Friday, December 23, 2011

Dining Room Before and After, Thanksgiving Recipes, Platters and Table Decor (Tablescape)



Hi there everyone, it has been a long time, I know... I feel really guilty, and disappointed with myself, for not doing a post since Thanksgiving! Worse yet, I promised you photos of our Thanksgiving table and decor, as well as the before and after paint job I did in my mother's dining room and foyer, yet I never delivered. I'm rotten. 


 There's really no excuse, except that ever since the insanity of major term papers and final exams that topped off Fall semester on the 9th, I have been super lazy. Starting the day before Thanksgiving and ending on December 9th I had to write three 11+ page term papers, 3 Sociology film reviews/reactions of 2-3 pages each, give a 6 minute oral presentation on my term paper titled Negative Portrayals of Latina Women in the Media, and study for/take three final exams. Soooo, when it was all finally over, I just wanted to veg out and let the soreness in my fingers and the massive stress knots in my shoulders dissipate - not to mention my mental exhaustion! However, albeit demanding, I really enjoyed my classes and learned a lot.

Regardless of being lazy or busy, I should never promise things and not follow through. That's no good. After two years of blogging I have come to see that as one of my greatest faults, one I aim to change. Since I stopped working half way through Fall semester to make more time for my classes (and now that the semester is over), I plan to dedicate more time to Inspire Bohemia. I would love to make blogging my full time job, along with arts and crafts, we'll see. Any tips out there for making that a reality?

With that said, I need to make a few New Year's resolutions, both personal and for this blog... Such as, following through on future post promises, or don't promise at all. My time off from work will allow me to concentrate on refining this blog and add several exciting new features that I have been brainstorming and working on for a long time! I'm drawing up a New Year's resolution post to formally commit myself and stay on track, hold me accountable people!

So, how has everyone out there been? What are your plans for this weekend? For those of you who celebrate it, have you been swept away by the Christmas cloud? You know, decorating, shopping, wondering what thoughtful gift to make/buy everyone, planning surprises and dinners, etc... Well I have! Despite my disapproval of how Christmas has been excessively commercialized and exploited to promote shopping and corporate profit, I still love to give my loved ones some thoughtful gifts. This year I did almost all of my shopping on eBay and Etsy, 99% of what I bought was vintage, antique or hand made. Don't underestimate eBay and Etsy, you can find some great treasures at low lowwwww prices. I'd love to show you all the lovely things that I bought right now, but I must keep those secrets until Christmas so as not to spoil gifts (ehem, mom!).

And now, scroll on to look an are the images that I promised you so long ago...
I hope everyone has an awesome holiday weekend! 

Catherine
xoxo

This is what my mother's dining room looked like before I painted...

I know, I know... what were we thinking, right? Well to be honest, none of us can remember - haha!

This is the paint I used, Behr Premium Plus Ultra, paint and primer in one, in the color Gobi Desert (710C-3). I have used Gobi Desert many times before, it's a great neutral sandy beige...

These images are a bit dark, sorry...

I had never used the Premium Plus Ultra from Behr with the mixed in primer before, so I was worried if it would do the job and cover up all that red. Well, it didn't disappoint. Here is the end result, the "after"...


Now that the wall is much lighter (and all the walls match) it looks less heavy and dark, it also looks bigger! The crisp clean look is also due to a fresh coat of white semi-gloss on the baseboards. As you can see, the wall itself looks much bigger, making the bullfighter painting look lonely. I'll fix that soon enough, either by grouping more art with it or hanging independent pairs/groups/objects on either side...

...This bullfighter was painted by my grandfather on my father's side in 1959, he was an amazing artist, and so was my father....

Story has it that he painted this for a close friend who was a bullfighting aficionado. Luckily, the painting survived a fire, and in a surprising twist, the man's wife gave the painting back to our family after he passed away. Whether you think that's strange or not, I'm glad she did! The fact that it was painted by my grandfather and survived a fire is wonderful, and the fact that it looks like it has been through hell - especially the thick scarred wood frame - appeals to me, it has history! One day this painting will be mine, and I love it....

After I finished painting the dining room, my mother and I rehung the antique wood cabinets that flank the doorway to the family room...

...and moved a beautiful pair of framed Indian embroideries from the living room onto the wall opposite the bullfighter painting. If by chance you are wondering, that's an antique Granfanola below the frames and cabinet to the left, my aunt gave it to my mother years ago... It worked, last I checked electrocuted myself cranking the crank - hahahaha!

You may have noticed in the images above that I threw together a quick Thanksgiving vignette of items to create a centerpiece on the dining buffet/sideboard. I grouped some real mini pumpkins that I bought at my local grocery store with ceramic and wood ones that we've collected over the years from places like TJMaxx, Marshalls, Ross and even the dollar store. I flanked the group of pumpkins with pretty ceramic pitchers, candles, and a case full of dried branches and tall grass...


Since I had enough paint I also painted the foyer wall, it looks much better too - here is the before (an image from my Halloween decor post):

The difference may not seem like much, but it is. The lighting makes it difficult to see the weird faux paint job that we had done with some funky designer roller years back. The after looks much cleaner...

I reused all of the small pumpkins that I bought for my Halloween decor, along with some ceramic and stone owls, acorns and a partridge to create another Thanksgiving vignette on the small entry table...




As for our Thanksgiving table and dinner itself, (if you even care to see now that it is a month in the past) scroll on...



I was in a bit of a rush, so after taking my pictures I realized that I forgot to put put the glasses! Oops... I layered two different sized and style plates for the mixed texture of the different designs on the edge of the plates, as well as the pop of white against the larger sandy taupe plate.


The place mat is actually a fringed cloth napkin (of which we have many in curry yellow, red and green) that I strategically folded.



Can you tell how much I like these little salt+pepper shaker pilgrims? I believe they are the famous ones from that old funny Thanksgiving commercial...


I later added a runner to the buffet (which coincidentally matches the rusty red in the dining tablecloth and the painting), feng shui'd/de-cluttered the pumpkin gang, lit the candles, and added some fresh flowers to the big blue pitcher...


And while I was doing all the table preparation, my mother was in the kitchen preparing the most delicious meal ever...

The turkey and overflowing stuffing (get that recipe here) was ready... the gravy and hollandaise sauce (for the asparagus) bubbling....

Side dishes cooking or warming in the oven...
I popped in to make our favorite mushrooms...with lots of Marsala wine and butter - YUMMMM!

My aunt came over with some red wine and we cracked it open...

...got out and washed our platters...

...set out my mother's homemade cranberry sauce...

...and her AMAZING Sweet Potato casserole with a thick dreamy layer of crusty brown sugar, butter and pecans on top! For the recipe, check out this post...

Mashed potatoes...

...and eventually, the whole shebang!...



And then there was dessert! We didn't have a Pumpkin Pie this year since there were so many other desserts, and we tend to have pie leftover for weeks. Yes, it felt weird not having a Pumpkin Pie, but after my uncle sent over this amazing homemade Key Lime Pie I forgot all abou1t it.... :) 


...there was also a Flan that my aunt made...

And last but not least, I made a Pecan pie, mmmm.... my other favorite! For that recipe check out this post.

(All images in this post are my personal images, please write me an e-mail at
InspireBohemia(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested in using them.  Thank you.)

3 comments:

  1. MARVELOUS! Thank you again for your help in painting and setting up for Thanksgiving ~ my favorite holiday! Beautiful post and pictures.
    Love you,
    Mom

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok so now I am hungry! Yummo what a great table and the decorations were wonderful. What a catch up indeed. I was pretty lazy over the holidays too. I only posted twice, need to do it more often though. I have soooo many more photos to show and things to talk about. Love that wall color too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a great job!! Im in love with your blog!!

    ReplyDelete