I recently heard about what must be the most exciting discovery in the back of an old wardrobe since, well, Narnia! Continue reading It’s a small, small world…
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible. – Vladimir Nabokov
I’ve been thinking about notebooks. As in, why – when I could choose to collage or decoupage literally anything with postage stamps – why did I choose notebooks? Continue reading The writing on the page
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. 🙂
This post is really more of a ‘show-and-tell’ for one of the notebooks I included in my last post’s mini gallery. I was so pleased with the way it turned out that I decided it justified having a little more of a showcase:
The pattern began as an expansion of the pinwheel motif on the mini notebook shown right, but when expanded it takes on all new qualities. The pinwheels combine to produce new illusions – diamond shaped colour-blocks, and an overall prismatic effect. I realise quilters (etc) are probably quite familiar with how this process works, but it’s a lot of fun to see in action, especially when you don’t know in advance what the overall effect will be. I love the way the colours play/bounce off each other; would be interesting to experiment with multi-tones of a single colour family, too…
Today I took a short break from Etsying in order to actually make my mum a handmade Mother’s Day card for once. I know my overseas readers don’t need to think about this just yet, but over here in the UK, Mothering Sunday is this weekend, so I was cutting it a bit fine!
The pattern is mostly abstract, but if you look at it the right way, it does actually spell out MUM (in quite angular, blocky letters!) – follow the pink/purple from left to right…can you see it? Not incredibly obvious, I concede, but my mum will like the colour combination, regardless! 😉 I added an insert of cream coloured lokta paper inside, to give it a touch more ‘finish’. Now all I need to do is get it into the hands of the lovely Royal Mail (before they put their prices up, on Monday!).
Give or take a bout of flu, I feel like I’ve been on the production line for the last few weeks non-stop – same old story: too many ideas, too little time! See mini gallery below for a sampling of new collaged notebooks (in varying sizes), some very prismatic rainbow postal patchwork, and a glimmer of Springtime in the end-of-winter weather led me back to the Secret Garden, with new zines, DIY seed packets & more. Not to mention some gorgeous wolfish notebooks from Britta’s latest hand-carved stamp.
Hop on over to the TangleStore & take advantage of a 15% discount using coupon code MADMARCH at Etsy checkout – only valid for a few more days! (coupon expires March 31st)
Now THIS was fun!
When I first started dabbling in patchwork-style collage with postage stamps, it was enough for me to see a variety of tone-on-tone colours in serendipitous side-by-side placement (left). Today, however, my attraction to creating more collages using this style of stampification was definitely on the wane – lots of stamps everywhere around me, but somehow not quite the right level of inspiration… (I have been in a state of what might be called overdrive since stampifying my first notebook and so this was a natural & perhaps overdue decline in enthusiasm.) Then – out of nowhere! – I was motivated to return to my old favourite Machins and…start cutting them up!
After spending a little time pondering the absolute sameness of the Machin stamp design – each issue identical in size and image, the only variable being in the colour – I just wanted to see what would happen if I took one half away and replaced it with an identical half in a contrasting colour. I’ll tell you what happened, it captured my imagination!
The diamond pattern notebook (above right) is the result of my first experiment, but I suspect an investigation into quilt block patterns may not be too far behind. This postal patchwork technique has real possibilities! As you can probably tell by my overuse of exclamation marks, I am genuinely caught up in enthusiasm for this idea. Will post some more pics once time allows further experimentation…
Although all has been quiet on the TangleBlog-front of late, anyone who has been watching the TangleStore will have seen a flurry of activity throughout January. I’ve been going stamp-notebook crazy with more of the Machin patchworks as seen in my December post (every colour of the rainbow now available! 😉 ) and then expanding my repertoire to include older vintage stamps from around the world, and a slightly different style of collage. I’ve also added some frameable postcards to the range:
Venturing out into a different corner of the postage stamp world definitely has inspired me. The colours, styles & production values and all my (ongoing) postage stamp projects culminated in the design of a brand new TangleStamp – and anyone who is familiar with my previous TangleStamp designs will see that this has been a big change of direction for me!
This journey is documented in the equally brand new issue of MailCraft #3, which follows through these projects and thought processes. It also includes mini-tutorials for very simple postage stamp collage, if you want to give it a try yourself. MailCraft #3 is currently available as a standard 24 page edition with plain kraft cover and self-adhesive TangleStamp insert OR (while stocks last!) a numbered, limited edition of 10 copies which has a bonus outer cover which can be transformed into a postcard with your own collage, plus a gummed (lick & stick), hand-perforated TangleStamp insert.
(The special editions will be listed one by one, as they are sold, so don’t despair if you don’t see one in the TangleStore when you look: the next numbered issue will be re-listed within 24 hours of a sale.)
“The Spruce Fir is generally esteemed a more elegant tree than the Scotch pine; and the reason, I suppose, is because it often feathers to the ground, and grows in a more exact and regular shape: but this is a principal objection to it. It often wants both form and beauty. We admire its floating foliage, in which it sometimes exceeds all other trees; but it is rather disagreeable to see a repetition of these feathery strata, beautiful as they are, reared tier above tier, in regular order, from the bottom of a tree to the top. Its perpendicular stem, also, which has seldom any lineal variety, makes the appearance of the tree still more formal. It is not always, however, that the Spruce Fir grows with so much regularity. Sometimes a lateral branch, here and there taking the lead beyond the rest, breaks somewhat through the order commonly observed, and forms a few chasms, which have a good effect. When this is the case, the Spruce Fir ranks among picturesque trees. Sometimes it has as good an effect, and in many circumstances a better, when the contrast appears still stronger; when the tree is shattered by some accident, has lost many of its branches, and is scathed and ragged. A feathery branch, here and there, among broken stems, has often an admirable effect; but it must arise from some particular situation.”
from Woodland Gleanings by Charles Tilt, 1853
I’m hoping that my first handwoven postcard trial will arrive while I’m out today. In the meantime, I’ve been making up for lost time & have completed Handwoven Postcard #2. Yes, it’s all a bit meta this time – a weaving that looks like a letter, except that it’s a postcard… 😉
I initially wove it plain, just with the airmail border but it looked very boring. The addition of embroidered ‘address’ and needle-woven ‘stamp’ (my first handwoven faux postage!) really finish it off. I’m slightly concerned, though, that the extra detail is more likely to endanger the weaving while it’s on its travels (more little bits to get caught up in machinery)…but we shall soon see!
Find out more about the Handwoven Postcard Project...
I must confess, I’m really not much of a letter writer (something which I’m sure will be readily confirmed by anybody who has corresponded with me in the past). It’s a little odd, you might think, because my zines are generally pretty wordy; but for some reason I just don’t seem to have many words left over when it comes to actual personal communication. I can usually fill a postcard, but not much more. If I’m sending somebody a zine (etc), usually a mini card (/business card) has more than enough space for what I have to say. Thus, my latest range of postage stamp stationery consists of flat notecards (/blank postcards) and mini notecards. Because these are the sizes I’m most likely to use myself.
My question is…actually a series of questions… I’ll list them instead! So, are you ready? When it comes to correspondence:
- What kind of cards do you prefer?
- Are you a full-on letter writer and would prefer notepaper, instead?
- Do you ever/often use notepaper & notecard combined, or would it usually be one or the other?
- If you use notecards, do you prefer a flat, single-sided notecard or a single-fold notecard with more space to write inside?
- If you prefer a folded notecard, do you prefer a design printed on the back as well as the front, or do you prefer the back to be left blank so that you can continue your note?
- Do you have any other thoughts about notecard design which might be relevant?
You might gather, I’m thinking of adding a blank-inside single-fold notecard to the range in the future, so I’m just trying to establish what would be the most practical, attractive-to-a-buyer/notewriter option. But I’m also genuinely interested in your correspondence habits & preferences, so please do share. And browse the current range, too. 😉