Tag Archives: Thanksgiving


naoto at thanksgiving thanksgiving table, vintage tablecloth, vintage dishes, table settings thanksgiving table, vintage tablecloth, vintage dishes, table settings thanksgiving food thanksgiving food naoto at thanksgivingIs it too late to share a few pictures from Thanksgiving?

It’s that time of the year again where I can’t believe it’s already December, yet this year seems like the loooooongest ever. My friend and I were talking about the famous Beyoncé pregnancy photo last night and I couldn’t believe that picture was from this year. (February to be exact.) Aren’t those twins toddlers by now? At the same time, I feel like summer was just here and we didn’t enjoy it enough and fall flew by in a blink.

Now we’re in the middle of the holiday season and time isn’t slowing down. The house is all decorated, but it’s still a mess because I haven’t put the decoration bins away yet. My goal for today is to get that done, vacuum and be ready to finish my cards in front of a Hallmark Christmas movie tomorrow afternoon. As far as other holiday goals go, I’d like to:

  • bake cookies
  • make some Chex Mix
  • host a tiny gathering (mostly because I want to make a cheese ball)
  • finish my cards by the 10th (and spend out most of my holiday sticker and card stash)
  • mail gifts to faraway friends before the 15th
  • rate all of the Hallmark Christmas movies
  • paint one of those ceramic Christmas trees
  • go to Chris & Heather’s 20th Anniversary Calendar Show
  • make some holiday cocktails for Hasegawa Happy Hour

Let’s see how I do with my list. Anything special on your holiday wishlist?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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.

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10 Things

Presley nappingHere are ten things I’m thinking about this morning before I get to work:

1. I need to be a better weekly housekeeper.

2. I should have finished cleaning out the spare room last week.

3. I can’t believe I got all of the grocery shopping done in one shot (okay, two shots if you count the fact that I had Naoto go to Jewel to grab some things on sale and our favorite ciabatta for the stuffing.) It will be a miracle if we really have everything we need for tomorrow’s dinner.

4. I’m more than excited to make this again this year. I’ve been craving it since September!

5. We got another new rug this week and I’m anxious to see how it fits…buying stuff for our home always feels so risky!

6. I’m meeting one of my pen pals in person on Friday. We’re going to Pieritz together.

7. We are making roasted cauliflower instead of green bean casserole tomorrow, but now I’m worried our meal might be too monochromatic.

8. Every weekend in December is already booked. I’m not used to being this social.

9. I’m excited to do my Christmas cards this year. Now that I’ve given up on making them myself, I can focus on writing in them and mail art.

10. I need to come up with a creative placecard idea for tomorrow…even though there are only four of us…it’s all about tradition.

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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!

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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?

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Vintage Paper Hoarder

vintage Thanksgiving papers from Saturday Morning VintageI am working on my Thanksgiving invitations today. I have a plan and it involves using up some of my vintage paper collection. I have a giant bin of ephemera that I’ve collected over time. Many things were purchased from Saturday Morning Vintage (Xenia’s shop is so good and most of what is shown above is from a Thanksgiving paper pack that I bought this year.) and from flea markets and thrift shops. Few things in life make me happier than discovering an old box of labels or flashcards at the thrift store.

As I was sifting through my ephemera stash, I was thinking about my 2013 goal to spend out. While I’ve done a very good job wearing out my clothes, using up my stationery and scrapbook supplies, eating my Japanese snacks and hanging up my artwork, I’ve been hesitant to use up the vintage stuff…the stuff that I can’t replace quite as easily… But it’s better to let these papers live on in another form (as mail art or an invitation) than to languish in a bin, right? So I spent part of my afternoon sorting through things and pulling out pieces for certain projects (Thanksgiving and Christmas related right now) and sorting the rest by color or style. I am now prepared to use up and spend out some of my collection. I’m moving a little bit of it onto my desk so it’s handy for mail art and leaving the rest in the bin ready for the next project.

Hopefully, I can finish up the invitations this weekend and show them to you next week, once they’ve arrived at their destinations. In the meantime, have a good weekend!

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