Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Mail

Thanksgiving Inviation 2015, paper leaves, vintage ledger paper, vintage Avery metallic tape, Japanese stampI finally finished my Thanksgiving invitation…about three hours before Thanksgiving. I wasn’t feeling very inspired in November but I really wanted the invitation to include the vellum ledger paper and vintage Avery metallic tape I bought on Instagram. (Note: Vintage paper sales on Instagram are very addictive. And fun.)

I always try to add a quote to our Thanksgiving invitations. (Here’s a list of some favorites.) “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way” is a Native America saying and I love how optimistic it is. I typed it out on a leaf that I cut from patterned paper and layered it with some other leaves from my stash. I added a strip of the vellum and a bit of the tape and a Japanese stamp. Done, right? Well, no. I had to make a mess of things and try to stamp the year on the top with my giant number stamp. But I didn’t press down hard enough and the numbers were messed up so I had to write over the numbers…anyway…I’m trying not to dwell on the numbers…or the fact that I handed the invitation to my parents when they walked in the door on Thanksgiving Day…Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail artI did send some other Thanksgiving mail. A few weeks ago I attended the LWA letter social at my library and there were some vintage books available for mail art. I had too much fun choosing images for mail art. And when I didn’t use vintage paper, I had fun using postage stamps and turkey stickers to jazz things up. (That Write More Letters postcard is from Craftgasm. I added the turkey.) Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 2 Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 3 Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 4And now…holiday card season begins. Once I finish decorating, that is.

Have you started your cards yet?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Thanksgiving 2015

Naoto, Trader Joes Turkey, Thanksgiving 2015Another Thanksgiving is in the books. Naoto cooked a perfect turkey, his famous stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I made Kathy’s grandma’s cranberries and my mom made a veggie tray and a caramel apple cheesecake. Everything was delicious and the day was relaxing. We watched a lot of Leave It To Beaver…you can’t get more wholesome than that! Thanksgiving Table 2015, vintage dishes, Taylor, Smith & TaylorThe table was really simple, just some paper leaves and the usual corn and turkey. Jackie gave me that fantastic pumpkin a couple months ago and it was perfect for the table! I found the candlestick holders at Goodwill last month and I loooooove them for fall. They fade from red to a golden yellow and are groovy-good. And I sprinkled my Field Notes Shenandoah leaf buttons on the table, too. sidecars, Thanksgiving cocktailBecause I already had the cognac out and lemons squeezed for the cranberries, I made us some Sidecars. I spend too much time scoping out seasonal cocktail recipes (usually on Pinterest) but I always find that those are too sugary for my tastes. I can always find a good classic cocktail that fits the bill just fine. Since even my mom enjoyed the Sidecar, I think it will become a new Thanksgiving tradition. thanksgiving table, thanksgiving plate, Taylor, Smith & TaylorI made new place cards with my Yellow Owl Workshop stamp and stuck a glittery turkey sticker on the plate this year. Presley's thanksgiving, thanksgiving place card, Yellow Owl Workshop stamp setEven Presley got her own place card and plate of turkey and gravy!

Today I’m going to finish putting away the Thanksgiving decorations and start pulling out the Christmas stuff. Naoto and I bought our tree last night so I’m excited to get started on the decorating festivities. I have strict feelings about waiting until after Thanksgiving to move into the Christmas season, but once Thanksgiving is over, I’m all in.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you try any new recipes I need to add to our list for next year?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Our Thanksgiving 2014

thanksgiving table 2014, centerpieceAnother Thanksgiving is in the books and the world (and our apartment) is moving on to Christmas. As usual, Naoto whipped up a delicious meal and my mom made a yummy spiced apple cheesecake for dessert. thanksgiving table 2014, table setting, yellow owl workshop placecard stampI wasn’t feeling especially inspired, so I set a simple table this year. I crafted a “centerpiece” from a turkey on a stack of books and some candles, similar to last year’s table. I used some thrifted paper turkey napkin rings and I made place cards with my Yellow Owl Workshop place card stamp. yellow owl workshop place card activity kit, thanksgiving placards, embossedI embossed the stamp in copper and typed our names. Simple…and with a table of four, it is really important that everyone can find a spot at the table! thanksgiving 2014, my mealIt was a delicious, relaxing day…I feel like Thanksgiving is the end of the calm part of the year, maybe that’s why it’s my favorite.

How was your holiday weekend?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

vintage thanksgiving postcardHappy Thanksgiving to all of my friends in the U.S. (and those celebrating outside of the states!) I hope everyone enjoys delicious meals with their families & friends.

(Vintage postcard from 1914, sent from D.E.C. in St. Paul, Minnesota to Mrs. Henry R. in Alabama for 1 cent.)

Thanksgiving Preparations Roll On…

thanksgiving cook booksEvery year I say I’m going to be more organized for Thanksgiving and every year, it sneaks up on me and I find myself struggling to keep it all together. Yesterday I finished grocery shopping, only to realize we didn’t have any turkey bags leftover from last year. So I had to make an early-morning run to the Jewel today. (Thankfully I beat the crowds and qualified for the express check-out!)

Today, I’m cleaning the apartment and having an internal debate–should I clean the oven now, or after Thanksgiving? (It’s really bad…many a frozen pizza disaster rests on the bottom of the oven.)

Our menu is going to be pretty much the same as last year: turkey, this Giada stuffing, Kathy’s grandma’s cranberries, mashed potatoes & gravy, maybe these carrots, a salad and whatever dessert my mom is bringing. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’m secretly hoping Naoto carves the turkey like a ninja:Foxtrot Comic 11-23-14

Tagged , , ,

Thanksgiving Invitations 2014

thanksgiving invitation with Paper Source acorn kitThanksgiving crept up on me this year. My mind has been occupied with other things and I didn’t have any real inspiration for an invitation. So, I went with leftovers…fitting, eh?

A few years ago, I made our Thanksgiving place cards with this Acorn kit from Paper Source. I had some leftovers, which I saved and used as a garland or something last year. Anyway, one acorn got a new life as an invitation. I typed out a basic note on vellum and cut it out with a circle punch. Then I tied the vellum on with a little gold and white twinethanksgiving invitation with Paper Source acorn kit and vellum envelopeI used a vellum envelope embellished with some squirrel and leaves washi tape and I used one of my “vintage” Thanksgiving stamps (a purchase from the Stamp King of Chicago.) vintage Thanksgiving stampSeriously, that stamp is a cornucopia of postal goodness. (If you’re interested, here is a little article that shows the USPS Thanksgiving stamp offerings.) thanksgiving invitation with Paper Source acorn kit and vellum envelopeHere it is, all packed up.

And now…back to cleaning and menu planning!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Our Thanksgiving 2013

vintage style thanksgiving tableIt’s not too late to share our Thanksgiving, right?

Naoto and I hosted my parents for Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday afternoon. As usual, we had a grand time with them, cooking, eating, drinking and cleaning up the massive kitchen mess. And as it has been for the past seven years, Naoto did all of the cooking (except the cranberries!) and I did all of the cleaning and decorating. Nourishing Notes apronIn honor of his Thanksgiving duties, I gave Naoto this apron that I bought from Nourishing Notes during Show of Hands. He rocked the apron with his pajamas all day long. (It was a very relaxed holiday.) vintage thanksgiving tableEver since I made the vintage ephemera Thanksgiving invitations, I had visions of incorporating some more ephemera into the table centerpiece. And, since I was using old paper, it only made sense to get vintage colors and vintage dishes into the mix. The wonderful thing was, other than the flowers, I had everything I needed right in my china cabinet and buffet. (It pays to be a dish hoarder sometimes.)vintage thanksgiving tableTaylor Smith Taylor Brocatelle Vintage DishesI was excited to use my vintage Taylor Smith Taylor dishes. My mom and I found a whole set at a thrift store for $10 a few years ago and I bought them with the intent of using them for Thanksgiving. They were perfect for the table this year. (And thanks, Mom, for hand washing them after dinner!) Naoto carving the turkeyNaoto’s turkey was perfect, the stuffing was amazing (in spite of a close call with an almost-forgotten egg) and, along with the cranberries, we enjoyed fluffy mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted cauliflower, Hawaiian rolls and a tasty caramel apple cheesecake that my mom made. There is a reason I look forward to this meal every year. (But man, am I ever ready for pizza after the long weekend of leftovers!)thanksgiving dinnerThe chef was glad to have another successful year under his apron belt. chef naotoToday I am (finally) putting away Thanksgiving for another year, and hopefully dipping into the Christmas decorations. We are hosting two small parties the next two weekends, so time to break out the Christmas spirit. It’s one of those years when retailers make you feel like you’re running behind…cheers to enjoying the season!

If you’d like to relive Thanksgiving 2012, go here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Vintage Ephemera Thanksgiving Invitations

DSC_0008I am happy to report that my Thanksgiving invitations are done and in the mail! Seriously, where is this month going? At one point I felt crazy for starting to think about these invites so early, then they barely made it into the mail in time.vintage ephemera thanksgiving invitationThey aren’t super complicated, but I had a lot of fun putting the mini collages together. Everything on the invite is vintage except the little strip of washi. I needed another metallic element to complement the gold seal. Once I saw the old BINGO cards in my stash, I knew I wanted them to be the base. I love the yellowed paper and the graphic numbers as a background. And of course I had to use my typewriter since tags don’t feed into my (non-existent) printer. I typed out my message and played around with the placement of the vintage postage stamps and gold seals (from a Saturday Morning Vintage Thanksgiving paper pack and fall ephemera bundle) . I pasted everything on with my favorite glue stick because, as I learned at the Halloween Mail Art Workshop, glue sticks work best with delicate vintage papers. The invitation above is the one I sent my parents. The maroon stamp on the bottom (with the gold star) is in honor of railroad workers. My maternal grandpa worked on the railroads, so I think my mom will appreciate that little detail. vintage ephemera thanksgiving invitationsI had the fig-colored envelopes in A2, which was 1/8 inch too small…so I had to go out and buy some roomy A6 fig envelopes. I made another collage on the front of the envelope with papers from from my ephemera packs (the leaf is a playing card!), some MT washi tape, an old gold border label and a new sticker (Paper Source). vintage ephemera thanksgiving invitationI lined my envelopes with marbled paper from Blick. I love this paper. It had a gorgeous mix of maroons, greens, golds and silvers…so dreamy. (And it was in my paper stash ready to be spent out!)

So there they are…done for another year. Now it’s time to work on ideas for the table and…clean!! vintage ephemera thanksgiving invitationsFor more Thanksgiving shenanigans, go here.

Have a good weekend! I’ll be busy today and tonight cramming for book group! The Sea-Wolf here I come!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Easy Thanksgiving Invitations

easy thanksgiving invitationsI’m still finishing the real Thanksgiving invitations. I had to go out and buy a bigger envelope size (defeating the purpose of using up my stash, but I’m really excited about how the invitations turned out so I needed the just right envelope color!)

When I was playing around with ideas for Thanksgiving invitations (before rediscovering my stash of vintage ephemera) I came up with these as an option. We don’t have a home printer. (Ours broke over a year ago, and I after sifting through thousands of online reviews, I couldn’t make a decision. At this point, I question whether we really need one.) So I decided that my typewriter would be my printing method. I found these leftover paper leaves in my fall decorations bin. The leaves come in a variety of colors, but the ones I chose are shimmery gold. It’s not a perfect paper for the typewriter, especially since my new ribbon is pretty inky, but they worked out okay as long as I didn’t smear the ink with my fingers. The oval-shaped leaf was easy to work with but the “oak” leaf gave me problems because all of its little bumpy edges kept getting stuck as I typed each line…it’s fine though…the little tears just look like texture.

Once I was done typing, I pasted the leaves onto some shimmery antique gold cards and topped them off with a little piece of washi tape. I’m going to put them in some leftover fig envelopes (from Thanksgivings past) and send them to my brother and sister and their families. They don’t join us for Thanksgiving, but it’s always nice to be invited, right?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

my mom’s twinkie cake

When Hostess filed for bankruptcy the week of Thanksgiving (which, for the record, is very sad to me…even though I have probably only eaten five Twinkies in my whole life and even though hopefully some other brand might buy the product rights and the Twinkie may make its comeback in the future), I joked to my mom that she should bring her Twinkie cake for Thanksgiving dessert. I know, I know…we followed our completely traditional Thanksgiving meal with something completely nontraditional…it was delicious!

This is one of those old-school recipes that I loved as a child. Ahhh…the innocence of childhood…when I didn’t realize that blue can of Crisco was filled with artery-clogging hydrogenated oil…sigh…Now, as a semi-responsible adult, I am a label reader and I manage to talk myself out of many treats that list hydrogenated oil in the ingredients. I make an occasional exception (Chewy Sweettarts are one.) and to me, this Twinkie cake is one of the best exceptions.

This recipe comes from my mom’s recipe box, and her recipe says it comes from her mom’s kitchen. (We all have these recipe cards in our recipe boxes.) I’m sure my grandmother found the recipe somewhere else, maybe from one of those church cookbooks where recipes get passed around to all of the members of the tiny, small-town congregation. And, I should also say that this cake isn’t meant to be one of those fake-out recipes…it doesn’t taste exactly like a Twinkie. It lacks the weird sponginess and the sugary, light and fluffy filling. The cake (from a box-mix) is dense and moist and the filling is rich and creamy. It has the spirit of a Twinkie, but it is decidedly homemade (and delicious.)

 

Twinkie Cake

Box of Yellow cake mix
Prepare cake per directions.
Bake in jelly roll pan
Cool

For the filling:

5 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
Cook over low heat until thick like paste.  Cool

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oleo*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat well. Cream together until fluffy.
Add the thick flour & milk mixture once cooled. Beat again until fluffy.

Slice cooled cake in half. Spread fluffy filling on half & then put remaining half on top.
Refrigerate. ENJOY!!

If you’d like to make a HoHo cake, use chocolate cake mix instead.

In spite of the fact that my dad ate three (!!!) pieces on Thanksgiving, we still had some cake leftover for Naoto & I to enjoy over the weekend. mmmm…

 

*oleo=margarine

 

Tagged , , , , , ,