Holiday Mood Board

Monday, November 28, 2011


The studio is buzzing now with many art works in the making, and this holiday mood board is a source for my creativity.  It is a 24 x36 bulletin board covered with clippings from favorite magazines and catalogs, colorful papers, and ribbons.  There is also a hanging velvety berry wreath ornament and my photograph of a light green pear, a favorite winter fruit.  As the studio is designed with these colors throughout, the board blends with my environment and keeps me focused on ideas, colors and textures for inspiration during the holidays.  Do you use mood boards in your creative space?

Nature's Gifts

Monday, November 21, 2011

The pomegranate tree at our house is bearing rosy red fruit now.  Here are some pomegranates wrapped for a hostess gift I took to a friend.  Why not bring the gift of  nature to some of your holiday events this year?  Citrus fruit, like clementines or meyer lemons, would also be wonderful wrapped in cellophane with colorful ribbons.  A sprig of greenery tucked into the bow would add some festive flair!

Thanksgiving Tablescape with Freshly Fallen Acorns

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving is almost here and designing a natural but inviting tablescape will be part of the fun of entertaining!  There are so many ways to make it special by just using items on hand.  For our Thanksgiving table this year, I created a centerpiece made of objects found in nature, many of which came from our own backyard.  This tablescape features acorns, pinecones, and a few colorful accents like berries and pomegranates.  When these items are arranged on trays or platters they introduce a warm, rustic feeling. 

Since we have a long rectangular table, I used two coordinating arrangements in the center.  The one shown above presents a boxwood and berry combination in a wooden pot.  To create this piece, I clipped several green boxwood sprigs and trimmed them to be about the same size, just a few inches taller than the pot.  Then I put the sprigs into a jar of water placed in the pot, packing them tightly to create a natural effect.  Pink, beige, and orange berries from our nandina bush were added to the mix for a splash of color.  (The pink and beige berries were clipped about a month ago before they turned the striking orange tone.)  Lastly, I placed the pot on a silver tray and added acorns, pinecone roses and pomegranates to the display. 

Acorns, pinecone roses (see Hunting and Gathering post) and a sprig of flaming orange nandina berries dress up a simple silver serving tray in this candle arrangement.  The height and light from the candle create a focal point on the table and the natural objects offer color and texture.

These are detailed photos of some of the natural materials I selected to style our table.  I chose from what was available to me, but a similar display could be created with almost any natural autumn fruits, nuts, etc.  It would be interesting to see your variations on this theme!

Here basic white dishes are layered with turkey salad plates to make a festive table setting.  Amber goblets and dark brown brandy glasses highlight the autumn hues.

This post has been shared on French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday.

Hunting and Gathering

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall has finally come in our part of the world and the trees are dropping beautiful acorns and pinecones.  We went for a walk through the park recently and collected these.  I have to say, when I look at the intricately woven pattern on the caps of these acorns,  I am endlessly astounded at the perfect beauty nature often holds. 

In addition to stumbling upon many little acorns on the ground we also discovered these spectacular pinecones shaped like flowers.  Aren't they amazing?  The lovely wooden blossoms have a rich brown tone and are such an interesting shape.  I am calling them "pinecone roses".  Does anyone know what kind of tree drops them?

When polished and mixed together in glass jars and bowls, these natural vase fillers add texture and dimension to fall decor.  They also bring a hint of autumn into the home without breaking the budget.

Here a glass apothecary jar is filled with acorns and a few pinecone roses are added to the mix for color variation and visual interest.

This post has been added to French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday.
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