This weekend my kindergartner kiddo (my second) became a Daisy. It was sweet to see her so excited and happy to see her friends and her new troop. The ceremony was a potluck and I promised to bring daisy themed fruit. I seriously considered just making a fruit arrangement but for the amount of people that were there, I figured I should try to merge that idea into a watermelon which served more people. This was the result 🙂
In this fruit bowl, I put in watermelon, pineapple and green grapes. I had a few extra red grapes from our weekly fruit so I used it for the center. I then carved the leaves around the middle. To garnish it a bit, I used green grapes at the bottom to sort of mimic leaves. I used toothpicks to attach the three bottom daisies to the watermelon and then used skewers to raise up the daisies in the back.
In this carving, I used:
For the end of the summer, some good friends threw a potluck pool party. I’m a potluck one-trick-pony by this point and decided to take advantage of the possibly last of the good watermelons of the summer. I wanted something slightly summer themed and found a great image of a pineapple parrot on the web. A MUST DO! So here it is, an end-of-summer, tropical themed fruit plate.
First, an up-close of my favorite part, the parrot!
As you can see, it’s made from the top of a pineapple. This is how I did it:
- Cut the top of the pineapple off the body. I cut about 4 inches down to be conservative in allowing myself enough room to make a head.
- Carve away the pineapple into a dome. Remember, this is the parrot’s head, so I made it slightly oblong so that it flowed into the beak.
- Using kitchen shears, cut off all the leaves closest to the head. Try to cut some long because we will be using those later for the wings.
- Carve a small carrot into a beak-like shape. I used a curved carving knife. Remember that parrots have hooked beaks so try to make sure you curve the beak. I also added a bottom beak from a small piece of carrot.
- Attach the carrot with a half of a toothpick (or if you have 2 pieces, two halves of a toothpick). I put the pointy part into the carrot and the blunt part into the watermelon.
- Place the long pieces of the cut leaves in the position of wings. I cut them so there was a small, medium, and long one. To place them I simply tucked them in between the cut pieces.
- I was going to use blueberries originally for the eyes, but they were huge. I used candy eyes. I made a little cuts into the pineapple for eye sockets. Careful if you use candy; they don’t do well in wet places (the black middle could run) so be careful when you place them. They held up throughout the party though, until my kiddos ate them 😉
- Place the parrot on the watermelon bowl with two toothpicks.
Here is the fruit salad with bowl; I used watermelon (balled), strawberries, red grapes, and green grapes. I used soem of the green grapes too, to look like leaves around the watermelon bowl.
For this fruit salad I used:
Yep, I know it’s the fifth. But better late than never.
Coming up with themes for already well-themed holidays is challenging. For the fourth, it’s the flag, the fireworks, etc. This year, I worked on the eagle. It’s pretty straight forward carve (using a paring knife and a v-shaped instrument) except that I used baby carrots to give his beak and feet some depth. The stars were a last minute addition, but I think it makes it more patriotic looking, right? For fruit, we got as close to red, white, and blue as possible with watermelon, strawberries, green grapes and blueberries. The back half of the carve was a bowl shape to hols more fruit. It was fun to eat it at our friends’ yearly 4th of July party. Of course, the first thing to go were the stars.
Hope you had a safe and fun fourth this year!
For this watermelon, I used
Ahhh watermelon season is back. And this particular one was delicious! For a picnic in the park, I brought this fruity dish… a watermelon ocean and banana dolphins. All it had in it was green grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and of course, bananas. The banana dolphin idea is certainly not mine as it has spread over the internet like wildfire, but I’ve always wanted to try to do it because it was such a brilliant thought that I wish I could give credit to the originator (but I have no idea who that person is). Anyhow, the kiddos loved them and I thought they were particularly cute — it helps too that it was delish 🙂
For this watermelon, I didn’t use anything in particular besides some carving and regular kitchen knives. I did add the black sprinkle for the eyes, though, since they looked much more uniform than carving the eyes.
With this being Teacher Appreciation week, as always I was stumped as to what to get for the teachers. I really like gift cards generally but sometimes I feel like it feels like a last-minute gift. So I wanted to show my thanks to our preschool teachers by making them an edible flower arrangement. You probably all heard me complain about how much edible arrangements cost, so I took it into my own hands and came up with a bouquet of watermelons, cantaloupes, and pineapple with blueberry metals and green grapes stems. Super simple as always, just by using an inexpensive glass vase, one cookie cutter, and some wooden skewers. The twist this time was that I added the melons so that the arrangement was a gradient of colors for a pretty burst of colors. To create the base of the flowers in the vase, I added blueberries to the bottom and grapes on top of those. The fluted neck of the vase held the flowers in place beautifully.
To finish the gift, I added a hand-lettered card not pictured here. I really hope the teachers like the treat!
After a fairly sick Easter weekend, I managed to get the egg dyeing activity done for the kids but had to wait until night time to work on my own eggs. I had big plans for wax-resist, pysanka-type eggs but I just couldn’t work it. Oh well, such is life (and the mantra of the site! Get what you can/want done!) So instead I spent a little time blowing out some eggs and using the food coloring in a watercolor-like way (putting drops on top and dripping water on top which results in a cool effect) and then drawing on top of them. And here they are, what I could do in an episode of Scandal and an episode of Call the Midwife 😉
The first egg I dyed was this neon green that reminded me of the same color as luna moths… so it kind of themed itself 🙂 The second egg was a turquoisey blue and I really wanted to do a botanical print. I drew them first with a pencil and then with a Sharpie pen and a Sharpie Marker.
Another part of Easter this year was a small BBQ at my mother’s with all our family. It was low-key and nice and after the kiddos’ Easter egg hunt, we had a potluck. I brought watermelon, as I do, and since I hadn’t spent a lot of time planning it out, I decided to practice my watermelon rose:
This rose was actually one of the best ones I’ve done. I still have a bit to learn, but I think I have a good enough start to give out some tips on watermelon rose carving tips, right?
Tips for a Watermelon Rose Success
- I watched a million (ok maybe four or five a million times) YouTube videos to learn watermelon roses and the one that I found most helpful was this one. She’s amazing and her roses are exquisite.
- A sharp paring knife with a curved tip is a good instrument to start with.
- I use a cheese plane to peel the part of the watermelon that I’m carving.
- The way you hold the paring knife is important. Look carefully to see where the lady in the video above holds her knife. It makes a difference.
- When carving the middle, I had a tendency to cut at an angle toward the middle of the rose. DO NOT DO THIS. Try to keep your knife straight going into the watermelon, otherwise you will learn that you’ll start cutting petals off accidentally (I learned this the very hard way).
- When I first started roses, I made thin petals and cut out thin strips behind them for definition. Thin petals are a yes, but the melon that you cut out for definition should be nice, thick pieces (refer to the video).
- When you accidentally cut off a petal or you swish right when you should’ve stopped and chopped off part of the melon that you needed, fake it. YES, FAKE IT! I usually have a couple of toothpicks handy to tuck into the flower, under the petals in case of mistakes. Hey, I’m still learning! And it ends up looking good.
Hope those tips were helpful for anyone attempting this craziness hobby! It’s definitely a fun one though.
Once again, it was Super Bowl! I’ll be completely honest again: I am not a football fan… BUT I am a fan of Super Bowl parties. Full-family get-togethers with some of my favorite families, including jumpy houses that will tire the kiddos out (and a frozen slushy margarita machine?!). Yes, please!
Once again, a potluck watermelon to the rescue. This year, I had a whole idea in mind that included the idea of a pigskin, but yeah, that did NOT work out. I even started to make it a tutorial but alas, big fail made me re-evaluate the design and do over the other 3/4 of the watermelon for a more traditional design.
Originally, it was just the football but then it looked so eh, that I decided to carve out the team logos as embellishments. If I had had more time, I think I would’ve reworked the design to have different levels. However I came up with this in a pinch.
I know it looks like the carvings took longer than anything, but really it was minimum effort, maximum impact—using the right tools, it was much easier than it looks. Instead, what took forever and a half was the watermelon football (there’s no tool that I know of that makes a football shaped watermelon!). It is REALLY difficult to get a proper football shape… very few wrong cuts can totally change the look of it. Also… um, I completely forgot (in my football shape fervor) to leave the white parts of the watermelon to make the white parts of the football (oops!) so I took the rind and cut it up in strips and improvised (attaching the rind with toothpicks). Lots of improvisation on this one!
In this watermelon, I used:
A fun kid’s Halloween party potluck inspired a full-on search for a non-scary watermelon carving for inspiration. I found one design of a witch throwing up fruit salad and it was a fun nod to a puking pumpkin designs I’ve seen, so I did my little spin on it. This time of the year, I can never find large watermelon. Costco, instead, had two little soccer-ball sized ones. I had to improvise a bit with the design by using a cupcake stand to lift up the watermelon from the rest of the fruit salad (so she didn’t get buried) and I had to use a witch hat headband instead of a regular witch hat.
Last week was absolute murder as far as time, so she isn’t as detailed as I would like. I’m going to try this one again, I think.
How I made this watermelon: She was super quick!
- First, I made her sit flat by slicing off a piece of the bottom. I also angled that cut a bit so she would look like her head was a tad bit tilted toward the salad.
- I cut out a hole for the mouth. I scooped out the watermelon through both openings. I usually use a watermelon baller for nice watermelon presentation but she’s supposed to be throwing up, right? So chunks 🙂 I actually used both watermelons as one was not enough.
- I carved some eye whites (sclera) and split a large grape in two and made them the eyes. The pupils were just a tiny bit of edible dough I have and the highlights on the eyes were ghost sprinkles. The eyes are attached with toothpicks.
- The nose was half of the slice I took off the bottom. I stuck it on with a toothpick.
- Carved the eyebrows and tinted them a bit with brown edible marker so we can see it easier.
- I put a mini witch hat fascinator on her because an adult’s witch hat was waaaay too big. I made this one myself, but there are tons of them for sale now-a-days.
Today I used:
I want to start this post with a disclaimer: I know NOTHING about football. All I know is that I was invited to some kind of football party last Sunday and I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on. I did know it wasn’t Superbowl (where last year I did a helmet watermelon!), but that it was something important. Turns out it was the beginning of football season. For me, that means one thing: a chance to do a football-themed watermelon 🙂 And this one is SUPER simple; I’m sure anyone could do it. I basically just cut the water in half, length-wise. With the extra rind, I cut out a football shape and carved some lines to make it look like a football. The goal posts are 3 paper straws that were hot-glued together and then stuck into the opposite sides of the rind. That’s all! I added grapes, blueberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon, of course. It was a cute centerpiece for a laid-back party. I do think it could possibly do for Superbowl too!
What I used:
So I’ve been watermelon crazy for a bit now, which is funny, because I don’t really care for watermelon (I’m more a berry type of girl), but I am really loving carving it! It’s actually a skill that doesn’t come easy to me and I really like the challenge of a completely new medium and working with a totally foreign tool (I don’t use knives much in my work). It’s been really fun to do potluck watermelons so far.
Yesterday our elementary school had an event for parent volunteers and asked us each to bring a dish for six people. I brought these little cups full of blackberries, grapes, watermelons, and golden honeydews (with blueberry middles), in the shape of flowers. Super easy to do and a little fun for the kids. I think they might be great for a fairy, garden, or butterfly themed birthday as well.
- Using a melon baller, make watermelon balls (my baller has two sizes, I used the smaller one)
- Layer blackberries, grapes and watermelons on top.
- Use flower cutter to cut out flowers from honeydew melon. Err on the side of thicker slices/flowers.
- Using a skewer (or long toothpick), use the blunt side to skewer the flower and then stick it into the fruit. I used grapes to anchor the flower, since they were the firmest fruit in the cup.
- Cut a blueberry in half. You don’t need anything to stick them on, just place them in the middles… the suction of the berry and the melon is enough to keep them on.
- Cut a green grape in half and trim them so they have a leaf shape.
- Place grape “leaves” at the base of the stem, using other fruit to prop them up.
I had bought personal watermelons for this, and part of the melon was just big enough to fit in the middle compartment of this (dollar store!) platter. So I carved a small rose with some leaves. A note about personal watermelons: they seem to be quite soft and easy to carve… which is good and bad. Good because you don’t need a lot of pressure, bad because sometimes it’s quite easy to slip and cut something you don’t want to cut.
I *think* people liked them because they were gone in less than five minutes (or however long it took me to get my and the kiddos’ plates of food ready).
The watermelon below was actually one I bought just for practice. I wanted to see what I could do if I dedicated the time to carefully carve without the pressure of getting everyone ready to go to a party. It came out better than they previously had and I took time to learn how to really carve with some great tutorials on youtube.
The watermelon below is one I brought to our family’s Mother’s Day celebration. It was supposed to be a rose… but it went downhill fast right after I started carving the middle, so improvisation! It ended up a much easier daisy. It was my first attempt at a rose and when I found out it was a LOT harder than it looks. Not the worst design, though.
For these projects I used: