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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To: Make a Moss Table Runner

Some of the next few posts will be segments of Brenna and Colby’s wedding.  In this segment I will describe how I made the moss runners that were placed in the center of the tables during the bridesmaids’ luncheon I hosted.


I first decided to make a moss table runner for my sister-in-law’s bridesmaids’ luncheon when I came across one on the Southern Living website.  I planned to strictly follow SL’s instructions but quickly found that the instructions didn’t quite meet the dimensions I needed.  Since I was hosting Brenna’s luncheon I knew I needed to make two runners.  One for the “girl’s” table and one for the “mom’s” table.  I also wanted to make sure to measure the runners on our dining room table since that is where the runners will be used in the future.  I think the runners will make great additions to our Easter table and decorations.  Hopefully they will store well.  According to SL all I have to do to store them is to roll them loosely and place them inside of a large garbage bag.   I have already transported them this way to and from Judd’s hometown for the party.  They seemed to have fared well. 

Ok.  Here is what I did to make the moss runners.  First you will need to gather your materials.  Next, measure your own table to determine your length.  Also, I took out one of the plates I knew I was going to use for the luncheon to place on top of the runner to measure the width.  I wanted the runner to stick out a little underneath the plate.

Materials for one moss table runner:

  • felt-backed plastic/vinyl tablecloth
  • 3 bags chartreuse-colored reindeer moss
  • 9 bags of decorative sheet moss
  • 1 small bag of glue sticks
  • 1 high-heat hot glue gun
  • scissors

I borrowed a vinyl tablecloth from my mother.  The one she had was a cream-colored oval shaped cloth.  I measured my width and cut it accordingly.  It was roughly 13 inches wide and 7 1/2 feet long.  You’ll want to make sure it hangs down each end of the table about 6 inches.  I folded the tablecloth into fourths and cut it into strips.  (Remember I was making two).  If you’re just making one runner you could fold and cut it in half and then cut that down the middle.

Next, I measured the length I needed and hot glued the two pieces joining two ends together.  This will make one long runner.


Once the ends were joined in the middle, I folded the rounded exposed ends under and hot glued them down to make two straight edges.  If you started with rectangle or square cloth this will be an unnecessary step.  I was just working with what I had. Free from mom’s pantry is the best price you know.  :)

Then I used an extra glue stick (because that is what I had.  An end of a pencil or chop stick would also work) to press down the reindeer moss as I hot glued it along the edges piece by piece.  Using a tool is a preventative measure to keep you from really burning your finger.   I learned the hard way that my high-heat glue gun gets REALLY hot. Duh.  Be careful.  Place the reindeer moss on each side until well covered.  I found all of my moss at Hobby Lobby.  It was on sale for half price. 



photo1Once the edges are lined with reindeer moss, fill in the middle with the sheet moss.  It’s kind of like working a puzzle.  Place the pieces down ahead of time to see where they fit best before gluing.  Work your way down the length of the runner.


Fill in any gaps with remaining moss.photo4

When you are finished it will look like this.photo5

And, when you are ready to host your party your table might look something like the picture below.  I was really pleased with my tablescape for the luncheon.  I used galvanized tin containers and watering cans to hold flowers.  I used an old bolt of tulle left over from our wedding to tie on the backs of the chairs.  I tucked in a fern frond to the chair covers in keeping with the natural theme.  The oak leaf hydrangea came from my mother’s yard in Hoover, AL.  She was so sweet to cut it for me and transport it from B’ham to Brewton.  Plus, she arranged it for me.  You sure can’t beat that.  She was a huge help.  (Note the baby bridesmaid cake.  I’ll do a Part II post for those soon).

For the table setting I used a white round tablecloth as the base layer.  The luncheon was held at the same place where the reception was taking place the following day.  It was an old hardware store that has been renovated—The Hourglass in Brewton, AL.  The building is amazing!!!! 

The white tablecloths were to be used at the reception and were rented.  I topped the white cloth with a large remnant piece of burlap.  Next, I layered on the moss runner, mason jars with tea lights, and flowers.  I used my everyday china—Mikasa’s Italian Countryside.  I borrowed my mother-in-law’s glasses.  I tried to borrow what I could because I was having to transport all of my things down there and was so fearful something might break.  It all worked out.  I ended up using my MIL’s flatware too.  I don’t have any pictures of the final table setting just yet.  They are on Brenna’s camera.  I’ll post more when they get back from their honeymoon.

I really enjoyed making the runners.  I think they really made the tables look finished.  I hope you have fun making them too.


PB Must Haves For The Farm

As you know from other posts, Judd’s parents own a lovely little cattle farm down in South Alabama.  I have done a few posts about it so far.  You can read them by clicking here, here, and here.   You can also read about the farm on Brenna’s Blog.  Brenna is my new sister-in-law!!!!!  (WHICH BY THE WAY I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEIR WEDDING.  THEY ARE ON THEIR HONEYMOON IN CHARLESTON, SC AND THE PICTURES I TOOK ARE ON HER CAMERA.  I’LL POST AS SOON AS I GET THE PICS.).

The farm consists of beautiful flat pasture land, a bunch of good lookin’ cows, a pristine pond full of fish, and a one room cabin original to the property.

The cabin has been under renovation since about the time I came into the picture.  I guess it’s been about six or seven years now.  As previously noted, the cabin is growing in size.  The construction crew, my handy brother-in-law Colby, and my husband (when we are down there) have been working on it.  They have added a small bedroom, small bathroom (AMEN), a covered side porch, and exposed side patio.

The cabin is and will continue to be used as a family gathering place, fish and hunting camp, 4th of July party spot, etc.

I got really excited last night when looking through my Pottery Barn catalog because it was full of great items for the cabin.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not the “go to the Mega-lo Mart (yet another TV reference. Sorry.  Bad habit.) and purchase everything for a cookie cutter house” type.  Nope.  That’s not me.  But I did love the fact that PB is on board with the rustic look these days.  More than likely I will keep my eyes peeled as I shop elsewhere.  I bet I could find a lot of this stuff at flea markets and in my grandmother’s garage.  Ha.  I mean come on Pottery Barn you are selling mason jar “glasses” for $24 a set.  Geez.  I’m all for the cheaper route.

Here are some of the things I found in the PB catalog.


How cute would this coke cooler be on the porch????  I love it.  Judd and I have been eyeing one of these at our local cabin store for a long time.

coke cooler 


One of these pendant lamps would look great over the kitchen sink.

barnard pendant

rustic glass pendant

Speaking of kitchens, how cute is this enamel and galvanized serve ware?  I already have a lot of this.  I especially love the tiered stand, tray, and flatware caddy.

Enamel ware 

tiered trayflatware holder

  trays 2

galvanized tray


I already have one of each of these party buckets and ice buckets that we use to tailgate at Auburn.  Mine does not have a stand but it offers the same look.

party bucket

Here’s those mason jar glasses.  They are precious but I think we’ll get ours from elsewhere.  Also, I love this mason jar beverage dispenser.  This would work great under the covered porch when we are having a big party.

mason jar 

 mason jar drink dispenser

Above the drink or should I say bar station on the covered porch some of these lanterns resting on a rustic buffet and some hanging from the ceiling would look great.


Now, as I mentioned in the other posts, Judd’s maternal grandmother was an avid quilter.  Luckily we have several family quilts to use on the beds.  You just can’t buy quilts with the amount of charm they possess from Pottery Barn.  We’ll use  them on the loft bed.  It will be a full sized bed underneath with a twin on top.  I also loved these PB pick-stitch quilts.

tried and true quilts

pick-stitch quilt 

Pottery Barn even has a denim sleeper sofa.  This could be cute for the living room.  If not denim, a hefty and neutral color fabric could work.

PB basic sleeper sofa indigo denim

For the dining area behind the sofa there should be a farm table.   PB has that covered too.  This is their Sumner Table with Wynn chairs.

Sumner Table and Wynn Chairs 

I think the PB round chandelier would look great over the farm table at the cabin.  what do you think?

round chandelier

   These are just a few items that I thought would offer a nice touch --A tiered wire bathroom organizer, a wired basket with handles, and some wooden stands for the kitchen and on the coffee table.

wire bath storage

wired basket with handles  wood pedestals

The cabin is a place that my design minded husband and I have dreamed about decorating and renovating for years.  It is the common topic of conversation during our 3 1/2 hour car trips to and from Brewton.  We love this place.  We have both, along with the rest of our family, put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into this place.  I mean that blood, sweat, and tears part quite literally.  We can’t wait for all the memories we will make when the project is completed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No Seven Year Itch Yet

The following was the wall post I wrote on my husband's facebook page today.

"Judd, I've loved you for 7 years now. Well, really more than that if you count all the years I spent dreaming of you when I was a little girl. You truly are the man I always dreamed I would marry. You even met all of the criteria on my "dream husband" list. Ha. My life is richer and better because you are in it. These past 5 years of marriage and 2 years of courtship have been the best of my life. Happy 5th Anniversary!!!!! I love you!!!!"

I've loved him basically my entire adult life because I met him when I was an 18 year old freshman at Auburn University. If only I had known him a few years earlier then I could've met him when he looked like this.

Sorry, I just had to throw that in there. Ha.

I love him because he loves my friends. Note: He does not usually wear ties like this. He was at an all girl tacky Christmas party because, well, he loves me that much.

I love him because even on the worst of days I still think he is precious and because he makes even the worst of days better. Remember this one honey? This was the Auburn Architecture Bake Sale/Pumpkin Carve. Things were a little soggy and cold.

I love him because he is outdoorsy. This is a picture of a month long hiking/canoeing trip he took with his grad. school cohort in Canada.

I love him because he is fun to travel with. Aww, Charleston you stole our hearts. So much so that we literally almost moved there twice.

I love him because he is a great buddy to take to the beach. This was at Lulu's (Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant) in Gulf Shores, AL.

I love him because he is a great friend to me and to others.

I love him because he is great date to a fancy party. He's quite the dancer. And I think he looks dashing in a tux.
I love him because he loves his family and because he is a great big brother.

I love him because he can really grill and/or cook all things well.

I love him because he's sporty. Well, this doesn't exactly count as sporty. But, I'm typing this on my lunch break at work and don't have many pictures to choose from. He loves sports of all kinds and plays them all well. He played football and baseball in high school.I love him because we share a love for this amazing, charming, family-friendly, and fun place. Auburn, Al. is where we met, dated, fell in love, and lived the first few years of our marriage.
I love him because he is just down right funny. He is definitely not afraid to take chances.

I love him because he loves my family. Specifically because he is so good to my grandmother. She is such an important and special part of my life. He knows it and is so sweet, helpful, and loving to her because of it.

Most importantly I love him because he made this day and all the days that have followed the best of my life.

Happy 5th Anniversary Judd!!!!! I love you!!!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bridesmaid Baby Cakes- Take I

You may remember from some previous posts that I am hosting the bridesmaids' luncheon for my future sister-in-law, Brenna. You also may (or may's ok. I don't blame you. Who can keep up with it all?) remember that I decided to make the baby bridesmaids cakes from Southern Living for dessert at the luncheon. I posted about them here.

My mom came over for a test run of making the baby cakes. The recipe called for Poppy Seed Cake. That sounded too time consuming and, well, just not as good as regular ole' cake. She brought over every cake baking/decorating item she had. I pulled out all of my stuff too. We started our test run with all of this (see below). We had parchment triangles, couplers, icing tips (numbers one, three, and sixteen), cake mixes, canned icing, powdered sugar, candy quick, whipping cream, cream cheese, white icing color, almond extract, vanilla extract, etc.

We decided that between us we had enough boxes of cake mix to use instead of making homemade cake. We pulled a Sandra Lee. You know, she hosts that show "Semi-homemade." Note: I seriously didn't know that show came on the air anymore. I just found out when I looked it up to make the link above. I thought they stopped making it years ago. That shows what I know. :)

In an ideal world all of the cake flavors would have been the same. Well, my little perfectionist self has come to terms with the fact that we don't live in an ideal world and that multiple cake flavors will be ok in the end. All of us girls at the luncheon can just taste each other's and swap. It'll be like trading desserts in the 3rd grade lunchroom. What fun!

We made vanilla cake, devil's food cake, and chocolate fudge cake. Here's the science behind our cake choices. We chose these because we had two boxes of each of these flavors. We were making the cakes on jelly roll pans and had to double the recipe to make two sheet cakes of each flavor on two jelly rolls pans. We needed enough to have two layers of cake. Each cake will be decorated with each attendee's monogram. (Brenna, do you know who likes what kind of cake? I can monogram accordingly to minimize the cake swapping.)

And we were off. First we made two white cakes. While those were baking, we mixed together the devil's food cakes and started on the icing.

All of these pictures were taken on Judd's iphone. The photo quality is not great but you get the idea. If you don't have a seizure and/or your eyes don't cross from looking at it (it's blurry y'all. sorry.) the photograph below is of me making the icing. I used the butter cream frosting recipe found in Southern Living. You can get the full recipe in that link to the previous post at the top. The frosting calls for 2 lbs. of powdered sugar (make sure to sift it first), 1 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon almond extract.

Now Vanna...oops I mean them what they've mean made.

The cakes will look like this when you take them out of the oven. Your Momma might not look like this and she might not stand like Vanna White, but the cakes will definitely look like this.

I purchased a scalloped edged cookie cutter from Hobby Lobby for .99 cents. It most resembled the one Southern Living used. We cut out the vanilla cakes first once they had had time to cool. Forgive the sweatpants and old sorority t-shirt. It's not 1950 y'all. I just don't know how June Cleaver managed in her kitchen in those heals and dresses. (Disclaimer-I don't know what is up with all of the TV references. I guess I'm just in a mood. Well, that and I couldn't resist that Vanna - Momma thing).

Here's June

Here's Me. Ha. When all three cake flavors had baked and cooled we topped the layers with the butter cream frosting and sandwiched them together. By this point it was getting pretty late. We didn't have it in us to attempt the poured fondant. Take II will happen tonight. I'll let you know how they turn out.

As we were cleaning up, the living vacuum walked in to help. By living vacuum I mean nearly 100 lb dog who will eat anything. I think he was disappointed because our adventure was pretty tidy and he didn't get many crumbs.

He hammed it up for the camera anyway though. I think he knew I was going to post this on the blog and that he should probably smile. Ok, maybe not.