A well-rounded week.

This week has been a full one.

We picked about 200 plums from our tree. About 70 were gifted, another 100 were used in homemade plum chutney, and a few dozen were plucked by the kids and inhaled right where they stood. And I’ll be the first to tell you that canning is no joke. Chopping and pitting all those plums was, well, the pits. However, I can’t wait to pass around this chutney and enjoy a spread of it on crostini with some brie. The plums that are still on the tree are being thoroughly enjoyed by a dozen birds daily.

Though it was extremely hot down here in the Southwest, we enjoyed some of our time outside letting loose a few thousand lady bugs. The kids were in heaven. They squealed and let the bugs climb all over them, carefully picking them up and placing them on rose petals. It was really sweet and entertaining.

And as we usually do, we spent entirely too much time taking photos of our flowers and ate too many sweets. It was a good week.

On the business side, my mom finished a few little bears and had them photographed, patiently waiting for their debut. Keep an eye out for these 100% wool, crocheted-then-shrunken, creamy-hued cuties on Ebay. Also be sure to check back soon with some new and not-usual products from us! we’ll also be making visual changes as well!

Thanks for following!

Hugs, Rhonda

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It’s all about the timing.

Sometimes you have a plan. And sometimes that plan doesn’t work out.

I’ve been wrapped up in a whirlwind for the good part of a year. Off and on, my husband Zach and I had planned on moving to a different town, but never found anything that was fitting. We set the notion aside as soon as his father became extremely ill last May. We were the only ones here who could care for him, so it demanded all of our time, and we were happy to just be able to show him that he was loved during his time of struggle.

After his struggle had ended in the Fall, we began to hope for a new home again. However, this time we wanted to stay here, to stay close to friends and family. What we didn’t know is that our period of waiting allowed God to work something great in our favor. He opened the door to allow us to buy a home that had more of the things that we wanted, a home that is a true blessing.

For years I’ve walked past this house to get the mail, I’ve looked at it every time I backed out of the driveway. I loved that it looked nothing like anything else in town. Over the years, we became friends with the neighbors, the owners of that beautiful home. In the Fall, shortly after my father-in-law’s passing, they told us that they were moving. I was so disappointed to lose them as neighbors, since they showed my children the same affection and attention as a grandparent. I was equally sad that we were not yet ready to purchase a home at that time. We just trusted that God would provide the right home for us when we were ready.

And that’s when God’s timing took over. The neighbor had some health concerns that had to be taken care of before she moved, which delayed their plans quite a few months. Their delay allowed opportunity for us. After much prayer, my husband and I offered to buy the house directly from them. No realtor, no fuss. They were elated. She told me that she had been praying for a good family to buy their home—a house they built and poured a lot of themselves into.

And I believe God outlined every detail of this transition.

I am thankful for the mature, lush garden where the kids explore for hours and eat fresh blackberries, strawberries and cherries, where I can smell the fragrant plums and roses and hear the doves coo while drinking my coffee under the grapevine-coated pergola. I’m thankful for the large kitchen where we all give a hand at making dinner, for the gorgeous antique claw foot tub that is a dream to soak in, and for the cozy little library where I quietly type away at this, but I’m most thankful that God provided the means and the timing. I’m thankful that I walk through the front door and it feels like home.

And just as in my home as in this business, everything is in God’s time. Though sometimes it is hard to just have faith that He’s the one guiding, it always works out for our benefit. And I have faith the He will be guiding us to step out with more faith in our creative endeavors and show more of who we are. Which is frightening and exciting all at the same time. I believe that now is the time for bigger, more exciting things.

Hugs,

Rhonda

 

 

Good-bye October.

Goodness, is October really ending? It has been a full one, though. A glorious, gourd-filled month with all of it’s vibrant leafy loveliness. This, the month when coziness moves into every corner of the house, giving everything a golden glow. We’re gonna slow down tomorrow, collect candy with our little ones, and savor these moments. We hope you all do the same. Happy Halloween!

Goodbye October, Out of the Thistle®

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Flowery foodie goodness.

What’s not to love about flowers? They look beautiful lining a pathway, sitting in a jar on the windowsill, or even printed onto fabrics. Another great thing: some flowers are edible! We just love the idea of having a lovely little salad that is dotted with Johnny Jump Ups, or using blackberry blossoms to garnish a cake.

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie GoodnessSo in celebration of some of these delicious florals, we’ve tested a few recipes that have become our favorites.

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness

1. Raspberry & Rose flavored Floral Ice Pops
Recipe via Chew Town (Makes 10)

4 cups water
Various edible flowers (petals retained)
1 tablespoon Raspberry and Rose cordial
Popsicle Mold

Place petals inside the popsicle molds being sure to layer them on top of each other and not compact them.

Mix water and cordial in a large jug and stir well to combine.

Gently pour the cordial mixture into the popsicle molds trying not to unseat the petals too much. Insert popsicle sticks and place in the freezer until frozen solid.

To remove from the molds gently place bottom of molds in warm water until the popsicles pull free.

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness.

These popsicles make the perfect frozen treat for any spring or summer soiree!

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness

 

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness

2. Lovely Little Lollies
Recipe via Sprinkle Bakes
Yield: 10 lollipops

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1 dram bottle candy flavoring oil (such as LorAnn, I used Blackberry)
Violet gel food coloring
10 organic whole voila flower heads or pansy petals, washed and patted dry
10 lollipop sticks
    1. If you are using a lollipop mold (recommended), lightly grease it with cooking spray.  If you are not using a mold, pour 2 cups of powdered sugar into a baking pan with a lip.  Create indentations with the bottom of a glass or other flat-bottomed object. Set aside.
    2. Stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
    3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Continue to heat without stirring until the bubbling mixture reaches the hard-crack stage (302 degrees F). Remove pan from heat.
    4. Stir in flavoring oil and a small amount of gel food coloring. Be extra careful because the mixture will bubble and sputter with these additions.
    5. When the mixture has stopped bubbling, drop it into molds by the spoonfuls (or powdered sugar indentations) using a metal spoon. Carefully place a viola flower head or petal face down on the hot candy. Use the end of a lollipop stick to slightly press it into the candy.  Quickly pour just enough hot candy over the flower head or petal to cover the backside, encasing it completely in the candy.  Place a lollipop stick in the candy and turn 1/2 turn.  Allow the candy to harden, then remove from molds.  If using powdered sugar to mold, you may choose to rinse off the excess sugar under a thin stream of warm water – either way, the flower will become more visible once the lollipop is being enjoyed.

TIP: WORK AS FAST AS YOUR LITTLE HANDS CAN MOVE. The candy mixture cools VERY quickly.

 

 

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness

3. Blossoms and Berries Ice Cubes

4 Quarts of Distilled Water
Arrangement of Organic Edible Flowers, Berries, Mint Leaves
Ice Cube Tray

Boil distilled water and allow to cool completely.

Pour water into trays, filling molds halfway. Place flowers, berries, and mint in each cube and place tray in freezer. Once completely frozen, fill each cube with the rest of the cooled, boiled water and continue to freeze completely. Fill up your cups and enjoy!

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness.

And once your ice melts, you’ll have pretty little blossoms floating around in your beverage.

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness.

 

 

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness

 

4. Limoncello Lavender Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from here!

Yield: 12-18 Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon crushed, dried lavendar (optional)
Dried lavender sprigs for garnish

For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the limoncello buttercream:
1/2 stick butter
6 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons limoncello

Beat softened butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the limoncello and beat until well mixed. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Alternately add flour and buttermilk to butter mixture. Mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and crushed lavender just until combined. Pour into prepared cupcake pans, about 3/4 full and bake at 325 for about 17 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

For curd: Mix lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar of medium heat until boiling. Whisk egg and egg yolk. Whisk lemon mixture into eggs off the heat (to temper). Add all back to sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Cool completely.

Use a melon baller to scoop a hole into tops of cooled cupcakes. Fill with cooled lemon curd

For buttercream: Beat butter and cream cheese. Add limoncello and beat until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until desired icing consistency is obtained. Ice filled cupcakes. Garnish with dried lavender.

Now, inhale!

Also, don’t do as we did and forget to add the sugar–one of the most important ingredients! The first batch was the equivalent of lemony, unsweetened cornbread, hah!

Out of the Thistle Blog, Flowery Foodie Goodness.

We hope you enjoyed this bevy of blossom-decorated recipes! Just remember to be sure to verify which flowers are edible and safe to use, and we recommend using only organically grown flowers. Enjoy!

-The Out of the Thistle™ Company

He is risen!

We thought we’d share some of our favorite snapshots from our Easter preparations! We used a white paint pen to draw on farm fresh eggs, and we love the way these turned out! Although, it really isn’t a craft geared towards young children. It can tend to get really messy!Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! White paint pen on farm fresh eggs

We also did a round of royal-colored dyes on farm fresh eggs. We used a RIT dye color guide, and these deep colors were just what we were looking for!

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! RIT dye royal-hued eggs

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! RIT dye royal-hued eggs

We made some of these carrot-shaped candy wrappers from coffee filters. The filters were dip-dyed in some of the egg baths, then laid out on kraft paper to dry before wrapping up the candy. These little “carrots” only held about 1-2 pieces of candy, which is great because we really aren’t big on candy at our house (we’d rather eat cake!). So they got less, though it looked like more. Another bonus: no plastic eggs hanging around for years! We stuffed about a dozen of these carrots in their baskets with books, movies, bubble toys, etc.

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! Coffee filter carrot-shaped candy wrapper

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! Coffee filter, carrot-shaped candy wrapper

Speaking of cake…some of these “carrots” were used as a decoration on the naked carrot cake.

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen! Carot cake with toasted coconut

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen!

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen!

Thread Bears® Blog / He is risen!

Although, this day is not just about coloring eggs and eating delicious cakes. Words cannot begin to describe how grateful we are for this holiday, that we may come together as a family and celebrate the importance of this day–the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is because of this ultimate sacrifice that we are able to spend this joyful day with our family, that we have hope for the future and eternal life through knowing Him. We find peace in knowing that Jesus fulfills the promise He made on this day: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.” He is risen!

 

 

Our time for harvest.

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

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Thread Bears® Blog

Thread Bears® Blog

Spring is always such a glorious time of year. The warmer, longer days make way for more time in the garden, enjoying the flurry of flowers that arrive. This time of year is so coveted after the long, cold Winter.  Those short, grey days of Winter make the bright blooms and warm washing of sunlight even more enjoyable when Spring arrives. The wait builds anticipation of new growth, new opportunities.

Now is our Spring. We see the lushness and peachy glow out our windows, and we see the freshness and thriving potential in our business. We’ve had a long, hard Winter–both out our doors, and in business, and we are welcoming this Spring. We are welcoming the newness. We are welcoming the growth.

As you may know, we’ve come a long way in business. We’ve acquired much and learned much, only by the help of our Lord. We’ve had battles that other small, family businesses don’t endure. Those bitter, burdensome battles have made way for us acquiring Intellectual Property. They’ve strengthened our faith, and our confidence. From those experiences, we believe our business will continue to grow and flourish. During our experiences, seeds have been sown. We thank God for the patience and understanding during our time of tilling the soil, watering, and waiting for the new growth. Now is the time for our harvest.