LIT Decor

In the South, mason jars are a bit ubitquitous so it's nice to see when an artist finds a way to reinvent them. Vanessa Cline of Cary, North Carolina has created some really beautiful and unique variations that are worth a look...

Inspired by Moroccan decor details and henna patterns, Vanessa crafts a myriad of candle holders, vessels and lanterns for the home. All of her creations, found in her LIT Decor Etsy shop, are perfect additions for a porch or favorite windowsill and can be hardwired for indoors too. 

Every lantern is made from upcycled jars and every design, done by hand, is one of a kind. They are also hand washable and able to withstand the wind and rain.

I especially like her hand painted vases and the playful, pretty creations listed under the category, New Designs. Vanessa's shop actually has well over 200 items to choose from so it's worth checking out. Can't hurt to add one more mason jar to the collection, right?

 

Photos: LIT Decor      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Garden Party: Part 1

When I first visited HollyBeth Anderson's home (of HollyBeth Organics) and saw her backyard, I texed our friend, Beth Lord (of the indie-pendent) and said we have to have a party here. We ultimately decided on a Garden Party, each inviting a few close friends who have helped us in our creative endeavors. It was our way to say thank you by smothering them with some goodness and prettiness...

Our plan was to utilize HollyBeth's beautiful yard (which backs up to 40 acres of green space, so she has many lovely birds and critters meandering about). We decided on each of us making something: HollyBeth-drop biscuits, Me- cucumber gazpacho and Beth- Georgia peach sorbet. 

Beth made the gorgeous invites with card stock she had on hand, some scraps of vintage floral fabric and a bit of twine. I love that girl...

We also purchased new fabric to create two sided napkins for the tables and takeaway gift...

For the gift for our guests, we enlisted Lyn Deardorff, our resident master canner for some advice. Together we decided on making Peach Butter. Lyn, "I prefer making butters from fruits because little or no sugar is required." Lyn cares deeply about the craft of canning and I was so happy to have her help us. (Sign up for her amazing canning workshops, here.) 

To make 5-6 half pint jars, you'll need 4 pounds of peaches (firm, at peak of ripeness & organic as you'll keep the skins on), plus organic sugar to taste.  

Prepare for water bath canning by filling your canner or large stockpot with mason jars and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then let them sit at medium heat while preparing the peaches. Put flat lids in saucepan or heatproof bowl. Prepare peaches by washing. Cut into halves and remove pits. Do not remove the skins. Cut again and place in stockpot, then bring to a boil over high heat. 

Continue cooking over medium heat until the peaches are very soft in texture, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add sugar, if desired, to level of sweetness preferred (none is required, however).

Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture reaches soft ball stage. This can take from 20 minutes to a full hour, depending on your peaches. You can test when they're ready by placing a spoonful of the mixture on a plate. When cool, it should hold its shape, not run when the plate is tilted. 

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids to sterilize. Remove your mason jars from the stockpot and place on a towel. Ladle the hot peach mixture into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Clean the rims and secure with lids and bands. Place jars back in large stockpot, making sure water covers them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to process. Remove jars to folded towel and leave undisturbed for 13 hours.

Check lids for tight seal. Label them and make 'em pretty, then store in a cool, dark place. If unopened and sealed, your peach butters will last 6-12 months. Once opened and refrigerated, the butter will last for 3-4 weeks. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Garden Party tomorrow to see how it all turned out...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


 

The Versatile Mason Jar

Sweet Tea Clothing Co. in Asheville, NC has a thing for mason jars. One of their most popular creations are their mason jar strands with lights, which look perfectly charming draped across the back fence or any relaxed and inviting Southern porch...

I really like their well constructed 3 in 1 mason jar...it can be a holder, a candle or a planter. When I was in Asheville, I bought a few for gifts and a couple for myself. 

Find your favorite mason jar creations from the Sweet Tea Clothing Co. here.  

 

Photos:Sweet Tea Clothing     Content: Sweet Peach


Mason Jar Labels...

Pickled fruits, curds and jams are one of my favorite gifts to give all summer long...so I was happy to see these adorable, homespun mason jar labels from the Etsy shop, Mud and Twig. 

Each label is made freehand ensuring no two will be the same. They include machine stitched lines for naming your jars and little wool felted images like peaches, apples, acorns and strawberries. 

The labels are sold in packs of 12 and come in two sizes, regular or wide. Peruse the dozens of mason jar labels at Mug and Twig's Etsy shop...and happy canning! 

 

Photos: Mud and Twig   Content: Sweet Peach


Mason Jar Decor

Mason jars are plentiful in the South and I must admit, I'm quite happy about that. I wanted to share a few pics I've been compiling that offer some innovative ideas of what to do with the South's favorite glass mug...

This DIY I thought was fun and unusual. By just using some hot glue, you can write a word or draw a picture atop the glass- then once it dries, spray paint over it in any color you like.

It's hard not to love individual pies in mason jars and the added flags just makes these too perfect for words.  

What a cool idea for a centerpiece and a bouquet...and I love the idea of spray painting mason jars. It's such an inexpensive and easy way to infuse hip, southern charm...

 

Photos: 1: theefflorescense.tumblr.com, weepingcherries.wordpress.com, isharecrafts.com  2. decorhacks.com  3.  spunsugarsuite.com  4. manolobrides.com  Jonathancanlasphotography.com  curbly.com  Content: Sweet Peach

Preserved Lemons

As my friends and family know well, I'm not much of a cook. But I love to create pretty things for all those lovely people in my life who often invite me over for dinner. One of my favorite host gifts is preserved lemons. They are so incredibly good in a bevy of dishes but my favorite is the one my dear friend Vanessa came up with: crumbled feta cheese, parsley, a little olive oil, a little pepper and a few preserved lemons diced in. It's highly addictive and adds freshness to every bite. I hope you try. 

First, sanitize your mason jars or glass jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. It's a good idea to save your empty glass jars just for this occasion. I actually prefer the used jars as they have a little personality in their label or jar top. 

Buy organic lemons only and scrub them clean, one by one with soap and water.  

Next, trim a bit of each end of the lemon off, then cut into wedges. Remove all seeds. This takes some time so make sure you're in a patient, laid back mood. A little glass of white wine while watching Bravo is a nice accompaniment...

Next, pour some pickling salt onto a dish and coat each wedge thoroughly in the salt. 

Stack the lemons upright into your jars first. Then, as you continue to pack them in, they can be shoved in sideways and angled. You just need to pack them very tight. In doing so, you'll extract the lemon juice and limit any air bubbles. Once you near the top of the jar, add extra lemon juice to coat the lemons if needed so it's filled to the top. (may not be necessary if you use enough lemons per jar) Then seal tight with the lid. Store in a cool, dark place for 30 days before opening, taking care to rotate the jar for a day or two every once in a while. Once open, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. When you use the lemons, be sure to rinse them off as they will be coated in layers of salt. Delicioso...Enjoy! 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach