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Weave autumn colors into the decor through nature, artistry

By: Gloria Young,
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When it comes to decorating for Thanksgiving, let your personality and interests be the guide.

It can be as easy as making a centerpiece out of plants and flowers  from the yard to a personalized tablescape featuring something handcrafted for those who enjoy doing needlework and creative arts.

One decorating trend for the holidays is incorporating natural materials. At Avantgarden in Downtown Auburn, owner Kim Wright said burlap is very popular this year. A burlap runner with its neutral tones is an ideal base for centerpieces and other table decorations that make the most of fall colors.
Bring in the bright shades of the season with a garland made of real — or artificial — berries and leaves woven into branches. Then add candles as the finishing touch.

“The burlap runner could go on top of another tablecloth,” Wright said. “It adds kind of an earthy flair. That’s very in right now.”
For a slightly different look, mix and match cloths of different colorful fall tones.

“Then add punch with a different color,” Wright  said. “(For example) I added a purple candle (to a display) to bring in an unexpected note.”

For place cards, she suggests collecting small pine cones as holders.

You can extend the ambiance outside with a planting on the porch to welcome visitors at the front door.

“Use grasses and mums in fall colors, then add small gourds and miniature pumpkins,” she said.

Or use a large pumpkin as the planter.

Remove all the seeds and clean it out completely. Then get a container that fits into the cavity to hold water. Fill it with plants, fresh flowers, leaves and branches, she explained.

“Or get miniature pumpkins guards, clean them out and use them as candle holders,” she said.

For crafters, there are plenty of options to create holiday decorations — for example, needlepoint enthusiast Jerrie Martin’s turkey display.

It was a fun project for Martin, who started with a hand-painted canvas. For the stitching she chose a variety of thread types to add texture and contrast in a fall color palette. After completing  the needlepoint, she had it professionally finished into a decorative piece with a coordinating color fabric and topped with ribbons and beads.

The finished work, which Martin has named Larry, is on display at Auburn Needleworks in Downtown Auburn.
“He was a lot of fun (to create),” she said.

Judy Ziegler, president of the Golden Needlers Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, suggests a project she enjoyed — needlepoint  place card holders — a turkey, pilgrim’s hat, pumpkin and an acorn.

“I used them as a centerpiece,” she said Monday.

The four pieces work together well as a theme, although each is individualized in color, she explained.

Ziegler, who has done needlepoint for about 10 years, used a preprinted canvas and a stitch guide.

“I like the creativity and versatility,” she said about needlepoint. “It’s very creative and it’s relaxing. It’s a very social thing and you meet a lot of interesting people. It’s national and international so if you go anywhere you are bound to meet someone who needlepoints.”