Ooo looks great! This is also the summer of first canning adventures for me - I did strawberry jam and maple strawberry "smooch" last weekend. I bought the Ball book of canning, so I have tons of great recipes!
As for equipment, I found the jar lifter at a tag sale, and have just been using wooden chopsticks to handle the lids. I need to rig up a better rack for boiling the jars though, or maybe I'll break down and buy an actual one.
Yay! Though what's 'smooch'? I need to look it up!
And great idea for the tag sale. I did splurge on a water bath canner pot because I need a huge pot anyway!