Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spice "Rack" Reorganization (Non-Crafty)

I found myself with an entire week off from work between Christmas and New Year's without any travel plans (unused paid time off days are lost at the end of the year at my company).  I started to think of some home organization projects I could take on during those days.  You know..... the tedious, boring kind.  The kind that don't involve my craft room.  Funny how I could organize my crafty corner of our house until the cows come home, but when it comes to the garage, pantry, linen closets or even the cabinet where I keep our spices, I stiffen up and dig my feet into the ground.

Here is a picture of where we used to house our spices.  It's corner cabinet with a built in lazy susan, and it is difficult to find anything you are looking for without other items falling over.  Even if I purged some spices and cleaned out the cabinet, it still wouldn't be an optimal place for our spices.  I decided to move them to a large, wide drawer located left of our stove where we keep our (many) kitchen towels and take out menus.  The towels and menus would be moved to a smaller, deeper drawer and the items in that drawer will go where our spices were originally kept.  Are you following all of that?

I purchased Round Metal Tins from Papermart in the 8 ounce size.  Since the lids I purchased were solid and the new home for my spices is a drawer, I decided to make a label for the tops.  I found the round frame design online and used Powerpoint to insert the spice names in the middle of the frame.  I printed the spice label out on full sheet labels from Avery and cut the circles out using a Nestabilities circle die and my new Vagabond machine.

I made the decision to replace some of the spices we had with new ones. After searching online for spice shelf life, I found this basic guide:
  • Ground spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric): 2 to 3 years
  • Herbs (basil, oregano, parsley): 1 to 3 years
  • Seasoning blends: 1 to 2 years
  • Whole spices (cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks): 4 years
  • Seeds: 4 years (except for poppy and sesame seeds; 2 years)
  • Extracts: 4 years (except for vanilla, which will last forever)
  • When it doubt, throw it out 
To help me with this in the future, I decided to place the expiration year on the bottom of each tin using Post-it adhesive roll (my new favorite thing). 

I'm not sure if this post was 100% 'non-crafty'.....but when I have to complete a task that isn't all that interesting, bringing office or craft supplies into the mix helps me carry on.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Cards & Snow Clean Up

We began sending out our Christmas cards this week.  It took me a while to finish them and I truly hope I've made enough.  I created a few different versions of the same card in different colors.  The front of the envelopes are also stamped, and I love the way they turned out.

I used the Quatrefoil Die from Papertrey Ink on all of the cards.  This bad boy gave my Cuttlebug a run for it's much, that I went out and purchased a Vagabond machine to save the muscles in my arms.  I just couldn't get the sandwich with the Cuttlebug to produce clean, crisp cuts with such an intricate die.  Holy cow, the Vagabond is a powerhouse, it showed that die who was boss!  I find myself die cutting much more now that I have it.  To make it easier to access and use I have it plugged in all the time.  Highly recommend.

Today was snow clean up in our area.  This is the third snow in one week.  I had a fight with the snow thrower on Tuesday and it won, so I decided today was my day off from snow removal.  Here is the view this morning from my craft room, it's Piper watching my husband remove the snow from the sidewalks and driveway.  Such a perfect spot for him to sit and watch!

Supplies Used:
Paper:  Spring MossHibiscus BurstVintage CreamScarlet JewelWhite
Stamps:  Holiday Photo FinishersHolly Jolly
Ink:  Scarlet JewelGarden Green, Rouge
Other  Photo Finish Strips DiesHolly Jolly DiesQuatrefoil Die