Thanksgiving Trials and Tribulations: The Table

So I decided to have Thanksgiving in the new house, but the funny thing is that I have absolutely no dining room furniture.  Not a stitch.

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I did have these pine cones adorning the mantle across the room.  I found them at a yard sale a few months back.  Too bad you can’t sit on or eat off of them.

With less than a week before Thanksgiving, I had to put on my thinking cap.

My solution was not unlike glamping.

Actually glamping might be more glamorous.

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Thank you to Costco and Ikea, I am the proud owner of a “dining set” for under $100.  Coincidentally, I am now equipped for tailgating.  I’m loving this versatile furniture.

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Because I planned to serve slightly more elegant food than hotdogs and chips, I figured I might want to dress (hide) the table.

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I found just the thing at Wal-mart: tone-on-tone ticking stripe fabric by the yard that I would transform into a tablecloth.  Minor detail: Did I mention that I don’t sew?

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Ta-da!  With some creative cutting and folding, I successfully hid the evidence that my table was anything but solid mahogany.

I advised my guests not to lean too hard on my “delicate” table and explained that I was going for a more eclectic look with my “retro” chairs.

A little metallic never hurt anyone, so I started the tabletop with gold chargers and an actual vintage piece, a candelabra that my grandmother had given my great Aunt Anna before she passed.  It was nice to have a reminder of her at the table.  She was a great cook and an elegant lady.  I think she would have been proud of my efforts.

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Glassware and plates instantly made the table look fuller and shinier.

The table was beginning to look legitimate.

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Then came some tinted glass bowls to add color and continue with the vintage theme.  My mom and I made a last minute dash to Pier 1 for some golden yellow cloth napkins.   I put together two low floral arrangements with my flowers from Costco.  I love a show-stopping floral centerpiece, but I actually wanted to be able to see the other people at the table so I divided and conquered. I also added some burlap ribbon to my fancy chairs to complete my unique look.

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I was pretty pleased with myself, especially since this set-up cost me less than the groceries for the meal.

Consider this my submission for the design on a dime challenge.

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This is my favorite angle.

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Eugene took this fab picture with her phone.  I think it’s worthy of Martha Stewart Living.

This certainly wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving set-up, but we all got to sit together around the table and have a good laugh.  I’ll give thanks for that.

Stay tuned for the meal.  It was not without its challenges.

Y’all keep it classy,

Sugarlump

New Drapes

I had another one of those serendipitous shopping moments last week.   I think, after a while of coming up empty-handed and discouraged, you build up good shopping karma and exactly what you have been looking for everywhere appears right before your eyes.  I had this moment in Bed Bath and Beyond.  I had looked a couple months back and there was nothing that excited me as I searched for drapery panels for my main living area.  My ceilings are 9 feet tall so I needed 108” length panels because I wanted them to puddle slightly at the bottom.  You almost never see this length available in the store.  Normally they have the 84” and 95” stocked and then the “extended lengths” are available for order online. 

Having given up on finding something readymade in the textured woven oatmeal-ish genre, I looked into custom drapes, which would likely be 3-4 times as expensive and take 3-4 times as long to arrive.  I just wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that kind of money on drapes for an apartment that is likely temporary and full of abnormally large windows.  I also wasn’t sure I would have a use for 7 long panels of something very specific.  And I’m impatient. 

My solution to this whole dilemma was to ignore it for a while.

It was very effective.   Except when I was in my apartment and able to see my naked windows.

Then, one fateful day last week, I stepped foot in Bed Bath and Beyond for the first time in months with low expectations and a glimmer of hope.  I didn’t even grab a cart or a basket as I sped toward the drapery department.  I walked through the first isle and saw nothing but dreadful polyester in 84” length panels.  I headed down the second isle, sure that my drapeless fate was sealed.  I reached the end of the isle and saw some drapes that had a nice, chunky woven texture like I had been searching for.   And they even had a color that could work: a sandy, oatmeal-y, taupe-ish color.  I figured I would have to order them online, but as I pulled back the sample curtain, there lay at least a dozen of the panels in the color I wanted in 108” length!  I nearly fainted.  Then the adrenaline kicked in and I sprinted (almost) around to the front of the store to grab a cart.  I tore around the corner on two wheels in the direction of the drapery section.  Thankfully, no one had scooped up all of the panels in the 13.4 seconds I was gone.  I quickly pulled out 7 packages and violently threw them into my cart like I was on Supermarket Sweep and headed for the registers. 

I only had 1 coupon with me and it was for 20% off one full-priced item.   The nice lady at the register asked me if I had any more because I could “save a bundle.”  I had had other coupons, but they had expired and I was pretty sure I’d recycled them already.  One lady behind me in line had a handful of coupons and offered me a couple of hers.  It was so sweet of her but I told her I couldn’t take her coupons from her.  The cashier said if I found any more coupons that I should come back and get my receipt adjusted.  Wouldn’t you know that I dug around in my car for my coupon folder (I have to have this otherwise I always leave my coupons either a) in my house or b) in a different purse that I am not carrying that day) and found a coupon for 20% off my ENTIRE PURCHASE (read: $84 plus tax in savings). The only issue was that the coupon had expired at the end of July and it was now the first week of September.   I know some stores will still take coupons after they have “expired” so I went back into the store and played dumb like I couldn’t read the large print indicating that my coupon had expired on 7/31/12.

It surely was a fateful day because instead of the surly, gum-chewing 20-something woman at customer service, I was called over for service at the register of a nice young man.  I gave him the coupon and my receipt from earlier in the day, telling him that I had found my 20% off my ENTIRE PURCHASE coupon I had meant to bring in when I made my purchase.  No problem.  He was going to take care of that for me right away.  And he did.  

And I got exactly the drapes I had been looking for, for ¼ the price I had considered spending, in the correct length and color, AND I was able to drive straight home and put them up in 30 minutes.

To say I was/am pleased would hardly cover it.

To say Gus and Scarlet are pleased would hardly cover it.  Though it took them weeks to warm up to their new, plush cat beds, they took to the drapes immediately, even before I had them hung on the rods.

If you need me at any point in time for the next few years of my life, I will be lint-rolling and vacuuming these drapes.  

 But at least I have drapes.

I mean, Scarlett has drapes.

If you need Scarlett, she’ll be snuggling with/guarding the drapes.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

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