Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

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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…

Artful Scrapbooking, Simplified!
Product Review: Project Life Memory-Keeping System

This post is part of a paid campaign with American Crafts, but all opinions are my own.


Less time on memory keeping = More time for memory making


As an artist and aesthete I often find it difficult to reconcile the discrepancy between how I want things to look and the amount of time available to achieve that level of quality and style.  Sometimes I find a way to compromise, and other times I simply put my plans on hold.  Such is the case when it comes to memory books.  I confess, my album-keeping days came to an end with the birth of my second child.  I simply couldn't keep up.  The desire was there, but I didn't feel that I had the time necessary to devote to memory-keeping. Frankly, I find the art of scrapbooking a bit intimidating.  I'm in awe of those master scrappers who've devoted their artistic passion to crafting page after page of layered, enveloped, bordered and bedazzled showcases for every special moment of their lives.  I watch in awe, perhaps with a touch of jealousy.  Or perhaps I'm just afraid that once I enter the world of extreme scrapbooking, I'll be hooked on a new hobby that I have no time to indulge in. 


Regardless of the reason, I was excited when the opportunity came across my desk to sample and review a whole new concept in memory-keeping:  Project Life from Becky Higgins.  Project Life is a super-simple approach to scrapbooking designed to simplify and streamline the whole process.  With this back-to-basics approach, I don't have to fuss with special tools, glues and costly do-dads.  


Easy, but not cheesy

Project Life delivers designer style and archival quality papers.  For novice and seasoned scrapbookers alike, this translates into a chic, artful and professional-looking scrapbook. You're saving time, not sacrificing quality.  I love that!


I like feeling excited about my projects, not overwhelmed.


When I signed up for this campaign, my original idea was to do a simple 2-page layout of my girls' back-to-school experience. To be honest, I was dubious about my ability to carry on once school started. But once my package from American Crafts arrived and I became more familiar with the system, I realized that the solution to my scrapbooking conundrum was at hand. The scrapbook page inserts were so charming, fun and inspiring that I could hardly wait to start.



The fact that the system is so straightforward and streamlined gave me the confidence to dive right in after the girls went to bed one evening.  Rather than starting with back-to-school, I decided to dedicate the whole album to my family, starting with tribute pages and following the family through the whole year.


I had the joy of trying out the Dear Lizzie 5th & Frolic Core Kit which features an array of light blues, pinks, greens, yellows and airy neutrals. The vintage-inspired icons include birds, ephemera, foxes, houses, cameras and clipboards. The edition has a distressed feel, which appeals to my nostalgic sensibilities.


I adore the classic look and feel of cloth-covered albums, and this black and white vintage camera print fit my tastes to a T. 


I started out with a page dedicated to the whole family.  I was finally able to properly showcase some of my favorite family photos.   Thanks to the pre-formatted pages and color-coordinated inserts, the page came together in a snap!

Here's the page I created in celebration of my younger daughter.  

And here's her big sister's page.

I loved how easy it was to add a personalized touch to the page with a hand-written acrostic.

Tonight after the girls head off to bed, I'll be working on a 2-page spread featuring the girls with all of their kid-cousins.

Are you ready for Project Life?

"Whatever your stage of life. Whatever your family circumstances. Whatever your lifestyle. Project Life is designed to help anyone and everyone get their pictures into a book," says Becky Higgins, creator of Project Life.

Where can you find Project Life?

Michael's craft stores carry one of the largest selection of Project Life, including two exclusive core kits and several exclusive albums. 



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