Friday, 23 August 2013

Late Summer

August 23

Garden decor looking good in August 

This hanging basket wasn't much to brag about when we hung it (see blog of May 17) but that western exposure must really please it! Okay, I have fed and watered faithfully, too.  Gorgeous now, isn't it?

 Seasonal chores

With the days growing shorter, it was time to do some canning. Yesterday, in muggy heat, we drove to our favorite farm market and loaded up on freestone peaches and the ingredients for my mother's amazing mustard pickles. The pickles are essential as I have only one jar left and find it almost impossible to eat roast beef without them!

This morning, with a lot of help from a dear husband (who happens to love home canned peaches), I prepared and canned nine pounds. Happily, there has been a sea change in the weather. We are getting a mix of sun and cloud with a delightful breeze coming off the ocean. Perfect day for canning.

The yield of 11 jars may be a bit slim. If time permits, we might pick up a second load in a day or two. Anyway, here they are, cooling for storage. Why on the washing machine, you might ask. Simple; it is a small house and I will need the kitchen counter space for dinner before these are ready to stow away. Laundy will have to wait. How sad :-)

Pretty peaches, all in a row

I confess I'm not a great housekeeper (why do you think I work so hard at being an artist?). I'm quite willing to let sleeping dust bunnies lie. Cooking is another matter altogether. And canning? Maybe it was the twenty years spent in a Victorian farm house that caused it but I really relish the sight of home-made marmalade, peaches and pickles on my pantry shelves. Also, they taste darned good at a fraction of the cost for store-bought. Win-win.

Work not forgotten

While the pickles steep in brine overnight, I am back at my bench. I have a custom order to fill for a pair of topaz-set pinky rings.

Here are the components; a package of pretty, palest-of-blues stones and two strips of sterling. Yes, I bought four stones. What if I drop one and can't find it? My supplier is miles and miles from here. Better safe than sorry.

I cut the strips of sterling silver yesterday. Will start smoothing the edges and polishing the surfaces tonight. I'll post the project as it progresses.