Friday, November 2, 2007

November Newsletter and Special of the Month

Once a month, The Attic likes to share a newsletter by Kathy Wilson, the Budget Decorator. This month is no exception and she's offering some really great ideas for decorating your Thanksgiving table (see, I can think past Christmas for a minute - or before Christmas, if you will.) Take a minute and read her article. Her idea for homemade napkins is really original (to a non-crafter like me anyway) and it sounds pretty easy.

Also, our special of the month for November is this beautiful lighted church which retails for $49.95. It is regularly priced at $39 in our attic but for the month of November we are offering it at $29. Plus, on all other items, bloggers save an additional 5% (to help with shipping costs) when upon checkout you enter the coupon code: Blogger.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

How-To Warm up Your Thanksgiving D├ęcor, with “Creativity, Not Cash!”
By Kathleen Wilson
The Budget Decorator

Thanksgiving is a special time in our homes, when we all take a little time to appreciate the gifts and blessings in our lives. My number one blessing, as yours, is my family and friends! So let’s find some great ways to make your home a warm, inviting place this Thanksgiving Day for all your loved ones, including you!

Use a natural theme. This might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people spend big bucks trying to glitz up this holiday. It’s about the harvest; being thankful for this beautiful earth we live on, and the wonderful food we are so blessed to be given, so let’s celebrate that! It also happens to be a great way to decorate on a small budget! So bring nature into your home, and be thankful!

Most people just focus on the table for Thanksgiving decorating, and while that is indeed important, don’t forget to bring the beauty of autumn splendor into other areas of your home. Some quick ideas include picking up some silk garlands (right now they are on clearance to make room for Christmas stuff, check your craft store!) of autumn colors and drape them over doorways, windows, mantels, and artwork or mirrors. Collect leaves on your next walk in the neighborhood, and then press between paper towels and a book. Because they were already drying outdoors and were low on moisture, this will only take a few days! Now use your leaves to sprinkle over the hearth, the countertops, under candle displays, under glass top tables, tuck into picture frame edges, make them a picture in a frame…you get the idea.

Gourds anyone? These are a wonderful traditional decoration, but here’s a little money saving tip. If you have produce stands near your home, these are much cheaper than the grocery stores for gourds, squashes, and pumpkins. Don’t limit your self to the little mini ones, pile full size versions next to your front door, line a windowsill, fill baskets or fill the planter boxes or a wheelbarrow on the porch with great harvest vegetables!

Consider setting out simple ceramic or wooden bowls lined with a pretty cloth napkin or scrap fabric, and fill with some treasures from your next nature walk . Texture abounds with natural elements, and will warm up a tablescape, a coffee table, and a fireplace hearth. Try getting out the hot glue gun and affixing your items to the candles you packed away at the first sign of summer. Small glass jars make great votive holders when dressed up with a few pressed leaves and acorns. Fill a bowl or plate with goodies around large pillar candles and use as a centerpiece. If you can't find enough natural material near your home, check out the bulk grain section at your supermarket. Fall is about harvest, so any grain can be used to add that element to your home. Even cracked corn meant for the bird feeder can look great in a jar as a base for a candle.

Now, we aren’t going to forget the Thanksgiving table! This is your opportunity to show your loved ones how important it is to you that they are sharing your table this year. If you don’t have tablecloths, pick up a couple of green or gold sheets from Wal-Mart or a discount store for less than $3. You can even layer a couple of them if you wish. Don’t feel shy about pressing coffee tables or card tables into service if you need more room, just use those cheap sheets! If you run out of chairs, push a table up to a couch on one long side, and you will only need chairs for the other side. Set your table with all your dishware…it doesn’t matter if it all doesn’t match, or you had to borrow salad plates from a neighbor! Just keep the arrangement of each place setting the same, and it will tie it all together. For instance…dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, repeat with next placesetting. Distribute the different styles of dishware evenly throughout the tables, much the same as you would do with accent colors in a room!

Use cloth napkins, fold them into accordion pleats and place them in the water glasses. Don’t have cloth napkins? One twin flat sheet, a pair of scissors and some iron on hem tape (you could sew hems if you prefer) and you will have elegant napkins you can use again and again. A good size is 18x18 inches.

The highlight of the event? Your centerpiece of course! This is where your creativity comes most into play. Keep the centerpiece low so that guests can easily converse. I know many designers make beautiful tablescapes on lifts, and talk about height in an arrangement, but isn’t the people what it’s all about? Use your nature theme, gather up some pretty dishes and pitchers, and pick some fall flowers or grasses from the yard. Pile up gourds on platters, fill bowls with nuts and insert a pillar candle, add pretty dried grasses to a wonderful vase, use bowls of apples, lemons, or limes. Take small bunches of flowers, wrap a wet paper towel and some plastic wrap around the stems, and insert randomly into the bowls of produce. Float some mum flower heads in a clear bowl of water, or add some greenery between the other items on the table. Experiment with what you have available, what is affordable in your area, and what creates warmth in your heart. Try things several different ways, until you find a combination you like.

Above all, remember this is not about impressing others; it is about making a statement about how much you care they are in your home, and in your life. Enjoy your family, enjoy being creative while saving lots of cash, and enjoy the beauty of nature…and give thanks.

Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist, and editor of the free ezine, The Budget Decorator. For hundreds of free budget decorating ideas and info on her online workshops, visit her at

Blessing for the day: I know that I am blessed because I have housework to do. You can only have housework when you have a home!


FarmHouse Style said...

What a wonderful article, Julie. I love the simplicity of the ideas:) Thanks for sharing it.


lori said...

This is great...I have to come back and read it SLOWLY...It sounds like some great ideas here!!

Hey, can post a 'delighting in the details' post ALL WEEKEND!:)
come on, you have one in you!

I'll be back after classes!
lori said...

I love your site... so aweseome ...great tips... working on some new things... I guess I best get my rear in gear and finish so I can do a new post ...Christmas is such a fun time of year... all the festivities, the decorations...cookies....the midnight mass.... spending time with family...and those wonderful old Christmas albums... I am going to dig through my LP's I believe I may have one or two of the albums you mentioned in your post...



Anonymous said...

Girl Im as ready for christmas as you. Im about to start dragging it out! every time I sign on to your blog and hear the music. i wanna cuddle up to a fire with a book and some eggnog.

melissa @ the inspired room said...

Thanks for the wonderfully do-able ideas! Now I am scurrying off, back to the party, I do hope all of your friends will join us! We are having a grand time!


PS. Yes, you are a BFF for posting about the party in your side bar!

Alice said...

Thanks for sharing that. I love using natural decorations for Thanksgiving. The only thing I've learned not to use is acorns. They often seem to have little creatures living inside and once inside the warm house... said...

YOU SWEETHEART YOU!!! I missed that paragraph that you wrote yesterday on your give away post...that was so kind of you to mention me like that...I think I may be speechless... and that is hard for me to do ...stop talking LOL....

I get discouraged blogging sometimes because I dont always have a chance to really get into the posting part on my own and do little bits and pieces when I can people like you are what makes me want to continue

YOU JUST MADE MY DAY...Thank you!!!


Super Mom said...

Amen to your blessing of the day!

Kim ~ "HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

Great post, Julie!

You had wanted to know about the program I use for my pictures on my blog. It is called ArcSoft Collage Creator Version 1. It was one of those freebie programs that came with my HP printer/scanner/copier. I'm not sure if it's available for purchase or not...maybe you can "google" it!

Have a great weekend...and thank you for your kind words as always.
Love, Kim

Terri and Bob said...

Thanks for the article Julie! I love the ideas and like Lori, I am going to come back and read it when I don't have any interruptions.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Great ideas...Thanksgiving is such a fun many little time...we are off to check out her website!

smiles, kari and kijsa

BellaColle said...

Oh yes! Thank you for sharing! I love all those ideas!
and that is an awesome way to look at housework!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I love a nature theme!!! Perfect for Christmas and Turkey day :)

Sharon said...

Hi Julie!

What great tips! I love Thanksgiving!

Hugs! Sharon

Esther Sunday said...

Thanks for passing on this good stuff! Love, Esther

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Julie, those are great reminders of how to make the holidays special. I'm determined to go with more natural things this Christmas, instead of too much I normally do. can't wait!

Hugs, Rhoda

Sweet Remembrance said...

Love your blessing of the day...

Cottage by the River said...

Julie- What a wonderful thought for the day and a great article. I love checking your blog everyday!

Sling said...

Wonderful ideas julie!..Elegant in their simplicity.
I think this is what celebrating the seasons are all about.

Meggie said...

Great tips for a festive Thanksgiving...thanks. I went to the Rogers flea market, lots of "stuff."

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Oh I love reading things like this Julie-so good to get lots of good ideas-thanks for posting!xx

Mademoiselle Emilie Eats said...

Thanks for sharing the article, Julie. I can't wait for some good Thanksgiving stories from you.

Michelle said...

Your newsletter was really helpful. I'm off to get my wooden bowls and napkins down.. then off to the craft store! Thanks for sharing such easy ideas ~ this can be hard sometimes.