give thanks

The true meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all we have.  

But so often when we are the host that meaning gets lost in the hostess shuffle.  Am I right?
One of my fav vintage framed chalk boards from last year

This year we are hosting 30 relatives and I have promised myself that I will remain calm and thankful for all the blessings I have in my life.  

We will have every member of my husband's family (and my parents) all together under our if that's not something to be thankful for I don't know what is!

Currently I am able to do that because...

1.  I am in denial of how many pounds my turkey/s will be and...

2.  I have awesome in-laws who will all bring one or 2 dishes with them.  

That leaves me focused on the most important task (in my mind at least) of how I plan to decorate the 2 rounds, 1 small rectangle and one 10 foot long table for the big day.  It's become a fun, stretch-the-brain-creatively kind of project.  Wendy (a friend who helps me at the gallery and is also hosting a crowd) and I are comparing Pinterest boards, collecting ideas, taking pics of flowers and foliage and hopefully by November 27th we will have PERFECTION, or pretty close!

Over the weekend we both did a mock run on our tables to make sure we were on the right track and so I could share our ideas!

I am most excited about the 10ft long because it offers me a larger landscape to create beauty!  I will start with white cloths (need to cover the plastic folding tables) and layer burlap on top.  I like the way the white peeks thru the burlap, and burlap is too loose a weave to go without anything underneath. 

I mocked up 5 of the 10 feet.  I started with 2 planks of wood acting as a runner and then layered the Plat du Jour paper placemat pads that are numbered 1-12.  The punch of black numerals on the white paper laying on top of the burlap is crisp and fun!  I ran to my backyard (and I suggest you do too) and snipped some Japanese Maple twigs and the feathery plumbs that sea grasses feature this time of year because I felt I needed something floral-ish.  The Maples' color is ridiculously beautiful and perfect for this task.  Here is an arial view..

So while I envisioned staining or painting the plank of wood I  liked the pine raw and there are only so many hours in a day.  With the wood only 8 inches wide I needed to keep the decor on the small side.  Baby pumpkins, small silver votives, green moss, a few pinecones,  2 candle holders with white tapers and 3 glass votives.  I "placed" the Japanese Maple twigs vertical instead of putting them in a vase.  And I did weave one strand of the LED lights on the copper wire throughout.  With real estate at a premium on this table I tucked the cloth napkin into the water glass. 

I am a bit stuck on the place cards for this table so that is TBD.  I have seen clever use of leaves sprayed gold with a pretty cursive in black pen displaying the name.  I have created a PINTEREST board  (check it out!) on all these to remind me and get the juices flowing!  

And I also did a run thru on the large 60" round.  I left the rustic wood top bare and started with a big slice of log in the center.  Then layered votives, moss, mason jars filled with Japanese Maple and Sea Grass blooms, white owl candles and pinecones!  This centerpiece also got an LED light woven throughout.  The place setting is a gold charger with white china layered on top.  I went with the black chalk tag and used the twine to tie it to and around the moss green/brown toile cloth napkin.

While I have 4 sets of china (crazy lady!) my husband has convinced me we should rent dishes and a basic water/wine glass to make our lives easier with that size crowd.  I won't give up on the cloth napkin though.  They so rarely get used anymore and I love how they take a table setting up a BIG notch!

Wendy was also plotting today.  I love how she is thinking outside the box by using a plaid blanket/scarf as her "runner" and building upon that.  She started with a burlap base and then used a wood tray filled with a variety of rich shades and textures.  

Are you one of the lucky ones to be hosting Thanksgiving this year?  


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