Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Summer Sketchbook Tour

Summertime and the flowers are blooming! Perfect for inspiration, sketching and testing out ideas. Often I will have other creative friends comment that doing my detailed type of sketching process takes too much time. 

They are partly right and I used to skip over it myself because it is incredibly tempting to just start putting those wonderful colors down on paper or canvas. Admittedly, I still skip sketching sometimes if I'm pressed for time or feeling particularly confident, but I know full well there may be consequences in the form of frustration, wasted art materials and lost time trying to fix mistakes. 

Even a simple palette color test is worth the time because of that nice feeling of certainly going forward, plus I think they are fun to do.

Here are some of my color sketches from this year and what I learned from making them...

Sunflower Sketch ©2020 Tina M.Welter

Yellow flowers are my nemesis, for some reason I always struggle with getting the right shadow color to get the sense of light shining through their petals. I thought a simple palette of Benzidrine Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue would provide enough shadow depth, but the flower still looked flat. In essence I had several "yellows" and a blue, and it took adding a "red," Alizarin Crimson to finally get the deep warm brown I was looking for.


Pink Roses Sketch ©2020 TinaM.Welter

Figuring out what color combination I like the best is another way I use my sketchbook.

Did I want to use Napthol Red to make the peachy tones in the pink roses or would I be happier with mixing Permanent Rose and Cadmium Yellow? 

I circled the Green Gold, Sap Green and Prussian Blue after I decided they were my favorite mix for the leaves. This sketch also helped me notice that the greens were a bit cold and I would need to mix them with some Permenant Rose to warm them up a bit.


Dark Angel Iris Sketch ©2020 TinaM.Welter

My goal here was to practice painting a really dark purple iris. I thought I knew what colors would get the result I wanted, but I was rather disappointed with the lack of depth and the whole thing felt too cool. I knew adding yellow to warm things up would only make the colors gray, so I turned the page and tried again...


Dark Iris Sketch ll ©2020 TinaM.Welter

 I searched on-line for a little bit of help and had a genuine "aha" moment when I saw the suggestion to mix the purples with Burnt Sienna! Of course, a warm deep yellow/red that was a perfect solution!


Pink Iris Sketch ©2020 Tina M.Welter

Here's an example of my color mixing instincts being right on target. I wanted to be certain to mix the correct greyed purple for the shadow side of the pink iris petals. The first combination I tried were Cadmium Red and Prussian Blue and they were exactly what I was looking for. Adding Benzidrine Yellow made it possible to mix a light green and the right shade of orange and peach. 

I love it when a palette comes together so easily and with only three colors plus white. It feels like an elegant solution.

Winter Pines Sketch ©2020 TinaM.Welter

I was feeling very uncertain about which paints to mix for an evening winter scene with pine trees, so I created this little grid to solve my problem.

The top row has the colors I was fairly certain I wanted to use. The second row mixes all those colors with Cobalt blue and Titanium white. The third row mixes all the top row colors with Pthalogreen and Titanium white.

Having these colors to refer to was really helpful in making my final painting.


"Neon Lights" darker ©2020 TinaM.Welter


Here it is, an example of me diving head-first into making a painting without a "sketchbook first" test. This photo doesn't really capture it, but I originally painted the shadow colors over the bottom rose petal and leaves way too dark and I was really bummed when I realized what I had done.


"Neon Lights" lighter ©2020 TinaM.Welter

No one will notice now, but I can tell you I spent a lot of time repainting with lighter colors and glazing over those areas with thin color washes to lighten up that dark section. Acrylic paints are so forgiving!

I hope these few examples have demonstrated how fun and helpful solving creative problems in a sketchbook can be.


Happy Creating!




For those of you wondering what happened with my eyes, the good news is the medicine helped and by May my right eye was better. Hurrah. Then in July, the same flock of floaters showed up in my left eye! Sheez! At least I knew what it was and was able to start the same treatment quickly for my left eye. 

After dealing with too many other bizarre health issues all spring and summer to mention here, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in August. There may be some connection to that auto-immune disease affecting my eyes. I am hopeful that now I am getting treatment for that, my eyes will be healthier too.




Sunday, June 28, 2020

One Magical Night in June

Tufted Evening Primrose, NewMexico Photo ©2001 Tina M.Welter

 One of my great joys of living on a mountain side was getting acquainted with the wild flowers that naturally grew there. Living at 8,000 feet has a demanding set of growing conditions: hot in the day, really cool at night and a short growing season.

I found this entry in my journal from June 9, 2001 and decided this was the perfect time to share it with you. The sketches and painting were created this spring.

"...I sat outside the other night and just loved the moonlight on the wild white primroses. They only bloom at night and are so heavy sweet and exotic that they don't seem to belong on this dry mountainside.

Tufted Evening Primroses, NewMexico Photo ©2001 Tina M.Welter

 Yet, they are part of this place, like the surprising sweetness of these mountains distilled into those little golden hearts, 

Tufted Evening Primroses in tire, NewMexico Photo ©2001 Tina M.Welter

...but they close and wilt with the heat of the morning sun, they can only be enjoyed in the cool of night.

Tufted Evening Primrose, Sketchbook painting ©2020 Tina M.Welter

If I didn't live here, I wouldn't know about them. They are a bit of a hidden secret.

Tufted Evening Primrose, Pencil drawing ©2020 Tina M.Welter

As I came up the steps to the studio that night, the little glow worms were out, another bit of mystery. They glowed a beautiful neon green like little runway lights guiding me on my way to my room.

Tufted Evening Primrose, Painting begins ©2020 Tina M.Welter

It was a magical moment and I rejoiced in the beauty of that night."

Tufted Evening Primrose, Finished painting ©2020 Tina M.Welter
"They Only Bloom at Night" ©2020

Happy Creating!


p.s. There are a surprising number of variations of Evening Primrose growing in the southwest! This link goes to the variety that looks the closest like the flower that grew on our mountainside, Oenothera Caespitosa, Tufted Evening Primrose

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Little Trouble Maker

1972 Prowler RV trailer, photo ©1997 TinaMWelter
Home Sweet Home

I remember how nervous I was about moving onto our new piece of land in the mountains of New Mexico in 1996. I was excited to live in the forest, but also nervous about bears and possibly mountain lions confronting me on the way to the outhouse. It seems funny looking back now, because we did see a bear occasionally but we never had a mountain lion or even a bobcat bother us, what I should have been worried about were the much smaller animals!

One late fall afternoon, I had the door to the trailer open to enjoy the mild weather when I noticed something about the size of a small cat with tan brown and white fur scurry across the ground outside. It went from under one of our vehicles to hide behind some plywood we had leaned against the storage shed. Jeff was outside, so I asked him if he saw it. He moved some of the plywood and out popped this animal I thought looked like a Chinchilla. It had large eyes and ears and a somewhat fluffy tail. It was kind of cute, but what in heaven’s name was it?

To get a better look at this critter, Jeff set out a few pieces of cat food in a dish and we quietly waited to see if it would come out from under the VW bus and eat the food. It did come out, and quite brazenly too, especially since it was late afternoon and it would have been highly visible to any hunting hawks.

White-throated Woodrat, ink pen sketch ©2020 Tina M.Welter
White-throated Woodrat, quick sketch

Even after a good look, neither one of us was completely certain what it was, so the next time we went down to town to use the computer at the library we searched on-line. (Note: At this point in time, we didn’t have a phone line to our property, there wasn’t cell phone service and we certainly didn’t have a personal computer.) We found out it was a white throated wood rat, often called a pack rat. They could be found living at high altitudes, in rocky terrain and ponderosa forests. Okay, we could check all three of those boxes! Now we knew what the critter was, but we had no idea that a battle of wits had just begun.

One night about 3:00 am, we heard loud scratching noises in the ceiling just above our heads. What was that? Jeff went outside to check but couldn’t see anything. He banged on the ceiling and the noise stopped for awhile but soon those scrabbling noises started up again. It sounded way too loud for a mouse, good heavens, could that possibly be the wood rat?

The walls and ceiling of the 1972 Prowler RV trailer we were living in were made of thin plywood with about a 2 inch layer of insulation between that plywood and the outside metal skin, even rain and hail storms were noisy, but good grief, it was hard to sleep with some large rodent up there making those annoying sounds just above our heads. It would settle down and we would drift off to sleep, only to be awakened again by that scratching! I still remember the vivid dream I had one night of seeing that wood rat’s face peering down on me after I dreamed it had gnawed a hole through the ceiling. Yeeesh.

The next morning Jeff went on the roof and noticed that the vent for our propane stove was the entrance point. He had put window screen over it previously to keep birds out, but this animal had chewed right through that, so he cut a small sheet of expanded metal mesh and attached it over the vent. Perfect.

That night, the scratching sounds started again! Good grief, we had inadvertently trapped the thing in! Sigh, we hadn’t given enough thought about this being a nocturnal animal. We couldn’t use poison, we didn’t want it dead in our walls, so how were we going to get it out? Jeff took the metal screen off and then spent the next few nights waking up at 3am to put it back on after all seemed quiet. We thought he could block the wood rat out after it had gone out to search for food. Nope, nope and nope!

Eventually Jeff came up with a different tactic. The pilot light for our propane fridge was accessible from a small hatch on the outside of the trailer. This hatch was long and narrow, about 16 inches long and 4 inches wide. When he took the hatch off, we could see by the poo-pellets left behind that our wood rat had been to that part of trailer. Great! Jeff decided to leave the hatch off hoping the wood rat would leap the 4 feet to the ground or jump over to the small juniper tree trunk that was only a little over a foot away from the side of the trailer. Problem solved.

Nope. That night we could still hear our unwanted “upstairs” neighbor moving around in the ceiling! That wood rat had moved in with us and wasn’t taking any of our hints to leave.

Pencil drawing of a Woodrat
Follow the Trail, please!

 Jeff wasn't defeated yet, he took that long hatch door from the trailer and made a temporary bridge by balancing one end from a knot on the juniper tree’s trunk and resting the other end on the lip of the open hatch on the trailer. Then the best idea of all, he put a line of dry cat food pieces along his makeshift gangway.

We got into bed carefully that night, making certain we didn’t shake the trailer too much and undo Jeff’s handiwork. Generally, it’s not great to be awakened at 3:00 am, but it was the best thing in the world to hear that small piece of metal slap the side of the trailer and fall. After a few moments of celebration, we debated if it was worth going outside in the cold to put the cover back on the hatch. Jeff decided he wasn’t taking any chances and went outside and put the hatch cover back in place. Thank heaven he did.

We had just settled back down under the covers and started feeling sleepy when we heard the most unsettling thing of all, the sound of a wood rat’s tiny toenails scraping down the metal siding of the trailer! It was trying to get back in by leaping from the juniper tree and aiming for the once open hatch! Yikes!

It gave me such an eerie feeling that this animal was so determined to get what it wanted and it was my first inkling that I had underestimated what the smaller wildlife we were sharing this mountainside with were capable of.

Happy creating!


p.s. My right eye has been fairly stable as long as I keep using the steroid eye drops, still no diagnosis as to why I have this condition. I only have the MRI test left to do, but with the current Covid-19 virus trouble, that may take awhile to schedule.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Change of Vision

Sunny Winter's Day in Nevada photo ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Normal view, driving on a sunny winter's day in Nevada.

February 7th I was working on some sketch ideas for my brother who had asked me in December about illustrating a short story-poem he had written. I was making some mini test paintings and as the room I use for my studio filled with bright afternoon light, it seemed like something was going very wrong with my eyes.

There was an unusual amount of black dots, “floaters” is what they are often called, appearing in my right eye. It seemed like I was looking through a strip of black pepper flakes. Plus, everything seemed more blurry, like I couldn’t quite focus my eye.

Floaters and Blurring from Uveitis, Photo Illustration ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Illustration of the floaters and blurring inside my eye.

 My heart was racing as I called the ophthalmologist, of course this had to happen after office hours on a Friday. I left a message and tried not to panic.  

Last spring while dealing with the usual round of allergies, I had my first change of vision. I woke up one morning with what looked roughly like a faint circle of black dots suspended in a kind of thick gel in my eye. This annoying mass kept drifting in and out of the center of my vision, making it really challenging to see clearly.

I made my first appointment with an ophthalmologist in over 30 years.

What had happened in my right eye is called a “vitreous detachment”. It seemed terrifying, but it was explained to me as one of those “normal” things that can happen with aging. Sheez, the things no one tells you about getting older! The vitreous gel in the eye gets thicker as people age and may pull away from the back of the eye. That part isn’t dangerous to the eyesight, only if it manages to pull the retina with it.

Vitreous detachment photo Illustration ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Steroid drops helping, black dots are smaller and there is less visual blurring.

                     (Looping shape is the right eye vitreous detachment turned on it's side.
                       the dark dot on the side is from left eye vitreous detachment.)

Thankfully, my retina was fine, but the doctor warned me that if I ever saw a “swarm of black dots” that I should contact him immediately. Those black dots are blood cells making their way into the eye. Before you freak out about seeing those dots in your own eyes, it’s perfectly normal to have a few, just not a whole bunch suddenly appearing all at once!

I took a deep breath of relief, it was a nuisance but I could manage since my left eye was still clear. I was immediately disappointed when the doctor told me that this same thing would probably happen in my left eye! Sure enough, a similar thing showed up in my left eye in August. Sigh.

The only treatment besides the controversial laser targeting or risky surgery of having all the vitreous sucked out of your eye and replaced with salt water is patience. Gravity is your friend and over time will eventually pull the annoying things to the bottom of your eye where they are not so much in the way. It looks like they are at the top of your eye because of the way the brain turns the upside down images projected on the retina right side up.

By December, I had pretty much gotten used to the inconvenience. Yes, making art was harder. I often had to tip my head to the side to get them out of the way if I was working on something detailed, I cried now and then out of frustration, but dammit, I wasn’t going to let them stop me from making and creating whatever I wanted.

This is why the appearance of that “swarm” of dots in early February was so upsetting. The doctor’s office did call me back and I was able to go in to get my eyes checked on Saturday. The good news, my retinas were fine. The bad news, the back of my right eye was obviously inflamed, which is also a danger to eyesight. The question was why?

The name for it is Uveitis, specifically Posterior Uveitis in my case since it is the back of the eye.  If you search on-line for what can cause it you will find a long list of about 30 upsetting reasons. I looked them all up, trying to understand what might be going on, but none of them felt like an exact match for me.

The rest of the month of February has been a series of blood tests and doctors visits and medications. The good news is that several of the scary things on that list have been ruled out. I don’t have tuberculosis, lyme disease, lupus or toxoplasmosis. The shingles virus was a real suspect at first, but it’s not that either. I still have an MRI test to do to check for multiple sclerosis or a tumor, which are more scary things to consider, but I would like to know for certain.

The only clue I feel I have is that I had a nasty sinus attack Dec. 22nd and then came down with a cold on Christmas day. I was still coughing weeks later when I caught the cold again the end of January and had another painful sinus attack just before this ordeal with my eyes started. Did being sick for so long mess with my immune system and trigger the inflammation in my eye?

The steroid eye drops I am taking are keeping the inflammation at bay, which I am truly grateful for, but they are not a cure. 

Vitreous detachment both eyes photo illustration ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Illustration of how it looks currently.

I debated with myself all month about talking about this on my blog, but as an artist this event really shook my world. The first few days were so very upsetting and I was full of fear of losing my eyesight. I’m still concerned since I don’t have any solid answers yet. I’m grateful the doctor said I could drive again, so that is an improvement.

It also feels important to me that I let other people know that if you ever get an unexpected blizzard of little black dots in your eye do not wait around, get to an ophthalmologist as quickly as you can!

Hopefully Creating


Friday, January 31, 2020

Drawing From Memories

"Salt Lick" elk sketch 5 ©2020 Tina M.Welter

I’ve thought a lot about what I want to focus the Artist Life Experiment blog for 2020. I think we are due for some fear facing and experiment doing.

It’s time to confess my creative insecurity of not being that great at free-hand drawing. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. I’m great if I have my photo references and my drawing grid all plotted out. There is nothing wrong with using those tools. They make me feel secure and more confident that I will be successful in creating something beautiful. In the past, these tools have often been key for me to have the courage to even start a painting. The downside is that I think my drawings can be a bit stiff at times and I also wonder if my favorite tools have hampered me from developing a unique drawing style of my own.

I know the remedy for stiff drawings is sketching practice. Honestly, sketching practice has never been my favorite thing. It reminds me of practicing the scales for the piano, necessary work but not exactly inspiring.

If I’m going to do the work of sketching, I will be more likely to practice if I have an end goal in mind rather than just drawing “random things around the house.” I never liked that exercise suggestion! I’m thinking about making drawings for a book.

That book would be focused on the fifteen years we lived in the mountains of New Mexico and built our off-grid home from the ground up. Of course we have photos of many of the things we did, but I’m curious to see if I could do some drawings too.

It’s a huge goal and way too much to do in just one year, but “shoot for the stars and hit the moon” or some such inspirational meme. Seriously though, I won't know if this is a good idea or not unless I try it out.

To prove that I am not kidding about my free-hand drawing skills, I’m posting my first attempts at sketching with pen. Yes, pen, ballpoint pen and a little marker to be exact. I know, no forgiving pencil and eraser to cover past sins! 

I follow the blog of a pen and ink artist, Chris Wilson, who likes to share his knowledge. Chris claims sketching with pen is the best way to learn to loosen up. He suggests to start by holding the pen farther back and let the lines be less controlled. Also, imagine following the outside contour of the subject to get the overall gesture. This advice sort of works for me, but I already found out I do better if I look for shapes and aim to connect the shapes together, if that makes any sense.

Okay, here is my first try. Yikes! This looks weird even to me.

"Cleaning Crew" elk sketch one ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Cleaning Crew

and another…wow, a toy truck and giant deer! 

"Toy Truck, Giant Deer" elk sketch two ©2020 Tina M.Welter

That elk in the back looks kinda good though.

"That Elk in the Back" elk sketch two detail ©2020 Tina M.Welter

Attempt #3. Messed up the placement of the back tire and what is going on with the chin of that little female elk up front…?

"Funny Face" elk sketch 5 ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Funny Face

Oh, they actually have white chins! I looked for more image reference online to figure out what was going on. A big thank you to photographers Robert Harding and"@bingtravelbunny."

"Lady Elk" elk sketch 3 ©2020 Tina M.Welter

"Full Figure Lady" elk sketch 4 ©2020  Tina M.Welter

Finally, a drawing I’m less embarrassed about! Full disclosure, I covered up that mistake over the back tire with white paint and re-did the pen work.

"Salt Lick" elk sketch 5 ©2020 Tina M.Welter
Salt Lick

Here’s the story behind the event I am attempting to draw from January 3, 2011.

One Sunday, very early in the morning before the sunrise, Jeff called me very softly out of our nice warm bed. “Hey, you have to see this, elk are cleaning my truck…”

Puzzled, I got out of bed and made my way as quietly as I could over to the large east facing window to look, and sure enough, a small herd of elk had surrounded Jeff’s green Toyota Tacoma truck. The metal was coated with salt from the winter roads and these animals were solemnly licking it all over. In our fifteen years living there, we had never seen the elk do that before!

They must have felt they were in luck to find a tasty treat like that just waiting for them. We don’t know if road salt was safe for them to eat, but they were certainly enjoying themselves, even pushing each other a little, greedy to get to the un-licked spots.

Eventually they were done cleaning off the truck and started to notice us staring at them, that was their cue to disperse. They casually continued up the mountain side, nosing around for munch-able plants under the snow as they went. We watched as one by one the whole herd quietly vanished in between the trees. Another memorable moment that made our difficulties of living off-grid in the woods worth all the effort.

Just in case you were wondering, the door handles of the truck were not appealing to the touch when we went out to get in it later. Ick!

What do you think?

Here’s some of my original photos, they aren’t great because there was low light and my camera had a hard time focusing through the window. Do you prefer the drawing or the photos?

"Cleaning Crew" photo ©2011 Tina M.Welter
Cleaning Crew
"The Elk Notice Us" photo ©2011 Tina M.Welter
The Elk Notice Us

Anyone else have a creative insecurity they are hiding? What are you doing to address it?

Happy Creating!


Here's a link to a list of Chris Wilson’s favorite books about drawing and sketching:

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Perfect Pair for Fall

One last entry for the this year's series on painting with only a primary color and their secondary as the color palette. I have to say, this last pair of blue and orange turned out to be my favorite.

Palette colors, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Orange and Titanium White.

I chose Ultramarine blue and Cadmium orange and found that they were very versatile when mixed together. The addition of Titanium white resulted in a wide palette of useful colors.

Palette colors, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Orange and Titanium White mixed samples.

A couple of ideas immediately came to mind to sketch out using these colors. Pumpkins, of course.

Pumpkin Sketch, Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Orange ©2019 Tina M.Welter

A landscape inspired by memories of the pinion and scrub oak trees of New Mexico.

Landscape Sketch, Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Orange ©2019 Tina M.Welter

The blue tones also made me think of a wintery sunset on the Oregon coast. I searched through my photo reference and found the perfect image from when we stayed at a condo at Otter rock, December 2016.

December View from Otter Rock condo ©2016 Tina M.Welter

Using a very light pencil lines, I made a basic grid in thirds on my 5x7 watercolor paper and made a few light sketch lines of the clouds. When painting with acrylics, it's good to remember that heavy pencil lines can become "trapped" under the paint where they are not easily erased.

5x7 watercolor paper with light grid lines photo by Tina M.Welter

Working light to dark, I used lighter tones to sketch in the basic shapes and colors and also set the horizon line at the bottom third of the painting.

View From Otter Rock painting step one ©2019 Tina M.Welter

Next, I used darker tones to add drama and contrast.

View From Otter Rock painting step two ©2019 Tina M.Welter

Last, I added more details using the lightest tones to shape the clouds and waves. I also strengthened the pure blue and orange colors at the horizon. That was fun!

View From Otter Rock painting step three ©2019 Tina M.Welter

I think the simplest thing to remember from this experiment of mixing primary colors and their secondary color is that you will always get the most interesting shades of grey. That might not sound impressive, but when painting it's often what is going on in the shadows that really make the highlights shine and gives a sense of warmth and depth to a subject. I really don't need black very often, if at all. Put that tube of Mars Black down and try mixing those wonderful dark colors yourself.

Happy Creating!


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Rose Jam

Many people were interested in my attempt to make rose jam, so I will take a little side road away from drawing and painting and focus on the art of making food instead.

My Rose Jam Experiment, Photo ©2019 Tina M.Welter
My Rose Jam Experiment, summer 2019

First of all, I did make some changes to the recipe that was in this YouTube link I referenced in my last post. It was too much sugar for my taste! I know you need enough sugar for jams to be safe to store, but there was also added lemon juice so I hoped that would be enough citric acid to do the job instead. I decided to be extra safe and keep my jar of jam in the fridge, just in case. The way I made the recipe, it only yielded one 8 ounce jar.

Here's how I made my jam:

Gather 12 large rose heads, trim and gently rinse in water and drain.

A tip on gathering the roses. The white bits where the rose petals attach to the center are supposed to be trimmed off. The recipe I followed said they make the jam bitter. Don't trim these off each petal individually, it's crazy making! :P  Grasp the entire rose head and trim the white bits off all at once.

Put your clean rose petals in a bowl and add
2 Tbsp of sugar 
1/4 tsp of citric acid OR 1 Tbsp of bottled lemon juice.
Do not use fresh lemon juice, the citric acid levels are too random to be safe. See note below***

Mix the petals and sugar and citric acid together gently with your hands until the rose petals wilt and reduce. Cover the bowl tightly or put them in a resealable plastic bag and let them rest in the fridge for a day or two, but not much longer or they may go brown.

On jam making day:

Sterilize 8 oz. canning jar and lid.

Bring to boil
1 and 3/4 cup water 
Add prepared rose petals from the fridge.
Cook about 10-11 minutes or until rose petals don't "squeak" when you chew one. Be careful not to over cook them.

Petals will look faded and pale. With a slotted spoon, remove them from the water and set aside.

To the water, add
1 and 1/3rd cup sugar...the original recipe called for TRIPLE  that amount. :O  Adjust to suit your taste.
Cook about 10 minutes more, stirring often. Test syrup on a plate by dripping small amounts and letting it cool to check it's consistency.

When it is honey like, re-add the rose petals and bring back to boil.

1/2 tsp. of citric acid OR 2 Tbsp lemon juice and cook for a minute or two more. The rose petals will turn red again. It's really cool to see.

Check consistency and turn off heat. Allow the jam to be a little thinner than you want, it will thicken more as it cools.

Originally, I left the rose petals in the jam, but I discovered I didn't like the texture. Eventually I re-heated the jam and strained the petals out from the syrup. My syrup was rather thin since I didn't use so much sugar. Next time I'll try using 2 cups of sugar. I may use the petals in a cake or something...I'm not sure what yet.

The syrup is really great on yogurt and ice-cream. I also like to add it to carbonated water for an interesting summer fizzy drink.

Here's the FYI I referenced about substituting bottled lemon juice for citric acid...

"Canned foods need to contain a certain amount of acidity or sugar to prevent food-borne illnesses, such as botulism.
Because the acidity of fresh lemon juice varies, it's best to use canned or bottled lemon juice in canning; it has a consistent acidity level.
 Use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for each 1/2 teaspoon of crystalline citric acid, which is enough for a quart of canned tomatoes."

Happy creating!



The roses I used were blooming in front of our apartment. No pesticides have been used on them since we have lived here.

June Roses photo ©2018 TinaM.Welter