pool table painted

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Last week we talked about Thanksgiving tablescapes.  One of the key elements of many of those gorgeous tables was a glorious centerpiece or floral arrangement, or even several floral moments on one table.  Lots of people are intimidated by arranging flowers.  I get it.  Truthfully it does take a little more finesse than just removing the cellophane and plopping them in a vase.   Understandably, lots of people shy away from DIY’ing it and just call up FTD and order a centerpiece.  While convenient, the problem with this is twofold.  One, they are sooo expensive and two, they never look like they do in the “representative” online photo.  They are usually crammed with cheap greens, foregoing the proper number of expensive flowers that you were supposed to get.  I’ll bet that if you try making your own arrangement once, you may never buy that expensive garbage ever again.  Here’s how you can DIY your Thanksgiving centerpiece!  I made 2 medium and 2 small arrangements, plus a leftover scrap arrangement for just $46 in flowers.  We have a flower wholesaler nearby where one can get virtually any flower, and their prices are pretty reasonable.  If you don’t have a wholesaler open to the public near you, you could do something similar with about 5 bunches of flowers from Costco or the grocery store, it may cost just a few more dollars.  For this arrangement, I picked up a bunch of orange spray roses (those are the mini-ones), a bunch of peach carnations (which, sadly, get a bad rap), a bunch of seeded eucalyptus, and a deep burgundy solidago (i.e. goldenrod).

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I already had a few random containers that would work well for a fall centerpiece, a wooden pumpkin, a pumpkin basket and 2 small pedestal candle holders that became vases and my leftovers went in an old Patron tequila bottle (hint – they make great stem vases once you finish with the tequila).

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Other supplies I used were 2 containers to fit inside my pumpkins (since they weren’t watertight), garden snips/shears, and a few pieces of oasis floral foam and some clear floral tape.

I started by inserting a good size chunk of oasis into the inside containers and drenching them in water.  Oasis needs to be wet in order to insert the stems into it.  Next each flower stem as you insert it (don’t do them all at once) so that they stand only two or three inches above your container and make the first 5 or so flowers symmetrically placed.  Here you can see that I placed one in the middle and 4 others sideways at each corner of the oasis.

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Then add your secondary flower, in this case I kept a lot of greenery on the spray roses, the leaves looked nice and it meant that there was one less green I had to buy.  Alternatively, if you’re using flowers that don’t have nice leaves you can snip in your garden or trim your house plants.

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Next I filled in holes with the solidago and the seeded eucalyptus which both had a nice contrast in deep burgundy and soft green.

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I still thought there wasn’t enough contrast so I went out in my garden and clipped a few stems of dusty miller which added a nice frosty mint green contrast.

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After making the two pumpkin arrangements I noticed that I still had a ton of flowers left, so I took these two small candle holders and made a grid pattern on the top with clear floral tape.  Why the grid, you ask?  This is a trick florists use to keep their arrangements standing in their clear glass vases perfectly.  Without the tape the flowers would flop around and not stay put where you actually wanted them.

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I then repeated the process of inserting main flowers first symmetrically around the vase, then adding in secondary flowers, and finally greens. Even after completing these I had a good bit of eucalyptus remaining which I simply stuck in an old Patron bottle with a few feathers.  I haven’t decided how I’m going to display them yet with my set table but here is the group of the 4 flower arrangements completed.  Will you take on the DIY centerpiece challenge?  We’d love to see them.  Add a comment and show us your work!

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pool table painted

Set a Tasteful Thanksgiving Table

The FOOD is where it’s at on Thanksgiving… oh and the family togetherness, sure…. so, with all of that there’s not a lot of Thanksgiving specific decorating going on.  Hell, my neighbors already had Christmas decorations up the day after Halloween.  One easy way to make your home a bit more festive for Thanksgiving in advance of the holiday is to set the table.  If your home is anything like mine your dining room table ends up holding mail, homework, backpacks and maybe a jacket or two slung over the chairs.  Why not make it look pretty, even if just for a week?  You can put out a creative centerpiece, the dishes, napkins, some candles, etc.  Below are some really fantastic Thanksgiving tablescapes that I’ve seen, many with super easy and cheap DIY elements.  Try one out yourself!

This bare wood table gets rustically regal with eggplant napkins, bright orange persimmons, and shiny magnolia leaves.  I love that they mix and matched the black plates with other random dishes for a casual and modern look, so you don’t have to grandma’s full set of china set out, work with what you have.

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Navy, white, cornflower blue and orange mini pumpkins crammed down the center of a rustic wood table with more modern looking flatware and plates has informal appeal.  With a bit of craft or spray paint this Country Living look could be accomplished in no time!

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Joann, the fabric and crafts company, has a tutorial on how to create this one on their website.  It mixes my fave hot metallic, copper, with gold.  The faux moss mat provides needed contrast for DIY spray painted artichokes and mini gourds.

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Leave it to Southern Living to provide a more traditional tablescape, but with the alfresco twist of setting it on the gorgeous front porch.  Complete with formal meets whimsical pumpkin floral centerpieces, amazing tortoiseshell utensils, and quintessentially southern mint julep cups.

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If you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving I can see your hesitation for setting an entire table, instead maybe just clear off the junk and place a centerpiece like some of these beauties.

First up are a few flowers-in-pumpkins ideas.

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Take some off-white spray paint to those leftover Halloween pumpkins and lay them out with antlers (available at craft stores) and some tealights.

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The blog at 724Southhouse has a tutorial to make this cute centerpiece.  Most of the work is in building the box, but once you have it, think if the possibilities, change it up for each season.

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pool table painted

What to Wear Wednesday: For Thanksgiving Dinner

This year Thanksgiving Dinner is at my house, with my much of my family coming over to stuff our faces in gratitude for this great land we live in (though things sure did get uh, interesting, in the wee hours of this morning, eh?).  So technically, since Thanksgiving’s at my house, I could wear whatever the hell I want.  I could wear my jammies if I liked (but I never ever ever would…. that is one of my top 5 pet peeves… people that not only stay in their PJ’s but even worse…. gasp …. host people or go OUT in them. Ugh, that is the worst).  Anyway, our family doesn’t do dressy, so I’ll be doing a casual look, jeans for sure.  We never know what else our Thanksgivings may entail… we’ve been known to hit the park for frisbee golf, go feed farm animals, or toss the football in the street, so it’s important to our family to keep the wardrobe way low-key.  I know some people get a bit dressier and some even get downright fancy.   No matter which way your family Thanksgiving dress code leans, here’s an outfit option for each.

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J Crew Cambridge Cable V-neck Sweater   $80

Merona Plaid Tan Scarf   $20

Mid Rise Distressed Jean Legging  $80

Hush Puppies Proud Overton  $130

Gas Bijoux Serti Plume Feather Earrings $169

And an option for someone who wants to be a bit more dressed up, but still plenty comfy with room for extra turkey…..

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Foodie Festival Dress $65

Orsella Tall Wedge Boot  $149

Wild Floral Leopard Statement Necklace  $15

Army Green Waxed Canvas Tote Bag  $99

Quilted Riding Vest $89

And for those who want to get all dressed up….

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J Crew Flounce Silk Dress in Wolfstooth  $110

Stuart Weitzman Mizzip Bootie   $218

Tevolio Faux Fur Stole Wrap with Satin Lining   $25

Emma Fox Dales Suede Clutch   $73

Jennifer Lopez Tassel Lariat Necklace   $20

 

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Dining in Style: Everyday Dinnerware

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks ahead, I’m sure lots of people are getting out their fine china and polishing the silver. I don’t know who these people are. I don’t have fine china. We had a set at one point that we inherited but the fact that you couldn’t throw it in the dishwasher or put it in the microwave (not to mention the granny blue floral print), it just didn’t fit us. Ultimately, we donated it to a charity auction so somebody else could make use of it. I just can’t get my brain owning something so expensive, that takes up so much space, and not using it more than twice a year. As you might imagine, my family eats off of what retailers term as “everyday” dinnerware (um, that is, when we’re not using paper plates). I currently have 2 sets of everyday dinnerware, one a clear, scratched, crazed set (5 of 8 large plates remaining) that I have had since we got married almost 18 years ago. The other is an inexpensive matte black set from Ikea that’s probably about 15 years old. I sorta have the feeling that I should be a grown-up and get some good plates… but not too grown up… I’m still not wanting granny’s china… just maybe a nicer set or two of everyday plates. Here’s a few 16 piece sets I’ve spied ranging from $25 to $340. And between you and me, though the $340 one is cute, but we’re a clumsy crew so I won’t be investing in anything even that pricey, but I just had to include those birds because they made me happy.  Which would you pick?

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  1. Williams Sonoma Pacifica Dinnerware 16-Piece Place Setting  $108
  2. Threshold™ Camden 16 Piece Dinnerware Set  $60
  3. Lenox Simply Fine Dinnerware, Chirp Square 4 Piece Place Setting $85 ($340 for 16 pieces)
  4. Pfaltzgraff Expressions 16 Piece Dinnerware Set Pandora Blue  $70
  5. Crate and Barrel Welcome 16-Piece Dinnerware Set  $114
  6. Pfaltzgraff Expressions Savannah Gray Dinnerware Set 16-Piece. Stoneware $70
  7. Crate and Barrel Marin Dinnerware $94
  8. Royal Doulton® 1815 16-Piece Dinnerware Set in White  $138
  9. FÄRGRIK 18-piece dinnerware set, green, stoneware  $25
  10. Baum Brothers 16-Piece Dinnerware Set in Blue/White   $70
  11. Pfaltzgraff Grayson 16-Piece Dinnerware Set  $50