Spot the difference!

postcard 1a before & after

postcard 1b before & afterCan you spot the difference?  The weaving of Handwoven Postcard #1 appears remarkably unscathed & not at all traumatised by its little jaunt through the Royal Mail.

The address side bears an unfranked stamp, and a couple of very minor scars – if not for the postal ‘barcode’ overlapping the address box, it could easily be believed it had never left my hands or home (but it did!).  I’m very impressed by its survival skills & can’t wait to see if Postcard #2 fares quite so well…!

The Handwoven Postcard Project

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 confession (& TangleClub freebie)

One of my most enduring projects, dating almost from the inception of TangleCrafts, is the Handwoven Postcard Project.  It started life in a now-retired zine, has been through various incarnations, and is currently available both as a part of the Postcard Recycling Kit, and the DIY Weaving Handbook.  Much as I love the idea of it, and despite a couple of (very welcome!) contributions, the Handwoven Postcard Project never caught the imagination of my followers in the same way as either Going Postal or Friends & Faux.  But I’ve kept the project open anyway, because I like it.

Okay, time for the confession…: I never actually wove and/or sent a handwoven postcard myself!  Yes, I hang my head in shame; but it’s true.  Shame on me!

Well, I can confess only because I am about to rectify the error of my ways.  Who wants to guess what I did with my day off today?  Anybody?  Yeah, not a tough one, really: I spent today weaving a postcard.  Handwoven Postcard by Su MwambaAnd here it is!  A very simple plain weave in pretty heathery colours (lovely Noro Kureyon).  Tomorrow, I will be adding a stamp to the reverse side (2nd class rather than 1st class only because the colour will match better; Corey rolls his eyes at me for this, which I think a little unfair…), and posting it to myself, so I can see first hand how it survives its journey through the postal system.  It won’t have far to travel – will that make any difference?  A woven postcard from Hawaii survived its journey far better than one from Manchester (see link above). so it’s definitely a tough one to predict.  I will of course update with the results once it arrives home.

Here’s something else you won’t be expecting, given my recent wanderings of attention.  I’ve added a brand new, step-by-step Handwoven Postcard Tutorial to the TangleClub Archive, so that my long-neglected TangleClub members need feel neglected no more.

However anybody, yes anybody is welcome to join the Handwoven Postcard Project, so if you are inspired, please get weaving and send your postcards my way.  All pics will be shared, and you will have taken part in one of the most exclusive mail art projects out there! 😉

JaguarSnail – welcome!

This post is to welcome the zines of Britta Jarvis of JaguarSnail into the TangleCrafts fold. 🙂  Britta is a local artist & crafter who I met through a mutual friend, a couple of years ago.  We have since spent many a happy hour on the production line together and have discovered lots of common interests – the most obvious being zines, mail art, and a weakness for terrible puns…  We are currently scheming to bring you various collabrative projects (largely involving me harnessing Britta’s amazing – and speedy! – stamp-carving skills!).  In the meantime, 3 of Britta’s mini zines are now available in the TangleStore:

I Love Mail - JaguarSnailI Love Mail! – quite a maxi mini zine at 20 pages long, but standard mini zine dimensions.  It includes 8 things Britta loves about mail, an envelope tutorial, a postal poem, an interview with a Royal Mail postman, and more.  Illustrated throughout with Britta’s own sketches & doodles, this one is a limited edition in the current format so don’t miss out!

Make a Zine - JaguarSnailHow to Make a Zine – an introduction for beginners.  If you’re tempted to write your own zine but don’t know where to start, this mini zine could be just what you’re looking for!  Lots of tips, guidance and inspiration, but the best bit about this mini zine is that it’s double-sided – open it out, and there’s a unique zine theme-picker on the reverse.  Twice the fun of an ‘ordinary’ mini zine squished into the same amount of space – genius!

Experimental Poetry - JaguarSnailA Collection of Experimental Poetry – This one does exactly what it says on the tin, and is a perfect example of Britta’s quirky nature.  These fun little poems are accompanied by original illustrations to make a unique addition to your zine collection.

Paper trials

Once upon a time, the Enchanted Times was but a small part of my creative output, which as a categorical Jill-of-all-trades flitted about from one craft to the next as the whim took me.  Well, to be fair, I do still flit about a bit, but also I appear to have settled so that one thing – the fairy tale theme – has become what I could call a specialism (at least when measured against the bits & bobs of…everything else).  So with that in mind, I decided that I really ought to make sure I was using the materials which best complimented these creations rather than just using what I had because it was there.

I actually really like the thick newsprint-type paper that I currently use for Enchanted Times Mini, but my home printer is less keen, and insists I hand-feed every sheet (otherwise it instantly jams), which can – obviously – be quite time-consuming.  So over Christmas I trialled several different recycled papers to find one that I liked aesthetically in terms of a ‘newspaper’ but also which my printer did not object to so vociferously.  The results:

  • The first was just the right shade of off-white/grey, printed crisply without jamming, but was not thick enough (wrinkled with block-colour areas).  This one is perfect for general office printing, though, and will definitely be made use of.
  • paper comparisonThe next was another pleasing shade of off-white with random speckling for a nice recycled appearance.  It was also a good weight & before it went into the printer I had high hopes for it.  Sadly – as you can see from centre sample (right) – it bled horribly, to the point where the text was almost illegible.  Even in plain black on white areas, the text instantly appeared faded.  Well, I can use it for testing layouts etc.  Or maybe we’ll just keep it as spare drawing paper for our god-daughter to use…
  • I also trialled a lovely creamy coloured hemp paper, which was also nicely speckled and a good weight.  This one printed beautifully in all respects – no problem with printer jamming & nice sharp text/images.  This one lost out only due to the overall colour which was simply not ‘newsy’ enough.  It will definitely be used for other future projects, though.
  • The winner you will see in action very soon.  It had very similar results to the hemp paper, but with a more newspapery, off-white colour & all-over speckling it better suited the task to hand.  And the printer likes it, too – yay!

In the meantime, you can pick up half-price copies of Enchanted Times Mini in the E.T.Printworks & Folksy stores while the old paper-stock is used up – the perfect opportunity to get Behind the Times!