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Stampin’ Up! Painted Harvest tags

I Thought the Painted Harvest bundle would be appropriate for the tags I wanted to attach to some jars of “Harvest” that I will be giving to a friend. She and her husband were kind enough to not only give me their excess tomatoes, but they picked them as well.

You know, canning the produce takes time, and I enjoy doing it. I enjoy it even more when someone else did the backbreaking work of weeding, tending the plants and picking the produce. I get to have the benefits of the fruits of their labors. It is especially appreciated in the dead of winter, when all I have to do is go to the storeroom, grab a jar, open it, heat and eat it. Yum!

As a result of that, I thought the least I could do would be to give them a couple of jars of their processed tomatoes. This is the second picking they have given me, totaling more than a bushel.

From them, I have canned my own version of V-8 vegetable cocktail juice. It really does have 8 vegetables in it. I think it is very tasty. Not a copy of the commercial V-8, but something quite similar and different than plain tomato juice. I have canned plenty of that also.

I really didn’t think a plain old canning jar, even one with juice in it, was a very nice gift, so I proceeded to make a tag for it. Using the Scalloped Tag Topper punch (retired), I cut two tags in Very Vanilla. The Painted Harvest stamp set is great. There are so many possiblities for these stamps. I first stamped the bigger sunflower (this is a two step stamp) in Crushed Curry then over-stamped it with the smaller design in Cajun Craze.The center is stamped in Chocolate Chip. These are photopolymer stamps, which means they are a clear stamp as opposed to the red rubber kind. When you use them with a clear acrylic block, you can see where you are stamping, making it pretty easy to get the registration correct. I don’t always succeed in getting it perfect, but, hey, it’s art, right? Who says it has to be perfect?

Using one of the leaf stamps (also a two-step) I first stamped the solid image in Lemon Lime Twist, then over-stamped in Always Artichoke. Do you see that we have a lot of food going on here? Chocolate Chips, Tomatoes, Artichokes, lemons and Limes! Almost makes me hungry. I chose the LLT, not because I like it (quite the opposite!), but because it looks better with Always Artichoke than any of the other greens. (I must have food on my mind….salad greens too?)

The sentiment is also from the Painted Harvest and is stamped in Cajun Craze.

The second tag was stamped with the same sunflower in the same colors (I think a gift should be coordinated, don’t you?), and the leaves as well. This tag uses a sentiment from Beautiful Bouquet and is stamped in Chocolate Chip.

Both tags are attached to the jars with a brown ribbon from my stash, just to make it look more like a gift than a canning jar. This one contains the vegetable soup mix I call ‘End of the Garden Soup’. It really was from the end of the garden at this time of year back in the day with all the children at home and me being a stay-at-home mom to be able to help my farmer husband. One of the ways I helped, rather than bringing in another income, was to cut down on costs by canning and freezing almost everything we ate. Nowadays, some of it is from the garden, and other vegetables are purchased to fill out the variety a bit. It tastes so good when the snow is flying. One can heat and eat it as is, or add broth and your choice of meat to stretch it further and feed more mouths.

I hope my friend and her husband like this as much as I appreciated their gift of the tomatoes. Oh, and they also gave me some bell peppers as well as a few hot ones. I only used 1/2 of a hot one, seeds removed, for a batch of the vegetable cocktail. My daughter, who likes things spicy, would use the whole pepper, maybe even two!

Thanks for stopping by today. Tomorrow you will see the card I made to go along with the tags. sneak peek

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For the tags: Very Vanilla: cut one strip 2″ x 8-1/4″. Punch both ends with the punch. Cut in half.

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Apples, Tomatoes, Cabbage and more!

I am NOT whining.

There is a difference between stating facts and whining. The fact is this: MOST OF US ARE TOO BUSY! There! I’ve said it. You are busy, your kids are busy, I am busy, the WORLD is busy. And for what? Well, for starters, there are all those tomatoes, and apples and cabbages and…….somebody has to do it!

There is no card today for two reasons. Number one is I have been too busy to make one, then write about it, add the product connections and post it on this blog. There are actually days when I wonder why I am blogging anyway. Does anyone read it? Does anyone really care? Do I care?!

I do not have a vegetable garden. My daughter has a garden. She works outside the home. (doesn’t everyone? not me) There are peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, etc., all needing to be canned or frozen or allowed to rot in said garden, I hate waste. Waste is wrong, but that could be the subject for another blog post.

I have been told I did not get the genetic code for “NO”, and perhaps that is true. If someone needs something, or needs something done, for some reason I think I have to be the one to do it. The rationale here being that “someone has to do it and others have said, “NO!” So, silly me says ” of course, I will do that.”

Of course, that leads to being spread so thin that some days it makes me tired to think about it. Mostly though, I get my energy from the knowledge that I have a lot to do and so little time to do it, and I have to do it all. I know, the world will continue to move in its orbit, things will get done, and only a few will really miss me when I am no longer on this earth. But, still. I have to be active, or busy, if you prefer. I actually like to be useful and am thankful that I have the health and the ability to do things. And, yes, be busy.

So, why, you may ask, do I do this to myself? I guess if I knew the answer to that, I might know other things as well, such as, oh, maybe things like why is there so much conflict? Why have we not learned from past mistakes? When will God decide we have screwed up this world enough and call a halt to the whole thing? Why is the sky blue? (I think that one has been answered.) Is there really a Bermuda Triangle where people disappear? Why do we have hurricanes? (Some THINK they know the answer to that one.)

So, even though we are in a moderate drought, and Houston had enough rain for almost the whole country, and Florida is about to get their share and then some, (which has nothing at all to do with me being busy), the tomatoes and other garden stuff has really produced quite well. Thus, there is canning to be done. And zucchini to deal with (that became about 20 small loaves of zucchini bread this week. (Baked by me, of course!).

Today I made another batch of V-8 style vegetable juice cocktail. I have yet to bake two pies for our church ice cream social tomorrow. Thinking I don’t have enough to do, I picked up a couple grocery bags of apples this morning from a friend who has an abundance of them. She says there are more if I want them. So, I will probably say, ” Of course, I would love to have some,” and then proceed to can apple pie filling to save time this winter when I need to bake pie for some reason. REALLY??

I am beginning to wonder if I received a serious blow to the head in my youth (when we were allowed to play such dangerous games as Dodge Ball) that rendered me unable to say “NO!” and mean it.

And, while I sit here blathering away on this blog post, nothing else is getting done. Maybe that is why I am so busy. I don’t set priorities, or they are the wrong ones.

I really NEED to make some cards. It fulfills something in my creative make-up. It results in very nice cards to send to those who might need a pick-me-up, or something to bring a smile to their face. To me, that is a very good thing. And it is why I make cards.

Yes, the canning, the baking, the gardening, the mowing, the volunteering, the visit-with-a-friend-or-my-sister, the WORK (yes, I still do a little actual productive work), all of it needs doing. By someone. By me? Perhaps. But, I think it is time to re-assess my priorities.

Ask me next week, or next month if anything has changed. Probably not. But now that I have said aloud that all of us are TOO busy chasing after mostly unnecessary activities, I think I can better put everything into perspective. And if you have read this far, perhaps it will help you clarify what is necessary in your life as well.

And, maybe, just maybe, I will have decided that making cards to uplift others and perhaps make a difference in their lives is what life is all about. I will continue to make them, (I really do enjoy the process), write about them, and send them to those who need a special card with a personal message.

After all, I do care…so I am going to make a birthday card for a special young man for tomorrow’s post. Because, I. am. not. TOO. busy.

Thought for today: “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau

Think about it.