Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Week 3: DIY Placemats & Napkin Holders

What sights, sounds & memories does that word evoke in you?
For me, it's the whole package.
It's a time of spiritual reflection and worship, 
as I consider all the bounty God has blessed me with.
It's a relational experience,
as family & friends gather to share food and memories of the past.
And it's definitely a physical experience:
the smells, the taste & the eye candy!

As I prepared the decorations,
I wanted them to reflect all of those things:
Faith + Family + Food.
How much better can it get??!!

Pinterest was my source of inspiration, as usual! :)
I found the idea for these placemats, and although they took a bit of time, they weren't difficult to make.
I used a roll of brown wrapping paper I had on hand, and cut it in half the length of the paper.
Then I guestimated (my typical!) for the actual size I wanted them to be.
I adhered some lace to both edges to dress them up a bit.
Then I bought a white paint marker and wrote "Give thanks" on the one end.
The original source suggested writing "I am thankful for" and then adding lines below that for each person to write their own list. 
What a cute idea!

For the napkin holders, I used some burlap & twine I had on hand
and wrapped it around some basic white napkins,
which I also had on hand.
It's all about using what you got, right?

I used some reclaimed barn wood to display my table setting.
I am in love with old farmhouse tables, but since I won't be needing another dining room table anytime soon, I'll just be content with touches of old wood
in my decor!
I found the branches when Hadassah & I were on a run one morning,
and thought they would be the perfect touch 
with my upcyled vintage jars.
I love the look of tapers, so those completed a simple, yet rustic tablescape.

Today, I get to enjoy round 2 of Thanksgiving,
this time with my family!
I hope your celebration was a beautiful one,
and another reminder of all the gifts we've been given.
Happy weekend, friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week 2: Wine Cork Place Cards

Am I the only one out there who is getting excited about Thanksgiving?? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am hosting both families here this year, and I don't usually get to do that! Or maybe it's because of my personal rule: no listening to Christmas music until Thanksgiving Day. {I did break my rule, but only one time! My conscience didn't allow it and the music I found on youtube really wasn't that great.} Anyway, I digress. I have been contemplating menus, dreaming up decor and washing windows here in preparation for the festivities! I wanted to make some place cards with the stash of wine bottle corks I have, similiar to those I made for another church's Thanksgiving event.

They really are quite simple to make, and give an autumn vibe to your table. First off, I used a knife to slice about a 1/2" deep hole in the top. Then I took my daughter on a stroller ride, and we collected acorns! Just use some hot glue to fasten them on at the base of the cork. I also added a small green leaf for some color. Then you just need to make your name cards, out of any cardstock you have on hand. Or you can be cool and buy them so they look professional :)
:: A close-up of the cork with the acorn and leaf ::

And here you have it: my little "family" of place cards, for my family! Goodness, I'm ready to get this party started!!! And that's not all; be sure to check back next week to see what else is in the works.
Switching gears just a bit, I've been thinking alot about a thankful heart, and what that looks like. Some days, especially those that are full of sunshine and happiness, it's quite simple. But it's much more of a choice on those days when the baby is grouchy, the stack of bills seems overwhelming, and my supper is a far cry from the pictures in a cooking magazine. I had a few of those days recently, and the verse that came to my mind was "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18 What a challenge: giving thanks, no matter what situation I find myself in! And quite honestly, the struggles I face are quite trivial in comparison to the suffering so many experience on a daily basis. Read Katie's story here and I know you will be touched like I was! Enjoy your weekend....and don't forget to give thanks! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Week 1: Updated Mantel

As we approach Thanksgiving, I've been inspired by all of my friends who've taken the 31 days of Thankfulness challenge. Their comments on what they are grateful for is a beautiful reminder to live in constant gratitude. So, with that in mind, I decided to post a 4 week series featuring all things Thanksgiving! You in?? Let's get this party started!

My mantle was a source of frustration to me for quite a few weeks! After a few quiet hours on Sunday afternoon, I felt ready to tackle it again...and was much happier with the finished product!
This pear-shaped object is simply a light bulb wrapped in jute!
I used the same technique for an apothecary bottle that I had on hand, for a bit of a rustic vibe.

A friend gave me lots of miniature pumpkins, so I decided to have some fun decorating them. A few I sprayed in an ivory color...
...others were coated in a metallic cappuccino color. I tied lace around the middle of this pumpkin, and lifted it off to reveal this cute pattern!
The whole mantle, completed with a cozy fire! What do you think?
I have been an avid follower of Ann Voskamp for quite some time now, and found the quote I wrote on the chalkboard from her blog.
"Thankfulness is the deep, contented breath of peacefulness".
I need this today;
the reminder to live in thankfulness.
No matter what happens in the nation,
or in my personal life,
I have so much to be grateful for!!
Praying you live in the peace that thankfulness brings...Ruby

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ikea Shopping Trip!

Ikea is one of my favorite places to shop. Not only is there lots of eye candy, but their prices are some of the best you can find! When I was invited to join my sister and two friends in PA for a trip to Ikea and the Cheesecake Factory, I was all in!!! Since we don't have one of these fabulous stores locally, I jump at any chance I get to go! Add to that, a day with my girls: it was a win-win!

:: my beautiful sister & i ::

In all the excitement of getting left, I forgot to bring my camera along, so I decided to take some cell phone pictures of my favorite things to share with you!

There were some industrial-looking galvanized bins, in fun colors, and lots of capped glass bottles for a favorite drink.
They have oodles of flower pots, and these scalloped lace beauties caught my eye! Yup, one of them came home with me :)
This terrarium would be perfect in my living room!
Aren't these free-standing chalkboards adorable? I hope to get one when Hadassah is old enough to enjoy it.
I didn't take any pictures of the room settings, although they're delightful to browse through at leisure. There's so much inspiration there; a kind of Pinterest-overload!
I didn't mention how difficult it is to decide what to bring home, did I?
Here are some pictures of my purchases; I couldn't wait to show you!
I found this sweet little wicker chair, perfect for our little lady and knew I had to get it.
When I brought it home and set it up, I asked her if she liked her chair, and she sweetly replied "Yes!"

It's perfect for reading her favorite books....

....or snuggling with her dolls! It's her own little hang-out spot, and she looks all grown up when she sits there! I have visions of a cute pillow and throw to add to it...

These woven placemats had my name all over them! I have a mild obsession with textures, and these have mad texture, let me tell you!!

Don't they look pretty with my tableware? Now I'm in the mood for a party!

My dining room window was in serious need of some updating in the curtain department, and when I saw these patterned red ones, I thought they were cute!
My sister agreed that they would look great, but I still wasn't convinced I wanted to buy them.
So, into the shopping cart they went, while I tried to picture them in my house.
After walking away without buying them, I decided I really DID want them after all!
Ahh, are my bane.
I purchased them, and hung them up almost as soon as I arrived home!
But I'm still getting used to them.
I'm not 100% sold yet.
What do you think?  
And who wants to join me in my next Ikea trip?!