The Gathered Home _

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Fakesgiving Table Setting

Number of years Bryan and I have been married: 4

Number of Thanksgiving dinners I have cooked for us: 1

Number of times we have had food poisoning from an undercooked Thanksgiving turkey: 1

Catch the full story in last year’s Thanksgiving table setting post - needless to say, we do not eat Thanksgiving dinner here at home!

But still each year around the end of November, I get that table-setting itch. You know, the one that makes you want to pull out some fancy china and iron a tablecloth and spend six or so hours creating the perfect holiday tablescape?

The one where you gather every single slightly-appropriately-themed d├ęcor item (and some completely oddball finds) you’ve hoarded over the years so you can arrange and rearrange it for hours. And then stalk the yard looking for anything remotely resembling fall foliage (it’s Texas: you are unsuccessful). And then you remember that a few weeks ago you found the prettiest stalks of dried grass at your parents’ house and stuck an entire bundle in the trunk of your car for later but forgot about it until now and you thank your lucky stars for the serendipity of it all in your moment of need.

And then finally you light the candles and step back and enjoy your lovely yet completely purposeless Fakesgiving table setting.

It’s a sickness. A seasonal table-setting sickness. (But let’s call it a tradition – that sounds so much more respectable.)

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

It all began with these glasses. These crazy tortoiseshell acrylic tumblers that came from the thrift store in a set of eight for $3. Resistance was futile. They needed to be part of a Thanksgiving table. They needed to be paired with rusts and oranges. They caught the light so beguilingly, they were not to be denied.

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

Then came the pumpkins. Oh those pumpkins, snuggling so perfectly in my brass banana leaf tray! The pumpkins met an old bouquet of silk flowers and it was fate. I never knew I could be so obsessed with the color combination of orange and deep purple!

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

I’ve been holding onto this tablecloth for years. I found it at the thrift store back when we had a small round table in our first apartment, but it was just too cool to pass up. I’ve been dying to use it and we finally have a rectangular dining table! Bryan asked me if it wasn’t just a little too busy with the leopard chairs and the oriental rug… I love it!

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

Some pages from an antique French dictionary made the perfect place mats, and some leftover copper plumbing strapping (from the office desk build) became napkin rings!

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

A DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting |

Into a white pitcher on the mantel went the infamous trunk-stash grass. Joined by just a few of my antique books selected for (one might even say judged by) their autumnal covers. And naturally a brass buffalo.

A DIY Thanksgiving Mantel |

A DIY Thanksgiving Mantel |

A DIY Thanksgiving Mantel |

A DIY Thanksgiving Mantel |

And there you have it - my better-late-than-never fall decorations! I’ve got to shout out the awesome Kim, Michelle, Katja & Rachel for hosting the holiday “Dare to DIY” series and inspiring me to create something for Thanksgiving! These decorations may making way for Christmas any moment, but it certainly was fun to set up my little Fakesgiving dining room and keep the tradition alive!

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Linking up to Dare to DIY!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thrift Score Thursday 42

Hey guys! Happy #thriftscorethursday!

Ashley from Bigger Than The Three Of Us is back guest hosting once more! Right now on her blog she’s sharing 12 days of Christmas ornaments – after you stop by to see her thrift score, check out her DIY ornament ideas as well!

Now, if you’d like to join in #thriftscorethursday yourself, here’s how: Simply share a picture of any thrifty find on Instagram or Twitter using #thriftscorethursday!

thrift score thursday10

The Facts:

- You can share any thrifty finds with us – whether they hail from a thrift store, Craigslist, estate sale, garage sale, side of the road, or apartment dumpster! The fun, the funny, the awesome, the odd - this hashtag party is open to all!
- Feel free to use #thriftscorethursday any day of the week! We'll be keeping up with the hashtag all week long to find our favorites for the following Thursday.
- Each week, Trisha from Black and White Obsession, Cassie from Primitive and Proper, Corinna from For My Love Of and I will pick a favorite thrift score or two to feature! So please note that by linking up with#thriftscorethursday, you are giving us permission to share your finds via social media or on our blogs.

The Features:

Emily from Emily May Designs (Instagram: emibrookie) found a stunning teak high board for just £10! I have such a soft spot in my heart for teak, even though I’ve sold all the teak pieces I’ve found in the past. It’s just gorgeous, isn’t it?

thriftscorethursday emibrookie teak highboard

Here’s another fantastic midcentury thrift score – Turena (Instagram: tsfinds) just found and is in the process of recovering this incredible gondola sofa! I think it’s a Pearsall! She’s recovering it with the lovely textured black fabric. I’m so excited for her and I can’t wait to see the outcome!

thriftscorethursday tsfinds pearsall gondola sofa
thriftscorethursday tsfinds fabric

Mera and Katie are two best friends in different states who write the blog Red House West (Instagram: redhousewest). I love this #shelfie they shared featuring this awesome vintage plate!

thriftscorethursday redhousewest art plate

My Find:

I can’t stop bringing home thrifted art. I have a stack just waiting to be hung on the wall somewhere! I’m trying to be better about bringing home things without a distinct purpose/place, so when I found this piece and fell in love with the bright colors (and you know I have a weakness for stitchery!) I almost left it behind.

However, I decided that the fun colors might inspire me to get a move on sprucing up our laundry room, so it came home with me after all! I’m planning to paint the frame black to make it a little more modern.

thriftscorethursday laundry needlework art

I want that quilt in real life!

Now it’s your turn! Find anything good recently? Big, small, cool or crazy – share using #thriftscorethursday!

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Be sure to check out the finds and features from Cassie, Corinna & Ashley!

Thrift Score Thursday Cassie

Thrift Score Thursday Corinna

TST Guest Host Ashley

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Take An #Artbreak This Holiday Season

Thank you to Plumb for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway! You guys know I’m committed to only sharing products and companies I really truly love, and I couldn’t be more excited to share these killer notebooks with you today!

I am breaking my rule of “no Christmas before Thanksgiving” for the first time in my life! (I’ll let the magnitude of that sink in. Perhaps just for myself/those who know me well.) All the Christmas pins were circulating on Pinterest, cold weather came early here in Texas, and I just had an irresistible itch to do some hall-decking.

plumb notebooks14

plumb notebooks12

I’m by no means done, but I love how festive the living room is starting to look! My approach to holiday decorating is to sprinkle little Christmassy things around the house, like the felt Santa hat and scarf I made for my foxes on the sideboard and adding a few festive touches to the coffee table.

plumb notebooks7

plumb notebooks4

On the coffee table, I corralled some art supplies together in a tray: some colored pencils and my favorite Ticonderoga sketching pencils in a vintage thrifted strawberry cup, and two gorgeous notebooks from Plumb.

I need to gush to you guys about these notebooks for a second [completely unbiased, impartial gushing, pinky swear]. Plumb is a line of gorgeous, artist-designed notebooks, each with a specific idea or theme to get your creative ideas sparking and each is a work of art in itself!

The emerald green Stack Book is filled with blank cream pages in the middle and richly colored collage swatches on the end pages and I just couldn’t resist whipping up a gif so you can virtually flip through it with me…


And the fake-jacket journal sitting beneath it is quite possibly my favorite notebook of all time – it’s a hardback blank book with two sets of reversible jackets!

plumb fake-jacket journal

The “Autobiography of a Plant” jacket is my favorite option, but wouldn’t you know… I just had to create another gif with all the clever jacket possibilities!


The inside is beautiful as well!

plumb fake-jacket journal3

And you know, if it’s the autobiography of a plant – well, here’s how it begins:

plumb fake-jacket journal2

See? Creativity totally sparked! Who knows, perhaps I’ll continue to chronicle the fun life events of our young plant or ask guests to contribute a sketch or a doodle.

I love that having these art supplies out is reminding me to actually use them. I can be a bit of a workaholic and I’ve been trying to find more personal time lately where I unplug and just do something just for me.

So when Plumb reached out to me about their #artbreak campaign, it really resonated with me! An “artbreak” is a short, daily break to do something creative – a doodle, a sketch, a coloring sheet – because margin like that is so important!

As someone who deals with constant anxiety, I was very intrigued to recently learn that activities like coloring can be extremely helpful for stress and anxiety. Finding something that can get me out of my own noisy head for a little while is truly a gift!

The concept of a daily artbreak actually spurred me to do something: I set an alarm on my phone for 4:30 every afternoon and I have been making an effort to get away for a few minutes from whatever task is occupying me and give myself some creative white space.

One truly special part of Plumb’s #artbreak campaign is that Plumb will donate $1 to 826 National (a non-profit that provides under-resourced kids with programs to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills) for each Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post using #artbreak, up to $2,500!

Manage stress, exercise your creativity, and help make the world a better place all in one short break each day! It gets me pretty excited!

plumb mini superhero notebook3

plumb explorer notebook

plumb explorer notebook2

Two more adorable Plumb notebooks for you to peek at – the mini superhero notebook with red, gray and blue perforated mini cards and the explorer notebook which is lined and has tabs and a pocket in the back.

And here’s why I’ve been sharing the cool features of these four notebooks…

One lucky reader will win a set of 4 Plumb notebooks: the fake-jacket notebook, the stack book, the explorer notebook and the mini superhero notebook!

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Prize ships to the continental US. Giveaway ends 11/25, 12:00 am CT. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.

Good luck you guys! The prompt for the comment entry is: What would you do with your awesome new notebooks? Use them on your coffee table, give them as a gift, plot world domination? Let me know! (And don’t forget to confirm your entry on the Rafflecopter widget.)

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P.S. One more awesome thing: Plumb is offering an exclusive 20% off discount code to readers of The Gathered Home for your holiday shopping! Enter HOME20 at checkout.



Hi, I'm Brynne! Welcome to my little home on the world wide web in celebration of finding and making!

I'm an admitted Craigslist addict, cheapskate, and dyed-in-the-wool DIYer with a weakness for anything brass and a penchant for hyperbole. Read more...