noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Like the Spice Life, Baby...

Good morning, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  And welcome to June, too.  Do you see the exclamation points after that sentence?  No?  Well, it's because here we are in JUNE, with our weather still being cold.  Makes me very, very cranky. Seriously, WHEN will it start to warm up?  This California-born girl is not handling this very well.  Seems like every year it takes longer and longer for it to get warm and then it's fall and it's not warm anymore.  I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! Someone send me some warm vibes, would ya?  Please?

Mr. Weatherman, please send me some warmth.  I NEEEEEED it!  I truly do!  Alas, the dang weather person is not giving me my wish, so I have to do it myself.  What is wrong with this world today?  No one likes to be giving anymore.  Sheesh.  What did I ever do to the weather people to get this kind of treatment? Well, I still ramble...but, since I have to spice things up myself, this is what I came up with.  Spice jars.  I know, I know, not exactly the spice of life or the greatest  spice up in the weather, but it's something!  And heaven knows...I need something!  LOL

A lot of you can probably relate to the dilemma of opening that cabinet door to get out your oregano, basil, whatever spice or herb you're looking for, just to have to sift through 50 million of the things to find the one you want.  What - you don't have 50 million of them?  Where have you been?  Are you a pod people or something?  Seriously, WHO doesn't have a bazillion spices in their cupboard?  Sorry, I was feeling a little alone and overwhelmed there.  Anyhoo, as I was saying...the sifting, the moving, the "ah crud, I don't even have any of that" and the "why do I have four bottles of this" quandary.  It's ridiculous.

One would think that we could keep our spices neatly stored where they belong, but noooooooo.  No matter what I do, those little buggers come out at night and move themselves around in all kinds of ridiculous places and then I can't find the one I want when I need it.  Now, I've always been an organized cupboard gal, but I just don't know how the spices get so messed up.  It can't be because I continually use them so a different one makes it to the front every time. And it certainly can't be because my cupboards are messy.  They most certainly are not!  Ask anyone that knows me, they'll tell you I'm very OCD about my cupboards. Sad, but very, very true.

Last week as I was once again rooting through those darn things, looking for something I SWEAR I bought, I couldn't find it.  Turns out I bought something I already had and not what I actually needed.  Great.  Now I'm a little miffed.  Spices are not cheap.  They are VERY not cheap.  I've actually thought of selling blood or plasma or one of my grown children just so I could have money for a bottle of spice when I needed it.  Hey, I'm getting desperate!  I'm sure that's why Erma Bombeck (God rest her soul, she was a wonderful woman) said, "Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go."

Anyhoo, as I was sitting in my craft room on the computer, I was looking around me and happened to eye these cute little jars I bought a couple of years ago for an "anything goes" project for a stamp group that I belonged to.  I had used those jars to hold M&Ms (one still has some in it).  Hmmm, I have two left (including the one with the candy, which means I may be forced to eat it).  Of course, I immediately wondered if they would be a good size to use to make myself some matching spice jars.  They are totally cute, small enough to not cause a scene, and SHOULD hold enough of something to be useful.  After all, they hold several M&Ms just fine, and we all know that spices are not as big and bulky as M&Ms.  Right?  We ALL know that, right?  HUMOR ME, HERE!

My next thought was how to label them.  I am a huge fan of the chalkboard look, and my first thought was to chalkboard paint the fronts and write on them.  But then I saw something with glass etching and went "ooohhh, ahhhhh" to myself.  Shoot.  What's a girl to do?  So, like any normal person, I took a jar to work with me and asked Shelly and Leslie for their opinions.  It's very important to get feedback.  Well, they were NO help.  Leslie said, "definitely chalkboard paint."  Shelly said, "but the glass etching...oooh."  Thanks girls..thanks a lot. Where do I find these people?  That dilemma went on for several days.  I just couldn't figure it out.  Love the chalkboard, but glass etching is so pretty.  Enter Michaels.  Shelly and I just happened to end up there (not sure how that happened) and we looked at the glass etching stuff.  Um...expensive!  For what you get, the glass etching cream is expensive.  This stuff better be good and go a long way at that price.  Then we looked at the letter templates.  Glass etching wasn't going to work for this project.  The letters were not small enough to fit a whole name on the front of the jars.  Bummer. But I will still use my little tiny bottle of etching cream for something else.  I bought a small (3 oz) bottle for $12.99.  I have an idea.  hee hee hee

That same evening, I had to go to Safeway, which just happens to be right by Staples. Well, a few stores down, but hey, who's talking distance?  Of course, Staples is one of my favorite places, so in I went.  Leslie had told me about some labels that were chalkboard labels so I thought maybe that would be less messy.  Nope. They're too big.  Curse you, too big chalkboard labels!  But then, I saw some different labels.  And they're very cute.  In the same section.  By Martha Stewart (and no, I am not a groupie, but Martha does have some great stuff sometimes). Little kraft labels, in cute little shapes.  Oh goodness, THIS WAS IT! Angels were singing and bells were ringing (technically it was the fire truck siren as it went by, but hey, ringing is ringing)!  These would be perfect!

I grabbed me a package (there are 36 labels in one package) and headed home. Yay, I was one happy girl!  Hubby was on a field trip so it was just me and I promptly went to the computer to play with my labels.  How fun!  I looked up some little tidbits about each spice and used them for my labels.  The font I chose was very plain; I wanted it to just attract the eye, not overwhelm it or make you squint because you can't actually read it.  THAT was fun!  Putting the labels together was easy once I figured out how I wanted them to look.  Ooh, one sheet done; time to print!  Uh, printing was A NIGHTMARE.  No matter how much or how many times I adjusted my printer, it was almost impossible to have the labels print out properly. I ended up with one good sheet, which was my last sheet.  The others were ruined. The labels would not align as they looked on the template no matter what.  I was totally disgusted.  I was even using the template program that went with Martha's labels, which was user friendly as far as making the labels, but didn't let me save them like I wanted.

Well, with that last sheet finally printed out correctly, I had no labels left.  But I wrote down the settings I had used and got more labels.  I knew they would print right now that I'd fixed it.  NOPE!  I didn't even get one good sheet out of the next pack.  As much as  I love the look of these labels, I will not be using them again.  At least not to print on.  It's frustrating.  At $3.99 per pack, I have one good sheet out of $8 worth of labels.  I'm not very happy about that.  

The labels that did work out are adorable.  I love how they look, and I love that they fit perfectly on my jars and they look like something you could get in a store. Love, love, love the look.  However, I will be hunting down some self-adhesive kraft paper in a lighter weight in order to finish the labels off, and I will be using my nestabilities or my sizzix to cut the labels out.  Sorry Martha, your label template issues are not for me; I don't feel like wasting all my hard-earned money.  Nosiree jimbob, that will not be happening.  As a side note, once I attached the labels to the jars, I did mod podge the allspice one, just to see if the extra protection was worth it to me. It wasn't.  It smeared my ink, even though it had been dry a while, and the coating of mod podge made the labels look almost dirty.  Now, I used an ink jet printer, so I'm sure that's why the ink smeared.  It doesn't dry like it does with a laser printer.  If you're using a laser printer, you should be just fine.

Anyhoo, labels are on, jars are cute, and I'm ready to hang them.  Oh, did I say hang them? Well, yes I did.  I am actually going to hang these on the wall instead of putting them in the cabinet.  I think they're fun to look at, fun to read (the little tidbits) and I want easy access. So...I will be getting one or two of those magnetic tool bars (like the ones in a mechanic shop) to hang them from.  Hubby will attach the tool bars, I will adhere the magnets to the backs of the jars and voila!  Magnetic spice rack all my own.  Even with the frustration of the labels, I really like the finished product so I am very happy with them.

Good thing...I have 50 million spices to store and, as they say, "variety is the spice of life."  

Snap lid jars (3 inch) from Darice; Kraft labels from Martha Stewart; Font is Ariel.


  1. I love the printables you have added to the jars.. Thanks for linking up at friday fun party. :)

  2. Thank you Hani! I love your blog and have listed it as one of my faves. :)

  3. I am in a lifelong battle with my spice jars. Yours look wonderful. So glad you shared them at this week's BFF Open House.

  4. Thank you, Carol! I swear those things multiply!

  5. Great idea! I'm gonna mark this one for my kitchen once we get the renovations done! Thanks for sharing. . .

  6. Glad you liked it! I'm really loving how they turned out and having the access right there without having to hunt each spice down. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by!

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