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BLOG | ANDREA JENNISON INTERIORS | decorating interiors near and far from bend, oregon
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I’m not usually one to bother too much with the table setting on Thanksgiving as I prefer to focus on my efforts on the cooking and eating parts of the holiday. :)  However, this year I’m feeling inspired by some of the fall arrivals at West Elm.  Mainly, these salad plates designed by artist Shanna Murray.  They are really stunning and best of all, each one is adorned with the sweetest sentiment!  Our table seats six so if I were to indulge, I’d purchase two of each of my favorite three sayings: “gather together” + “in good company” + “glad you’re here.”  I’d look forward to using them to welcome family and friends to our table throughout this holiday season and for years to come.

Below, you’ll find the salad plates mentioned above, along with a few more finds that I’d love to add to our holiday table.  I’m pretty practical so not only would these items mix beautifully with our exiting heirloom china and crystal that we like to use for special meals, but they’d also be put to use year-round!

TheHolidayTable

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP : sweet sentiment plates | buffalo check napkins (rats, they’ve sold out) | dotted napkins | DIY craft paper placemat | wood candlesticks

What are your Thanksgiving plans?  For the first time in years, we’ll be spending the holiday with extended family.  We’re hosting my mom and step-dad from out of state and I’m so SO excited to spend the day puttering in the kitchen with loved ones!

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We’ve been checking out Halloween stories galore from our local library.  While we’ve come across many that we’ve liked, there were a handful that we really, really loved.  Here’s a roundup of our favorites so far:

Favorite-Halloween-Stories

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP : Trick or Treat, Marley | Halloween Night | The Monster’s Monster | The Ugly Pumpkin | Room on the Broom | Just Say Boo | Over in the Hollow | Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat

For other parents that may be wondering about the spooky factor… Lola hasn’t found these books to be scary at all, perhaps with the exception of Halloween Night.  She loved it while we were reading it but asked for a nightlight when going to bed afterwards (which she’s never done before).  Whoops!  The story is a spin on The Night Before Christmas and follows all kinds of ghouls as they prep a Halloween party for trick or treaters.  It’s a really great tale with beautiful illustrations so I’ll be keeping it on my list of favorites but I think I’ll wait to re-introduce it to her when she’s a little bit older.

Do you have any favorites that didn’t make the list?  I’d love to know about them!

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We’ve got new drapes in our living space!  Out with the blinds and in with soft framing flat panels.  Yahoo!

New-Drapes-Living-Room

New-Drapes-Dining-Room

I bought the fabric forever ago but only recently got around to tackling this beast of a sewing project.  We have four windows in our combined living/dining area and I really wanted to frame out each window so I sewed eight panels total.

I chose a classic black on ivory ticking stripe.  This inexpensive option is a great quality for the price!  It’s nice and thick and the ivory background is the perfect shade.  The effect was exactly what I was looking for.  Up close you’ll notice the neutral pattern but from far away, the stripe looks really subtle and texture-y.  Overall, I’m really happy with the outcome of this project.  Aaaaaand, I’m also really happy that it’s done and checked off the list. :)

New-Drapes-Close-Up

Of course no sewing project would be complete without hiccups (at least when I’m behind the sewing machine).  I’m a really inexperienced sewer so naturally, I learn lessons with each project.  In this case, the drapes were supposed to be much longer but the panels shrunk in the wash a lot more than I thought they would.  I pre-washed a swatch before doing any cutting to test for shrinkage.  The swatch didn’t shrink much at all so I only allowed for about an inch of shrinkage for each panel.  Big mistake!  The panels ended up shrinking six inches(!!!).  So disappointing since I had plenty of fabric to work with and could have cut them a lot longer had I known that would be the case.  Ah well, lesson learned.  Next time around I will leave a lot of extra length when making the initial cut and then I’ll re-cut after the prewash if I have to.

These new drapes replaced the existing blinds that were in the house when we moved in.  We’re working our way through our house, attempting to hide or replace all of the existing blinds.  In most cases, I will simply hide the blinds (we’re renting so we’re trying to minimalize the number of blinds that we’ll have to re-hang when we move out).  In this case though, I decided it was worth it to remove the blinds so that we could hang flat panels.  I reeeeally wanted the look of the flat panels.  But also, I had to buy a lot of fabric for this project so I wanted to create something that we could take with us and use in a future home.  If I had sewn roman shades, I would have had to customize them for these windows and wouldn’t be able to re-use them.  Totally worth the extra effort, I think!

PS  Before shots with the blinds.

PPS How we hid the blinds in our daughter’s nursery with functioning faux roman shades.

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DIY-Halloween-Eeeeek-Garland

When decorating for Halloween, do you tend to fall into the dark and eerie or the orange and harvesty camp?  I don’t go all out for Halloween but I do like to add a few festive touches around the house and my style definitely leans dark and eerie.  Not too spooky, but certainly neutral.  Think black, gray, cream, mercury glass, etc.

This Eek garland totally fits the vibe and adds a festive touch above our fireplace.  The garland in the photo above is my second go-around with project.  I made my first garland last year (before I started blogging) and I just finished making a second one so that I could document the process with step by step photos for the blog.  If you’re looking for a simple Halloween project, I’ll be sharing the steps below (it’s really simple to make!).  If you’d like an Eek garland of your own but are short on time, it’s your lucky day because I’m giving one away to a lucky reader!  A little Halloween gift from me to you to say thanks for reading!

For those of you wanting to make your own garland, you’ll need: white burlap + a sharpie + jute twine + white cardstock (and a printer) + a hot glue gun (and extra glue).

Obviously you can make any size garland that you want but to give you an idea of scale, I’ll include the sizes of my triangles and letters.

Halloween-Garland-Steps-1-4

[1]  Create a triangle template using a piece of scratch cardboard.  An old cereal box works great. ;) ;)  My triangle is 7 1/2 in. across the top and has a perpendicular length of 7 3/4 in.

[2]  Trace your template onto the burlap with a sharpie.  If you rotate your triangle 180 degrees each time you trace it, you’ll save burlap and won’t have to do as much cutting (since your triangles will share lines).  The number of triangles that you’ll need will depend on how long you want your garland to be.  I used seven.

[3]  Cut out your burlap triangles.

[4]  Print out your Eek letters onto white cardstock.  I used Times New Roman, bolded and italicized, font size 375.  A PDF is available here.  If your banner is longer than seven triangles, simply print out extra copies of page two of the PDF.

Halloween-Garland-Steps-5-8

[5]  Cut out all of your letters.  You don’t need to worry about being too precise.  A little bit of white left around the edges will blend in with the burlap.  This step is tedious but it doesn’t take that long, I promise!  Small pointy scissors will help with cutting out the center of the little e’s but they aren’t necessary.

[6]  Using a hot glue gun, attach the letters to the front of the triangles (the black sharpie marks should be on the back).  Make sure to line up your letters in about the same spot and at the same angle on each triangle.  The glue WILL seep thru the burlap a bit so make sure to lay down a protective surface!

[7]  Using a hot glue gun, attach the jute twine along the tops of the backs of the triangles (making sure the letters are in the correct order as you go).  I laid my triangle upside down on my cardboard, ran a bead of hot glue along the top and then carefully pressed the jute into the hot glue (I say carefully because I quickly learned to keep my burnt fingers out of the glue).  Note: You don’t want the twine to be twisty or else your garland will hang all wonky so straighten out any twists as you work your way down the twine.

[8]  You’re done!  Hang and enjoy. :)

DIY-Halloween-Garland

 

PSSSSST!

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway is for one Eeeeeek garland made by yours truly and is open to US residents only (sorry!).  Simply leave a comment below to enter and I’ll pick a winner next week.  Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. 

And the winner is . . . Beckie!  Who, if I’m being honest, is my mom. She’s the only one that signed up!  A humbling experience, for sure. ;)  Anyway, enjoy your spooky garland, mom.  It’s on it’s way!

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FavoriteRecipes

[MAKE. EAT. ENJOY. REPEAT]

 

Favorite-Recipes-Hearty-Fall-Dishes

[left | center | right]

We just finished enjoying a new-to-us soup recipe that was really hearty and satisfying.  The perfect choice on this chilly, rainy day!  I thought I’d add it to the favorite recipes page on the blog and figured while I was at it, I’d add some of our other cold weather favorites.  The newly added include: the white bean with bacon soup that we enjoyed tonight (and I know will continue to enjoy time and time again), chicken enchiladas, swedish meatballs, comfort meatballs, french dip sandwiches (a game day favorite), and apple cider baked donut holes.  Check out the Favorite Recipes tab in the sidebar for the links.  [it’s over there] >>

While you’re at it, you may want to peruse the previously added soup and frosted ginger cookies recipes, all of which I’d consider prime examples of cold weather comfort dishes!  Also, our secret to making sure we always have good crusty bread on hand during soup season.

What’s your favorite recipe to prepare on a blustery day?  Please, do share!

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Favorite-Finds-09.18.13

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP : this lovely LET IT GO BANNER serves as art and a gentle reminder, schoolhouse electric $110.00 | fire season is just around the corner! this CANVAS LOG BASKET would look so good fireside or in any room of the house, best made co. $120.00 | this beautiful and sculptural DOUBLE ARM WALL SCONCE is a total steal! seriously can’t believe the price point or that it’s from pottery barn kids, $159.99 | this black and white BUFFALO CHECK THROW is total perfection in my book, schoolhouse electric $120.00 | i really love these textural BAG PLANTERS for plants and storage indoors or out and they’ve recently gone on sale, west elm $19.99

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Do you collect anything?  Overstuffed closets and clutter make me feel a bit panicky so needless to say, I wouldn’t consider myself a collector.  This image, however, might just sway me.

Stack-O-Plaid-Blankets

[via Life of Style]

Collecting vintage plaid wool blankets is an idea that I could get behind.  Not only are they beautiful, but they are useful.  I think a practical collection might just be my kind of collection!  Of course you could use them for snuggling up on the couch but imagine the other possibilities: keeping one in the car for picnics or football games, adding a shot of color and warmth to a bed, using them as tablecloths (indoors or out), leaving one draped over a porch swing, even turning one into a pillow.

I imagine the hunt would be pretty fun too!  I’d love to keep an eye out for them while poking around garage sales, thrift and antique stores.  I’d also occasionally peruse the internet for the perfect addition.  Etsy, by the way, is a treasure trove.  Just search vintage plaid wool blanket and you’ll see what I mean.  In just a few minutes I was able to round up all of these beauties:

Vintage-Plaid-Blankets

ROW ONE : left | center | right  ROW TWO : left | center | right  ROW THREE : left | center | right

While tempting, I certainly wouldn’t buy them all at once.  What’s the fun in that?!  I’d start with that mint/emerald number in the top right corner (maybe the gold/tan one too) and add from there.  I’d store them in a wire basket that would show off my mis-matched stack and allow for easy access (this is collection that is meant to be used!).

Here’s some inspiration to show some of the things that you could do with such a collection.  I absolutely love the masculine touch that they provide in a room.  And taking them outside?  Super cozy!

Plaid-Blanket-For-Snuggling

[via Pinterest, link broken :( ]

[via Pinterest]

Plaid-Blanket-As-Tablecloth

[source : Better Homes and Gardens magazine, October 2012]

Plaid-Blanket-As-Tablecloth-2

[source : We Took to the Woods]

Plaid-Blanket-In-Girly-Room

[source : Rita Konig’s portfolio]

Plaid-Blanket-In-Eclectic-Room

[Barrie Benson via Kirtsy]

Plaid-Blanket-In-Masculine-Room

[source : Schoolhouse Electric]

While plaid blankets can and should be used and displayed all year, there’s something about them that feels oh so autumn.  Are you ready for sweaters and apple cider and pumpkin everything?  I’m not yet ready for cold but I’m definitely ready for chilly!

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