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…

Valentines Fit for a King or Queen ~ Mini Upcycled Paper Crowns

On Valentine’s Day
everyone deserves to be treated like royalty.
So what better token 
to present to your King or Queen of Hearts
than their very own crown? 

These diminutive diadems
are easy to make,
fun to decorate,
and cost almost nothing to make. 

Made from upcycled cardboard tubes and embellished with scrap paper, cupcake liners, and a bit of sparkle, you can make enough crowns to cover a few dozen royal heads in an afternoon.

I decorated my crowns in a Valentine’s Day motif, but the possibilities are endless. In glittering pink, with pompoms on each point or trimmed out in marabou, the crowns would be adorable placecards for a princess party. Wrapped in vintage sheet music and embellished with Dresden trims and German Glass Glitter, they’d make an elegant napkin ring for a shabby chic tea party.

Queen/King of Hearts
Valentine’s Day Crowns

Cardboard tubes: toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper
You can get two crowns out of one toilet paper tube

I used gold and silver spray paint, which required only one coat and dried in less than 10 minutes.  I prefer the Design Master brand, which is pictured below.

Scissors, Hot Glue Gun

Scrapbook borders, ribbon, trim, stickers, beads, buttons, glitter, etc. 
  • For my glittered trim, I used Recollections glitter paper and an EK Success border punch.
  • For the fluted fans, I used small cupcake papers trimmed around the edges with pinking shears.
  • To accent the edges of the fans, I used a red paint pen.

Step 1: For a toilet-paper sized tube, cut in half with a craft knife or scissors. Use scissors to create the crown-points all the way around each tube. I had fun experimenting with different sizes and patterns. 

Step 2: In a well-ventilated area (preferably outside on a warm day), arrange crowns on newspaper or dropcloth. Spray each crown, inside and out with paint. Alternately, you can use acrylic paint and a paintbrush indoors. 

Step 3: When crowns are dry, use a thumb and forefinger to gently flare out each point. If using the metallic spray paint, this step serves two purposes – it gives the crown a nicer shape, but also slightly buffs the color so that the metallic has a glossier shine.

I think the flare makes all the difference.
Step 4: Decorate! I like to add a border first. The edges of cupcake liners make nice rosettes and fans for a Victorian touch. 

That’s it!
Let the coronation begin...

How will you decorate your crowns?

This post has been linked up with:
The Pretty Things Link Party at TwelveOEight
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative

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