Blackberry and Blueberry Jam

Only the ridiculous go blackberry or blueberry picking during 102ºF heat index weather. Right. So, what to do with buckets of plump, sweet berries? Share with family and friends, freeze for future recipes and . . . jam making! Here are two similar and easy recipes for blackberry and blueberry jam. Hope you enjoy!

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2013 Favorites

::<>::      Looking back on 2013      ::<>::

Another quick year gone. Is it because I am growing older that the years are flying? 😉

All the same, 2013 was a decent year. I dipped my toes, left my comfort zone. I was encouraged and I learned. I was inspired by some very clever folks, homegrown and professional. Here are just a few. Hats off and thanks to all of you (check them out!):

Old Pearly Jenkins

DIYPassion

Hello Scarlet

SUZIK

For Those Who Love Dresses

Pretty Handy Girl

.

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. . .And then, some of my own personal DIY favs that made me happy:

DIY Vintage Rustic Outdoor Wedding

DIY Blended-Family Outdoor Wedding

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Doggie Biscuits

Doggie Biscuits in a Jar Gift

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Dream Art Workspace aka Craft Room

Dream Art Workspace aka Craft Room

..

What a year, right?  Thank you for visiting my humble blog. I look forward to another fantastic 365 days of sharing with you. 

May you have a happy and healthy 2014!

— Joanne

Chalk Paint Shelf :: Easy Graphic Transfer Method

I had a pine settle bench shelf needing a little TLC.

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B E F O R E

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A F T E R

It had squirrels and nuts painted on the sides. Yep, squirrels. Looked like a job begging for chalk paint! Chalk paint is so forgiving and there is no prep. I mix my own chalk paint using calcium carbonate.

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DIY Real Wedding

“Mom, would you help us plan a really simple DIY, home-grown, ‘blended-family’, outdoor fall wedding?”

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Months after the wedding, my daughter and I gathered together the ideas, tips, suggestions, etc. to share – hopefully making it a tad easier for others to plan their own DIY “laid-back”, casual, outdoor special day. Beware: many photos!

We hope you can use an idea or find some little thing useful from this post 🙂

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Inspiration Piece

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We found an old box of inexpensive aqua Atlas canning jars in a junk shop.

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Initial Planning

Right away: Choose a venue, set a date and contact the officiate.

Create a Planning/Checklist

Browse Pinterest and online interactive planning websites

Start Gathering: DIY, Borrow, Thrift Shops

Write out Guest List

Purchase Invitations online

Determine wedding attire

Plan Menu

Write a ‘Wedding Photos to be Taken’ List

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The Day Before (AKA: Set Up)

Canopies & Other Supplies: Both my husband and son-in-law were eligible to reserve canopies, tables and chairs from the local Morale, Welfare & Recreation center. It was a considerable savings! We borrowed coffee and drink urns, platters and chafing dishes. An uncle provided ice for the canoe we filled with beer, wine, water and apple-pie moonshine. 🙂

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More ideas:

  • Canopies can be very expensive. If you live near a military base, are eligible (or know a friend who is) it is possible to save a bundle by renting tables, chairs, canopies, etc. from a local Morale, Welfare & Recreation storehouse.
  • Try to borrow chairs and tables from a local group (Scouts, church, benevolent group). Remember to make a donation!
  • Place waterproof seating arrangements.

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  • String plastic lighting around edge of canopy and in trees for evening lighting.
  • Repurpose vintage windows. Great-grandmother’s 100-year-old carriage garage house windows were turned into inspirational signage. (See DIY Vintage Windows as Signs here).

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  • Fill wheelbarrows, galvanized tubs, john boats or canoes with ice and load with drinks.

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The Special Day Arrives

Good Morning, Sunshine!

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Bouquet & Boutonniere: Simple. Grocery-store bought rose nosegay and hand-crafted boutonniere from the Etsy shop, The White Bouquet.

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Directional Signs: These were placed strategically to help guests find their way since the wedding was in the ‘boonies’. The groom’s mom created signs from scrap lumber, paint and balloon’s. My daughter and son-in-law’s names are pronounced “BRY-en” phonetically and we teasingly call them “Brianne Pink” and “Brian Blue” – hence the pink and blue balloons.

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My Workspace: Phase #2 (Sew Nook)

 

The cutting, sanding, painting, shelf and sewing table installation into the “used-to-be-closet” is just about complete. I used paint I already had on the walls and ceiling to prepare the space. (More on demolition here).

sn-full view

Loose junk is hidden away in a vintage oak slat picnic basket (collecting these is a guilty habit).  A variety of mason jars hold buttons. Fabrics are kept in see-through baskets (Garden Ridge).  The thread rack (Wal-Mart) and piece of scrap peg board  for my sewing tools were spray painted to match.

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The Hunt is On!

Our daughter and her fiance rent a small cottage-like home in the middle of an alpaca farm and wanted to use this setting for their DIY fall wedding. We walked the site, looked at the “quaint” out buildings and decided upon a shabby vintage-country theme. Using Pinterest for inspiration, we have scoured junk, thrift and antique stores. These blue mason jars were our first inspiration and set the theme.

People are truly giving! With the venue and date out of the way, the fun began. Family, friends, co-workers and other people all had a part in the planning; providing wisdom, muscle, creativity and supplies. Stay tuned for inspiration and creativity!

Please read the DIY and Vintage-Country posts. Thanks for visiting!