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Forest Zen: make your own nature-inspired centerpieces.

Channel the spare beauty of fall with striking arrangements for your holiday table. Inspired by the season's sculptural forms--leafless branches, reeds rising from placid waters, fallen leaves carpeting the earth--these centerpieces cluster natural materials around a single large candle or a series of small votives. Make one with clippings from your own garden for an easy, organic way to add drama to your home.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTINA SCHMIDHOFER

RELATED ARTICLE: Build a tablescape

Start with slender but sturdy dried plant material from your garden or a craft or florists' supply store.

1. Select your base: a piece of plywood or wood, or a slate or terra-cotta floor tile.

2. Lay out a geometric hole pattern around the candle(s). For safety, ensure that nothing is too close to the flame.

3. Use an electric drill with a wood or masonry bit that is slightly smaller than the stems' diameter.

4. If holes are too small, whittle stems with a craft knife. Glue in place if desired.

5. Position candle(s); votives should be in glass surrounds, but larger candles can sit directly on base. Use long-necked gas igniters to light.
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Title Annotation:DECORATING
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:196
Previous Article:What to do in your garden in November.
Next Article:Home office retreat: a transformed garage creates space for work and family.
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