Thanksgiving Decorating… and Puzzle Winner Announced

Thanksgiving Decorating… and Puzzle Winner Announced

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca, 2012. Ideas and inspiration for your holiday decorating.

I love decorating for Thanksgiving. You may recall that last year I put out an APB–All Pumpkins Bulletin–to where my husband allowed there was not a pumpkin left in the Santa Ynez Valley. (See that post here.) I also likened decorating our so-called great room to decorating the Temple of Dendur, which the house somewhat resembles. But I am getting used to it.

These funny feathered turkeys came from a website I cannot recall for the life of me. The turkeys and I are now celebrating  our fourth holiday together. They may be holding up better than I.

Thanksgiving at RLZ – Turkey, pumpkins, persimmons and cornstalks

These are in the entrance.

Thanksgiving at RLZ – Turkey, pumpkins, persimmons and cornstalks

The good thing about pumpkins is they take up a lot of room and are relatively easy to decorate around. Washing them, then rubbing them with a little oil or Vaseline makes them pretty and shiny. I did not know that last year, but I will do it this year. I should have a PhD in pumpkins by now.

Camellia and eucalyptus foliage last forever and make a nice contrast. The euc smells great, too.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Arrangement on center table

My best decorating rule: Get as much (flowers, foliage, branches, pumpkins, whatever) as you think you need, and then get some more.

Thanksgiving at RLZ – Mantle and Slonem Butterfly Painting

These cornucopia baskets came from Pottery Barn, four years ago if memory serves. (I tried to find a source for you but didn’t have great luck–a few listed at the bottom of this post.) You think when you buy from a mass-market place like Pottery Barn that you will see it everywhere, but you don’t. Chances are they carry it that year and that’s it. So if you see a seasonal item you like, go for it.

Thanksgiving at RLZ – Cornucopia on Mantle vignette

Meanwhile, back at the you know what, cowboy meets grill.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Wyatt mans the grill. Cowboy hat required.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are things of beauty.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Turkeys on the Grill

The table is coming together. I used a large shallow basket as my container and placed  drinking glasses filled with flowers among the pumpkins, persimmons, pomegranates and grapes. It looks harder than it was.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – The dinner table and mantle

Chef Stephanie Valentine is whipping herself into a frenzy in the kitchen. And yet she is never frenzied. I need to ask her about that.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Chef Stephanie Valentine

Living in a house that is virtually 99% windows has its drawbacks, but when the light comes in just so on the mantle, it is beautiful.

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Cornucopia on mantle in shadow

Look, she still is not one bit frenzied. At this point in the preparations I have broken out in a rash.

Stephanie and her pies

Little did I know last year that the Museum of Modern Art in New York was organizing a Magritte show. They are always copying me. So annoying. I should use these place cards again this year in homage to the exhibit, but that would be entirely too sensible and easy, which might interfere with the rash.

In preparation for the painting, I researched authentic period pilgrim clothing.

It did not look a thing like this.

Thanksgiving place cards at Rancho La Zaca – Pumpkin-head Pilgrim in the style of Magritte’s ”Man in the Bowler Hat,” by moi.

Btw, if you would like to use these yourself, let me know and I’ll email you a jpeg that you can print out on watercolor textured paper. In Iphoto, you can re-touch out the writing on the left, or you can just use half the image. Write the names on the collar. 

Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – Place setting with Pumpkin-head Pilgrim in the style of Magritte
Thanksgiving at Rancho La Zaca – The dinner table


 Peonies, pumpkins and berries

Here’s what I came up with for cornucopia baskets:

12-inch cornucopia basket from Consumer Crafts for under $5.
Amazon had a few as well.
Williams Sonoma had one already arranged with dried flowers and pods and things
Pier 1 has one, too, also arranged. 
Pottery Barn also has pretty things this year, but no cornucopia. See, I told you.

As for the Great Thanksgiving Puzzle Giveaway, first may I say how much I enjoyed your comments, your stories and your sentiments. I read every single word you write and so very much appreciate your kindness and your spirit. You are the greatest group of readers, and I am thankful thankful for each and every one of you. Okay, so, the puzzle winner is… Pixie Reiss from New Orleans. Let’s give it up for Pixie! Pixie, you may like to know, also celebrated her birthday this weekend. Congratulations Miss Pixie, and many happy returns on your birthday.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all!


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