On Being Helpful

Being the quirky unique individual that I am, I love that both our kids decided upon small, intimate weddings that reflect their personalities. I posted about our daughter’s home grown wedding here. https://thymelesssageandrandomrants.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/647/

So, our son’s idea was to (a) go directly to the Justice of the Peace, (b) beach wedding with five people in attendance, or (c) Eureka Springs B&B with ten people attending. I am confident pretty sure that he’s glad Shannon’s friends family members okay, WE wanted something we could be a part of. Like Kris, I don’t love weddings. I do like planning events and helping with them. I asked offered pestered Shannon until she finally delegated a few tasks to me.

When she emailed me a few pictures so I would have a general idea of the ambiance they hoped to create, I was ecstatic! It was exactly what I thought Shannon would like and perfectly suited to things I like. Vintage. Shabby chic. Country church.

She asked me to make ribbon wands for guests to wave as the couple came out of the church. I went to my go-to source for DIY everything; Pinterest. Most of the wands I found used dowel rods and satin ribbon. Saint had a few dowel rods, so he cut some in thirds, I bought some ribbon, and practiced a few different ways. I didn’t care for the way things turned out, so I contacted Shannon with more questions…mostly about the colors because I still wasn’t clear on that. She directed me to a web site where her mother ordered the ribbon for making the beautifully crafted invitations. (I knew I was in big trouble when I saw her handiwork.) I ordered the very last package of mochadoodle ribbon they had. Again, I knew I was in big trouble because there was no way to make 75-100 wands with that amount of ribbon. But I did like the way the crinkled ribbon looked on the wands. I went on a quest to make my own. I found a great youtube video here:


And the process really works…but good luck finding RAYON seam binding in our area. I made a bit using cotton binding and it did okay. Then, I had to get resourceful and start cutting some fabric strips, lace, rafia, etc.  I found a spool of satin rose trim and cut the roses apart to add to the top of the wand. I had bookmarked a crinoline and paper garland that I loved, and made a few of the paper flowers to add to some of the wands. (I heart paper flowers and this lady’s blog.)


With every wand I made, I worried more and more that, perhaps, this was not what Shannon had in mind…despite the fact that I had asked her two or three a few okay, several questions already, and she had told me she was sure whatever I made would be fine.

Finally, I had most of them made, and was expecting Shannon to bring Elle over for a Pinterest party visit the next day so I rounded up a vintage french laundry basket left over from my flea market adventures. I added a burlap bow and a few of the satin roses, stuffed it half full of walmart bags, covered them with some brocade fabric, and voila!


I hoped she liked it. She said she liked it. A lot. And then, when I took it to the church, I felt comfortable that it fit with the wedding theme very well.

My other task was to help with the “sweets table.” I volunteered to make an assortment of cake pops and truffles. Elle and I experimented with these lemon shortbread truffles I found here:


I do recommend them. In fact, they were my favorites, but, you need to add about a cup more cookie crumbs to the recipe. Otherwise, they are a bit sticky. I also made almond cake pops, double chocolate cake pops, mini pecan pie tarts, white chocolate, peppermint popcorn…DSC00254

DSC00260DSC00263 DSC00262And my other favorite, and by far the easiest, Pistachio Wedding Cookies. I’m sharing the recipe with you because I’m just helpful like that you need to file this away as your go-to dessert. This recipe takes so little time, so little work, and so little money, and yet tastes delightfully light and looks wonderful.


2 sticks softened butter

1 cup powdered sugar (divided into half cups)

2 tsp vanilla

1 and 3/4 cup flour

1 small pistachio pudding mix (dry)

dash of salt


Cream butter and half the sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and set aside. Mix together flour, pudding mix, and salt. Gradually mix into the sugar mixture until combined. Divide dough in half to form two balls of dough, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and make teaspoon sized balls. Space them a couple of inches apart and flatten them slightly.

Bake 9-10 minutes and let stand on baking sheet an additional 5 minutes. (Do not over bake) As you remove cookies from parchment, roll in the other half cup of powdered sugar and place on rack to cool.

How easy is that?

Here are some pics of the sweet stations at the wedding.


DSC00083And a few other pictures from the wedding.

DSC00063Using the wands!

DSC00096Eating cake.

DSC00105One of the photo op vignettes.

DSC00110Kris’ other pride and joy…classic 67 Camaro.

It was a sweet, sweet wedding. And I hay-elped! (Most of you are way too young to remember that commercial and it would probably be, somehow, politically incorrect today.) 🙂



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.


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!