It's no longer a threat to national security to reveal that military has gone mainstream.
Camo colors can be seen everywhere. And camouflage does go with everything.
Whether it's paramilitary party decorations or women's panties, check out the Camo Diva website www.camodivas.com. You can find camouflage clothes for your kid or tuxedo jackets for your wedding.
At the Fine Tuxedos website, www.finetuxedos.com, they offer a "full camo ensemble" with tuxedos that you could "proudly wear in a tree stand" or down the aisle.
Is it that camo is cool -- Cabela's parking lot is full all the time for a reason, right? -- or is it that we've got military on the mind lately?
The last U.S. troops left Iraq just about a year ago. The death of Osama bin Laden by our Navy Seals in May is still fresh on our minds.
And troops in Afghanistan may start heading home soon.
We can't escape the military in the news, and their colors have bled into our everyday lives.
Whatever the reason, camo is hotter than Kuwait in the summer.
So celebrate camo.
• Camo ribbon tied in a bow: $5.95
• Camo wrapping paper: $2.95
• Camo paper tablecloth: $3.45
• 7-inch camo paper plates: 8 for $1.75
• 2-ply camo paper napkins: 8 for $2.18
• 9-oz camo cups: 8 for $1.88
• Camo baking cups with star decorations: 24 for $2.29
Planning a paramilitary party for a group of camo-loving kids? Then why not get camo-creative?
Go to a party store such as Party @ Display & Costume at 5200 Evergreen Way, Everett, and gear up with camo-themed items.
You don't even need an actual bag for the goodie bag. Take a 21-by-21-inch camo bandanna ($2.79) and tie it like you would a cloth sack you might take into the field. Inside the tied bandanna you can put a military-style dogtag or two (12 dogtags for $7.50), a camo-colored pencil or two (12 camo pencils, $4) for taking field notes, and some field rations (chocolate works almost all the time.)
Now the platoon is ready to deploy to party central.
OK. You've bought the camo decorations. Set up the obstacle course for the ultimate Nerf blaster war. Made sure the troops all dressed in their matching paramilitary pants and vests. What's left, soldier?
It's time for Operation Cupcake.
Now you don't want to be demoted to lame Mommy or Daddy by offering regular vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. So why not keep with that whole military theme and make camouflage cupcakes? The recipe we picked from the Crafty Mama blog are easy enough so that you won't be in the mess hall all night and — forgive us, boys — they sure are pretty.
Green, white and brown never looked so sweet.
Here's how to make the camouflage cupcakes:
2 cake mix boxes, one chocolate, one white
Make the the two mixes as instructed on the boxes and divide the batter into 4 bowls:
1. White batter.
2. White batter with green food coloring and a dash of chocolate batter.
3. Equal parts chocolate and white batter.
4. Chocolate batter.
Mix each batter until you get the colors you want.
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
For the batter, you can either use spoons and dump little blobs of each color into each cupcake liner, or you can get fancy and use pastry bags to fill the tins. It makes it a little easier.
Drop a bunch of blobs in each liner until they're all about 3/4 full.
Bake according to the directions on the box.
Once done, pop them out of the tins so they can start cooling.
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of heavy whipping cream (or milk or half-and-half)
Start by softening the butter, then add butter to a mixer with a whisk attachment. You can also use a hand mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
Then incorporate the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer on a high and whip the mixture for about 3 minutes. It should now be light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the vanilla. Whip for another minute.
Taste test for smoothness and flavor, and add a small dash of cream at this point. Whip it another minute and taste it again.
Divvy up the icing into 3 bowls. Keep one batch white. Carefully add a little green food coloring to the other bowl and a bit of cocoa powder until it's the desired color.
Add cocoa powder in the last bowl to get the desired brown color.
For the fancy swirled icing, fill 3 pastry bags with its own color of icing. Put all 3 bags into 1 larger bag with a star tip. Pipe a swirl onto each cupcake and you're done.
The Crafty Mama Blog
Now for a DIY net
Whether you're a hunter looking for a disguise or a parent planning the ultimate paramilitary party obstacle course, you might want to deploy a camouflage net.
Sure, you can buy one. But wouldn't you rather show off your crafty survival skills to your kids and make one? This step-by-step method from eHow.com requires no precision so it's a perfect craft project for the whole family. You'll need three things:
• Shrimp net (available at marine stores)
• Unscented laundry soap
• Dark green burlap
First: Wash the shrimp net in the detergent, probably more than once. Shrimp nets are durable and will last longer than a traditional net.
Second: Cut the net to the size needed.
Third: Cut the burlap into bow-tie strips; they do not need to be the same size.
Four: Tie the strips onto the net with the knot in the center of the strip. Cover the net but leave random spaces and bunches.
The net should resemble a pile of leaves when finished.
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