Celebrating picnics well = you!

I just want to say THANKS SO MUCH again for everyone who participated in our celebrate picnic month contest. I hope you were blessed by the encouragement to get out and picnic- I was sure inspired by each one of the entries received.

Our first place picnic was chosen not only because of the lovely design details but also the many photos Lisa sent in of her family enjoying the summer and connecting together- they even played horse shoes:) It was the exact mix of beautiful design and generous enjoyment of summer that I was desiring to see. Congrats LISA on winning the grand prize!

The second place picnic winner was chosen by your votes- thanks so much for everyone who showed up to vote for the picnics. Connie won this prize with her amazing family photo picnic and story. Congrats CONNIE on winning the readers hearts!

The third place prize was chosen via random.org based on the number of picnics submitted. The winner of this prize goes to Jenna who enjoyed a super sweet afternoon with her little boy. Congrats JENNA!

I am also incredibly thankful for all the wonderful sponsors that came alongside me to allow for this contest- please visit them, they each have amazing summer inspiration waiting for you-

Photo Atelier
Pottery Barn
Pretty Swell
Tweedle Dee Designs
Dreamy Vintage
Spa Wish

PS. This month has left me in a serious picnic trance. I hope you’ve been inspired as well!


Posted June 30, 2010 5 Comments
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Homemade paper flower tutorial

As we close out Celebrate picnic month later today (I will be announcing all the winners in just a few hours) I want to encourage each of us to continue enjoying the summer, resting under trees and making picnics for those we love. Here is a sweet addition I created that will lend a lovely touch to a lazy summer afternoon.

Homemade Paper Flowers

(photo from A Proposal Picnic)

The lovely thing about making a paper flower is that it does not need water- so it will stay alive and happily alert throughout an afternoon picnic + it can grow anywhere even out of an old picnic basket.

How to make a paper flower

First you will need 8 coordinating sheets of paper (double sided patterned works best). Download the Paper flower template by clicking HERE, it contains print quantity instructions for each paper.

  • Run the templates through your home printer and cut out the paper flower leaf shapes.

  • Cut one square of paper for the inner bud- 2 inches long by 4 inches tall. Fold in half and cut small slits going 80% down the paper.
  • Wrap this paper and glue in place around your floral wire.

  • Beginning with the smallest set of leaves first- glue each leaf to the floral wire around the base of your paper bud. Feel free to bend the paper into shape as you glue.
  • To create the flower photographed you will be gluing 3 layers of leaves from the center. Large, medium and small in descending order.

All picnic photography credits to Jackie Wonders

An easy and lovely way to brighten up your next picnic outing!


Posted June 30, 2010 3 Comments
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Celebrate picnic month- Finalist #4

Our last picnic was submitted by Natalie who enjoyed an adorable & messy picnic afternoon with her kids. I instantly fell in love with the joyful family she has.

In Natalie’s words: I’ve been planning our little strawberry outing all month to get just the right picnic photo. But as I looked my photos over, this shot of my baby stuffing his face was the best moment from our lovely family outing. Blanket ignored, crustless sandwiches untouched. One happy little baby plopped down in the dirt. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, otherwise you’ll miss the truly sweet moments.

The kids were so messy after the picking was through, we loaded then in the car and continued our picnic at home (after a bit of washing).

I can’t imagine a better summer delicacy than homemade strawberry shortcake with strawberries straight from the patch - or a better ingredient for a lovely picnic!

Happy Picnicking- you have until 3pm Wednesday to vote for this picnic.


Posted June 29, 2010 28 Comments
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Celebrate picnic month- Finalist #3

This picnic was submitted by Connie and doubles as a photo shoot for a very, very sweet family. I instantly fell in love with their story…

As told by Connie: I met Alexa through her blog, months after that I had found out her husband was in critical condition in the hospital- that she almost lost him in his sleep, due to a stroke. It was such a blessing that Chellis, her husband, pulled through it. Although… things weren’t the way they were before- he is now in a wheelchair, and learning how to live life in a whole new way.

I watched Alexa lift her husband out of her car and also through the fence that led us to our picnic spot. She helped him down on the ground for the picnic and made him feel comfortable when he couldn’t adjust himself. I could tell it was a struggle, and I wished there was more I could do.

The best part was hearing them laugh when the biggest physical struggles came..When it got really hard, they laughed. They laughed that it felt like a workout- and joked they might just look sweaty for their picnic pictures. Despite the storm clouds that rolled in their lives months before they’ve found happiness and joy in the journey.

Seriously, you can all wipe your eyes now… Pure sweetness.

Happy Picnicking- you have until 1pm Wednesday to vote for this picnic.


Posted June 29, 2010 47 Comments
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Celebrate picnic month- Finalist #2

This picnic was submitted by Lisa and was hosted for Father’s Day this year. I immediately fell in love with her beautiful photos & sweet sentiments about picnicking…

In her own words: I’m ready to PIC-NIK! Blackberries, Breeze, Blankets, and Baskets. Enjoying light food in an outdoor paradise… On an old splintered table… Beneath looming shade trees.

I used plenty of little lanterns, old soda crates, fresh flowers, and my mom’s vintage tablecloth to set the table.

Jars are an excellent way to hold picnic food! They transport easily and look much prettier than Tupperware. It’s a simple way to add beauty to the table and still keep it functional.

Picnics give delight to little hearts who want room to run, they give peace to older hearts who need an escape from the fast food lines,¬¨‚Ć and they give joy to the families who gather around the splintered tables to celebrate life. - I couldn’t agree more!

Happy Picnicking- you have until 6pm Tuesday to vote for this picnic.


Posted June 28, 2010 29 Comments
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Celebrate picnic month- Finalist #1

I am super excited for this week as I have been waiting oh, so patiently to share with you these amazing picnics! Just for the record I may begin running contests like this ALL THE TIME just because I adore opening my inbox to see your lovely photos each morning. Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted your picnics for the contest! I wish I could show all the entries, we had over 50:)

I have narrowed it down to 4 finalists and am thrilled to share them with you. One of these picnics has already been chosen as our grand prize winner and will be announced on Wednesday. Today and tomorrow you have the chance to vote for our second prize winner by leaving comments of love.

Look through all four of them, each entry will be open for comments for 3o hours from posting- vote for as many as you like! I hope you will enjoy these as much as I have!

Finalist number one-

This first picnic comes to us from Anneliese. I instantly fell in love with all of her crafty and sweet picnic details.

In her own words: I wanted to have an intimate family celebration on my birthday. The girls and I went to the zoo in the morning and in the afternoon I pulled together some of my favorite things for a backyard picnic. Audrey had been saying she wanted to have a picnic on a blanket and I thought what better way to spend the evening as a family on my birthday!

For our picnic, I went¬†to a new Italian deli in the neighborhood and got sandwich fixingsРI made turkey and dry salami sandwiches dressed up just a little bit festive with scrapbook paper wrappers (What a fun and easy idea!). I stocked a new drink caddy I received as a birthday gift with Simply Lemonade (one of my favorites) and Izze sodas.

And, for dessert, Audrey helped me bake Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. Though¬¨‚Ćit was a casual family picnic I put a little party around these too with this great cupcake paper template and some scrapbook paper I had on hand. So easy to use pretty papers to quickly dress up the food!¬¨‚ĆAnd for some reason I can’t get enough pink and orange…

The backyard family picnic: the best birthday celebration yet!

Annelise has also been so kind to share with us her recipe for Italian Picnic Pasta Salad- It looks wonderful!
Combine the following in a bowl and toss with dressing; chill until ready to serve.
  • 1 ¬¨Œ© lbs Campanelle pasta cooked & cooled
  • 12 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 large broccoli crowns & 1 bunch asparagus blanched and cut into 1‚Äö?Ñ?? pieces
  • ¬¨Œ© cup toasted pine nuts
  • One large ball fresh (buffalo) mozzarella cubed into ¬¨¬?‚Äö?Ñ?? pieces
  • ¬¨?¶ cup roasted red peppers cut into 1‚Äö?Ñ?? pieces
  • ¬¨¬? cup chopped black olives
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Bernstein‚Äö?Ñ?¥s Restaurant Italian dressing to taste (I used about ¬¨Œ© a bottle)

Happy Picnicking- you have until 2:30pm Tuesday to vote for this picnic.


Posted June 28, 2010 3 Comments
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Picnic club name tags

When I was originally inspired for celebrate picnic month I just adored the idea of having name tags. Like our own little picnic loving, summer celebrating club!

Join me???

Download the name tag sheet HERE. Print them out and wear one to show your picnic support. I would love a photo of you sporting your picnic tag- I may even feature a few. Email me with your picnic name tag wearing photos- citycradledesign(at)gmail(dot)com

You have one week left to enter celebrate picnic month. I absolutely love all the picnics that have been submitted so far, keep them coming- here are the details.

Celebrate the summer… picnic with joy!


Posted June 15, 2010 1 Comment
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A proposal picnic

I was keeping this party kept tightly sealed over the past few weeks for good reason. It was a design surprise and happily I can announce that indeed she did say, “yes” just the other day.

And now my lovelies will you also say, “yes” this month, to picnicking outdoors with me?

A few of my very favorite details below- photographed before he popped the question by the insanely talented Jackie Wonders.

Hoping this design might inspire you for your own under-tree summer picnic celebration. A picnic would also be quite a lovely way to celebrate an upcoming bridal shower, wedding, or anniversary celebration.

Ribbons hung from trees are weighted in loveliness by wrapping fabric through embroidery hoops. These are the jewels that made our picnic one to be cherished. Whatever the occasion to celebrate, tree branches and ribbons are a great way to start.

Instead of a large, difficult to move meal we opted to serve a sampling of pickies. Itty-bitty bites fit perfectly closed into a vintage suitcase. Mini fabric bunting sets the tote apart.

Small brown bags hold each of the courses lined up in rows. The picnic labels I created became the perfect menu description for the afternoon. These labels would be just as sweet for any serving bag or tray.

Use them for your next outing by downloading the picnic labels here.

Store bought lemonade gets a whimsical chill thanks to a couple of freezing limes dropped in before we left the house. They rested in good form against our covered shoe-box picnic table.

A paper flower was right at home amidst the outdoor terrain- standing at attention boldly atop the layered resting spot. Find the DIY and printable template for it HERE.

Silverware tucked away in custom paper picnic printable bags. The download and DIY for this can be found here.

A homemade pillow made for play (TIC-TAC-TOE) or to rest while enjoying eachother (X-X-O).

The light streamed in as the afternoon wore on and all was still in suspense below while our jewels blew wildly in the wind. Isn’t summer just the most lovely season of them all?

Oh, how I do hope you will be inspired to join us celebrate June by picnicking this month.


Posted June 03, 2010 8 Comments
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