I’ve had my ear to the ground and it seems that people are saying Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. There are no gifts involved, no fireworks – though I’m sure it’s pretty deserving. It’s a holiday reserved for gathering and gratitude. Really…that makes it pretty special. Unless you’re spending it alone.
Most years I’m too busy to do more than think about what my Thanksgiving table will look like, let alone plan what will be eaten from the plates on the table. But, not this year. I have had time to do a little tablescaping….and exercise that thankful heart muscle while doing so.
This year I decided to forgo using my lovely Woven Traditions Dinnerware by Longaberger. Hopefully, I’m not sorry. Because the Longaberger is tough as well as great looking and I’m known to be a little quick in the kitchen. My husband has used words like whirling and dervish, to describe my movements. Ahem. Instead, my grandmother’s flow blue china will be gracing our table, as well as her silverplate. It was always a special moment for me when my mom pulled those dishes from the china cabinet for a meal. And now they’re mine and I get to use them to create special moments now, too.
You might remember the dining room furniture, gifted to me by a friend. The table is a little narrower than my maple table and opens up a world of tablecloth possibilities. A few weeks ago I was in K-mart looking for some black licorice strings to use to make spider cookies for my spider party. There, just inside the door was a display of fall linens on sale. I confess, I splurged. Two brown tablecloths for just $5.99 each came home with me. One for the table and one for making napkins. An oval tablecloth might or might not have been bought for making napkins. But, I digress. Brown seemed like the perfect backdrop for my tablescape, and wouldn’t you know, it just about tackled me on my way in to the store.
The flow blue plates have just a touch of gold on them and so it seemed fitting to use gold as the accent color for my tablescape. I just happen to have some lovely almost golden goblets. My neighbor gave them to me to sell…and they didn’t. Maybe that was a different blessing in disguise. They are a wonderful complement to the china.
What else could I do to bring in the gold and not spend a dime? After all, I had already spent one hundred and twenty dimes. In my trove of boxes marked Christmas, there is one that is filled with the midas touch. You see, one year I decided to make several nut balls and sprayed them gold. They haven’t been outside the box for quite a while. A few nuts needed to be re-glued and of course they needed a little golden spritz to really shine.
I couldn’t just lay them on the table. Well maybe I could. Wanting to do something a bit more special, I set the large one on the antique pedestal I previously had cradling the burlap pumpkin on the piano. Hmmm…what to do with the two smaller ones? Voila! In my cupboard were two etched crystal shot glasses. Why do I have these? No one in my family ever used them. I guess, they’ve just been waiting around to become cute little bases for the golden nut balls!
With the stars of the show taking center stage, we need a few supporting members to give the table the complete midas touch! Nuts are always available this time of year in the produce department, so we walked down and picked up a few handfuls which I also spray painted. This can of Rustoleum was from a store that went out of business quite a few years ago. How handy that it still worked just like new.
When picking up the mixed nuts at the grocery, I made sure to pick up six walnuts, with just the tiniest crack at their tops. Not that we need place cards. My friends who are making the long journey over many rivers and through countless woods don’t need to see their names on a card to find their place at my table. But, I did think that it would be fun to have a card with a meaningful word or two for Thanksgiving. I found the perfect free printables on Pinterest. So many great choices…sweet and simple….for me that’s always the best choice. To make sure the walnuts didn’t roll around, I punched out small dots from some golden cardstock I had on hand. Then I took out my handy Cordless Glue Gun and with a dollop of hot glue, the walnuts became wobble free and official place card holders! They are my favorite part of this tablescape.
It took me the better part of an evening to make those six lovely brown napkins. Being a little bit rusty in the sewing department I thought those corners were going to do me in, even with basting all the sides of the first fold. It might be a while before I choose to do that again. Anyway, I was faced with a napkin dilemma. How to fold them? Lay them on the plate? Under the plate? What to do? And then I had an ah ha moment. Don’t you love those? I flew upstairs and retrieved a nice sturdy paper towel cardboard tube I had stashed. I cut it down the middle, then cut it the width to match some gorgeous gold and cream ribbon I have had a long time. Outside to my makeshift spray booth, again for a bit of the midas touch, but just to the inside of the cardboard rings. Thankfully it was a warm for November sunny day.
How was I going to attach the ribbon to the rings? That was the 10 million gold piece question. Spray adhesive. Thankfully there was still a bit left in my can of Super 77 Multi-Purpose Adhesive Spray by 3M. The ribbon was cut just a bit longer than the rings when wrapped around. Back out to my spray booth, the back of the ribbon was sprayed. While the adhesive was setting up, I taped the rings so they were round again and then wrapped them in the gold and cream ribbon. There was a slight seam visible. I wanted to cover that and add a bit of embellishment. At first I attempted to cut the rose tip off some pine cones. If you’ve never tried that before, I’m certain a special tool or saw is needed. Pushing that mess aside, I thought about the nuts, but they would be too bulky. I remembered some fake maple leaves from the Dollar Tree. Those also made the trek to the outdoor spray booth. Back inside another dollop of hot glue between the napkin ring and the leaf and golden perfection was achieved. Okay, that might be a bit grandiose. But, they are nice, I think.
A few extra leaves were also sprayed, just in case. Good thing. They were a nice addition down the center of the table with the gilded nuts.
Thanks to my mom, I have a small stash of old doilies and lineny things. Again, I had never seen them used, but I’ve been using them in my decorating for a little fun textural emphasis. The table seemed in need of their sweet touch. Especially since the dinner plates of years ago are only the size of luncheon plates today.
The only thing we needed to add were candles. These old silverplate candlesticks have made their appearance here before, serving as pedestals for miniature pumpkins. They are in need of a polish, but with their slight tarnish they seem to blend in a bit more with all the gold. You’ll notice in some of the photos there is a little twiggy wreath around their bases. Most every fall they make their appearance, adding just the right touch of bling. However, in this case, one minute I liked them and the next I didn’t. My little pocket Nikon does a pretty good job of picture-taking outside. I haven’t yet acquired the knack for great indoor photos. As the light changed over a few hours, the pictures I snapped without the ring weren’t quite a good. And now you know why you see the little bejeweled wreaths, and then now you don’t.
That was fun!! The best part for me was putting my creative hat on and using (except for the tablecloth) items already in my stash.
Yes, the table is a bit dressy.
But…Thanksgiving is deserving of a bit of dress up and glamour.
When we gather around the Thanksgiving table, it’s not about how pretty our tables are. It’s about breaking bread together, and remembering what God has brought us through in the past year. It’s a time to rejoice in our blessings….and most of all in HIS goodness.
So, if we can….let’s set a pretty Thanksgiving table…it just might be a form of worship to our King.
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