KAOS 2020

This has been a hush hush project so now that it has made it to its recipient I am happy to go over the details.

Back in December, I had found a group know as the Kingdom Artisans Outlandish Swap (KAOS). After some scrolling and a bit of good timing, I found that the 14th swap was about to start! Filling out an application I was accepted and paired up with another gentle whom I was to make a household item for. I was on a banner making kick and thought perfect, I can do this.

Feeling full of confidence I quickly discarded the banner idea as I realized I wasn’t as good as I would like and set about with a kitchen spice box after probably 2 months of panic.

My original sketch up included a number of different elements to give my recipient a small yet useful box to further explore their love of cooking. The original design work was rather ambitious and COVID took many of the items out of the box.

The Final Line Up

The Napkin/hand cloth/apron

Every kitchen has one the thing you grab to wipe your hands protect them from a hot pan or mop up. I had some cotton blend I had washer dyed and decided that it would fit the bill. Armed with some gray silk thread I set about using my best embroidery to get part of my recipients’ arms on there.

I had traced the unicorn but found that in my haste I had moved the cloth and shifted the paper on the light board. So there was some minor fudging of the face…and some of the mane. But it worked out and soon I had that part finished after a few nights of work.

The Box

I spent some time looking for the right box. My goal was something small enough to fit in a bag but not to small as to not fit the items. I found the right price and size on Amazon. Of course, it was craft quality but seeing as I am not a woodworker I decided it would do. I also ordered a pack of small jars to put spices in.

This part took the longest. I planned to paint the front of the box with some sort of cute cooking theme and being me there was going to be bunnies. That took one night of playing google translate and reverse image searching because of Pinterest only showing half the image.

Once the full page was located I printed what I thought was a right-sized copy only to find when I placed it on that it wasn’t. Lucky common sense stopped me from trying to scale the full image to fit and settled for the roasting half. The image was very hard to see when I placed it on the light board so I had to trace it once to bring out the details. I also made a good call and remembered to revere the image when I traced it on to tracing paper.

I was very glad I had a light board to work with!

From there it was darkening the lines on the tracing paper and then rubbing it over on the box. I chose to wrap the image around the lid, a detail I am very proud of!

Acrylic paint then was used to bring the image to life.

I knew I would need to seal it and used an enamel that I ended up doing the rest of the outside of the box with.

Don’t seal stuff in cottonwood season…so much stress of keeping fluffy bits off as it dried!

The inside of the lid I used chalk paint on as having a quick note space in a kitchen is handy. Period? Probably not, but I felt it was worth adding for the modern cook.

The Spices

I found that 4 spice jars would fit with out being an overload. A good start to a spice kit.

I chose things that I enjoyed and I felt enhanced cooking.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt- Salt is practically medieval currency. I have become very found of this one. It works well in baked goods and I use a pinch in lemon water if you find your self needing a hydration pick up.

Whole nutmeg- I love this spice. The whole stuff is worth it, honesty. Fresh grated over a dish is heaven. Puts the ground stuff to shame. Also lasts eons.

Grains of Paradise- I was introduced to this spice when I made a batch of spinach tarts. It needs ground but when you do it gives this exotic chocolate smell and spicy taste.

Powder Fine- The medieval staple. This spice blend gets called forth in a number of recipes. It can go sweet and savory, dress up the camp oat meal or give an extravagant feast that extra edge.

I use roughly these measurements and crush in mortar and pestle:

3 Tbsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. sugar (Turbinado sugar is what I used in this batch)
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. grains of paradise

At this point we came down to the final week and I cut the hand-bound cookbook in favor of an on-time gift. Took a few photos and wrote a note before getting it in the box with a label and out the door.


I enjoyed this project. I felt confidant in my planning and ability to adjust things as the world got yanked out from under our feet.

I am slightly sad I would have wanted to give this in person and been able to chat about it with the recipient.

I probably will join again as this was lots of fun and really tested my creativity.

What did I get?

So I was tickled to get a belt spice box with my device.

It is PERFECT! I hope when we get back to events I can put some coffee or other drink stuff in. Perhaps now I may in fact remember to hydrate. It also has enough room to tuck a few small things like a tasting cup or note pad….or my car keys.

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