Meet the Maker: Jeran McConnel Oleander and Palm Thanksgiving

November 8, 2016 • Contributor: Scarlet Letters Copywriting

One glance at a recent Jeran McConnel project and we knew we had to have her back for another Meet the Maker profile. (If you didn’t read our last post with her, you can check it out here). We were so pleased that the creator of Oleander and Palm, a lifestyle blog focused on simple California living, had the time to chat with us about her latest creative endeavors, holiday plans and childhood Thanksgiving memories.

Can you tell us what you’ve been up to since our last Meet the Maker profile?
Two months ago, my husband and I bought a “new” old house. It’s a 1918 Craftsman two story, which is twice the size of our previous home! Needless to say, we’ve had many projects and spend a lot of time there. It’s on Oleander Avenue in Bakersfield’s historic neighborhood, perfect for Oleander and Palm!

Does this mean you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving this year in your new abode?
It does! We’ve been married for 17 years, and every year we’ve travelled to others, as we have no family here in town. Finally, this year, they’re coming to us!

That’s a lot to take on so soon after a move. Will you be ready?
Well, as you can see in this post, all the decorations are already made. So at least we can check that off the list!

And the décor projects you’re sharing with us are incredible. What was your inspiration?
I love taking a tradition and putting a different twist on it with unexpected patterns or color palettes. I like to try something that hasn’t been done often before: for instance, mixing in pinks or pastels into a Thanksgiving scene.

Did your family have a lot of Thanksgiving traditions when you were growing up?
Well, it’s funny: I’m Canadian so we have Thanksgiving during a different month. But, what’s more significant is that I spent much of my childhood in Papua New Guinea, as my parents were missionaries. We usually ate chicken because there was certainly no access to turkey there!

When we moved to Papua New Guinea, my mother took all her china with her and, do you know what? Not a single piece was ever broken or chipped. That china was a big part of my childhood landscape. I loved cooking with my mother; everything was always made from scratch. I was usually tasked with setting the table, and clearly that’s still something I enjoy today.


Indeed! Let’s take a look at Jeran’s incredible Thanksgiving paper projects.



Real pumpkins and gourds come together with intricate DIY paper crafts to create a striking holiday scene.


Notice the incredible details on this decorative pilgrim’s hat, a fun addition to any tablescape.



And the theme continues with these beautiful acorn coasters, shown here in an unexpected shade of green.


We’re nuts about the colors and detailing on this paper-crafted acorn.




Grey and green, not your usual Thanksgiving colors, come together beautifully in this paper-crafted apple.


All eyes will be on this amazing 3D corn paper piece. No butter needed!



And it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a pumpkin or two….


Freshly picked flowers look right at home in this Scandinavian-inspired DIY basket.



Scatter these DIY paper leaves on your table to bring the feeling of fall indoors.


And finally, even those guests who always decline dessert will be charmed by this paper pumpkin pie… complete with whipped cream!



Thank you so much, Jeran. Can you leave us with some words of wisdom for the holiday season?
I always urge people to be industrious with what you have. Rather than spending money on something new, make do with what’s already around you!


To learn more about Oleander and Palm, visit Jeran’s website.

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