I've been thinking about my first Thanksgiving that I hosted, way back 1996. Don and I were newly-wedded-love-birds and I was working on the set of the movie Contact. What was I thinking? I was working six 14-hour days per week. But I did it. I pulled it off. I stressed over that meal for weeks, every detail carefully planned out.
Boy, how things have changed. I may still work 14-hour days, but extensively planning a meal is long gone. Heck, I didn't even buy a turkey or my fix-ins until late Wednesday. Despite my "I've got no turkey" mantra, the lack of a turkey really didn't bother me that much. I have a very picky family, so as long as I stick to the status quo, I'm okay. The hard part was finding time to get to the grocery.
But what I do love to fret over is the Thanksgiving Table. I love a good tablescape! What was I thinking? I had nothing for this year's table pre-prepped. Well, nothing except a mind full of ideas, and thankfully a studio full of fabric.
You may remember that I'd wanted to make myself a new oilcloth tablecloth for the occasion, but time and materials got away from me. After making more than a dozen tablecloths for Modern June holiday orders, I just didn't have it in me to make one for myself. So, Wednesday evening I finally got started on something for our holiday. The rules were simple... NO SHOPPING and NO SEWING!
My inspiration was a page from the November issue of Country Living, but instead of craft paper I went with Chalk Cloth. The minute I saw the photo in the article, I was reminded of an idea I had been meaning to do for over a year. It was such an easy-peasy project, I really did love making it! And, it only took me 30 minute to complete. Sweet, right? Check out the step-by-step instructions at my Oilcloth Addict Blog.
The morning of Thanksgiving, I started setting the table and I realized that all my napkins were less than pretty. What to do... what to do? Make some of course! Within my fabric stash I found some lime, yellow and orange polka dot cottons that I then cut into 18" squares using my crimped rotary cutter. A set of 8 napkins in less than 45 minutes! Can't beat that! Nothing fancy here, just fun!
Around mid-morning I took some time to dig out my chalk cloth table runner, and I was able to plan out all the food placement in advance (and it looked really cute too!). This made enlisting help with delivering the food from the kitchen to the dining room even easier, because everyone knew exactly where to put each dish.
I have to say that the causal Thanksgiving Setting befuddled my In-Laws at first. I really wanted to make the point that this was a no-stress holiday, and we were all going to let go of the silly stuffiness that comes with this time of year. Once everyone knew that the "black stuff" on the table wasn't a tablecloth pad that I had forgotten to top off with a crisp white linen, they all came 'round, and we all spent over an hour scribbling away. Now, that's a Thanksgiving we will never forget, and that is what it is all about, isn't it? Making happy memories!