Posts Tagged ‘turkey decor’

Thanksgiving Decor at SYW

Friday, October 7th, 2011

The very first Thanksgiving, as we know it in our American history was in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The 53 surviving pilgrims, after their first year in the new world, celebrated their first successful harvest; with help from the Native Americans who taught them how to grow crops on their land and how to properly catch fish. There wasn’t a true national holiday of Thanksgiving as recognized by all the states until 1863, when President Lincoln declared the ‘day of thanks’ to be held each year in November.

While only here one day of the year, Thanksgiving decor can be brought to life the day after Halloween. Turkeys, pumpkins and amazing fall leaves are what we look for, but sometimes what we really want can be difficult to find. At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop we have collected a handful of our harvest themed items that we know will coordinate well in your country home. From the simplest of accents to gorgeous framed prints, Thanksgiving is going to look great this year.

Simple Accents

It’s the simple things that can add to your holiday decor. With these items it makes harvest decorating easy! Let’s start with our Autumn Wreath. A smart choice for adding festive flare to any wall or door, this wreath includes Indian corn, quince slices, dried wheat, maple leaves, natural wheat, flax, millet yarrow, and safflower all on a twig base.

If your looking for a quick and simple fix to your tablescape, consider these two items. Our Wheat Candle Holders, showing off a tall bundle of wheat, are tied in a bow and finished with an antique bronze finish; these candle holders feel vintage and sophisticated. Pictured here to the left, is our Turkey Wagon Centerpiece, featuring primitive colors of red, green and brown. The hollowed out pumpkin can be used to hold your favorite wrapped candies or nuts.

Inspiring Signs

Our nostalgic, pine wood signs will be a breath of fresh air this harvest season. A rust background with a crackled finish gives our Bountiful Sign a vintage feel and the mustard yellow frame completes the look. The next pine wood signs are handcrafted in the USA and offer a colonial inspired look. Our Friends Gather Here Sign, displays rich black, hand painted lettering atop a distressed mustard background. Though the message is symbolic for Thanksgiving, it’s perfect to hang year round. Our Happy Thanksgiving Sign is short and sweet. Evoking quality cursive writing against a burnt orange base, this sign is a great way to greet your guests for the big dinner.

Framed Prints

We know you love the many exquisitely painted framed prints by our well known artists. Here we offer three autumn themed prints that will become the focal point of any room.

Our Autumn Gold’s Print, pictured here to the right, is a watercolor print by artist John Stevens. A solemn late fall afternoon of leaves blowing in the wind and a pumpkin display, is bordered by a frame made to appear as distressed walnut. Next is our Autumn Solitude Print, by artist Doug Henry. A historic New England barn with rich foliage in the distance, takes center stage while one lone cow stands watch. Another print by Doug Henry features a classic New England church nestled among lovely old farmhouses at the base of a hill. Our Autumn Waits River Print has a textured finish to highlight the breathtaking fall leaves. All of our framed prints listed here are made in the USA.

For more harvest and Thanksgiving decorating ideas at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, click here.


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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!

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