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Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Table Decoration Ideas

November 20, 2015

Pear Table Place Setting

Think of your tabletop as a blank canvas on which you will create your “tablescape” art. You choose your mediums as any artist would—your surface, linens, flowers and candles. The layering of colors and textures, adding personal touches, all play a part in the delight and ambiance that a beautifully designed table brings to a special occasion. Go as big or as simple as you want! This is your masterpiece, and should represent you and tell the story that you want told.

Let’s start with simple! Here are a few easy, creative and inexpensive ideas that I hope will provide some inspiration to get you started on your tablescape art.

Fresh Flower Wreath Centerpiece

Floral Wreath Centerpiece Close-Up

Wreaths are one of my favorite design styles for a more traditional centerpiece. Having the center of the wreath open provides endless opportunities for additional personalization. Here I used a beautiful amber Fenton glass vase as a candleholder. I think the amber glow is the perfect complement to the rich hues of the seasonal flowers in the wreath.

Recipe for Floral Wreath Centerpiece

When creating a fresh floral wreath I like to use flowers that air-dry nicely. Using flowers such as the varieties featured in this photo can extend the “life” of your centerpiece by weeks.

Succulent Wreath Centerpiece

Some varieties of hydrangeas dry better than others. The variety that dries the best and is featured in the wreath pictured above is known as an “antique hydrangea”. It is typically soft moss green with burgundy edging and works beautifully with all of the rich colors of autumn.

Fall Wreath Centerpiece Top-Down View

This wreath is all about the vibrant and saturated colors of the season. In order to create the perfect backdrop for this intensity I chose to keep everything else very neutral. A burlap table runner on a natural wood farm table and wooden chargers holding amber depression glass plates let this centerpiece take center stage!

How to Make your Flower Wreath Centerpiece:

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Halloween, Holiday Decorations

Candy Corn

October 6, 2015

Candy Corn Flower Arrangement

Let’s keep the iconic-Halloween-symbol-3D-floral-design thing going! This time, it’s all about the candy corn. Does anyone actually eat candy corn, or is it just for crafts and decor projects? Whatever people do with candy corn, they do a lot of it; according to the National Confectioners Association, approximately 25 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually! That’s a lot of kernels… so plug in those glue guns and get crafty! Here are a few decor ideas and a few candy-inspired beverages for young and old ghouls and goblins!

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Holiday Decorations

Celebrating Grandparents Day

August 21, 2015

Being a grandparent is the best excuse to be a kid again! At least one afternoon a week I plan some type of creative activity to do with my granddaughter Juliette – watercolor painting, calligraphy, planting a fairy garden, and one of my all time favorites – coloring! According to Digital Trends website, adult coloring books are the latest, and definitely least techy, method that people are choosing to help relax! In the past few weeks anywhere from four to eight of the top 20 best selling books on Amazon are coloring books!

Grandma Coloring with Granddaughter

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Holiday Decorations

Labor Day: A Time to Honor the American Worker

August 6, 2015

The History of Labor Day

While Labor Day signals the end of summer for many—and the weekend is often filled with beach parties, barbecues and picnics—I’m guessing that most people don’t think about the historical and lasting significance of Labor Day.

Celebrated since 1882, Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 to honor the contributions of the working men and women who built this country. Indeed, laborers are the backbone of this nation, and Labor Day is a time to recognize the dignity of work and the belief that honest, fairly-compensated labor gives meaning and structure to our lives. This is, and always will be, a core American value.

Celebrating the American Worker

This Labor Day, I want to honor Mary Doyle Keefe. As the model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” Mary Doyle Keefe became the symbol of American women working on the home front during World War II. Ms. Keefe died recently at her home in Simsbury, Connecticut at age 92.

There was another image, similar to that of Rosie, at the same time that was part of a nationwide campaign to sell war bonds. While not the same character, the message was the same: “We Can Do It.”

Rosie the Riveter Flower Arrangement

I created this beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day one year using an old galvanized toolbox as the container and filled it with a variety of garden flowers. There are many versions of the original “We Can Do It” image. I loved this version with the baby being held in the strong arm of the working woman. To me, it says so much about the many roles a woman plays.

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Holiday Decorations

Sister’s Day and Friendship Day

July 30, 2015

This Sunday—August 2nd—is both Sister’s Day and Friendship Day. Peggy is my sister, and she’s also my best friend… and I can’t imagine my life without her. One of the things that I love most about Peggy is her laughter and how much we laugh when we are together. She’s just like our mom was in that way.

Sisters Day Quote and Flowers

This post is in honor of my sister. The photo was taken on a recent road trip along the California coast. Our husbands are the two men in the picture who are oblivious to the fact that Peggy has fallen! Peggy and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe, but I did manage to capture the moment! The fresh cut flowers in a vintage blue mason jar and the Sandra Magsamen artisan plaque are the perfect way for me to send a smile to Peggy this Sister’s Day!

Let your sister(s) and your very best girlfriends know how important they are to you.
1-800 makes it easy with a collection of gifts starting at as little as $10 including delivery! Here are a few of my favorites. Go to our Sister’s Day or Friendship Day Collections to see these products and more!


Blue flowers, sandra magsamen quote plaques

Holiday Decorations

DIY Red, White & Blue Floral
4th of July Crafts

June 22, 2015

Fourth of July celebrations (and decorations) are the best! Whether you’re celebrating America’s birthday with friends and family on the beach or in your backyard, here are some easy ways to add little patriotic touches of red, white and blue with these fun DIY floral 4th of July decoration ideas!

DIY Mason Jar American Flag Vase

Seriously, is there anything you can’t do with a few mason jars? I took three small, clear mason jars and painted them in a stars and stripes tribute to Old Glory. One stem of blue hydrangea in each and you have a beautiful, fun, inexpensive centerpiece. You could paint a couple more while you’re at it and use them to hold cutlery or straws, or even tea lights, creating a festive look for evening festivities.

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Holiday Decorations

It’s Dad’s Turn to be
the Guest of Honor

June 8, 2015

Celebrate Dad with a Father’s Day Beer Tasting

We received such great feedback on our Wine Tasting for Mom event that I thought, why not plan something similar for Dad? This time we’re going with a beer tasting event in dad’s honor!

Thanks to an increasing appreciation for quality beer production, there are new breweries popping up all over the country. There’s a good chance that there’s one right in your neighborhood or close by. If possible, hosting your Father’s Day event right at the brewery can add a unique feel and make it more fun for everyone. Leaving the beer to the experts gives you more time to focus on the decorations and the fun details that make Dad feel loved and honored for all he does!

I reached out to Gretchen Schmidhausier, a friend of my sister, who recently fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened a microbrewery in her hometown of Neptune City, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore. The Little Dog Brewing Company was named after Gretchen’s dog Quincy, a basenji, who is also the face of the brand!

Current Beers- What's On Draft?

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Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Wine Tasting

May 7, 2015

A Unique Mother’s Day Activity to Wow Mom

Spring is here and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Have you started to think about how you can show mom just how much you love her and how special she is? How about getting together with a few of your friends to plan a Mother Daughter Wine Tasting party. The planning and preparation can be as much fun as the event itself.

A rustic, natural Napa Valley-inspired wine tasting is the perfect setting to incorporate so many of the most popular trends: burlap, chalkboard, mason jars, monograms and Made in America!

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Holiday Decorations, How-To's, Mother's Day

DIY Mother’s Day Craft: How to Make a Floral Hot Air Balloon for Mom

April 23, 2015

Pink and Orange Hot Air Balloon Place SettingMom does so much for the family throughout the year: No matter how long her to-do list is, you know you can always count on her for anything. Because she means so much, let her sit back and enjoy herself on Mother’s Day, and show her how appreciated she is. Treating your mom to a nice brunch is the best way to make her feel like a queen bee: Since you’ve already taken care of everything, Mom doesn’t have to lift a finger. To make her day even more special, pick a fun and truly original theme for your luncheon: hot air balloons!

This beautiful hot air balloon arrangement adds a whimsical take-me-away touch to any Mother’s Day table setting. As soon as she sits down, Mom will feel like she’s floating among the clouds without a care in the world! This Mother’s Day craft is really simple to make, so you can make a big, loving statement with minimal effort. Here’s how to make a floral hot air balloon for Mom on Mother’s Day! Continue Reading…

Holiday Decorations

Cinco de Mayo Decorations & Party Ideas

April 21, 2015

Our country is rich in many different cultural traditions, with celebrations focusing on specific groups growing and becoming more popular every year. And who doesn’t need another reason to party!

Cinco de Mayo is one of my new favorites! The food and the colors of Mexico are made for celebrating – bright, spicy, and flavorful! Here are a few ideas to try for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.


Fiestaware pieces are the perfect container for a few cut flowers. While dahlias are pictured here and are the official flower of Mexico, they aren’t available until late summer. Any colorful bloom will work perfectly.

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