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Happy Thanksgiving from Design*Sponge

I hope that by the time this post goes live, those of you who are heading out for Thanksgiving are close to home and have a safe journey on your way to be with friends, family and loved ones. Before we close our laptops and settle in for a few days of downtime, I wanted to take a moment to tell all of you just how thankful I am for your friendship, support and inspiration. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the other side of blogging – what it’s like to read, follow or have conversations on people’s sites. I’m not a frequent blog commenter, but I’m a frequent commenter on other people’s social media feeds and that interaction may seem small, but it means so much to me. I love hearing back from bloggers and other people online and I want you all to know how much all of us here appreciate not just your reading, likes and Pins, but how much we truly appreciate and care about your comments, both here and on our various social feeds. At least a few times a week we email around comments to each other that really moved us or that inspired us to do something differently. Design*Sponge is a living, breathing thing and the real-life beat of our community is the conversation we have with each and every one of you. So as we sit down to give thanks, I wanted to thank you for the time and thought you’ve put into comments here. We listen to and appreciate each one and they mean so much to us and what we do here. Thank you. We’ll see you again on Monday and until then, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday to all of you from all of us at DS. xo, grace

If you need any last-minute ideas for holiday cooking, entertaining or crafting, check out our Thanksgiving posts below!



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DIY Project: Paper Ranunculus

Sometimes, I wish Instagram was a real person so I could shake its hand and give it a huge hug for the endless amounts of inspiration it provides. From discovering great new home tours, photographers and florists to talented DIYers, I am constantly screengrabbing things and sending them to myself to follow up on later. This week’s final DIY project before the holiday is one I’ve been excited to post for weeks. I follow a number of crafters online, but few inspire me as much as Susan Beech. Susan’s Instagram account, A Petal Unfolds, is full of beautiful paper flowers. Most of the time I can’t believe they’re not real, but especially in the case of her rich purple and red ranunculi. They looked so much like the real thing that I wrote to her to ask if we could do a how-to together. Thankfully she was game and today I’m thrilled to share her project, just in time for holiday centerpieces. xo, grace

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About Susan: Susan Beech is a paper flower maker living in Brighton, UK. She graduated in Fine Art Printmaking from the University of Brighton in 2002. She focused mainly on digital work and landscape photography, producing emotional pieces on her keen affiliation with nature. In 2013 Susan decided she wanted to go back to making things with her hands again. She took a class in making paper flowers and was instantly drawn to the beauty that could be created from paper. She opened her online shop A Petal Unfolds in April 2014 and is excited to develop her work further.

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

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biz ladies by 0

After the Jump: How to Make the Most of the Holidays for your Business

The holidays are here and more often than not, they get the best of us. It’s not only stressful for shoppers and travelers, but for business owners, too. Independent artists, designers, photographers and makers of all sorts have an endless sea of craft fairs, holiday markets, sale and giveaway options that can lead to huge sales and a boost in brand exposure but can also lead to confusion and opportunities that don’t always fulfill their return on investment. So for this week’s radio show, I invited one of my favorite artists, potter Nic Newcomb, on-air to talk about the business side of the holiday. Together we ran through a wide range of topics (below) and will help you figure out how to navigate the sometimes tricky world of holiday sales from both the maker and press perspective. Thanks so much to Nic for joining me (you can check out his site and shop here. I swear by his camp mugs.) and I hope you’ll find this show helpful!

Here’s what we’ll be covering:
-Pricing and giveaways
-Simple things you can to do make the most of the holiday season, business-wise
-How to avoid pitfalls that can happen this time of year
-How to navigate, choose and be successful at holiday fairs and markets
-How to make the most of holiday sales and leads
-Our Top 10 Tips for Holiday Sales

*I’ve summarized a few of these after the jump if you need a quick kickstart!


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Thanksgiving DIY Project: Clay Napkin Rings from BTW Ceramics

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Part of the fun of Thanksgiving for me is having everything be as homemade as possible. It adds to the coziness of friends and family coming together simply for the joy of each other’s company. I love the idea of all that tasty homemade food being surrounded by as many homemade decorations as possible. It makes the day that much more special and memorable. To add a little pizazz to this year’s Thanksgiving spread, I made striped napkin rings (from affordable polymer clay) that give each table setting an extra pop. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, the napkin rings can all be similar or each one can be entirely different for a funky mix and match! -Brooke Winfrey of BTW Ceramics


Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

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In the Kitchen With: Chef and Steward’s Jamaican Jerk Turkey

Not having whole turkeys readily available where I live has forced me to try alternate protagonists for my Thanksgiving meal over the years. This year, however, I’ve decided to try to find a turkey and to make it something I’ve never tried before. Kari Heron of the blogging team Chef and Steward gave me a great idea for Jamaican Jerk Turkey. A Jamaican expat living in United Arab Emirates – who better to get such a recipe from? If you like spicy, this is definitely a dish to try. Just think about the sandwiches you can have the next day (they are my favorite part of Thanksgiving)! -Kristina

About Chef and Steward: Kari and Lij Heron are the husband and wife team behind the blog Chef and Steward, where Kari takes the photographs and Lij makes the food. Kari, a trained broadcast journalist, is also the columnist of “When Hunger Strikes” currently published in the weekend magazine of Khaleej Times. Lij is an award-winning head chef at the Waldorf Astoria at the Ras Al Khiamah, United Arab Emirates destination. Their work has been featured in Conde Nast’s “Gourmet Live,” BBC Good Food, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) “Mise en Place,” Gourmet, Black Enterprise, Ocean Style, The National, and Gulf News. You can find their Instagram here. If you would like to try more Jamaican food, Kari and Lij will be featuring Jamaican holiday sides on their blog through Christmas.

See how to make Jamaican Jerk Turkey after the jump!

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diy by 1

Thanksgiving DIY Project: Mirrored Place Setting

diy modern thanksgiving placemat
I love setting the table, but it is extra wonderful during the holiday season. Whether you are going all out with family for Thanksgiving or just having a casual Friendsgiving in the next few months, add a little extra sparkle to your table with these fun, geometric mirror placemats. Mirrors sometimes get a bad rap on the table, but with a cool triangle pattern etched on top, you can take it from tacky to trendsetting. They are super simple to make and add that extra level of interest to the table. How impressed will your guests be when you tell them you made them? The best part about the etching is how durable it is, perfect for the wear and tear from dishes and spills – just wipe clean. Add a fun tablecloth and big pops of color and you have a great, non-traditional but gorgeous table to share with friends and family. -Jenny Batt of Hank & Hunt

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

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