Saturday, September 10, 2011

Freezer Jam/Salsa and @StickerYou! #printing

Have I ever mentioned that I really dislike cooking?  Yes, it's true.  Unfortunately, my sister convinced me to go over to her house to make jam and salsa for the freezer.  Super fun?  No, not really.  Super yummy?  Totally!  I'm the cooking party pooper I suppose.  We did try out some stickers you print yourself at home, though, and stickers are super fun to use as labels for your canning jars!

More on StickerYou later on in the post...

We certainly had plenty of peaches to use in our jam as our peach tree is overloaded.  The tree even had a large branch break a few weeks ago from the weight of the peaches.  And they are tasty!  Fresh peaches just picked from the tree are very yummy. As for a recipe, we decided to use the recipe that is on the pectin jar.  I did a lot of internet searches and honestly, most recipes are similar so we just decided to use the basic.  Having made no-cook jam before which failed horribly (tasted great, had the consistency of syrup), we also went with a cooked recipe. Freezer jam will last for up to a year in your freezer.

My sister also had a bug to make some fresh salsa which neither of us had made before.  Turns out it is very easy with a package of salsa mix available in the canning section at the supermarket and a case of fresh tomatoes.  We did have to purchase the tomatoes as neither of us had enough tomatoes to use.  The worst part is blanching, peeling and chopping up all the tomatoes.  Not hard, just time consuming.  Our salsa turned out super tasty!  In fact, I froze it all except for one 1/2 pint jar which disappeared in .5 seconds.  Hubby approved is a good thing.

Seems that salsa takes tons of tomatoes to make a small amount.  We made 4 batches and used nearly the entire case.  Do you make freezer salsa?  What recipe do you use?  We'd love to hear!

Now, onto those stickers.  StickerYou makes stickers that you can purchase at Hobby Lobby (in the US) and at Mastermind and Scholar's Choice (in Canada) and then print yourself at home using their online sticker creator application.  These make perfect canning labels!  They're removable and not too sticky and they stick perfectly to the plastic canning jars and lids for freezing.  I've had them in my freezer and they stick great.  These stickers are shiny and glossy and classy looking too!

StickerYou's Make+Print online web application for creating the stickers is very easy to use with their tons of graphics.  I must say, however, that using the text personalize option was kind of glitchy.  We had to refresh and save many times to get the text to work properly in the recommended browsers.  It was slightly frustrating.  If you just want a pre-made image with no personalized text it is super easy to make the stickers and print using a pdf file.

All in all, if you're looking for some really great quality stickers that you can print at home, the StickerYou Make+Print stickers are a great option.  You can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter to learn about new products and possible promotions.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mid-Week Peek...Salty or Sweet?

It's Wednesday and that means time for a new "peek" into your fellow readers!  

This week's question:

When it's time for snacking, do you prefer a salty snack or a sweet snack?

My answer:  Overall, I prefer salty snacks like popcorn and Cheetos (or Cheese-Toes as my ever so clever husband calls them).

Leave a comment below and let everyone know what you prefer!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Endless Summer with Kara Rane on #Etsy {#Giveaway}

This post is part of Endless Summer at Artsy Chaos, happening only during September!

"Hope Full"  9" x 12"

For some, summer goes much further and deeper than just a season.  Summer is a theme, a feeling or mantra by which one lives their life to the fullest and brightest.  Since most of us live in a world where the seasons change and the world around us bends and wanes with the weather, there is just one way to "see" summer all year round and that is through art.

"El Fortin" 9" x 12"

"Luke"  12" x 9"

Let me introduce you to Kara Rane.  Kara has created a collection of art which begs you to sit down and enjoy its vibrant colors and playful summer tickle.  In her words, "discover your paradise".  Kara's Made in Vieques art collection is a Limited Edition Collection of Fine Art Giclee Prints. Only 20 reproductions are created for each image selected and each is signed and numbered by the artist. 

 "Vieques"    9"x12"

"Carousel Confetti"  9"x12"

Please get to know Kara and her art a little better through my interview with her.

Q: What would you like us to know about you?

Kara:  The reason I create is to communicate.  Images are our Universal Language.  My hope is to share beauty, happiness, courage, compassion, all with an understanding that the world is challenging, people are suffering.

The body may be satisfied through material necessities; food, water, clothing and shelter.
But our spirit, our soul has needs too.
We seek acceptance, enlightenment, Love.
Our soul needs Peace.
How can we obtain this?  Through meditation, unity to a higher source, and art- I believe our soul can be fulfilled in this way.  We can find Peace.

"444"  12" x 9"

Q: When did you begin as an artist?

Kara:  I began as an artist when I accepted the responsibility.  Somehow I knew it was the most powerful form for me in which to achieve awareness, change, and balance.  There was a moment when I was finishing my Biology and Environmental Science degree that I realized my impact to the world, my community, could not be met in the traditional structure in which these studies were limited.  I had always expressed my love for Life and nature through my art, but making the choice to pursue this path, to define myself as an artist was an instant transformation.  It truly was a revelation that has allowed me to endeavor on a journey that never ends, and that is always a beginning.

"Gringo" 12" x 9"

Q:  Where do you draw your creativity from?

Kara: The world excites me. Exploring new places or discovering newness in everyday places, there is possibility and adventure. Nature especially fascinates me, from bizarre to glorious, inspiring and sometimes even cruel, heartbreaking.
Simply embracing it all, breathing each moment, can take me beyond self and into a realm of completeness, being whole.  From here I hope to gather the energy and vision for my art.

"Being" 12" x 9"

Q:  Is color important to you, why?

Kara:  Yes! Color is my heart.  How can I give more?  I want the viewer, the connection, to experience the most imaginable.  The feeling of so many sensual desires, memories, recognition, any meaning at all, can be achieved with color. 

"Sojourners" 12" x 9"

Q:  Do you do any other craftsy things in your life?

Kara:  Making things with my hands is very important to me.  My activities really do reflect my life.  I have worked in a variety of mediums: clay and ceramics (I used to own a potters’ kick-wheel), glass (large scale installations in NYC to sea glass jewelry in the Caribbean), fabrics and textiles (silk-screening T-shirts and hand stitching), gardening (all varieties of herbs and native California plants) and food (organic foods and experimenting with Global cuisines).  My continuous devotion is to improve my skill and technique, no matter the material.  I will also work in any available space, be it a storefront studio or the beach, I do not let anything stop my creative process.

Q:  How did you begin selling on Etsy?

Kara:  When I was living in Brooklyn NY in 2006 my friends started talking about Etsy.  They encouraged me to join and I did with the plan that I would sell art online that coincided with my business in the Caribbean.  I signed up in March 2007, but due to the island (& possibly the Bermuda Triangle), I was unable to access any digital realms for 3+ years.  I did try to have a reliable Internet connection, but there were so many obstacles it was impossible.  Very soon, I just gave in to the native way and did not try to force my modern, urban tools.  This life appealed to me, but I always knew and dreamed that one day I would be able to join the Etsy community.  Now that day has arrived and I am so happy to have a little shop of my own, where I can share my art within the support of a hand~made market place.  It really is so special to be appreciated as an artist, Thank You.

"Occupation Coqui"  12" x 9"

Kara has graciously offered to giveaway one signed and numbered Made in Vieques giclee print to one lucky Artsy Chaos reader.  *Choice of any of the pieces pictured on this post.*  You can win your very own piece of an endless summer to gaze upon year round!

Click "read more" to view the giveaway entry form if viewing this post from the main blog page.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

My First Guest Blogger Post #travel

If you're in Utah, near Utah or want to visit Utah, please check out my guest post over at Enjoy Utah!It's all about Millers Flat, a beautiful area about 2 hours south of Salt Lake City.

Utah mountains are beautiful!