Friday, July 2, 2010

stars and stripes forever

do you have anything patriotic planned for the weekend? i know sometimes it can seem like a chore, but i've come across some truly easy ideas to celebrate our nation's independence with what you serve and how you decorate. and i really do mean easy.

sometmes, it's just about going simple instead of fussy, and choosing certain colors for things you already plan to use or serve to create an americana vibe and it adds so much to the visual experience, which i always think translates to the emotional experience. if possible, use white servewear and dishes so that you can punctuate with patriotic colors elsewhere and they're not competing with a busy mish-mosh of patterns and colors. if you're in the market for a basic white set, see this post for some ideas of where to buy.

and if red, white and blue feels too kitschy for your taste, go red and white or blue and white - they're both appealling and cheerful summer color stories and allow so much room for personal touches everywhere. to me, the trick is to limit the bold patterns to one or two items and go monochromatic (in your color scheme for the rest).

here are some thoughts.

one of my favorite bloggers jackie fo posted this stars and stripes cake among other great ideas here, and although above is a betty crocker recipe, it could be easily accomplished with a store-bought sheet cake and some berries. doesn't it pack a lot of visual punch considering how easy it is?

and there isn't much simpler than this berry and yogurt parfait (i think i'd sub in fat free whipped cream for the yogurt) - totally communicates a love of america sweetly, doesn't it?

this recipe for icebox cheesecake looks a little more...involved than i'd be game for, but i love the idea of topping a pre-made cheesecake with abundant red and blue berries. so pretty!

and the simplest of all summer desserts is the idea of basic angel food cake (either slices or individual shells)topped with berries and whipped cream.

the variation below looks more involved than it is...just cut an angel food cake into squares and toss in a clear bowl with berries and whipped cream. so easy!

for more crafty and delicious ideas, check out jackie's post - seriously, you'll thank me. she's awesome. now back to me...

i'm not normally a fan of bright red solo cups because i think you can do so much better for the same price with clear or craft colored paper goods, but for a festive 4th, or really any patriotic barbecue-type vibe, i'm a fan. and a red and white checked tablecloth, either a fabric one like the one below or a disposable one, can communicate lots of relaxed summer feeling in one punch.

if you're out and about, look for these good buys, or similar items at your local drugstores, big box stores, etc.

from pier 1, i think these rattan stars are really nice, and even when you're not going red and white blue, you can use each color separately to add interest to many tablescapes or room decors.

and i love these little pinwheel picks - perfect for appetizers and other finger foods, while their larger counterparts are perfect for sticking in the grass or arranging in a vase for a festive and different centerpiece. by choosing the red and blue versions, you automatically get some 4th of july patriotism into your decor.

if you'll be passing by crate and barrel, consider their sparkle picks and star plates and napkins.

if you'll be in the vicinity of target, their metal oval beverage tubs are on sale for $9 each and come in red, white and blue, among other colors.

and i adore these very classic, very americana velvet bows. don't they evoke such a feeling? place one on your front door, or one on each corner of a buffet table for maximum impact.

but of course, nothing evokes more of an americana, classic vibe than laughter and time well spent with people you love. have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend and i'll see you back here on tuesday.

top image from country living, all other images from linked sites

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