Monday, June 17, 2013

A Red, White and Blue Birthday

While so many holidays seem to be becoming over the top extravaganzas, something about the Fourth of July still makes one want to return to more simple pleasures: backyard parties with classic picnic fare, ooohing and aaahing over local fireworks from a grassy field, and of course the summertime children's favorite, catching (and releasing) fireflies. So with a few unfussy and budget friendly supplies, it's easy to create these projects just right for celebrating America's birthday.

Festive Fourth Candy Cones

I love the idea of adapting a simple project to different occasions. Decorative paper cones are inexpensive and easy-to-make accents that can be dressed up for a variety of celebrations. Recently I created some traditional flower filled versions for my May Day post but they are also a classic adornment on Victorian Christmas trees or can be romantically decked out with lace and cupids for Valentine's Day. This year, using some vintage patriotic flare, I thought they would make fun decor for a Fourth of July picnic or perhaps filled with some small goodies and candy treats, sent home with guests as party favors.

You'll Need:
Paper party hats and any assorted "bling"
(I found at the garland, beads and hats at my Dollar Store:)
Vintage Patriotic image printables
Decorative papers
hot glue
Simply cover party hats with colorful decorative paper and patriotic images. 
Top off with garland and fun accents. Anything goes! 
 If you like an exact fit, hats can be "disassembled" and used as templates to trace around.

I found hot glue was the best way to add the tinsel trim. Also using hot glue, I attached ribbon or bead strands for sturdier hanging. The elastic string originally used to hold it on your head won't support it.

vintage images and more muted tones lend an old fashioned air
 
Before you head to the craft store try digging through odds and ends you might already have in your craft drawer which will work with the theme: sparkly red, gold or silver Christmas stars and tinsel or white faux flowers leftover from a wedding shower also work perfectly for the Fourth.
Fill with simple goodies



 sheet music image http://freepages.military.roots



Aunt Christine's Watermelon Cake

While traditional fruit pies and ice cream are de rigueur for the Fourth, many guests with food sensitivities or dietary restrictions miss out on what I often feel is the best part of a meal: dessert. Taking advantage of perfectly ripe summer melons and berries, this cake is simply an assembly of colorful fruits which can be served with an accompanying sweet sauce or whipped cream. You can find a variety of watermelon cake ideas online but, without bias of course, my Aunt Christine's is one of the best.



Food allergies prompted the invention of this healthy and delicious culinary creation, now a family birthday tradition.
"Cakes" above, by Christine Smith

I adapted one for the Fourth with a star theme
You'll Need:
Seasonal Fruits including melons and berries
Fresh Mint
cookie cutters and sharp knife
decorative toppers if desired
fresh ingredients mean no need to turn on the oven.
I used a smaller watermelon for a modest size "cake" but for a crowd a jumbo one would fit the bill
Trim rind from melons creating "tiers". 
Don't worry about cracks or imperfections they can be camouflaged later.
fruit shapes can be cut with cookie cutters or a small sharp knife.
 Christine recommends assembling cake without toothpicks to avoid any unpleasant trips to the ER
Mine looked a little more "Leaning Tower" than cake, so I had to trim edges to even out.
The opening in the cantaloupe was perfect for filling berries, or if watermelon is the top tier, simply scoop out a shallow "bowl"

Aunt Christine's Pennywise tip:
 Combine the leftover "less than perfect" cuts of fruit and extra berries into a colorful fruit salad to enjoy later
  
Serve With:
*For healthy options, Christine recommends mixing non-fat yogurt with "Allfruit" or any natural seedless jam or agave nectar.
*For a  splurge use real whipped cream with vanilla and maple syrup added to taste  
*Of course there is always old fashioned ice cream or rice or soy ice creams as well
*For a grown-up kick you can douse with a little vodka or tequila!

Firefly Globes
My fancies are fireflies,
Specks of living light
twinkling in the dark
                                            Rabindranath Tagore

Who doesn't fondly remember chasing fireflies on summer evenings, mason jars in hand, hoping to trap their enchanting glow if even for a few minutes. Of course due to their short life span in captivity we were then forced release them back into the night, avoiding trauma for all involved.
While still a delightful pastime, for a more permanent and firefly-friendly option, or for those in climates not conducive to these unique insects, there is a fun faux version that can be assembled with a few basic supplies. There are several ideas online here's my version.

You'll Need:
Glass globes, Mason jars or other clear container
craft moss
twigs or leaves, if desired 
flameless votives
glow in the dark paints

For extra dazzle, spritz the back of globes with a light mist of Glow in the dark spray paint and let dry. Attach sheer ribbon or fishing line as hanger. Dab globes, moss, leaves and small twigs with dots of glow in the dark paint and allow to dry
Cover votives with small pieces of moss- you may have to poke flame part of votive through moss sheet for visibility. Place in globe and add more moss to camouflage votive.
If desired add twigs, leaves or accents and wait until dark!
*note: when removing votive to turn on and off, moss can get messy. I try to slide it out altogether onto a paper towel and turn it on from the bottom and replace.
 by Day
by night: as you can see they are challenging to photograph well.

For a more traditional look, use the same process substituting a mason jar for the globes. You can add two or three votives depending on size. For authenticity, I replaced the lid liner with breathable burlap (perfect if you plan to add real fireflies to the scene) and topped with red ribbon.


Thanks for featuring this post on 

and as party of the day on
http://catchmyparty.com/party-of-the-day/3740

Wishing everyone a Happy fun filled 
Fourth of July!
and to our friends and followers from other countries, 
Happy Summer!


56 comments:

  1. Where did you buy the globe's with the hanger on top?

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    1. I got them at Michael's Crafts which is one of my local craft stores but I'm sure other stores carry them as well. I've seen them used a lot with those little "air" plants for hanging terrariums so garden shops might have them too. Hope this helps.
      Cheers!

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  2. You have shared some wonderful ideas, Christina! The 'fruit' cakes are such a good idea and I love the fire fly bottles/globes. I love watching the fire flies behind our home, makes me feel like a kid again. Your cones are cute too and those are pretty cups n saucers. I love this time of year! Thank you for sharing and coming to tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Hi Sandi
      Thanks so much for hosting your lovely parties- so glad you enjoyed the post1
      I feel the same way about fireflies :) They mean summer has truly arrived.
      Cheers
      Christina

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  3. Great crafts! Perfect for the summer and holidays...I love the idea of the watermelon cake. I always look for something that can be incorporated into tea parties, and these ideas would be wonderful! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea.
    Ruth

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth,
      It's would be great for a tea party especially with those avoiding wheat or sweets.
      I'm thinking a might try to make some mini daintier versions for a summer tea.
      Love your tea parties and seeing the fabulous china and tea ideas. I am working on expanding my tea cup collection so I can join in more often!
      Cheers
      Christina

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    2. oops - excuse the typos- my keyboard is acting up

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  4. so many great tips and party ideas! Thank you so much for sharing this at Tea In The Garden!

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    1. Thanks Bernideen!
      Loved your beautiful post- your garden is heavenly- so tranquil and relaxing! I think my blood pressure dropped just looking at the photos.
      Cheers
      Christina

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  5. Genius! These are all so lovely! I am going to have such fun making some of these! Thanks so much!

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    1. HI Terri,
      So glad you enjoyed the ideas- would love to see some pics!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  6. Wow, excellent!!! You did a great job. ;D

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    1. Thanks so much Sopa Azul!
      Hope you'll visit us again soon!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  7. Hi Christina! So many lovely ideas you have shared! Love the fruit cake so much. Healthy, fun, delicious and so pretty!

    Kindly, Lorraine

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    1. Thanks so much Lorraine,
      The watermelon cake was really fun and easy to put together and it is a very healthy option- of course I served it with whipped cream :)
      so glad you liked the post
      Cheers
      Christina

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  8. Festive and fun---super ideas for summer and the 4th! We do not have fireflies in CA so I did not grow up catching them, but it's never too late to have a bit of childhood, right? Just today I went outside and blew soap bubbles! HAHA- The firefly light is whimsical. HAPPY first day of summer :)

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    1. Thanks so much- so glad you liked the post-
      That's funny, I was just looking on Pinterest and found a recipe for Giant Soap bubbles I wanted to try haha
      If you come out east in the summer you have to try catching fireflies - just to embrace that inner child- lol
      So glad summer has officially started but it always seems to fly by-
      Thanks again
      Cheers
      Christina

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  9. I LOVE this idea! We usually don't have many fireflies, but we've had a lot this year.
    This way, we can have them all the time. So pretty!

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    1. Thanks so much Babs!
      That's true. and it is much easier than catching them :)
      So glad you enjoyed the project
      Cheers
      Christina

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Sherry!
      The projects were fun to put together!
      Cheers

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  11. What great projects! I especially love the firefly globes!

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    1. Thanks so much!
      The globes really just take minutes to make :)
      Cheers!
      Christina

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  12. The watermelon cake is just so cute! Come link up to centerpiece Wednesday linky party and share this post with us. http://thestylesisters.blogspot.com/2013/06/4th-of-july-decorations-and-centerpiece.html
    Karin

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  13. Love all of your fun ideas! We host a 4th of July breakfast. My family would love these ideas! I already have three of the hanging round planters that I haven't done anything with yet. Thanks for sharing this with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann!
      A Fourth of July breakfast! How Fun!
      The globes take no time at all- my store only had two left but I'm on the lookout for more-
      Thanks for hosting Share Your Cup!
      Cheers

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  14. Oh my gosh I love all these ideas! Thanx for sharing the 4th spirit with us over at THT.

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    1. Thanks so much Pamela!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for hosting-
      Love your blog and always look forward to your linky parties!
      Cheers

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  15. So many good ideas here! I love the firefly jar and globe! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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    1. Thanks so much Sherry!
      The globes are really so easy to make
      I just love Home Sweet Home - thanks for hosting :)
      Cheers!

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  16. I want to come to YOUR house for the Fourth! Awesome decorations, but the "cake" is FABU!

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    1. Hi Wendy!
      You are too funny! You're welcome anytime :)
      The cake idea I got from my Aunt and I had such fun making it- no baking skills required!
      Cheers and Happy Fourth!

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  17. Christina I am featuring the Firefly Globes and jar today at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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    1. Oh I'm thrilled!
      Thanks so much-so glad you enjoyed them!

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  18. I love the candy cones! So cute! You will be one of the features at the Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Hope to see you at the blue soiree. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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    1. Hi Kathryn!
      I'm so delighted to be featured on Anything blue Friday!
      I always look forward to your linky parties
      -I can't wait to grab my button!
      Cheers!
      Christina

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  19. Love this post!

    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

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    1. Thanks so much Cathy!
      I just linked up to your TGIF party and added your blog to my "your invited" linky party page-
      it's such fun finding new places to share ideas
      Cheers
      Christina

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  20. I love the firefly globes and jars. They are so cute. I can't wait to try making them!

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    1. Thanks so much Susie!
      They are so quick and easy to make- Send us some pics if you do :) I may try making them again in some different types of containers-
      Cheers

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing at A Peek Into My Paradise TGIF Link Party! I can't wait to see what you link up next week! I hope to see you at the (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Have a terrific week!

    Hugs, Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy!
      I'll definitely link up my next post! :)

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  22. Great ideas, I saw the cone on the Graphics Fairy. Never thought to use a party hat, I love that idea. Barb www.king-designs.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much Barb!
      I found the party hats make them much sturdier-and easier to make!
      So glad you stopped by!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  23. Thanks for sharing these fun ideas. The cones are my favorites. I made something similar for Easter this year. Will need to follow your lead and make some of these for the 4th. Have a Happy 4th of July! ~ Sarah

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    1. Thanks Sarah!
      Oh I love that idea- they would be perfect for Easter! Putting that on the list for next year :)
      I made some for May Day but they can really be made for any occasion--and they are so easy to do!
      So glad you stopped by
      Happy 4th!
      Christina

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  24. So many darling ideas! I have never ever seen a watermelon cake.... genius. Your old-fashioned paper cones are so sweet too. I love the old graphics. That's one thing that has not gotten better through the years -- those old illustrations and graphics just can't be beat!

    Thanks so much for linking up at Favorites on the First.
    So nice to see you here.
    xox
    Alison

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    1. Thanks so much Alison!
      I couldn't agree more about the vintage images! :)
      Just love your site and thanks for hosting your parties- so many new ideas
      Cheers
      Christina

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  25. What great ideas! The cones I'm pinning and I surely making that yummy watermelon cake, too! Amazing post, thanks so much for sharing it with us!
    Happy 4th of July!
    Patti

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    1. Thanks Patti!
      So glad you liked the post-The projects are really easy to make!
      Thanks for hosting your weekly parties :)
      Cheers
      Christina

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  26. YOUR EFFERTS AND CREATIONS ARE LOVELY.
    venkatesan

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    1. Thank you so much Venkatesan!
      I'm so happy you enjoyed the projects!
      Christina

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    urban wear wholesale & Buy wholesale SnapBack hats

    ReplyDelete

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