Spice Jars or Physical Manifestation of My Neurosis? You Decide.

Baby Food Jar Spice Rack

Soooo I thought turning empty baby food jars into spice containers was an original idea until I googled it. Not so much. BUT, to my knowledge, I am the only person who  laminated her jar labels with packing tape before using her label maker to name the spices, so there’s that. This step makes it much easier to change the name of the jars without having to make whole new labels.  I don’t know if it’s pure genius, or just another way my commitment phobia and OCD manifest themselves, but let’s go with genius. Genius!

I realize that a tutorial isn’t necessary for this project – make label, stick it on jar – but just in case you’re interested, here’s how I did it.

Materials You Will Need

Empty, Clean Baby Food Jars
Acrylic Paint
White Craft Glue
Scrapbook Paper
Plain Ol’ Paper Paper
Packing Tape
Label Maker

Step 1: Paint your lids

I channeled my inner Neil Buchanan (Art Attack) and mixed some PVA (white) glue into some acrylic paint to get it to stick to the lid (maybe a little less than half and half – more paint than glue). It took about four coats of paint, and I topped that with some straight-up glue to make the final product shiny.

Disclaimer: Storing your food in something that’s coated with PVA glue is probably not the healthiest of options, but I wanted to use materials I had on hand. Also, I like to live dangerously. If you’re not a super bad-A like myself, maybe consider researching some other alternatives. Granted, the paint is on the OUTSIDE of the lid (no need to paint the inside), but if you get some kind of weird glue poisoning, please do not sue me. You have been warned; glue and food do not mix!

Step 2: Cut your label

Cut a strip of scrapbook paper to make your main label. My strip was about 3.5cm tall by 22cm wide.

Step 1

Step 3: Cut a decorative border

I used a pencil to trace a border about 1.5cm tall, and then I cut along one of the edges with my fancy pants decorative scissors. I am sure there are scrapbooking tools that would make much neater work of this step, or you could free-hand a fancy edge.

Step 2

Step 4: Outline your decorative border

I used a ruler and a black permanent marker to make an outline around my border because I didn’t feel it “popped” enough without it.

Step 3

Step 5: Stick your border to your label

No need to go crazy here – I just used 2 tiny pieces of two-sided tape to tack it down so it wouldn’t shift around during the “laminiating” process (see next step). Trim any excess.

Step 4

Step 6: Ghetto laminate your label with packing tape

Oooh yeah. Ghetto laminating is where it’s at. Just put a layer of packing tape over the entire label, front and back, and trim the excess. It helps to leave a teeny tiny border of clear tape around the label.

Step 7: Name your spice jar

Add a label from your label maker to your jar.

Step 8: Tape your label to the jar and fill with spices.

Admire your work.

BONUS: Upcycle an empty clementine box into an actual spice rack for your jars

Because I am CRAZY, I also painted an old clementine box and slapped a label onto the front. Instant spice rack!



WIP* – Sprout’s 100-Year Afghan

Sneak Peek at Sprout’s 100-Year Afghan

I’m getting down with my crafty self again! My desire to sew/knit/crochet comes in waves – either I’m all over it, or I want nothing to do with it. I was in a major slump until Butterbean pulled out my yarn and asked me to teach her to knit. So cute! Total disaster, though; my 3 year-old does not have the patience to eat her dinner in one sitting let alone learn to knit (or crochet, in this case). She gave up on making anything useful about 2 minutes in, and now prefers digging my hooks around in a ball of yarn until it is a frayed, tangled mess.

During her week-long knitting obsession, the Bean convinced me to crochet a sweater for one of her Cabbage Patch Kids (maybe I’ll post the finished project sometime), and Chase seized that opportunity to guilt me into making something for Sprout.

I really wanted to make this afghan for Bean Sprout, but I was too cheap to buy the pattern so I made up my own version and ran with it. I’m calling it the “100-Year Afghan” because it is taking for-freaking-ever to finish. I could have crocheted 2 blankets in the time it’s taken me to do an eighth of this one. Each flower represents about 15 minutes of work once I’ve tied it into the overall piece and woven the ends in. And that doesn’t even count finishing the afghan off around the edges – I’m still not even remotely sure how I’m going to do that. Do I make it a hexagon shape? Do I make it a rectangle? Square? Who knows!

I’ll post the finished project as soon as it’s done. I like the look of this blanket so far, and I’m sure it will be worth the hours I’ve put into it.

*or “work in progress” for you non-craft-nerds.

**You can see Butterbean’s baby blanket here.

The Great TTC Knitalong 2011

Remember that Knitalong thing I was telling you about a little while ago? Well, it was this weekend and it was fabulous!

All of the participants were nice and cute and nerdy in all the right ways. Most everyone seemed ten times more hardcore than myself (two people on my team brought SUITCASES – the kind that have wheels – in addition to canvas bags, because they planned to buy enough yarn to fill them. HARDCORE).

I was a little ashamed because I showed up with my cheap Walmart yarn and my one and only project which I started months ago and never picked up again. My teammates all seemed to have The Good Stuff (the good, non-acrylic stuff that I got to fondle all day as we trekked from store to store, the stuff I wanted to gather into a big pile and roll around in until I fell asleep with tears of joy drying on my cheeks, the stuff I can’t afford but bought 6 balls of anyway because I could.not.resist), and projects they were passionate about. Many people were wearing knitted accessories and whole shirts they had made themselves. Naturally, I was in love.

And there was swag! I’m too lazy to take pictures of mine, but we all got some great yarn, a bright orange bag with the TTC Knitalong logo on the front, some coups… I got some free knitting needles and some detergent from Romni, one of the wool stores we went to. There were draws and prizes (I think the majority of which went to my team, Team Red. Go us!).

We went to three new-to-me yarn stores, Passionknit, Knit-O-Matic, and Romni, and an old favourite of mine, Mary Maxim. I fell in love with each, ESPECIALLY Romni. That place is insane!! Here’s just a TINY peek:


What is this place?! 

No one seemed too weirded out that there was a group of people crafting it up on the public transportation system, although I heard one of my team members refer to the non-knitting passengers as “Normals” and it made me giggle on the inside.

Oh my goodness, the yarn!! Did I mention the yarn? Nothing makes me happier than floor-to-ceiling balls of colour (like this scene from Knit-O-Matic):

Look at us! Shoppin’!

Knit-O-Matic was pretty awesome because they have a BIRD working there. Um, okay, maybe not working working, but definitely providing some entertainment. He fell in love with one of my teammates (whose name I think might be Robin, but I am terrible with names and I may be calling her Robin because I associated her with the bird. Sorry, Robin-who-may-not-be-Robin) while we were there.

Aww! Birdie Kisses!

So nice!

After the ride-a-long on the TTC and all of the shopping, we hung out at the Rivoli for drinks, food and prizes. I had to leave kind of early in the evening, but it was such a great day. I met some like-minded peeps, agreed to join the Toronto Crochet Guild (whose members are super nice), found some awesome local yarn stores that I plan to frequent now that I know they exist, bought some patterns and some yarn, and renewed my passion for all things crafty. Oh, and I donated some money to a good cause and became an Ambassador of Knitting and all that good stuff. Loved it!

Special thanks goes to the organizers of the TTC Knitalong and my team captains, Glenna and Lisa, my team members who were all fantastic, the stores and the Givers of Swag, the Normals on the TTC who didn’t so much as jostle me while I was crocheting, and to Kylie, my hero and Whitney’s babysitter, who took my little one off my hands so I could attend this awesome event. Thank you!

New Miranda Monday and Breastfeeding Tip #2

Soooo I’ve made SOME progress on this whole quilt thing I had planned, but obviously I’m a little behind. At least I have it cut and laid out?

Because this is World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I’d throw another nursing tip out there (in fact, I’ll be talking about my boobs until next Sunday. You’re welcome!). I would highly suggest investing in some good nursing bras and tops, instead of free-bagging it around the house like yours truly. Your breasts will never be the same – the least you can do is give them a little support. Rebecca and Leftina (my boobs), who are quickly making their way toward my knees, totally agree.

Ways to Save Money: Make Gifts For Your Friends

Whitney went to her friend Maya’s first birthday party on Saturday (so cute!). I couldn’t afford to buy a gift so I tore all of our boxes apart searching for my fabric stash and sewing machine (it took hours) and came up with this blanket for the birthday girl:

This may be my favourite quilt yet. I hope I have enough of the mushroom fabric left to recreate it for Whitney.

Maya’s blanket was my first FO in a long while, and it made me miss being crafty. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting Weebitz up and running again so you may see many more sewing posts in the coming days and weeks.

Whitney enjoying herself at her first birthday party experience.

Blanket for Butterbean – First FO for the Baby

I haven’t made a whole lot of progress on my other crafty projects, but Whitney gave me some yarn to make something for Butterbean this weekend, and I leapt all over it. I crafted up this blanket in just under a week. Whoo!!

Blanket for Butterbean

Blanket for Butterbean

Blanket for Butterbean

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this project as much as I do. I feel like it’s kind of old lady-ish (like something your grandma would make for her grandchild), but it turns out that’s my favourite part about it. It’s very textured and very cute, and it was fun to make.

I used this pattern (without the hood): http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/cpl-bafg.html

FO – Baby Cardigan

FO - Baby Sweater

Knitting is hit and miss for me because I am so new at it, that the end result doesn’t look as nice and professional as I would like. Plus it takes forever to make what I could have done in a fraction of the time (and a zillion times the quality) with a crochet hook.

I worked on this sweater for a looong time. I spent one whole day (more than 12 hours), and half of another knitting it. I knew if I stopped, it would sit in my bag for years and it would never be finished.

Aside from the socks and hat I started recently, this was the first real pattern I followed. And I learned to increase and decrease for this thing (beyond the ol’ knit 2 together), so there’s something. I also blocked for the first time in my life (if throwing a damp towel over it counts as blocking). In that respect, I am very proud of it.

I REALLY need a course on finishing, though – specifically sewing my work together. I am not happy with the seams at all.

FO - Baby Sweater

FO - Baby Sweater