Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Holiday Trinity: Holiday 2, Turkey Day Prep!

So Halloween has come and gone. I'll admit, it's the least important of the Holiday Trinity for me. I like it, and as I've gotten older I've circled around to being MORE into it than I used to be, but it still pales in comparison for me to Turkey Day and Xmas!

Turkey Day is the middle child, unfortunately, when it comes to my excitement. Like Halloween, my excitement for it is growing as I'm getting older, but that's because I'm more involved in it now. Growing up, it was just a day where I feasted on Southern-style Thanksgiving foods made by my step-grandma, and we hung out watching basketball and movies. THAT'S IT. Boring, but delicious.

A few years ago, as my mother-in-law's work schedule started requiring her to work holidays, I offered to take over Thanksgiving, and we have it on the Saturday after. This benefits me nicely, in that I get to actually enjoy Thanksgiving the way I did growing up (yes, it can be boring, but it's also DELICIOUS), and yet I still get to host and cook the meal on my own! I've blathered about this before, so I won't repeat myself, other than to say that I'm aiming to extend the guest list this year. 3rd time's the charm, and the last 2 have been successful enough that I'm comfortable offering for my parents, siblings and their mom, and my cousins who live in town to join us this year. =)

I'm also going to work on more decorations this year. I bought the makings of a Autumnal wreath for the door at the Dollar Tree, and busted out my glue gun! For $6 and a podcast of "This American Life", I made this:

I considered making a tutorial, but honestly, there's not much TO this. I wrapped the ribbon around the wreath, then tied a knot and glued the knot to the wood. The pumpkin pieces were pre-"bunched" floral picks from Dollar Tree - all I did was bend the wire stems to wedge them in, and once I liked where I placed them, I used a glue gun to secure them. Then I picked some leaves from a bigger bunch of autumn leaves and filled in gaps where I saw fit.

Some tips for first-timers (in lieu of a step-by-step tutorial):
  • Fake flowers/plants are usually detachable and interchangeable - the second picture (which you'll notice is slightly different from the first one) shows me taking the "wheat" off the bunch on the left and adding it to a bunch on the right. I had an extra "wheat" and replaced another bunch that had a weird sprig-thingie on it. 
  • Use a variety of leaf shapes and colors - it's more visually interesting. Just place them around until you like how it all looks!
  • Start small and take frequent breaks to stand back and assess. This way you don't "gild the lily". I had to refrain from adding gold pinecones several times, but I'm glad I didn't use them (and I have other plans for them now, muahahahahaha).
  • Glue the pieces to the WOOD - plastic doesn't adhere well to plastic when the glue is hot, all it does is melt it. 
  • Use the individual leaves to cover areas where you can see the floral pick stems or where you could see the ribbon knot through the wreath (if you have that problem like I did). 
Other than that, it's all about individual tastes. Take it slow and enjoy the process - that's the whole fun of crafting!

I'll post my official Thanksgiving menu and plans for execution closer to the actual day, as well as my centerpiece/table decoration once I decide on it and how I plan to make it. (I'm fairly sure I know what I want!) Yay for the Winter holidays! Weather-wise, Spring is my favorite season, but the Fall/Winter holidays are my favorite time of year!


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