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Gran’s Memorial

October 19, 2011

Well, we finally got to have a memorial for Gran this weekend near my parent’s house. It was really lovely because pretty much everyone came – my 86-year-old grandfather drove up from Florida by himself (do NOT get me started on that one – three solid days on the road, aeeeeiiii!). Susie came from Boston (with the lovely puppy Lucas), my aunt and uncle and cousins from Denver flew in for the weekend – good times.

You would THINK with all of the good times, and the lovely memorial at the art gallery, that I would have a lot of pictures from the weekend. That would be totally true if I’d remembered to bring the camera. Alas, I did not. So instead of showing you lots of pictures from the weekend, I’m going to show some pictures of the part of things that I was in charge of.

As a precursor to this, you should know up front that my Gran LOVED apple jelly. We never had a meal that I can think of without a little bowl of apple jelly being on the table. She totally baffled us as kids by eating it on absolutely everything. I have it on good authority that she used to make her own crab apple jelly, but that was before my time – by the time I was born they were living in Florida, where crab apples were decidedly hard to come by, so she just bought jars of it instead.

We thought it would be fun to have a little “thing” to give to people who came to the memorial. In retrospect, we *probably* should have given people towels instead, because it was raining SIDEWAYS for most of the day – but instead we decided to put together little favour-sized jars of apple jelly.

I made them using my trusty Silhouette cutter machine contraption. First though, I had to find very wee jars. It was actually kind of difficult – I found lots of reasonably priced options online – it’s just that to actually get them here they wanted to charge me about a zillion dollars. $200 for 40 little jars? Uh, no. Thanks. I finally had the good sense to simply walk into the wedding favour aisle at Michaels and lo and behold:

Exactly what I needed. The only catch was that they didn’t have jar lids that could be sealed by pressure canning. Oh well; details. They weren’t cheap – I want to say maybe $25 for a container of 20 jars? – but still way cheaper than shipping from the US. Works for me! If I’d had more time I could have tried to snag these with the 40% off coupons that Michaels gives out fairly regularly but I didn’t. YOU could though. Don’t be like me.

First I etched a little apple and the words “apple jelly” into the glass fronts of the jars. Not hard at all – just time-consuming. I cut the images out of vinyl and then stuck them on the jars. In this case you are making a stencil – so it’s the negative of the image you want that you need to preserve and stick on the jars. In case you’re keeping score, that means that when you peel out the letters that you DON’T want, you have to make sure you leave the insides of the p’s, e’s, and a’s. I think I managed to preserve the p’s on all of them, the a’s on some of them and the e’s on…well, none of them. But the effect was good so eh. I am trying not to let it bother me.

Then you just have to smear etching cream all over the fronts, wait 10 minutes or so, and then scrape the cream back into the jar (it’s reusable!) and then rinse the jars off. I didn’t get any pictures of this part of the process because the idea of camera + etching cream scared me a little too much. But it’s really easy. Just try not to smear the etching cream beyond the borders of your stencil.

Filling them was easy – I pretty much bought a whole bunch of jars of apple jelly and melted it a bit in a saucepan so that it was more “pourable”. Then I filled the jars (with the help of my trusty friend Karan). Since we couldn’t seal the lids properly we decided it was a good idea to seal them with paraffin wax instead. It was actually really easy to do – I just washed an empty soup can and squished the top a bit (to make it easier to pour). Then I stuck the bars of wax in the can and put the can into a pan with an inch or so of simmering water in the bottom. Wax melts; pour wax into jars. DONE.

As a final touch I made little tags for the jars – again using the Silhouette – and then we tied them on with some ribbon.

I think they came out pretty well!

Oh, and just because *I* am a deadbeat who forgot a camera, not everyone is. My lovely aunt Terri took these shots of the kids.

Hi, I’m Anika and I am FANCY. Also, please make sure you get my fancy shoes in the picture.

Oh HI, I am Sammo, and I am very extra handsome. If I move too fast though, my pants fall down.

Uhhh…..mama? MAMA??? I think they’d had enough best behaviour/memorial at that point.

It was a lovely way to celebrate Gran and I am delighted that we were able to do it.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela Quesnel permalink
    October 20, 2011 4:19 am

    I was wondering where you got the cute jars! I thought you bought them that way – so impressed that you made them. Beautiful job. Very nice tribute and cute story about your gran:0) Sounds like it was a lovely time. The kids look adorable.

  2. October 20, 2011 5:41 pm

    Oh those little jars of apple jelly are absolutely gorgeous, such a lovely tribute to your Gran. I want to try some of that etching cream out for myself.

    Anika – you look VERY fancy! Sam – you look VERY extra handsome. And very slim around the middle!

  3. October 20, 2011 6:12 pm

    The colour of the apple jelly jars turned out really well! They looked gorgeous. Mine is on the counter at home. :o) Oh, how I wish we had more pictures of that day. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it either… kids are adorable, as always. xo

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