Fleeting Moments

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img_6246img_6382img_6402img_6501img_6563img_6963img_7145img_7230img_7249-800x533img_7252-800x533I feel it–the summer season is beginning to fade. Masses of flowers are staying bloomed a bit longer, now that they aren’t so quickly baked in the sun. There’s a cool morning breeze that teases us, only making way to warm midday temps. The occasional wind gusts whip through and scatter petals all over like confetti. This is when I begin to beckon the sweater weather by baking everything with pumpkin and cloves and leaving an apple cider candle lit all day. This is when I eat entirely too much bread. And yes, I break a sweat waiting for a pie to finish baking. Completely worth it.

In spite of my baked-sweets Fall summoning, it comes in it’s own slow-as-molasses timing. As soon as it’s here, it’s gone. The seemingly shortest, most beautiful season. As soon as it passes I feel like I spend the whole year waiting for next fall.  Here in the Southwest, I feel like the Dog Days of Summer last soooo much longer than in other regions.

Though the trees have yet to turn golden, I’ll take my time and enjoy the rest of what the warm sunshine has to offer in this last week of summer–no matter that it feels like an eternity. Besides, as the seasons grow and change, so do my kids. And I’d be okay if that would slow down.

Here’s a few things we’ve been working on, eaten, or enjoyed looking at while the weather hasn’t complied with our desires. If you’d like to see some more of those adorable rattles, view them here.

Thanks for following.

Hugs, Rhonda

 

 

 

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Back in Session.

When school’s out you’re elated that the kids choose to sleep in their swimsuits, helping to lighten your laundry load a bit. You’re happy that you don’t have to stand in 100-degree temps in that un-Godly pick-up line when school is out for the day. There’s no re-teaching yourself how to graph linear equations just so you can help your child with their homework.

Thank God we aren’t there yet.

But then summer sets in and you’ve got bubble containers and squirt guns and Hot Wheels strewn about your backyard, not to mention your clusters of crepe myrtle and Mexican petunias blowing around the patio because they were rejected from the little ones’ picture-perfect bouquets. And then you have a handful of nieces and nephews staying over for a while, and they love playing with Playdoh and clomping around in your heels (which is when you decide that the entire upstairs needs area rugs). Your daughter even decided to scoot around wearing your sister’s heels. You have nieces who just love baking so you all make lemon loaf and distribute it to the six kids currently in your house, and all those kids get a major sugar rush and run in circles for an hour and finally crash into piles on the living room floor surrounded by every pillow in the entire house. Then there’s arguments and wresting and uncontrollable laughter and hearing your TV the loudest it has ever been. You try not to break your neck bringing in groceries while climbing the mountain of scooters and bikes in front of the door (at one time there were four scooters and three bikes!). After the girls wash mud from their feet, you run a bath and the handshower is on full-blast, spraying your walls, ceiling and floor uncontrollably like a crazy snake you can’t grasp on to. You keep thinking about all of those half-painted walls that you can’t do anything about while there are so.. many.. hands around. At the end of the day you do not one, but two, loads of dishes and wonder when you had gotten so many kid cups. You go through a loaf of bread in the blink of an eye. You willingly wake up at 5:30 to squeeze in some quiet coffee-time, though you stayed up ’til 11:30 knitting the night before–and what truly jolts you awake is stepping on that Lego that was camouflaged on the carpet. And in those early twilight hours, you know you should be getting to work on something, but you get distracted while staring at all of your blooms that are bowing down in the wind and watching the clouds roll in. You feel like you haven’t blinked in a couple of hours. After the annual summer vacation, you feel like you are still cleaning up residual sand weeks later and wondering how long that sunburn is gonna take to heal. You hope that you all don’t look like tomatoes for your first family photos in like 6 years. Then, you go school shopping with every other parent who gives you the look of “Hang in there. The finish line is close. We only have a few more days left of summer break.”

And then, school starts.

That first day, it’s so quiet. You can actually hear your ceiling fan. And it kind of drives you nuts, so you turn on some music and try to get back into the mode of work. then you find yourself staring out the window again, thinking about and missing your kids. You’re wondering if they are making new friends and like their teacher, hoping that they eat all of their carrots, and praying that there’s no homework on day one. You’re thankful for teachers who have the patience of Saints. Then you think of your AP English teacher and hope that she doesn’t read your blog post that is full of incomplete sentences and run-ons and hope that she doesn’t feel like a failure for my grammatical short-comings. Then you think of everything you did this summer and all the fun that was had–all the fun that outweighed the gobs of laundry and dishes. In the thick of all that chaos were a lot of lovely little moments. You realize that all those mishaps were quite entertaining, and you’re just really grateful to not live a dull life. And you are actually looking forward to the next summer break, but you are thankful that it is ten months away.

 

 

 

 

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

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

Sand and sun.

We have been soaking up the sun and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. We have constructed sand castles and indulged in cold and creamy desserts. I managed to snap a few photos of our sun-fun, and these photos are the inspiration for my newest design which is (hopefully) ready to be revealed in a few days.

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather–get outside, soak up some sweet vitamin D, and thank God for these beautiful days!

Rhonda

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Sand and sun. Thread Bears® Blog

Knits for Summer

Moms–toss out the drool bibs! These hand knit, beautiful, berry-tinted collars are lightweight, airy, and still absorbent! They are created from a cotton/kapok (silk cotton) blend, which makes them so soft and smooth against the skin. The openwork lace makes them comfortable to wear in the middle of summer, but still keeps bare necks dry. Who says knitted items have to be warm, heavy, or bulky??

These summer knits are great investment pieces, since they fit most children sizes 12 months to 5 years. They are also versatile–each collar has two options on how to wear it. Finished with delicate scalloped edges.

No longer available.

Vintage Raspberry:

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In Thimbleberry:

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And in Cherry:

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