Project Genesis

It is November 1st, I'm in shock, the holiday count down officially begins... Yikes!  I have good intentions, I start the New Year off well. I tucked  a few things away or at least grabbed, all the holiday paper, cards, etc when marked down. I add to my holiday shopping throughout the year, til  summer arrives, then  I get swept away.   It is that time of year again; I need to get my list and game plan figured out. My family usually changes their minds.  I want this, that and then it I hold off a bit to see what is the big ticket item; what they want most.

My post today is going to be about saving $ decorating for Thanksgiving.  Prices are going up, gas, food and I'm sure that means airfare, too. Today, I;m going to show you green ways, to use what you have on hand to create an unique holiday setting. Suzan of Old Grey Mare started this project; I love how practical all of the tips have been. You can check out her site and join in.  It is the lst day of each month or go back and glance at the posts.

It is time to think of November's beauty, as Fall continues it's display(at least here in the south). We can always be inspired by nature, pine cones, dried fruit, herbs, spices, leaves. etc.

I love setting the table, I'm didn't officially do it, but I want to give you ideas. I love potpourri, you know after you have it for a while, it needs to be freshened up.  You can buy essential oils or a blended one in a candle type store or some department store.   Add a few drops, mix in a bowl or ziplock bag and you have that amazing scent.   Me, I didn't have any blended oils, left.  I decided why not use my orange spice tea.
   I opened  two, spicy tea bags and dusted the potpourri. If you don't have this tea, perhaps you have a herbal blend that would perk up your mixture. Just adding spices:  cinnamon sticks, anise stars and cloves, really made my house smell warm n' inviting.

What to cover the table with, I have in reality only 2 maybe 3 table cloths.  I found a vintage top sheet at thrift shop that could work ,then add another layer on top.  I even thought about using this coffee burlap bag in the center of the table.   I have used painter's drop cloth, unused on my table, it is an oatmeal type color for a back drop.  Anything goes, as long as you like it~

Here you can see the burlap bag, off to the left a table cloth, the top sheet, on the right a huge curtain.
Try different items to see what works for your style.

I decorated cookie cutters for a fall look, but  you could use this as they are for napkin rings.

Here is a vintage tea towel, with apples on it.  I love these, I use them to wash my fruits and veggies, but I thought how fun as a napkin.  Here is a tiny grapevine wreath with raffia and some star anise.  Or you could do this:

Here I just glued some burlap type ribbon and added
a stuffed bird and some velvet leaves.  OR

      Here is a vintage biscuit cutter, you could use either paper or cloth napkins.                                                                                     
In the garden section of most department stores, You will find these coconut husk basket marked down.  I had an extra one on hand, bought two, didn't use one.  Cut a pie section out, then roll into a cornucopia shape. You can pin it or glue it with a glue gun. Then add whatever you like to decorate, fruit, nuts, dried or silk flowers, leaves or potpourri.  You can glue ribbon on the end for added details and hang if you prefer or use as a decoration for your table.  When my kids were little they helped with our decor.  They like to make a paper turkey and the waffle ice cream cone cornucopias.  The children love to be part of making something that adds a special touch to the table.  When I was young, Thanksgiving was so big, we had two tables one  for the adults; one for the children.  Later the tables were connected. 
My Uncle use to make these, My Aunt painted them.  It is a kit, to turn your pumpkin into a turkey. All the pieces including the turkey's head have nails in them to put in your pumpkin bird.  I usually have an orange pumpkin, this year I chose white. I may have to paint some freckles on Tom Turkey.

It is a great way to recycle your Halloween pumpkin.  I just put him outside, so the cool air, with keep him around til Thanksgiving.

 I thought about making either place cards with photo memories or a Family tree. Take some branches and arrange in a vase and make leaves with photos of family that are no  longer with us or unable to attend our holiday. It is a great way to reflect on family and special friends, who are extensions of our family. It will add to the conversation...remember when Uncle Al did _______.  

I used a wine cork and cut a slit in it. Then added a little gift, I made out of my grandparents photo.

OR you could write place setting name tags and make it fancy.  
 Here is one leaf on my family tree(Yes, you have seen this before)  I scanned baby photos of my parents,brother n' me and made a maple leaf out of them.  I think branches decorated with leaves individual or by family would be a fun addition to your special day~   Leaf:  my Dad, top left, my Mom top right; Me bottom left, my brother bottom right.

Here are some links you might like:   Newspaper leaves(I might do this one, so pretty)

                                                        Maple leaf roses(gorgeous, so want to try this one, too)
                                                         Twelve ways to have a Green Thanksgiving; I know one of these will
                                                         shock you.  It did me...but it is a good idea.

                                                          More Eco-friendly ideas


Olive Cooper said…
Your turkey pumpkin is darling!
Ellen aka Ella said…
Hi Olive-It was my clever Uncle Al's idea!~ I love it, too~ Thank you, I will tell him!
erin said…
love your family leaf!!
Olive Cooper said…
Hi Ellen, I lost 50lbs over about 10 mos with Weight Watchers. It is healthy and doable for a lifetime.
oldgreymare said…
Love the recycled pumpkin into a turkey and family leaf!

Is there anything left in the kitchen you didn't use? Good for you!


I can smell the cinnamon and spices. Good for you! xoxo
Sherry Blue Sky said…
These are all fabulously eye-catching and wonderful, Ellie! I LOVE the cornucopia BIG-TIME.......also love the look of your site with the header and background...........the placecards with the photo of your grandparents are awesome, what a heartwarming idea for family gatherings, especially to honor those no longer here. Some fabulously creative ideas. Just wonderful!
Jillayne said…
Lots of great ideas here. Thanksgiving is such a big holiday for the USA and it could certainly get pretty pricey, especially with Christmas following right behind. These would be real money-savers!
I like the look of those dried oranges or grapefruit, how do you dry them Ella?
Anonymous said…
This is a great post, Ellie...everything looks wonderful the way you've pulled it all together! I love the special touches..your little red cardinal, those great apple cloths..and the family photo place cards are just brilliant. I'm inspired to try a few of these ideas myself..thank you...:)

Anonymous said…
I forgot to tell you how much I love your new page's stunning!
Ellen aka Ella said…
Lynette-Thank you; It was fun, to pull together.
I tend to be more home spun for Thanksgiving. The razzle dazzle stuff for me is more Christmas n' New Years. We have a small gathering for Thanksgiving; Thanks for visiting me!

Dezmond-You can dehydrated them or slow cook them in an oven. I found the idea here:
There are several ways to do this, as you will read. I did the dehydrated method, but I may try this on a damp, rainy day(tomorrow)

Hi Jillayne-It does add up; I always try to have cloth napkins, paper too. You could go more elegant to. I have used pearl bracelets or beaded ones for napkin rings. The elastic ones, you can wrap around the cloth, it amps up the style. Thank you for stopping by~

Sherry-We have had photos around, but I really think I might try the tree this year. It means more for the family to see the relatives, not just hear the stories. Thank you!

Colette-Nothing like those spices to awaken the senses and those memories!

Suzan-You are funny; Oh, there is plenty still floating around. I didn't get into the Depression ware, passed down from my great mother. The pink is my favorite~ lol

Hi Olive-Congrats, that is wonderful; Well Done! Thank you!

Hi Erin-Thank you, I used it for another post, but I love seeing my parents so young~
thanks, Ella, I shall try that :)