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11.26.2014

Thanksgiving Tablescape Roundup!

 We're just one day away...
the turkey is thawing and the pies are cooling.
Are you still searching for ideas for your Thanksgiving table decor?

I offer some 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM inspiration for you, with these
15 Thanksgiving Tablescapes

( Click on the captions to access individual posts! )




[which appeared on the Broadway+Thresher Magazine blog]



 [which appeared in Creating Vintage Charm Magazine] 








Fabulous Fall Fete 
 

Autumn Picnic

Here's one last 'tip' for your tablesettings:
a helpful Table Setting Guide infographic from Visual.ly

Thanksgiving Etiquette
Art created by Ghergich.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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11.22.2014

Pretty Potluck Presentation

'Tis the Season for parties - and potlucks!
It seems most gatherings now include everyone pitching in and bringing a dish to share -
so deliver your goodies with style using a few simple elements from your kitchen!
( I know Tupperware and Pyrex work well, but they aren't exactly pretty!)
Whether you are contributing a salad, a dessert, or a hot casserole,
this simple wrap & carry method will secure the food
AND look great when it comes time to serve!

All you have to do is cover the bowl with a plate or platter,
then tie it on securely using a plain muslin dishcloth or sturdy twill ribbon:
* Lay a dishtowel on the counter, and sit the bowl of food on top.
* To insulate the bowl, add a second dishtowel as a wrap around the bowl itself.
* Place the plate/platter (depending on the size of the bowl) on top. 
 *  Lift the two opposite corners and tie them on top of the bowl.
* Repeat with the other two opposite corners.
* Finally, pop the serving utensil into the bow, and tie it one more time to secure.

You can also fold the dishtowel into a long strip,
and wrap it once around the bowl & plate to secure.
Add the serving utensil and tie again.

Ramekins and casserole dishes work, too - just find a plate or platter that fits the top,
and use heavy twill ribbon to secure.

Use brand new, thrifted, or vintage ceramics and linens - it's up to you!
( PS: The dishtowel comes in handy for drying off the dishes after the party, too!!!
)
.
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11.19.2014

A Rather Shady Project!

 In my last post, I focused on the dried roses in my office...
but right next to them is one of my trademark 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM ideas
for updating your decor each season:
Slipcover your lampshades!
That lovely vintage alabaster lamp from a thrift store
has a plain ol' white drum shade that cost me all of three bucks at the IKEA 'as is' department.
It has one lil' dent in the back ;)
But no one sees it, because I am constantly covering the lampshade with all kinds of things - 
like this slipcover, which was made from
A RUFFLED TANK TOP!

I can just hear you now... yes, yes, I can....

"OK, Deb is certifiable now. She's gone over the edge with this one.
Cutting up CLOTHES to decorate with?"
Oh, wait, there was that sweater thing..... ;)


No sewing, no gluing - nothing but a cut with scissors.
 Maybe a straight pin or two to make sure it stays tight on the shade, that's IT.
Five minutes TOPS.

Perfect for the holiday season, when you want to freshen up the decor in your rooms!
The 'How To':

*Slip the shirt over the lampshade BEFORE YOU CUT IT.
*Move it around to to find the best 'fit' and the correct amount of shirt to cut off.
*Remove the shirt from the shade, lay it flat, and cut it in half.
* Slip the cut portion of the shirt (lower half) back onto the shade.
* Tuck the top edge of the shirt section over the top edge of the shade.

* Use a few straight pins to hold it tight if the shirt is a lot bigger AROUND than the shade.
I use women's small size shirts, and they always fit perfectly on basic lampshades.

Just think about doing this using a sparkly glittery tank top :)
Or... just maybe.... a SWEATER!

Want MORE lampshade inspiration? Click HERE!



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11.15.2014

from fresh to faded...

 Two weeks ago, I was working at my second job (visual stylist for a charity resale store),
and at lunchtime, I walked to the nearby grocery store for a sandwich.
 Just inside the door, I passed the floral case,
and next to it was a funnel of plastic-wrapped rose bunches, all looking a 'little' weary.

You've all seen those bouquets - 
the ones with a few drooping flower heads and some browning outer petals?
They were priced at a mere $1.99 each,
so I grabbed a bunch of white and a bunch of rusty orange roses,
and took them back to the store (along with my chicken salad on sourdough, and sweet tea).

After I ate lunch, I popped the roses into a vase of water and put them into this display:
I figured they could live there for the weekend, freshening up the display,
and then I'd toss them out the next week. Cheap props, just the way I like 'em!!!
Only, when I came back, they had begun to dry in perfect form....
so I didn't throw them out.

I wrapped each bunch up in our store's tan tissue paper, and took them home.
They just kept drying, all wrapped up, 
without losing petals or bending or looking forlorn.

That's when I decided to keep them indefinitely - and decorate with them!

 I tucked the tissue-wrapped bundles of roses into a burlap market bag on the dresser in my office.
The fading color of the white roses coordinates perfectly with my neutral decor,
(which is why the rusty orange ones don't show in this photo, they are tucked down into the paper)
and the soft lingering rose scent is a welcome addition to this area near my desk.

I may never throw these out.
I may let them continue to dry out, eventually de-heading them from the stems
and adding them to a bowl of potpourri or layer the inside of a nest with them.

I've added fresh flowers to my decor for years,
letting the blooms dry in place and enhance the decor for weeks afterward:


 Hydrangeas are one of the easiest flowers to let dry 'en scene', as are roses.
Gardenias and Narcissus / Daffodils also dry well.

In August of 2013, my best friend of 37 years passed away.
I created a bouquet for her memorial service from fiery orange roses and lilies,
inspired by her fiery red hair and spirit.

I saved a few of the roses that I didn't put in the arrangement,  and I still have them...
the perfectly dried petals nest in a special teacup here in my office.
Those rose petals mean the world to me, because they are a connection to her.
This isn't just true for REAL flowers, either...
Long ago, I found a bunch of vintage fabric roses at a thrift store - for a song.
I cleaned them, then wrapped them up in a bit of vintage sheet music.
I displayed them lying on the table (this one made from a vintage peach-painted door)
and the simplicity of the display was timeless.

Finding beautiful decorative elements isn't about what you spend...
I'm getting a lot of lasting enjoyment out of two simple and cheap bouquets.
It's about the value you coax out of the elements.

Next time you grab flowers at the market, 
think about how you can extend their contribution to your decor...
choose flowers that will dry well, and enjoy them from fresh to faded.
.
PS: That lampshade in the photo up above?
I'll share its secret in my next post !

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