Monday, August 27, 2012

Canning Strawberry Jam

I know when you think August, strawberries aren't the first thing that come to mind! But the pick-your-own place that we like to go to has ever-bearing strawberries, and we picked a lot of them this week.

The place where we like to get our strawberries is a family-owned organic farm, about a forty minute drive south of us. 

Last summer we picked here for the first time, and we loved it! The family is so sweet, and we enjoy visiting the farm. 

I've canned a lot of raspberry jam, but last summer was the first time I made strawberry jam. It was so good! Like, eat-it-with-a-spoon-out-of-the-jar good.  

We decided we needed to make a lot of it again this summer, because we need to make sure it gets us through until next summer.

So two trips to the farm...

...and 24 pounds of strawberries later...

...we have about 50 half-pints of strawberry jam! 

Although that probably should be enough, we made three trips to the farm last year... we're thinking another visit may be in order! 

 PS The recipe I used for our strawberry jam is from this book

Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Inspiration Boards

I'm taking the most amazing online class this summer - Pages and Paint. Our teacher, Sarah, is fantastic. Part of our assignment this week was to set up the space we were going to create in, and to start our inspiration boards. Both of these assignments were perfect for me, because those two things were on my 'to-do' list anyway! I started reorganizing my studio this past winter, but then things got busy and some of my projects never got finished. This class was just the motivation I needed to finish up my craft space! 

I had two inspiration boards that I made that have been ready forever, I just needed to get them on the wall and start putting things on them. When I looked back through my photo archives to find the 'before' pictures, I realized that I have had these done since September 2009. Wow! Only took me close to three years to actually get them on the wall...

I found these frames at the thrift store for next-to-nothing, and took out the prints that were in them. Then I primed and spray-painted the frames. 

I got some corkboard at a craft store, and covered it in fabric, and attached it with a staple gun in the frames. 

Then they sat for almost three years until I finally got around to putting them up...

Just this week, I attached some bakers twine to the back of the frames and hung them in my studio. Then I started putting up inspiring photos, art, and handmade items. It's still a work-in-progress for sure, but I'm already enjoying seeing all that inspiration up on my wall! 

Among other things, I have a quotation from Sarah, and a page from a children's book:

Flowers crocheted by me (yellow) and a friend (purple):

A photo of my mom in high school, and a rat by Duckie Uglings:

Bunting I made out of paper and baker's twine (they were part of some baby shower invitations I made awhile back):

I'm so excited to keep adding to my inspiration boards, and I'm looking forward to what the next couple of weeks in this class will bring.

Do you have an inspiration board? What types of things do you like to put on it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baking with Serviceberries

Serviceberry season is coming to an end here in Minnesota, but we've been taking full advantage of it while it's lasted!  

First up, serviceberry muffins.  I used the basic muffin recipe from here, and then added the serviceberries.

They didn't last long in our house...

We also made serviceberry pancakes for a Sunday morning breakfast in bed.

I keep a dry homemade pancake mix on hand in the kitchen, so when we get the urge to bake pancakes it's super easy. The recipe is from here.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Highlights From Our May Garden







Loving what May has brought us, and looking forward to June!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fern Watercolor

Last Monday, May 21st, was my mom's birthday. We had her and my dad over for a special dinner and presents. 

My mom loves ferns, so I made some fern art for her. Remember this post with the oak leaf? I used the same coloring book and tracing method, and used another page from the same linguistics book.

Then I painted the fern in with watercolors.   

I had the book page professionally framed here (they do an amazing job!).

My mom collects different editions of Pinocchio, and when my guy and I were at Powell's last summer, he found this for her.

We wrapped her presents in kraft paper, doilies, and baker's twine.

She loved them!