Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garden Masterpiece

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” 

― Claude Monet

Gypsy Canon Photography

To find a theme for my parents' 75th birthday party we started with the beautiful flowers and flourishing vegetable garden surrounding their house. The care and love they have for growing things is evident. But they have another more important "garden" they have cultivated through the years in the lives and hearts of so many people. More than twenty years ago at an age when many people are starting to think about the end of their careers, they left home and family and moved to the country of Albania shortly after communism fell. It was a dangerous time, but they went  because of the need. They helped work with orphans and started a church that will soon celebrate its twentieth anniversary. They gave up a comfortable life to help people in Albania. Now that they are retired, we decided on a garden party for family and friends to celebrate both birthdays and the theme of their life of service together. 

Gypsy Canon photography

I love reclaimed things. There are so many people doing so much these days with things that used to be trash. When we found the patio bench made from an old bed, it just seemed to fit with the way they have lived their lives...trying to help people create a new beginning. I have been wanting to try one of these benches for a long time and it never happened, so my sweet hubby bought one for me! I love the feel of home that it gives. We added the pillows and cushions to it.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Every birthday party must have cake! All Things Cake was very creative with my parents party. They are right on trend with this cake! I really love the flowers they hand made for it. They were so special to my parents and I was more than thrilled when they also came up with some gluten free cupcakes for us to enjoy. They have a certified gluten free kitchen now right here in Tulsa.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Red Door Treasures made us this custom potting bench. We were so happy to be able to meet them and find such an enchanting shop in down town Broken Arrow. Miss Cindy is one of the good guys! She helped us quickly and efficiently. We adore what they came up with and used it for our main dessert table. Gypsy Canon who just happens to be my daughter Rhonda Byers, painted all the furniture for this party. She is such a huge help in all these things we are doing! My hubby even gets in the act. I don't know how you can do these parties without help! 

GreatStitch made the pillows.

Our awesome backdrop roses were made from corrugated cardboard and came from the hip and happening rose store right here in Broken Arrow called Roses, Inc  They recently made these for a float and let us use them for our party. They have done a fantastic job at refurbishing a property in downtown Broken Arrow that houses their amazing rose selection and green house. They are responsible for all the lovely roses in the Rose District where our shop is located. Some days we just stroll down Main Street to smell the roses they have put out. We also got the rose lights we strung on the branch from them.  

We were able to use some really awesome local people this time and we were thrilled with the beautiful garden roses that Arrow Flowers and Gifts made us. She used ranunculus also, and they are some of my favorite flowers right now. I adore the way they bloom out. You might see peonies in there also which bring back some really great memories from my childhood. My parents had a beautiful flower garden with a lot of peonies in the center of it when I was growing up.

My sweet friend Kameela did this perfect garland. She went out of her way to get it to me in time and it fit our theme perfectly. Could the colors have been more perfect? Kameela has the cutest named business I have seen recently...Tutus and Bowties! Texas is on my list of places to go now because of her sweet friendship!

When I saw these pretzel carrots in the Oreo dirt, we had to have them for our party. I thought Promise Pretzels did a fabulous job on these! Everyone loved them!  Katie at The Pretty Party Shoppe sent us some awesome berry baskets that we used throughout the party and also sent other party supplies...straws, paper cups, bags, just lovely things that we were so thrilled with! We love to find new people and she has some really awesome things! 

We tried to put in meaningful things in the party--things that would help us remember really great moments of our past. One of the things I remember as kid was living in an old 4 story parsonage that had been moved to an apple orchard. Could there be a better place to grow up--now there's a story I will have to tell sometime! As old houses do, it needed work. I didn't use to be very good with a hammer (I have since learned!). So my job was to bring refreshments. Coke was the thing that gave them that little punch to finish the job. Now Coke that comes in a bottle is the perfect size, and to me it just tastes different. We found this Coke bottle opener and just couldn't resist putting it on our garden potting bench to remind us of some of the old times together in that apple orchard. 

Kara at Lillian Hope Designs has this sweet Garden Party Invitation that she was kind enough to help us with. And check out the awesome Kraft Paper envelopes at Party Prepaganda!! 

Gypsy Canon took our photos.

I adore this garden reminds me so much of my own kids and how they used to sit and read together. The story behind this it that one day my just barely 4 year old was reading to my 2 year old. Nether one could actually read at that point, so it was more like reciting Wynken, Blinken, and Nod which we read to them every night. As my daughter told my son what the words said, she was a little creative with how it went. Instead of, "Sailed off in a sea of Dew"...She inserted, "Mountain Dew."  They were sitting about like this. It has always reminded me of that special moment. And isn't that why we do these parties? To remind us of the special moments?

Mom's favorite cake happens to be pecan pie! So we made some little tart pies for her. 

And the chocolate covered bing cherries were for my dad!

These are my parents! Happy 75th Birthday Mom and Dad! 

In your parties, don't forget to include some things with your handwriting on them. Some of my most cherished things are recipes or birthday cards that I have saved where my loved ones wrote in their own hand writing. Every once in a while, don't worry about what people think and give them the gift of your writing. You can always tuck something into the scrapbook about the party. We were so pleased with the printables that my talented cousin, Amanda made for us! She is a full time graphics person at a magazine and I always love when she has time to help us! 

I love cookbooks. We found a new one that had these crustinis in it and thought it was perfect for this party. Thank you to my son and his fiance for coming and helping with the final arrangements...we so appreciate our family! 

My brother and his family live way out on the east coast and couldn't make it but they were kind enough to chip in and send this gigantic Edible Arrangements bouquet. It easily fed all of us and had plenty to take home to enjoy. They make an awesome basket! 

The Good Stuff!!

Party Styling: Brenda Byers, Rhonda Byers
Photography: Gypsy Canon
Adorable Cake and Gluten Free Cupcakes: All Things Cake
Party Supplies: Pretty Party Shoppe 
Envelopes for Invitations: Party Prepaganda
Monogramming and Embroidery, Pillows and Towels: GreatStitch
Potting Bench: Red Door Treasures
Corrugated Roses and Rose Lights: Roses, Inc.
Carrot Pretzels: PromisePretzels
Printables: Amanda Hathcoat


  1. Oh Brenda what a wonderful story! You must be so proud of your parents! This was such a touching party I love all the details especially the paper flowers! Congrats to your parents. God Bless :)

  2. Brenda, What a beautiful story and such a blessing your Parents are. Love everything about their party it's just so elegant and so very touching. God Bless your family.