Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Christmas in July

I signed up for a Christmas in July swap last month.  I finally am getting my gift in the mail, hoping that it will make its way to Texas before July is over.  
I used Noodlehead's gathered clutch tutorial for my gift that I wanted to keep for myself
I love the dividers and card holders on the inside.
I am mostly excited that Joann's has stepped it up a little bit in the fabric department!
Although I'm still not very good at sewing with zippers, I love the zipper ends.  Sometimes it is the little details that make the biggest difference.
I'm glad I got around to crossing something off my to do/try list.  Hope you enjoy it Dee!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Ginger Jam {recipe & printable}

Blueberry picking ends this weekend so we made it out one last time.  All in all we have gone through 46 pounds of deliciousness from here.  I made muffins, pie, froze a few quarts, but mostly we gobbled them up.  I also made three batches of our favorite jam.  
You know how things that are blueberry can be kind of too sweet?  Well not this jam.  Especially if you reduce the sugar like I do. 
{I kind of have issues with how much sugar is in jam.} 
The ginger keeps it fresh and not too sticky sweet.  LOVE IT.  So go get some fresh blueberries cuz we are going to make jam!

from the BHG cookbook.  You know, the one with the checks. 

3 cups of blueberries
4 cups of sugar*
2   Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 pouch liquid pectin (3 oz)

First wash your berries and place in a large saucepan.  I make sure and put all the not so ripe ones in.  They are the ones that are a little red and pass by when you are just eating them.  Then coursely mash them up.  I found that just squishing them with my fingers works the best.  
Next add your sugar.  This is where the * comes in.  One of the first rules of jam is don't reduce the sugar that the recipe calls for.  BUT I can't imagine why there needs to be more sugar than berries.  I use 3 cups of sugar {which is still a lot  I know} and it turns out really good.  I would imagine that it sets up a bit more with 4 cups of sugar but we aren't picky.   
Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Then cook it a minute or two more.  Remove from heat and add in the ginger and lemon juice.  If you can, buy the crystallized ginger from a bulk section.  It is WAY cheaper. 
Let sit for 10 minutes.  Or until you remember that your jam is sitting there waiting to be finished.  Then stir in the liquid pectin.  Ladle into jars and let stand on the counter for 24 hours.  Then you can freeze it, eat it, whatever your little heart wants!

If you want to give it away I have my very first printable for you!
{click HERE to download}
I made some lid labels with photoshop to make it a little bit cuter when you give such delicious jam to your neighbor.  I used my big shot to cut out the circles, but you can either freehand it or use a 2 inch punch for a regular mouth lid (I think) to cut them out.  Just glue on the lid and tie with a ribbon{optional of course!}

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Picnic Table Date

For our date night one night {oh...2 months ago!} Darin and I built Ivy a picnic table from Knock Off Wood.  It actually turned out to be really fun AND we got it built in about 2 hours.  Not bad considering thats how long it takes to put any other piece for furniture that you get from Target together!  
The instructions were descent and I think the only thing we could have done different was to have clamps.  But it doesn't wobble which makes it perfect to me!  I will say that it cost a little bit more than the  $15 dollars she said it would since we had to buy all of the screws and a square, plus the paint was on the spendy side.
After Darin and I put it together Ivy and I primed it out on the grass.  She had such a great time painting it.  I just had to follow around behind her to wipe up drips.
I even got a good enough picture to print out!

That is when I got my Valspar Crystal Aqua paint.  I used outdoor semi gloss so I can just hose it down after Ivy eats half of a watermelon!  I distressed the edges but didn't stain them since I knew it would be outside and get that look naturally.  
 Here you can see the only way we strayed from the plans is to use 1x8's for the seats instead of the two 1x3's so that kids didn't get arms or legs pinched. It was a fun project.  It might have been cheaper just to buy one from Target when all was said and done.  But now we have something we all worked on and I love it that much more!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Changing It Up For Market Day

Another Friday, another market.  I'm gonna keep this short and sweet but I wanted to show you some things that I added to the mix for this week.  First up summer buntings.  I added some doilies and really like the looks of it.  Very sweet.
Instead of taking a bunch of frames to goodwill I added some spraypaint for some cute chalkboards.
Since its the farmers market, these reversible market bags are a must.  
I enlisted my sister's help to cut out some cupcake wrappers.  One of the only downfalls of being left handed is I am nearly worthless with a pair of scissors! Thank goodness for rotary cutters, paper slicers and die cuts on my big shot!
And lastly those cute paper straws I have been swooning over. Cute. Biodegradable.  Awesome. 
{and now available at Greenies!}
Happy Fourth Everyone!


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