my little corner of the world

jackie miller : : graphic design + whatnot

Friendsgiving 2021

It was so nice to be able to get back to hosting Friendsgiving in 2021. I do love a good dinner party, especially when you throw in fancy place cards. The guest list was on the small size as my dining room in this place is not as roomy. Given how much free time everyone had over the past few years (I still work from home, so no time wasted commuting), I spent the most amount of time on this year’s place cards. I saw this paper pumpkin tutorial on Pinterest at some point and thought it would be cute as place cards.

Believe it or not, I used wall paper for the pumpkins. It was leftover from a hospital that the architecture firm I worked for designed in 2002. I have had this is my craft stash for like 15+ years (yes, I am a craft supply hoarder) and never could think of something to do with it. It worked out perfectly for this application. I loved that it was a two tone effect and it was sturdy enough to hold the shape. But it needed something more to make it special. Enter the Olympia!

Years ago, I took a chance and bought a vintage Olympia typewriter from Craiglist. A co-worker was convinced that I was going to be murdered going to a stranger’s house to pick it up. Long story short, I bought it from the parents of a different co-worker’s best friend from college. Small world. Anyway, I am obsessed with it and all it’s little imperfections.

Obviously, I was going to use it for the name tags, but I took it a step further. I decided to type out things I admire or were thankful for about that particular person on the white side as another layer of personalization. In the close-up photo, you can see how I constructed the pumpkin and well as what is typed in Greg’s pumpkin. I used brads to attach all the slips of paper together as well as the leaf with the name, then I wrapped thin gold wire around the brads and pulled the ends together to create the pumpkin shape. By using the brads, guests were able to move around the slips so they could read what I had written. Overall, I think the guests liked the personal touch as most people actually took theirs home. I was very happy with the place cards, but in hindsight, I wish I had rounded all the corners of the slips for a cleaner presentation.

2021 was also the year I started a brand new tasty tradition for myself. It’s no secret that Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have the most interesting textures, especially as leftovers. So, using pita chips, I created my new favorite way to enjoy leftovers as nachos. I mixed some mayo with the cranberry sauce, layered in some turkey, cut up some of the vegetables, added in the veg-all casserole and creamed corn, threw on some shredded swiss and put the odd concoction into my air fryer. It was surprisingly delicious and pita chips will forever be on the Thanksgiving shopping list.

  • Nutty Cheeseball
  • Asiago Dip
  • Rustic Pesto Cranberry Tart
  • Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cheese Dip
  • Dried Beef Rollups
  • Spinach Salad with Homemade Dressing
  • Veg-all Casserole
  • Sweet Potato Gratin
  • Crockpot Creamed Corn
  • Tomato Basil Sauce for the Turkey
  • Port Wine Cranberry Sauce (Instant Pot)
  • White Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Cake
  • Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie