Friday, November 26, 2010


This year for Thanksgiving, we invited several families that John works with over for lunch.  One family has just moved to Denver from India, and so it was nice to give them the typical, American Thanksgiving experience!  The other family is from Mexico, and although they have lived in the States for a while, it was nice to have their perspective on Thanksgiving as well.  We enjoyed Indian Samosas to start, turkey and all the American sides, and Mexican flan for dessert!

Here is my table, all set! (minus the kids' Gobble Gobble paper plates that I added later)
 My grandmother always served Thanksgiving on these Johnson Brother's turkey plates (the pattern is His Majesty).  Last year I ordered some for myself, to continue the tradition.  The best part is that mine are microwaveable and dishwasher safe!  Yay for easy clean up!
 Doesn't the wreath work well in here?
 The kids pulled the wishbone before all the guests arrived, and while John was carving the bird.  These aren't great pictures, but I love how Grayson realizes before Caroline that SHE got the bigger piece.  No photos of the crying that came later.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Coffee Filter Wreath

Only 2 days before Thanksgiving, I decided not to clean the house, but to make a beautiful wreath to decorate our dining room for Thanksgiving.

Can you say "procrastination"?  I'm an expert.

With the kids down for nap, I gathered the materials I had purchased earlier in the morning:

-14" straw wreath form (half price of $3.47 at Hobby Lobby)
-200 natural coffee filters (99 cents on sale at Target)
-hot glue gun
-glue sticks (LOTS)
-scissors (didn't end up using)
-ribbon for hanging

I found A LOT of tutorials around the web for coffee filter wreaths.  And I picked and chose from the several I read to make up my own version.

I started with a straw wreath form, but I left it wrapped in the plastic cover.  I had read about this on a tutorial from The Nester.  The plastic wrap provided a nice even surface to attach the coffee filters.
 Then I covered the entire wreath with a solid layer of coffee filters.  I picked up this tip from Jones Design Company.  I was worried that if the coffee filters didn't completely cover, I didn't want the straw/plastic to show through.
 Then I started attaching the filters.  I don't have photos of this part, but I folded the filter in half, then in half again, then in half again (is that eighths?).  At first I was cutting the triangular end of the filter off to create a flat surface, and then attaching with hot glue.  (see it here)
This is about as far as I made it with that method.  It was just too hard to keep the filter folded up, standing up, and attached.  So I stopped cutting, and just folded that little end piece over, and using that to glue the filter to the wreath.

 Here you can see my little flaps glue down.  Despite having that little flap to adhere...I still burned my fingers on almost ALL 200 filters.  Ouch.
 About halfway done.
...200 coffee filters later!
I simply tied a brown satin ribbon around the wreath (you could attach with hot glue or pins) and tied the ribbon around my curtain rod in the dining room.
I had considered hanging it on the mirror along the opposite wall, but I was afraid you could see the ugly back in the mirror's reflection.  Plus, simply tying it on the curtain rod was SO much easier.
I'm very pleased with how the wreath looks with my goldenrod drapes from Restoration Hardware. Next, I'll show you how it looks with my Thanksgiving table all set!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Entry stairs

We've all heard "First impressions are lasting impressions" right?

So, I'm now drawing inspiration for a grand entry area in our new house. 

{We all know this house does not yet exist, right}

Our house in Colorado does not really have an entry to speak of.  Oh, it has a front door, and a little patch of wood flooring before you're thrust into the formal living area.  But in my dream house, there would be a nice space dedicated to entering! 

There would be, or course, a staircase.  Preferably one with a modern, metal railing.

Also, a table.  Displaying things kids aren't allowed to touch! (or books and mail.  Let's be realistic!)

Maybe a picture gallery up the wall...or down the hall.

 White walls, brown wood flooring

 and plenty of gorgeous moldings!

Of course, since we mostly enter our home through the garage, maybe I should be focusing on the mudroom instead!