TangleClub October Update

We are currently in the midst of a beautiful Indian Summer here, so in keeping with the summer spirit, I am offering TangleClub members a slightly out-of-season Leftover Lavender cross stitch project, designed to use up the leftovers from your lavender harvest as well as your leftover off-cuts of embroidery threads.  This pattern is from a revised reprint of one of my first mini-zines, now available as a TangleClub exclusive e-zine.

In further TangleClub news, the very last TangleClub edition of the Mulberry Digest is currently going to print and will be sent out to TangleClub Deluxe members over the next 7 days or so.  TangleClub Deluxe is no longer available to new members (but existing members can continue to enjoy the benefits for the duration of their membership) but some alternative, new TangleClub membership options will be available in the near future, so watch out for updates!

 If you are not currently a member of the TangleClub but want to share the monthly freebie goodness,  click here for all current membership options, and remember, if you spend £5 or more in the TangleStore or TangleStore UK you will qualify for TangleClub Basic membership absolutely free!

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A mail art embroidery

I don’t know why, but I have really been drawn to bird-related imagery recently.  Just before moving house, I started working on this small embroidery, which I charted from an illustration by Jay van Everen (from the book ‘The Laughing Prince’ by Parker Fillmore, c. 1921):

I completed it after the move, and although I’m not entirely happy with the lower left quarter, I can’t imagine re-charting/re-stitching any time soon, so this will suffice, for now!  I thought the adaptation worked really well, overall. 🙂

(I will probably release the chart in zine form, at some as yet unspecified future point.)

TangleClub March Update

Yes, it’s that time again, already!  This month’s TangleClub exclusive freebie is a preview from the next issue of the Enchanted Times, a Hansel & Gretel cross stitch pattern adapted from an illustration by Charles Robinson with colours inspired by Clarice Cliff.   Head on over to the TangleClub Archive and check it out. 🙂

Not a TangleClub member (yet) but don’t want to miss out?  Click here for all current membership options, but remember, if you spend $10 or more in the TangleCrafts Etsy Store, you will qualify for TangleClub Basic membership absolutely free!

As mentioned in my previous post, I have made some revisions to the TangleClub offers.  The TangleClub 10% discount offer still holds, though, so make sure you claim it using your Etsy coupon code, when placing an order!  Throughout March, my project will be sending out NEW membership cards to ALL TangleClub members (inc. same member # & expiry date as your previous card).  Once you receive the new card it will replace/supercede the old one & you will see how much it simplifies everything!  One of the additions to the TangleClub offer is that you will receive a free promo item every time you place an order of $10 or more.  If you are a TangleClub Deluxe member, you will be able to claim up to 3 free promo items per order (depending on value).  Promo items include anything from mini-zines, mailing labels, TangleStamps, postcards, pin badges – basically small, random, fun stuff from the realms of Tangledom, just for you!  TangleClub Deluxe members please also note that the next issue of the Mulberry Digest is currently in preparation, so you will receive your new membership card plus new issue of MD simultaneously.

Also in my last post, I mentioned a forthcoming new zine.  A ‘first edition’ of this zine, ‘Valley of Dolls’, is now available in the Etsy Store – I just couldn’t wait any longer to share it!  There are some wonderful projects from contributors including Diane Gilleland (Crafty Pod) & Robin O. Mayberry (Alchemy Studios), interviews with Chickenpants creator Claire Chambers (Absolutely Small) & local (to me) illustrator Tracey Meek, plus exclusive artwork, book reviews, even more projects…the list goes on!  For full details & more photos, check out the Etsy listing.  (Please note, if you are a contributor to this zine, contributor copies will be despatched no later than end March – thank you for your patience!)

Something different

It’s a long time since I’ve done any embroidery or design thereof, but recently, the urge has started twitching at me, again.  My charting program was a sacrifice I made for the greater good when I switched to my new laptop last year (because the new laptop does not have a disc drive, and my charting program was on disc) – but even so, in the last 2 weeks, I have managed to chart 3 different designs using a painstakingly longwinded method I devised using Open Office Draw.  It’s almost as painstaking as drawing it out by hand on graph paper, but slightly easier to amend errors & try out alternatives.  Anyway, I managed it!

This is the second design that I charted, but the first one that I stitched, as the first charted design is quite complex, and having not stitched anything for so long, I thought I would ease myself in gently!  This one is adapted from an illustration by Jay van Everen in a collection of Jugoslav fairy tales by Parker Fillmore (c. 1921).  The story is called ‘The Laughing Prince: the story of the boy who could talk nonsense’,  and the image is part of a larger illustration featuring different elements from the story (right).  I believe this section of the illustration relates to the this part of the story; “the dampness had made the millet grow so well that its tops now reached the sky” – but I may be wrong, so don’t quote me on that!  I just loved the weeping willow-esque shapes.  And the bird.  For some reason I seem to have been drawn to bird imagery more than usual, lately…

Anyway, definitely time to invest in a new charting program (downloadable, this time) and make life a bit easier for myself!  But I’ve surprised myself by enjoying the manual process, in the meantime.

A quiet week?

Despite a lack of blogging activity here which may suggest the contrary, I have been busy busy busy all week!  Well, I took a week’s holiday from ‘real’ work – caught up with a friend, saw my mum & dad (my dad has been in China for the last 6 months or so, so that was an especial treat), and went on a day trip with Corey – the highlight of which was probably when he left his umbrella behind on the train there, but found it again on the train back!  But around these brief outings I have been working non-stop.  There are some new things very nearly ready to tell you about, but the most immediate, are 2 new zines (& something else a bit different), now available in my Etsy stores:

Contours cover shotThe first is ‘Contours’, my first art zine, which is all about doodling.  This is where my brief encounter with Zentangling led me.  I suddenly realised how the majority of the patterns I have designed as an adult all stem from one basic doodle that I used to doodle all the time.  The zine looks at how that doodle has emerged in the various crafts I have worked in, considers the possible origins of the doodle, and leaves lots of spaces for you to doodle away to your own heart’s content.

tiffanyacorns1As you can see from the photo, there are some extras included – hand-doodled bookmark to stitch, and a hand-doodled ‘fingerprint’ of lino to carve & print.  Inside the zine you will also find a 4-way Acorns cross stitch chart, Bobbin Along freeform bargello pattern, plus 4 postcards (2 printed, and 2 blank for you to doodle yourself) printed on gummed paper, freeform-bobbin-alongso that you can turn any piece of scrap card into a postcard, (these come with 4 postcard reverse labels which could also be used as envelope re-use labels, if you prefer).  Check out the TangleCrafts Etsy Store for more details.

Papertrail #2 cover shot Hot on the heels of Papertrail #1, you can now also find Papertrail #2.  Papertrail #2 is a zine full of questions and books and reading habits, with answers/opinions from me, Corey, and spaces for your own responses, too.  It’s all about books, and how we live with them.  Alongside everything else is a Papertrails ‘map’ of routes you can take from novel to novel, spaces to design your own book jackets, plus copy-&-cut bookplates & bookmarks.  And as if all that wasn’t enough, Papertrail #2 also includes a free membership pack for the Papertrail Reader’s Club!

The Papertrail Reader’s Club is there for everyone who loves to read.  The Basic Membership Pack includes:Club Package

  • 2 pre-gummed Ex Libris plates
  • 2 recommendation bookmarks left blank for you to personalise
  • and the Member Book:

The Papertrail Readers’ Club Book is a membership card and reader’s record book combined! It is a 20 page, staple-bound mini-booklet, printed on high quality recycled sugar papers. Each book will be personalised with your name and membership number, and date stamped with the start date of your membership. It includes spaces to list all the books you want to read alongside dates started & finished, and there are even pages to fill in with your own mini-reviews! Club Book

Each month, a different book is chosen as a feature title, with review printed inside the back cover.  Club members are eligible to submit their own reviews of the club titles which may earn them a free Papertrail zine!

If you buy any issue of Papertrail, you will receive free membership to the Reader’s Club, including the current month’s club review.  If you don’t want to buy the zine, you can still buy a one-off membership to the club with a Basic Membership Package.  And if you fill your record book quickly, or just want another, a Renewal Membership Package is available at a reduced price.

Told you I’d been busy ;-).  And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Does anyone have any leftover lavender?

LL FrontThe reason I ask is, I’ve just added a new mini zine to my Etsy store that is absolutely packed with project suggestions for your leftovers.  The zine is printed on recycled paper embedded with real lavender flowers, and will show you how to make lavender sugar, tea, incense sticks, infused oils and more!  Cunningly concealed on the inside of the zine, you will also find a cross stitch embroidery pattern and instructions.  You just need to turn the zine inside-out to find it!  And if you don’t have the leftover threads in your stash to stitch the pattern, I have also put together a limited edition kit including 21 different shades of overdyed floss + fabric so you can get started straight away.  Check out listings for both zine and kit for more info.

LL kit[Update: June 10th] N.B. The first kit sold straight away, so I have just made up &  added a second.  There won’t be more than 5 kits made, so buy now if you want one!

More happy things

Can you believe it?  Touch wood, technology finally seems to be on my side again!  I am the proud owner of a new laptop, and revelling in the fact that I no longer have to sit at my desk to type, but can instead make use of the lovely, comfy chairs and sofas in the downstairs part of the house!  I also now have a keyboard that can type all (yes, that’s ALL) of its letters at first touch, so in future, any typos you come across are just the result of my being a bit haphazard, rather than the keyboard randomly omitting letters I have actually requested.  Hurrah!

But the BEST thing about it, is that IT HAS USB POINTS THAT WORK!  Finally, for the first time since summer, I can attach my printer, and therefore print off documents, and scan things again.  This means that in addition to the new weaving kits, I can finally get going with the stitchery charts and kits again.  Well, actually, I’ve decided on a slight change of direction, and the needlework charts are going to be available in book form, in the future, rather than as kits, with some still available as individual charts.  I will be re-vamping the needlework pages in the near future, so watch this space!

So this lovely little laptop is making my life a LOT easier, just now.  Forgive the excess of capital letters in this post, but I’m very excited about it!

Oh, you know what else I’m happy about?  Okay, December is a busy month; but I’ve decided not to worry about re-launching the needlework books until the New Year, which means I have a good few weeks in which I can spend any spare time weaving.  You would think I had done a lot of that in the weeks running up to the craft fair, but actually, the last couple of weeks were all about the preparations, with VERY little weaving time.  I have my eye on some lovely new yarns to play with.  This month, despite Christmas madness going on around me, I plan to RELAX…  Wish me luck!