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…

Special Delivery ~ Par Avion Messenger Bird Valentine Card Tutorial

This sweet little bird is sending tidings of love your way.

As part of the 14 Days of Crafting Love party hosted by Jojo & Eloise, I'm pleased to be sharing my tutorial for Par Avion Messenger Bird Valentine Cards.  I hope you'll forgive the pun, but with the elegant look and feel of the watercolor paper, the romantic blend of vintage ephemera, soft pink, and just a bit of sparkle, these beautiful little cards are truly First Class.

How to Make
Par Avion Messenger Bird Valentine Cards

Tools & Materials
Book pages (Cut down to 5" x 7.5")
Watercolor Paper (Cut down to 6.5" x 9")
Bone folder (optional, but makes folding the paper easier and crisper)
Extra Strength Glue Stick
Vellum or paper of your choice for mini envelope
Paper of your choice for the note 
Small glue dots 
Ultrafine glitter
Step 1:  Download all three templates listed above.  

Step 2:  Print the postcard background on the watercolor paper using the "fast" or "draft" setting of your printer and with the paper loaded so that the image is printed on the more textured side.  Fold in half and crease the fold with a bone folder.

Step 3:  Print the bird image on the book paper, then cut out tightly around the outline.

Step 4:  Coat the entire back of the bird with extra strength glue stick, except for the beak.  Press into place on the card. 

Step 5:  Print mini envelope template (I prefer cardstock), then trim.  Trace template on vellum or paper of your choice with a pencil.  Cut out.  Erase pencil marks. Fold sides of envelope inward.  Put a dab of glue stick on the right and left flaps. Fold up the bottom flap.  


Step 6:  Write or print a small love note and tuck inside the envelope.  Fold the top flap down.  Fix in place by pressing the point of the top flap against a small glue dot.  The glue dot should peel off the roll and on to the envelope.  Press the glue dot into a small pile of glitter.  Blow off excess.  Affix another glue dot on the back of the envelope and tuck in place under the paper bird's beak.

Tips & Resources
(not paid or sponsored)

BOOK PAGES:  I like to use old hardbound copies of the Reader's Digest.  I can usually find them at thrift stores for around a quarter each.  The covers can be repurposed into journals (see tutorial HERE), and then I have plenty of book pages on hand for crafting.

WATERCOLOR PAPER:  I purchase Strathmore Watercolor paper (300 Series) bound in a 18x24" pad.  It gives me the ability to cut pieces down to size for many types of projects.  

PRINTER:  I love my Canon Pixma iX6520.  It handles custom sizes so beautifully.

SCISSORS:  I recommend a small pair of precision scissors for cutting out the birds.  My two favorites are the X-ACTO 5" Precision Tip Scissors and the EK Success Titanium Scissors.

GLUE STICK:  My favorite glue stick for paper crafting is the Extra Strength Glue Stick from Elmer's Craft Bond.

GLUE DOTS:  I love Elmer's Craft Bond Glue Spots (Thin Mini, Permanent Bond).

For more Valentine inspiration, visit:


This post has been linked-up with:
The Insipration Board Linky Party @ Homework
Brag Monday @ The Graphics Fairy
Valentine's Day Recipe & Craft Round-up @ Close to Home
The Inspiration Spotlight @ Dear Creatives 
SNS @ Funky Junk Interiors  
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative 

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