26 September 2010

Canning Nature's Bounty

I love it when Fall rolls around, and the trees spill over with fruit. When I lived in Hailey, We had several fruit trees in our yard, plus apricots and plums from the neighbors, so I had plenty of free fruit, but this is my first harvest season in Pocatello, and we have a teeny tiny yard. The only tree on the whole property is a crabapple tree by the curb. It was filled with such lovely red apples that I had to make something with them! I had read that crabapple jelly was easy to make, so I picked a bunch and tried it out. True to what I'd read, it was super easy to make, and was the most beautiful shade of pink! I knew my daughter, Grace, would absolutely love it, so when she decided to come to visit for the weekend,I knew we would make some.

As Grace and I were picking the crabapples yesterday morning, we laughed and talked. She mentioned how the crabapples reminded her of rosehips. Then later that afternoon, we drove to the spring to fill our water jugs, and growing right next to the spring was a clump of wild rose bushes covered with ripe hips! We were on a bit of a schedule, so we only picked a few cups, but we decided to go back today to pick more. This time, we took bags with us and picked a couple of quarts or so to make jelly with. I had never made rosehip jelly before either, but I have been canning long enough to know what to look for in a recipe. I found this rosehip jelly recipe, and modified it to suit my needs.

Grace and I planned to make a bunch of smaller jars of the rosehip jelly to give as holiday gifts. Both of the jellies have such unique, beautiful colors! The jars look like glowing jewels!

So far this year, I have done pretty well with gleaning fruit from trees in this neighborhood, even though living in a new town. I am hoping to find some apples in the next few weeks to can up quarts of apple pie filling for the winter. I love canning, and had fun teaching my daughter this wonderful way to save the bounty of nature.

Happy Autumn!

21 September 2010

Portfolio Time

I can hardly believe how quickly the semester is going at school! Our first portfolio for drawing class is due on Thursday. I spent several hours over the past couple of days getting my drawings together, and I took my camera to the studio with me last night, and took pictures of most of the pictures I will be submitting. Drawing 2 is a lot more fun than Drawing 1, as the teacher gives more choice in our drawings, and also free choice in what medium we use for many of the drawings, so I have been playing with pastels and graphite, in addition to the usual charcoal.

The apple drawings were drawn from the same apple. The first drawing was a homework assignment to draw an apple from life. The next class, we took the same apple and changed its form somehow (I cut mine into flowers), and drew it again.

We did several drawings working with cross contour and negative space, and the final drawing (which I don't have a picture of yet, as I am still working on it) combines both techniques.

I am going to have to buy more fixative for my drawings after doing this lot. :)
And now, back to work on my brooch design for metals class. See you later!

08 September 2010

Summer has come and gone...

...and I didn't write a thing in my blog! The first weeks of Summer I had some excuse. I took 12 credits of Summer classes, and all I had time for during those six weeks was homework and sleep (with a meal or two thrown in for good measure). I guess the overload of writing and thinking made me not want to even think about writing for the rest of the time. So now that I have settled into the first couple of weeks of my Fall classes, I thought I should tend to my poor neglected blog.

I will have to look through my jewelry journal to see what you all missed while I was slacking. Luckily, I date my journal entries, and take pictures of pieces as I make them, so I should be able to catch you all up on my doings.

Hope you all had a great Summer! See you again very soon!