Hello June! … Delicious BBQ Beans & DIY Place Cards for Father’s Day

~ Trenda

Hello June!  We’ve been looking forward to seeing you! (:

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“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer …” It’s time to slow down, kick back, and relax!

 WONDERFUL SUMMER!  ~ by Trenda

“It’s the beginning of another …

Snow-cone dripping,

bare foot skipping, 

iced tea sipping,

front porch sitting, 

flip flop plopping,

baseball watching,

mattress floating,

snorkel snorting,

pink nose glowing, 

green grass mowing,

warm breeze blowing,

hot dog munching,

cricket chirping,

sparkler waving,

firework gazing,

sunset blazing …

 wonderful summer!” 

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The days of June are marked off the calendar with the “procession” of different celebrations and “happenings.”  Flag Day – June 14th … Father’s Day – June 18th … and the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice – June 21st.  Keep the “red, white, and blue” decorations handy and get out those summer recipes and “Father’s Favorites!”  Two of our favorite’s here at Cottage Green are … my recipe for Delicious BBQ Beans and Sand Pail Ice Cream

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We love the smoky flavor of these “Delicious BBQ Beans” and the enhanced layer of flavor that the bell pepper adds!  I also love that the beans are cooking in the crock pot while I’m away or I’m busy preparing other dishes.

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Now, for some elegant DIY place cards that are easy to make that will add an “air” of sophistication to your “Father’s Day” table.  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love “dressing” the table!  One of the easiest ways to make your table festive and make every guest feel important is by adding place cards to your tablescape.  I made these simple, but elegant place cards for a graduation party and they are perfect and serving “double-duty” … for our Father’s Day celebration!

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Here are supplies needed to make these place cards:

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I bought my miniature decorative tassels in the “Notions” section at Hobby Lobby (where the fabrics/buttons/ribbons are located).  I also bought my place cards and my clear stamp pads at Hobby Lobby, in the stationery section.

place cards.png Instructions:

  1. Punch a hole in upper left-hand corner of each place card, making sure you punch the hole through the front and back of the place card.
  2. Insert the opposite end of the tassel through the punched hole in the front of the card (insert, front to back) so that the tassel is in the front of the place card.
  3. Bring the looped end of cord over the top of the place card and insert (thread) the tassel through the corded opening and pull gently to secure the “tassel in place.  Make sure the knot is not taut, so the tassel drapes loosely down the front of the place card. * (see photo below)
  4. Stamp the front of each place card with a filigree frame of your choice from your selection of clear stamp pads.  Make sure you allow enough time for the ink to dry before handling.
  5. After ink has thoroughly dried, write each person’s name centered in the stamped frame.

*Close-up photo of #3 instructions:closeup tying

I love the elegant and “man-ly” look of these place cards and can’t wait to show you how they look “gracing” our Father’s Day tablescape!

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Now hang up your hammock, get out the ice cream maker, and drape your patio in party lights and “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer … you’ll wish that summer could always be here.” ~ Nat King Cole

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From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Welcome to the Lake … DIY Wreath for the Summer!

~ Trenda

 

I was delighted when I saw this rustic looking ribbon covered with fishing terms in bold fonts!  I had been wanting to make a wreath for our front door and the “discovery” of that ribbon set “the theme” for my whole wreath.  After finding the fishing ribbon, the rest of the coordinating ribbons were easily found.  A coarse textured, sage green ribbon, a loose weaved burlap colored ribbon, a rope-like ribbon, and a wooden fish and bobber finished my purchases and I was ready to begin making my wreath.  A wreath that would “say” …  “Welcome to the long days of summer at the lake!”

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Here are supplies I used making my lake wreath:

  • straw wreath form
  • floral pins
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • ribbons – at least 3 different colors or widths
  • wooden fish and bobber

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Only materials needed … scissors, a ruler, a straw wreath, floral pins, ribbon, and a wooden fish and bobber! (Note: Be sure to leave the clear plastic covering on your straw wreath to keep your wreath intact, and your straw from shedding all over your floor!)

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Instructions: (see pictures above)

  1. Measure a length of ribbon approximately 17″ long and cut.  (Note: When you cut your ribbon, make a “pretty” diagonal cut since this will be the “tail” of your bow!)
  2. Grasp the cut length of ribbon in the middle and put your thumb on the center of the ribbon.
  3. Make a loop on each side of the center point (where you are holding the ribbon) These loops are the 2 loops your bow.  Grasp where the 2 loops cross over each other, in the center.
  4. Bunch the center of the ribbon together and place a floral pin over the “bunched” ribbon  and push the “bow” into the straw form, pushing the floral pin all the way down.  (Note: the “tails” of your bow add fullness to your wreath!)
  5. Make your next bow, repeating the same steps but alternating the colors of the ribbon you are using.
  6. To make your wreath fuller, place your next bow so one side of the loop goes between the “tails” of the previous bow, then pin.   Switch the direction of your bow each time before pinning. 
  7. When your wreath is covered with bows, go back and fill in the sides and center where you see any gaps.

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I added my “rope cord” filler by going back after my wreath was complete and floral pinning just a loose cord around the entire wreath.  Last touch … I floral pinned my little wooden fish and bobber dangling on a piece of twine, near the top of the wreath so it would hang down in the center of my wreath.

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“Welcome to the Lake!”

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

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Wishing you the best of summer’s!  

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

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Mother’s Day Tablescape and DIY favors

~ Trenda

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my  angel mother.”  Abraham Lincoln

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 Happy Mother’s Day!  It has been a beautiful weekend packed with time spent with all of our dear children and grandchildren … and today was a perfect day for a Mother’s Day dinner served outside on the deck!  Adding a touch of sweetness and “gracing” our table, I used the DIY place cards and DIY napkin rings (click here for instructions!) that I taught you how to make earlier this week! (:

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Crocheted Battenberg lace place mats match the “grid work” of the antique wrought iron chairs.  This beautiful table belonged to my grandmother … a cherished gift to me from my mother. 

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A bright floral napkin ensconces each white napkin edged with Battenberg lace – both are slipped into DIY Spring napkin rings (click here for instructions!) and a matching DIY place card, “reserves” each seat!

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I was delighted when I found these charming green bowls on one of our “antique-ing excursions!”  The bowls look like little cabbages and for this tablescape, I used them to hold Sweeteners.  Carrying out the spring/garden theme and adding some whimsy,  I placed some miniature cabbage teapots under a domed pedestal plate.

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Crystal glasses are ready to be filled with Southern iced tea and water.  The rose blush stemware is a beloved gift from a dear little boy … many Mother’s Days ago ❤  fulldeck view.png

Both tables on the deck are set … the round table holds all the “overflow” serving dishes and is used as a buffet with plenty of chairs and built-in benches to seat everyone.   A favorite Villeroy and Boch “Country French” covered dish waits for Homemade Chicken Florentine and Noodle Soup. 

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Ready for dinner!  Look how darling the napkin rings and place cards are!

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Now, one more DIY project to show you … I made these sweet little favor boxes to send home with each of our “guests!”  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love making favors or treat bags for our “get-together’s.

favors.png I bought a package of these little boxes at Hobby Lobby on the party aisle where the crepe paper and favor bags are.  They are called Gable boxes and they come 12 to a package for only $3.99. (Download the Hobby Lobby App to get 40 percent off  on one regular priced, that can be used each time you shop at Hobby Lobby!) Using my Recollection tag die-cutter, I punched out tags from stock card in a variety of Spring colors and stamped them with bird nests, “For You” and a filigree frame (I wrote each guest’s name inside the frame) and used my hole puncher to punch a hole in each colored tag. Then, I filled each favor box with a fine sparkly shredded grass, nestled in some individually wrapped chocolates, tied a ribbon around each box and added a “set” of tags (1 of each … a bird nest tag, a “For You” tag and a filigree frame with the guest’s name on it) and tied them on to the ribbon of each favor.

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 “FOR YOU” … favor boxes are waiting by the front door to be given with goodbye’s and final hugs; a sweet remembrance of another special day together.

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This is the second Mother’s Day my own dear mother has been in heaven; I miss her every day and continually think of her, particularly on this special day.  What a blessing it was to be her daughter!  Her love, inner strength, joy, contentment and faith in Christ continue to be an inspiration to me.  “I’ll love you forever, like you for always, Mom” ❤

” … her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done …”  Proverbs 31:28-31

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Sending you a bit of our lovely day!  Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

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Mother’s Day DIY place cards and napkin rings

~ Trenda

 

tablescape .png“Tra la! It’s May! The lusty month of May!” Julie Andrews sang in the Broadway musical, CAMELOT. The charming but now archaic definition of lusty, according to Merriam-Webster is merry and joyous.  Looking out our open screen door to blue skies and hearing the birds joyously “tra-la’ing” as they go merrily about picking up choice “bits and pieces” to line and feather their nests, it is definitely “the lusty month of May!”  The month of May is filled with promise, celebrations and events. One of the preparations I enjoy the most before any holiday or get together is getting the table ready and “dressed” for the occasion. Look at these darling place cards I made with matching grapevine napkin rings; perfect for a woodland theme Bridal shower, a Spring Tea Party or Mother’s Day Brunch!

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I bought a package of plain white place-cards and my mini grapevine wreaths from Hobby Lobby.  Then I took my scalloped die-cut punch and punched along the bottom of the place-card.  To decorate each place card I hot glued “a bit” of ivy in the left hand corner of the place-card, placing it so the greenery “peeked” over the top and softened the corner of the card.  On each piece of greenery, I glued a single blossom from a silk hydrangea and some tiny pink flower buds.  For the final touch and to “blend” the look of the tiny posy … I glued individual pieces of assorted “fillers” I had from making other floral arrangements.  ie: tiny ivy leaves, eucalyptus, birch twigs … Then I wrote the name of each of our “guests” on the place-cards.

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After I finished all the place cards I needed, I started making my mini-grapevine napkin rings. I used the same technique and materials making these that I used making my place cards, so all would match.

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“Tra-la!”  (:   All done!  Time to set the table with all these charming “accroutements!” for an enchanting, Mother’s Day tablescape … pictures on my next blog!  (;  

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“… let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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This Way to the Easter Egg Hunt! Plus … DIY “Carrot Cutlery” & “Carrot” Bubble Wand

~ Trenda

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“The stars at night are big and bright” ‘we Texans love to sing … look below the Red, Lone Star, your egg should be in sight!’  This is a clue from our Annual “Clan” Easter Egg Hunt that all of our family participates in!  Each family member is assigned a particular color of egg and gets a sheet of numbered clues directing them to where their eggs are hidden.  The eggs must be “gathered” in the same order that the clues are given.  Each “participant’s clue sheet is in different order, so everyone is running to different locations at different times and can only pick up their color of egg.  For our littlest ones, I have easier clues and pictures or numbers, marking where their eggs are!  The first one to find all their eggs, gets the grand prize and our Family Egg Trophy to take home and display until the following year.

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Now, for this special Egg Hunt …. our picnic fare and ware has to be as “fun” as the occasion! (:  Look at this bunny caddy crate!  It looks darling loaded with bright green polka dotted plates, lime colored cutlery wrapped in orange napkins and tied with raffia (to look like carrots!) and tucked into this fun carrot vase, befitting any Bunny Picnic!

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For each set of “carrot” tableware … place a green spoon, a green fork, and a green knife on top of an orange paper napkin; roll up so that the cutlery “peeks” out of the top of the napkin, like carrot tops and tie a raffia bow around each set of tableware.

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A little whimsy and favor “For you!” …  Slender orange bubble wands look like a bunch carrots – especially after I added a bit of gauzy green ribbon and a lime green label to each “carrot top!”  To make my tags, I used my Recollections over-sized “punch” die-cutter (I bought mine from Michael’s) and stamped each label with the words “For You.”  A little bubble fantasy and favor for each “participant.” (:

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The Menu …

  • Grilled bratwurst
  • Potato Salad
  • Mr. McGregor’s Carrot & Celery Sticks served in a dipping cup with Ranch dressing
  • Peter Rabbit Carrot Cake Cookies w/Cream Cheese Frosting

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Our Annual Clan Easter Egg Hunt has become one of our favorite family traditions with shouts of laughter and a special camaraderie and competition between the children and the adults!  I love making up the little “sing-song” clues each year -like the sample above (; … that sends everyone scurrying all over the yard, out on the dock, and up the deck stairs looking for their eggs!  From the pictures I take while everyone is dashing about, our son makes a video of the whole event complete with music, captions and headlines for everyone which becomes another treasured volume in our set of “family times.” ❤

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P. S.  I already heard that 2 of our Clan are wearing competition tee-shirts they’ve made in keeping with “the spirit of the day!” (:  I can’t wait to see them!

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I’d love to hear about some of your family traditions and hope you’re enjoying this glorious season of the year with loved ones and friends!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

 

 

DIY Easter Bunny Treat Bags

Trenda

“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail and I am happily preparing for our little bunny’s that are coming to dye dozens of eggs and … all “us bunny’s” here at Cottage Green are anticipating our Family Easter Egg Treasure Hunt, complete with prizes and a trophy! (:  We have been out of town for the last 2 1/2 weeks so this week is going to be especially busy and “filled” with Easter preparations!

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These “Big-earred Bunny Bags are so cute and take just a few minutes to make!  They are reinforced paper sacks and hold lots of Easter goodies, dyed eggs, jelly beans, cupcakes, Peeps, Chicks, and sugary treats!  I bought my treat bags, pink and white gingham ribbon, tissue paper, felt hearts, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes at Michael’s.  (Tip: I used my glue gun instead of Elmer’s Glue-All to make my assembly time faster!) Plus, I also used a pair of scissors and a ruler.

Supplies needed:

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    To begin … adhere a pink felt heart in the center of each bag, for the bunny’s nose.  Position and glue 2 googly eyes above each nose.  Then, pull out two strands of shredded color paper.  Fold both shredded tissue strands in half to make 4 whiskers for each side of the bunny’s nose.  Place the 4 whiskers on one side of the heart, where they touch the “heart nose” and glue in place.  Repeat process, and glue 4 more whiskers on the other side of the heart nose.  Trim whiskers to desired length.

whiskers.pngSimple Bow instructions:

  1. Measure and cut a 12″ length of ribbon.  Glue ends together to form a loop.
  2. Gather ribbon together in the middle of the circled loop.
  3. Hold tightly with fingers and secure with a pipe cleaner and twist.
  4. Trim the two ends of the pipe cleaner near the “twist” with scissors or wire cutters for a neat presentation.
  5. Cut another length of ribbon, approximately 2″ in length.
  6. Fold ribbon in thirds, lengthwise and glue edges together.  
  7. Wrap this short length of ribbon around the pipe cleaner.  Glue it on the underneath side of your bow, making sure it covers all of the pipe cleaner. 
  8. Glue bow to the top of your Bunny Treat Bag. (Since I have both little boy and little girl “bunny’s” … I made some of my Bunny Treat Bags without hair bows!)

 

instructions.pngTo complete my Bunny Treat Bags I “stuffed” each bag with bunny ears made from gift wrap tissue paper.  I  cut one sheet of white tissue paper in half and formed a “bunny ear” by grasping the 1/2 sheet of tissue paper in the center.  Then, while holding the center portion of the paper in one hand, I ran my other hand up over the tissue, while grasping it lightly to make loose folds.  Then, I stuffed my “ear” into the treat bag so that the pointy ends of the tissue were sticking out to resemble a long ear.  I repeated the entire process for the 2nd bunny ear, using the other 1/2 of the tissue paper.  To form the pink “interior ears” I  used my pink or my gingham gift tissue.  Again, I cut each piece of gift tissue in half, “fluffed” my tissue and inserted into the bag, in front of the white outer ears.  Use your imagination, they do look like Easter bunny ears!(;

gift bag.png Last touch … I “stuck” one more felt heart on the back of my Bunny Treat Bag (I used the same color heart as I used for the bunny’s nose) and placed it near the bottom of the treat bag. Then I glued a little pom pom on the heart to make a fuzzy little bunny tail! (:

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Get ready for more fun and festive ideas coming this week ’cause … “hippity, hoppity Easter’s on it’s way!” (;

Today was another glorious Sunday at our church with Richard and I having the added joy of singing with our choir and presenting our Easter cantata Hope Alive In Me by Travis Cottrell.  I love every aspect of Easter!  The bunnies, the baskets, the eggs … the Cross, the Tomb, and the resurrection of Jesus … The “Hope Alive in Me!”  It’s not all about the bunny, Easter is about The Lamb.” ❤ 

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Thank you for spending some time with me today!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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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.