Celebrate America, CIJ Style!

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

O, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

I love the Fourth of July!  Americans put aside our political, social, and societal differences to celebrate our freedom.  We pay homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country “Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave”.  In that spirit, our Christmas in July team offers these stories and our heartfelt wishes for a Happy, Safe, and Glorious Independence Day!  Let freedom ring!

I can picture this hanky in the hand of a woman welcoming her soldier home or a little girl waving to a Fourth of July Parade..  From www.etsy.com/shop/TheSandlapperShop

I can picture this hanky in the hand of a woman welcoming her soldier home or waving to the participants in a parade down main street.
From http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSandlapperShop

Jeanne from TheSandlapperShop says “My grandmother and great grandmother loved to crochet and these vintage hankies with the lover’s knot crocheted edging are from them. I love the hankies and the memories of the special ladies who made them. The red, white, and blue handkerchief is so patriotic.  “American the Beautiful” – what a wonderful song and description of the country’s beauty: my favorite 4th of July memories are watching fireworks. I especially love how the timing is set to music. One year I was so lucky as to watch them in Boston while listening to the Boston Pops and earlier that day I walked the Freedom Trail. A wonderful double dose of patriotism! “
This would be adorable shading a new American during those lovely parades, or wrapped up for an evening of fireworks!

This would be adorable shading a new American during those lovely parades, or wrapped up for an evening of fireworks! From http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuinnsBin

Faith McCathern from QuinnsBin says, “We truly do live in the greatest country on earth! We favorite memory from July 4th spending the day with family enjoying our freedom. We are so thankful to all the young men and women who protect our rights and keep us free”.

Adorable, cool, patriotic dress for those Fourth of July BBQs. from www.etsy.com/shop/LuckyLizzys

Adorable, cool, patriotic dress for those Fourth of July BBQs.
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/LuckyLizzys

Elizabeth Scheffler from LuckyLizzys says “My favorite memories of Independence Day are running around with all of my friends in my neighborhood with sparklers after a fun day of parades and BBQ’s.”
The only thing more stunning than this will be the fireworks! from www.etsy.com/shop/InsomniacTreasures

The only thing more stunning than this will be the fireworks!
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/InsomniacTreasures

Lisa Prus from InsomniacTreasures says  “Every couple of years, I pack my kids in the car, say goodbye to the hubby and take a road trip to explore some part of this wonderful country. We have seen some unusual sights, enjoyed a variety of local foods, and made it a point to simply enjoy being with each other…enjoying our independence.”
Nothing says America quite like our Lady Liberty: quite the gift from France. from www.etsy.com/shop/GermanistikArt

Nothing says America quite like our Lady Liberty: quite the gift from France.
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/GermanistikArt

Boriana Marinova from GermanistikArt says  “I come from Sofia, Bulgaria in Europa and the quilling Statue of Liberty card is my greeting to all Americans. Freedom is a state of mind. Enjoy it! “
This would look beautiful welcoming someone home-perhaps on a covered porch sipping sweet tea as the sky lights up with red, white, and blue fire works? from www.etsy.com/shop/CarriageOnCherry

This would look beautiful welcoming someone home-perhaps on a covered porch sipping sweet tea as the sky lights up with red, white, and blue fire works?
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/CarriageOnCherry

carriageoncherry from CarriageOnCherry says  “When you live aboard for so many years you gain such an appreciation for this beautiful country. The freedoms in American that we enjoy should be treasured. My husband became a citizen of the United States several years ago. To see so many countries represented in one court room, individuals raising their right hand and taking a pledge to call this country their home gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. In fact, it still does. I have learned more about this country through his eyes and excitement. So on the 4th of July in our home we celebrate “our” country, we celebrate the right to become a citizen and we appreciate and treasure our freedoms! God bless America!”
Pair this with a red, white, and blue T-shirt and you are ready for a Celebration of our Independence, for sure! from www.etsy.com/shop/ChimericSoul

Pair this with a red, white, and blue T-shirt and you are ready for a Celebration of our Independence, for sure!
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChimericSoul

ChimericSoul from ChimericSoul saysMy favorite song is “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith.”
Perfect for the Fourth in Maine or other charming sea-side community and their celebrations! from www.etsy.com/shop/reetmomma

Perfect for the Fourth in Maine or other charming sea-side community and their celebrations!
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/reetmomma

reetmomma from reetmomma says “I am a military wife (retired, USN) with several other family members who served or are now serving, including my wonderful son. Life is not always perfect in the USA, but I cannot imagine another place I would want to live. We take our freedoms and liberties for granted and often forget those who paid the price. GOD bless our home country!  Loving RED WHITE n BLUE!
What a perfect place to store your memories of the people that make this Country so GREAT! from www.etsy.com/shop/BellaBoutique23

What a perfect place to store your memories of the people that make this Country so GREAT!
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/BellaBoutique23

Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says  “My husband has spent two tours in Iraq serving our country and I am so proud of him and thankful for all the sacrifices that he and many men and women make for our country so that we can be free. When my husband came home from his first deployment I was a music teacher in an elementary school, For the end of the year program we sang patriotic songs and had a slide show as they sang to honor my husband and other soldiers who had just returned from a deployment. We invited several of the soldiers in Aaron’s unit to come to the assembly. That is such a special memory for me. One of the songs was “God Bless the USA”. We also sang a song by Mark Scultz “Letters From War”, a very moving song that always brings tears to my eyes. So thank you to all of the soldiers who have sacrificed, given their lives, and spent time away from family so we can keep our freedom. I am so proud to be an American! God Bless America!”
Adorable attire for the tiniest American in your family.   from www.etsy.com/shop/LittleMeBling

Adorable attire for the tiniest American in your family.
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleMeBling

Jean Harbort from LittleMeBling says “My hometown has a July 4th parade and festival! When I was a child, I remember reserving seats with my parents so that we could sit on the curb and catch as much candy as possible during the parade. Now our tradition includes my entire family going to the parade and our children sitting on the curb and getting as much candy as possible!”
Perfect for your Fourth of July tablescape- patriotic napkins (and eco-friendly, too)! from www.etsy.com/shop/SticksNStonesGifts

Perfect for your Fourth of July tablescape- patriotic napkins (and eco-friendly, too)!
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/SticksNStonesGifts

Rita Hagenhoff from SticksNStonesGifts says  “I am a military wife, my husband retired from the US Navy. My dear father was a decorated Army soldier, recipient of the Purple Heart, and proud to serve our beloved country. I grew up in a small Missouri town, were patriotism was a part of everyday life for everyone there. I am proud to be an American!”
Lovely patriotic scarf. from /www.etsy.com/shop/910woolgathering

Lovely patriotic scarf.
from /www.etsy.com/shop/910woolgathering

Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering adds “Memories of being a kid and those stinky snake fireworks and watching my kids later with theirs.”
Stunning platter of one of our most well-loved Presidents who taught us about perseverance, honesty, and integrity. from www.etsy.com/shop/RosebudsOriginals

Stunning platter of one of our most well-loved Presidents who taught us about perseverance, honesty, and integrity.
from http://www.etsy.com/shop/RosebudsOriginals

Rose Baker from RosebudsOriginals says  “Who doesn’t love old Abe, one of our fore fathers that helped pave the way for future generations.My dear old dad is retired from the Coast Guard, he would take off for duty at months at the time, when I was growing up. I never understood why he would come and go, but it wasn’t until years later I understood and was grateful that he helped protect our borders, so we could have our freedom and liberty. The things we take for granted always comes at a price, as freedom isn’t really free. Many thanks goes to our men and women that give up their lives, so we can have ours. Thank God for our America the Beautiful!”

I would like to thank all of our service members in every branch of our armed forces for their service and dedication to all Americans.
Please enjoy a safe, happy Fourth of July.  We live in the greatest country on Earth, and we celebrate that blessing every year as a country united!
Regards,
Amy Spock

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June – Wedding Traditions

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Weddings have evolved over the years,just as the culture has. This year it may be that shabby chic decor is in,but one thing remains the same-Traditions and what remembrances we have of them.

Elizabeth Wellburn of ElizabethLovesGlass says:

The old rhyme is one of my favorites…
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…. and a tuppence in her shoe!”

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Sarah Johnson of  BellaBoutique23  lets me know:

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary recently. I still look back on our wedding and picture the day as the perfect wedding. My favorite planning of the wedding was picking out the music since music is such a huge part of my life it was so much fun to find unique beautiful music for our special day. I still remember the emotional joy of the music as I walked down the aisle. Although the music was a huge part I think the most precious part of our wedding was at the beginning Aaron and I had both our parents come up as he and I knelt at the alter and the pastor and our parents prayed over us. Having God in the middle of our marriage was what he and I believed would make for a lasting marriage. Headed toward the 11 years and praying many more years to come!

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Megha Silvano of  byTheArtBug says:

One of the Wedding traditions that I love is “Throwing the Bouquet”, where the bride throws the bouquet over her shoulder to a group of single female guests, the one who catches is believed to be the next in line to get married. It is interesting to sometimes see them fight over it.

Well at my wedding I didn’t throw my own bouquet but, I threw a “toss bouquet” that was meant for throwing only.

I researched about it a bit and found an interesting origin of this tradition:
In Medieval times, brides typically were not expected to wear their wedding dress again, so the single women used to tear off the brides dress and collect as good fortune or lucky charm. But as time passed and dresses became more expensive, brides started throwing other inexpensive things like bouquet to keep the tradition going.

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Ingrida of feltinga taught me:

In old times in Lithuania a young lady in order to show that she is great and diligent hostess and will be a perfect wife, had to load full dowry chest with her handmade beauties. The most popular and pure Lithuanian fibers were linen (flax) and wool. So young girls had to spin, weave, crochet, knit, felt linen and wool items and place them into her chest, which was being carried to her and her husband’s house. The amber was most popular and pure Lithuanian gem. Amber jewelry was pride of Lithuanian women and was forwarded from generation to generation. It had a special place in the dowry chest. I think, that the items from my both shops – vintage and handmade – would look nicely in the dowry chest of modern girl too…

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Sheila and Shannon of BeadyEyeBird explains:

I would want a non-traditional, exotic wedding – preferably in an exotic locale like Africa! If I could have that, I would want to wear these wonderful beads. Here they are, plus their story.This is a special African wedding necklace called “Don Don Sole”, and the tradition is to present it to Mali brides for their wedding day. Like many African Trade Beads, these multicolored, bulb shaped, glass beads were originally made in Czechoslovakia and later traded to Africa.

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios states:

Our personalised heart print is the only one of it’s kind on Etsy and we get requests often for it to be blown up and used as a guestbook alternative. I love that people can get it signed by all their loved ones and then framed and up on their wall!

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Patricia of RitzyandGlitzy tells me:

One of my customers is getting married in August and requested I make her a pearl necklace with a swallow on it. It came out beautiful! I thought it had a special meaning only to her, but when I looked it up I found out that the swallow symbolizes “hope for a new beginning.” I thought that was such a lovely meaning especially for a bride on her wedding day. So, I decided to add this item to my shop.

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Sophie and Paul Habberjam of TheWitchChandlery discusses:

We are pagan and our wedding ceremonies are called ‘Handfastings’ where the couples hands are symbolically tied together with decorative cords or ribbons. These are then kept safely by the couple to symbolise their union and are only cut if the partnership breaks down. The colour of the cords or ribbons are symbolic too and can be plaited or twisted together and decorated with charms, flowers or other symbols that have meaning to the couple.

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Jean Harbot of LittleMeBling says:

I love watching the little flower girls and ring bearers during the ceremony and while they party it up afterwards!

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Anna White of 2DayIChoose shares:

I paint custom portraits, and get many requests to paint these as wedding and anniversary gifts. Here’s an example of a portrait with a custom background. I’m working on one right now where the background is the lyrics of their wedding song and the portrait is a photo of the couple from their wedding.

2DayIChoose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you learned about a new tradition or at least had fun reading these CIJ members stories. Weddings are a wonderful experience, especially the traditions.