Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful For The Forest

So this is why I spent the weekend painting pine cones and hazelnuts - for my Thanksgiving table, of course.

I don't usually fuss over holiday table decor. Let's face it, the platters heaped full of gorgeous food create plenty of beauty, and when you cut right through it, all this other stuff just gets in the way.

But this year, something within me just wanted a festive woodlands-y vibe to set the mood for the meal. And while my budget for this enterprise was exactly zero, I set out to use what I already have to summon up a bit of forest charm.

^ The dishes were wedding gifts and have seen many a festive family feast. Still, those charming little wild flowers seem perfect for my natural theme, and the simple pewter bread and butter plates take the edge off the china dishes' fancy pants. 

^ My mother-in-law's silver service is a non-negotiable addition to any special event at my table. The formal design is not necessarily to my typical taste but the sentimental value is over the top, and even though I have a bit of my own silver, I like to use hers best of all. Reminds me of all the family and friends who are with us not in body but in spirit.

^ In and around and among the place settings are scattered my painted pine cones and nuts, along with a few candles and some gold leaves that I've had on hand for years, wondering exactly what I should do with them. Little did I know that someday their lacy, open texture would perfectly simulate a layer of decomposing leaves on my dining room table. 

^ Of course, no forest would be complete without a few furry creatures. I gathered up a few bunnies from around the house - this one came in from his usual place in my garden - and nabbed two more from the thrift store. 

^ While there are indeed native orchids in Pacific Northwest forests, they are not quite so showy and magnificent as the ones on my table. But still, these blossoms were already living in my kitchen, and they look just like the wild orchids I saw in Malaysian jungles. So that's close enough for me.

So there you have it - my Thanksgiving table interpreted as a forest floor with plates. This woodland scene, and the process of creating it, reminds me that our good and beautiful earth provides everything we truly need, and for that I am deeply thankful.

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Care for some more Thanksgiving stories?

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