Lilac Time

After a very cold wet introduction, spring has bowed out to summer almost overnight. The tulips I planted last fall bloomed and faded quickly, and almost everything else cooked in the heat. The apple tree bloomed profusely and then it seemed the petals fell off in the span of a day. It’s a wonder there are any lilacs left, but they have managed to survive. Everywhere I walk I can smell their fragrance. Something I’m not used to seeing is white lilacs–there are as many as the purple variety.

To try to preserve a bit of lilac springtime, I decided to make lilac syrup and jelly. The lilac bush outside my kitchen windows needed a good haircut anyway, so I had my husband clip down some branches, especially the ones that rasp on the eaves when it’s windy.

The syrup was very easy, and will make a nice addition to summer drinks. It’s basically a simple syrup made with lilac floret tea. I’ve tried freezing some in ice cube trays–we’ll see if the subtle fragrance survives.

The jelly was less satisfying. I used this recipe. I only had liquid pectin and used 2 pouches. It was a long weekend and there was no way I was going near a store. It took quite some time to carefully strip the florets from the stems, leaving no greenery attached. After soaking the florets in water overnight, I strained out the ‘tea’ and added in the other ingredients.

The result was a very mild flavoured jelly–not distinctly lilac. Other recipes call for more lilac florets, and I think if I were to make this jelly again, I would use double the florets. I would also use real lemon juice rather than bottled.

The canned jars look very pretty. Even if the results were unexciting, it was a fun experiment and perhaps I will feel differently in cold December if I can catch a whiff of spring fragrance.

Finish the Year

I tend to start a lot of projects, and then once they are nearing completion, I let them languish. I have unfinished projects of all types stashed away. Gretchen Ruben, in a recent podcast, suggested having a theme for Christmas and I liked that idea, so I have chosen a simple one.

That theme inspired me to have a project theme as well. So, I’ve decided to “Finish the Year”. All those projects that are sitting around 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 99/100 done, I will finish by December 30. An easy fun project is my train case, which I plan to use within the next few weeks as I have a few over-nights. It’s been sitting with the lining ripped out for about a year.

I recently decided to go and buy the fabric for the lining and when I went to look at it to determine how much I needed, I discovered I’d already bought the fabric. It’s almost done now, and ready to be used. I’ll post a picture when it’s complete.,Another large project that has been sitting since late last spring is my big lounge chair.

After I got it, I immediately sewed the cushion covers. Then, because the prospect of pulling so many staples was daunting, it sat looking very ugly for a long time. My husband offered to give me a hand this week, and we moved the project forward by a lot. Just another hour of stapling should complete the chair.

Lounge chair recover

And, of course, there is a partially completed ‘sideways’ sweater on my knitting machine. It took some math to figure out the shaping, so of course, that made the whole thing grind to a halt. Please, someone, diagnose me with dyscalculia so I have a legitimate excuse. There’s more, of course–but I am going to Finish the Year. I will not start any new projects until the WIPs are done. Wish me luck.  Winking smile

Triangle Change Purses

Every Monday for the last while, two adorable egg ladies deliver cartons of fresh brown eggs to my door. I wanted to give them a little something for Christmas, and my husband suggested change purses since they always seem to walk away with the money in their hands. Following this tutorial for triangle bags, I made these two purses up. I may have to make one for myself.



Birthday Month

June is birthday month. Both my son and daughter were born in June. When my daughter was very little, she was miffed that her brother’s birthday was celebrated before hers, even though she is the elder of the two. Of course, they get homemade cards. Here’s a very simple one I made for my son made in Cricut Design Space, for his 25th birthday. It has a camo background behind the knock-out text.

25th  birthday card made with cricut explore
Happy 25th Birthday to my son. 


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Card For An April Wedding

Here’s another card I made, this for a spring wedding for a lovely young couple I know. This was my first try at the ‘print and cut’ feature of my Cricut Explore. I need more card making occasions.


What I used:

  • The cardstock is Recollections, and there’s that Stampin’ Up vellum again.
  • And Dollarama twine…what would we do without that?


I can finally post this because the recipient will have received it by the time the photo has published. My daughter asked me for really special card for a friend. Her wedding colour was pink, so that’s what I went with for the card. There’s a pocket at the back to insert a gift card into.  If I was going to change anything it would be to add a thin line of ‘puff paint’ to cover up the slices where the top of the ‘cake’ is adhered to the sides. It took hours to make, but I’m happy with the result.




What I used for a 4”x4”x4” card box…for those interested:

  • Recollections 12”x12” textured paper in pink (2 sheets).
  • White Recollections card stock.
  • Printed paper from an online sources.
  • White vellum from Stampin’ Up—love this stuff.
  • Silk flowers and pearl beading  from Michaels
  • Cricut marker in gold
  • Ribbon and pearl embellishments from Dollarama
  • Mostly cut with Cricut Explore
  • A very few flowers cut with Spellbinders dies.