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DIY Painted Garden Rocks

A simple springtime gift for gardeners.


Now that it's warmer outside and the days are longer, I've been itching to get started on my vegetable garden. Unfortunately, the weather here in the Portland area hasn't been cooperating lately. We've had tons of rain and wind, so I'm getting creative with indoor-friendly gardening activities in order to feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. Truth is, I've been wanting to paint rocks to use as garden markers for years now, and this rainy weather has given me the perfect excuse … [Read more...]

Chalk Painted Seed Starters


To help stave off the gloom that befalls the winter months following the holidays, you can brighten your friends’ days by gifting little, chalk painted seed starting planters! I’ve wanted to make homemade chalkboard paint for a while, and this is the perfect occasion. These gifts are cute favors for many different reasons, for instance baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, etc. This time, I made them just because! Chalk Painted Seed Starter Pots What You Need: • ½ Cup flat … [Read more...]

Sriracha Hot Sauce

Sriracha Hot Sauce from My Own Ideas blog #homemade #recipe #garden #gift

I’ve been really lucky with my chili pepper plants this year, so I’ve been looking for ways to preserve my ripe chilies and/or use them up in recipes as much as possible. Recently, I came across this post for homemade sriracha sauce, and was immediately intrigued. First, as a huge fan of Huy Fong’s sriracha (also known as ‘rooster’ sauce), I knew that if I could make a version at home that was half as tasty as its bottled counterpart, I’d be happy. Second, homemade sriracha sauce … [Read more...]

Homemade Garlic Salt


This is an amazing gift, and is not difficult. It needs some planning ahead. And talk about mileage! You will be remembered every time the cook adds a bit of garlic salt to a dish. If you don't grow your own garlic, purchase it from a farmer's market where you will find the best and freshest, and you will be able to get a variety that can't be found at a grocery store. Every year I provide garlic from my garden for our entire family. My favorite is a pink variety that I have grown since we … [Read more...]

Zucchini Hummus

Zucchini Hummus recipe from My Own Ideas blog #homemade #labels #recipe

One of the first things I was warned about as a newbie gardener was the overwhelming abundance that comes from zucchini season at its peak. Admittedly, I have been on both the receiving and giving end of those infamous, yet well-meaning zucchini gift-baskets that are often left on porches and doorknobs of unsuspecting friends and neighbors. Despite the fact that I’m no longer new to vegetable gardening, I’m always surprised at how productive my zucchini plants are each year. Thankfully, … [Read more...]

How To Host A Canning Party


I love August, not only because it's my birthday month (and yes I celebrate it for a full 31 days), but also because my vegetable garden starts producing ripe tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, cucumber and other home grown veggies on a daily basis. In years past, I've only planted enough to eat fresh veggies for the summer, but this year I went crazy and planted a much larger garden with the goal of doing some home-canning. Although I've watched my mom can tomatoes, peaches, and freezer jam when … [Read more...]

Garden Fresh Pestos


Pesto is one of my favorite all-purpose sauces, and it’s also one of the easiest to make at home if you have a food processor. I grow basil in my garden each year just so I can make loads of pesto to freeze for the winter, and I use walnuts instead of pine nuts to keep costs down. The taste difference is negligible. Luckily, basil isn’t the only green that can be used to make a pesto. You can use all sorts of herbs and greens, like parsley and cilantro. This year, I grew two different … [Read more...]

Homemade Sauerkraut


(Used in this project: Canning Labels in Katniss style.) Making sauerkraut - and tasting it - is an adventure. Making it is like going into the past and discovering a secret art that achieves results impossible with modern technology. Tasting it is like tasting wine - every batch is different, with its own particular complexities of flavor; and when it is good, it is very, very good. Sauerkraut is not difficult, but it takes time and careful attention to detail, just like wine, beer, and … [Read more...]

Pickling Spice Blend


(Used in this project: Rectangle Labels in Dottie style with Medium Cellophane Bags.) Every year, just before the first garden vegetables are ready to harvest, I prepare a pickling spice blend for all my small-batch pickling. I only make a few jars of pickles per vegetable (I eat or freeze the rest), so my spices generally last through the whole summer, or until I’m ready to start making dill pickles. I use this spice blend with pickled carrots, onions, green tomatoes, etc., and I always … [Read more...]

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe from My Own Labels #canning #preserves #labels

(Used in this project: Canning Labels and Small Diamond Tags in Treasury style.) The summer sun warming fields of berries makes for only a few weeks a year where the strawberries are at the peak of sweetness. The richness of flavor may be fleeting in the fresh berries, but if you snap up a bunch you can capture it in these preserves for the rest of the year. I like to make a natural strawberry jam, with lots of berries and very little sugar so a traditional canning recipe is out of the … [Read more...]