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…

Wooden Peg Fairy Doll DIY
{for whimsical favors, cupcake toppers, and birthday candle holders}

I've been delighted to see a resurgence in the popularity of peg dolls in DIY communities online, and decided it was high time to breathe some new life into this oldie but goodie from my first year of blogging.  The tutorial needed just a bit of TLC and a sprinkle of pixie dust...

...and these magical little cupcake toppers that double as party favors are ready to take flight once again!

With simple wooden pegs, "silk" flowers and basic crafting supplies, you can create a whole garden of Flower Fairies as favors, cupcake toppers, and even birthday candle holders.


How to Make:  Wooden Peg Fairy Dolls

(for favors, cupcake toppers, or birthday candle holders)

  • Wood Game pieces (my source: Factory Direct Craft) 
  • Bamboo skewers or wooden dowels, cut to 2” lengths
  • Foam floral block for makeshift drying rack (optional)
  • Drill
  • Acrylic paints in the colors you want for skin,hair, eyes, cheeks and mouth
  • An assortment of fine and medium paint brushes.  (I use a tracing stylus to paint the eyes and cheek details)
  • Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze Spray
  • "Silk" flower petals ~ You’ll need approx. 10-12 petals per doll.  (Hydrangeas work well, and variegated petals (two tone) are my favorites to work with.)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cotton Chenille stems/pipe cleaners (my source: Blumchen)
  • Small Millinery Flowers (my source:  32 North)
  • Plain vellum, 8.5” x 11” 
  • Download and print the free butterfly wing template HERE

Step 1: Prep your doll bodies by drilling holes in the bottom, about ½” deep. The holes should be close to the same size as the diameter of your bamboo skewer or dowel pieces. For candle-holder style toppers, drill a ¼” deep hole in the top of each head, close to the same diameter as the birthday candle you plan to use.

Step 2: Insert sticks and arrange in a foam block. This allows you to paint the entire doll while holding the stick, and then place right back in the block to dry. Using a medium brush, apply flesh tone paint to dolls. Allow time to dry.

Step 3: Paint hair, eyes, cheeks, and smile. Dry completely.

Step 4: Apply a coat of clear glaze. Spray in a well-ventilated area. Air dry.

Step 5: Preheat Glue gun.  Remove enough individual petals from silk stems to have enough for (5) petals per doll.

Step 6: Apply a small amount of glue to the top of a flower petal and apply to doll’s midline, starting in the back. Continue all the way around the doll, overlapping slightly. This completes the bottom layer of the skirt.

Step 7: Cut chenille stems into 2” lengths. I like to fold over the tips of each piece to give the “hands” a softer appearance. Put a small amount of glue in the middle of the chenille stem and attach to the back of the doll, about 1/8” down from the “neck”. Once dry, bend “arms” around to the front.
Step 8: For the top layer of petals, create a “collar” by snipping the center out of a silk blossom. Wrap around the “neck” of the doll and glue in the back. Turn doll to the front and make sure “arms” stand proud of the middle petals. Glue in place, overlapping the middle petals. I like to embellish with the left-over pieces from the silk flowers. Here, I created a “button” by snipping the plastic stamen.

Step 9: Glue an individual millinery flower to doll’s head at the part-line.

Step 10: Print wings on vellum paper. Cut, trim, and fold in half (dull side to dull side). Place a small amount of glue in the center of the wings, printed side. Attach to the back of the doll. Open wings. 


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This project was originally shared on Rook No. 17 on July 12, 2010.

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