On a Craftier Note…

So far all of my posts have been about costumes, but I am not working on anything right now so I am going to write about a craft project I recently finished.

I love being cheap and saving money, or not spending money at all. This is a vein that runs through everything I do. I always try to use scraps of things or find items at second-hand stores to repurpose. I enjoy the challenge, it’s like solving a puzzle in which are numerous paths to travel down and each one yields something new and completely different.

I wanted to make a display for our Gods of the Archipelago fantasy photocard series. It is being displayed in a store called Alchemy in downtown Saskatoon (woot woot!) and we are super stoked to be in such a cool and ethically driven store. They always source locally when possible and they sell clothing, accessories and art from local designers. I love their green vibe too… they are super socially conscious and committed to making this world better. I’m proud to have our art being sold at this gem of a store 🙂

I wanted two feelings to come through in this display, the archipelago (which is a collection of islands) and old world mythology. The Gods are inspired by old Greek, Roman and Norse mythology and also by the look of Frank Frazetta a renowned fantasy artist. I went to Village Green, a second-hand store in downtown yxe because they have really neat unique things and it’s not usually picked over like Value Village. And the prices are way cheaper.


small frames
Small frames for our Gods display

I bought a bunch of little frames for about 50 cents each and then painted a couple of them with black chalkboard paint so they didn’t look cheap. I also found an old wine bottle crate (I think). I really have no idea what is was for but it was $1 and I couldn’t pass it up. I stained it but the colour didn’t turn out how I had originally wanted. I had a different coloured wood box (from the same store) that I wanted to hold the actual card sets in and they did not match. But it was nice to not have it matchy matchy in the end. Sometimes you just gotta flow with the go 😉

staining the crate


I wanted the display to be interesting, I wanted it to draw you in and make you look a little closer or maybe look from a different angle. I wanted viewers to become curious about the Gods and to want to buy a set of cards to be able to study the characters in more depth. And since the images are very sexy I wanted them to be smaller and harder to see in order to tone it down. Spice is best in small amounts 😉


I also wanted to construct a business card holder from an old book, as seen on pinterest. I have a bit of guilt now in using such an old book (a dictionary from the Village Green) but I wanted it to look old and authentic. And it did turn out beautifully. I never ended up using it as a card holder as the cards were too big compared to the tiny book and it’s beauty was lost. I put a framed picture of the creation God Nia on top of it and it looked really cool.

IMG_4542This was the display, half done. You can see the book with the business cards in the centre . In this photo you can also see that it was a hanging display at one point. I changed it to a table top display for a few reasons which I won’t bother getting into.

Display for the Gods of the Archipelago
A display I made for Alchemy in downtown Saskatoon. Here it is in tabletop form. Still not quite complete.

For the sets of 5×7 inch cards I had to figure out a way to show people what they looked like, what they were buying. So I made a couple of versions of “binders” to hold them in. I had them laminated so they didn’t get grubby from handling.

repurposed purse into photoalbum
I made the photo album from an old purse, ribbon trimmings, a binder from Staples, grit cloth and paint. I used glue and E6000 to bind everything.
repurposed purse into binder
In the front are some business cards and a description of what the Gods of the Archipelago is.
Our promotional card, included as a bonus card in the set of ten cards. With the beautiful Miss Malevolent.


The above binder was to have on display in the salon while customers waited to have their hair or makeup done. I also made a binder for the display where the cards were sitting.

Sanding the wood
staining and painting the wood










I took a scrap piece of wood from the garage which I think was cedar. I really have no idea but it smelled nice when I was sanding it. I cut it down to a size just about an inch on each side bigger than the 5×7 cards. It was sanded, stained, sprayed with bronze pearlescent  spray. I then drilled holes into it and attached my laminated cards which I had hole punched and a spiral ring that I removed from an old notebook. It looked pretty nice, but I don’t have any pics of it 😦


I love the grain… very 70’s psychedelic.
wood board for binder









I suppose you’ll just have to go to Alchemy and get your hands on it 😉

All of my supplies set out for the packages
Old stamps are ready to go on. I love that they are used postage stamps because they have the postmark on them.

I wrapped the cards sets in brown paper (from Melissa Squire, owner of Alchemy) and secured them with twine or natural hemp cord. Before I wrapped them I stamped the brown paper with our House Archipelago logo stamp which I had made at Rose’s Marking Devices, which I highly recommend. The stamp had beautiful detail to it. I stamped before I wrapped based on the foresight of my husband (and creator of the Gods series) Matthew Hardy. He is a lifelong geek and collector of things, mostly comic book related so he was concerned about the possibility of the ink leaking through the paper onto the cards. So we stamped first for our own peace of mind.

Each package is unique, with one of a kind stamps.

Then I attached some old stamps that I bought for 4 cents each at Sceptre Coin & Stamp in the Drinkle Building in downtown Saskatoon. The packages look like old postage packages. And I love the worn feel of the brown paper and unique stamps on each package.





And that’s it! So check it out at Alchemy or you can purchase a limited edition set of Series One cards for $20 (ten + bonus card in a set) at www.housearchipelago.com




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