How to Make Nutcracker Glasses & Napkin Rings

How to Make Nutcracker Glasses & Napkin Rings

Last year, I painted nutcracker glasses and crafted simple napkin rings to compliment the Christmas Day table setting.

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Several years ago, I shared my Nutcracker Collection Christmas Centerpiece & Table. Complimenting it was an adorable appliqued runner and festive cracker favors.

Because my son’s now fiancé was joining us for the first time over the holidays, I wanted to pull out all the stops with my Christmas decorations and table settings. So I updated the nutcracker theme tablescape, adding the painted glasses and napkin rings. You can see the restyled tablescape at the end of this post.

When I went to Dollar Tree to pick up the clear goblets, I discovered they had a lot of nutcracker theme items for Christmas. That gave me the idea of using nutcracker tree ornaments to make simple napkin rings.

Inspired, I quickly got to work painting the images of three different color/styles of nutcracker faces on six goblets. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to share how I painted the glasses or put together the napkin rings last year.

Both projects are very inexpensive to create, and the napkin rings are super fast and easy to make.

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Unique Holiday Peacock Theme Tablescape

Unique Holiday Peacock Theme Tablescape

Today, I’m sharing the Christmas peacock theme tablescape I set in the dinning room. It compliments the peacock feathers and birds in the classic wallpaper.

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I also Decorate for Christmas with a Peacock Theme in the entry hall and living groom. That includes a handmade Holiday Peacock Wreath and Peacock Ornaments on the Christmas Tree.

Regular readers know I have a passion for peacocks! It all started when I traced hubby’s ancestry to a Revolutionary War militia officer named Peacock! Read about The Rebel Bird in Celebrating Patriots on Independence Day.

Although I’ve previously shown you many casual to formal Christmas season settings, somehow I missed the peacock theme tablescape. It includes a centerpiece with a pair of feather trees, napkins folded in a peacock tail feather fan, and sits beneath the show-stopping Peacock Ornament Decorated Chandelier.

It’s one of 18 festive tables in this year’s annual Christmas Tablescape Blog Hop, hosted by Rita of Panoply. You’re sure to find lots of ideas and inspiration for setting your own holiday table. And, if you’re a dish addict, there might be a thing or two to add to your Santa wish list!

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Fast & Tasty Holiday Turkey: Splay, Smoke or Fry

Fast & Tasty Holiday Turkey: Splay, Smoke or Fry

Last year, our two sons hosted Thanksgiving dinner on alternative coasts. Both prepared their holiday turkey using alternative cooking methods with fantastic results!

Hubby and I drove across the state to youngest son D’s home in Philadelphia. His rowhouse is located in the historic and fashionable Fairmont area of the city. Joining us from Washington D.C., were my husband’s brother and his wife. All of us stayed in the three-story rowhouse, along with our Scottie dog, Whiskey and D’s lab-mix, Bentley. It was a full house, and lots of fun!

Meanwhile, oldest son R was in California celebrating the holiday for the first time with his now fiancé’s family.

Both our sons took charge of the Thanksgiving feast, but each used a more modern method to prepare and cook their big birds. Wanting to use his Traeger grill to smoke a turkey, D and his dad plotted out their plan before we even left Pittsburgh. After brining overnight, they splayed or spatchcock the bird before smoking. Spatchcock is to split open a chicken or game bird before cooking. In contrast, R deep-fried a whole turkey outdoors.

It was the first time anyone in our family had ever splayed, smoked or deep-fried a holiday turkey. Come see how well they both turned out!

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Blaze: Jack O’ Lantern Carved Pumpkin Festival

Blaze: Jack O’ Lantern Carved Pumpkin Festival

Recently, while visiting with family in Hoboken, NJ , we attended an illuminated, carved pumpkin festival. Located in the lower Hudson Valley, near Sleepy Hollow of headless horseman fame, The Great Jack o’ Lantern Blaze is a magical, immersive experience.

Blaze-illuminated-carved-pumpkin-festival-skeleton-figure

Since 2005, the walk-through experience has drawn more than 2 million visitors. Lighting up the night are thousands of ornately-carved, glowing pumpkins, in elaborate displays and massive light sculptures.

Today, the spooktacular event is held at two different location; both National Historic Landmarks. We visited the site at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, north of NYC. A second site is at Old Bethpage Restoration Village on Long Island.

Featured in the fun fall festival are larger-than-life installations, synchronized lighting, and an original soundtrack of appropriately spooky music. It’s a family-friendly experience for kids of all ages, and is both stroller and handicap accessible.

Join me on a virtual walk through. Think of it as a Halloween card from me to you — boo!

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Spooky Spellbound Halloween Centerpiece & Table

Spooky Spellbound Halloween Centerpiece & Table

I’ve conjured up a Halloween centerpiece replicating a witch’s collection of oddities for casting spells, hexes and curses.

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It’s one of 21 seasonal settings included in this year’s Halloween Tablescape Hop hosted by my blogger friend, Rita of Panoply.

To set the tablescape scene, I’ve styled four theme elements; a spellbound Halloween centerpiece, place settings with holiday tableware, black napkins folded into the shape of a witch’s hat, and the chandelier decorated as an enchanted owl nest.

Most of the Halloween decor pieces — and all of the tableware —came out of attic, basement and kitchen cabinet storage. Additionally, I spent under $16 in total at Michaels and Dollar Tree for a few items to fill in the Halloween centerpiece and embellish the light fixture.

Creating the witch’s vignette was lots of fun, but time consuming! It took awhile (and many trips up and down the stairs) to gather everything together. Then I arranged and rearranged until styling the centerpiece into the finished look I envisioned. Join me for a spell!

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12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

After over four and a half years of blogging, I’ve shared a wide selection of seasonal tables, napkin folds, decorations, wreaths, crafts, and activities that welcome spring and celebrate Easter.

Here in Pittsburgh, spring seldom really arrives before mid to late April. Even then, we’ve been known to have the occasional snowfall! There’s nothing worse than having to bundle up in a winter coat to go to church on Palm Sunday or Easter. And, since the holiday can occur between March 22 and April 25, there can be years we’ve barely finished enjoying Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day, before its time to regroup for Easter.

But this year, they are predicting warm weather for Easter, and the forsythia, bulbs, and flowering trees will be in blooming.

Today, I’ve assembled a roundup of 12 ways to celebrate Easter and change of seasons — all in one place! Simply click on a photo or title to see each post or DIY tutorial in their entirety.

Hoping one or more will inspire you!

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