Handmade Holidays: Thanksgiving 2014

We had a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year with one friend as our guest. While the elaborate cooking always makes it feel like a celebration, I wanted to dress things up a little. My new focus on the handmade life had me watching for the things we did ourselves.

First off, I took the time to make myself an apron. Inspired by Marisa Lynch, I bought a strapless dress too small for me to wear at a thrift shop because I loved the roses on it. Right from the start, I intended to make it into an apron, but I only sat down and tackled it this week.

The strapless dress I started with.
The strapless dress I started with.
The apron I made for it. (Festive!)
The apron I made from it.

I also wanted the table to look festive. I bought flowers from a local florist and put them in a handmade vase that was given to me as a gift.

We own a beautiful batik tablecloth, but it’s dyed with indigo, and somehow dark blue doesn’t really go with a harvest color scheme. Then I remembered that one of my unfinished quilts is a maple leaf quilt in harvest colors. It was too big for the table, so I folded the edges under. I love how it made the table look. Best of all, my place mats went with it as if I’d been planning this all along.

The table cloth is an unfinished quilt top. I love how it looks!
The table cloth is an unfinished quilt top. I love how it looks!

The cooking of the Thanksgiving Day meal can be a great place to practice the handmade life. My husband did most of the cooking this year. Everything we ate was homemade. All of the foods met my strict dietary needs, from stuffing without any grains in it, to baked apples without any sugar added. It was all super delicious!

cranberrySauce
Sauce made from whole cranberries and apple juice concentrate. Tart but yummy.
turkey
Our bird, full of grain-free stuffing.

While our group was small, the carefully made food and attention to aesthetic details did make it feel like a party. I felt a quiet joy throughout the day that tells me my Thanksgiving day celebration was a success.

Did you do anything to personalize your holiday this year? What handmade touches did you add to the festivities?

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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