Thursday, June 25, 2015

100th post!!!

I have no idea how I produced so many posts but here it is the 100th post for 

And since it is the 100th post, I have like a 100 things going on here today.  This doesn’t make for the usual bite-sized one idea per post apparently preferred by blogreaders, but it is my 100th post (have I said that enough already?) and I am celebrating by doing a big share of everything that I have been tinkering with.

Over the years this blog has changed shape and form a little but I have always tried to maintain a sense of my core personality in it and direct it in a way that somewhere, somehow, someone might glean some kind of inspiration from it. Here I am 100 posts later still as excited about it as the day I set it up, I continue to hope that even if just one something in this blog inspires just one person, my purpose for this blog - the intention to spread love, creativity and my heart that just really loves to love (that includes stuff, people and life)is fulfilled. 

On that note – the very first thing I want to say is addressed to every one of you who left the most heartening, encouraging and beautiful comments on my “What made me smile and other Fairy-light at the end of the tunnel stories” post.  You made my heart lift in ways that can only be described as buoyant.  How beautiful to have that kind of support and validation.  I am so moved, blessed that you all have taken the time to leave such comforting and reassuring thoughts.  I may not have met most of you in person but I do love you all for it.  You have reaffirmed my faith in the goodness of the human spirit, you have touched my heart so profoundly. So thank you and thank you with every part of me.

Now back to the 100 things going on.  Lemme just mention that somewhere hidden in either this post or post video is a “Bosphorus Neo-Zen Tincan Moment” – these “moments” might be worth your while looking out for and taking note of, but that is all I am going to say about it for now……(insert playful, mysterious and excitably curious soundtrack here, in your head ofcourse)

Next up some of the ol’ design inspiration.  I had to wait to put this up after Father’s Day cos I wanted to share the card that I made for my daddy.
I had so much fun putting this together.  I get really stoked when a  spark of creativity allows you to re-imagine old stuff and fashion it into something completely different to something you have done before with the same ol’ stuff.  I literally saw a vision of it while I was driving back from work (dont you just love when that happens so spontaneously?)and I put the whole thing together in the first 20 minutes after I arrived home. I was so excited I didnt even want to wait to go out and buy all the branded craft stash of steampunky cogs and gearsy bits. 

Most of the metal bits are paper fasteners, brads and office supply items. 

The more obvious gear and and cog shapes were die-cut from an older X-Cut die-set and metallicised with a combination of both Tim Holtz Distress Paint and Dala Metal Craft paint. 

I cheated a little with the shape of the Steampunk Owl, I was too lazy at the time to design one in Gimp so I fished out the doodle  owl from the Kaisercraft Owl Folk collection, stamped it onto some grunge-board and fussy-cut that out, it got a colour treatment with Distress Markers. The twig that he is perched on, is from my garden trash. 
Owl Board (23)
I used some galvanised steel wire to wire write the “Wise Owl Dad” sentiment on the front.  Shaping wire these days makes me oddly satisfied.
I kept the inside of the card relatively unfussy (this is sooooooo hard for me, but I think I did it….right?)

Now with a cute little owl card you need matching gift packaging right?  So guess what I went and did?  Created a themed gift package to match the card – I know that’s a little nuts, but that makes me.

So as part of the like a 100 things going on for the 100th post I am sharing my tips for creating the perfect gift package for any occasion and for any type of gift. 
My big winner here is ----------------------Are you ready for it?  --------------------------BROWN PAPER!!!!!  

This stuff is super-cheap, at the beginning of the school year you can get loads and loads for next to nothing.
 Its neutral, stampable, paintable and you can get practically anything to co-ordinate with it.  It is my go-to staple in my stash of supplies and one of the things I would list as a MUST HAVE item if I were to write a list of my choices for things no self-respecting crafter should do without.

My mom forbade me from buying dad any more clothes for Father’s Day as his cupboard is protesting.  So what I ended up getting for the dad who has everything is get a bunch of random things, some gag, some not so gag, some things that he thinks we dont know that he secretly adores(chocolate)and I packaged them altogether to co-ordinate with the Wise Owl Dad card. 

Putting this package together was fun. I made the Brown Paper look a little more in-theme by adding a few owl themed embellishments, washi-tape and die-cuts. Do this with anything – all you need is just a few themed accessories and you got yourself a gift package. 

The total Gift eventually turned out like this.  I stacked everything together in a nice little arrangement and my daddy loved it so much that he didn’t even want to rip the paper off, seriously, he painstakingly the wrapper off each one and then he saved it – bless him, my dad is tops! 

I have a few other ideas to inspire you on how you can make brown paper wrapping your BFF here below.  You look at me skew now, but I do promise, with a little bit of imagination and creative recycling, you will never have to buy gift bags or wrap again, if you keep a big roll of this on hand. 

I could go on and post every single pic of some brown-papered thing I have done, there is no limit to what this humble roll can do for you, but I reckon you get the picture. 

Those boxes and the like were my cute packaging for a bunch of bespoken accessory requests arising from that Fairy-light bulb charm piece.  Who knew that post would get me so going on a productive streak.  I decided after making the bespoke pieces that I wanted to freshen up my collection of style a bit.  Here are some pieces that I have been working on. I am little bit on the wire trail right now, I have these little obsessions….


If you want to find some cool stuff, do yourself the pleasure of checking them out. You can link directly to the site by clicking on their logo over there on the right or on the flyer picture here, opening the picture in a seperate window will give you store details and a map of how to get there.


This place is so awesome – they have some sweet gems, rocks and the like.  You can order stuff directly off of their site or you can go over there to their store/museum/gallery in Pietermaritzburg.  

Some super amazing, friendly people run the place and their prices are so reasonable you will be bedazzling yourself in drapes of mineral and sparkliness.

So as for those boards that my neck and hair wear are mounted on...... 

I am a self-taught hack at everything, seriously, no formal training in anything skillsy and one of the hardest things I have had to figure out on my own is photography.  My biggest issue here is figuring out how to light and compensate for shadow, overexposure, white glare and those weird skewed angles.

I really didn’t like balancing my projects on things, it just didn’t sit right and blah blah blah long story short – I needed to make a something that would allow me to mount my projects on something adjustable, it had to be universal for most types of projects I attempt, and it had to allow me to bounce light off something else so that I wouldn’t wind up with overexposed glare or crazy, creepy shadows.  I came up with solution that is so darn simple – I have no idea why it didn’t ever occur to me to do this before.

And so as usual I cant bridle the teacher in me – so I want to share as a tutorial in this here post number 100, a quick little instructable on how you can make a UNIVERSAL MOUNTING BOARD, like the one I used to mount the Steampunk Owl Card and all the bedazzly thingies, so that you too can mount your paper art and jewellery projects and have them look like they are just there floating on against the background when you want to photograph them.

Now you can just go watch the quick linked video version of this tutorial in the video at the top of this post or you can scroll through this below with the tiny picture stills taken from the video.

What you are going to need to make this is:
  1. Some kind of stiff board -(my preference are these Dala Artist Canvas Panels – they are quite solid and don’t warp so much when you apply glue to them – they are also cheaper than plywood or MDF)
  2. Strong glue - (I’ve done this with regular white wood glue but I prefer using Dala Stencil Glue now because it is super tacky and if you apply, leave it to set without sticking anything to it – you get yourself a repositionable tacky finish. For the back I use a stronger glue – in this case “Mount it – No Nails”, another higher-end brand of this product is called “No More Nails”.  This is a white paste that has the texture of tiling grout, has a superior bond strength of note and literally sticks stuff together in 10 seconds
  3. Some loose weave fabric like Hessian/Burlap - (I suppose the loose weave part is not that urgent, but I think the looser the weave is more forgiving – you will see why later.)
  4. A drill or an book binding awl or just a very sharp, pointy, poky thing
  5. Some nylon fishing gut -  I think this might also be called invisible thread in craft and haberdashery places, I bypass those places and go for the hard catch-a-shark type of invisible nylon cord, you get a reel of 50metres or so for the price that a metre of that would set you back at a specialised sew-shop.
  6. Bulldog Clips if you want to get fancy-schmancy but these are not necessary and just an option if you want to get super deluxe cute.
stiff board
  • Choose the size of mounting board you need.  I have made them in different sizes for different sized items and backgrounds
  • Measure the amount if Hessian you are going to need to adequately cover the whole board with some overhang to tuck behind it, so that you have a neater finish.  Cut the fabric accordingly.

Enough Fabric
Straighten out and cut

  • Cover the whole front of the board with a layer of strong glue, in my case I used Dala Stencil Glue.  This is a very strong glue with high tack strength, if you leave it to set for about 5 to 7 minutes, it behaves like a really tacky repositionable glue.
tack glue 1Spread GlueGlue Stripes
  • Once the the glue has set, lay the sticky side down onto your precut hessian piece. Turn over and smooth out.
set glueLay Boardsmooth the front

  • If you want relatively neat corners, fold the edges of the hessian overhang over the corner of the board to make triangles with the apex of the triangle taut over the right angle of the corner edges of the board. Glue in place.  I use a heavy mount, quick setting glue for this (Mount It or No More Nails), a hot glue gun might work just as well though. Cut slits into the Fabric on either side of the triangles such that when you flatten it out again it looks like a fat cross or plus sign. Fold these over and glue in place.
extra bulk cutNo more NailsFold over corners

    floaty suspensefloat decision
    • Mark the centre and mark where you want your holes to be.  My general rule of thumb for this is to imagine where your biggest paper piece or card will sit and mark holes about a millimetre round that. It is up to you how many lines of thread you want to secure your project to the board.  I usually only need two to six paralell lines. If you want to use the same board to mount jewellery project, do the same and mark your holes for that.
    Mark Thread lines
    • Using an awl or a Dremel – pierce right until it pokes through at where your marks are.
    Poke Through 2Owl Board (28)
    • Use your invisible thread or fishing line to make taut lines and tie off to finish – or you may just want to cut a longer piece of line so that you have some give on the line for bulkier projects and secure it at the back with bulldog clips.
    Thread throughclips
    • Slide in your project and you are ready to flash.
    final (9)final (20)efinal (16)egoodfinal (24)


    1. wow a jam packed post! great card xx

    2. Congratulations on 100 posts...I will come back after work and read this properly. Looks faberoonie!

    3. Congratulations on your 100th blog posting, Candice!! You never disappoint with your ingenious ideas or creations!! :) :) I LOVE the crystal necklace you are wearing! I love its simplicity and rawness--I may even have a small crystal like that in my jewelry stash somewhere ;) Your tutorial on how you make your 'invisible' mount boards is fabulous!! WOW--Yeah, really easy! No wonder the photos of your projects come out so well!! OH--The card you made for your Dad for Father's Day--OUTRAGEOUS!! It's just AWESOME! I know he just loved it!! :) :) So, you get your ideas driving to/from work? Mine come while I'm in the shower!! :) :) LOL!! OH--and I know how you feel about 'rock shops'! :) We've got one in Sandpoint-it's called Zero Point, and it's so fun to go in there! They've got a great big HUGE crystal that you can hug and feel the energy vibrations--totally cool!! Just a Fabulous 100th posting Candice!! Enjoy the moment and CHEERS TO YOU--Here's to another 100 Fantastic postings from the Tincan Handmade Craft Deli!! XOXO-Shari


    It makes me happy when you stop by the Tincan deli - I love interacting with other bloggers, crafters and anyone else who is up for a chat. If you leave a comment I am going to come over to your blog and visit there for a while!!!>