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Traditional Home Magazine Photo Shoot

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Rebecca | 0 comments

We have just finished one of the most fun projects on which we've ever worked on.  A few weeks ago, Stephen Carlson, our good friend and Rebecca Ray Designs Marketing and PR expert who owns DVG Group, called me one evening and said, "How would you feel about the Farm being featured in the September Fashion Issue!?"  After I let out a giant squeal of joy like a small girl, I regained my composure and tried to sound matter-of-fact (but I'm certain Stephen wasn't buying it!!).  There was a small catch, Stephen mentioned, "They are on a very tight time line and they'll be arriving in 12 days. Is that OK with you?"  "Sure!" I gulped- the same kind of "Sure" you use when you hear that unexpected house guests are 10 minutes away and you are cleaning your closets! 

I got off the phone so excited... and then I looked around.  As you know, we were absolutely ravaged by a record breaking winter, and Spring was at least 6 weeks late. The 100 year old roses had been killed back to the ground from the below 30 degree temperatures. Builder Bob was just finishing the new barn building and there were still piles of dirt all over and a rather unattractive dumpster sitting in front of the barn.  Game face I thought.  We can do anything in 12 days, right?  No worries that Derek, my heavy lifter and my right hand was traveling for work and wouldn't be home until about an hour before the Senior Architecture Editor of Traditional Home touches down in Cleveland.  In fact, maybe they could share a ride home from the airport... but I digress.

 

 

So, "any-who" as Lizzie would say, we got to work, and fast! My family, who is pretty reliable in a pinch, came to my aid. My aunt spent countless days gardening with me and transplanting perennials.  My mom came to help me plant my baskets and planters while my dad rode old Fergie (the 1954 Massey Ferguson) with the big gang mover dodging the rain and lightening. Andrea went above and beyond helping me with the animals. I rode my little John Deere tractor (which Derek reminds me weekly, is not a brush hog - whatever) and I answered my texts and calls as I was on the tractor out in left field.  

 

Within 10 days a magical transformation had occurred. The gardens were back up and everything started to bloom on cue.  

      

The hedges were trimmed and the patio furniture sparkled.  

 

Even the horses seemed to know to stay clean - there was no extra time to give them baths!  

 

On the appointed day, the Traditional Home crew arrived!  We suggested that they stay in the Village of Chagrin at The Inn at Gamekeepers, a historic hotel.  We took them to several of our favorite places to eat, including Lemon Falls, a delightful luncheon spot in Chagrin where they make the best egg salad, home-made soups and bakery.  

 

It was fascinating seeing how they make all of their shots so beautiful by arranging flowers and furniture. We all had a blast!  

    

The Traditional Home team was absolutely delightful and we can't wait to see the Farm in the pages of their gorgeous magazine.  Look for the September Fashion Issue, coming out in mid-August.

 

In the meanwhile, I'll be recovering!!!!

 

Rebecca

 

 

 

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Rebecca Ray's Kentucky Derby Trip

Posted on May 06, 2014 by Rebecca | 1 comment

This weekend, Derek, Monica and I were treated to the most wonderful Southern hospitality as we attended the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. I thought the thrill of the year would be designing and having our Rebecca Ray Designs Bags as an Officially Licensed Bag of Derby 140, but getting to go and see the behind the scenes of the Derby was the thrill of a lifetime!! I'm still in a bit of "recovery mode", but I am so excited to share the trip with you!!

       

We started our weekend on Thursday night, when we arrived at the hotel with hundreds of other guests from all over the country - getting all of the hats in safely was quite a chore.  As you can imagine, shopping for the outfits for this weekend of activities is enough to complex anyone!

 

On Friday morning, we headed off to the track for a day of racing featuring The Oaks, a race for the top fillies that is dedicated to breast cancer research and funding.  As the sun was shining, Churchill Downs was bedecked in the most marvelous pink banners and flags. Everyone was wearing pink - it was a beautiful sea of gorgeous dresses and hats decked out in flowers and draping.  

We stood on the edge of that legendary paddock watching our friend Jill Byrne, who is Director of Programming and official handicapper of Churchill Downs, tell over a hundred thousand people about her best picks for the day.  Later that weekend, Jill was gracious enough to wear her Rebecca Ray Designs Bit Cuff that coordinated beautifully with her Derby Red dress and gorgeous hat. 

We finished the night by sitting up in the very posh Turf Room sipping Lilly drinks (a fabulous concoction that involves vodka and cranberry juice) from our commemorative glasses. 

By Saturday morning, Derby Day, I had gotten the hat wearing trick down, and we were ready to go again.  This time we were sitting in marvelous seats on the ground level of the track, a few boxes back and one furlong off of the finish wire.  

All of our lives Derek and I had horses yet neither of us had ever bet on a horse! We received a quick lesson in the lingo and learned how to place a bet- Derek seemed to pick this up very quickly!

During the afternoon, we were treated to a special tour of the Churchill Downs, which included a trip to the inside of the paddock to watch a race prepare while they saddled, bridled and said those famous words, "Riders Up!"  

 

While on the tour we also saw all of the different levels of the building and the various clubs, including the Turf Club and the President's Room, where we viewed the Derby Trophies and all of the those famous sterling Mint Julep cups up close!!

       

 

Can't wait for next year's Derby!

 

Rebecca

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The Evolution of a Rebecca Ray Bag

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Rebecca | 4 comments

Everyone always asks me where we find our inspirations for designs and the truth is, the ideas come to me at the strangest times!!  Our new Burghley Tote is an example of an "in the moment" idea.  I was riding using a bridle with web reins, and started thinking about how neat it would be to incorporate those web reins into one of our designs.  So I tucked that idea away where it sat and brewed for a while.  

Then, along came a 3-day event. Derek, Lizzie and I were trudging along through the field walking the course when Lizzie handed me one more thing to carry.  (Because, if you don't know this, Moms are like walking tote bags!) Imagine my surprise when I get to a meeting and start looking for something in my purse, only to pull out 2 American Girl dresses, 1 half eaten granola bar and a geometry homework assignment.  Anyways, I thought to myself I need a great bag to carry to a three day event that is casual and practical... hey, I can use the webbed rein detail on it!!!  

The Burghley was born. It went through several prototypes, which we all carried and tweaked. We loved it so much, we put our Rebecca Ray Designs horse on the front.  We couldn't decide between the dark leather details and the green web reins verses the chestnut leather details and the khaki web reins, so it comes in two color choices. I named it Burghley after the famed four star CCI 3-Day Event in England, one of the six leading 3-day events in the world.  It just seemed appropriate after all, that the idea was hatched on a 3-day event course!

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Winter Harvest - Calling All Squash Recipes!!!

Posted on December 06, 2013 by Rebecca | 0 comments
This winter, Derek and I joined a Farm Cooperative called Farm to Fork that provides it's members with a weekly harvest from their crops.  It is a great way to get fresh vegetables, eggs and meat and we love knowing that we are supporting our local farmers.  We've gotten to try root vegetables that I might not have tried without receiving them from the cooperative and having really fresh greens every night is a treat.  However, we seem to have had an over-run on Squash - every kind imaginable.  They are beautiful, colorful and decorative, but I'm running out of innovative ways to use them!!  Anyone have some great recipes out there that you'd like to share with us and our readers?
To share your recipes e-mail them to info@rebeccaraydesigns.com and we'll select our favorite reader recipe for a Rebecca Ray prize.  E-mail recipes by midnight, Wednesday, December 11th.  Happy cooking!!

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Gratitude Changes Everything

Posted on November 27, 2013 by Rebecca | 1 comment

This is a photo of our daughter Lizzie the moment after she and her pony Peppermint finished a perfect round. Her hug says it all, without words. During the Thanksgiving Holiday season, we are especially grateful for the bond that we share with all of our four-footed friends at Hemlock Lane Farm and the unparalleled joy and love they share with us. Animals are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.

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