black strip. 
Step 6 - Run a bead of glue to the top (the end you'd normally drink out of) of the cup.  Then secure it to the round craft paper or fun foam.

Let dry overnight or for a couple of hours. 
I put crayons in mine and they will sit on the kids table with some of the crafts from the dollar spot and the coloring pages that I got for them. 
How cute would these look filled with candy or lollipops!  I can't wait to show you how they look on the kids table later this week.  As I said I've seen these on Pintrest and they were really easy to make. 

Thanks for stopping by.  This year has gone so fast, I just don't know where the time has gone.  Christmas is almost here again.  I swear I just put all of that away last month! 

Future things to look for in November -
Thanksgiving table next week, here's a sneak peak - aren't they adorable little salt & pepper shakers?! Wal-Mart yep. 
The kids table, and front porch and entry all this Thursday. 
I really appreciate you reading.  If you have any questions about the Pilgrim Hats or any project I've done, just shoot me an email -

Until Thursday, stay safe!

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