Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…on Redbud Ridge

Really??

Well, maybe not. We had our neighborhood bonfire just as the last of the leaves were being blown off the trees. I got this picture of Saint bringing the first guests down and then realized the memory stick was full, so you’ll just have to take my word for it…twenty some people, a table full of food, fires, and fun was had by all. And after the clean up, I decided it was time to do something with some of the junk pieces I collected on the 100 mile yard sale last month.

I dug out found these four little wooden shutters and bought all of them for a dollar! They really benefited from a good cleaning and a new coat of paint. Old wooden shutters sell well at the flea market right now, and I thought about bundling them up and selling as is, but what fun is that? I found some Christmas greenery that I had bought on a red tag sale, dug through my stash of ribbon and such, and brought out the go-to burlap. This is so much more festive, don’t you think?

And at the same remote residence where I got the shutters, I picked up a mailbox. I thought I’d spray paint over the numbers, but I liked the rural address and decided to leave it. Just by adding some thrift store decor and greenery, I dressed it up for the holidays.

So, yes. Yes, it is beginning to look a lot little like Christmas on Redbud Ridge, don’t you think?

To the Dump, To the Dump, To the Dump, Dump, Dump….

 1 pile of trash +1 pile of sticks = ???

You may remember this (another ugly cabinet door reveal is on the way) corner cabinet door I dug picked up from my neighbor’s trash pile.

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It sat under the deck for days months awhile as I waited for inspiration. That came as I sorted through boxes of holiday decor, separating Halloween from Christmas. I came across a project from last Christmas; a canvas and twig Christmas tree. I thought the double sides of the corner cabinet door would frame twin trees terrifically. (Try saying that three times…fast.)

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Here is an easy tutorial for the thousands two of you hoarders who happen to have a corner cabinet door lying around. No, seriously, you can use a canvas, picture frame, or a single old door you are trying to repurpose. Same technique. You will need:

A pile of sticks and twigs gathered from your yard

A glue gun

A frame or old cabinet door, canvas…anything that will provide the background.

Raffia, silver or gold thread, old jewelry or trinkets.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Cleaned the door with TSP and painted a fresh coat of white latex paint
  • Sanded off the distressed areas and darkened with wax
  • Gathered sticks and twigs of various length and texture
  • Measured the distance I wanted for the bottom twig, and then broke the remaining twigs shorter and shorter until I had achieved the shape I wanted. Placing them on the floor first is a good idea.
  • Laying one side of the door flat, I hot glued the twigs in place and then repeated for the second side.
  • After the twigs were all secure, I wove a strand of raffia through the “branches” and hot glued an old broken earring at the top.

Here, just for display, I added greenery to the top.

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And, look at one of the old bed springs I found in our woods that I told you about in an earlier post. I love rust and burlap, don’t you?

So, the answer to our equation is:

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Homegrown Wedding

When our daughter asked if we could possibly have her wedding in the woods below our home, we were both elated and apprehensive. The woods were quite tangled and wild during the summer, but the wedding would be in October…the prettiest time of year there. Almost as if in anticipation of this day, her father (aka Saint) and I had laid a path of huge rocks as stepping stones down to the valley below. There was still much work to be done to clear all the weeds and brush away from the area.

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It was her desire to have a wedding that would represent their interests and personalities. Tiffany and Lance love the outdoors. Camping and rafting, hiking, kayaking, and biking were much more a part of their lives than gigantic churches and rented venues. “Something simple, but elegant. Kind of like a garden party with vows,” she suggested. “Just whatever you want to do, but no scarecrows and hay bales, please.”
I began planning, planting, and crafting as Saint began the brush hogging. These shimmery painted pumpkins were my first task. I was encouraged when they turned out beautifully

And then I started some fall plants in a couple of urns to flank the path. Tiffany wanted no attendants, no fluff, just a “garden party with vows.” So, I planned for the guests to stand at the bottom of the path. It was important to Saint that he walk her down the aisle path. Mums, Ornamental Kale, cock’s comb, and greenery grew together in the urns for the rest of the summer. In October, I made the bows and ribbon and gathered the dried florals that would accent both the urns and the centerpieces which were painted clay pots with hurricane globes, bittersweet gathered from Redbud Ridge, leaves, twigs, etc.


Food-we had some! Heavy appetizers- enough for a meal. We made stuffed mushrooms, dried beef roll ups, green chili roll ups, bacon Kalamata olive tea sandwiches, shrimp with margarita dip, and had catered in a sushi tray, beggars purses and meatballs. A platter of artisanal cheese brought from Vermont, fresh veggies, breads; seriously, I can’t even think of all the food. No traditional wedding cake for Tiffany! A friend’s mother has the best tea room in Southwest Missouri (Spring Creek Tea Room) and, as a wedding gift, agreed to bake all her specialty cakes.



Yes, you can do a home grown wedding, and I would recommend it if you have great friends who will pitch in and HELP! But, be prepared for the unexpected. Rain. We had some. We had a back up tent rented just in case, but we really wanted the wedding in the valley. Guests were so gracious to pull out the umbrellas and dump the rain off the china before filling their plates. I spent weeks making some vintage photo wine tags and gold menu item place cards. There was no time to put out the menu cards, and I forgot to distribute the wine tags. The fact that it was at home, that we made most of the décor, and added special touches like a minister cousin who administered the vows as her very first wedding, articles from relatives no longer with us, (the blue lace handkerchief from a great grandmother tucked into the bouquet, a lace tablecloth hand crocheted by a grandmother, and an antique guest table refinished by the fondly.bride’s grandfather)our son singing and playing the guitar as Tiffany walked the path; all made this a very unique and wonderful wedding we will all remember fondly for a long time.

Happy Sixth anniversary, Lance and Tiff!

Random Stuff

After a beautiful leaf-peeping trip to New England,

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It was time to finish up projects. I worked on the Mizzou board I promised, but after posting the Razorback sign board, the Hogs went on a serious losing streak. Now, they are finally healthy and winning some games, but I don’t want to jinx the Tigers. Anyway, I took it to Mike’s today and hung it in my booth. These re purposed windows turned jewelry hanger,hat and key rack, sign, message boards are only $15. Not bad, huh?

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And then our daughter came to visit. Tiffany loves to cook so I don’t mind trying new recipes on her. I found this recipe on Pinterest, of course, and it was called French Onion Soup Casserole. I debated between it and the crock pot version. When I went to the original source, Instructables.com, the “soup” was listed as a side dish. Anyway, I decided to change it up a bit, and it turned out pretty well.

The recipe:

2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. soy sauce
8 or so slices of French bread

I sauteed the onions in the butter and placed them in a casserole dish. I sprinkled 3/4 of the cheese on top.

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I heated the milk, soup, and soy sauce and mixed it with cheese and onion layer. It looked too much like a thick casserole, hence the original title, and I wanted a soup for lunch. So, I added a can of Healthy Choice French Onion Soup. Then I sliced the bread into 1 inch slices and baked it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The bread was getting toasty, as the recipe said, and I took it out and dunked pushed the bread under so the liquid would cover the bread, and added the remainder of the cheese. I returned it to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

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Next time I make it, I will either slice the onions thinner or puree them a bit before mixing them. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. That means it was good and I’d make it again, but maybe not with the Chipotle Spiced Blue Cheese meatballs and Apple Dumplings.

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The combination was about as random as this post…but good.