It’s very hard to maintain my image. (And by “image,” I am of course referring to my holier-than-thou worldview, which essentially comprises “I used to live in London and if the rest of you idiots would listen to NPR once in a while, you’d realize that what’s going on in the Dominican Republic right now is kind of a bigger deal than Rachel Dolezal.”)
One of the ways that I project this image is by refusing to celebrate the 4th of July.
Granted, this is rather difficult in a city like Philadelphia, where celebrations of the 4th begin sometime in June and end just a few weeks before its time to haul the Christmas tree out of the basement, so I eat the hamburgers, I watch the fireworks and I even make my annual strawberries-and-dark-chocolate cheesecake for my parents’ roof deck barbeque. But I would never do something so gauche—so ostentatiously patriotic—as to cover said cheesecake in blueberries.
It all started back during the Bush administration, when I realized for the first time that the good ol’ US of A wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I stopped wearing red, white and blue, I stopped decorating and one year, during a particularly depressing bout of foreign policy disasters, I even SKIPPED THE FIREWORKS.
But then last week happened. And last week, in case you weren’t paying attention, was (as far as I’m concerned) one of the greatest weeks in our nation’s history.
It made me… dare I say it? Proud. Proud to be an American. For the first time in a very long time.
So I’m decorating this year.
And because I live in Sou’ Philly I’m decorating with gusto: red, (off) white and blue dried rose pomanders!
Here’s what you need:
- Dried roses (it helps if your mom is a florist and her best friend’s daughter got married back in November and you had the forethought to save a bunch of the roses from the centerpieces and dry them for future use. If not, check out this simple easy tutorial for making roses out of crepe paper by DIY-extraordinaire Amy Huntley at The Idea Room.)
- Styrofoam balls (or, if you have a boyfriend who’s a bit of a hoarder, pool noodles)
- Glue gun, scissors and your murder weapon of choice
Here’s what you do:
- Prepare your base. If you’re using pool noodles, saw off two 1-inch pieces with a steak knife, cut them into letter “C” shapes and glue them together. You can then glue some pool noodle trimmings into the empty space to get a nice spherical look.
- Glue your roses to your base. To get a nice, full pomander, keep them close together. And if you end up with a bald spot like I did because you underestimated how many roses you’d need, just whip up some fake ones out of crepe paper and paint them with nail polish (or whatever else you have laying around) so they blend in.
- Tie two pieces of ribbon around your completed pomanders; it helps to glue gun the ribbons directly onto the roses to keep them in place.
- Add some decorative 4th of July flair, like recycled red wire, and hang your balls-o-pride in a prominent location so that your new neighbors will know you’re a true patriot.
PIC refers to my little balls-o-pride, for whatever reason, as “granola turds.” It’s nice to have a boyfriend who supports you in your patriotic crafting, isn’t it?