Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My personal alchemy lab

♫ Sabaton – The Hammer Has Fallen

There are a hundred things I could do, should do, or would do (if) and I'm not sure if I'm good at prioritizing my projects, but when I suddenly got a strong urge to make custom labels for my spice jars, I just... well, put everything else off. Okay not really, but at least I completed this project rather fast.

Or too fast. :> The final stages, i.e. printing, cutting and sticking the labels to the jars were carried out late in the evening, and the kitchen was quite dark too when I eyed the line of my new custom jars in my cupboard and happily closed the cupboard door. And now the daylight (and especially the photos) reveal the ugly truth: I cannot cut anything even if my life depended on it. Seriously, I've never been too handy with scissors, and even though most lines have been cut with a paper knife and a ruler, the results are not too good on average. But I blame it on my desk lamp which recently resigned office.

I would have wanted to create labels which seem very old and probably bear resemblance to poison bottles and such, preferably printed on a brown paper... But since my spice jars are genuine Ikea products and don't look old, antique, vintage or whatever, I decided to go for a less extreme style. As you can see, the background isn't pure white (but I've failed to cut off the extra white paper here and there!). I looked up some instructions on how to use all those spices on the internet and put a brief description in the labels simply because I need some guidance. I am not the worst cook, but experimenting with spices isn't my area of expertise. However, I also wanted to add some useless information as well, such as the Latin names and some labels even got a suggestion for medicinal uses. (And in case you understand Finnish, don't try to use those tips! :D They may be accurate (or pure superstition) but I wouldn't really try to pour parsley tea into my eyes.) I guess pirates need medicinal herbs though...

I drew more or less accurate pictures of most spices, yet spice blends got a picture of a random spice bottle and cardamom had to settle for a pastry since cardamom seeds look too strange and I've never used it for anything but baking.

And I should have taken all the photos from this angle so that you wouldn't have seen all that salt on my shelf. Oops, I've forgotten to clean it. :x Maybe one day I can replace those Ikea jars with something resembling old apothecary jars and bottles and create labels which seem more mysterious. However, I think those are better than the masking tape strips which marked the jars before. So long!

P.S: I was positively surprised to find matte sticker paper which was very affordable too. I bought a variety which hadn't been die-cut into smaller labels of a certain size because I want to be able to use it for versatile projects. However, the backing paper was a pain to remove!

P.P.S: What is your favorite spice and why? I love the scent of cinnamon, cardamom and curry. I know cinnamon isn't particularly healthy (at least not the cheap type) but if I buy vanilla ice cream, I eat it with cinnamon (doesn't happen too often though). I would like to use (mild) curry more, but I am still not too good at experimenting. Oh, and one of my favorites: lemon pepper! It goes with almost anything. :D (Not really, but I love it anyway.) I love the scent and flavor of lemons, though I don't really eat the actual fruits.


  1. Kauniita purkkiloita! Huvituin kun luin otsikon; sattumalta olen alkanut itsekin harrastaa hieman kotialkemiaa, tosin enemmän hajuvesipitoista sellaista. :D
    Kyllä se on korianteri. Siihen liittyy paljon mukavia muistoja ja mielikuvia. Yhdessä lapsuuteni suosikkikirjassa mainittiin seikkailun tuoksussa olevan aina 'ripaus korianteria'. Nostalgiamauste siis. :>

    1. Kiitos. :> Heheh, hajuvedet ja niiden valmistus onkin sitten varmaan ihan oma maailmansa! Sellaisiin tuoksuihin en ole vielä hurahtanut, ennemminkin pelkään käyttää mitään, kun pelkään ettei oma nenä kerro tuliko liikaa vai liian vähän. Ja pelkään myös, että jos joku muu käyttämäni kosmetiikkatuote tuoksuu (enkä haista sitä itse) ja se sekoittuu johonkin hajuveteen, kombo ei välttämättä olisi niin kiva.
      Hmm, korianteri, ei löydy omasta maustekaapista enkä varmaan oikein osaisi käyttää. :0 Nyt mietin miltä se tuoksuikaan. :>

  2. Wonderful idea. i love spices. My favorite spices are cinnamon, basil, red hot chill pepper. I usually buy mixes of spice Like "the Hunter's" spices" and so on. To organize them would be great. Now there is a big mess in the shelf where they are.

    1. Thanks. :) Mixes are indeed quite practical, though this time they were boring to illustrate and describe. :D


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