A Woodland Christmas Tablescape

by Trenda

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“Christmas in the Woods” ~  by Frances Frost

Tonight when the hoar frost falls on the wood,

And the rabbit cowers, and the squirrel is cold,

And the horned owl huddles against a star,

And the drifts are deep, and the year is old,

All shy creatures will think of Him.

The shivering mouse, the hare, the wild young fox,

The doe with the startled fawn,

Will dream of gentleness and a Child:


The buck with budding horns will turn

His starry eyes to a silver hill tonight,

The chipmunk will awake and stir

And leave his burrow for the chill, dark midnight,

And all timid things will pause and sigh, and sighing, bless

That Child who loves the trembling hearts,

The shy hearts of the wilderness.

Thinking of this sweet poem, I created a tablescape that is a little forest haven where woodland creatures … The shivering mouse, the hare, the wild young fox (:  can gather among snow sprinkled bird nests, glimmering candlelight, and fir trees.

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In keeping with the woodland theme, deep green “forest” plates, bought from Pier 1 years ago have embossed edges of leaves and are resting on a “snowy bank” of Battenbug lace place mats … a surprise gift Richard bought for me from a little boutique, aptly named “Waldenwood.”plates2.png

I love the juxtaposition of this rustic twig basket lined with the white luxurious Battenburg lace and filled with silver cutlery … an enchanting and charming caddy for a woodland picnic!

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Christmas fantasies are easily imagined while dining among this forest scene; a woodland “critter” perches at each place setting, lace napkins are tied with red and green plaid ribbon and are adorned with glass pinecone ornaments (a favor your guests can take home in remembrance of their picnic amidst the woods!) and individual salt cellars are placed at each setting for a “light dusting” of seasoning.

critters.png Look at these darling, tiny, sterling silver, salt cellar spoons!  I love using these “fairy spoons” and it feels so elegant adding salt in this old-fashioned and queenly way!

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Each crystal salt cellar is as unique as the pattern of the spoons; I can never decide which is my favorite!  The larger cellar is used for pepper and is placed on the table where several people can share it.

Well, my woodland table is ready and set but before decorating any more I am going to “O bed!  O bed!  Delicious bed … that heaven on earth to the weary head.”    ~  Thomas Hood 

And as I nestle down in my feathered nest, I’ll close my eyes and I … “will pause and sigh, and sighing, bless … That Child who loves the trembling hearts.”

Have a blessed week while you are busy preparing for … the birthday of the King!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments, below.

Come join me on a Christmas Blog Hop “Celebrate #55” with hostess’ Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and Decorate and Sandra from Sweet Sensations for more Christmas tablescapes.

 

Our Week of Thanks-giving

by Trenda

After all the shopping, decorating, cleaning, and cooking … I hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be!

For us … it was a wonderful, blessed week of our family “gathering together” again.  Days of mishaps and bruises … laughter and tears … “simmer’s” and smiles … indulgences and exceptions … understanding and camaraderie – all experienced with the blessed assurance that the emotions and remembrances shared were sheltered under the wonderful umbrella of Love … the halcyon days of our family!

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Beautiful autumn days …

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Park days & pizza …

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crafts with Grandma …

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A day at the zoo!

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 Feasting and football …

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golf cart rides … grandkid-time … and late night snuggles!

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and during it all … I was Thanks-giving! (: 

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Next … (:  I know you’re going to love this recipe I’ve included below!  It is one of my family’s favorite side dishes … Apple-Cranberry Salad and it is delicious, beautifully showy, and it is so easy to make!  I found this recipe years ago in the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Taste of Autumn” which was submitted by Carla Hyde from Fletcher, North Carolina.

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 I’m always collecting vintage dishes and planters and I love using them in unexpected ways in my home and on the table. This ruby colored salad is always the “crown jewel” setting on the table, but I think it looks especially beautiful in this petite Carnival Glass Punch Bowl that I was thrilled to find in an antique store, complete with 5 darling punch cups!

Apple-Cranberry Salad

  • 6-oz. pkg. of red colored gelatin (I use cherry)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 16-oz. can whole cranberry sauce 
  • 16-oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans and add more to taste!)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (I omit these)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  Add cranberry sauce and stir until berries are separated.  Add remaining ingredients; chill until set.  Makes 12 servings.

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What a blessing it was to be “gathered together” once again …. “to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known;  The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;  Sing praises to His Name, He forgets not His own.”  ~  Adrianus Valerius, 1597

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

I am delighted that you read my blog, today.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments you have, below.

 

 

“We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing …”

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As I woke and began preparing for the blessing of sharing “Thanksgiving” with our family, I kept recalling different events of our past year. My heart and soul couldn’t help but soar with thanksgiving as I began recalling all the Lord has blessed us with … helped us with … brought us through, and for His strength and blessed peace throughout the good and sad times of  our year.  This wonderful verse I read this morning “sums up” my feelings well.

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.  The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.  Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.  For you, my Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling …”  Psalms 116:5

Grateful for each of you; I hope you had a blessed …”Thanks-giving.” 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

Part 2 – A “Welcome Home” for Thanksgiving 

by Trenda

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Anticipating and looking forward to our family coming home next week, I love decorating and creating a “welcome home” for each dear person that will be here for Thanksgiving. Last week our “welcome home” to Thanksgiving began with decorating the front door.  Today, we’re going to take a peek behind the front door.

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As you walk in our front door the first thing you see is our antique buffet.  It’s a beautiful piece of furniture; I was giddy when I found it hidden away in a dark corner in an antique store in Tyler. (:  The interior cabinets and drawers are as beautiful as the outside and sometimes I imagine the buffet’s “past life” … and different hands than mine putting away carefully stitched napkins and tablecloths, or special Christmas dishes, into it’s confines.

Come on in!  I’m so glad you’re here! (:  On Thanksgiving, all desserts and pies are displayed out on the buffet; it’s a tantalizing spread for everyone who enters!

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The buffet is filled with autumn’s bounty and has a woodland feel with birch pillar candles, squirrels posing on oak leaves or peering into logs, little nests filled with acorns, and perching birds near their feeders!  A beautiful Fitz and Floyd harvest platter and charming squirrel dish.

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The Friendly Village dishes by Johnson Brothers are ready on chargers for the Thanksgiving tablescape and another stack of dessert plates are stacked on a plate server ready to be loaded with everything delicious!

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Woodland friends … 

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A favorite “souvenir” from a vacation spent in Italy … an inlaid wooden tea cart is stacked and ready to stand-in as a portable side table.  The tea cart is filled with necessary items for the feast … plus a few additional items for a little “glitz and glow!”(:

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Below … more Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dishes, a turkey platter, a stack of antique silver “nut” trays, a crystal biscuit barrel and a silver coffee service.

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Our fireplace is questionably (since it has to compete with the view outside!) the focal point of our living room … and is all “decked out” for Thanksgiving. 

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 Harvest has “spilled out” onto the mantle with pumpkins, clusters of grapes, bittersweet, and walnuts all accenting an autumn swag.

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clock3Our “Beau” Pilgrim (I told you we like to name things around here!) made by Fitz and Floyd resides over the Mantle Harvest and has his own thanksgiving offerings … some maize and a pumpkin, in his hands.

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A Thanksgiving wreath (DIY instructions in a subsequent post!) trimmed with a bow and ribbon that says … Count Your Blessings, Fall Harvest, Thanksgiving Tradition, and Give Thanks.

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Before I have the fun of setting our table for Thanksgiving, I keep a simple setting on the table with all the essentials needed for an cozy autumn meal enjoyed with any friends and family that arrive before “the day.”  A part of the tablescape and ready to disperse are  … a stack of Villeroy & Boch (design Naif) dinnerware, napkins encircled with mini grapevine wreaths (click here for instructions for DIY Autumn napkin rings) silverware in a ginger jar, etched glasses, and a creamer and sugar bowl for after-dinner coffee. 

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Gorgeous view beyond the window … twilight on the lake.

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An autumn ginger jar holds silverware …

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I love these etched glasses from Germany and they are particularly enchanting when filled with ambrosia or holding a miniature compote  …

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Little pumpkin showcased under a cloche …

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Looking around, I love how our “Cottage Green” looks festive and says “welcome home” to all for Thanksgiving.  Now, I have to get to the shopping, cleaning, and cooking done!!!  But, like the ribbon on the wreath says … during this “Thanksgiving Tradition” and the blessing of our “Fall Harvest”  …Count Your Blessings” and “Give Thanks.”

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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 Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.  

Veteran’s Day … honoring our veteran’s

by Trenda

Being married to a veteran, my eyes always “brim” when I hear the Star Spangled Banner … when I go to the Veteran’s Hospital … or when I hear the somber strands of Taps being played.  Today is a very special day.  This is a day I can collectively thank our veterans and tell them with a heart full of gratitude … “thank you for your service; thank you for your sacrifice; thank you for your selflessness.”

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A Day in the Life of a Veteran

Today I am writing about my husband … the strongest, most courageous, unselfish and unpretentious man I know … my very own soldier, my very own veteran 💗

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It’s because I am so very proud of him and all of our military heroes that I am writing this. I am writing this for those who have asked me over the years about Richard’s military career.  I am writing this for those who have wondered what it’s like to be a soldier.  I’m also writing this for those who wonder … why do we celebrate Veteran’s Day.

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This is a summary of the very last day my husband, Richard, ever flew a helicopter and the price he and his crew paid for helping others live a life that is filled with the freedoms we take for granted.

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While flying a Special Forces Team in on a rescue mission during the Vietnam war, the helicopter – my husband, Richard and Bill Seaborn were flying – came under attack and was hit by AK-47 fire, and a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) exploded into their ship, and destroyed the flight controls and they crashed headlong into the trees and into the jungle of Vietnam.

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Richard was knocked unconscious when the helicopter crashed, but his gunner was able to pull him out of the wreckage before the helicopter burst into flames.  For the next 6 1/2 months, Richard was in the hospital with head injuries, and bullet wounds in his hand, his ankle, and along his spine.  He had a broken jaw, a broken nose, shrapnel wounds all over his face and hands, and both eyes were hemorrhaged.  His leg was in traction and he had a broken femur, a broken tibia, a broken ankle, and all the toes on his right foot were crushed.  When he was finally released, he was still in a body cast.  His life was forever changed, but he never complains.

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Thankfully, Richard and 2 other soldiers in his crew, survived that day. However … sorrowfully, Bill Seaborn, Richard’s friend and fellow pilot and 4 Special Forces soldiers didn’t survive, and were killed that day.  The day their helicopter was shot down over an obscure jungle in Vietnam there was no fanfare, no applause; no accolades … they were just fighting for the freedom of others and fighting to protect the men they were with.

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My husband standing in front of the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington D.C.  – the friend and fellow pilot that was killed the day their helicopter was shot down … William H. Seaborn 

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It’s inappropriate to say “Happy” Veteran’s Day … so how do you truly thank a veteran? With eyes brimming and a heart full of gratitude … “thank you for your service; thank you for your sacrifice; thank you for your selflessness.”

thank-you  You honor Veteran’s Day remembering … “The price of freedom, isn’t free.”

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Honoring all our Veterans ~ November 11, 2016

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments, below.

Scarecrow Themed Tablescape – perfect for autumn get-together’s … plus DIY paper favor cones

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by Trenda

This fun scarecrow-themed table sets the playful mood for any of your autumn get-together’s, wiener roasts, or autumn evenings spent around the bonfire, toasting s’mores!  While I set my “scarecrow table” the scarecrow’s song from “The Wizard of Oz” kept going through my mind!  The scarecrow’s lament (sigh!) was that his head was stuffed with straw.   If  he only had a brain, he stated  “Oh, I — could tell you why –the ocean meets the shore.  I could tell you things I’d never thought before — and then I’d sit — and think some more!” (: 

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Keeping with the theme of the scarecrow and his “patched” clothes, I covered my table with a “patchwork” quilt that a dear neighbor made and gave to me, set the table with cheerful Fiestaware, and tucked cutlery into a bright basket make of straw (:    Look at these cute paper favor cones!  They are so easy to make and … simply using different paper and trimmings, can be used for so many different occasions!

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To  make these favor cones, I chose stock paper in bright harvest colors (I bought mine in a packet at Hobby Lobby) Roll the colored sheet of paper to form a cone and glue the edge down with white craft glue. I used a hole puncher to punch 1 hole on either side of the glued edge and knotted different colors of raffia to trim my colorful paper cones (line favor cones with parchment paper and fill with candied popcorn or pumpkin flavored Chex mix! (click here for pumpkin-spice Chex mix recipe)   The raffia replicates the look of the straw stuffing of the scarecrows, but it is actually a product of the native Raffia Palm Trees, from the tropical areas of Africa!

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Generous sized napkins with frayed edges (like the tattered clothes of the scarecrow!) are slipped into my DIY mini-grapevine napkin rings (click here for DIY autumn napkin rings) and have a charming little scarecrow adornment, tucked among the layers of napkin.  Remember the cute DIY autumn drink markers we learned how to make?  See where I have clipped them around the base of each stemmed glass to add some seasonal flair to my autumn setting.  (Click here for DIY Autumn Leaf Drink Markers)

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The centerpiece is just a collection of different sized scarecrows gathered together to  ward off any unwanted “critters” that might want to attend the party! (;

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If the weather cooperates, our tabletop of scarecrows will be presiding over a wiener roast and a tray full of these individualized s’more packets!  (Click here for printable S’more labels)

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As I finish this post, I’m still humming the scarecrow’s song from “The Wizard of Oz” and I have to smile as I remember his last words … “with the thoughts I’d be thinkin’ I’d become another Lincoln, if I only had a brain …” (:

Hope You Have A … ”  by Trenda

 wonderful weekend!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.   Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

A “Welcome Home” … for Thanksgiving

by Trenda at Cottage Green on the Lake

The slow progression of autumn here in East Texas has suddenly quickened and the sights and sounds of  the season have become tangible.  The crickets are softly droning (a decrescendo to their summer song!) as they sing their final chorus … there is a hush in the air that is marked by a distant caw of a crow or the occasional rustle of leaves as an acorn descends through the branches … a muffled “plop” heard, when it hits the ground … and the leaves of our Ash tree, that drape over the lake, are transforming into a beautiful shade of yellow.

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The view beyond our windows reminds us that the “season” of Thanksgiving is upon us, though, like Thoreau … “I am grateful for what I am and have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

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 As I “dress” our home and get it ready for the holidays, I am going to start with our front door … it is the first thing that welcomes and greets our family and friends when they visit.  The front door sets the stage of what people can “expect” to find inside your home and should be a reflection of the warmth and welcome you want to portray within your home.

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I began decorating our door by hanging this beautiful wreath that a dear friend of mine made.  Then I took a bundle of wrapped grapevine (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby in the section where grapevine wreaths are hanging) and cut the coil of grapevine in half with wire cutters – this gave me 2 sections of grapevine for each side of the door.  After cutting the 2 sections, I pulled the grapevine to loosen the taut coils.  My husband hammered nails into our door frame for me to impale the grapevine on.  At the base of the door, where the tension was greatest, I added a pipe cleaner and wrapped the grapevine around the nail, using the pipe cleaner to firmly hold the grapevine to the door frame.

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Then I began inserting leaves that I cut from an autumn swag into the twigs of the grapevine.  I also wired some pumpkins, squash, and chrysanthemums to the grapevine to add interest and fullness  … but left enough of the grapevine bare, so it wouldn’t become too “visually heavy” or overbearing.

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I placed a pumpkin (leftover from Halloween!) next to this quaint basket that I found years ago.  I’ve always thought the wooden duck looked
“right at home” here at the lake and it is always handy, near our front door and holds walking sticks, any dripping umbrellas, and a fragrant “bouquet” of eucalyptus.  Tip: Eucalyptus makes the entry to your home smell wonderful, and it is also a natural deterrent for spiders!

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Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim greet all Thanksgiving visitors. (:  We ARE … grateful, thankful, blessed!

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Our deck has several built into benches and on this one, next to the front door, I’ve “tipped my hat” to the season and added a little whimsy with these 2 Pilgrim door greeters!  I love this chalkboard a friend made for me, with it’s rustic look and cedar framework; I use it all the time … “4theseasons” to write holiday messages on, or for keeping track of horseshoe scores! (:

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I hope these ideas will help you and that you’ll have fun creating and making your entryway and door a “welcome home” for Thanksgiving!

“I am grateful for what I am and have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

In everything give thanks.”

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.