Ranch Hands...

Ranch Hands...

Lace...can it be sexy?

by Kathleen Reish on 10/04/12

Lace and wedding dresses have long standing relationships, sometimes they are in love with eachother and sometimes they take a break.  Currently, they are in love!  It is no surprise as the Royal wedding brought this union back together not only with the catwalks but also with current brides. 

Lace's origins are sometimes debated as there have been indications it dates back to days of the Greeks. We have clear indication though that it's emergence in popularity was impacted in Royal courts during the middle ages in Europ by Catherine de Medici.  Catherine is from the Italian aristocracy...if you've been to Florence, you would have seen the de Medici name everywhere.  She took collars of lace with her to France and it became all the rage.  As you can see from her collar, it was an intricate art. 

If you are ever so blessed to go to Venice (hmm...Honeymoon maybe...just sayin'...) Burano for the lace (and Murano for the glass) is a must.  On the island of Burano the art of lace making is still practiced with true artisans.  Venetian lace is the "gold standard."  As you walk the streets of Venice you will see lace in all forms.  There are beautiful sunbrella's made out of lace which are very popular everywhere you turn. 

Today, lace is also showing up in edible forms. Here is a beautiful example made by Amy Beck Cake Design in Chicago.   I'll cover more about cakes on a later posts, but this one was so beautiful I had to include it.  It is not a surprise that it was noted by Bride's magazine as Best of 2011.  Hitting the scene just as lace was emerging again in popularity. 

From being splashed onto the French scene by Catherine de Medici, lace has come into a new look with its spill onto current runways.  Kate Middleton, the newest royal set the wave in motion with that same royal influence once again.  Not the high collar modest kind though, today's lace is reworked into sexy renditions of what Catherine could never have worn.  Still, echo's of the past come from this vintage feel with modern laser cut lace creating a chic style. 

In addition to the emergence of lace on current wedding dresses you find tulle, peplums and designs with detachable styles creating a versatile look.  Some additions either add a  structured look or a soft flowing look.  The detachable give you a two for one design, one  for the ceremony and one for the reception!

Coming next are some more fun edibles...some lace covered and some just bitesize treats.  The best part of the wedding...the Cake!


Burlap can be Elegant...or just plain Simple...

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

Nothing is more suited for a barn than burlap! As far as creativity goes, there are endless things you can do to create a fun look that can be simplistic or elegant.

These pictures display its versatility. I personally love the idea of making a runner or table topper with eyelet, lace or satin to dress the edges.   For square tables set it on the diamond, for round, make a square that drops just over the edges. Lay all over a linen table cloth and your look becomes an elegant statement. Or, if you are using our venue, it looks great on our 16’ rustic tables with just the runner.

Burlap BagsRoses made out of Burlap, bags full of your “tossing” item (rice, bird seed, lavender, rose petals etc). or as a give-away make potpourri bags tied with twine or raffia. The little boutonniere is a wonderfully creative idea for your Groom and his Groomsmen. Tie your napkins and silverware together with small strands of twine to accent the look.

Hay bales with burlap draped over them make wonderful conversation corners and you could really play it up and use hay bales instead of chairs. Drape them with an accent of what you’ve done on your tables and your guests will be very amused. Or another way to pull it into your seating, use it for bows on your chairs.

All of these are very simple to “Do It Yourself.” Someday I’ll share with ya’ll how I made tents for a wedding…yes, tents. My eldest Daughter wanted a Moroccan theme…I created it! I am one of those crafty, do it yourself kind-a-gals I know, but these options are so simple, it would be super easy to do.

Burlap comes in the natural tone (which I prefer over white linen) or several colors. Many fabric stores have bolts of burlap these days. If you are in our neck of the woods, Hobby Lobby is the place to score yours. Need any pointers…just ask! If you have elements for your tables and chairs you want done in burlap, we are always happy to make that happen.


Themes...so many wonderful ways to go...

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

There are so many ways to go with wedding themes and this can be where you can have the most fun. Building the theme of your wedding and getting creative with the details. DIY and Pinterest are awesome for helping you get your juices going with ideas, creativity and fun projects that can add that special touch to a day you have been planning since...well, let's say since you were 5. Yes, the average age for when a female starts planning her wedding is 5! I am a girl, I remember and I have 3 daughters...need I say any more!


            Themes for 2012/2013 that are big right now are birds, mason jars, home-made (DIY) and vintage...anything old. I had some fun scouring the pages for this one. I love being creative, building upon ideas and expanding those ideas with little touches. I'll keep this one brief otherwise you might tire before I do.

The bird theme is so fun, so many different ways to go. Focus on birdcages, bird shapes, nests, eggs and so much more. There are some wonderfly creative ways to carry this theme out. Above are some of those fun ideas!


Did I mention Rustic was in?

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

Did I mention Rustic was in? Yes, rustic is huge right now and of course, we LOVE that! Barn weddings have been happening since settlers crossed the prairies. In those days, it was the right size to host guests and be indoors. Today it is uber chic and personally, I think it will never go out of style! Whether you go simple or elegant, the skeleton of a barn dresses so wonderfully of course it's popular! Any barn can be dressed to look elegant, that's the charm. It feels cozy and romantic. Springville Ranch is unique in its size, history, condition, timber framing and the much more. Since this is our beloved ranch, I could go on for days talking about it!

It might be funny to you but we had been associated with and then owned the barn a while before I even saw the upstairs. I just loved the property, the breezeway with the stalls and saw the potential immediately, I didn't need any convincing. I think my husband knew that once I saw the upstairs I'd never let it go! He was right, he knows me well! The first time I went up stairs and saw the trusses, I looked at him and said "Oh...we are never selling this barn..." To which he replied "That's what I was afraid of..."

The barn itself is so beautiful, it needs no dressing. Although, when dressed the wow factor goes to a new level. The upstairs or the downstairs breezeway can be dressed up to create a very sophisticated look or you can go simple, let the trusses shine in all their glory and focus solely on your tables. Barns tend to scream for Home-made touches, simplicity, rustic fabrics or elegant draping, either work, candles and no matter how you dress it, dancing! Whichever way you go, it always leaves the guests breathless.  

Rustic TablesWe have these wonderful 16' rustic tables that are awesome to use as serving tables, display tables or seating tables (depending upon the size of your wedding!). We have a wedding that we will be creating some more for so they can use them for that purpose. They lend an unstated elegance to the decor. They are simple to make and if you are going with a barn, we'd be happy to share a picture for you to recreate them for your venue.

Barn History Place CardWhat is always interesting is how many guests ask about the barn, it's history, can they rent it, etc. Every event we host, there are at least a handful of guests interested in learning more and ponder the use for their own events. This tells me it is special. Most people don't go to weddings and think of ways to use the venue! This leads me to a way to satisfy your guests curiosity preemptively. Add a bit of history to your table about the venue. Create a card that can sit as a place holder for your guest and put the history of your venue on the card. You could tuck it into the napkin as this picture suggests. A fun addition to any table. At Springville Ranch we are happy to offer these for your table, just let us know ahead of time. We tailor them to your theme.


by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

Conversation Escort Cards

Trends shape our choices without our conscious thought. Fashion trends, the next hot car trend, decorating color scheme trends and yes...weddings trends. The next big trend in the wedding world keeps us wedding professionals on our toes! Every year there are new wedding dress trends (this year Kate Middleton made major influences here), color scheme trends (it's chic to where colored dresses) as well as even theme trends (birds are big right now). I am setting off on a journey to share more details about some of the 2013 trends with you.

A big trend right now is the rustic barn wedding (which we love, love, love!). Nothing is more romantic than rustic elegance! We'll share more about barn weddings in an upcoming post, for now, we are going to start on the subject of Simplicity:

Simplicity simply said is in. Simplicity can be hard to pull off as sometimes one can have a hard time knowing when the right balance has been achieved. It is fair to say, most Brides want their guests to walk away from their wedding impressed and awed by the colors, the theme, the dresses, the tuxes or lack thereof on and on. To do that with a simple style can take a lot of planning and attention to detail.

Start with your color palette and your theme. Carry this theme and color scheme from your "Save the Date" card to the last details on your tables at the reception. The cohesiveness of these details can bring the simplest of weddings to feel extravagant as well as impressive.

Your "Save the Date" card should start sing your theme with a quiet hint and hit a noted crescendo on your reception table. You can create a cohesive sense of elegance and class streaming together the theme with individual notes along the way. What is your theme? What are your colors? Start pondering, look through Pinterest and DIY to get the juices going. Once you get on a roll, the song your wedding will create will be a beautiful sonnet for your guests. You just have to find that one element you want to echo throughout your overall theme.

Here's a fun way to start and impress your guests with your thoughtful planning. On DIY look up "Conversation Escort Card". This is a fun way to get your guests to converse with one another and find their seat. Pick something from the vision you have of your table, something you can weave throughout the overall theme. Now, think of how you want to present your Conversation Escort Card, in a way that matches your theme. If your theme say has birds...then shape the cards like birds. (I have an idea for how to present them I'll share with you in another post!) On the cards you'll put your guests name and a question. The questions pertain to you as a couple and/or things your guests can ask each other. All tables have the same 8 to 10 questions.

How does this apply to your "Save the Date" card? I'm getting there ever so slowly! Now that you have your theme, your color scheme and that element you will weave throughout your wedding, create a card based on those elements. Like I mentioned above, shape them like birds, bird cages, etc. if your theme is birds.

Have you ever played that game "Hidden in plain sight?" This is going to be like the game but your guests won't know it. Put the date of your wedding on a card shaped to match your theme and have it prominently displayed in your photo. You've hidden a clue in your photo, in plain sight and started hinting to your guests what your theme is as well as what your color scheme will be.

Later as you start to create your seating chart and Conversation cards, each table will have one that has this question "What was in our Engagement/Save the Date photo that is on your table right now?" See if people connect the dots! The winner gets to take home the centerpiece or some other fun thing on the table. It is a fun way to get guests interacting with one another and a fun way to start building your theme. Have fun with it. It doesn't have to be complicated, just needs to be cohesive.

Second Phase

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

The Second Phase:

In 1956 the training aspect of the ranch moved to Shafter California. Growing his work in the harness racing world, S. A. Camp still housed horses on the property just for breeding though. Left behind were 70 mares and of course a few sires. The top sires included the Triple Crown winner Scott Frost amongst Shadow Wave, Diamond Hal, Dazzle Way, Red Streak and Butch and Bond Hanover (thanks to Millie Gann for all the fun details).

The stalls in what we call the Breezeway tell the tale of these brooding mares. 4 of them were clearly for foaling. A Foaling stalls consist of a few stalls combined together. In our case, we have a moving wall that can grow or shrink the stall to a comfortable size. In addition to the wall, there were dividers that would separate the rest of the space so a stall mate whom the mare trusted could be nearby.

I have been searching the property for hidden jewels, things tucked away and forgotten. I had hoped to find these dividers but they are long gone. To my joy and surprise though, I have found replacements! I am so excited I stumbled upon them. We need 3 of them to return the stall to its prior state. Down the line, we will purchase new ones just like this one. I am so excited I found where we can get them!

Two of the stalls are smaller and someone along the way poured concrete and created a solid ground in them. We use these two stalls for storing our rental items. They could though without much trouble be used to board a horse still! Just throw some hay on the ground and were good to go!

One of the 4 stalls has been changed into an apartment. It is the larger stall and would have had the moving wall years ago. This is our Brides Suite. We haven't named this Suite yet, I am still searching for a proper name drawn from the history of the barn for the Suite.

The apartment has a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. We love that we can offer our Brides a nice space where their whole bridal party has room to prepare for the day and assist the Bride with full amenities.

A little Bit about Us

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12


The Rafters

by Kathleen Reish on 09/30/12

The Rafters

The largest Timber Framed barn…this side of the Mississippi if not within the whole of the United States!

The Rafters

In the 1940’s, S.A. Camp set off to create a training and breeding camp in the foothills of the Sequoia National Forest. 200 acres of land, corrals and a barn fitting of champions. Yes, Champions. His camp was the home of a Triple Crown Winner, Scotch Frost (1955).

It is there he built one of the most beautiful majestic barns standing today. 15,000 square feet, timber framed and white with green trim, it is a masterpiece of beauty. Built for $75,000 at the time, it is irreplaceable.

1955 was the first year a Triple Crown was possible and Scotch Frost won the crown with Joe O’Brien as his driver. Joe, trained at Springville Ranch and Scotch Frost spent his remaining retired days in Springville. The history of these times echos through the valley and the ranch itself.

Today the property is 14 acres with 3 ponds, 3 bridges, several fountains, a gazebo garden (that sits where the original farm house used to be), race track and the “Big White Barn”.

Currently we are working toward bringing the property back to it’s roots by reclaiming the history and stories of all the property has been to the area. In addition to restoring the grounds, we are digging up the history, reclaiming it’s glory days and creating an atmosphere worthy of all it has been. We host a local farmers market every Saturday so locals and travelers can enjoy the property weekly. Mostly we host private events such as weddings, reunions, corporate meetings and workshops and more. We also hold the occasional wine tasting, concert and good ole’ barn dance in the upstairs. A few times a year, we like to hold family focused activities such as our Easter Spring Faire.

Join us as we bring the ranch back to the glory days of years gone by. I’ll post our projects, new discoveries, public events and share the many things we learn along the way about the ranch and about how to do what we do better. Our Expertise is Perfection in the Details…we’d love for you to share in our journey.

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