Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WOYWW 273--Pretty Much Doing Everything But What I Should Be Doing

It's What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday--time to snoop at craft tables around the planet!
If you're checking up on me, I'm a little sidetracked. I really should be working on my tags and art quilt which I have in my creative queue. Oh but no. I found a lovely picture of mommy, and had to pause and scrapbook a whole page about her. The worktable is not too terribly messy yet, because I was just getting things out. I had the most beautiful, wonderful, creative mommy in the whole world. She's the reason I love to craft and create things. She's been gone for nine months now and every once in a while I have to talk about her because it's so hard to not be able to pick up the phone and hear her sweet loveable voice, or drive out to spend the afternoon with her and her three little chihuahuas. Thank you lovely deskers for patiently reading my occasional ramblings about June...she was the prettiest girl in town.
Found this paper in my Vintage stack...Mom used to say "a little birdie told me" all the time!
Scrapbooking her pictures is incredibly therapeutic.
My other scraps, tags, and art journaling is waiting for me! Have a happy, creative day. And if your mom is still here on the planet, hug her.  

P.S. I'm getting so much better with the ATG gun! I think I like it now.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From the Garden to the Jar - Fresh Garden Salsa

“What is paradise? But a garden, an orchard of trees and herbs full of pleasure and nothing there but delights.”

—William Lawson, 1687

This was a great year for the garden. Do you have a garden? A garden can be a very personal thing, like art, an expression of yourself. You don't realize how delicate it can be until you have a bad year (like I did last year) and you cannot figure out why nothing's working. Not so this year, thank goodness. The weather here in the Ozarks was perfect all summer. The squash are growing. The flowers are blooming everywhere. Rosemary, Thyme, Italian Parsley and Basil for days. The tomatoes are big and bountiful. I grew Early Girl, Beefsteak, Pineapple, Better Boy, Roma, and sweet big fat cherry tomatoes.
My roma tomatoes

The green peppers are big, fat, and beautiful, and although I'm not a jalapeno pepper fan, I need them for the salsa, and they did well. Everything was in place and ready to go for fresh batches of salsa--garden-to-jar, just the way it should be.
Bell peppers

Jalapeno pepper

A little morning harvest

 It's such a gift to go out to the garden, in the morning, pick peppers, tomatoes, herbs and flowers...stand barefoot in the grass (go ahead and Google "earthing") feel the sun on my face, and later in the day find myself with fresh flowers on the table and jars and jars of garden salsa--organic salsa that was fresh-preserved with ingredients that are not even hours old, freshly picked from the garden. I may not always feel like doing the canning right at the moment when everything is ready--but too bad so sad, because fresh vegetables will not wait! So going out, picking them, getting some fresh air, seeing how beautiful and magical it all is gives the natural energy I need to do this thing!

Garden bliss. Summer heaven. Feeling blessed. It's so good to have contact with the earth.
Spaghetti squash, peppers, zinnias, and parsley
I've altered my fresh garden salsa recipe every summer for what we like at my house and what is freshest. You always have to make sure when water-bath canning that you have enough acidity necessary in your recipe for a good fresh-preserved product--it's good to check the Ball Blue Book. And don't look at an old one. The standards change over the years. 

My garden salsa is all organic, sweet, mild and delicious. It is also a nice chunky salsa, and I can it in little wide-mouth half-pint jars, so that you can open up a jar and just start dipping! Or grab a little jar and bag of tortilla chips for an instant gift. This year, I've managed to can about forty jars--plenty to last for a year of salsa gifting and eating. I did this in smaller batches of course. My water-bath canner holds seven jars at a time, and my recipe will fill 14 half-pint jars. The best sound in the world is that "pop" your jars make when the lids seal after processing. It never gets old!
----------------------------------------------------------- Sandy's Fresh Organic Garden Salsa
8 cups of fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups fresh garden green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 small, fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups fresh organic sweet yellow onions, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup white wine vinegar
1 can (6 oz.) organic tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)

Heat to gentle boil, and simmer and stir on the stove for 30 minutes, until the salsa thickens.

Water-Bath Canning
Sterilize about 14 half-pint wide-mouthed jars. Wash and rinse the rings. Heat the lids in hot water. Ladle salsa into the clean, hot jars, wipe the rims, and apply the lids and rings. Place in the boiling water in the water-bath canner with water covering the jars. Most canners will hold seven jars at a time. Put the lid on, keep it boiling and process for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and let it continue to process for another five minutes. Lift jars out, and they will seal with a "pop" as they cool. Before storing, make sure they are all sealed. If the lids move up and down when pressed, they are not sealed properly.


I hope you enjoyed this journey from the garden to the jar!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Garden

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Threads

Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.
Luke 1:45

Friday, August 22, 2014

Doodle a Day ... Doodley Doo

I love participating in Art Journal Friday--but I don't have a real art journal page to share today! I've been keeping a little sketch book in my bag though, so that at least I can do a doodle a day.'s something, right? 

 Just a little doodle in honor of my little boho business idea. Nothing like a colorful pair of pants!
Also thought I would share the blog candy I won from the Unity Stamp Company's Thursday blog hop! Click here to visit their blog. I love the Unity Itty Bitty stamps so much, and I won eight of them all at once on the Thursday blog hop. The package came in the mail right away--at first, Joseph wouldn't give it back to me! (I think he's still miffed from the sparkly bum incident the other day...see my blog from Wednesday.)

I squealed when I opened this happy mail. I'm gonna have a lot of fun this weekend. Tags, scrapbooking, cards, and art journaling--here I go!
So, if you can't manage a full-blown art journal page--a doodle will make you feel dandy like blog candy. (I made that up! Amazing.)

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Doodle

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Doodle a Day

Wouldn't it be amazing if I actually could make myself get into that art journal every single day and do something. AND, if I couldn't art journal for some reason, at least doodle something! I've been caught away from home many days with no art supplies or art journal in reach. But, I always have this little sketch book in my bag and a few colored pencils--so today I doodled. It felt good. I love to be grateful for something every day.
It's just not always easy to bring my big ole art journal with me when I have a heavy bag for the day already. I do like this little sketch book though for jotting down a doodle that can become a future art journal page.
I also had this stamp I just picked up at Michaels for three bucks. I couldn't resist the little typewriter! A clear block and little stamps are very portable.
Soon my little typewriter stamp become a full-blown doodle in my little sketch book. Happy.
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Doodle

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WOYWW 272 - Organizing Queen or Crafting in a Small Space

 When you don't have a whole dedicated room for your crafting--you don't let that stop you. My crafty corner is literally in a corner of our master bedroom. I actually like it, believe it or not, because I still feel open to everything going on in the house, but I'm still in my corner of the world.

 Here's a photo of my worktable from last night. Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday!
I know, I know. It's ridiculously clean! No creative person would have a worktable this clean! But wait...there's more.
I had just rearranged and tidied up because I was getting ready to diecut a bunch of that cardboard packaging I'd been salvaging. After diecutting it, I embossed everything--so cute. I was excited to paint it all.
I painted the first round of diecutting a fun bronzy pinkish color and added glitter. It's all drying now. Then I'll use some cheap hairspray as my fixative. On a side note, during all this, my cat Joseph wanted me to comb him. (He's addicted to being combed, go figure.) So he hopped up on the counter as we always do, and I gave him a good wet combing which he loves. I petted him, he hopped down. And as he happily sauntered away I noticed his rear parts were a bit sparkly. Oops. Note to self: wash the glitter off your hands before combing the cat's butt!
I'm also cutting teacups out of some of my pretty paper for a little project.
And I'm tearing down some watercolor paper for little paintings and cards.
I've crocheted some necklace cords for pendants out of that Hemp cord I got at Wal-Mart for about 3 dollars--I love that stuff. There are four colors in the package, so I'm buying some more!
I love this piece of furniture right here. It is one of the things in my crafty corner that keeps me super organized--every drawer is dedicated to specific crafty items. I know where everything is because I use all my stuff, all the time.
When I need to be on the go, I love this organizing bag I got on sale at Hobby Lobby. It has several zipper pages inside so that I can fit in watercolors, paintbrushes, markers, art journal, fabric, embroidery floss, scissors, needles, and even a seam ripper! I also have knitting in here. So I could just grab this bag, not even think about it, and know that I have something with me I can create.
It's such a busy time of year, because I picked a lot of tomatoes and peppers this weekend and within hours had canned a few dozen jars of salsa. I love that it's all organic and mostly from my garden. Wooh! My post is toooo long--sorry Julia! Have a wonderful week lovelies.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Organize

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Doodle and a Stitch

 It's important to find your bliss every day. But some days are harder than others...we over-commit our time, we get sick, our kids get sick, and computers get sick! Artists and crafters also need to carve out that time and space, every day if they can, to create. It's an outlet for the soul. Some days I can barely manage a doodle in the art journal, and a stitch of floss onto a little piece of fabric. But if that's all I did today, then that's all I needed to do! Have a happy Tuesday!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Happy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Art Journal Friday

Well...I didn't have my art journal. I didn't have my art supplies. But I did have a few minutes, a few colored pencils, and my little sketch pad in my bag.
Just felt like being creative in the middle of a busy day. Happy Friday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Go

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WOYWW 271--Crafty Table Freshness

 Good morning! - or...Good evening...depending on where you are in the world. I am at my crafty table in the USA Ozarks on Tuesday evening throwing my What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday blog together to go up Wednesday morning because I love all these deskers and it's super fun to take that mid-day peek into our crafty lives!
Well kids, it's that time of year in my town when the children go back to school! Vacation is over, the morning traffic is a little more hectic, and I am back to a full week in the office as well. I will do my best to not let my crafty life suffer. The way I do that is I try to line up little projects I can easily work on in spurts. This week I am cutting out things and making a whole bunch of art tags to sell at the fall craft fair. Some of them have stamping, stitching, you name it. They will all have some kind of sentiment on them, and I feel artsy when I'm making them--so that's good!
I'm also making little travel watercolor kits with Altoids tins and packaging from Dentyne Ice gum. They make the ideal paint wells that fit right into the tins! I love upcycling packaging--and my breath is oh so fresh on this project!

I hope you find your bliss and joy every day and have a great week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch