Monday, March 7, 2011

Project: Spice and Herb Jars - Redo

Years ago, I purchased some small jars to house my spices and herbs - for me, the commonly found 8-10 jar set offered too limited a selection for the spices I regularly use (can you restrict your herb and spice use to 8 spices only? I can't), and the standard spice jar size was too small...smaller than the "small jars" I just said I bought.

Because these jars I bought were not purpose-made, they did not come with labels, and so that was a job I had to see to. (Even if they had come with labels, I doubt some major corporate would have had my specific herb and spice list.) See how I said "had," back there? That I "had" to make labels? Really, we all know I wanted to. I came up with a simple, modern design that appealed to me at the time, then printed, laminated (at school), and backed with double-sided tape. Over time, the labels began to fall off (due to moisture in the kitchen). That, and each time we moved, the jars were kept somewhere different - sometimes on a shelf (so their lids could not be read easily, if up high, but the labels I made could be seen), other times in a drawer (where the lids are all that can be seen). I ended up hand-writing labels onto the lids, in desperation. /shudder I dealt with this blow by promising myself I would redo the labels...and soon.

Here's the state they were in, until this morning:
There's a jar still wearing my old label, and maybe you can just make out my handwrittten capitals on the lid for the same spice. Another problem with hand-writing the labels, is that no matter what pen I used, the lid's label became less and less visible over time...and Haki and I had started opening jars and sniffing them, holding the lid to the light...and performing all manner of tests to deduce what spice we are holding.

Haki and my dad work for a photography and printing company. Using some free circle graphics from Just Something I Made, I designed new labels, and had these puppies printed in waterproof ink on a vinyl paper backed with mastic adhesive. Yus - I win, jars. Of course they are in the Coney Country Kitchen colours; light blue and fire engine red; the light blue is for the savoury herbs and the red for the typically "sweet" spices.

I did end up cutting the circles by hand, since my dad hasn't yet learned how to programme the cutting function (and he was the one that did me the favour), but I don't mind my wonky circles...much.

P.S. Tarragon (pictured) is one of the spices that I culled in this revamp - making new labels was a great opportunity for me to take stock of what was really getting used and what was lacking; Tarragon got the bump for Five Spice (which didn't have a jar, previously). Isn't this exciting, and dramatic?
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