August 26, 2014

Tray Tuesday....Strawberry Jam

Hey everyone. Welcome back to Tray Tuesday.  It's a new series here on the blog where I show you what I have my tray.  I use trays for everything & have quite the little collection going so here goes.  Today I've got homemade Strawberry Jam on a cute red, vintage tray.  
I've been canning so much this Summer that I haven't had time to make room on my shelves for more canned goods.  Until then I have jars of sweet goodness sitting around on my dining room table and everywhere.
I can't seem to grow strawberries very well where I live so I always buy them from the store when they're nice and ripe.
There's nothing like having a jar of fresh jam, bursting with ripened fruit flavor and homemade goodness.
The jars are so pretty too.  If these make it til Christmas, I think they'd make very cute gifts for neighbors and friends.  Maybe include a loaf of freshly baked bread or some scones.
Full of juicy strawberry flavor, this photo just makes my mouth water.
For all of my simple fruit jams and jellies, I typically use the recipes included in the fruit pectin boxes.  They are tested and never seem to fail me.  Here's the recipe I used for my Strawberry Jam today.  This is a canned jam using the water bath method of preservation. Enjoy!

I'd love to hear what's on your tray today.  Feel free to leave a link or comment in the comments section below.  If you follow along on Instagram (mishwooderson), feel free to use the hashtag #traytuesday to show me what's on your tray.

I've recently listed some vintage trays in my shop.  Here's just a few samples.....

These black trays are quite striking.  A little worn and chippy but would be so cute with mason jars lined up or filled with craft supplies
Aluminum trays are understated but go with about everything.  I like to place little jello molds on these to hold small bits and pieces of paper kits.
Round trays are always fun to use to serve drinks in mason jars or just grab a tray while you're working on a craft project.  Place a vintage napkin on top and pile high with homemade muffins or cookies.
Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day!

August 22, 2014

Shop update....new vintage finds

Just added some new vintage items to the shop + I gave a new look to the storefront.  You can find the shop link here.  

Enamel trays just like the ones I use....perfect for creating watercolor palettes. Plus a cup for water.
 A fun colander bowl...
 Old staplers.....

 Pretty tapestries.....

 If you've enjoyed my Tray Tuesday post, you might want to join in yourself.  Lots of fun trays.....




Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend everyone!

August 20, 2014

Project Life 2014.....Week 20

Today I'm sharing Week 20 of my Project Life 2014.  I'm behind in sharing and way behind on my weeks but that's okay.  The kids are back in school and I plan to whittle away at those photos day by day.  Still loving the process, still loving looking back at these albums.  

So here's the full, 2 page spread.  I kept it very simple this week and continue to do so to catch up a little. 
 These pages use the August kits from Gossamer Blue.
 My mom had a knee replacement to start the Summer off so it was a busy 6-8 weeks getting her on her feet again.  I finished my quilt top too.  Now I just need to finish the binding.  All those pretty plants are drying up now.  Funny how time passes so quickly.
 Love these little sticky notes to pieces.  I typed, stapled, stamped, stitched and stickered all over this one.
 Signs of Spring and Summer....new baby kittens and my first Iris.
 Embracing every new "today".
Hope you're still trucking along with your Project Life.  Feel free to share your progress in the comments section.

August 19, 2014

Introducing Tray Tuesday...when 2 kits collide

Hey there, today I'm introducing a new little series here on the blog that should be fun.  It's called Tray Tuesday and it's all about what's on my tray.  I've developed quite a fondness for vintage trays of all kinds.  Whether they're metal with decals, wood, silver, hammered aluminum, tv trays, etc.....I love 'em.  I always spy them when I'm out thrifting and it seems they like to come home with me.  

So what is Tray Tuesday?  If I've got something in the works and it's on a tray, I'll post it on a Tuesday.   Simple as that.  It might be a paper project or it could be a batch of fresh strawberry jam right out of the cooker....or a batch of freshly baked cookies....garden fresh goodies.....a stack of stationery with pens and stamps that I'm getting ready to mail out.....it should be fun to see what ends up on a tray.  

If you follow me on Instagram, I'll be using the hashtag #traytuesday if you want to join in and post any photos.  I'd love to see what's on your tray.  
 Today I have two pretty trays with two kits from the upcoming September Gossamer Blue release.  I'll be doing a series of posts in September showing how these two kits collide to create some pretty paper projects.
 You'll be to see how easily the Gossamer Blue kits coordinate with each other in a beautiful mixy matchy way.
Hope you'll join me for Tray Tuesday....and be looking for more posts soon.  The girls will be back in school soon and I've got lots to share.

August 13, 2014

Sweet & Sour Pickled Peppers and Onions

Back to share my favorite new canning recipe that I discovered this Summer.  May I introduce to you Sweet & Sour Pickled Peppers and Onions.  This makes a beautiful canned presentation and it's so delicious too.  I'll definitely be making this every year now come garden season. 
If there's a few things I can grow well in my garden it's peppers, onions and jalapenos.  The colored peppers....I still have to buy those as I haven't found good varieties for these yet.  The color is very important if you care about presentation and how pretty your jars look on the shelf.  
 This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest magazine called Canning (preserving + freezing + drying).  I found my copy at Walmart and just saw them on the shelves still today while grocery shopping.  I'll share my adapted recipe at the end of the post.
The recipe calls for red, green, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers.  I also threw in a few jalapenos and some pepperoncini peppers because they were plentiful in the garden.  The colorful mix is really the key to this recipe.
I followed the recipe almost exactly as called for otherwise.  I stuffed all the peppers and onions into the jars, leaving the appropriate head space.  
You can see how beautiful the jars look already.  I like to overstuff my jars a bit because when you add the hot liquid the peppers will shrink down a little.  Otherwise when the jars are cooled the veggies float to the top and there's a lot of liquid at the bottom of the jar with no veggies. 
Here's the jars filled with the vinegar liquid mixture.  I love seeing the seeds and peppercorns in this mix.  It looks so fancy.  You can see here that I put a few jalapeno slices on the tops of these jars.  
 Here's the jars straight out of the canning pot.  So bright and crisp looking.
 Alas, that color doesn't last but the jars are still beautiful and filled with colorful veggies.
I know we will go through these like crazy so I've already made a second batch. I'll see what comes from the garden yet and may make a third batch.  These would make great Christmas gifts or be perfect to take to tailgate parties, etc.  
For some recipe ideas, so far we've tried the pickled mixture on pulled pork with coleslaw and BBQ sauce. The veggies stayed crunchy and the vinegar gave a little zip to the sandwiches. 
 Simple hotdogs take on a whole new meaning now.  My husband gave this a two thumps up so it's definitely a keeper recipe.

Here's the recipe that you can copy and paste into a word document if you want to print:

Sweet & Sour Pickled Sweet Peppers and Onions

from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Canning (preserving + freezing + drying) ...adapted by Michelle Wooderson

3 pounds red, green, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers, sliced into bite size strips ( I add jalapeno and pepperoncini too)
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (can add more if you like more onion)
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Combine pepper strips and onions in large bowl.  Set aside. In cooking pot combine all other ingredients.  Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Discard garlic (I left mine in) and bay leaves.  Pack pepper-onion mixture into hot sterilized pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars, maintaining the 1/2 inch head space.  Discard any remaining vinegar mixture.  Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.  Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling).  Remove jars from canner.  Cool on wire racks.  Wait for the "ping" sound of sealed jars. Rejoice.  Enjoy.  Makes 7 pints. 

Recipe ideas:  Use as topping for hotdogs, chili dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, sloppy joes, roast beef or salads.  Chop and add to meatloaf, hamburgers or potato salads.  



August 12, 2014

Greeting cards from Gossamer Blue August Kits

Today I'm sharing some fun cards I made using journaling cards and lots of little embellishments from the August Gossamer Blue kits.  
 I typed up some simple greetings onto a journaling card, trimmed them out and added pop dots to the backs.
 There were lots of little bits and pieces from the kits that were perfect for adding to card fronts.  These fun Grand Bazaar Die Cuts & Transparencies from Basic Grey are from the Life Pages Main Add-On Kit.
 I decided to create six cards so I lined up six various journaling cards (there are lots of patterns in one set) and started with some basic layering of little sticky notes and tags.  I always love when there's a set of post it notes in a kit....these are from Heidi Swapp and are in the Life Pages Add-On #3 Kit.  This is a great little kit, loved it this month.
 I built up the layers using clear embellishments, vellum pieces, brads and the resin pieces.  I set my sentiments where I wanted them too.
 Before adhering the sentiment pieces down I used some simple white thread to create a messy bundle, wadded it a bit and secured it in place with double sided tape.  For the pretty Basic Grey Resin Stickers, check out the Main Add-On Kit.  Gosh, this is a good kit too.  I love the 12 x 12 papers in this kit and plan to use them for scrapbooking some of Josey's senior photos.
 Now that I had all my journaling card pieces finished, I selected some papers from the August Bits & Pieces Kit.
 I took my card front pieces over to my sewing machine along with some yellow thread.
 I added stitching to the journaling card pieces to either secure pieces into place or to just add some decorative stitching. I always love how that adds such a homemade feel to a project.
 I secured all the pieces to my card fronts and in no time I had a happy little pile of cards.
 Here's the six cards all sitting pretty.
 I love how everything is layered on top of the simple journaling cards to begin with.
 So many fun pops of color and texture.
 Once you've used your Gossamer Blue for your main projects, I always make a little mini kit of sorts to create some cards.  Those leftover bits and pieces are perfect for creating cards.
 We all know it's fun to have cards waiting in a basket...instead of scurrying around to make a card at the last minute.
 By keeping the sentiments simple, you can create cards that can be used for any occasion.  Or you can get specific like I did with my thank you cards.
 Don't forget that cards make great gifts too. I like to give a card with a written note on a sticky note tucked inside the package.  That way that card can be reused also.  Oh, the colors just make me happy.
Okay card makers, I always get messages that you miss my cards and would like to see more.  Please chime in to let know what you think and what types of cards you'd like to see these days.  Thank you for stopping by!
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