Thursday, November 4, 2010

Martha Stewart Inspired Thanksgiving Day

I love watching Martha Stewart, she always has the best ideas. I saw her painting gourds and pumpkins on her show and decided to try it for my Thanksgiving centerpiece last year. It took a bit of time, but I really enjoyed painting and creating the design as I went.

I recycled a Halloween pumpkin which I had already been using for my table centerpiece. I had attached a couple of dried fall leaves to it's top and decided to carry through this idea for my Thanksgiving table centrepiece.

I started out by painting the whole pumpkin Martha Stewart green, then hand painted on gold swirls, and last I added glitter-glue dots for a sparkling jeweled look. While painting, I placed the pumpkin on a lazy-Susan so I could turn it, while working on it, without actually touching the wet paint. Last I gave it a couple coats of clear paint to seal it and give it a nice shine. 

I also painted the stem gold and attached a couple of fall leaves that I had dried ahead of time and also painted gold by hand. I decided not to spray paint them as I figured that they'd probably just blow away! I used regular acrylic paints for the whole project; pumpkin, stem, swirls, sealer and leaves.

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I had gathered several fall leaves from outside and carefully pressed them in heavy books between sheets of waxed paper. When they were dry, I hand painted them gold and tied them to the chandelier with fine gold thread so they would look like they were fluttering from the trees on a breezy fall day. 

I love natural things from nature, so I gathered a few berries and buckeyes from places I had noticed while out riding my bike. The berries circled around the pumpkin were purchased from Michael's Crafts. I arranged my gathered treasures on the table around the pumpkin, also using some painted gold leaves and a couple of fresh green and red pears.

The table was set before the guests arrived, but there was still a few things left to do. My sister and son, (standing in the back), graciously offered to help me with last minute food preparations which made Thanksgiving more fun!

I set out my Mikasa bone china and Oneida silverware, only brought out on special occasions. I folded the napkins in the wooden napkin ring holders that I had also painted gold, to match the leaves and pumpkin stem. I absolutely love candles and the romantic mood they set, so I placed a votive, in a glass votive holder, on each place setting.

I couldn't resist lightly glittering the top of each glass votive holder to give it that little added sparkle, (Martha Stewart would have too!). It was so easy just smearing a tiny bit of glitter-glue around with my finger and letting it dry. Then I placed a golden leaf under each votive for a simple elegant look.

The turkey was done and the crystal glasses were filled, it was time to light the Thanksgiving table's center candles. It is a tradition in our home for the hostess to do the candle lighting honors, signifying that she is ready to serve the meal, and that would be me!

I like to change the lighting, after the candles are lit, to see what mood setting I like the best. This was with the chandelier lights turned all the way down, not as warm and glowing as with them on, but still kind of a pretty look.

The turkey had rested, the candles were lit and it was time to call all of the guests to come sit down together for the Thanksgiving feast. You can see how the hanging gold leaves would catch the light from the flickering pillar candles.

 My guests and I were seated, (all but one, kind enough to be the photographer), and ready for the feast, but not before a few more photos were taken to remember this special day. My big sis holds up a glass of sparkling Martinelli's and makes a cheerful toast to family getting together on Thanksgiving Day!

The Thanksgiving meal was enjoyed by all, and my Stewart inspired pumpkin centerpiece got a couple of nice compliments. 

Years ago I recovered my dining room chairs in a dusty pink upholstery velvet, and they just didn't go with the green and gold pumpkin. So I made some new simple chair seat covers by sewing two layers of fabric together, turning right side out and then sewing a casing around the edges. Then I threaded matching ribbon through the casing and drew it up tight around the seats, tying it tightly. I also sewed ribbons to each corner of the covers to secure them by tying bows around the chair's legs. The seat covers are reversible with an Autumn leaves fabric on the other side.

I already had these bare wood, fall, wall hangers but could never decide just how to paint them. But I finally knew what to do with them last year and hand painted them to match the color scheme of my Thanksgiving table. Then I clear coated them with acrylic sealer and hung them on the wall nearby the table.

I also hung a Thanksgiving wreath, I had made a few years earlier, on the wall by the dining room table. It didn't exactly go with the color scheme of everything else, but it added a little bit of color to my white walls. For this year's Thanksgiving I have a new tablecloth that this wreath will go with nicely. The next time I use the sage green tablecloth and gold place mats, I will have to make a new festive wreath to match, and I know just right person to inspire me!

My M.S. inspired pumpkin lasted a very long time after Thanksgiving, but I could not figure out how to preserve it forever. Maybe Martha Stewart has the secret! It was one of a kind made for that one very special day and now I am glad I have some pictures to share.

Please forgive me for not adding the CSI Blogger button here, I was unable to get it on this page. I do however have the buttons on all of my other posts within this blog site and on my side bar.