Monday, 17 December 2012

Journeys in and around a wedding

Hmmm, so its about time I finally contributed to this online scrapbook of thoughts and what-nots about weddings and the whole process. Just so we're clear, the bride is quite cool and i am in no way doing this under duress. I also do not have a gun pointed to my head and no, that is not rat poison about to be dumped into my meal. (but i am however blinking twice, i hope someone out there knows Morse code) 

So given that this has taken a while to write/come up with, I just need to point out what I was told the remit of my post would not be about. I was warned, quite categorically, that the blog would not be about the following: 

1. Why Mancini is the most overrated coach and how he would not improve a Stoke side 
2. My contention that Vettel is not as good a driver as his 3 world titles may suggest (F1 is not as simple as who won, there is alot of stuff behind the scenes) 
3. Why Kobe needs to retire, Yeah i Said it. 

What this post will be about though is a number of quirks and oddities that I have noticed about both the Martian and Venutian races and a few tips about the wedding planning process. 

a) Maybe, just maybe, there are more than the 7 colours in the rainbow or the 12 colours that came in my colouring set when I was a kid. How else would you explain 17 different names for the colour blue? 
I've never understood and i'll probably never understand that. All blues look the same and if doesn't look blue, its probably cos its another colour altogether? 

b) Never, and I repeat, never, go to a cake tasting session hungry. Your stomach will overpower your mind and proceed to play the tricks (that your mind is supposed to play on you) on you. Consequently, everything will taste the same, albeit the nice filling type of "same". 

I was in a room with 4 ladies tasting cakes. This is how the conversation went 
Lady 1: Wow, this cake is so nice and tangy 
Lady 2: I want to taste that cake again just so I can enjoy the flavour 
Lady 3: I know, right? Gosh, its so awesome 
Me: Umm, this nice and all but wapi chai? 

And they tried to convince me that cakes 1, 2 and 3 were different. 

Of course I didn't say it then but in my head, my only thought was, I wish the chai or the soda would get here already. Cake bila beverage? Kwani I'm in a warzone? Jeez 

c) HR Managers the world over should hire more men because we manage our time better. 
Before I'm hauled up in front of FIDA on some trumped up charges, sample this: The gacugwa's wedding gown has been in production since November. My suit, ummmm, that's a 5minute conversation and maybe 10 minutes for the tailor to adjust my pants length.....I'm just saying. 

d) Fighting is important. I know this sounds counter-intuitive but let's be honest, the divorce rate in Kenya is going up. And these are marriages less than 5 years old. Now people will break up for one reason or another but the wedding planning process is the perfect microcosm of a few of the big fights you will have 

e.g Budgets (duh), 
how many kids should you have (how many guests should you invite?)
When should you have aforementioned kids? (When should this fancy lunch when we shall host all these guests (read wedding) be held? 

The typical scenario is that the guy just signs cheques and avoids the details but as the old saying goes, The Devil is in the detail, so if you don't take time to tackle the various manifestations of the Devil during the planning...... 

e) That said, the groom needs to accept that he's just a nice warm blooded prop (yeah, I just dissed Twilight, kula hiyo) meant to look nice in attire that shall complement the brides' colors for the day. 
Other requirements of aforementioned prop: Smile alot, Dance (at the risk of death upon any non-compliance) and post the odd blog here and there about how other props should smile and dance :) 

f) The groom should pay attention when the wedding colors are being discussed, cos if they don't, any attempt to ask AGAIN what the wedding colors are, shall be treated as an Act of War. And how bad an act of war? Well, let's just say it will make Japan bombing Pearl Harbour look like a playground fight. But if someone wants to take the bullet for this kind-hearted, gem of a man, please ask for me, what are the wedding colours? 

g) No man is an island (umesikia Martha Karua?). Really. A wedding is a test of not only mental fortitude but also your networks, because ultimately, you will need help. And it doesn't matter if you believe you bestride the earth like a colossus, try doing this on your own and you're building yourself up to a ......COLOSSAL disaster. (I think i'm really funny and clever in my head, as you can tell). 

h) If you're a guy about to get married, pick your groomsmen wisely. This is one of those decisions that you can't really take back and they can make/break your friendships. I won't go into detail on this right now, maybe in the distant future. 

So the short of the long, I think Man United will retain the league this season cos we have Fergie, simple as that. Also, I hope we draw Celtic in the last 16 ties in the Champions league draw going down this Thursday. :) 

More seriously though, when you're planning this one off event, talk and fight and get to know one another. That's the only advice any rational human being (you see what I did there?) can do, oh And for crying out loud, enjoy the process :) 


Monday, 26 November 2012

Relationships, asking for help and a little DIY

Planning a wedding forces you to stretch your resources. And I’m not just talking finances (though those will be thoroughly stretched, my wallet misses money *sigh*). You’ll also be stretched emotionally, physically (because of all the running around...but sadly in my case I've also stretched width-wise) and relationally, for lack of a better term. I'm pretty self-reliant and my biggest challenge in this whole wedding planning process is realising that I can’t go it alone… I actually have to RELY on people. Some people will let me down and some will go over and above anything I’d ask of them, but like it or not I have to let people in.

So for the woman who HATES asking for help, in this season of my life I find myself calling in a lot of favours/making several withdrawals in a lot of my relationship love banks. It’s been hard for me to do but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much people are willing to help. I’m glad I took the plunge and reached out. Thanks Girro, Dj Panda, Director Chrome Dome, the Village, Japanese Songbird, the pub formerly known as the Black Pearl and all other people who've taken up stuff/ agreed to be bullied/ volunteered to help out. You guys are AWESOME and I shall revenge appropriately.

That being said, today’s quick DIY is a gift/bribe for a group of people who are going to deal with a lot during this season…my bridesmaids. PS I made them agree to formal terms and conditions (wink wink Mad Genius); they are now contractually bound to love & accept me even if I’m infected by bridezilla-coccus; a viscous bacteria that for some reason commonly affects brides. Symptoms include mild panic attacks, the delusion that everything revolves around the patient, obsessions with colour schemes and emotional outbursts. They are also contractually bound to help me craft my various DIY projects- case in point the flowers they'll be helping me make.

Anywho, since we are meeting next weekend to craft things, I thought I’d give them a little…“I love you now get to work” present (you know I love you girls). It’s pretty simple; we did this with the 4H club yes 4H not 4K, and saw it recently on Pinterest. What we called wavy band back then I now find out is called rick-rack. 
You can check out the tutorials that inspired this: thecraftingchicks prismrosedesigns and missfancypants.

What you’ll need

  1. Rick-rack: found in a variety of colours and are very cheap. I got 7 meters for Kshs 150/= on Biashara street.
  2. Felt- again you can buy a small roll for Kshs 150/= there is no point buying it by the metre that’s too much.
  3. Scissors
  4. Needle and thread/Hot glue/ fabric glue or if you have one, a sewing machine
  5. Alligator clips- or any kind of hair clip you think can work3. I got these on the street for Kshs 50/=

Step 1
Interlock the rick-rack

Step 2
Glue/ stitch it in place so it doesn't move

PS steps 1 & 2 are optional, you can still make a flower with the rick-rack as is but I prefer how this one turns out.

 Step 3
Cut out a felt circle slightly bigger than your alligator clip.

Step 4
Roll the glued/stitched rick-raw. You’ll begin to see the flower immediately. I dabbed a little hot glue between layers to secure it in place as an extra precaution. It will now kind of resemble a closed rose, so use your fingers to open out the outer edges.

Step 5
Glue your flower to the felt then glue your clip to the other side of the felt. You can also glue a safety pin and make it a brooch instead.

 I added a fake leaf on some because the back looked pretty messy… mishaps with my glue gun.

And the final result…. Tada! (sorry I took these on my blackberry, didn't come out so clear, will try again and post new pics later)

Step 6
Get gorgeous model, let’s call her mum, to put one on and pose for you.

PS this is very easy to do, did 4 flowers in one episode of Castle…love that show! Then again I've loved Nathan Fillion since he did Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and would watch anything he's in. 


Monday, 12 November 2012

It's a Shoe in

So last week Wednesday I got a call from the lady making my dress asking me to go in for a fitting on Saturday. She asked me to carry the shoes I’d be wearing on the big day so that we could determine the right length of the dress.

Panic ensued seeing as I hadn't given much thought to my shoes (the horror!). I knew I wanted comfortable shoes, a low heel, something cute (that really narrows it down right?) but hadn't taken time to shop around. I should add at this point that I hate shoe shopping (mirror shatters and a French woman standing in the corner faints)…Sad but true. I've only really enjoyed it once when Mr. Right treated me to a spree. I have short wide feet and ladies shoes are designed on the premise that no girl in the world ever inherits her dad’s feet *sigh*.  So I spent my Wednesday lunch break looking around and was reminded once again about my bitter rivalry with the shoe industry (a fierce war that has resulted in a lot of sore feet, broken heels, sweat and tears).

Girro, aka big sis, suggested I check out the wedges at Mr. P. Granted nothing in there looked remotely ‘weddingy’ but they were super comfortable and I spotted a pair at a great price (Kshs 1,600/=). I then got the brilliant idea (yeah all my ideas are brilliant, deal with it) to buy them then change them up to something more befitting the occasion. I'm a musical gal and had wanted either ruby-slipper inspired shoes (bring out the red glitter) or sparkly –silvery-Cinderella shoes (confessions of a girly musical-holic).

So welcome to an exciting episode of PIMP MY SHOES. (Do you think I could get Xzibit to endorse this post?).

 What you’ll need:
  1. Acrylic paint- they come in all kinds of colours, can be diluted in water but once dry become water resistant. I used fabric paint which is basically acrylic paint with a kind of binder that makes it better adapted for cloth). I couldn’t find silver L but bought a pearl white and pearl steel grey and think together I can make the colour I want. You can get these from Kshs 100-150 at Sciencescope, TBC, all those shops on Biashara Street that sell thread, buttons etc.
  2. Paintbrush/sponge
  3. masking tape
  4. any kind of embellishment you want to add and fabric glue ( I added lace appliqué and diamante and used my trusty wood glue).

The fun thing about this is you can pimp out any shoes you have, wedding or no wedding. So how I did it…

I took off the bow on the front of the shoe (saved it because I decided to use it on the back instead).


Stuck masking tape on the parts I didn’t want t get paint on.

Applied my first layer of paint and left it to dry overnight. I used the pearl white on the outside of the shoe and a mix of the white and steel for the inner sole.  Painted the bows the same colour as the inner sole.

I added another two more layers of paint (didn’t want the blue to show through) but with a darker colour you need less layers (e.g the steel grey hardly needed a second layer). Let the shoe dry before applying a new layer. 

I then cut up some lace to get the flowers. You can buy a meter of this stuff for anything from Kshs 50/= to Kshs 750/= depending on the design you want in a store called Scooters on Biashara street. Or you can buy individual flower appliqués in Buttons& Bows at Yaya Centre. I got my meter of  lace for Kshs 120/- and it has lots of flowers so I’m happy. I also got some blue bling (a pack is Kshs 75/=) to add on. These come in a variety of colours. I really wanted the clear bling but for some strange reason ended up picking the blue one.  But I think it turned out nice. I smiled at the shop attendant and he threw in 2 butterflies for me, woop woop! Who says charm won’t get you far in life?

I applied the glue on the flowers/bling and stuck them on the shoe. You should probably plan the layout but I just went with the flow. I only did it on one side of the shoe, think it looks better that way.

I then stuck the bows I’d taken off the front (which are now painted silver) and stuck them on the back using my trusty hot glue gun…I’m sure you could stitch them on but that would be too much work J.


And there you have it…a pimped out shoe. Hardcore! Hehehe. It’s not the hottest shoe out there but I kinda like the idea of wearing a comfy custom-made shoe that is signature-me.

Still haven’t decided what to do with the sole/wedge. Either going to cover it with a silvery lace or silver glitter…only time will tell. But for now let me show you a fun way you can customise any shoe you have…I saw a sticker like this on a shoe and thought it was adorable. Decided to replicate it using glitter glue. You can get a bottle for Kshs 120/- at Sciencescope or TBC…and it can fulfil your something blue quota J

So my parting shot…


Monday, 5 November 2012

Paper Trail

Flowers can be a major expense at your wedding and when I first saw how much they cost I wondered whether I want them at all. I get it, flowers are pretty...the colours, the smells, the bees...How can I NOT have them right?! But for some crazy reason I decided I don't want to be broke after the wedding so chose to let go of non-essential expenses and were the first things to go. Say what?! 

"But Acutie! What will you hold when walking down the isle?

 Great question, thanks for asking (you know you wanted to...inception) . It is one I asked myself as well and great minds...

Anyway, in theatre we are always substituting 'real things' with stage props that look like the real deal and I figured I could do the same thing at my wedding. So today I'm going to show you how you can make all the flowers you need at your wedding for less than Kshs 5000/= . The Magic word is.... Paper. (Ok I said the magic WORD and realised there are other words just as magical like fabric and buttons etc but it isn't as dramatic when you say magic words so let's stick to word for today)

Now before I begin I must put down some caveats:
  1. This will take time- DIY brides who want to go this route, start early to avoid stress. The great thing about paper flowers is that you can make them then store away for months.
  2. Get help. Once you get an assembly line going you can be done in no time. A huge chunk of my flowers are done thanks to the help of an incredible woman, let's call her Maua, who committed to make just 3 flowers for me everyday in October. She's amazing!
  3. This will be a two part post because there are soooo many different types of flowers to make. Some super easy some difficult but if I put them all in one post it will go on FOREVER!
But you know what, as much as I have addressed would be brides, anyone can churn out a paper bouquet for their home. They are easy to make and would be a cool addition to any room or as fun accessories at parties e.g. I made these boutonnières/hair thingys for the choubobo's aka the Deeva's birthday from cupcake (ie queencake) papers. 

SO what you will need:

  • Paper- and I'm talking anything, newspaper, old magazines with really cool people on the cover, serviettes, crepe paper, tissue paper, origami paper etc. You can get a pack of 5 tissue/crepe paper sheets from textbook centre for Kshs 100/=
  • Scissors
  • Glue (for some flowers)
  • Floral tape (unfortunately I have run out of mine but will buy some today and update the post with a pic. I get mine for 150/= at a floral boutique in the CBD near city market  that's been around forever!). This stuff is VERY useful and makes your flowers stalks look realistic.
  • Wood skewers/ mshikaki sticks; (you can get a pack of 100 for Kshs 150/= or less in the supermarket. 100 skewers= 100 or 200 flowers depending on how long you want the stalk).
  • Floral/jewellery wire-optional (Kshs 200/= a roll)

So today i'll be making 4 types of flowers that are fairly simple.

Poppies- tissue paper- total time 8 mins

  1. Trace and cut out circles from your crepe paper
  2. fold paper in half then quarter and snip the corner (just a bit) to create hole in centre of the papers)
  3. Roll piece of foil and place in centre of black crepe paper
  4. Wrap black paper round wood skewer. Secure with floral tape or wire.
  5. insert skewer through centre hole and secure with floral tape. 

Peonies type 1/Pompom flower- tissue paper. Total time 5 minutes

  1. Stack your paper and fold it accordion style. I did mine in a hurry and you can tell (shame on me). The neater your folds the better the look of the flower so take your time after all haraka haraka huharibu maua. I'm pretty sure it went something like that.
  2. Fold your accordion in half and secure the centre with a little floral wire (you can staple it instead or use thread).
  3. Cut the corners into either a triangle or a rounded edge (i did both but prefer the sharp edge).
  4. Very carefully and GENTLY (tissue tears easily), separate the layers of the tissue paper from one another and begin pulling them apart. I put total time as 8 mins because of this part. Don't rush and be done in 5 minutes like me. You should take time froofing them (froofing is a highly technical term not present in most dictionaries due to its use in only highly sophisticated circles. Welcome to the club). 
  5. Once your flower is properly froofed, attach it to your skewer using the hanging floral wire/string and secure it with floral tape. 

I realise my tutorial is over-simplified. For more details check out this tutorial from Martha Stewart  It's for paper pompoms but picture the flower as half a pom pom :-)

Origami Kusudama flower- total time 10-15 mins
If you don't have a cool Japanese songbird who can send you origami paper from Japan, fear not! You can make these from any paper cut into 3" or 6" squares.  Ok for this one the best thing is just follow the folds. It's a hard tutorial to describe in words. 

  1. Get a friend in Japan or find a piece of paper and cut it into a perfect square.
  2. Get a pedicure so that any pics of your nails appearing in a tutorial look good and not...well like mine.
  3. Fold in half- corner to corner, and crease firmly. A Triangle is formed.
  4. With the open end facing away from you, take both bottom corners of the triangle and bring them up to the top-centre point forming a diamond on each side.
  5. Fold the centre edges (both sides of the paper that meet in the middle of the diamond) in half to meet the outer edges, creating points that protrude from the diamond to the right and left sides.
  6. Open these folds completely, and  flatten then in the middle to form another diamond shape.
  7. Bring the top points of your outer diamonds down into your fold tuck them into the back of the diamond.
  8.  Bring the edge folds together to meet in the middle- don’t fold to form a crease rather a rounded edge. Put glue on one side of the inner folds, and then hold them together (using pegs, paper clips etc) while it dries.  
  9. Once those are relatively dry, you can glue them one at a time to the wood skewer.  I made four petals but this looks better with five.

I think that's it for today...happy crafting. 

I should come up with a signature sign off like umm... To artistry and beyond! or until next time snip snip snip (sounds wrong). Ok how about until next time look around and find the artist within (profound? yes-no?). Ooooh how about bye guys! You know keep is simple...but what's signature about that? hmm... go ethnic Kwaheri Wasanii! This definitely needs work.

By the way my paper flower craze started when I saw this newspaper bouquet. Check out the tutorial here

Enjoy making the flowers.

Craft awaaaaaaay! - Yes?


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sorry for the Delay

Soooo... I owe you guys a post...and an apology for not posting for over a week. Consistency is the name of the game! But like every good Kenyan I have a great excuse for my shortcoming, and someone to blame...Zuku! Yes Zuku, my internet provider, has let me down these past 3 nights. I get home and the network is down...tsk tsk. So I have not been able to post and also the dog ate my network cable...(too much? Let's stick to it's Zuku's fault!)

I got to the office early today and i'm typing this out quickly before official work hours begin so that I don't feel like I'm robbing my employer (Little Miss Responsible). If anyone is reading this from Zuku, please help! Your customer service keeps me on hold till my airtime runs out!

Anywho I promise to put something up really soon. Now to clean up the paper trail (ps that's a bad hint about what the next project is on).

On a very separate note how AWESOME was the Just a Band album launch! Sorry for the Delay is a great album...need to buy one (insert sheepish look...I know, shame on me for not already owning one...public flogging scheduled at 9).

 Ps do you really think sheep look sheepish? Let's take a poll.


Monday, 22 October 2012

Emotional Rollercoaster...from YES!!! to Oh No!

This  post started of as the 'The Proposal'...and yes, it was going to be about how Mr. Right proposed (it was perfect by the way) and talk about cool ways people have proposed in the past... But it kinda took on a life of it's own. That might be influenced by the fact that today I went to the salon for the first time in over a month to 'treat' my hair and discovered I didn't have enough money for both the hair and my fair home (a fact I discovered only AFTER doing my hair). I have never been so grateful for the random coins I usually throw into my bag. Maybe it's also because the minute I got home I opened the wedding budget to input a new quotation and seeing the new grand total made me think my computer had a virus that was affecting the way my excel computed figures, or the fact that I upon adding the figures using a calculator I realised the computer virus was affecting my calculator as well and I started to wail like a traditional mourner. Why virus? Why!!? It may also have to do with the fact that my Zuku bill is due and these days parting with money almost feels like I'm giving away a kidney (ps can you hire those out temporarily? If yes, what's the going rate? Mild curiosity, that's all). 

People, reality is the greatest boxer of all time! KO

On a very random tangent, want to share one of my fav Ali quotes. It was a failed attempt by Joe to trash Ali back after Ali had seriously dissed him. It went:
Joe - You know Mohammed, I saw your wife walking your kid about the other day. He's starting to look more and more like me.
Ali - You calling my boy ugly, Frazier?

Anywho back to life, back to reality. I want to share my emotional arc or rather the continuous emotional roller-coaster planning a wedding takes you through. Planning a wedding can be very exciting, there's the whole I'm excited I'm marrying my best friend, pretty clothes, shiny jewellery, makeovers...but there's also the bills, expectations coming from all corners of the world, family dramas, weird fights with the fiancé (who knew we'd ever have a tiff about colours). My advise to all my fellow brides- stay focussed on the why you are doing this. At the end of the day I just want to be married to Mr. Right, everything else is just the side show.

So onto the emotional roller-coaster...I'm going to attempt to do this in one paragraph  (sorry Grammar Nazis!). 

Oh My God! This is happening, he's proposing! Quick what do I say? What do you mean what do I say? You've been waiting for this for months now! Yeah but what's the word, the one that means I agree..I Know it starts with a Y...Yolk? No that's not it. Oh my God he's staring at me! Why is he looking at me like that? Oh wait, he's waiting for an answer! He has such nice eyes. This is sooo cool! Must tell the Deeva, Girro, Miss Canada, Giggles, Mad Genius, Doc, DHL, Japanese songbird oh  yes and the Shepherdess wait Yes!!! The word is YES!!!! Yes I'll marry you! This is so exciting, must tell everyone! Didn't expect the folks to freak out like that, but it's ok they'll get over it. Let's set a date. September?  too soon. I like Nov...that doesn't work for Mr. Right. Ok let's do Dec= bad for family member A, maybe Jan? We'll all be broke. Feb? Family member B might mind. March? During elections! Are you nuts!? April? Travel plans, May? The rain. June? The cold. July? More cold. August? That's more than a year away! Back to the beginning. Date set, start planning, how much does this cost? What!!? Yeah I know oil prices have gone up but what does that have to do with hiring a venue? You must have this at your wedding and that at your wedding and oh cute puppies! Is it worth all this drama? Date with Mr. Right, bliss...this is why I want to marry him. Call from caterer, price of potatoes have gone up so has quotation. Why didn't I get married in 2009? Dowry negotiations, How much?! I'm eloping!... Ok fine I'm not eloping. Mr. right do you still want to do this? Ok we are back on track! I'm on it like MPs on a salary increment! Oh that dress is so pretty. I need to lose weight to fit into it. Damn I look hot! I'm hideous!  I'm so lucky! Why is this happening to me? What would Martha do? Sister pep talk, I'm good to go...or am I? Trip to the salon, bliss, no money for transport home, not bliss. Tomorrow meeting to discuss wedding Ndendendende....

The End


Friday, 19 October 2012

You CAN do it!

So before you start saying this blog is not for me, “she was talking about G-clamps in her previous post for heaven’s sake!” take a moment and ponder on this…we studied glaciation in high school. Some of you know more than is reasonably required of a person living in the tropics about glacial periods and melting ice caps. Don’t you feel better for it? No? Well it was a long shot…can’t blame a girl for trying. But maybe you should keep reading simply to better yourself by learning something new with the hope that one day the knowledge that wood glue dries clear will be of use to you or at least make you sound well informed in some random conversation. I once had a conversation about the difference between bantus, nilotes and cushites with a South African and sounded like a genius.

So yesterday I promised to post a DIY project but the gods conspired against me! I got home, got crafting was in my happy place then...Kenya Power struck! Luckily the power wasn't out for long but then my phone went haywire so the flash decided when it would work and wouldn't work (luckily this is not a photography blog but forgive the hazy pics) and worse net was down. So this is being posted today evening instead of last night.  

Anywho this was meant to be the first actual DIY post so let me get on with it. This post is to prove to you that anyone CAN craft. Yes I know hinting is lame but as you probably correctly guessed this has something to do with cans. Tin cans are a classic example of things that can be converted from trash to treasure.

Stuff you’ll need

1.  Used tin can (tomato paste/ Pringles container/nido can etc)
2.  Scissors
3.  Patterned paper/ fabric or string. I bought wrapping paper for Kshs 30/= from Nakumatt.
4.  Wood glue
5.  Small piece of sponge for applying wood glue
6.  cellotape or decorative tape if you have some- I must confess that I have a random selection of Martha Stewart decorative craft tape I ordered online. I know what you're thinking...this should contain stuff people can get here. Don't panic, patterned tape is available locally from time to time at TBC (Textbook Centre) but cellotape will do just fine. 

7.  measuring tape- though you can wing it
8.  (Spray paint, string/wool, glue gun and mask) optional in case you opt for the bonus stuff

Let’s get started. This craft was inspired by another blog check it here. I was looking for DIY alternatives to vases for my centrepieces and this seemed like a nice cheap alternative to hiring glass vases. I didn't settle on them in the end but they may feature in other areas in the wedding. Who knows?

Step 1- Clean the can- Hopefully you’ve just enjoyed some nyummy Kenylon beans (yes I know they are called baked beans but next you’ll expect me to say margarine instead of Blueband). Anyway clean it up good, take out any label etc. In my case some the label was printed on the actual can but that doesn't matter. 

Step 2- Measure the circumference and height of the tin. Cut a piece of paper/fabric; make one side roughly an inch longer than the circumference of the tin and the other side should measure the height of the tin. (Not confusing at all right?)

Step 3.  Either

ü      Apply a thin layer of wood glue on the surface of the tin, let dry for a minute then carefully wrap the paper/fabric around it ;

ü      Spray a thin layer of spray adhesive onto the paper. (ps spray adhesive works really well on this because the paper doesn't dampen. With wood glue the paper dampens a bit and if you are not careful you’ll get creases.  Con of spray adhesive is that it’s kinda pricy, cheapest being around Kshs 1,250/= at the hardware store in Yaya Centre-trust me I shopped around! Wood glue does the trick so no pressure.); 


ü      Stick the decorative tape on the edge of the paper. The tape should be longer than the paper so that ideally you have tape sticking out of both ends of the paper. If you opt for this then the side of the paper that measures to the height of the tin should be cut down by around half a centimetre.

Step 4- Wrap the paper./fabric round the tin can. Do this carefully to avoid creases or the paper wrapping unevenly. Although the ribbing of the can showing through is not a problem and if you use wood glue it will definitely show through. I think it adds character to the finished piece. (Sorry at this point the flash in my camera-phone stopped working....yes blackberry haters, take a shot! You know you want to.)

Voila! Your transformed tin can! You now have a crafted a cool vase/pen holder/ candle votive/tool tin etc. I threw in some paper flowers into the vases and sat back and admired my handiwork. (pardon the messy table)

Step 4 (bonus stuff)
I think it already looks cool as is but as a bonus you could:
ü      Spray paint the inside of the vase gold (should do so before sticking the paper/fabric). Or simply spray paint the can (no paper/fabric), it looks good like this as well. This works really well for a candle holder. You can puncture holes in the side to make it a Mexican lantern.
ü      Wrap some yarn/string round it (I love yarn wrapped anything and everything! More on this later). I did this in a hurry before running out so it can look way waaaay better (was very late to meet some very cool pips, let's call them the Mafia, who I meet every Thursday).

ü      If you are super glam like one of my girlfriends, let’s call her Doc, glitter is always welcome.
ü      Punch really small holes on the bottom of the tin, place in some soil and convert into a flowerpot. (I'll show you how to do that on some other day). 

And here's my parting shot

On a random side note, a pal of mine, lets call her Japanese songbird, mentioned that the Mr. Right and Acutie sign off pic kinda looks like askew boobs... Now that's all you can see right?  So until next week...sayonara :-D