Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

by Ann

Taking time to reflect on all of the things that there are to be grateful for is a worthwhile endeavor at all times;  this holiday reminds us of the significance of being thankful and not taking our health, family, friendships and blessings for granted. 

As Heather, Sheila and I were planning the dates of “who does what for the blog” I knew right away that one of my posts would fall on Thanksgiving, but at that point was more concerned about getting in gear for my first post – not my sixth.  Sheila sent me an email about a week ago concerned that her Thanksgiving week post might duplicate mine if she wrote about thankfulness, and my immediate response was that by all means she should write the post, knowing that whatever I ended up writing would follow up her thoughts on a different note.  Can you see that we are feeling empowered to deviate slightly from our weekly routine about what we’ll talk about daily by this week’s posts?  My guess is that holidays weeks will often stray from the original plan.  With that said, since this is Thursday, the “Furnishings day,” I will end with a simple idea for napkin rings for large gatherings.

In my opinion, the people in our lives are by far our most precious gift.  Family and friends (including co-workers) are what make each day enjoyable and a new adventure.  As you have probably read on the home page of our blog, Heather, Sheila, and I have been friends for a very long time.  You, our faithful readers, are most likely also our family and dear friends, hence your dedication to reading our blog.  (Our vision is that eventually the word will be out and our readership will be widespread.)  Even though our friends know us well, they don’t necessarily know the other two of the “Ann, Heather, and Sheila” trio, but my guess is that you are getting a feel for each of our personalities through our blog posts.  In fact, one of my dear friends who has heard me talk for many years about my good pals Sheila and Heather wrote me an email saying that prior to the blog, she thought of “Heather and Sheila interchangeably, but now sees them as two distinctly different people,” which we all certainly are.

Of the three of us, I am the most “no frills.”  I like simple, but nice.  Things don’t have to be perfect for me, which is a good thing since they rarely are.  The idea that I am sharing on this post exemplifies that idea.  Dinner at our household always means eating in the dining room, and we always light candles and use cloth napkins.  With busy work schedules, an hour at dinnertime is often the only time that my husband I have to touch bases; so if it’s a Tuesday night, the routine is to have a nice relaxing meal, even if the food is simple.

Since we use cloth napkins at all meals, over the years I have amassed numerous napkin rings, but like most accessories, now many of them are dated (read – carved wooden cats, flowers, sea creatures, and birds – yes, I have multiples of all of those, I just checked the drawer).  Don’t get me wrong – I swear that I have some classier options, but typically only in sets of four to eight.  Every now and then (Thanksgiving?) the crowd exceeds the number of rings.  What to do?  Create some theme-based, reusable attractive rings from wire-edged ribbon.  See the pic below for this year’s Thanksgiving table using a variety of fall-themed ribbons that I’ve used over the years.  If the crowd gets bigger, I add a new ribbon and embrace the “mix and match” concept, which is a critical component to the “everything does not need to be perfect” mantra that I live by.
You can see the mix and match concept -
bread plates and napkin rings vary from setting to setting.
Supplies are simple - wide wire edged ribbon (I pick up ribbon at the craft stores whenever I see it on clearance, which is often), and scissors that are ok to cut wire. 
Cut pieces 1 yard in length.
The inexpensive rings can be used to match themes, tableware, linens, or whatever you can imagine!

I truly hope that this holiday season finds you and your family well, and that you are able to enjoy being with the people who make a difference in your life!

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