Well Preserved is hosting their second Pimp My Preserves contest. Since I am trying to find more ways to interact and force myself to get stuff done, plus I am crafty through and through, I decided I would enter with a couple themed preserves and matching decorations.

Watermelon Mint Composite
The first one I made was for my Watermelon Mint Jam. The fancy one with flecks of mint leaves to balance out the sweet, bright taste of the melon. I knew it had to be PINK and sweet and crisp looking. I stumbled across the sweet pink and white scrapbook paper at Joann’s Fabrics and knew it was perfect. I found the Snowflake ribbon at Michael’s as well as the three dimensional snowflake stickers. A bit of glitter glue and a label by Martha Stewart purchased years ago at Big Lots completes the look with some double stick tape. I think it came out perfectly, at least as perfect as it could without a crisp minty color to mix with the pink and white.
Maine Blueberry Composite
My second entry is a truly New England inspired piece. Maine Spiced Chocolate Blueberry Jam, with the beautiful blueberries I picked with my mom for Veteran’s Day and the Godiva chocolate vodka for flavor. I visited both Goodwill and the Salvation Army in search of trinkets and was awarded with a couple moose ornaments in metals and an LL Bean bear. Some pre-tied bows in satin from Walmart (on clearance) and a tree patterned paper complemented the woodsy feel I was going for. I had wanted something with a deep blue and green color for paper but didn’t see a thing that would suit my tastes.
Honey Plum Composite
The last is my Mint Honey Plum Jam, which is both fruit and refreshing with a depth of flavor to round out the experience. With the recent passing of Sarah Fox from cancer I knew I wanted a strong pink/purple theme that would stand as a tribute to her amazing life and legacy she leaves behind her. A purple dotted paper served as a background for flower letter stickers purchased years ago from Big Lots in shades of green and pink with white petals. A pink chain was linked and looped around the ring of the jar and a pink ribbon with “hope” was hung front and center. The result is a fitting tribute being both strong and pretty at the same time. I think I may work on a tribute pink jam/jelly every year.

So while I could have puttered forever I didn’t allow myself to get too wound up in perfecting things. The scrapbook paper isn’t perfect, since the jars have sloping sides, only really noticed when you try to fit a tube of paper around them flush. Some scrapes from the pliers on the metal chain left a bit of silver showing. The LL Bean ornament hangs a bit low. Some things I can keep in mind for next year perhaps. I am proud of them as they each are unique enough to showcase and match the profile I wanted the jam to have.

I really wanted to research and put together a canning jar of sugar cookie mix. Coupled with a small jar of jam it would have made the perfect DIY thumbprint cookie kit, bundled in a basket with a wooden spoon perhaps. Or maybe lintzer cookies, with a spoon and some cookie cutters? Some things to think of going forward while I select homemade goodies to gift this season (three already went out as a Yankee Swap at the Blue Knights Holiday Party).

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