Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving decorating’

Thanksgiving & Harvest | Autumnal Decorating

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Thanksgiving Day Visitor Print Historical Roots

The very first Thanksgiving, as we understand it from our American history, was in the year of 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. After a first year in the new world, the 53 surviving Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest; with help from the Native Americans who taught them how to both grow crops on the new land and how to properly catch fish from the Atlantic Ocean. The true national holiday of Thanksgiving, as recognized by all states, began in 1863 when President Lincoln declared this ‘day of thanks’ to be held each year in November.

Turkey Gourd Bowl Pilgrims Plenty Sculpture
While only here one day of the year, Thanksgiving decorations can be showcased throughout the entire harvest season. Pumpkins, turkeys, and fall leaves and more really speak to the season this time of year. Here we have gathered together a handful of our favorite harvest themed Sturbridge Yankee Workshop items that we know will coordinate well with areas of your country home. From the simplest of items to those that really make a statement, Thanksgiving is going to look great this year!

Seasonal Statements

Colors of fall are a ones we sure can get used to. Bold oranges, reds, golds and muted greens are arranged beautifully, as if painted across the canopy of trees. Pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers, berries, and corn fields help bring these hues to life and surround us everywhere we go in the months of October and November.

Capture the essence of autumn with thematic home accents that capture the mood and color from the world around us. Warm browns, crisp orange, red and golden yellow. Who says fall leaves should be left outside on the trees?

Autumn Harvest Pumpkin Pillow
Gobble Turkey Hooked Wool Pillow Grapevine Pumpkin Lights

Turkey Day Friends

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Turkeys, pumpkins and pilgrims oh my! This year at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop we would like to share with you some of our favorite harvest collectibles, as well as a few new Thanksgiving Day friends. All of these friendly harvest themed figurines and sculptures make the perfect accents for your big holiday feast. Many of the collectibles featured here are similar to other products we carry for the harvest season. If there is something you don’t see here that you’re looking for, please click here for a complete listing of all our Fall Harvest items!

Let’s begin with our Turkey on Pumpkins, a new addition to the Williraye Studio collection here at Sturbridge. A whimsical turkey carrying an acorn and two ears of corn is joined by a small baby turkey peaking out behind a pumpkin and gourd. Next is a customer favorite, our Tom & Goody Gobbler, featured here to the left. These collectibles from renown folk artist Lori Mitchell, feature a pilgrim couple complete with rosy red cheeks and traditional blue and white pilgrim attire. They are having a grand time pulling on the reigns of their beautiful, multicolored turkeys.

Last but not least, is another Williraye Studio must have: our Race to the Feast collectible. Sporting a nice zucchini car, this couple is all smiles as they head to their first Thanksgiving. Also in tow are a couple of pumpkins and an ear of corn to share with their friends. Don’t you want these cute collectibles at your feast this year?


One lovely way to decorate for any holiday is always to think about the small details. Our harvest themed Woolys are great to display on a mantle or side table, but are also perfect hostess or teacher gifts this season. Our Harvest Time Wooly who pushes a wheel barrel of pumpkins and hay in from the farm, is seen here to the right.

Next is the School Days Wooly, who is all ready for school with his books and an apple for the teacher. Lastly, our Splitting Wood Wooly is chopping wood to bring inside and get warm by a cozy fire. All of our Woolys are handcrafted of 100% wool and made right here in the USA.



Myles Pilgrim Soft Sculpture


New for this season, is our larger Pilgrim couple, Myles and Prudence. Dressed in an authentic replication of an original pilgrim outfit, Myles will bring a smile to all your guests this upcoming season. Pictured to the right, he is constructed of a soft body, velvet clothing and many hand painted details. Myles is complete with brass buckles on his hat and shoes. He carries a rustic colored, button eyed turkey to the dinner table to share with his friend Prudence.

Prudence Pilgrim Soft Sculpture Patient Prudence is delighted to bring her harvested bright orange pumpkin to dinner this year! Seen here to the left, she is dressed as the original pilgrims were in 1620, when they arrived to the new world. Wearing a faux lace apron atop her velvet dress, she also has intricate stitching on her collar and sleeves. These delicate details are highlighted by the many hand painted features on her body and the pumpkin.


We hope that you will welcome any of these Thanksgiving collectibles into your home this coming November, as they will gladly add to your decor for the big day and will also make good company for you, your family and friends.

Brush Art – Environmentally Friendly Decor

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

A more recent innovation in handicraft art forms is a technique called Brush Art™. Brush Art is a term describing the process used in creating Brush Art Animals. Beginning in 1996, this company teamed up with Philippine Finecrafts Export (PFE) in the Philippines, to begin crafting something truly unique. These animals are all handmade, not touched by machines in any way and use mostly eco-friendly materials; supporting the Brush Art company’s philosophy of “Touch the Earth Lightly.” At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop we are glad to welcome a new Brush Art animal, the Brush Art Turkey,  for the holiday season!

Brush Art Animals are handcrafted from the most super-abundant and self-regenerating of natural materials, such as: leaves, leaf fibers, seeds and seed pods. These materials are then held together with wire and hot glue to ensure their durability. The substances mentioned above come from the very common, tallest palm tree in the Philippines, named the Buri Sugar Palm. This tree is grown throughout the archipelago, thriving on hilly slopes in poor soil and is useful for preventing erosion.

The Buri Sugar Palm Tree has numerous benefits that prove useful to the people of the Philippines. The nut kernels of the tree can be cooked and eaten. The tree’s sap produces an excellent and delicious sugar. The strong leaf midribs go into the making of cane furniture, while the leafy portions are woven into hats and bags. It is the long, thick leaf stems that provide the fiber from which the body of a Brush Art animal is made.

The animal bodies are composed of a hard fiber, the Buri Palm and a soft fiber, aloe. Both the tree and the Aloe Shrub are used to their full potential due to the developed process Brush Art uses to extract the necessary material from them. Extracting fiber from the Buri Palm’s oldest fronds (referring to a large divided leaf), allows the tree to survive 50-60 years. New leaf fronds grow continuously, with one frond stem generating enough fiber for up to a dozen Brush Art animals! The same is true when extracting the Aloe Plant’s fiber; when using older leaves, the plant will live between 20-30 years. This process gives the trees and plants a chance to grow to their fullest. Therefore, less fibers are needed to produce the Brush Art animals; making this product a very environmentally smart choice for both the creators of these animals and the consumer.

The method used is quite extraordinary, when you consider that every step is done by hand. First, the stems are crushed and soaked in stream water until only strong, white fibers remain. These are combed to separate and then cleaned. Next, they are cut to length (the maximum length of a Brush Art animal is about 50″/130cms. and largest diameter is about 14″ / 35cms) and twisted on a wire core to form brush cylinders. The brush is trimmed and bent. All of this is then followed by other plant parts being attached for the eyes, ears, legs etc. Organic dye is added for color, as seen above in our Brush Art Turkey, with the different colored sections of its body, neck and head. Sometimes, as we see used for the turkey’s wattle, felt is added to give it a more life-like appearance.

Our Brush Art Turkey is reminiscent of a school art project with painted green and orange feathers attached to its back. Rustic colors, piercing red eyes and the distinctive Brush Art will give your guests plenty to talk about this harvest season. Our turkey will also make a charming centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table or a delightful and imaginative gift for someone special. We hope you enjoyed learning about the amazing craftsmanship, that is Brush Art animals. Check out more fun harvest items Sturbridge Yankee Workshop today!