A few days ago I went on a writing assignment for Nebraska Rural Living.

I went on this particular adventure with the website’s creator and my rural buddy, Betty. Throughout my time here in Nebraska, Betty and I have managed to curate an interesting collection of travels and stories. I can’t imagine my experience back here without her presence.

Our recent day together consisted of an eclectic array of stops. Our journey took us north of our hometown of Holdrege to an antique store that has managed to keep a tiny town relevant…


We took photos and interviewed artisans that have created a place where you can get a lube job and purchase their locally made goat milk products (this is why I LOVE rural Nebraska!)…


And we ended the day cooking locally sourced food and styling photographs for the upcoming online magazine…


During our day together, Betty asked me if I could create a bespoke gift for her friend’s birthday. This was a job I gladly accepted.

I love having the opportunity to create my rural provisions for “County Seat”. I thought I would make a gift of homemade soap and a candle. Here is the finished product…



The soap was made from goat’s milk and scented with local lavender and lemon balm…


The candle was created from a soy wax blend and had aromatic notes of cut grass, leather and plum…


For gift wrapping, I always like to think beyond your traditional standards. I realize it’s convenient, but I cringe when I see a gift thrown in a bag with wads of tissue paper jetting out the top. I think there are so many other (also convenient) alternatives.

For the “County Seat” rural provisions, I opted for my staple; a simple black box…



You can’t go wrong when you start with this classic.

I then wrapped it in a black paper ribbon and attached a bird’s nest with a few faux robin eggs in that distinctive blue hue…




I created a card and envelope so Betty could pen a personal message to her friend for her special day…



Simple. Easy. Unusual.

Thanks for the adventure, Betty…

Read more from Scott on his blog, County Seat Living!


Scott Rager

Robert Scott Rager is a Nebraska native who returned home to start a boutique business called "County Seat Living". His personal goal for "County Seat" is to translate the lifestyle design he was creating in Los Angeles for the past twelve years and apply it to the sensibility of the Great Plains. Whether he's writing about decorating, homemade ice cream, floral creations, event planning or product design, he wants the personality and style of Nebraska to shine bright.