Making a collage out of postage stamps is quite like completing a jigsaw without a picture on the box to guide you: Continue reading Under the Microscope
Another rainy crafternoon…
As has frequently been the case in Derby of late, yesterday afternoon was of the rainy persuasion. What to do with such a damp occasion? Another crafternoon with Britta (JaguarSnail), of course! I was mostly on the production line, folding envelopes in anticipation of a new version of the TangleClub to be introduced in June, making address labels to include as extras with craft fair goody bags, and then unwinding with a couple of new collaged notebooks.
Britta was working on a couple of embroidery samples from her new mini zine (coming soon to a TangleStore near you – but not quite yet!); then while I collaged, Britta drew me in action, using her new copic marker pens. She was filling up gaps in an old sketchbook from her university days, hence the JaguarSnail trial business card shown (with personal info inelegantly edited out by yours truly) to the left of the drawing. Flattered though I am by the portrait, I’m afraid it does err to the flattering side & my face is definitely not quite so hollow-cheeked… The hair looks great, though!
Britta was having a ridiculously creative day, and after using some of my excess stamps to trial a little postal patchwork, she then took a different direction with them, and made this oh-so-awesome envelope design:
I love this ‘doodle’ so much! I immediately scanned it, then printed out a sheet as labels, so that Britta can actually mail them (the original being trapped on a tea-stained page within the afore-mentioned sketchbook). Thinking of adding them as a label set to the TangleStore – what do you think?
I should have had even more of Britta’s mail art to show you, as she brought along a whole batch of pre-artified envelopes, ready for me to list in the TangleStore. But I noticed (far too late in the day) that she had not signed her work, so they have temporarily left the building again, to return in the near future inc. JaguarSnail maker’s mark.
Yep, there was an awful lot of craft (and art!) afoot in Tangledom yesterday, and there’s still so much more to come! I have new projects coming out of my ears, so please keep an eye on the TangleStore, Twitter, and of course here on the blog for all the latest updates. 🙂
Crafting on a rainy afternoon
Britta (see JaguarSnail section of the TangleStore) popped round yesterday on another miserable, rainy day, which we brightened up with lots of junk food & an afternoon of crafting. Britta made (almost) the teeniest tiniest envelopes imaginable, measuring just 1″ x 1.5″ and embellished with a handcarved stamp of even teenier tinier faux postage, postmark & ‘handwritten’ address (she also made pandalopes from a poster salvaged from her erstwhile teenage bedroom).
Meanwhile, I collaged 2 postcards which will be hopping into a postbox near me today. The colours used for the postcards were based on the preferences of the individual recipients, and blue is not my favourite colour, so I struggled with that one a little bit. (Only peach is worse. Peach literally makes me shudder!) After a bit of a false start & a composition which did nothing for me at all, I started again, this time mixing in some teal and turquoise (the acceptable face of blue for me!), and all was well. 🙂 And it turns out I love the combination of both postcards together, like a wet, sandy beach leading into the sea, or beneath a summer sky (which was especially cheering given the damp & dismal weather outside)…
December frequently escapes me somewhat, with birthdays, increased busy-ness at work, and the forthcoming seasonal festivities, all piling on top of my days which already feel very full. But earlier this week I did manage to make time for another get-together with the lovely Britta of JaguarSnail. We had some fun playing with my new envelope punchboard – we struggled to follow the instructions, bluffed our way through to success by trial & error, then found that the instructions did make sense, after all… 😉 I really love the results & there will definitely be new TangleMail-designed envelopes coming soon (probably not until the new year).
Britta brought with her a brand new zine, the seeds of which were sown on our last crafternoon a few weeks ago. On that day she made a miniature mock-up of the concept, and I have to say she’s done an awesome job of following it through. If you have ever aspired to invent a new life form, this is the mini-zine for you!
Each page features an ordinary creature – man, lion, eagle, cobra, goat and carp (some interesting choices!) – and each page is split into 3 segments so that you can mix & match your own mythical beast! There is even a section at the back of the zine where you can log and name your favourite hybrid creations. The drawings are really cleverly done, with lots of character, and perfectly aligned so that any combination (of the many possible!) slots together smoothly – yet another example of Britta’s talent! There are only currently 5 copies available of this labour-intensive, slightly-larger-than-average mini-zine, so don’t miss out!
Britta was also inspired by the sea of stamps that were overflowing in a corner of my craft room, and followed up on her previous stampy works by customising a couple of stray notebooks I had lying around. One of these was snapped up overnight (the other is still available, at time of writing), inspiring me in turn to follow her example – see pic to the right for even more First Class Notebooks, this time stampified by me. These are all one-of-a-kind creations, so if one of them catches your eye, be quick!
There’s something about that repeated motif – the same but different every time, thanks to the unique combinations of postmarks – and the patchwork effect of the randomly combined colours that never fails to fascinate me…
Britta and I generally have no problem thinking of new creative ideas, but our ‘crafternoons’ are definitely motivational for both of us to actually get down to putting the ideas into practice. When I say that a sea of stamps was overflowing in my room, I’m actually being literal rather than gratuitously poetic – but now we have actually made a real start on crafting them, I feel far less like I am about to drown in them…!
Here’s to crafty afternoons!
One of the items in the TangleStore which ticks over regularly is this set of 3 ‘Instructional Craft Badges‘, featuring vintage book illustrations and ‘sage advice from bygone crafters’.
I was singularly tickled to receive an email yesterday from Kris Bailey with a pic (below) of what she had done with her set! Putting slight feelings of inadequacy aside (suddenly my plain kraft packaging looks somewhat lacklustre…) I’m sure Kris’ friend Jan* will adore this witty, hand-lettered, handmade birthday card with badges for embellishment – so much fun! I’ve been thinking about making some cards to go with the badges for ages (who doesn’t love a badge on their birthday card – especially if it doesn’t tell their age! 😉 ), and Kris has definitely provided me with some inspiration here.
This rather pleasant surprise set me to thinking – have you done something creative with any TangleCrafty goodies? If so, please do drop me a line. It’s fascinating to see what happens to my stuff after it ventures out into the world…
(*Jan Eaton, author of numerous needlework books – by the by, but an interesting snippet nonetheless!)
It’s a while since I created an Etsy Treasury, but I was thinking about newspapers and this one turned out to be very easy to compile! There are all kinds of upcycled artwork and newsprint-inspired creations here – check it out and be drawn into the most creative headline news:
Image from Gift Wrap Set by IHavea LittleDream
TangleClub December Update
With reference to this recent post, I have just added A Handy Pouch – Simple Sewing Tutorial to the TangleClub Archive. The file sizes were quite large so I have split the PDF down into 3 smaller chunks, for ease of download. Have fun – would love to see results if any of you try it out!
If you are not yet a TangleClub member, but want to share the crafty freebie goodness, never fear – it’s very easy to join! You can still get FREE TangleClub membership with any purchase of £5 or more from the TangleCrafts Etsy Store, or click here for all current options.
And while I’m here,
a very merry festive season to you –
may craftiness and happiness
be with you all! 😀
A handy pouch!
My laptop is on the brink of death: sad but true. It’s okay; I have a new (/reconditioned) laptop ready to step into the breach, but I’m not allowed to play with it just yet, because it’s my birthday quite soon. No problem, I don’t mind waiting; but in the meantime, I really didn’t want to put my poor old ailling laptop under any more duress than necessary. Cue a little device that the lovely Corey bought for me months ago and I duly ignored because I’m not really very into technology… It’s mobile phone-sized, and will allow me to check my email while out & about. Don’t need anything fancy, so now I’m in laptop preservation-mode, it’s perfect! Only problem is, Corey had an identical one & smashed the screen of his within weeks. Oops. So having dug mine out of its (unopened) box this morning, I knew that I would also need to devise some form of protection for it.
Easy! I remembered a little ‘handy pouch’ I made earlier this year, when I was still high on last year’s felt/fabric stocking success! It didn’t turn out to be quite as handy as I had hoped, at the time, due to being just the wrong size for everything I could think of. However with an extra fold of felt tucked inside for added protection, it turns out to be a perfect fit for the aforementioned email-checking device (I’m sure the device does lots of other clever things as well, but with the exception of a little web-browsing, I assure you all those other functionalities will be entirely under-utilised!). Without further ado, here it is:
I loved the blue/brown paisley fabric when I acquired it & was determined to make something I could actually use with it – so I’m really happy now that I’ll be able to use & see it on a daily basis. 😀
I will definitely not be making multiple ‘handy pouches’ for the TangleStore, as sewing is very much a means to an end for me, and really not my favourite way to pass time. But TangleClub members, watch out! I actually remembered to take step-by-step pics as I was making the pouch, so I’m going to put together a tutorial for you (in the freebie archive) very soon (remember I am very much a novice at sewing, so it is very much a beginners’ project!). I also thought of a potential good use for all the fabrics I’ve been stockpiling but never using – would anybody be interested in a ‘handy pouch’ kit? I’m going to give it some thought…
Since my Christmas stocking project last week, my fingers have been getting all twitchy to do more crafty/stitchy things. So I just created this treasury of DIY craft kits over on Etsy, which is full of crafty ideas for inspiration – but also the materials necessary to get started straight away. As procrastinators will agree, not having the necessary materials to hand is the best excuse not to begin a new project, so these kits leave you with no excuses! 😉
Being totally honest, the packaging often attracts me just as much as the projects themselves, and is often just as original. The DIY Instant Comfort Boxes by Kim Welling are a case in point; although I also have a huge soft spot for Pupurin’s Little Kitty Kit. Those with a mildly sick sense of humour (who me?) may enjoy the 1/2 splat kit (must click to discover what this is, although the title is quite accurate!); while any embroiderers looking for a creative challenge should take a look at the wonderful Crafting Shelves kit from This Tiny Existence. Well, take a look at the whole treasury: there are all kinds of craft kits from all kinds of crafters so hopefully something will inspire you!
My own crafty plans for the new year include a return to weaving, thanks to my lovely hubby buying me ‘The Ultimate Bead Loom’ from Fred Aldous for Christmas. I’ve already constructed it (yes, I did in fact sit & construct it on Christmas morning), but the next stage is on hold while I figure out whether I’ll be using beads or yarn, and what I actually want to make. My current impulse is to make a big mess of colour… But what I love about this loom is the fact that it can just sit on a worksurface in front of me and the weaving area is (sloped) upright so that I don’t have to bend over it as I work. I love using bead looms for small-scale weaving, but most have a horizontal working surface which my back does not enjoy. 😦 I will let you know how I get on as and when any projects emerge. 🙂
Besides that, I have a freshly acquired small stash of funky fabrics and wool felts that I am itching to play with, and lots of ideas in mind. I can’t resist all the patterns, and the combinations of colours; and after my stocking project, I really got a feel for having a needle in my hand again. My mother has claimed the unenviable task of teaching me to use a sewing machine, but this will be another slow-burner due to not living in the same city, not to mention my reluctance mainly concerning the noise of the thing. I really just prefer having space to hear my own thoughts, but then again, I’m generally very good at tuning out sounds from the real world that attempt to permeate my inner world (how dare they!), so maybe I can tune out the sewing machine, too… Again, I will keep you posted.
So, how about you? Any crafty plans and/or resolutions for the new year?
Please share & inspire/motivate the rest of us!
Owls! (& some other stuff)
Yesterday evening, I partook of a local Etsy ‘Make & Mingle’ get-together.
(That’s me in the middle, Britta left & Corey right. Picture taken by Gina of Lulu and You – you can read her blog post about our evening here.)
There were only a few of us, but it was good fun, and included a felt brooch tutorial with the lovely Britta Jarvis of Jaguar Snail. My wonderful-yet-decidedly-non-crafty hubby Corey also decided to get stuck in, and Britta was very patient guiding him through the processes involved, such as…um…threading a needle… I should not be mean, though, as he did actually very successfully add beads & brooch back to felt to create this personalised (see the ‘S’ bead, in the middle?) flower brooch for me. 🙂
There were flowers, hearts & owls to choose from template-wise, and those who have read my blog previously will not be surprised to learn that I opted for the bird-themed option. I’ve not stitched anything for a while but really enjoyed doing something different, for a change. Mine is the owl shown above right. My friend B also made an owl but made the inspired choice of a light blue thread for the blanket stitch border, and I was quite jealous that I hadn’t thought of it! Britta herself went beading crazy on a tiny purple heart, and managed a huge amount of pretty, sparkly, intricate detail in a very short time!
Despite lack of blue edging, I am very fond of my little beady-eyed owl brooch (and of course Corey’s flower, too!) but don’t worry, you will not be finding a new line of felt brooches in my Etsy store – this was strictly a one-off for me! Instead – for something a little more professional! – do check out the Jaguar Snail Etsy Store, for Britta’s gorgeous family of hand-stitched owl brooches. Each one has its own unique personality & funky fabric awesomeness, and look – they even have tiny feet embroidered on the bottom! How cute? Very cute!