Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

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Wes Anderson delivers again

Movie review! We don’t have a theatre on the island where we currently reside. So when we get off island / on mini vaca’s we take in flicks. When in Vancouver recently, we went to the movies two nights in a row. The Avengers in 3D & some forgettable Johnny Depp is a vampire this week ~movie. But tonight!? Tonight we saw a whimsical movie after my own heart. The very creative, colorful & odd Wes Anderson movie ~Moonrise Kingdom. 4.5 stars (out 5). The cast, staging, soundtrack, geography, and set up of the movie were glorious. This movie has craftsmanship. For whatever that’s worth. It ended and I had ~that head tilted to side ~ thing happening. I wanted to see it again as soon as possible. Lovely.

If you loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling, The L:ife Aquatic and The Royal Tennenbams you are in good company with Moonrise Kingdom. Just the right amount of French Music combined with just enough saturated down colours equal a delicious piece of fun. The plot could have been deeper but it really was an essential must see movie. He really loves the dioramas. This video is Bill Murray giving a set tour. So Bill. 

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Wrap me in bacon. And by that I mean ~ wrap bacon around everything*

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These were my contribution to dinner tonight. My sweets was out fishing today. So after I got more than enough sun, and by sun I mean haze and humid, not direct sun! ~I came in and prepped a side dish. He was kayak fishing on the ocean so I didn’t want to offend and make a meat dish in case the catch of the day was halibut! Bacon. Just the word posted beside the word halibut makes me want to try that now too. I used the crockpot and recipe book (wow, I’ve come so far in one year, eh?) to cut down on the fat quota but don’t worry these little bad boys were as bad for us as they were delicious. My husband was very pleased, indeed. No fish brought home, though many caught and cool go pro videos to go with them. He bbq’d ribs. oh my. Team work.

PS. on the bacon theme ~ said gorgous and sweet-toothed husband has a crush on the toffee lady at the Saturday Farmers market, here on Quadra Island. Oh yes, he does. She makes organic chocolates, truffles, toffees. Today he bought 3 bags of naughty. Bacon toffee & almond bark. He always buys the bacon toffee. Today she actually warned him to “take care of your teeth!”. Which I thought was cool. Perhaps she could give away toothbrushes too? No bacon shame.

raspberry zinfandel champagne!

Yes! It’s even better than it sounds. We home brewed the wine then took it to the u-brew to bottle a couple weeks ago (I’m drastically behind on posts). Did you know that you can take any kind of wine to get bubbled into champagne? FUN! and Yummy! AND… gluten-free. winks*

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tourist in my own backyard

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the classic spring bud micro photography

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SPRING PHOTO SHOOT IN THE YARD FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND.

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cabin fever ~ soup & dried fruits

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It was a long month of March with several power outages and massive storms ~cabin fever was a very real threat for me several times.

With beachcombing being at an all time yearly low ~lots of soup was  prepared and consumed and the dehydrator was running for the last week. I bought giant bags of pears and kiwis (@ Costco Courtenay) and stored them for our lunch snacks. Can you say “nesting?” My Roasted red pepper soup was decent but the husband thought a bit too spicy for diving days. Recipe above. I got out of the habit of photographing stuff as end product but I’m back on track now. yum.  

Thanks for staying with me bloggers. Any suggestions as to how to get more interactive with you all?

I’d love more comments or suggestions..?

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bronze & copper clay art class completed works!

Well, last week I finished the last of my metal clay jewelery making art classes at the Campbell River Art Gallery. What class should I take next!?

Pretty fun, intimate, low key art class with really inspiring local folks. So awesome to talk to people that are as nerdy as I am and have more skills than me. I learned the art of using precious metal clay ~ that’s how you actually make silver, bronze and copper jewelery.  As well, making molds was super fun ~ I have several ideas of other things to make! And I can reuse those molds with.. drum roll… RESIN!!

If you look back at the month of Feb on this blog ~ you will see the start of this class and the clay in raw form. Here’s what I ended up with after forming and firing and finishing:

moonsnail nipple pendent in bronze

  

copper pendents 2 inches long, from root inlays

copper earrings from plants leaf inlays, 1 inch long, silver wire will make ear wires

Metal clay is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silvergold, or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelrybeads and small sculptures. Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, the clay can be fired in a variety of ways such as in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove. The binder burns away, leaving the puresintered metal.  PMC was developed in the early 1990s in Japan by metallurgist Masaki Morikawa. I would be a chemist / scientist now if I was taught about this stuff in highschool. 
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resin results

well hello blog friends! it’s been a week long hang over from the THING A DAY project I did in Feb! Phew. It was super fun and sparked me in all different directions. This past few weeks, we’ve been dealing with our aging pup (who is not in pain and happy on meds for now, thanks for asking).. so I’ve been focusing on that, lots of work and my record a day blog.

A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of making a huge mess and having huge fun with resin experiments. After watching youtube videos and buying some.. I decided to try all sorts of molds, objects embedded, beach objects used etc.. I had some success with food colouring and using paint pallette molds, while the chocolate plastic molds held my creations tightly after curing (24 hours)..no matter how much PAM spray I used ahead of time. hm.

Here’s some photos of the messy fun and creations. I used porquipine needles, paintings, photos, charms, beach glass, plastic animals, flowers, material, buttons, washer pendents, coral, shells,  dead bugs… I practiced on a painted canvas. Resin is equal to 7 layers or more of lacquer and can be used to create depth which you can then paint on top of again etc. very cool stuff. Still to learn: polishing, drilling holes, filing edges. see if you can spot my new easel!?

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THING A DAY DOT COM 2012.. it’s happening!

Well, as some of you amazing followers of my BLOG may recall.. last year and the year before at this time I joined the THINGADAY.COM website’s challenge to.. duh.. make a thing every day and post it on one website with thousands of other participants. It was pretty challenging and rewarding and really inspiring to see the variety of things people come up with. It’s motivating to make something every day – as my BLOG is intended to do but sometimes I get a little lazy or run out of time with work and travel etc. BUT the idea is to re-energize crafters and I’ll be there with bells on the entire month of Feb. I’ve got a pile of dog-eared craft books and jewelry magazines ready with ideas and tons in my 

So.. you can either join me by signing up yourself  thing a day dot com 2012 click here or just checking in there to see what I’ve created ~likely under the name FIREYGODDESS. It was hosted through a site called Posterous last year which was a pain in the butt because I had to double post there & on my BLOG ~ but this year it’s on WORDPRESS (which is this blog’s site). 

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the Mexico Sign

front

the back of the sign

38 Inspiring Objects

#6 of 38

the MEXICO sign  was originally created for a roadtrip around The Breton trail Cape Breton, Canada. It was a cold April weekend when we set out to honour our favourite movie at the time NEWWATERFORD GIRL. I’ve mentioned it before on this BLOG and included a youtube video clip of the trailor ~ but if you haven’t seen it ~ it’s a Canadian GEM! The sign is featured in the first 5 mins of the movie. We recreated it between my best friend and I when we moved across the country from one another. Every time one of us travelled over a period of a few years, we mailed it,  took the sign and attempted to photograph it in different locations. As seen below Kate in Newfoundland and in Cape Breton. A newer version was created for my  wedding in MEXICO a year ago, next month. The original version arrived this xmas 2011 to BC, in my xmas package from Nova Scotia. Where will it go next? It’s for sure an inspiring object. Thanks Kate, love you.  

    

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crack for crafters.. thanxs Santa!

Santa was awesome to me again this year. Thanxs for all the creative inspirations! I’ll be sure to get making and get posting ~ starting this weekend ~ after you help me put all the xmas stuff & spare room company stuff away out of the craftroom ! xo.

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JUST FOR THE RECORDS ~another 365 Project ~by me!

click here for just for the records ~another 365 project BLOG

I started ANOTHER 365 project today that will go hand in hand with this BLOG. Every day in 2012 I will endeavour to post a new album from my vintage vinyl collection. I wanted to bring more music back into our lives and discover the best and worst of my vinyl collection, while also getting my art on with MAKING SOMETHING EVERY DAY over here in this BLOG. Hope you’ll FOLLOW it also, get your craft and tunes on, comment and participate. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012! 

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Kick Off 2012 with Project 365

Kick Off 2012 with Project 365.

THIS IS SOMEONE ELSE’S INTERESTING BLOG on wordpress.com ABOUT STARTING UP 365  DAY PROJECTS FOR 2012. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I’M DOING TODAY WITH MY VINYL MUSIC COLLECTION! I’m going to continue with make Something Every Day.. so stay tuned! 

WHAT ARE YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR A CATCHY NAME / DAILY POSTS THAT YOU’D  LIKE TO SEE AND HEAR? happy new year blog friends! 

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Breakfast of champions ~ blackberry smoothie /w a bendy straw

My awesome husband drove me from Quadra to Courtenay to work, so I got to snap these photos.


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Roe! Roe! Roe! Merry Fishmas!

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Roe! Roe! Roe!
Yesterday, and I can’t be sure of the details… But a mystery merriment elf team punked my dad’s condo with some fishy Christmas cheer! It was dad’s fault for giving out his spare keys to just any hooligans. Later this holiday, a video will be circulated with merriment details, possibly here.
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new catagory..”photography from my commute to work”

I found myself using my ferry commute to work as an opportunity for creative expression for my BLOG. However, most of what I found mysef writing was judgemental about hippies etc…and not very pretty. When I open my eyes up during my commute, which can be very helpful while driving…  I see a LOT of beauty. It is, in fact, the reason I moved back to the coast, almost 2 years ago. So without further a dew.. (ado?) here is a new photography catagory for your viewing pleasure. It will be found down the side column with the other catagories on my blog & photos can be enlarged or saved by double clicking on them. 

Today’s commute: COMOX

the white swans of Comox

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cheesey Pointsettias

IMPERIAL CHEESE CRISPS

((THANXS to my awesome mother in law ~Barb for the recipe))

1 carton Imperial Cheese

1 cup flour

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups Rice Krispies

 Blend cheese & butter, add flour and Rice Krispies. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet, push down with fork.

 375 deg for 8-10 min.

These bad boys were super easy and quick to make. “pleasing sharpness & crunch!” is the husband review. And that man loves him a cookie.

 SIDENOTE: Living on Quadra I bitch and grind my teeth when food shopping. 2 batches of these cost $20. The imperial cheese container was $7 and the Krispies small box was $6. CRAZY. Forget shopping local when it comes to Xmas baking, is what I’m learning this year..sorry community..I’m a Costco convert.

And speaking of Poinsettias  (workshopping that segway)…     I had every intention of spending more money than I should at a bead & gem openhouse Friday (after my awesome Friday night date… With my Dad! Thanxs again dad xo). But try as I did for 40 mins, I couldn’t find the party. Lol. Funny when that happens, heh? As I came close to losing my shit, I 911 called my husband. He simply said “baby…you go get yourself a pointsettia”. So I did. And it’s pretty. It’s my very first one as an adult, actually. This holiday season is really shaping up.

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SomeWIKI  facts about this lovely plant:      The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]

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Return of the Thai Smoked Salmon tart!!!

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I love it when I make something so good that it’s requested again & actually turns out JUST as good! Yesterday’s Thai Smoked Salmon Tarts rocked! See recipe below & awesome cookbook ( hi AREN! ) corey made the crust because he’s hip that way. We froze a few. We devoured the rest with awesome company that were stranded after their hunting trip ~on our island because no ferries ran, in the horrific weather. And yes Dad, we saved you two.. Or one.

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Foo’s Ho Ho & the East Side Cultural Crawl

I thought I’d share some recent art & food inspirations from our recent tourist mini-vaca to Vancouver. The annual Vancouver east side art crawl 2011 was on and we happened by a venue during our Chinatown afternoon.  click here for What is the cultural crawl?  You may have a BLOG post by me 2 months ago when I got my first wood burner. I’ve had a couple unsuccessful projects ie. pumpkins ~so I was awe-struck when at the top of the giant stairwell, in ghetto parts of chinatown, we saw this guy’s studio and show. Bradley Messer is his name and here’s 2 pieces of work. click here for Bradley’s website & a video of his wood process

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Foo’s ho ho. The oldest restaurant in Vancouver. My review? A  fleet of hilarious kind-but-curt characters make up the staff. 80’s classic chinese decor with duct tape holding the brown air conditioner onto the wall. We ordered the famous stuffed chicken which was too huge for 2 and too greasey to eat more than a plate of (but super fun). click here for restaurant website     

I took these photos the same day. The bottom one is one of my husband’s father’s fav buildings in Vancouver. Short version of the story: Way back when, after the swampland in Van was sold to a bunch of Chinese people, it was eventually bought back. A fellow ended up with a Lot that was only 6 feet deep and I think 50 feet long. That’s 6 feet from the curb. He built this building, which has taken many forms over the years. If you look closely, you can see how thin it is. Currently, it’s an insurance agency. Look at the scale of the sandwich board out front to the width of the building. cool.  I snapped the photo as we were driving home, thinking about my father-in-laws passion for architecture.

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20111122-114928.jpg Make Something Every Day

Open her heart, let her life blood flow (or) The great Canadian railroad trilogy

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“I have trouble with some of the high notes these days. But yah know… I just don’t care!” and the crowd went crazy, clapping & cheering. I’m not experienced in flaunting music reviews (I will be next month on my new blog. Stay tuned…) but I DO want to brag about the best concert I’ve seen in years… GORDON LIGHTFOOT!!

My sweetheart of a husband granted my birthday wish, from last month, on Sunday night ~ to see Gord perform in Vancouver on his final tour! The sold out audience at the Centre for Performing Arts reflected how admired he is. We were in the 2% that were not over the seniors discount but we didn’t care. As I sat there, tears down my face pretty much the whole time, clapping & singing along to fav after fav, I stamped it no erasies ~ Mr. Lightfoot is my favorite Canadian. I was jealous of his back up musicians (new guitarist was out-standing btw).

Once he got warmed up, by song 3 he announced “my adrenaline is going!” & he was glorious! As a spry 73 year old, he played all of our favs and never once gave the impression of being a washed out Mick Jager who “needed” to perform to pay debts. He kept saying “we love the work”! He nailed the Trilogy, Sundown & Minstrel. Standing, screaming ovations ~ Canadians cheering as though at a Stanley cup game, not a theatre setting & 2 encores were sensational! From his red velvet jacket to his patent white shoes, Mr. Lightfoot was his classy self. I’m totally crushing on him now. There will be more gushing of this concert when I can figure out how to post the video snippets my love captured for you all.

My heart is beating faster while typing this! I felt my fingers burn to pick up my guitar, that has been ignored for the better part of a decade.
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