Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tart Sweets

I had this idea to tart up some jars of freshly made preserves--"tart up" meaning make cute and suitable for gift giving, vs. tart up in the make sour sense.  I figure I owe this to all the people with whom I have deposited pickles, lest they assume I only give them boring and uncute and sour edible things.
So I was digging around on the internets looking for some kind of label for my jam that went beyond the standard piece of masking tape + Sharpie or boring, traditional canning label.  And yes, it did occur to me to make some myself but I seem to score a big fail every time I  try printing labels at home, and since I wanted them round and awesome and I was too lazy to go out searching for blank round label stickers and then get crabby by trying to get Gimp and the printer to obey me,  I went the pre-printed route via zazzle.  There I found stickers perfectly sized and with non-permanent adhesive.  Awesome.  Plus I didn't even have to fuss with getting a nifty design on them, but I did lose another bit of my life to obsessing about color and font selection.
While I was creating stickery goodness, I got the idea that some kind of tag would be cool, too, so I went ahead and wasted another hour finding the perfect template and text for some custom wee notMOO cards.
Fast forward to later that night, and I'm still obsessing about the whole schema for my little jars of jammy awesome.  I got distracted looking at stationary and die cut tags, and happened across a reference to washi tape, which I had not heard of so of course I had to Google as I do all terms I am unfamiliar with.
And thus I tripped into the bottomless pit of awesome.
Did you know about washi tape?
Earlier this canning season I had been wishing for some of that paper sealing tape like you'd find stuck over the top of a bottle of olive oil or booze or something, but I didn't know what to whisper to Google to find such an item.  In any case, it turns out washi tape is about that exact thing only much, much more neato because it comes in a bazillion patterns and colors and widths.  Combined with the previously ordered printed stuff, a tarty jar scheme was born.
Being indecisive me, I am now the proud owner of more washi tape than I am likely to use in a decade, along with some equally awesome colored bakers twine which was what got me wading around in this whole sticky mess in the first place.
Here's how I put it all to use:
jar cuteness

Now I want labels and tags and fabulosity for ALL my canned stuff!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oh Boy, Boy

I outed myself on Twitter today with the admission that I am just a wee bit resentful of the ongoing cucumber and zucchini insanity.  Boy is accusing me of being on the verge of stashing pickles in his underwear drawer.  I really need to let the pickle thing be done.
On the bright side, I have discovered the loveliness that is cucumber agua fresca, and am excited that I have both cucumbers--no surprise there--and some weekend free time to partake of such loveliness with the addition of booze.  I'm thinking I'll start with gin, possibly with a dash of elderflower liqueur, and diversify as the mood takes me.

Speaking of Boy, I sent him out to the garden the other day with the instruction:
"Cut me a few sprigs of regular basil and one of Thai basil"

Here is what he came in with:

How and in what world does any of the above make sense, like even sort of?
On the other hand, he fixed our washer for $10 using Google and guessing at what part it needed without having to take it apart first.  So even though I mourn the scalping of a previously still-growing carrot, I celebrate a handy Boy, clean clothes, and one less sprout of pigweed sullying my garden beds.
A girl cannot complain.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Offhand, Off track

Sometimes I forget to think about the day to day stuff, because, well...I'm in the middle of day to day stuff.  Summer in particular is that way, and about this time in the season I am half buried in cucumbers which doesn't help.  Nor does the all 90, all the time weather we've had for the last month and a half.  Ugh.
Anyone want pickles?  My latest is curry bread and butter chips.  Pickle chips, that is. I'll let you know in a month or so how they are.  
Canning is annoying that way, at least for impatient people like me.
Did I mention it's hot?

I've been sewing some weird things lately.  A while back I became obsessed with a couple of my little-used, oddball knives and decided they needed cases so they could live happily in a drawer during the 363 days a year I don't need to use them:
knife cases  
They're my new favorite nifty thing, even if I do only see them two days a year.  They make me want to take a trip or go camping or something.  
Have meat cleaver and Ulu knife, will travel.
I just did one for this crazy breaking knife with a 14" long blade which could totally do double duty as part of a Halloween costume. In hindsight, I definitely should have put a belt loop or a shoulder harness on that one. 

I have also been meaning to show you this great canvas and leather backpack I did for a client:
white backpack
white backpack top
These are my other new favorite thing.  Still loving the canvas with bits of leather in all forms. I've got a flap-less variation of this design on my worktable now just itching to be finished.  I think it's going to be a keeper.

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