Feast on Your Life
With no gifts, tree, glitzy ornaments or gaudy lights, I look forward to Thanksgiving more than ever this year. Enduring two years of a worldwide pandemic plus massive wildfires and a first ever bomb cyclone on the West Coast, brings perspective to what’s important in life. I look forward to gathering with people I love to give thanks for our lives, our health, our blessings, our planet, those we love – past and present – and for this sacred holiday filled with love and gratitude.
Backdrop of Our Lives
What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than venturing into your own back yard, a nearby park, a hiking trail or a wildlife area to relish the gifts of the season. Fall brings extraordinary beauty, filling paths where we walk with vibrant colors, textures, patterns, shapes and even sounds as we trudge through crunchy autumn leaves. What could be more meaningful at this time of year than to show our awe and appreciation for the backdrop of our lives – nature.
Rather than buying plastic turkeys to decorate your holiday table, grab some garden gloves, a pair of nippers and a basket to gather fall leaves, berries, pumpkins, colorful squash, leafy branches and the last of summer’s flowers to embellish your home with beauty. Augment your collection with finds from the farmer’s market or the produce section at your local grocery store that offer an abundance of decorative and edible possibilities for your creative spirit.
When decorating your table, consider warm colors – hues between red and yellow on the color wheel. Tone-on-tone shades of soft apricot, salmon, rich golds, rosy pinks, bold oranges and vibrant reds speak to the season. Bring in these shades with pomegranates, persimmons, golden dates, red berries and kangaroo paws then compliment the warmth with dark green bay leaves and lime colored seeded eucalyptus for contrast and texture.
If you don’t have time or energy to peruse nature’s outdoor gifts, you can find everything you need to create your holiday centerpiece at your grocery store or farmer’s market. Pumpkins, squash, pears and artichokes piled on a platter surrounded by coffee colored eucalyptus pods and brilliant green eucalyptus seeds sets a perfect tone for an autumn feast.
For Your Mantel
Your fireplace mantel with artwork above is the perfect place to install a unique fall vignette. Here we placed apricot-colored dates, crimson red pomegranates and creamy yellow green artichokes among luscious shades of textured outdoor greenery. The French blue in the antique painting behind and silvery blue toned pine branches and bay leaves in front cool down the warm palette.
Finally, this mash-up of art and nature’s shapes, colors, textures and patterns are grounded by the gray stone mantel and brown pinecones hanging from the edge – neutral colors that don’t appear on the color wheel – brown, gray, black and white – absorb and reflect light.
Think Outside the TG Box
Have fun setting your holiday table this year by thinking outside the box. Mix up colors of plates and napkins, use drapery rings for napkin holders, pull out your wedding china and mix it with funky flatware and mismatched glasses – then tie everything together with color and texture from nature. Do the unexpected and surprise your friends and family with an enchanting holiday table.
Lighting is the finishing touch. It’s the foundation for creating a soft sensual feeling that will delight all who sit at your table. Dim or turn off overhead lights and turn on lamps. Then add as many candles as you can – tall, short, warm colors and cool colors. These soft sensual beacons of light will cast a magical spell over the room and your guests.
The butterscotch-colored candles lining the middle of the table in this Sonoma barn harmonize with the warm knotty pine walls, armless gold chairs and yellow plates and napkins. They make the room and everyone and everything in it glow.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Golden Gate, our archaic home on Belvedere Island, it is still in critical shape above ground, but her decrepit roots are undergoing a transformation below ground, thanks to our hard-working boots-on-the-ground crew. Trudging through mud, wind and rain, these guys continue to amaze us with their strong work ethic, ingenuity and expertise. Many thanks to Edwin and Carlos and their superb crew for the dedicated renewal of our treasured historic home.
I also want to thank Scott for his long-standing commitment to promoting our brand on social media. In addition to his internet marketing skills, this guy is truly multi-talented – an extraordinary painter, talented photographer and seasoned creative writer. LA&A is blessed to have him.
With three degrees in math, some friends call Marshall a genius. I call him my husband and Toby’s dad. But this guy is amazing with numbers that continue to be his passion and my good fortune. He’s also my ever-ready IT guy and oversees the Golden Gate jobsite multiple times a day. Thanks, Marsh, for all that you do!!!
Here’s Jackie and me in the Santa Ynez Valley on the central coast of California where she lives. Jackie has been writing and editing our newsletters for years. Currently she sends out the newsletters and edits my monthly blogs. Her passion is overseeing the correct use of the English language, worldwide traveling, cooking in her own back yard with freshly grown herbs and vegetables and Jackson Browne concerts.
Cristine is the newest member of our team who lives in Southern California. She posts our blogs each month plus keeps all WordPress systems in check. She is a dedicated high tech digital handywoman whose meticulous attention to detail is a true gift for LA&A.
We totally adore this tiny creature who makes us laugh and embodies what love truly is every day!
And finally, my heart is filled with gratitude for all of you who have followed my crazy path for the past three decades, and those who have signed up recently for our newsletter. I am still passionate about creating beauty and thank all of you for reading my blog, following our Golden Gate journey and posting your gracious and supportive comments along the way – they mean so much!
With love and gratitude,