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…

DIY: Halloween Book Page Pennant Garland
Artful Halloween Book Review and Giveaway

I love Halloween!  It's one of my absolute favorite times of the year to decorate.  All year long I'm on the lookout for ideas and inspirations. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a copy of Artful Halloween:  31 Frightfully Elegant Projects by Susan Wasinger.   With so many decorating ideas and tutorials available online for free, you may be wondering what makes this book worth the $17.95 cover price. It's worth it.  Let me tell you why...

Artful Halloween delivers on the promise of its title.  The projects are both artful and elegant.  The book contains more than thirty original projects for Halloween home decor, costumes and entertaining that are worthy of being being showcased in a home that has been designed with an artful aesthetic.  

When you dog-ear the pages of the first five projects, it's a good sign that your book's a gem.
These aren't just revamped versions of the same projects you've seen spattered all over the blogosphere.  Over the course of 120+ pages, Wasinger shares fresh new ideas and inspirations for haute haunting with a vintage flair.

Not to confuse elegant with uptight and stodgy,  Artful Halloween  is full of fun and whimsy too!

I think these shrink-plastic cupcake picks are an absolute scream!
The first project to catch my eye was The Alchemist's Book Pennant Garland.  The book contains all the images you need to make this macabre masterpiece. 

For my banner, I used the image of the raven as an homage to Mr. Poe. 

The pennant banner is made from items you probably have around the house and it takes less than 15 minutes to put together. 

To make your own Halloween Book Page banner, follow these simple steps:

Vintage black and white illustrations of spooky things
Old hard-cover book (roughly 5x7 or 5x8)
White glue, double-stick tape or glue stick
String (black, white, or natural)

A computer with printer or photocopier

1.  Remove pages from the book.  Locate and size the image you want to copy.  Load the vintage pages into the paper feeding tray of your copier or printer.  Print or copy the image onto the page.  For the lettering, I used the Algerian font in MS Word Word Art.

2.  Cut a length of string about 10 feet long.  Fold down the top edge of each book page (about 1/2").  Fold it back open and run a bead of glue or a strip of double-stick tape along the inside edge.  Leave a loose end of string about 1 foot long for hanging the garland.  Run the string under the glued edge as shown above, and press down to encase the string in the folded edge.  Let dry.  Continue with remaining pages.



Lark Crafts, publisher of Artful Halloween has given me one extra copy of the book to share with a lucky Rook No. 17 reader.  It's easy to enter with Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

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