Canadian Thanksgiving Tablescape

tablescape

Something I really enjoy, and only discovered in my 30's, is creating tablescapes. When the boys were younger our Thanksgiving table consisted of cardboard cut out leaves and pumpkins that the boys and I spent all day working on (have I mentioned I was a stay at home mom for five years and consider myself to be the Canadian Martha Stewart? :)

Now that the boys are older and are slightly less interested in arts and crafts time, I have started creating tables for myself. Since AMH and I will be away for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to hold our family Thanksgiving a few weeks early. I have been on a real 'romantic' kick this year. That influenced my gardening this spring so I thought why not continue this throughout the fall! Lucky for me I live in a house full of boys and when I say I'm going "really girly" they just smile and nod and ask the important questions like what pie will we be serving. Smart guys I have.

tablescape

Yes, romantic was what I was in the mood for, but how to combine that for Thanksgiving? I turned to the outdoors for my inspiration, as I usually do. While driving on some back country roads (sounds like a country song, doesn't it?) I saw lots of brown, as the extreme sun of the last few days scorched anything green, but the pops of colour I did see was vibrant purple wildflowers and silvery ivy. I knew I had a lot of english ivy that was nearing the end of it's lifecycle in the urns on my front porch that I could use as a base. I stopped at Just Blooms, a local florist and had a look around. I fell in love with tall springs of purple flowers, white rose like flowers, the palest pink roses and carnations and eucalyptus. 

Canadian Thanksgiving

On the way home I stopped at Sobeys for a few last minute provisions and I spotted bags of gourds on sale for $4.99. They had little white pumpkins in them and I was sold! I just love white pumpkins, especially the mini ones. Two bags later and I headed home to prepare my table. 

I bought a gravy boat antiquing last weekend and really wanted to use it, along with my mismatched brown transferware plates that I have collected, one by one, over the years. As soon as I grabbed my brown rattan chargers, I knew that the colour brown was taking over, my table is dark wood. I really wanted to lighten things up to still stay within my romantic theme. I don't own any tablecloths (kids and dogs like to pull things like that off of tables) so I substituted with an old threadbare quilt. It's the kind of quilt that has been used by various family members for covering furniture while moving and had seen better days. There were a few minor stains so I washed in hot water with Oxi Clean and left in the sun to dry. It came out a wonderful bright white. The zigzag sewing pattern added some texture and interest. 

pumpkins

Once I had the quilt in place, I added clippings of english ivy, then added the plates, napkins and glasses, and started adding pumpkins and gourds along with the flowers clipped low and placed in small Riviera Petit Pots (cleaned out glass yogurt containers). I fussed around with the placement until everything looked just right and then I snapped away...

brown plates

Canadian Thanksgiving Tablescape

Ralph Lauren

thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving

ivy pumpkin

water glasses

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Canadian Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving Tablescape

setting the table

gravy boat

setting the table

I was quite happy with how my table turned out. I managed to honour traditional Canadian Thanksgiving decor while adding my own romantic spin to it. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday and I love celebrating both Canadian (second Monday in October) and American (fourth Thursday in November). Since they are held at such different times, it gives me the opportunity to set a table in early fall and in late fall, which are so different in terms of weather and decor. 

I've been collecting brown transferware plates since the year I bought my home (10 years ago!). I started because I just liked the different scenes on them and have always just picked up pieces that I like, instead of searching for matches. Each plate is special in it's own way. Some are simple country scenes in brown and white, and others are more elaborate designs detailing a moment in history (one of my favourites is of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Day) with muted colours in yellow and orange. The trick to collecting these plates is to not pay too much for them. I have spent a long time looking over plates and have never paid more than $7 per item. Some antique vendors charge a lot more for these plates or rather sell the entire set instead of one item, but my advice is to build your collection slowly. When your plates are all in the same colour family, there's no need to ensure they match exactly. A few different dishes here and there can actually add great interest! 

As for our dinner, we had red wine brined smoked BBQ turkey with gravy, sweet potatoes, yorkshire pudding (because the kids refuse to allow us a meal without them) and green beans. Dessert was jello for my little nephew and ice cream for the adults because it was hot, hot, hot! The heat wave of last week also affected the drinks we served, no wine for the adults just cold refreshing beer! Even though I went all out with the tablescape, it was actually a very laid back Thanksgiving dinner with family. We cooked and drank, and caught up with our guests. We even brought out and old 1970's board game after dinner and I couldn't believe that all the kids gave up playing video games to play Rebound (anyone remember this game?).

A very Happy (early) Thanksgiving to you and your family! xx Rox-Anne

Flowers: Just Blooms in Galt, Ont. 

(Little tip - watch for these glasses at Winners/HomeSense where I picked mine up for $8.99 each! A total steal!)

Plates are a mix of brown transferware (I found a match to my Coaching Days plates here) | Plate chargers

Post a Comment