Perfection isn’t perfect

norway spruce“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

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A handwoven letter

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… 😉

handwoven letter postcard by Su Mwamba

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...

A question for you (about notecards)

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. 😉

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…

TangleClub New Year Update

Happy New Year, everybody!

I’m sure everybody has been too busy with celebrations to notice that this month’s TangleClub Freebie is a day late, but it is now up and ready to access for all you lovely TangleClubbers.
It is actually not at all what I had intended to post this month, but over the New Year weekend, Corey and I re-discovered a card game which we invented several years ago (it’s very cool; more to come about that another time!), and that sent my train of thought in an entirely
different direction.

Thus, this month’s freebie is a set of printable playing cards (to use in conjunction with the 1000 Blank Cards site/game which I have blogged about previously) – or alternatively a set of mini notecards/enclosure cards; your choice!  The PDF includes 3 pages: Dandelion Smile cards as shown, optional lined backs, and a template sheet for you to design your own cards.

N.B. If you go for the notecard option, check back to the January 2011 freebie for matching Dandelion Smile mailing labels!

If you are not currently a member of the TangleClub but want to share the monthly freebie-ness,  simply spend £5 or more in the TangleStore or TangleStore UK & you will qualify for TangleClub Basic membership absolutely free!

TAB Project Update

It might seem as though I have forgotten about
The Achievement Badge Project since its launch, but I haven’t!  Although I must concede that I have definitely been running a little behind…
I have caught up, though, and have to say how very cool the latest batch of entries is, with achievements ranging from map-reading without getting lost to being accepted onto an Open University course at age 14 (wow, Adel Wilson – congratulations! – preview above right) to ‘not being perfect but being normal’. 🙂

The  Gallery  has been updated today (current total 11 entries) but is only available to those who have joined the project, so start thinking about what you have achieved this year – however minor or major – and design a badge to
reward yourself.  You deserve it!

The closing date for the TAB Project is December 31st, 2011.

Don’t forget, TangleClubbers can claim 1 free entry (see August Archive freebie), and downloadable entry forms for everybody else can be found on the
TAB Project page
.

Makeovers all round

As you may have already noticed 😉 I decided to go for another blog re-design to match the new Etsy header.  I liked the green of the old blog but I love that I could totally kraftify the background of this one – I feel much more at home here!  Still a few minor tweaks needed to finish off, but I’m definitely liking the new look.

I have also revised all the Etsy pricing into £ sterling so that I can stay on the right side of fluctuating exchange rates.  Previously, all prices in the TangleStore were in US$ even though I am in the UK – which obviously, now I come to think about it, did not really make a lot of sense!  The prices you see on Etsy from now on will be a conversion from £ sterling into whatever currency is local to you (according to your own Etsy settings), based on current exchange rates.  You may notice minor variance in price on one or two items, but I have kept things as close as possible to previous pricing, so differences should be minimal.