Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to school SALE!!!

It's that time again folks. All our kiddos are headed back to school, and what better way to celebrate than to have a sale!!!



For the entire month of September, I will be running a 30% off sale on applicable items. These include my handcrafted spiral bound notebooks/journals, handcrafted sketch books and alcohol marker books, as well as my hook rolls that can double as a pencil/pen roll. I will add custom orders for pencil/pen rolls to the sale as well if any orders are places so that customers can enjoy the discount on those orders.

Visit my Etsy shop to take advantage of these great savings!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Strawberry Lemonade Jam

Holy cow guys! I did it. I made jam for the first time!

Absolutely delicious; the flavor is tart and refreshing. The recipe produced 8 half pint jars... There's only 5 left and it's only been a few days. I'm pretty sure the kiddos ate an entire jar in a day. It isn't what I always viewed a jam to be. When you purchase jams in the store, they're smooth and easily spreadable without any chunks of fruit. It was usually what I preferred. Not anymore! This recipe produced chunks of tart tasting strawberry that gave a burst of amazing flavor that I now adore.




I found the recipe for this jam online and modified it a bit. The original recipe doesn't use any pectin and I wanted to keep it that way. Instead of adding store bought pectin, it used fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. It was also considered to be a low sugar recipe due to it having more fruit than sugar. I did a lot of searching through recipes and found that most jam and jelly recipes call for a LOT of sugar. Not this one. There was more than twice as much fruit by weight than sugar, so I was pretty happy with this.




You can see the yummy bits of strawberry in the image above. 

So, without further ado, the recipe!


Strawberry Lemonade Jam
  • 4 lbs fresh ripe strawberries
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (I used unprocessed cane sugar, but white sugar will suffice.)
  • The juice and zest of two large lemons. (Approximately 1/4 cup of juice.)
First you MUST properly sterilize the jars. Most canning jar manufacturer websites will have detailed instructions for doing this. Another tip is to place 2 small plates in the freezer a couple of hours before you start making your jam.

Roughly mash the strawberries into small chunks. I used a potato masher for this step, but it you'd like a more uniformed texture, you can use a food processor or blender to do this step.

Add all ingredients to a clean pot on the stove and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously so that the sugar doesn't scorch. When it starts to simmer, reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir.

After about 20 minutes of simmering, you should notice a small amount of thickening. Use one of the plates from the freezer and add a small amount of the jam to the plate. Rake your finger through the center of the jam. If it flows back together, it is not ready and needs to simmer a bit longer (This is where the extra plate comes in handy). If it does not spread back together, it has properly jelled and is ready to be put in jars. 

Once you have your jars filled and the lids on and finger tight, you'll want to pop these back in the pot of water to seal the jars. The water should be at least an inch over the tops of the jars. Don't worry, finger tight is just tight enough to keep the water out of the jars. You'll want to boil these for approximately 10 minutes. Carefully take the jars out of the boiling water and place on a cooling rack or folded towel. Wait for it... This is the bit I found exciting. After the jars are removed from the boiling water, within a couple of minutes, you should hear a very satisfying 'pop' come from each of the jars. This is the little button on the top of the jar being sucked in by the pressure that's been building inside the jar. It is the best indication that the jar is properly sealed and ready for storage.

This jam is good for up to a year if it has properly sealed. If the jar, for any reason, doesn't seal properly, you'll want to consume it within about a week. (I have my doubts about it lasting that long. hehe) 

So, there you have it. A deliciously yummy jam that's great on toast and even ice cream and deserts.
Thanks for stopping by! 

Hugs,
Christy
a.k.a. LadyInnominate ~ YouTube
         LadyCrafts ~ Twitch.tv


Friday, April 14, 2017

Fun with photo editing and a visit to Dow Gardens.

Hi!

I know, I know... It's been a while.

I wanted to tell you about what I've been up to, besides the usual.

I've loved taking photos for years now. I even took photography as an elective in college many years ago. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to digital photography, photo editing being one of the many of those things. I recently learned a new technique for Photoshop, and I've gone a bit crazy. I created a watermark specifically for my photos, and am thinking of having prints done of some of them to hang in my home.

I thought I'd share a few with you today. Yes, I'm aware that a couple of the butterflies have broken wings. I highlighted these for a reason... I'll get to that in a moment.


These photos were taken at the beautiful Dow Gardens, in Midland, Michigan.


The event is called "Butterflies In Bloom", and hosts hundreds of butterflies from all over the world.


The atrium was stunning, filled with flowers and butterflies flitting around everywhere. There were also a lot of people there. It was quite crowded. Everyone wanted to see the butterflies and have them land on them, as they often do.


This poor guy, and many like him, had torn wings from being handled. This comes with the territory when you have an event like this that involves small children. Unfortunately, parents didn't seem to find the need to explain to their little ones that they must be gentle, and teach them how to pick them up without hurting them.


The editing technique I used was to create a black and white layer mask over the photo, and then use the brush tool to only bring color to what I wanted the focus of the photo to be.


I hope you enjoyed the photos. I'd love to hear what you think.

Hugs!
Christy <3

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Apologies

Hello!

All this time and I've neglected my blog while focusing on other things. I feel the need to apologize for that. I know that there aren't many people who read things here, but those few who do are still important to me.

There are a few different ways to keep track of what's going on. I still have my YouTube channel (even though I don't post as much there as I used to.) I have a Facebook page, Discord server, Twitch channel, and of course my Etsy shop. One of the main changes that some of you may know of is that I'm also known as LadyCrafts on some platforms. I'm now on Instagram as well!


I post updates and new completed projects and shop items on my Facebook page, as well as keep in touch with friends made through YouTube and Twitch. My discord server has regular updates regarding scheduling, projects, shop items, as well as a place for you to share your art and even a voice chat! On twitch you can hang out with me while I create items and craft live. I do my best to be as informative as possible and answer questions that I can during my stream. Last but not least is my Etsy shop where you will find my handcrafted items for purchase.

Here are the links for those pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ladysgifts
Discord is available upon request as a new link is generated every so often.
Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/ladycrafts
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyInnominate
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ladyinnominate

I look forward to getting to know you all and chatting with you in the days and weeks to come.

Hugs!
Christy <3


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Upcoming Charity Stream on Twitch!

On February 9th I will be doing a 12 hour charity stream for the National Psoriasis Foundation.

I chose this charity because as many of you know that I suffer from issues with psoriasis, including psoriatic arthritis. I've had psoriasis since I was in high school and started dealing with the arthritis symptoms at the age of 24. Psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the lives of 7.5 million people in the United States and more than 125 million people across the world. Around 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis which is an inflammatory form of arthritis.

During the stream we'll be playing Golf With Your Friends, Jackbox Party Games, and of course I'll be doing some crochet. I'm working on some small giveaway items for the stream as well. Anyone who wishes to enter to win must be a follower of my twitch channel (twitch.tv/LadyCrafts) and have watched my stream for a minimum of 2 hours.

Anyone who would like to contribute but can't make the stream is welcome to do so. All donations are greatly appreciated. The fundraiser page for my campaign is already open, and will remain open until the end of the month.

I hope to see you during my stream so we can have some fun playing some games together!
Click here to donate. :D