Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Vintage Velvet Shamrock Pin Tutorial

velvet tubing shamrock pin
A few weeks ago at work, someone put a box of craft supplies on the "Up For Grabs" table. I was so excited when I found this 15 yard spool of vintage green velvet tubing.  With St. Patrick's day just around the corner I knew I could craft it in to something perfect for the occasion!

I was always the kid at school who forgot to wear green and hid out in the bathroom at recess so I wouldn't get pinched.  As the years went by I got pretty good at pinch-deflecting responses like, "my toenails are painted green," and the tried and true, "I'm wearing green underwear."  Thank goodness I was never asked to prove the latter.  

velvet tubing shamrock pin

Now that I have kids of my own, I'm always so busy getting them all spruced up for St. Patty's that I still forget to don a bit o' green.  But not this year!  Using the velvet tubing, some floral wire, and a handful of vintage buttons, I put together some lovely little vintage styled shamrock pins to wear on St. Patrick's Day.
velvet tubing shamrock pin tutorial
Velvet Shamrock Pins

  • 18" Velvet Tubing per pin
  • (I used vintage stock, but you can purchase new velvet tubing from Offray at most craft and fabric stores)
  • 18 " 22 gage floral wire
  • vintage buttons
  • hot glue gun
  • pin backs
  • Optional:  Fabric rosettes

Step 1:  Remove the cord from inside the length of tubing.

Step 2:  Insert wire into tubing, and seal tubing at both ends with a small dot of hot glue. 

Step 3:  Use three fingers, as shown in photo below, to bend three loops in the wired tubing.

Step 4:  Use a small dab of hot glue to connect the three loops at the base.

Step 5:  Using your forefinger and thumb, stretch each loop to widen at the top.

Step 6:  Twist "stem" several turns to tighten the grain.

Step 7:  Glue a vintage button in the center of shamrock.  I layered two buttons.

Step 8:  Bend each petal in the center.

Step 9:  At this point you can embellish further by mounting the velvet shamrocks on a fabric or vintage lace rosette, or leave them as a simple outline as pictured above.  Use a dab of hot glue to affix a pinback to the back of the shamrock and it's ready to wear.

For this rosette, I used a 10" strip of frayed muslin, gather stitched.

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