Over the River & Through the Woods – A Transitional Table For Thanksgiving Into Christmas

I conducted a Christmas-themed workshop in early November that forced us to drag out all of the Christmas bins WAY before their natural time. There was no way in the world we were going to put it all back for a couple of weeks, so we started Christmas decorating in time for the dinner we hosted on Thanksgiving Day. This called for a “transitional table” to avoid too much of a clash between the two and still enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas as separate holidays. I did the best I could. Maybe you can glean some ideas for future use!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree!

INSPIRATION: Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree with our Santa hats and antlers! My son is so tall you can barely see the tree back there! (I’m bent over with searing pain in my back and leg, but I was lovin’ my PINK Santa hat!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape for Thanksgiving when you've already decorated for Christmas: Full table

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Multiple place settings with wood slice chargers

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Single place setting with wood slice charger, brown & ivory transferware dinner plate

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware dinner plate depicting woodsy/barnyard theme with peacock, pheasant and other game birds

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware plate with peacock & pheasant designWe set the table into a “square” using 2-6ft. rectangular tables kissed side-by-side. Each was individually dressed in a full-length (90″ x 132″ linen for a 30″ x 72″ table) ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to disguise the unsightly legs of the folding tables. Each place setting was simple and in keeping with my woodsy/timberland/rustic theme with a wood slice charger. I used my brown and ivory transferware dishes that look so nice at Thanksgiving and were in step with the pheasants and pheasant feathers used throughout the house in the Christmas decorating. I decided on gold-tone flatware to add a bit of glitz to the table.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Whole centerpiece using birch bark-covered vases, resin reindeer, pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, whole spices, florals

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Resin reindeer front & back views, double runner, acorns, pumpkins & pine cones collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: birch bark-wrapped cylinder

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Birch planter, florals collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Pumpkin and acorn salt & pepper shakers, gold mercury glass votives with pheasant feathers collage

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Acorns, star anise, buckeyes and cinnamon sticks in bark-wrapped cylinders collageThe centerpiece is what I think turned out to be a successful marriage of Thanksgiving and Christmas: not too much of one or the other. The ivory tablecloths are covered down the center (to mask the line where they meet) with a triple layer of burlap fabric starting with the traditional wheat color topped with red from LinenTablecloth.com and then finished off with a length of Hobby Lobby burlap ribbon that is tied in a love knot on each end. (The Christmas tree in this room also has burlap ribbon tied off in love knots!) I LOVE that red LTC burlap, too! It really keeps its shape and lays down nice and flat! By tripling the runner fabrics, the table is afforded an extra warm and cozy look. TIP: I have also discovered that burlap is very easy to iron. Just spritz with a little water and go for it!

The centerpiece is a mix of white pumpkins, pine cones and acorns casually strewn about. A jumble of fresh, bright red poinsettia blooms, Dusty Miller from our own yard, and snippets of Christmas greenery are stuffed into two rectangular zinc-lined birch planters (with water tubes inside) that are placed zigzagged on the table. In front of each planter is a resting resin reindeer from Tuesday Morning. Birch-wrapped cylinders are filled with acorns, star anise, buckeyes, and cinnamon sticks and placed on the four corners. (Click HERE to see these spice-filled planters used on a recent demo table.) The centerpiece is finished off with gold mercury glass votives and a smattering of pheasant feathers to mimic the design on the dinner plates and the Christmas tree topper. Last, acorn (Pier 1) and pumpkin (Pottery Barn) salt & pepper shakers.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Banquet chairs dressed in LinenTablecloth.com stretch ivory chair covers and burlap sashes

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Stretch banquet chair cover with burlap sash, pillow collageOur banquet chairs were dressed in LinenTablecloth.com ivory stretch chair covers. I made the sashes from natural-colored burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I have discovered that situating the sash down low on the chair helps with a more uniform look and keeps them from going all wonky when guests lean back. (Wonky? Really? My parents paid out all that college tuition for THAT??!??!! 🙂 )

If you missed our 2014 Christmas Home Tour, just click HERE to see how it all tied in with this tablescape!

This is my final post of 2014. I want to wish each and every one of you a blissful, blessed, and safe Christmas and New Year. I appreciate and look forward to your visits and comments each week, and I hope to hear from you again in 2015.
Merry Christmas, and be good to one another.

Other Christmas tablescapes on this site that offer some neat ideas:

Cardinal Christmas
Christmas in the Woods
Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrate the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday

 

And if you’re looking for ideas to ring in the New Year with style:
Life is a Cabaret
Platinum New Year’s Eve
Ringing In the New Year

Hooray For Vodka!
White Hot

Linking up with:
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch (Christmas Day)
Christine’s “Table It!” at Rustic & Refined (starting Sunday night)

Pheasants & Pumpkins

INSPIRATION: A pretty resin pheasant purchased for $3 at an estate sale.

INSPIRATION: A pretty resin pheasant purchased for $3 at an estate sale.

Thanksgiving is a week away! Here’s one quick final fall post of a laid back setting that might help fire you up if you’ve not yet decided on a tablescape for the big day.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Full dining room

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Full tableI’m going with a “woodsy” look throughout the house for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. This casual table for 6 has no tablecloth so the wood of the table can be an integral part of the overall look. A tightly woven jute table runner (Pier 1) lightens up the table, anchors the elements of the centerpiece, and brings in the colors of the place settings.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Place setting

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Stemware, flatware, napkin, pheasant salad plate collageEach place setting starts with a glossy chocolate brown charger (Hobby Lobby) that is topped with a pumpkin-colored dinner plate (just $1 each at our local grocery store). The salad plates from Z Gallerie feature the image of a lone pheasant. Striped napkins from Pier 1 pick up on the color scheme and work well with the runner. Simple, inexpensive glassware from Old Time Pottery and faux mother of pearl flatware from Target round out the setting.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Centerpiece

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Centerpiece

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Resin pheasant

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Pheasant feathers, berries, bittersweet in wooden centerpiece box collageThe centerpiece was created using a weathered wooden box that I’ve had for years. I filled it with faux pumpkins, berries, fall leaves and a bittersweet garland. A few real pheasant feathers were added on one end only for an asymmetrical look. My inspirational pheasant was borrowed from the family room arrangement to pose in front of the box. (This, of course, is a demonstration tablescape. For your actual table, consider using real mini pumpkins, leaves, bittersweet, and perhaps whole bunches of grapes to achieve this organic look.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: pumpkin orange wood finials

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: artichoke votive holdersDistressed pumpkin orange wood finials and a pair of faux artichoke votive holders round out the centerpiece.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Bar/Tea cart

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Pheasant feathers, berries, white pheasant on bar cart collageThe bar cart in the corner is prettied up with a small arrangement using some of the same elements as the table centerpiece and a bark-wrapped vase of pheasant feathers. The painted white pheasant (with tiny specks of clear glitter) was purchased at the same estate sale as the more colorful one.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: bittersweet & pheasant feather arrangement on china cabinetAcross the room on the china cabinet, a vertical spread of bittersweet is punctuated by a trio of pheasant feathers at the feet of a pumpkin-colored serving platter.

That’s it for the tablescape! I hope you were able to gather a few ideas from it. Below, in case you’re at all interested, are a few quickie snapshots offering a glimpse into what fall looked like in a few areas of the house this year. I’ve already begun the arduous transformation to Christmas and hope to bring you those photos in a couple of weeks.

Foyer table with large basket of pine cones underneath, pheasant plates on sconce shelves

Foyer table with large basket of pine cones underneath, pheasant plates on sconce shelves

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall lantern, pheasant with binoculars collage

Pheasant on stack of decorating books embellished with a flourish of autumn leaves. Binoculars for bird watching or pheasant hunting. The large lantern in the window is filled with a pumpkin stack, gourds, berries and fall leaves. The handle is embellished with a Rapunzel-like cascade of raffia and fall leaves.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall mantel

The fireplace mantel is covered in a swath of fall leaves and bittersweet with raffia-tied, pumpkin-colored chunky candles on each end. The huge initial on the hearth is from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall arrangement in violin case in library collage

The secretary in the library is crowned with a large leaf- and pumpkin-laden birdcage. The antique violin in its original case is decorated with a squash, leaf and pheasant feather spray. Those letters in the violin case are from the 1930s from my Dad to his Mother.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall decor on breakfast bar, in master bedroom collage

The breakfast bar is really more of a wine bar around here in the fall! The other pics are of a corner table in our bedroom.

 

More fall tablescapes on this site:
September Harvest Breakfast Table
Most Egg-cellent Breakfast
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Italian Honeysuckle
Quick & Casual Fall Dinner
It’s the Great Pumpkin
Serape High Style
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Autumn Blues
Pears & Pinecones
American Royal Tablescape
Shake Your Tail Feather
Autumn White Wedding
Simply Bittersweet
Ap-pear-ently Autumn
Copper Zen
Autumn by the Embers
Celebrating Longview Farm
Morocco for Two
Thanksgiving 2012 – A Contemporary Tablescape
Best Laid Plans
Wondrous Wheat
Thanksgiving 2010

I’ll be linking this tablescape up with Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” on Between Naps on the Porch. Tablescape Thursday goes live at 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday.

 

 

 

Pheasants & Peacocks

After Sunday’s very unexpected and very unnerving decorating fiasco (click here if you missed out on the horror of it all), I have finally regrouped. I figure I haven’t time to wallow in it with all the cooking and cleaning left to do before guests start arriving on Wednesday night. (I have forgiven myself for being such a nitwit, but I will never forget!!! :-))

I spent minimal time on this new centerpiece, but I think it will suffice. Ramon helped me rearrange the tables into a square shape rather than the original 12-ft. long oblong. It seats 2 fewer guests, but we’re also seating in the dining room (click here for those photos) and on the lower level for football fanatics.

IMG_3074WM

A couple of full-length ivory linens drape the 6-ft. tables kissed lengthwise to create an “almost square” which will seat 10 of our 24 guests.

IMG_3093WM

img_3095wm.jpg

A deep chocolate charger is foundation to the exquisitely detailed peacock china I bought a couple of years ago at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. I have an unnatual attachment to this china. It’s just so….cool! 🙂 I used it last year at my friend Jean’s house, too, in a post called Shake Your Tail Feather!

img_3092wm.jpgI chose complementary faux mother of pearl napkin rings (Old Time Pottery) and flatware (Target). The ivory Bed Bath & Beyond napkins are simply folded twice lengthwise, secured with the ring and draped vertically across the plates.

IMG_3091WMI like the height of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection stemware.

Everyone should be pretty well fed!

The new centerpiece made up of various sizes of LEDs, faux cabbages, pumpkins, pinecones and a few pheasant feathers is set atop a 28″ silver beaded-edge cake plateau. The mantel decor complements the centerpiece with several of the same elements.

I certainly hope that you and yours enjoy a safe and loving Thanksgiving! After stuffing yourself with turkey and pie on Thursday, throw on your elastic waist pants and pop on over to join tablescapers from all over the globe for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

Best Laid Plans

I am still reeling from a decorating disaster that happened this morning. I had just gone into the kitchen to start my husband’s breakfast around 7:30 (NO idea why I was up that early on a Sunday morning!!) when I suddenly heard a deafening crash. I knew right away just what it was, and my heart sank.

I had worked for 2 days on the construction of a rather ambitious, over-the-top centerpiece for one of our Thanksgiving Day tables, but the entire thing – which was elevated about 28” – had slid to the floor! Glass and debris and pheasant feathers were EVERYWHERE!!! Huge shards, little slivers, chunks….you name it! So what started out as an elegant and decidedly contemporary Thanksgiving table that looked like this…

…quite unceremoniously became this:

Nearly every LED candle was damaged (and those things are NOT cheap!), and 2 of 4 huge glass candlesticks were obliterated. Luckily, only one crystal goblet was broken at the stem and one (very expensive!) salad plate was broken in two.

Lesson learned: ALWAYS use a floral adhesive you trust. I usually use Cling® which provides a monster grip, but I was trying to avoid the ugly green color of it showing through the glass. I used a see-through – but clearly not as effective – adhesive instead. My advice: Just figure out a way to hide your mechanics, and DON’T compromise the safety standards of the composition. I have SO learned the hard way!!! I’m just glad it didn’t happen in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner or while someone was standing nearby. I’m also very grateful I had not yet set all the stemware. The damage was relatively little considering everything in the path of the avalanche.

Now I need to take time that I didn’t have to spare to figure out what the heck I’m going to do for this table decor by Thursday. I always start setting up at least a week early so that I can tweak and play with the arrangement. This time it was a blessing and a curse. Sure was pretty while it lasted. 😦

Gotta take out the trash. Gosh…I sure hope I’m able to laugh about this someday.
Be safe, y’all!