Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vintage Wedding Blues

When Christmas is over, there is almost always a let-down. When a party or special occasion comes and goes, the memories are sweet, but again, there is that dimming of the emotions that occurs after all the guests are gone, dishes are done, and pretties are put away. A sadness can even take the place of the joy one has felt only a short time before. Weddings are like that to me. So many hours of planning, looking, driving, talking, thinking, returning, changing your mind, going back to the first idea; it is often maddening, the pace with which we drive ourselves as the wedding day approaches.

When my niece Michelle came home from Tuscaloosa last Thanksgiving with a male friend in tow, I thought something was up. When he came back at Christmas, I was sure something was up! It wasn't long after, that my suspicions were confirmed: The White House was having a wedding! Michelle and Kevin were getting married! And yes, girls and boys, he popped the question with a good old fashioned ring pop. No diamond, just two simply beautiful engraved wedding bands to be exchanged on their special day.


 
Michelle and Kevin...Roll Tide! 

 
Starry, starry night

 
Happy, Happy, Happy!


Since I do not have a daughter and I love a celebration, this Mississippi Sunshine Girl wanted to help wherever I could. Lots of old items with family meaning to the couple were used, making this one of the most unusual and frugal weddings you can imagine...totally and wonderfully vintage. I was in heaven! I had lots of projects that I had been wanting to try, and the wedding gave my ideas a place to land and actually take root. From Michelle's maternal great grandmother's suitcases, to a door turned chalkboard, to handmade tablecloths from her paternal grandmother's lace, and wooden crates for fruit, to a cabin replica in the reception hall and a barn fa├žade in the church sanctuary, it was almost unbelievable what ideas materialized into reality. Our family all pulled together to make this wedding a once in a lifetime event!

    
 
The guests wrote messages, then placed them in the jars instead of signing a book. 
 
  
 
The miniature bride was made by Michelle's grandmother, the late Mildred "Louise" White.
 
 
Mildred is not a name you expect to see in jewelry, so when a friend had this vintage pin with her name on it, I could not resist making it my own. The pearls belonged to my grandmother, who was a dear friend to Michelle's maternal granny.
 
 
I learned a lot about Michigan, Kevin's home state, while doing these wedding props. Did you know Michigan is divided into by water? I thought that was pretty cool and included copies of vintage maps of both Mississippi and Michigan in this suitcase.
 

The little bear bride was also made by Grandma. She was very talented in many ways. When Michelle's mom was cleaning out Grandma Louise's hobby room before the wedding, she found this little jewel tucked away. It is very special indeed.
 
 
This is not a good shot of the chalkboard door, but you get the idea. Turned out good for a first try! Since Kevin's family and friends could not all attend the wedding, we wanted to fill up "his" side of the church, too. And we did. When the happily married couple returns home to Michigan, they will be blessed with another reception in their honor.
 
 
I made two of these tablecloths plus a runner that used over 65 yards of lace. It was still on the original spool, purchased from a closing lingerie manufacturer, price intact: $10. I am not kidding!
 
 
Can you say L-O-V-E?
 
 
The wooden monogram in the background was won by Michelle in a raffle...how cool is that? It made the display complete. Michelle's mom made both of the cakes. Wow!
 
 
And yes, Mr. Jacob Tilley is a crazy good photographer. Can't wait to see all the photos!
 

 

One of my favorite parts were about the wedding were all the different centerpieces used. All different, rustic, and meaningful to the bride and groom in one way or another. From rusty chains and barbed wire, to replica's of old cars and trucks, to flower filled funnels, all sprinkled with "snow", each table told a story of how a little Mississippi girl came to belong to a tall, funny Detroit boy. North meets South, shut my mouth. It was an awesome thing to see two families from opposite ends of our country coming together as one big family.



Michelle's bouquet and almost all of the flowers used belonged to her late paternal grandmother, and came from her Grandma Louise's hobby room, where she spent many hours designing or "playing" as she liked to say. Her bridal gown was somewhat vintage; it belonged to her youngest aunt, wed 24 years ago. A friend redesigned the gently aged gown for more of a prairie look, and she was a stunning bride. The groom looked very handsome, and completed the bridal party of two. That's right. Two...the bride and the groom. I loved that because it was so romantic that the two of them were the center of attention on their special day, with no distractions. I cried when I saw her standing at the top of the stairs, holding on to her Daddy's arm, smiling down at her groom, with lots of love in those big, brown eyes.

 
This cabin replica was built by Michelle's daddy, and Kevin. It was a real conversation piece and lots of guests used it as intended, a photo spot.
 
There were so many other things that went on over the months to prepare for this special day that are too many to include. Being able to do a part of this celebration made me happy. Anytime we can do something for someone else when they ask for nothing, it is a good thing.
 
 
The end is just the beginning. Live long and live well, sweet ones. May all your dreams come true.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spreading Love and Sunshine with Free Printables

This week we will celebrate Valentine's Day. This holiday probably holds many different kinds of memories for each of us, but it makes me think of my very first school teacher. A few days ago I was sharing with a student about my First Grade teacher, Mrs. Valentine. The elementary school I attended had a long row of doors that opened to the playground area. On the first day of school, she told us to look for the door with the big red heart when it was time to come in from play. Easy enough-a valentine is traditionally a big red heart. What a comfort for us to know exactly which door belonged to us. Our room could be spotted from the swings at the very back of the playground! Anytime I see a large red heart, I always think of her. I am sure she is probably in heaven by now, and I bet her mansion has some beautiful heart motifs, just as she used for her First Graders for many years.

So, in honor of Mrs. Valentine, I wanted to share some free printables. I found some good info from Jenn, over at The Purposeful Mom, and went to work on some new printables in my Creative Memories software. The first set contains 3 large hang tags, for when you don't need a formal card, but want to make a cute happy for someone. The tags themselves will make you smile!


This next set is a mixture of styles, so maybe you can find something that will fit the different ages and people in your life that you love. There are 9 styles to choose from and these are the smaller tags.

 

 I really like to do vintage style, so that will be the next session. Spring is coming right around the corner, and Easter is a favorite holiday, so perhaps I will be able to design some pretty vintage tags to share next time. Print these on cardstock, and you can save your money for a little gift to surprise someone when they need a little bit of "sunshine" for their day.

Have a great end to February and remember to tell those special people in your life that you love them. You can never say it too much as long as you MEAN it. Blessings to you and yours for sunshine and good times.

Love,

Becky

Again, I have linked to Made by You Mondays, at Skip to My Lou. I am also linking to Coastal Charm . Please check out her blog. She is also a local vendor at Antiques at The Loop in Mobile.


Skip To My Lou  





Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Biscuits vs. Scones: Some Kind of Wonderful

I am on holiday in recognition of the life work of Dr. Martin Luther King. Some of the words he spoke live on today. In my lifetime, I recall the year that our school became integrated. I learned at a young age that children are the same in many ways, even if we don't have the same color of skin. Today I watch the students I work with at our elementary school celebrate the successes and diversities of each other in a way that some thought would never be done in the South. Shame on them. We have adjusted very well over the years, and for that I am thankful. Shame on us for thinking any other way than that we are all equally wonderful in our own way. We were living in the shadow of the past, and it just took a few generations of change for us to see what is real and truth. We are who we are because of what we are inside, not how we look outside.

Now let's move from the soapbox to the kitchen and talk about scones. Just as humans come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, so do breads. In the deep South, the biscuit is a staple. My mom laughed at what my first attempt at biscuits looked like. She said they looked like little turtles. Hmmmph. Did not. Anyway, they tasted good. Our biscuit recipe that we love right now, has three ingredients: self-rising flour, butter, and buttermilk. Easy peasy and some kind of delicious.

How does a biscuit compare to a scone? A scone is usually thought of as a bread or slightly sweet cake served with tea in places like Britain or other areas that do an afternoon treat as a "pick me up". One thing I do know, is they are very versatile. There are lots of shapes and degrees of sweetness in scones. I have eaten some that tasted like cardboard, and others that were iced and so sweet I would not call them a scone. I prefer the variety that is fluffy, soft, and slightly sweet but served with jams, jellies, preserves, or sweet fresh fruit. And for me, fresh whipped cream is a must! 



                                                                     Buttermilk Biscuits              


     Creamy Yogurt and Currant Scones
                                                                                 

                                                                                         Glazed Strawberry Scones

My Version of Cream Scones tasted better than they looked!

  
Cream Scone with Peach Preserves Filling
 
 
Cream Scone with Tart Cherry Preserves Filling

I was flipping through a Mississippi Magazine this morning and saw a recipe for Cream Scones. It was very simple, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought, why not? When I added the last item on the recipe, the dough did not look right at all. Still very dry. So I adjusted the amount of heavy cream until it looked right, and went with it. Here is my version of the recipe:

Cream Scones

2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cold butter
1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add cream, and blend well. Flour a work surface and knead dough for 30 seconds. Roll to 1/2 inch thick, and cut into 3 inch rounds. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with jam and freshly whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Place in refrigerator for 5 minutes to chill bowl. Whip at high speed. When cream begins to thicken well, gently sprinkle 1/4 cup powdered sugar into mixing bowl. Continue to beat until desired thickness.

Tips

One thing that makes baked goods so pretty is when they rise in layers. This scone is so soft and has a really gentle texture. The secret to this comes from the way you knead the dough. When you knead, kind of fold the dough over itself top to bottom. Then rotate the dough and knead again. You will be folding the dough over itself in different directions and when this happens, it creates the many layers that rise beautifully.

To assemble, use a fork and gently split the scone along one of the middle layers. Spread the bottom layer with your choice of jam or preserves. Top with some whipped cream. Replace the top layer of scone onto the whipped cream and gently press to hold together. Top it all off with another little dollop of whipped cream. Finally, sprinkle the entire scone with powdered sugar. Enjoy while warm.

 
The cutter used created a small scalloped edge. So pretty!
 
P.S. This actually occurred yesterday, and I can assure you I enjoyed these scones with sweet abandon and NO GUILT. However, today I signed up to participate in a Biggest Loser to promote wellness at my school, so there will be no scones in my future. Not for a while, anyway. My next post may very well be how to make healthier food choices. I surely would like to win that $500 pot of money!

I hope you will try the scone recipe, if not these, maybe a variety from one of the links provided will be just right. Enjoy dining on a confectionary delight that is "some kind of wonderful".

Blessings to you from the Mississippi Sunshine Girl. If it is dreary in your world, don't fret! Make your own sunshine!

Love,

Becky

This week I am linking up with Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou and Tasteful Tuesdays at Naptime Creations. Check out these great recipes and creative ideas!

Skip To My Lou

Nap-Time Creations

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vintage Dreams for 2013: Bringin' Home the Bambi

Last year we had dreamed of restoring our 1963 Airstream Bambi to be road ready this past spring. The Bambi is a miniature Airstream version that is a demure 16 feet long, and definitely a two-person facility. However, its' cuteness makes up for the lack of space! Our best friend, Mike, had a fleet of airstreams: two Bambi's, and one 32 footer, not sure which model. Another friend inherited the large one, and Mike has the other Bambi on its' way to being a dynomite rendition and ours is, well, still in the "planning" stages. Anyway, our dream is to get these babies restored and do some fun road trips together soon. It is also going to bring a whole new meaing to the word RETIRED, when that does happen.
 
At the supper table, our youngest son Con and his girlfriend Lea Anna have laughed at us when we talk about turning the Bambi into a food truck when we retire, and just carting it around to wherever the hungry crowds are. Let them laugh! It beats the heck out of the overhead of a restaurant, you cook when you want to, to whom you wish to make happy, and see the countryside in the meantime. Not to mention, that usually wherever there are crowds, there are also fun times such as music, tall tales, and lots of shopping involved. Sounds like a definite winner to me!

 
Here we are in the fall of 2011: Me, Stu James, and our best bud Mike the weekend we brought home the Bambi
from the Mississippi Delta to our Gulf Coast home.
 
There are lots of vintage sites that support Airstream. I have been researching for the best way to polish: do it ourselves or take to a reputable dealer. The jury is still out on this, but that is at the top of the list. Since it has to be done from time to time, it may be more ecomomical to invest in the equipment and use lots of elbow grease to bring back that mirror shine.
 
Next, we have to gut and rewire, which we think will not be too bad due to the size of the Bambi. Then on to the fun part of restoring and decorating. We have already been collecting some items that will be fun to use: a 1960's metal Coleman Icechest, an early 1950's radio that belonged to my Dad, wooden director chairs, baskets for the "Lake Look", which is what we are thinking right now, because we both love the water...and this also gives me an excuse to go rambling around in old dusty, dirty junk places and nice antique stores. Love it.
 
Check out these pictures of what a Bambi can look like. Dream and go dream some more!
 

 
All shined up and road ready! One day soon, ours will look like this.

 
Love the vintage canopy and the matching hubcap.
 
 
I like the light and airy feeling in this one.
 
 
Definitely larger than our Bambi, but Stu favors this look.

 
I don't think this sofa is an option, because these are very heavy and we will have to
watch the weight in our itty bitty rolling house.
 
 
Our day will come. Love this American spirit in motion!
 
Well, we certainly have our work cut out for us this year. But don't you think this will be so fun for us? We tease Connor that when he goes to Ole Miss we will just park the Bambi at Sardis Lake and be up there every weekend. He does not think it is funny, but we are just kidding!
 
 
It is a gray day on January 2, 2013, but I see blue skies ahead with lots of sunshine. May the Lord's goodness shine down on you!
 
Love,
 
Becky