Friday, June 17, 2016

We're All Ears :: June Reveal

The strawberry. A delicious taste of summer.

[Photo credit :: Benil Benjamin :: Unsplash]
I have memories of my mother taking us out the the U-Pick strawberry fields nearby our hometown very early on a June morning. Once I had kids of my own I made sure that we did this trek a few times as well. I remember that they would give us shallow cardboard boxes and drive us by tractor out to a distant row mounded over with lush green plants. Each row would have multiple pickers all hunched over with big floppy hats eagerly gripping the bright red berries. As a kid it was a feast! More berries went in my belly than in my flat! At the end of your row, you got to take your flats to the farm to be weighed. Then it was home to wash and process all the juicy goodness, usually into canned preserves. 

And then there were the treats. Fresh berries piled on pancakes, overflowing over ice cream and floating in my cereal. And the desserts... pies and strawberry shortcake, or mixed with rhubarb from grandma's garden in a fluffy trifle. Yum!

I still haven't had my first strawberry shortcake of the season, but I did see that they are advertising it! Yea! So when I get home on Sunday night from the second of my trips this month, I think I know where I will be celebrating!

Since I haven't had any fresh strawberries...yet...I thought that I would make some of my own in anticipation. I found these wonderful headpins in my stash...I am quite certain that I got them last year at the Bead & Button show, but for the life of me, I cannot remember who they belong to. I thought that they looked very much like strawberries, but even more so once I added the little hand-painted bead caps. I call these "Fragaria" for the genus of the species that is more commonly known as the garden strawberry.

And I really liked the tiny little green berries in this picture, so I made those as well, aptly named, "Unripe."

Perfect adornment for berry-picking days!

I found a web page that had 14 facts about strawberries that I thought were really interesting. How many of these were new to you?

  1. Strawberries are the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
  2. Strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries or even grapes. Technically, a berry has its seeds on the inside. And, to be über technical, each seed on a strawberry is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit. Whoa, meta!
  3. Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
  4. The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
  5. Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. It’s closer to five pounds if you count frozen ones. In a study, more than half of nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit. They’re nature’s candy!
  6. Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
  7. Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. As spring’s first fruit, they were a treat, eaten freshly picked or baked into cornbread.
  8. The ancient Romans thought strawberries had medicinal powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throats.
  9. Sex & Strawberries? In France, where they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, strawberries are served to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
  10. Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
  11. Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
  12. California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S. They grow about 2 billion pounds of the heart-shaped fruits per year. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada grows their own.
  13. To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
  14. Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!
Now it is your turn! Show off your best berry baubles!

Add the InLinkz code to your blog!


  1. Erin, you're earrings are wonderful, as usual. I love how you used the painted bead caps to create the leafy green tops. And that you made a pair of ripe and unripe. Very clever. Thanks so much for another great inspiration theme. And for sharing the fun facts about strawberries.

  2. Love love strawberries...and I love whet you came up with. Especially the unripe strawberry earrings!

  3. I love your darling earrings.
    Thanks for great challenge.

  4. These are both super cute! I love how you painted the bead caps... so smart and the perfect touch for the lampwork. I'm impressed with how you curled the tails of the head pins in the second pair for that vine effect too!

  5. I love strawberries, and I love your strawberry earrings--what fun! Thank you so much for such a fun inspiration! :)

  6. I love how you used the painted bead caps with the berry beads. I really enjoyed this challenge and it even motivated me to make a strawberry trifle. I smiled when I read your mention your grandma's trifle.

  7. Erin, absolutely love the red glass beads! The bead caps mimic the strawberry's leafy upper part perfectly! Great job. Thank you for the challenge, I enjoyed it much.

  8. I really like the earrings you created but I love the green beads. The list of facts is such a sweet addition to the blog post/challenge. Thanks!