First order on Wish

I don’t know if anyone uses this site but I just put in my first order on Wish.com.  It is basically a sales sight that sells lots of miscellaneous items such as makeup, tools, clothing, kitchen gadgets and more.  It’s similar to a dollar store and I am guessing the quality is pretty similar.  Anyway, I just put in my first order for some simple things like lip gloss, paint brushes, a small travel bag and a couple other odds and ends.  The shipping is extremely slow so it will be quite some time before I’m able to update on my tiny “haul” but I’m excited to try something new.

Also, I finally decided on a greenhouse and got it ordered.  It is a simple 15x7x7 model with steel hoop frame and a poly cover.  It was very inexpensive and I figured a good option for my first year of greenhouse growing.  Should be here within a couple days.

Ohhhh – and, the hubby and I placed an Arbor Day Foundation plant order.  Lots of lovely fruit trees!  I’m so excited!!!

 

Anyway, if anyone has any experience with either Wish.com or Arbor Day products, I’d love to hear from you.  Good, bad or indifferent experiences are welcome.  Have a wonderful weekend!!

 

 

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Drying the Chive Harvest

Today I finished up drying and getting the chives into jars. Everything in the house smells oniony and delicious. I have read that some people do not like to dry their chives because they feel it loses a lot of the flavor but I have to say that has not been my experience. I think it retains the flavor just fine. Anyway – here’s what I did….

Picked a nice bunch of the chives.  Yes… they’ve already bloomed so I also saved the seeds for my Etsy shop.  The plants will just keep on going and send up new growth.  Gave them a nice, stern buzzcut so to speak.

chives1

.Then I rinsed them and laid them out in the dehydrator.  These don’t take very long in my machine…. maybe 6 hours in total.  You know they’re done when they’re crispy-sounding, like straw.

chives2  

I purchased a coffee grinder from a 2nd hand store specifically for herbs this year.  I had a mini food processor but it didn’t get the herbs as fine as I liked.  chives3

Here they are all ground up and in a glass jar.  They will keep in my cupboard for a very, very long time.  Some pieces are like fine powder and some are a little bigger.  A little variety is a good thing.  🙂  

chives4

A little extra chives here that I mixed with natural sea-salt.  I supposed I should have just put the salt and the chive bits into the jar and shook it up but I put it all into the coffee grinder and it turned everything (even the salt) into a very fine powder.  Lesson learned…. didn’t exactly want powdered salt but it’ll still work.

chives5

Strawberry Kringle and Wind Chimes

Due to an over-abundance of strawberries this spring (thank you Mother Nature for all the rain),  I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use the fresh strawberries I’ve been picking.  Recently I made them with cream cheese and chocolate… those lasted for about 1 day.  Yesterday I decided to try my hand at Kringle.  Much to my surprise, I posted on Facebook that I had made Kringle and not everyone knew what it was.  Apparently it is a dessert that is ‘native’ to Wisconsin. So, to those of you who do not recognize this food, it is basically a type of pastry.  Similar to a Danish or a Kuchen.  Here’s my recipe.

KringleStrawberry

STRAWBERRY KRINGLE

3 sticks butter

4 – 1/4 C. all purpose flour

1 egg plus milk to equal 1 cup

 

4 to 5  C.  fresh strawberries – tops removed and sliced about 1/4″ thick

1/3 – 1/2 C. Sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)

cornstarch

1 small egg, beaten

For kringle dough – mix the butter and flour together in a large bowl using a pastry blender.  It should resemble coarse crumbs.  Beat the egg and milk together and then stir into the butter and flour mixture.    Let sit in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Heat the strawberries in a medium saucepan over low-medium.  Mix in sugar and continue heating for about 10 minutes.  Your strawberries should begin to cook down and get juicy.   After about 10 minutes, mix about 2 TB cornstarch with equal amount of water (2TB) and add to your strawberries.  This will thicken up the juice and give you a nice berry sauce.  Let it cool a bit.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove your kringle dough from the fridge.  Divide into 4 equal portions.  Roll out each portion on a floured surface to a 8″ x 15″ rectangle.   Spread your strawberry mixture in the center of the dough leaving 3″ at the top, bottom and sides for folding.  Fold the top and bottom over the berries then fold over the sides to create a pocket that is about 12″ long x 4″ wide.  You can gently pinch the edges closed if you wish… helped mine seal a little better while baking.  Repeat with all portions of dough and all of berries.

Brush the top and sides of your ‘pockets’ with the small beaten egg.  

Bake at 375 degrees for approx 20-30 minutes or until the top is a nice, golden brown.  

Let cool and then drizzle the top with a simple frosting of powdered sugar mixed with a little water.

KringleStrawberry2

 

Now… I know these instructions seem rather long, but you can shortcut the whole thing by using prepared pie filling instead of making your own fruit filling.  Besides the strawberry kringle, I made one of apple and one of  black cherry.  Other options would be cream cheese filling, almond paste filling, orange marmalade or lemon curd.  The options are pretty much endless.

Now as for the wind chimes…. I’ve been making these for about 3 years.  Using odds and ends, beads, rusty junk and vintage jewelry and silverware – stuff like that.  Well, then I came up with the idea for wire wrapped tree of life wind chimes.  I’ve made the small pendants for jewelry so I figured why not something bigger?  This was so much FUN!  So far, I’ve made 4 and sold two.  They’re very labor intensive but the end result is just amazing (IMO anyway).  Recently, I’ve also jumped into making rain chains because my Mom requested one for her porch.  I’m still working on that one but yesterday, I completed one with beach glass.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out…. it’s about 7 feet long and has pieces of green, aqua, brown and white sea glass.  Probably going to have to keep working on this venture.  Too much fun to make just one!  😉   I don’t have any pics of the rain chains yet.  Need to figure out how to photograph them properly.  Maybe a panoramic view?

TreeOfLifeSteelandPeachPinkKnives2 treeoflifewindchimeTurquoise treeoflifewindchime TreeOfLifeHowliteChime

 

 

Photos and Wire Wrap Tree Of Life Wind Chimes ©Bramble Oak 2013
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Bones On Thursday

Rainy and cool here today so not much happening in the garden.  I did try to get a trellis put up this morning but Mother Nature had other plans and chased me inside.  So, I was browsing a bit on Etsy and was inspired by a simple yet beautiful art photograph to create a treasury.

Please click on link to visit the treasury and then be sure to click on all the beautiful items!

https://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTAwMzg2ODN8MjcyMTg2MjQ4Nw/bones

 

Bones by Jan DeBack on Etsy (2)

My new garden decor!

Yesterday my FIL (father in law) gave me this awesome, antique cook stove.  He was going to haul it in for scrap but decided to give it to me instead.  WOOHOO!

It is missing the cook-top so I was going to fill it full of dirt and plant flowers in it.  Maybe open up the doors and plant some in all the crevices and openings.  But…. hubby suggested that I use it for a potting table.  (don’t tell his this, but the man is a GENIUS!)  All we’d need to find is something to replace the missing cook-top area to use as the work station and it would be perfect!  Loads of spaces to store garden tools and still some room for me to put some potted annuals on the shelves for color.

    

I am working on doing a little research on it also.  Where it was made, age, etc.  

 In any case… it’s the coolest find of the Spring so far!!  I’ll share pics of how it looks when it’s in place (that will be an adventure in itself cuz it’s HEAVY) and all set up with my goodies and some flowers.  🙂

***Just a reminder, read my previous post on my garden seed give-away!***

Simple Snowman Ornies and Shelf Sitter

Jumped into a new project.  Simple snowman ornaments and DD suggested a little guy to sit on the table or shelf.  So, after visiting this really cool store in Mauston, I decided to see if I could create these guys.  They turned out OK….but, of course I’m looking around to see how I can embelish them in different ways and maybe even tea-dye the fabric to give them a more primitive look .   Always more possibilities…. 

 These did not come from a pattern as I am not a pattern “follower”.  (can’t use them and don’t really like them)   And, I don’t know why but I also named them all.  LOL

Moosetracks Mac
Carl
Snowbaby Sal

 

Patchwork Jack

Zucchini Chili and Pincushions

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Recently started making these cute little pincushions.  They’re fairly easy to make and pretty fun too.  These are made with 100% cotton fabric, polyfill,  rice (for weight) and vintage buttons.  Just listed some of them in my Etsy Shop so if you’re interested in seeing more about them, take a look there.

Weather has been getting pretty cool at night here and we had a couple of very “fall-like” days too.  So, figured it was time to make some Chili.  I normally just wing it when making chili and this is a new recipe that I just threw together.  Usually I don’t write it down but thought this one was so good…I decided I might as well.  🙂  It’s also a great way to use up some of that zucchini that we had an excess of. 

Zucchini Chili

1 lb. hamburger
1/2 C. brewed coffee (use some left over from the morning)
2 TB. olive oil
2 small zucchini (both about 6” –  8” long) diced
2 TB. finely chopped garlic
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. diced tomato
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans
1 can chick peas
2 tsp. sugar
1 TB Kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 pkt. taco seasoning
2 tsp. hot pepper juice*  OR 1 small hot pepper (diced)

Brown the hamburger in large pot with the coffee.  Add a little olive oil if your ground beef is really lean.
In another, smaller pot, over medium heat add olive oil, garlic, onion, zucchini and tomato.  Season with the Kosher salt and cook on medium until everything is softened and translucent.  Add the tomato sauce and just mix it all together.

After the hamburger is browned, mix in the veggies/tomato sauce.   Then add sugar, chili powder, black pepper, onion salt and hot pepper juice*.  Drain some of the liquid off of the top of the cans of beans and add those also.  

**Pepper Juice is something that we found in a local grocery store and something that I’d never seen before bottled like this.  Honestly, all it appears to be is the “brine” from pickled hot peppers…..so if you’ve got a jar of pickled hot (or even mild) peppers in your fridge, just use that instead.  It’s really tasty in chili.  Or, just use some finely diced hot peppers  and throw them in when you’re sauteing the rest of the veggies.**

 

Been slooooowwwwww……

Been a slow couple of weeks here. Creativity is almost at a standstill because of family matters. Plus…all this cold might be freezing my creative juices. I dunno.

Fabulous Handmade Finds blog is coming along nicely. I’m getting some good feedback and finding so many wonderful artisans to showcase. I really pleased with how it’s turning out.

I started up a blog for my 2nd Etsy shop Gypsy Wynd. I haven’t put much of anything into the blog at all yet….haven’t had time. But I am planning to get it going very soon. 🙂

I’ve been dabbling in a few things here and there. Couple new rings, a couple patchwork or crazy quilted dolls and some painted cigar boxes but not too much to write about. Could use some sales in my shops but what can a person do? No one has any money and I can totally understand that since I’m in the same boat. LOL

Ok. Off to wander the house and find something creative to do.