18 October 2012

A Spicey Story

One of the delectations in my life is designing cooking and cabinet spaces in a kitchen.  I could literally spend all day looking at kitchen plans.  I've been fortunate to have been able to design three kitchens for Lovey and myself.  This last one I worked on four to five years.

See this rectangular panel to the left of the drawers?  I've often seen these as fabulous pull-out cabinets holding herbs and spices.  I love the idea of utilizing every bit of space, but I didn't particularly want my spices so close to the heat the range-top was going to emit.  I decided to house my spices in a drawer that is in the island, directly behind me when I'm standing at the stove.  I can simply turn around, open the drawer and grab what I need.

When we moved in I dumped my existing spice containers in the drawer and it worked fine except it was always messy, the round containers took up lots of space and I never really knew what I had in the drawer. Now that herbs and spices are available in bulk at several markets I frequent I only need to buy small amounts each time.  I can keep my spices fresh by buying smaller quantities. 

I needed to start by finding containers that were consistent, small and space saving.  I selected these tins I found at Specialty Bottle.  They are 2.5" high and about 1.8" across.  Resolving to keep the tiniest amounts possible of each herb and spice, these small containers would be perfect.

I made my labels, transferred everything to their new little homes and officially declared this project done.

I am still toying around with what to do with these spaces on both sides of the range-top.  The empty space back in there is just waiting to be used for something specific  One day an idea will pop into my mind.  I'll grab my graph paper, draw it up and visit the same cabinet man who built all the cabinets in this kitchen.  We'll go through our song and dance of "that won't work", and "you can't do that", but he'll figure it out because he knows what he's doing, we've been through this before with my drawings for this kitchen, and because of that, he gets me.  But there's no rush.  The space isn't going anywhere.  Any ideas?

10 October 2012

One Year and Growing!!

This happy baby is my great nephew.  He's also known as my niece's baby and my brother's first grandchild.  He has his momma's blue eyes.
He just celebrated his first birthday .

 "Okay, it's sweet...oh yeah, sugar....Mmmmm".

The birthday outfit comes off for the smash cake.  Modern day mothers are so very practical.  Happy Birthday Luke!

05 October 2012

A Halloween Treat Bag

These witch's broom treat bags have been on my 'oh-how-cute-I-want-to-make-these' list ever since I saw them in the October 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living (page 76).  For those of you who do not keep every issue of MSL, you can find them on her web site

On Tuesday of this week I arrived at work and found this little bucket filled with candy on my chair.

It was accompanied by this note letting me know that I had been 'BOO-ed'.

Those of you who work in an office environment are probably very familiar with this little game.  It appears around Halloween or Christmas (when it might be called 'Secret Santa').  Someone in the holiday spirit starts it.

The way it works is that once someone has 'BOO-ed' you by leaving you a Halloween treat and a copy of the note, you do the same to 2 others on your floor, department, or whatever.  You do this secretly and within one day.  You also display the picture of the ghost somewhere in your cubicle or office to let others know you've already participated, or have been BOO-ed.

Required to leave treats for only two people was not a gigantic task.  This would be a good opportunity to try out the witch's brooms since I didn't have to make a large number of them.

Here's what you will need.....
scissors, small branches around 7" long (1 for each broom), black twine or ribbon, lunch-size paper bags (2 for each broom) and whatever candy / goodies you want to fill your bags with

You'll be using 2 lunch bags for each broom.  Unfold one bag and push out its base while folding in the left and right sides.  Using the scissors, cut the bag into thin strips, stopping just short of the base.

 Cut thin strips into the top inch of the second bag.

Lay out the first bag

Open up the second bag and set inside the shredded one; fill with candy and/or other treats.

Gather up the shredded bag around the inside bag and cinch the tops of both bags.  Insert a small branch and secure with the black twine or ribbon.

My Thoughts
These are really big and they hold a lot of candy.  Each one of these held a whole bag of candy corn!  You can let your imagination run wild and put other fun, non-edible goodies in them too.
You can also use the smaller, miniature brown paper bags to make these if you prefer a smaller version (which I think is what I would do).