Fruit Leather and Pineapples

I’ve been contemplating food storage lately; canning and freezing are great ways to preserve produce from summertime for winter, but they aren’t very easy to store. I garden quite a bit in the summer, and then store up garden food for the rest of the year. Last year I filled a few shelves with canned jars (glass isn’t the most convenient to store or move), and completely packed my freezer.

Last year I canned: Chili, Green Beans, Applesauce, Raspberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, Blackberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, and Pasta Sauce. In addition, I froze: Sweet Corn, meats, breads, and some Green Peppers.

We went through the Corn, Green Beans and Pasta Sauce lightening fast (note to self: prep double the amounts for next year!) and I still have plenty of Jams and Chili left over. That tells me about what I will need to do differently this summer in preparation for next year. The Jams made great Christmas gifts last year, especially as a “hostess” gift for the places we went.

But this year I’m adding a new dimention: Dehydration.

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Raindrops on Snapdragons, Stitches in Turquoise

Rainy days. Everything looks more saturated – the greenery becomes greener, flowers stand out as rare pops of color, the tree branches contrast dark against the bright colors.

Raindrops are featured on petals and leaves – shimmering like little starlit orbs.

The sun shining through the grey clouds eliminates strong shadows, and assures no detail will be lost. I couldn’t help myself – I had to get out the camera and take these pictures of my garden today. Thunder and rain only add to the majesty of the plants.

Rain is perfect for a mug of coffee and indoor projects. My Upcycled choice of the day?
My brand new (and very old) sewing machine:
This beauty was a $5 find at a garage sale this weekend.

Works like a charm, and just needed a bit of cleaning. They even included all sorts of extra needles, bobbins, pins, and other helpful supplies. I’m thinking it might be from the 1970’s, but I’m not sure. It’s very heavy – a quality machine made out of all metal.
I’m not sure if I can really express my excitement in finding this.
I can’t wait to start creating all sorts of upcycled works with old fabric finds.

And, of course, I must include some wonderful Etsy Finds:

A Whimsy Little Garden