In my heart I am a southern girl. I have this fantasy of what life might have been like if I grew up in the south among the peach and magnolia trees and the homes with the wrap around porches. Oh how I love those wrap around porches! I can just see myself sitting on a porch swing in a wide brimmed hat, sipping lemonade and entertaining guests.
The reality is I am not a southern girl. I live in New Jersey in a suburban home, not on a plantation. However, I do have a porch! My porch is not the wrap around kind but a small little oasis on the front of my modest home. It is my favorite place! When the weather is warm, my porch is where spend my evenings reading books, sipping lemonade (and sometimes wine), unwinding with my family. My porch is where I watch the neighborhood go by. We are lucky enough to live at the end of a dead end street in a neighborhood surround by strangers who became friends. Children scatter the street with bicycles, sidewalk chalk and wagons. Neighbors chat and catch up on the local happenings. And when the June air comes in, we catch fireflies!
Who can deny the joy that chasing fireflies brings? It is an annual event that is harbinger of the good things ahead. Fireflies arrive in New Jersey when the air is warm in both the day and into the evening; usually around the beginning of June. It is around this time that we anticipate the end of the school year as we ponder what adventures the lazy days of summer will bring. These magical little insects flitter through our yards like fairies filled with promise whispering, “catch me if you can…see if you can capture the magic…..”
Today I find myself looking forward to those days. Though this winter was not snowy it was cold and gray and spring took its time to arrive. Today it is sunny and most would say HOT! It is perfect weather to hang out on the wicker chairs while I write and watch the children revel in the sunshine. Today made me wish for the fireflies. Then it hit me! I remembered that I had seen a way to make pretend fireflies in a jar, sometimes called fairies in a jar. I searched Pinterest to find the instructions and soon after took a trip to Michaels to gather the limited supplies. There I purchased cute little jars, glow in the dark paint, glitter and a variety of thin paint brushes with long handles. A 50% coupon made the inexpensive materials very affordable!!
I rushed home to try this little experiment from my favorite spot on the porch.
On my first attempt, I followed the directions I found on Pinterest. After pouring my glow in the dark paint onto some scrap paper, I dipped my paint brush into the paint and into the jar creating a speckled look within the jar. I found it relaxing to paint the dots and could easily imagine what this would look like once the evening turned dark. It would definitely resemble fireflies in a jar! Just for fun and because glitter makes everything special, I painted the lid and added some glitter to the top. The finished product looked great!
Now I was on a roll! I wondered how the jar would look if I painted on the OUTSIDE. This time, I did not use the brush but instead simply dotted the paint on to the outside of the jar straight out of the container. This created a unique raised dot effect that although it did not give the appearance of fireflies in a jar, would make a nifty nightlight and a fun project for tweens, teens or a girl’s night out! Finally, I had to see my projects glow. When I placed the jars into a dark area I saw magic!!! In the dark these jars literally sparkled! It reminded me of the fireflies I adore, it reminded me of summer!
As I write this I am listening to the neighborhood children giggle. Their joy is contagious and forces even a troubled soul to smile. I am glad that I bought extra supplies; maybe tomorrow we can make these as a neighborhood as we gather again to welcome the warm weather and dream of the days of summer!