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Coffee labels

    “Cashew Nuts” … one of my healthy habits I’ve managed to incorporate into my daily routine. Just a small handful each morning is enough to hold a few aches and pains at bay.

  “Fudge” … the quickest and easiest way to administer a sugar fix when I have been “too good” and feel a sugar withdrawal migraine coming on. Also used as a sugar regulator by eating one square in the morning and one at night to prevent massive uncomfortable bloating by overindulgence.

  “Sugar Cubes” … quite simply because I think brown sugar tastes so much better in coffee than white.

Fruit tea” … I haven’t had fruit tea in ages, I haven’t been able to find my favourite, rhubarb and blackcurrant, I also haven’t gotten around to a fruit tea cake recipe I was planning to test out… something else I must rectify.

          Caramel coffee & Vanilla coffee … These are coffee pads, but not just any coffee pads, specially coffee pads…all the extra flavour with none of the extra guilt.

          Tea … quite simply plain black tea bags … nothing added, and nothing taken out …the fully leaded variety.

          De-caf Tea … tea bags of the un-leaded type.

          Sugar … of course sugar, this is a staple requirement for many in the tea and coffee department next to the kettle.

          Green and Black Tea … Hubby is the tea drinker in our house, he likes ordinary black tea and is quite happy to drink it at most places, for some time at home he was drinking de-caf tea, albeit quite unknown to himself for a while, but his preference at the moment is for a blend of both black and green tea made for him by the little “Tea Folk”.

          De-caf Coffee … no, your eyes don’t deceive you, there are two jars sporting a “De-caf coffee” label. The first jar contains instant coffee, both for the ease of making the coffee and for the reduction in electric used by not heating the coffee machine when the kettle is alreadyboiling for tea making. You can be forgiven for thinking that I’ve made a mistake here and the second de-caf coffee jar is in fact full of teabags. Howver, they are coffee bags.

          Coffee … Do you remember my old “coffee machine ” ? The one where I bought ground coffee, measured it into the scoop on the machine and steamed milk to make … (very nice) … barister style coffees. I remember it too, the problem is, that as much as I like real, non instant, coffee, I’m too lazy to make it. I looked into getting a more “lazy person” friendly machine, but didn’t want to increase the amount of plastic I threw away so finally hit on this coffee machine… it uses coffee bags.

          Well, there you have it, I’ve settled on the contents of most of my “Jars“. I’ve burnt the information on my new wooden labels, and safely stored enough spare empty labels for me to change my mind a number of times.

          The jars … the coffee station … the tiles … the cupboards… Its been a long time getting there , but I think I’m pretty much happy with this part of he kitchen.

          More from before : “Finishing and fixing” things in my “Kitchen“.

A few more Jars

        I’ve got another new toy.  It’s a wood burner, well, it’s a soldering iron really, with wood burning attachments, but I bought it solely for the wood burning side of things.  I don’t know much about pyrography, so I took a little advice from a friend and this what I came up with.  OK, so the fact that it all packed away neatly in its own case in between uses might have had a little to do with my choice too. 

          Pyrography isn’t a game I was planning on playing, it just sort of happened.  You might remember I’ve got “A few Jars in my kitchen? And do you remember how I’ve tied luggage tags onto the glass lids to say what was inside?

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          The afore mentioned friend, a fellow crafter, burns some amazing pictures and designs onto wood by hand and I got to wondering how good little wooden lables would look on my jars instead of the brown paper luggage tags, which to be honest are well overdue for an update.   I thought about asking her to make me some tags… But then I thought how annoying I would be each time I asked her for a replacement when I changed my mind about what to put in the jars, and decided to have a go at making them myself. 

        I hunted around online for some little wooden tags and eventually found the size and thickness I wanted … with the added bonus of being able to pick a shape resembleing my jars. A little further hunting around found me some waxed leather string to tie them off nicely.

        Many, many years ago I would have played with the lettering in pencil before I began, but in an attempt to be a little more modern, I started my game on the computer and filled what would be an A4 page with text boxes of the right size, then I typed in the words I needed in my favourite font and printed out the sheet of lables. If I was really up-to-date with the latest technology, this is where I would have burnt the words directly onto the wood with a lazer printer… But where would the fun be in that… I reverted back to the good-old-days and used carbon paper.

        I’ve only made a couple of tags at the moment. My crafting friend gave me a little pot of treatment for the tags once I’ve burnt them, and I not quite sure if it gives the result I’m after so I’m going to try a different finish on another one to compare before I go any further.

In the meantime, look what’s happened to my jars…

        In the old kitchen I had them lined up along the worktop, fifteen of them in total. But in this kitchen, I have just five on the worktop in the “Coffee station” and space for two rows of four in each glass cupboard above the coffee. I acquired one more as it was given to a colleague at Christmas last year (not just an empty jar… It was full of chocolates) but that still left me space for another five.

        I’ve been keeping an eye out for a few more, but all I could find were shorter ones and since I can’t fit a whole bag of the coffee pads for my new coffee maker into the size jar that I already have, I don’t really want to get smaller ones. However, the local supermarket which is now my corner shop sells the shorter, dumpy ones… As well as taller ones with no lids, on sale as vases… I bought three vases at first, then couldn’t resist, and bought another two to finish off my collection.

        I now have five taller jars on the counter in my coffee station with lids. And eight jars in each glass doored cupboards above. Being five lids short was a bit of a dilemma at first but then I bought five of the dumpy jars, just for the lids. What, you might ask am I going to do with the five dumpy jars? … Have no fear… A plan is forming in the little grey cells already.

          More from before : Kicking about in my “Kitchen“.

Farmhouse kitchen

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          It’s taken a lot longer than it probably should have, but I’ve almost reached my goal of a farmhouse style kitchen.  Again, as with the garden, the estate agents picture above didn’t tell any lies, but there were seemingly a lot of truths omitted.

          When we first moved in, we replaced the old metal window at the same time as “The door“, and taking down the monstrosity of a giant “Lean-to” outside threw a whole new light on the subject inside.

          We had whittled down our furniture in “The old house” by simply not replacing things as they got old and broken, and if you add to that the girls moving in and out and taking their bits with them, we didn’t have an enormous amount of furniture to bring with us.   It was an amazing feeling being able to buy the new bits all in one go … I don’t think we’ve had so many matching bits of furniture before, ever.

          It was flat-pack city for a while as I worked my way through box after box of strategically cut pieces of wood, putting pieces together like giant jig-saws.  The table, the chairs and the corner unit came first in the kitchen, followed at a later date by the merchant chest. 

          The table, the centerpiece of the kitchen was a strange choice.  First of all it turned out to be of the exact style as the tenants before us had chosen, but more than that, a large table in itself is a strange choice for Hubby and me, as we very seldom cook and eat together at home.  Don’t get me wrong, we very often eat together, but our tastes in food are so different that when we do eat together, we usually eat out, and someone else cooks it and does the washing up.

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          At present, the table is laid out with just table mats and coasters.  I try to keep it as clear as I can, I tend to like clutter, (ooh… And jigsaws… I like jigsaws). Hubby is more of a minimalist so the compromise seems to be I clutter things around the outside of the kitchen… And leave the table (mostly) clear.

           However, all three of my girls like to cook and eat at a table, (they do more adulting now than I ever did when they were younger), so the table gets used for more than just big jigsaws whenever they visit.

          The cupboards were the next thing I tackled in the kitchen, Hubby liked the style of the ones which came with the house, but the doors were of an mdf style covered in white plastic and the plastic had come away from the wood on lots of them. The units themselves were new enough to be metric, even if only just, and would stand another change of doors with care, so we set off to the local DIY to see what was available.  It would seem that the last house owner had had that idea too as we found the exact same cupboard doors still available.  I took off the old handles from the broken doors and with a lot of scrubbing they came up like new so I drilled matching holes and used them on the new doors.  With 23 different pieces to replace, it was a whole lot of work for a pretty insignificant result… But think of it as a face-lift… The whole point is to raise the quality of the appearance without being able to pin-point what has been done.

          The only slight concern I have is that the previous owner bought the house and let it out to tennents for seven years.  If the cupboard upgrade was his doing, then I might be looking at more kitchen cupboards in the future… Pine cupboard doors with black cast iron fittings maybe? 

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          The tiles were next.  When we bought the house, there weren’t many features that I had looked on without changes in mind, but I fell in love with the kitchen tiles.  So much so that instead of hammering them off and replacing them, which in hindsight would have been so much easier, I bought an electrical gadget to quite literally scratch out the badly done and very grubby grout out from between the tiles.  The replacement fresh white grout made a massive difference to their appearance.

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          Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the kitchen there was the wall… The deep red painted wall, the one which had once sported kitchen units, the one which now had more in’s and out’s than the hokey kokey, the one which screamed at me across the kitchen from behind the super scrubbable shiny red paint … Not my idea of a good feature wall by any stretch of even my imagination.

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          Well, after many, many months of scratching, and filling, and sealing I was almost “Satisfied” it was ready for propper painting.

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         Just a little more preparation was needed first, the woodwork, the skirting board and door frames, had to be painted before I could move forward with the ceiling and walls, definitely not my favourite job but eventually, in the name of “Kitchen progress“, I could put it off no longer. 

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          I found some scrubbable matt paint in white and surprisingly enough, after painting the ceiling I needed just two coats on walls to stop me cringing everytime I entered the kitchen.  Of course, I’m never going to be happy with the quality of wall behind the paint, but we would have needed to have it replastered to make it anywhere near perfect and that would be a whole other story.

682020211639          Finally the different parts of the kitchen are all coming together and the “Finishing touches” have arrived … the black cast iron door furniture.

          Just one final touch to finish it off, but this may take a while… Hubby and I have to find a picture for the wall which we both like.

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          More from before : “Finishing and fixing” things in my “Kitchen“.