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…

Book Review & Giveaway: Washi Wonderful ~ Creative Projects & Ideas for Paper Tape

I asked and Rook No. 17 fans on Facebook responded:  When given a choice of three different new and fabulous craft books for me to give away and review, the hands-down favorite was Jenny Doh's Washi Wonderful.  So, here we go...

The first part of the book is all about using washi tape to make fanciful custom cards.  My favorite is the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" card tutorial from designer Ishtar Olivera Belart on page 32.

If you're not familiar with Washi Tape, it's a colorful patterned paper tape from Japan that has taken the craft world by storm.  This artful and versatile little tape is the subject Jenny Doh's latest book, Washi Wonderful:  Creative Projects & Ideas for Paper Tape (April 2014, Sterling Publishing, 144 pages, $19.95, ISBN 978-1454708117)It's one of the first books of its kind -- devoted entirely to showcasing the creative potential of this fun and affordable medium.

The second part of the book is brimming with ideas for creative gift-wrapping and packaging.  These pinwheels from designer Cynthia Shaffer are absolutely darling! 
The book features more than 50 projects and ideas ranging from home decor to wearable art, presented in a beautiful full-color, step-by-step format.  

I love the multi-media technique used in this clever gift-wrap motif from Jenny Doh (page 79).

Sandwiched between techniques and templates, readers are treated to projects by a team of talented contributors, offering chic new ideas and a springboard for imagination.

With my proclivity for candymaking, this one absolutely spoke to me -- isn't this idea for embellishing wrapped candies from designer Carolyn Garris simply brilliant?
It was no surprise that my two favorite projects in the book came from fellow creative and bloggy friend, Carolyn Garris of Homework.  

Here's another fun and easy idea from Carolyn:  washi embellished utensils (page 130).  I'm imaging some new sets of fancy chopsticks in my future.
I was inspired by designer Anne Stills' "Flower-topped Gifts" project on page 65, to make hair clips for my girls using her instructions for how to make washi flowers.  

This is a simple project that takes less than 15 minutes.  It doesn't require much skill and uses only a handful of materials:  a small piece of cardboard, washi tape, scissors, a button or bead, glue and a bobby pin.  With all the colors and patterns available on washi tape these days, the possibilities are endless.  Here's a peek at how we created our hair pins...

For this project, we used a 1.5" circle cut out of a cereal box.  We used standard (16mm wide) washi tape for the outer petals and thin (6mm) tape for the inner petals.  The bobby pins with with blank plates at the end were purchased at a local craft store.



Have I piqued your enthusiasm for Washi Wonderful?  Enter to win your very own copy below.  Good luck!

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If you simply must have a copy now, click on the link below for a great deal from Amazon!

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