The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: free-gift-ideas-newsletter-July2010.html

by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

2. Welcome New Subscribers

3. Fourth of July Party Activity Ideas?

4. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

5. Project of the month

6. Reader Recipes

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First Aid for Fourth of J...
Joseph Christian Leyendecker

1) Why Do you Celebrate The Fourth of July?

It's summer and that means it's time for all the great summertime activities! Cookouts, camping, family reunions, and bon fires. I love summer and entertaining as well. The 4th of July is the perfect reason to have a party! But what's the real reason we celebrate the Fourth of July? On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the "land of the free and the home of the brave" so they can begin their American Dream. One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth. Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary. July 4th is often thought of as America's Birthday. So here's to you, Happy Birthday America!!

2.Welcome New Subscribers

Each month my subscriber list grows for my monthly newsletter. Thanks so much to everyone for spreading the word about the Best Homemade Gift Ideas website and newsletter! This website wouldn't be worth creating if it weren't for my wonderful valued readers. Thanks for your continued support! It's great to have you here with me. I love to find out where everyone is from and what it is you create and do. Please drop me an e-mail if you get a chance. I am always looking for new artists or crafters each month for this newsletter.

3) Fourth of July Party Activity Ideas Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam

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Pull out the sidewalk chalk! I suggest buying a few boxes of chalk. They are reasonably cheap and go a long way. Try to have a box of chalk for every 3 ¡V 4 artists. Pick a panel of judges and have them become the official judges for a chalk drawing contest contest. Break your guests into two teams (or more, depending on how many people are at the party). Tell them to create a sidewalk picture that shows something patriotic or something that reminds them of the fourth of July, and tell them the flag must be included somewhere in the picture. Give them a time limit, 30 ¡V 40 minutes maybe, and then have the judges declare a winner after they have carefully examined all the artwork.

Bean Bag Toss Many department stores have beanbag toss sets that are all set to purchase as a kit. Make up teams and have a bean bag toss competition. Set a certain number of points for the winning team to get. This is a game that can be played by all ages.

Guestimation Jar Fun Fill a large jar with red whit and blue candy. This could be jellybeans, M&M¡¦s, mints or whatever other kinds of candy you can find that are red white and blue. Decorate the jar with blue and red ribbon.

Have people guess how many candies are in the jar (Don¡¦t forget to count the candies as you place them in the jar. Make sure to write the number down and put it in a safe hiding place.) The winner, or the person who comes closest to the number without going over, gets the jar of candy.

Capture The Flag Game To set up for the race divide everyone into two teams. For each team, place a bucket of sand filled with small American flags at a good distance from where the relay race starts (across the yard).

On the word go, the first person from each team races to the their bucket, plucks a flag, and marches back to his team as quickly as possible (no running allowed, marching ONLY!) to tag the next person.

The game continues in this way until all the members of one team have returned to the starting line with a flag in hand. At day's end, make everyone a winner by letting all the party guests take home their flags as party favors.

4) Artist/Crafter of the Month

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing a ceramics artist by the name of Lynn Morris. I came across her work and loved the bright whimsical colors she used in her ceramic pieces. So without further or due, it is my pleasure to introduce Lynn Morris! Hi Lynn, Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and where you do your work? I live in St. Louis with my two teenage boys, husband, and two dogs. My studio is in my home (I love going to work in my pajamas!!) Could you tell us a little bit about the ceramic work that you do? I exhibit at about 6 juried art fairs a year. I also do design work for a gift manufacturer and have several licensing contracts with them. Have you always been a ceramics artist? I was a studio art major (ceramic specialty) in college and also taught elementary art for about 10 years. What is it about working with clay that you like so much? I love the versatility/forgiving-ness of clay. Things can be re-painted or squashed and re-sculpted easily, without wasting supplies. What direction do you see your work going toward in the near future?I'm currently incorporating metal into my work with yard stakes that I am creating. I am building my licensing part of my business (the key is to find a good reputable, profitable company that treats artists fairly) but still enjoy the hands on creative process of clay. If someone was interested in purchasing one of your pieces, how might they go about that?If anyone is interesting in purchasing any items, I'll be in Northern, MI at the Bay Harbor and Charlevoix Art Fairs in August and then possibly Chicago and Milwaukee in late Aug. and Sept. I also have a few pieces on my Etsy site: Thanks you so much for taking the time to talk to us Lynn!

5) Project of the month

Every month I try to add something new to the site whether it be a project, recipe or fun fact or idea. This month I need to apologize... I recently (yesterday) went onto our discussion board and noticed someone had posted a bunch of very inappropriate material there. Please, if you notice anything like this happening again let me know immediately!!! I was very disappointed that someone could go in and try to distroy something so great. Once again, I appologize and the situation has been corrected. I will try very hard to keep a better eye on our forum to make sure material like that is kept out!

Please take a few moments to check our Best Homemade Gift Ideas Blog! as well. I have been so busy with everything going on in everyday life that I have to admit I have slacked a little on the blog. I am trying to add more to that as well! If you have any ideas you want to share for either the website or the blog Please go to my Share your ideas page We all learn from eachother here and I am all about sharing great ideas and information!! Thanks to those who submit. You make this website a great place to come everyday! You guys are awesome!

I am always playing around with greeting card ideas and designs. I am adding new stuff all the time so keep an eye out for new card designs coming soon!

Do you have a great craft idea? Are you an artist who wants to share your expertise?

Do you want to be published? Do you have a great gift idea you would like to share? Go to my share your gift ideas page and follow the directions on this page. Your idea won't only be used in my monthly e zine but you will also have a page published on my website. So what are you waiting for?

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6. Looking for reader recipes!

Do you have a great recipe that you would like to share? I know I am always looking for a super yummy recipe to take to the family gatherings throughout the whole holiday season. What about a family friendly recipe for Christmas cookies? Please send them my way! Here¡¦s another yummy recipe from one of our valued readers!

Here's Our Recipe For July!

Easy Strawberry Pie

Easy Strawberry Pie This is a super easy recipe to use those fresh picked strawberries with. My family just loved it.

Strawberry Pie Ingredients 1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches) I used the refrigerated store bought kind. 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 cup water 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin (I used the sugar free Jello brand. Turned out great without adding more sugar to it.) 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Easy Strawberry Pie Directions: „h Line pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450¢X for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. (Watch carefully. Every oven is different when it comes to temperature correctness) „h In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. ( I had enough strawberries to make two pies. So I doubled the batch to pour the sauce over each pie.) Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until slightly cooled. „h Meanwhile, arrange strawberries in the crust. Pour gelatin mixture over berries. Refrigerate until set. Garnish with mint if desired. Makes 6-8 servings for each pie.

Share your favorite recipes too!

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