my thanksgiving tablescape and an evening of global enlightenment

thanksgiving indigo corn -

A Thanksgiving table setting laced with Indian corn was what I immediately envisioned when given the opportunity to join another fun bloghop with Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate. All because I spotted this photo of miniature ears of corn in a velvety indigo color. Stunning!

thanksgiving tablescape -
photo source unknown

But what I ended up with was a lesson in equality, political correctness, gender neutrality, dietary restrictions, sustainable farming practices, environmental consciousness, and an amazing evening of global enlightenment… with a few ears of corn thrown in. 

First, let me mention that I was lucky enough to have a Thanksgiving trial run a few weeks before the actual holiday. Without disclosing all the details – to protect the innocent – let me just say that I was expected to plan a dinner party for a group of 10 guests, many of whom I had not yet met. A perfect opportunity to bring my indigo corn vision to life. 

the tablescape

It all started with my table. My beautiful but larger-than-most-people’s-garages table is an antique George III hunting table I inherited from my mother-in-law. Problem is, it’s over 70″ wide and 100″ long, so finding a tablecloth (at a reasonable price) is a difficult task. I did, however, stumble across a company called Saffron Marigold, which sells lovely hand-printed cotton table linens in unique Moroccan designs. 

I’m going through my Moroccan phase right now, but I also have a weakness for industrial design. So I built a candelabra made from copper piping for my centerpiece. (I love it, because I can easily take it apart and assemble new configurations for different occasions!)

copper pipe candelabra -

Next, pumpkins and corn. I lightly spray painted miniature pumpkins and Indian corn white, then placed them around the candelabra. I love mixing organic touches with industrial for a surprising eclectic flavor.

thanksgiving tablescape -

thanksgiving tablescape -

But what about the BLUE stuff? Short of growing my own ornamental maize, my only option for blue corn was to bring out more spray paint. I kept my place settings very informal then adorned each plate with a crisp, linen napkin topped with an ear of deep blue corn. 

thanksgiving tablescape -

the guests

I could just end this post right here, with a sweet, blue and white tablescape, but the rest of the story deserves to be shared. I decided to buck the turkey tradition and serve lasagna. It’s simple and can be baked ahead. I was told my guests didn’t have any special food preferences, so it seemed a perfect choice. 

Until my phone dinged in the middle of the grocery store.

My oldest son and his girlfriend would be joining us. That is, my oldest son THE VEGAN and his VEGAN girlfriend would be joining us. Guess I’ll have to make a second lasagna. (Omit the meat, add veggies, make a cheese sauce from cashews.) I can do this. 

My phone dings again.

I’m now in the produce aisle. One of my dinner guests, “Oh, I just found out that my parents are vegetarian now… LOL.” Although I wasn’t laughing out loud, I conceded. I’ll just convert the meat lasagna to a vegetarian one. (One meat-and-dairy-free dish and one meat-free, cheese-laden dish.) I can do this. 

In the check-out line, calling my husband. “What? No meat? Well, if I don’t have real meat in my lasagna, I’m going to buy a Stouffer’s just for me.” (Still not laughing out loud.) I’m now filling my basket with ingredients for 3 lasagnas – one meat, one vegetarian, and one vegan. 

Before I get to the REALLY GOOD part, let me share a few more shots of my lovely table. An intermission of sorts.

thanksgiving tablescape -


thanksgiving tablescape -

Back to my story (and believe me, there’s more.) I failed to mention that a week before the dinner, we learned that one of the guests likes to be referred to with a gender-neutral pronoun. As in “John Doe changed their profile picture.” Before you start sending me nasty emails, hear me out. I have absolutely no problem with this, and neither does my husband. Except… my husband can’t even remember names. Almost every day, he calls Sheila, our neighbor of 3 years, Shirley.  And we’re talking PRONOUNS here, folks. Not names. 

Only one solution. Wine. I decided to set up a beverage cart and serve drinks and appetizers on the balcony before the meal. 

thanksgiving tablescape -
DIY fall ice bucket; machine applique burlap banner; Marimekko decoupaged planter with hydrangeas

I had just the serving idea – a DIY ice bucket for an added Fall touch. Not certain if my food dishes would turn out well, I wanted to amp up the decor. So I sculpted this frozen ice bucket embellished with fading hydrangeas and evergreen twigs.

DIY ice bucket -

I think I’ve covered all my bases. Vegan lasagna? Check. Vegetarian lasagna? Check. Meat lasagna? Check. Skilled in proper pronoun use? Maybe. All I can hope for now is that a Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant Hare Krishna stops by unannounced.

So, how did my Thanksgiving trial run turn out? With my French-speaking carnivorous husband, a vegan off-spring, a Puerto Rican guest and her Irish hubby, a handful of politically correct Millennials, a few vegetarians, an Italian menu served on a Moroccan tablecloth accompanied with an Argentinian Malbec, along with an ill-mannered pug and 2 uninvited beagles… what could possibly go wrong? In all honesty, my guests were absolutely delightful. LOVED THEM! And I loved the chance to build a beautiful Fall tablescape for such sweet guests I’m thankful to call new friends.


Why not share this on Pinterest?

thanksgiving tablescape -

Looking for table-setting ideas for Thanksgiving? All week, these wonderful blogs will be sharing their creative tablescapes!


Red Cottage Chronicles  –  Home is Where the Boat Is – Celebrate & Decorate 
Everyday Living


My Kentucky Living –  Savvy Apron –  Rattlebridge Farm – Living with Thanksgiving


Belle Blue Interiors –  From My Carolina Home –  Bluesky at Home – The Painted Apron – Corner of Plaid and Paisley – The Red Painted Cottage


A casa di Bianca – Dining Delight –  Sweet Sensations – Our Crafty Mom – Panoply


My French Twist – Hey Fitzy – B. Lovely Events –  Me and My Captain –  Life and Linda 


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Hi, I'm Wendy. Southern by birth, Francophile by marriage, bohemian by nature, and minimalist by choice. Check out and join me in a year of making beautiful things.

Comments · 38

  1. Oh, Wendy, what a hilarious story! You handled the extra lasagnes with grace. Thank goodness it was a make ahead dish! Your table is wonderful, a nice mix of international flair with organic and industrial touches. I cannot imagine what you will do for the next meal in a few weeks!
    Carole @ From My Carolina Home recently posted…Autumn Jubilee Stamping FunMy Profile

  2. Your tablecloth is amazing. I love it! I also like your attractive DIY ice bucket.I have not seen indigo corn before and it is very pretty on your table. Your artistic candle holders give your table a personal touch. No cookie cutter table here. You could sell these.

  3. Wendy, you are definitely a winner in my book! Maybe if more people who came as guests to family events were more up front with who they are and what their preferences may be, we’d all be in a better place. How many times have you been a part of a family and/or friends gathering and found it to be pretentious?! You handled your fete with true flair.
    This table is the bomb! I am really loving the inspiration of the blue Indian corn and how you executed all the details. I am in crazy about your organic, copper candelabra centerpiece, and the gorgeous fall twist on that ice bucket with hydrangeas and greens. Just outstanding. Winner, winner, chicken dinner…, tofu maybe. Glad to have you as part of this gifted group of bloggers this week, Wendy.

  4. Wendy, I was concentrating on your awesome spray painted blue corn (I’ve spray painted pumpkins, but never thought about corn.) which means now I can spray paint corn any color I want and the really cool copper candelabra. Then I came the funny part of the story. I can see Diane Keaton playing you in this hilarious dinner party story. I’ll have to admit I was stumped on the gender~neutral pronoun request. Other than you, we, they, them, and us, the only other gender neutral pronoun in English is “it” and you can’t call a person an “it”. My only other question: was there any lasagna left? It sounds like the perfect solution. Beautiful table and beautiful story.

  5. Wendy you have triple wowed me with this wonderful post! Your bo-ho chic industrial table and copper pipe candlesticks with the indigo and white color palette is so extraordinary and fabulous!! Any your sense of humor carried you through this challenging dinner, and the wine bucket was just an added bonus, like extra icing on the cake! Gorgeous, funny, entertaining and fun! What a crazy time we have had this week with so many fantastic tables and tales!

  6. From one story teller to another…I love your table and your story…. and your agreeable nature which is what we should all be about. I would like to know how you keep your copper candlesticks from tipping over. Did I miss that part? I am sure your pumpkins help but I personally would have to have something stable as I seem to have guests who bump tables, knock over drinks, and spill the soup. But like you…..I love them all. 🙂

  7. The only thing better than your table is your story! And don’t get me wrong I love your table, but your story about the escapades of pleasing your eclectic crowd is too funny!! Your table is so creative from your handmade, copper candelabra to the blue Indian corn; I love it all. So happy I was able to blog hop with you this week!

  8. Hi Wendy, what a story. You definitely had your hands full with the guests with different dietary needs. Loving the non traditional blue. The tablecloth is so pretty and that indigo corn. Loving your DIY ice bucket. icing on the cake for sure. Kudos to you for making your very own copper candleholder. You have some time girl. A pleasure to join you on this fun Thanksgiving tablescape blog hop.

  9. Wendy,
    There are so many elements that made this tablescape both unique and beautiful. I enjoyed watching the progression, and the copper candle holder was certainly something special. I also loved the frozen flowers and greenery utilized as an ice bucket chiller. The blue corn and understated colorfulness of the overall look was very inviting, with a bohemian flare, fabulous job! I am thankful to have you as part of my tablescape blogging tribe.

  10. Oh Wendy, you had me laughing from how you wrote this post. I know what your talking about though. It’s not like years ago where food was put in front of you and you just ate it. Now it really is about vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free and on and on. I love how you spray painted the Indian corn blue. Everything looked stunning and I’m so thrilled that the dinner was a huge success. So nice meeting you through Chloe’s blog hop!

  11. You tell a great story and set a lovely table! That blue corn looks amazing and what a great idea you had to create it – went perfectly with your pretty tablecloth. Your candelabra is a unique and interesting piece and made a terrific centerpiece. Great job on the decorative ICE bucket – I’m sure wine helped the situation. 🙂 You have a wonderful way with words and are an excellent writer – I really felt like I got to know you through your tale. And you made me wish that I’d mentioned the stress we had prior to the dinner party my blog hop post represents. We’d invited one of our friends who is Celiac and we were fretting over whether every item had gluten. You had it much worse!!!! At Christmas though, I’ll have the vegan/vegetarian thing when my son and his girlfriend come home. It’s been fun blog hopping with you!

  12. I smiled and laughed out loud as I read your adventures. What fun you are! Your indigo painted corn is genius, and quite beautiful with your tablecloth. What a delight to read this list and p,ay with you in the blog hop.

  13. Wendy, you have a gift for telling a story, and that is kind of rare today! It seems that you handled all the dietary requirements with grace! I love your tablecloth and the indigo corn is perfect! I enjoyed blog hopping with you!
    Pam Richardson recently posted…Music Makes PicturesMy Profile

  14. Wendy, what a beautiful table! I love blue, and your tablecloth is just gorgeous! The copper candle centerpiece makes such a stunning statement on our table. It as been so much fun blog hopping with you! I hope you enjoy your week!

  15. Such a hilarious story! I laughed alot because at my home every family reunion is like this: I have to prepare a meal gluten and lactose free, low carbs, partially with meat, partially vegan and partially vegetarian. Oh, and also traditional. Well, I don’t really know how, but I always do!
    PS Your tablescape is amazing 🙂

  16. Your story is cute! The table is beautiful and the blue corn is fabulous! The unique centerpiece is a work of art and you did a great job.

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