Archive | November, 2009

Found Objects Thanksgiving Decor

27 Nov

After having decorated for the Thank You Dinner for our parents, I decided I wanted to do another table setting using a bouquet of flowers and found objects around the house. Thanksgiving at my mom’s house this year presented a perfect opportunity to do so and here’s what my sister and I came up with.

We really wanted to create a mix of modern and traditional so we re-purposed these decorative vases. We took apart the bouquet and cut some stems from her pomegranate tree to fill them. Instead of using a runner, we arranged the eucalyptus and sunflowers around the centerpiece. I wasn’t too sure about the satin red table cover, but it’s what we had and I thought it would work much better than white. I’m also learning that what may begin to look cluttered in person translates very differently in photos. I think I need to start adding more elements to the table to keep it from looking sparse.

For the place settings we just folded napkin pockets and then tied raffia in a bow. Some daisies from mom’s garden complemented the yellow sunflowers.

My hubby N took this shot and I really like this angle.

We decided to create a buffet and using material from my wedding and household objects (a pot, ice bucket, bowl and box) to create height. Then we went around the house looking for decorative pieces. I really love how it all came together and the lighting in this pic is really stunning.

Here’s a close-up of the super yummy turkey and lamb mom made.

After dinner, I rearranged the centerpiece in a corner for mom.

And finally, my cherry blueberry pie from All Recipes and Green Beans from Food Network.  Although most of the food was mowed, we still have leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce so I can make a yummy sandwich for lunch today. Happy Turkey Day everybody!

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Design Candy: Fall Tablescape Inspirations

24 Nov

With Turkey Day just around the corner I’ve been scouring the web for some fresh Thanksgiving tablescape / table setting ideas. Some of what’s out there though just reminds me of dusty fake flowers and knick-knack overload so this search was actually a little harder than I thought it would be. Here’s what I did find and I’m loving all these fall table designs.

This design from Fine Living is elegant and inviting. I love that the table isn’t too cluttered or sparse.  The amber and earthy hues exude warmth while the green and red accents give just a hint of pop.

Painted pumpkins seem to be all the rage and this design from HGTV incorporates some delightfully unexpected elements like the white rose. I’m not too crazy about the place setting, but the centerpiece is really fun.

Here’s another table setting from HGTV that plays with a tone on tone theme. I’m not sure what the fluffy looking plant is but it softens the setting while making a big impact.

Few people’s names are as synonymous with household design as Martha Stewart and here are some of her takes on  Thanksgiving decor. Did you notice the salt and pepper holders!

This setting is really DIY friendly. The addition of the placemats takes a typical place setting from everyday chic to holiday status.

Celebrations at Home created this tablescape and while it’s more suited for a wedding than an at home celebration, many of the elements can be brought to a more casual level. The wood containers with amaranthus, flowers and candles would look stunning on their own.

Dwell Modern Tablescape created something totally unexpected and it works so well. I’m loving that they combined the painted pumpkins with decorative vases. The black and white patterns, surprisingly,  don’t overwhelm the eye and the allow the food to infuse color into the scene. And where did they get that little peacock? I want them!

And finally, after bearing through the really annoying ads on the site, I’m glad I found this  Epicurious Tablescape. The arrangement of pears, cranberries, acorns, figs and (I think) cookies remind me of a candy boutique and I just want to taste everything.

I’m not quite sure how we’ll be decorating our Thanksgiving table at my mom’s house this year, but I’ll be sure to post some pictures. Happy Gobble Day!

Tablescape for a Fabulous Fall Feast

10 Nov

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Last Sunday we invited all the parents over for a thank you dinner. Each time we come up with a crazy party idea our parents go above and beyond in helping to decorate, cook and temper our last minute madness. The Creepy Carnival was no exception and we really wanted to thank them for all their hard work. The most difficult part was coming up with the menu. When you’ve got two old school mama chefs it can be a little intimidating for an amateur to impress them. I settled on a mix, Burberry Rice for the Persian side, a vegetarian spinach and mushroom quiche for the vegetarian and a lemon chicken for the boys. I got some of the recipes from one of my favorite sites, allrecipes.com Check them out if you haven’t already done so, they have a plethora of amazing dishes and a recipe for the best damn chocolate chip cookies in the world!

My mom and MIL brought some flowers,  two fall mix bouquets and fresh daisies frm my mama’s garden so I centered the table scheme around them.

I took apart the first bouquet to create a runner from the leaf stems. I’m a huge fan of tone on tone and I loved the red leaves in this arrangement.

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The little red “berries” were also cut from the bouquet and I used them to embellish the serve ware. I wrapped brown ribbon around a white napkin, attached the “thank you” cutout, left over from a bridal shower earlier this year, and then slipped a leaf under it. I think the “berries” really completed the look. (I really have to take a floral arranging course so I can find out what all these gorgeous flowers and fillers are called!)

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We also found some mini pumpkins, on sale from Halloween, for seventy-five cents a piece. I attached a thank you cutout to them, rubbed the tops with a little pearl powder and then arranged the squash and mini carnations around them.

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These votive holders are actually napkin rings, I just slipped some tea lights  into them.

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Here’s the Burberry Rice, a yummy mix of tart and sweet.

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Thank you for visiting sentimental sublime and happy holidays to you and yours!

Creepy Carnival: The Party

10 Nov

Well, our party came and went. Why can’t we have more dress up holidays? I petition we adopt Carnivale too. I had a really great time with my amazing fam and some awesome friends. Here’s the last installment of our Creepy Carnival.

We hung our dolls and bears, from nooses, from the huge tree at the center of the space. My parent’s neighbor saw it before the party and he’s now convinced that we may have some deep seeded psychological issues. You start hanging mutilated dolls and stuffed animals from trees and suddenly you’re crazy. I don’t get it. ; ) We’d wrapped the tree in colored lights first and we have spotlights, installed long ago for party purposes, so the area isn’t too dark.

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No creepy carnival is complete without a strong man cutout and ours is the grotesque “Great  Fausto.” First we took an old piece of plywood and cut out a face hole with a jigsaw. We painted the board, let it dry and then sketched and filled in the figure. Here he is halfway done:DSC_0011

Once he had dried, my hubby sketched and cutout the “weights” for his barbell on thin wood with a jigsaw. Then we painted and attached them to the board with nails.

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For the finishing touches, he painted on the border and sign. I think he came out really great.

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The carnival booths were a little tricky. They were constructed using two 8 ft. beams of scrap wood wood horizontally and three 6ft. beams vertically, to form a frame. Then we attached two 3 ft “legs” to prop up the frame and attached metal spikes to the 3ft. legs to secure into the ground. I forgot to take a picture pre-decoration, but I think it’s pretty obvious from the picture anyway. The tricky part was trying to attach the wood with screws. The wood was so thick that none of our drill bits could insert the screws. So first, we had to drill a hole and then insert the screw. So we sat there on the grass, with an extension cord and two drills, switching out the plugs each time, forgetting it to do it at other times wondering why the drill wouldn’t work. We were almost done with two of them when my dad walks up to us with a power strip in hand. Yeah. Can you hear the circus music? I think I was useless for a good five minutes from laughing so hard.

Once we assembled the booths, a little creaky and uneven, but erect, we had to decorate them. Our first idea was to staple butcher paper onto the fronts and paint that. So we attached the butcher paper and it looked horrible. Luckily we has some blingy red fabric and we attached that over the butcher paper. Unfortunately, the blingy fabric was see through and it still looked pretty bad. By this point, we were a little tired so we gave up for the day. The next day, I brought along some red fabric. We attached the solid red fabric (we used small nails and duct tape for that btw) and them draped the blingy fabric across it. Success!!! For a finishing touch, we installed multi-colored rope lights around the visible parts of the frame.

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We hung the prizes around the borders, set up the games behind them and we were the proud owners of carnival booths!

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We created a mini graveyard:

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And here’s a last minute idea for holding the cotton candy and caramel corn. We took a long branch, creating a “tree” with a plastic pumpkin on top and then attached shorter branches using hemp rope. Clothes pins tied to rope and dangling from the “branches”  served as dispensers, I guess you could call them, for all the goodies.

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The gift bags were filled with carnival tickets, to play games and for a raffle, beads, to hand out to the person with the best costume and glow-in the dark bracelets for fun. They could also be used to stash some candy to take home.

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I think my biggest disappointment was the dessert bar. I’d really wanted to create risers, but didn’t have the time, so I kind of scattered everything around last minute. The crows hanging out in the background are silhouettes made from black construction paper.  The jars (moved here because someone was looking at one) were my specimens from an earlier post. The tree in the middle was store bought (on sale, hee hee) years ago. I printed out pictures of circus “freaks,” two small copies of each, spread rubber cement on the back of one copy, placed a 6″ string of black yarn on it and then  placed the other copy over it, creating a double sided ornament. The looked pretty creepy hanging from the tree.

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Here’s a picture of our Grimsley. I think every single guest took a picture with him. 🙂

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We’d also hung streamers around the dessert bar and had over a hundred balloons hanging out all over the place, but, I forgot to take pictures…oops (I have to get better at that!)! There are a few more pics I need to yoink from friends to post and I’ll try to do that soon. Can’t wait for Halloween next year…

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