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…

Glittering Shoes -- Wizard of Oz and Cinderella Themed Storybook Boxes

A little bit of glue, glitter, and some dollar store trinkets is all it takes to whip up a whimsical Storybook Box.

A few months ago, one of my daughter's friends caught sight of a bag of little plastic shoe favors I had picked up from the Dollar Tree sitting on my desk.  She asked what they were for and I showed her the Glittered Gift Boxes I had made to accompany charitable gifts back in December.  I promised her that at some future point, I'd show her how to make one. An overcast day and a house full of kids this week presented the perfect opportunity to glitter up some crafty magic and fun.

The banner reads, "A dream is a wish your heart makes"
My daughter's friend came up with the idea to do a Cinderella themed box bearing a clock just about to strike midnight, beneath a glittering "glass" slipper.  My daughter liked the idea of using green glitter and came up with an "Emerald City" theme.  My youngest daughter and her buddy went directly for the red glitter, so we themed their boxes around Dorothy's ruby slippers.  The kids were aged 6 through 11, and all were adept at making these fun (and fairly quick) little boxes.

If you'd like to make your own Storybook Boxes, I've written up a tutorial below and have included free downloads for making the Cinderella box and the Ruby Slipper Box.

Storybook Boxes

Cardboard jewelry box (I use a 4x4)
Cinderella or Ruby Slipper printable sheet
One plastic shoe (they come in a 6 pack from the Dollar Tree)
Mod Podge -- Luster (I prefer it over Matte for this project)
Glitter (I use PK Glitz -- the sparkle is dazzling)
A small lidded, plastic container that will fit the shoe (like Tupperware or Gladware)
4 x 4 piece of thin cardboard (I recycle a cereal box)
Hot glue gun

Step 1:  Download Cinderella or Ruby Slipper scrap sheets.  The pieces are designed for a 4x4 box.  If using another size box, re-size the pieces before printing.  Print and cut pieces from the sheet.

Step 2:  Apply panels to the sides of the bottom half of the box by painting a thin coat of Mod Podge on one side, applying image, then sealing with another coat of Mod Podge on top.  Repeat with remaining 3 sides.  Set aside to dry.  

Note:  For the Cinderella box, we used a sheet of matelasse embossed scrapbook paper.  You may use any decorative paper you wish.

Step 3:  Glitter the sides of the top half of the box by brushing with a thin coat of Mod Podge (one side at a time).  Cover with glitter.  I like to do this over a piece of cardstock, which enables me to funnel the unused glitter back into the container when I'm through.  Repeat with remaining sides and set aside to dry.

Step 4:  Glitter the shoe by using a paint brush to entirely coat the shoe (inside and out) with Mod Podge.  Shake some glitter into the small lidded container.  Add the shoe; shake more glitter on top of the shoe.  Put the lid on the container.  Shake to coat.  Let shoe dry before removing from container.

Step 5:  Prepare the "platform" by applying the yellow brick road or clock to the piece of thin coardboard with Mod Podge.  Smooth out any air bubbles.  For the clock, simply cut out.  For the yellow-brick road, cut out in a flower shape.  I used a cookie cutter to trace the shape on to mine.

Step 6:  Cut a small strip from the remaining cardboard and fold over on itself (and glue) to form a shim.

Step 7:  By now, the glitter on the sides of the lid should be dry.  Coat the top of the box with a thin layer of Mod Podge and add the lid design.  If making the Cinderella box, adhere the damask square first, then the black and white clockface centered on the top.  Seal with Mod Podge.    

Step 8:  Mod Podge the shim in the middle of the top of the lid.

Then, Mod Podge the platform in to place.  Seal with Mod Podge.

Allow 10-15 minutes for the Mod Podge to dry.
In the meantime, plug in your hot glue gun.

Step 9:  Hot-glue the glittered shoe to the platform.

Step 10:  Weave the text banner under the arch of the shoe.

Step 11:  With a dab of hot-glue at either end, attach banner to box.

Step 12:  With a clean, dry brush, brush off any excess glitter.
Optional:  Seal glitter with a spray-on clear glaze.

This post has been linked-up with:

Popular posts from this blog

CAMP CUPCAKE: An Elmer's Kids Craft Camp Party + Giveaway

Recipe: New World German Brown Bread -- "Squaw Bread"

Lemon Cake Recipe Glow-up: Ricotta Lemon Cake Brûlée