diy apothecary……

I had fully intended to get rid of this cabinet. We moved it into the corner of the apartment to get it out of the way when we moved in, and that is where it sat for the next nine months. I tried to find a before picture of this project. The first picture is as close as I got. If you look close, you can see that the bottom left cabinet has a big hole cut into it. Someone had long ago installed a record player in the left side and a fabric covered speaker behind the door. I guess they cut some of the door off so they could hear it better? I'm not sure. 

When we moved things for the studio swap I knew I would be loading it into the van for a trip to Salvation Army. Somehow quite luckily a light-bulb went off in my head and told me "hello, this is the apothecary you've been looking for." Actually that sounds more like Jedi mind trick. Anyhow, I had my heart set on finding a shelved glass cabinet of some sort. I hadn't even thought of using this cabinet. Even though I swooned over the latches on the lower cupboards. As it turns out, a quart mason jar fits perfectly on the lower shelves and essential oils on the shallow top shelf. A good scrub and a few MINER minor modifications turned it into just the thing I was looking for. My Jedi light-bulb was right. All for free too, as it was left behind by the previous owners….. 

apothecary (before studio project, cabinet in the left corner) (also summer *gasp*, oh how i miss her.)

apothecary (after studio project)

apothecary(in progress : hemming curtains for studio shelf, covering cardboard for cabinet doors + Joe's tools say hello)

apothecary(cabinet gets a new home in the kitchen)

apothecary

apothecary

apothecary

apothecary

apothecary

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apothecary

Joe cut the rest of the center door pieces off and I scrubbed the whole thing nice and clean. I used some home dec weight fabric from my stash to cover cardboard and then slid them into the groove of the door. I couldn't find this print on etsy, but I did find this one (another favorite flea market print of mine!) It ended up being such an easy project. All my herbs and essential oils have a happy new home. We reused something unloved and gave it purpose. Perhaps best of all, I found a good thing about my very dark kitchen, no need to worry about direct sunshine on the herbs as it gets very little light in there. However, I am still not in love with the cantaloupe hued walls. See all those cream colored swatches above the cabinet? Yes, the kitchen is going to be WHITE. Kind of crazy for a girl so fond of color, right? But I need all the brightness I can get in there. And yes there is a difference between each of those colors. I keep asking Joe which one looks best in morning light, or afternoon light. He thinks I'm a little nutty. I know there are some of you out there that get this need to pick just the right shade. Ahem.

On another herb related note, I am bottling my first tinctures & tonics today! They've been brewing for the last TWO months. I'm so excited to see what they taste like and how they make us feel. I did a little improv herb wise based on our needs, but the recipes are from Rosemary Gladstar's book of Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (I made the Men's Elixir & Brain Tonic) and Holly Bellebuono's Essential Herbal for Natural Health (I made the Women's Ultimate Tonic Elixir). Have you ever visited either of these womens home on the internet? Rosemary is here and Holly is here. They are both sort of local-ish to me here in New England and they both offer online herbal classes which look amazing. I also found out there is an affordable women's herb conference in New England every summer, this year is their 27th year! It looks incredible. Especially because you can take your daughters with you for the weekend. I'm trying to figure out if this is something we can work into our summer. Just maybe……

So how many of you dabble in herbs? What are your favorite references? Do you have an online resource or class that you love? Do share…..

xo,

 

28 thoughts on “diy apothecary……

  1. It is perfect! Last summer I turned our china cabinet into my little apothecary area and I have never looked back. I dabble in herbs, no classes except what I took at nutrition school (a herbal medicine class). And two summers ago I did a little wild herb/walk class, totally awesome if you can take one. We walked in the woods learning about wild herbs/flowers and how to use them. Last summer I started growing herbs to use for salves and teas. Have done some tincturing, but not a lot. Rosemary is awesome. Looking forward to checking out the other site your recommended.

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  2. "I dabble in herbs" I love that statement. Finding a local herb walk this summer is on the *top* of my list for sure. I just know there must be tons of great stuff right in my backyard that I don't know how to identify. Books are great, but in person is so much better! I do have lots of herb seeds for my garden this summer, really looking forward to that. Especially calendula!

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  3. Lovely cabinet. I need to find something like this to put all my herbs in right now. We move a lot with the military and I insist on moving all furniture until I am sure that I might not use it. I might just have to do a little scavenger hunt through my grandparent’s farmhouse attic. They kept everything and I know they would love to see things put to use. Thanks for the idea! By the way, the studio is beautiful and so full of wonderful natural light. enjoy!

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  4. I can't believe it took me almost a year to look at it as an apothecary. So crazy. It's perfect and so sweet that it has lived in this house longer than us. I love that part of it. Also, I make so much more tea when it is looking at me 🙂

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  5. We're military too! I know just what you mean. I've held onto pieces I loved even though they didn't work in some places. It's just so hard to find good old stuff 🙂 I hope you find a magic piece in your grandparent's attic. How I would love to have a scavenger hunt like that! Also, thank you for the studio love. It's still so new and I can hardly believe it's really mine. Very lovely for the next few years 🙂

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  6. that looks so great! + looks perfect in your kitchen! totally meant for the space!
    super excited that you’re painting! I’m hoping to paint our bedroom. I want a new dresser with shelves above it (they’re stacked up in Joseph’s closet!) + a huge rug. I can see it all in my head! along with my imaginary screened in porch!!!
    can’t wait to hear more about your tinctures! 😊

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  7. It’s fantastic!! I love those interesting “win” moments…so many gifts right before our eyes and sometimes we just need “eyes” to see them. Enjoy that gift.

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  8. It is perfect. What an awesome Jedi voice you have there!
    I miss my garden, with lots of herbs along with the veggies! Love them! Soon. Again very soon!
    Thanks for sharing all of the links. I am going to stash them in my pocket to read over tonight.

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  9. What color are you painting the room? We need to paint our room too. Really, it all needs painting. I'm trying to pick easy rooms first though. I'm dreading the dining room because we've got to switch out those funky "castle candle" lights in there. Lighting is always expensive. Dining room is going to be *sunny*yellow*. I think about us all the time on your screened in porch. Sipping coffee, talking, kids running around…….

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  10. Thank you! It isn't what I had pictured in my head…. sometimes I get so stuck on what I imagined and miss what is right in front of me. I'm glad I had the "ah-ha" moment before I took it to the thrift store!

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  11. Dreaming of gardens here too. Sometimes I sit and go through my seeds (again) just to make the dream a little more real. I have so many things to get planted in February when I start seeds inside. I can't wait!

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  12. I can’t believe you were going to get rid of that! It’s beautiful! (But first I can’t believe that someone cut it up to begin with!)
    I think it will look lovely in your white kitchen 🙂
    Yes, we do dabble in herbs, but I think we need to start taking it much more seriously. These healing plants are here as a wonderful gift to us!

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  13. we have a great herb conference down here in western NC every year~ this fall it will be in it’s 10th year and I’m excited to finally get back after 3 years away (my last time I was 6 months pregnant and then, well…. infancy and toddlerhood followed). it is the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference. Rosemary Gladstar has been a keynote speaker a couple times, along with Susun Weed and others. I want o start making tinctures, but haven’t so far. I have made elderberry syrup and garlic elixir, salves, balms and such…. love mountain rose herb!

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  14. Thank you. I had just assumed it wouldn't work, and then it ended up being perfect. I just had to rework the idea in my brain of what I was looking for. It's really so sweet because who knows how long that cabinet has been in this house, you know? It's like a bit of history. And someday when we move, I'll bring it with me and have a piece of this home forever, in a way. On another note, yes to getting serious about herbalism! I signed up for an online class through Vintage Remedies and I'm saving up to take an apprenticeship program next summer (I hope). The more I read, the more excited I am about it. Herbs are so wonderful! 

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  15. Yeah! So happy you will get to go. I *so* want to work the one here into our summer schedule. I wonder if they are sister conferences? The names are so similar. And I know Rosemary is involved with this one too. I'm tempted to sign up for her online course. It looks so wonderful! She is so proactive in offering classes and educating people on herbs….. so wonderful! The tinctures I made were wonderful!! The elixers especially. I tinctured the herbs in brandy and then added cherry juice concentrate and they taste like a liquor. Very delicious! We're making FIRE CIDER this weekend! And more elderberyy syrup too. Salves are next on my list too. I bought some calendula seeds for the garden. So many ideas 🙂 
    ps ~ love mt rose herbs too!

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  16. Oh, that is a beautiful apothecary! I received Rosemary’s book for Christmas and I have been waiting for life to slow down so I can jump in. In reality, I have only made dragon juice cough syrup, but in my mind I have made all kinds of other things – elderberry syrup, balms, tinctures! I even planted calendula in my garden last summer, but the tomatoes overshadowed everything and the one bloom was knocked off by one of my munchkins. I have purchased guides and books, like the one from Rachel at LuSa, but I haven’t jumped in yet. See, I need a mentor. I need all the amazing women from the internet to get together and move into my neighborhood! Any takers?

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  17. Rosemary's book is the best! I love that you have made all those great herbals in your mind 🙂 Hoping to grow calendula this year here…. I heard it does well. We'll see. I should totally host an herb mentor course of some sorts once I've got a little more knowledge under my belt. The gypsy herbal home….. lol. It would be so fun!

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  18. That’s a stunning cabinet. And so full of goodness. 🙂 I recently bought three pieces of furniture at the thrift shop and refurbished them. It was my first time doing it and it was so much fun!

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