In preparation, I started needle felting some little bees a few weeks ago to hang on on our nature table tree. I made four of them so far and they are very cute. W and I colored some wood cutouts from the craft store with our beeswax crayons and hung them on the tree too. W especially likes the frog, the turtle and the dragonflies! He has already pulled down the nature table tree a couple of times trying to get to them. It's quite a mess and it really upsets him when it falls, but I'm glad he likes it. W and I also made some bright yellow suns out of pearly soda clay which is really neat fun stuff. We rolled it out and then cut the suns out with a cookie cutter and let them dry. I poked little holes in the top with a large needle so that we could hang them on the tree too. We also made paper stars in shades of red orange and yellow, including my first 16 point star which is just beautiful when the sun shines through.
On the morning of midsummer I also cut out paper suns and taped them to our china cabinet doors. They really helped make things festive!
We used the other items to help decorate the nature table and also brought out all of our shells and other summer items to reflect the season.
My other Midsummer handwork was to make floating beeswax candles from these directions. I made a sun and a duck to float in our table centerpiece. I did have some difficulty unmolding the sun, but I was eventually able to. While I had the wax melted I also made some tea lights and refilled/re-wicked our meal candle that we made at Candlemas. I love candle-making and love using our homemade candles even more!
For our centerpiece, I used my punch bowl, placing various seashells in the bottom, then filling it with water. On top of the water I floated my two candles, rose petals, a few sunflower petals, a zinnia blossom, I had accidentally plucked from my plant and some lavender blossoms. It was so pretty. Behind this I placed a pitcher of sunflowers and roses. Underneath, I placed more of the soda clay stars and set out W's tea set for a fairy tea party.
For food, Daddy grilled chicken burgers and hot dogs and we had fresh green beans, a salad with tomatoes from our garden and potato salad. We also had my basil/pineapple sage lemonade to drink. A fairly simple seasonal menu that was very yummy!
The real treat was the summer berries pudding that W and I made. It was so fun to have him help me with this and he loved it! We started working from the recipe in All Year Round but altered it a good bit for our family's produce availability, tastes and dietary needs. This is our recipe (one we will make often, I have a feeling).
Summer Berries Bread Pudding
1 loaf of Italian bread, sliced, crusts trimmed off but reserved.
fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries (1-2 pints each)
1 can of light coconut milk
1/4 cup local honey
Line the bottom of a dish with slices of bread, then top with the fresh raspberries, a second layer of bread, the blueberries, more bread, the blackberries, more bread, then sliced strawberries. and more bread (I ended up using the crusts when I ran out of the bread slices).
Mis the coconut milk and honey and pour over the bread and fruit evenly (you may not need all of the milk and be careful not to overflow your dish like I did-what a mess!) Place a plate on top of this and weight it down in the refrigerator (I use a large jar filled with basil and pineapple sage lemonade for this).
I tried unmolding this, but it started to fall apart so I turned it back into it's dish and we dipped it out. It was really really good and we all love it! We have also been eating the leftovers with breakfast which has been lovely.
We also tried to make giant bubbles like these from Childhood Magic but it was getting late for W and it had started to sprinkle so we came back inside. W and I did manage to do this in the days leading up to Midsummer though and he really enjoyed them.
For W we recited the verse shown here on Ancient Hearth's blog. We then put some "fairy food" otherwise known as raisins in W's tea set cups and told him the fairies might leave him something there in the morning. The kind and generous fairies left him some little red gems that he has been enjoying since he found them the following morning.
For the adults, we read Luke 3:1- 18 and reflected on how we can prepare ourselves for relationship with God. Daddy then had to play a couple songs from Godspell because it reminded him of it and the whole family sang and dance along...a fun impromptu way to our end our evening!