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November 17, 2012


Southwestern Thanksgiving Featured!

I wanted to share some additional photos and details from our Southwestern Thanksgiving, which was featured here on the ‘Hostess with the Mostess’ Blog yesterday!

The home has a décor and paint scheme that is inspired by the Southwest – and features no less than 23 different paint colors throughout the house! This is what initially inspired me – the colors were so vibrant, and I am a firm believer in working with your surroundings, not fighting against them. It always surprises me to see people cover up walls, textures and other things native to the event environment when they could be making them work to their advantage.

Speaking of which, how could I not do a fun backdrop over the buffet table, when the home has such a nice, big window cut out in the wall all ready for it? The ‘floating feather’ backdrop turned out even better than I had hoped! Seriously, it was a bit time-consuming but really low budget and easy to do: 3 little bags of multi-colored feathers, clear fishing wire and tape. That’s it!

For the tabletop, I focused on contrasting the bright colors and geometric shapes. My family has been collecting Fiestaware for over 2 decades, it really is so versatile and fun. It took a while to figure out how to fold that napkin into a diamond, and even now I’m not quite sure how to replicate it! It just goes to show that even so simple as a napkin can have a big impact.

I love non-traditional centerpieces! When I think of the Southwest, one of the things that naturally comes to mind is peppers. The original plan for the centerpiece was to include peppers along with veggies and other elements, but when I went to the grocery store I was so inspired by the variety and colors of all the peppers, I decided to make the entire centerpiece out of them. Now, when you roll up to a cashier and all you’re buying is 10 pounds of peppers – you will get a funny look. I was ready with my response: “Elaborate practical joke.” Laughs all around.

The ‘crates’ holding the peppers are actually CD Holders from JoAnn Fabrics, which I found because they were literally next to the Kraft letters I was there to buy for the ‘Thankful’ sign.

*Helpful Hint: The bottom ½ of the crate sections were padded with napkins/dishtowels that were close in color to the different peppers. This cut down on costs, and allowed me to place the peppers as I wanted for the photos.

My favorite element of this shoot by far is the colorful ‘Thankful’ sign. Using kraft letters (also from JoAnn Fabrics) and small cut outs from paint chips, I was able to make ombre designs that turned out better than I ever hoped. I found a few easy Native American patterns online, and then did my best to reproduce them on the letters.

We also used the paint chips as bands around the leftover boxes and our little ‘Thankful Journals’, which we added a stamped feather to and used as a placecard. Easy peasy.

*Helpful Hint: Adding color with paint chips is super-easy and it looks amazing on film, but just in case you don’t know: It is impossible to print on paint chips without a laser printer. If you have an ink jet, the ink will just sit on top and then smudge and get everywhere.

Overall, I had so much fun putting this together and want to thank Michelle Rene Photography again for working with us on this and getting some great shots!

Happy Thanksgiving from HCS!