Happy Turkey Day!

Decorating, DIY, Festivity, Holiday

Posting once a week every Friday means that my weekly post will be falling after Thanksgiving on (duh-duh-duuuuh) Black Friday! A day when everyone will be out madly shopping as the Christmas season officially commences.

That being said, I thought I would throw an extra post out there this week to give you some ideas on how to have a creative holiday! While we all have Thanksgiving traditions that we live and die by, it is always fun to try new, creative ideas to spice up already established traditions.

Here are a few creative ideas you can add to your food-filled day:

  1. Homemade placemats. If you read my post from last week you know that homemade placemats can make great holiday gifts. They can also personalize your Thanksgiving dinner and table. Check out my post from last week to learn how to recycle textiles into these woven settings.

woven placemat

  1. Homemade place cards.
    Whether you simply stencil letters onto card stock or use different colored paper and ribbons for embellishment, place cards can add a fun and sophisticated look to your Thanksgiving table.
  2. Try a new recipe! This year I will be making something I have never eaten or made: Frozen Pumpkin Pie! Here is a recipe for one version if you also want to give it a go!

 

So no matter how traditional or trendy your Thanksgiving is, I hope that it’s a good one!

(Cover photo found via Google Images)

 

Woven Placemats

DIY

Today I’m bringing some DIY to the site with woven placemats! Having taken a number of fibers courses at SUNY Cortland, I have been looking for a way to incorporate more weaving into my life. I can across this idea in a book and decided it would be a fun and inexpensive weaving project.

True to what I thought, this project was enjoyable, simple and may prove inspirational to those of you who are already planning holiday gifts. Below you will find instructions on how to make these placemats for yourself.

  1. Fabric: The first step, of course, is to pick out your fabric. I used fabric from Walmart, picking several designs from the quilter’s quarters you can find in the sewing section. Of course you can also find fabric at most craft stores or reuse textiles from around your house.woven placemat fabric
  2. Cut: Once you have your fabric you can proceed to rip it into 1”-wide strips.
  3. Warp: In weaving, the vertical strings (or in this case fabric) that you weave onto is called the warp. To make my warp, I tied the fabric strips onto my small tapestry loom which, conveniently enough, is the same size as a standard placemat. If you do not have a tapestry loom, you can make your warp on a cork-board, securing the fabric strips with push-pins.woven placemat on looom.jpg
  4. Weave: Once your warp is finished you proceed to weaving. Simply follow the basic over-and-under weaving technique (like I did) or feel free to get more creative!

(If you are using the cork-board technique you may need to use pushpins to keep your weave in place.)

5.Tie: The last step is to tie the tails of the fabric strips together, giving the placemat a fringe. You can leave the fringe as long or as short as you want.

woven placemat.jpg

So, whether you are making these for your own dining room or plan on giving them away as gifts, these placemats are a fun project that will also give you a sense of accomplishment!

Fall Into Home

Decorating
My small, painted jack-o-lantern

Painted a pumpkin for a faux indoor jack-o-lantern

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in NY, people are obsessed with talking about the weather. Everyone loves to hate winter but simply loves fall. This past Wednesday marked the first day of the autumn season, what New Yorkers consider to be the best season of the year.

While there are a lot of great things about fall, one of the best is the atmosphere. Everywhere you look there are pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales and apple-flavored foods. But aside from sight-seeing, apple picking and attending harvest festivals, it is fun to change the atmosphere of your home.

Drastically different from summer, when all of your energy is put towards keeping the house cool, fall is when you make your house feel more like home. Embracing the season, here are a few things that I like to do:

  1. Light ’em up! To me, nothing says “home” more than a welcoming scent, especially something that sparks nostalgia. During this season, burning a pumpkin or apple scented candle is a pretty common theme.

    Seasonal magazines on the coffee table (Wall Street Journal’s fall fashion issue and Family Circle’s October issue)

  2. Simple Decor: Decorating doesn’t have to be all-out, and a sense of decor is different for everyone. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I know what I like. This year for fall I bought some fake leaves and pine cones and arranged them in mason jars. Simple and seasonal.
  3.  Cooking Again: All summer we avoid the oven and stove like the plague, hating the heat it gives off. But in the fall we can finally use these practical devices again. Whether it be apple crisp or chili, the fall is a great time to start rejuvenating your love for the kitchen (and food).

Long story short, you don’t have to be an expert decorator to make your house feel like a home, especially in this optimal season. Part of the reason fall so charming is because it is fleeting. So enjoy while you can!