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)

Autumn Blues

This week – September 22 to be exact – I celebrate one year of sharing my craft with all the other tabletop enthusiasts who look forward to Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch. I have made some incredible connections through my association with this group, and it has been a wonderful journey down a road paved with the exchange of neat ideas. Beyond that, it has been an experience that has created truly supportive and caring friendships with people I have never had the pleasure (yet, anyway!) to hug in person. I am further beholden to all of you fabulous folks who have so graciously become a follower. You guys rock, and I thank you!

A happy and very unexpected extra this week: I discovered this morning that I am the winner of Yvonne’s StoneGable Giveaway!!! The prize is English Transferware from Nancy’s Daily Dish!!! Thank you to Yvonne for hosting the giveaway and to Nancy for her incredible generosity!!! I feel like Melissa McCarthy at this year’s Emmy Awards!!! 😉

I have posted some fairly over-the-top tablescapes the last several weeks. This week I am toning it down just a bit for a more laid back summer-into-fall transitional tablescape that is easy to replicate and that I hope you will enjoy.

This tablescape is one that would work well for an intimate evening with close friends or sharing a meal with another couple. It deliberately strays from the trappings of a traditional autumn table so that it can simultaneously represent the official close of summer.

The full-length table linen transitions from summer white to a deep ivory. A pretty April Cornell table runner from TJ Maxx brings color as well as the only floral element needed to the table. The runner’s brown background captures the essence of autumn while the varying shades of blue keep a foothold on the last bastion of summer.

A deep brown charger is topped with creamy ivory dishes with a scalloped edge from Pier 1. (These were purchased 6 or 7 years ago.)

The menus were created on my desktop computer using a soft blue lightweight cardstock backed by a deep brown heavier weight. The pages are secured using simple silver brads purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Beneath the menus are April Cornell napkins folded in the easy “Double Ring” style as illustrated on page 17 of Denise Vivaldo’s book “Perfect Table Settings“. This easy napkin fold allows the menu to enjoy a cushioned pedestal rather than lying flat. This particular fold just happened to yield a really interesting design!

The flatware is a faux mother of pearl from Target.

While using the same pattern of stemware for a setting is lovely, it’s often just as pretty (and sometimes prudent!) to mix the colors and patterns. Here a single deep blue stem from TJ Maxx dutifully breaks the monotony of the clear glass at its sides and mirrors the blue in the runner, napkins and menus. The trick when mixing is to identify some fundamental element of the stemware that either matches or complements.

Individual salt & pepper shakers are always a nice touch.

Sometimes simple is better, and in this case that certainly rings true. The centerpiece is composed of a clear glass globe set atop a very traditional lacquered wood stand from Old Time Pottery.
(To see another tablescape using glass globes, click here.)

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Fresh curly willow nestled in the bowl resembles the meandering vines found in the runner and napkins. To achieve this simple, inexpensive (and totally reusable!) look, wind fresh curly willow tips tight enough to slip past the mouth of the bowl. That’s it! The willow will stay green for several days and darken gracefully with time. It’s beautiful either way. I store several bowls with the willow still inside it so that I don’t have to buy fresh every time!

One of my dearest friends, Monica Goodwin, gave me these fabulous (and very heavy!) carved candlesticks for Christmas one year. I like the height they provide without taking up a lot of space. Here’s another fun little trick: If you prefer chunky pillar candles as seen here instead of slim tapers, simply use a bit of Cling or other floral adhesive to temporarily adhere the candle to the top of the candlestick to steady it. On particularly breezy evenings I suggest taking the safety measure of using LED pillar candles as seen here.

Well, that’s another one for the books! Thank you again to Susan, my blogging colleagues, and all of you who stop in each week to let me know how I’m doing.
Happy Almost Fall! 🙂

More tablescapes on this site using curly willow:
Copper Zen
Welcome Back, Joel
Blushing Bridal

Won’t you please join Yvonne, Nancy and the rest of us for Tablescape Thursday again this week? You’re always a welcome guest!