Monday, July 17, 2017

A Vintage Child of God

Recently I was preparing for a bible journaling workshop and wanted to do something on growing, faith, blossoming, etc... I had a verse from Hosea 14 that I thought was perfect, AND it fit in with the current book I'm reading, Whispers of Rest. (Psst....go buy the book! It's that good!)

I wanted to make sure that I had space in all 3 of my current journaling bibles. (Yes, I have 3. I kind of retired one because it is overflowing; I mostly use the 2nd, but it is quickly filling; the 3rd is the Message Canvas which has a lot of pre-drawn art.)

Fortunately I had space in the first 2, which was great! One to do in the the workshop, one for my personal page with my book, and a third if I needed it! When I got to the Message bible, I was in awe of how the verse(s) had been paraphrased.

They talked about being a 'vintage child of God'. Now, I want to stop right here and say that I have a NIV study bible, where I do all my studying. Then my journaling bibles, where quite often I end up finding a ton of 'bonus' material. My Message Bible I just read and use for creativity, or if I'm really puzzled over a verse and have looked at all 5 assorted translations I own!

I read it, then re-read it, then prayed, then read it again! I adore vintage everything and anything!!! I knew full well that the verse was referring to wine, but still. Come on!

I knew I had to do something with this verse. Then God reminded me that years ago, I had been practicing my drawing (NOT my gift), and managed to draw an awesome vintage inspired lady. Since it was rare for me to do so well at something, I turned her into a hand-carved stamp! Then I set her away because I never quite figured out what to do with her!

Out came the stamp. And I stamped and watercolored and lettered!!! Then more inspiration as I created note cards. Then she turned into a blossoming flower. And so on it went. Inspiring idea after inspiring idea.

Vintage Child of God Girl ©2017 K. Hazer
But God wasn't done with her, or me, just yet! Back to my study bibles, my concordance, my stack of theology books and commentaries and dictionaries. What exactly IS a Vintage Child of God.

Let me start with the actual verse from Hosea 14. It is verse 7, "Everyone will be talking about them (her) spreading their (her) fame as the vintage children (child) of God." MSG (my paraphrase of the verse)

Vintage here is referring to wine, as the verse reads in every translation I own, including my KJV (I had to look). Vintage, as a word, originated with wine making. It refers to the act of, or season for gathering grapes and making wine. It also refers to the collection of contemporaneous & similar persons or things. Is that not the coolest thing!

Wine lovers will tell you that the vintage is very important when it comes to quality, since it also refers to a specific year, or crop, that was especially good.

When I talk about the vintage items I collect, I am referring to a period of origin, generally anything prior to 1970. (Antiques must be much older, heading towards 100 years plus.)

This excited me even more though, to read that vintage referred to something special, unique, specific. The inspiration that God sent as a result, was literally overwhelming to me! I wrote, and journaled, and studied, and oh goodness all that I found. (Can you tell how enthusiastic I am today? I have lots of exclamation points don't I? LOL!)

To be a Vintage Child of God is literally to be YOU! Be yourself. Be unique. Be original. You ARE exceptional in God's eyes. You are far superior to the lies you have believed. You were created for a specific season, of great value. You are in process (making wine is also part of the definition). You are becoming.

My Vintage Child of God girl is definitely going to be around for awhile. You will see her a lot in the coming weeks as God's plan unfolds. He provided amazing clarity, which isn't always the case in my world. The pieces literally fell together with simplicity and the ideas didn't stop, until I stopped from the shear enormity.

PS - You can find my Vintage Child of God this week on postcards, note cards, and more in our Online shop:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Easy Herbal Vinegars

This is going to be the quickest, easiest Herbal Vinegar recipe you have ever read!! 

In fairness, vinegar is a tricky thing to work with. Although vinegar has a very stable shelf life, and most people think it can't go bad, once you introduce anything else into it, it becomes less stable.

The other thing you will want to consider before beginning, is where you live. Super humid (like here in the Midwest) or super dry climates can also have an impact on the stability and quality of your vinegar. 

Okay, enough of the nitty gritty, let's just have some fun!! I'm going to share my process for creating this tasty Tarragon White Wine Vinegar. There are NO measurements here because the more herbs you add, the stronger the flavor. It's entirely up to you! 1 gallon of vinegar will need a LOT of fresh herbs!!

This is fresh tarragon, straight from the herb garden. It was rinsed and completely dried before adding to the vinegar. Any water/liquid will cloud the vinegar. 

Any herb in your garden will work for vinegar if it hasn't been sprayed for bugs. I love using tarragon because it is versatile in everything.

Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar both pair well with tarragon. I chose the White Wine because it has a flavor that most people will like. It also easier to find in larger quantities.

I take a glass mason jar, place fresh tarragon in the jar.....

....and then just fill with vinegar to cover the herb. Place plastic wrap over the top, then screw on the metal lid. (DEFINITELY USE PLASTIC WRAP - otherwise the vinegar will react with the metal in canning jar lids. You don't want this to happen!!!)

Now, we sit and wait. And wait. And wait. The jar needs to be left in a cool, dry, semi-light space for at least one week.
 (If you want to super-speed this process, you can also use the 'sun-tea method'. Just place the herbs in the vinegar, cover, and place in the sun the same way you would to make sun-tea. At the end of the day, just move it to a dark, cool area for an additional 24 hours.) 

Now it's time to strain out the herbs. This is my Pour-Over Coffee Maker. It is perfect for this application too!! 

All bottled up, with some of the original infusing herbs, and a few fresh stems. The new fresh stems will also discolor eventually, but they add some fun! 

See, super easy!! I will do a more in-depth post in the future, but with fresh herbs abounding everywhere right now, you can at least start assembling ingredients and tools. I keep a whole shelf of assorted flavored vinegar's just for the fun it adds to any meal or dish, year round!

Stuffed Mushrooms

'Tis the season for baking, cooking, roasts, etc… The cold weather always leads me into my kitchen, with a need to create hot, warm, fi...