Friday, August 3, 2012

A tea towel holder, and a coffee fix

Having mice use my cottage's original oven as a port-a-potty last winter was a blessing in disguise, because it justified buying a new stove with a handle you could flip a tea towel over for drying.  (Yes, I realize a new stove is an extravagant solution to this problem, but I'm a creature of habit as well as not very sensible sometimes.)

However: flipping a tea towel over the handle of an oven = dropping a tea towel onto the floor, if the handle is new and slippery and you aren't paying attention. (Yes, that's another clue about my nature.)

Of course one can always crochet or knit or sew a strap onto an attractive tea or hand towel and button it semi-permanently onto the handle, but I wanted a faster, more versatile solution, so I came up with this:

Sorry for the camera flash - inevitable - and the curling, which is the result of this little holder having been tested and found to work well.

The bottom line is, you cut a square from a pretty fabric, fold it in half, lay down some ties to secure into the seam, and stitch around all but a little gap for turning inside out again.  Then topstitch to secure the turn-around gap.  You can do something pretty with the ends of the ties, or make the ties themselves pretty, or you can just use twill tape like I did and tie knots in the end. 

Then: whooo hoooo! tie it onto the handle.

And finally, slip your tea towel - any old tea towel - through the loop.

The towel won't dry as fast as if it were spread out over the handle, but it also won't fall on the floor.  I don't know which matters more to you but I sure know what matters more to me!

* * * * *

Speaking of mattering...

Some people who come to a cottage get a little freaked out at the thought of being 'away from it all', 'all' being 'a reliable source of coffee'.  I spent a long time trying to come up with a solution to this problem because people who drink coffee tend to get a little crabby if they are offered tea in the mornings instead, even if it is really really good tea. 

There were really two branches to the problem:

1/ everybody I know seems to like different kinds of coffee, from different coffee shops

2/ nobody I know wants to drink an entire pot of coffee on their own.

There's a third issue too which is that French Press or other easy real-coffee solutions (with their adorable crafting potential, sigh) weren't going to cut it because Pete, aka the primary cottage coffee consumer, says he just doesn't like that stuff.

So here is what I came up with, and according to the coffee fans around me the coffee is way better than instant and an acceptable step down from coffeeshop fare:

It's a Keurig coffeemaker paired with my vintage Lustroware canister set.  I used to use the canisters for flour and sugar etc, but I switched to stainless steel a few years ago and also: I really want lots of red in the cottage kitchen.  (green counters: you are new and highly functional and quite an attractive shade of green and all, but your days are numbered anyway.  sorry.)

Turns out the canisters are great for storing all the different flavours of K-Cups for the coffeemaker.

Ain't life grand?

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