I’m back!

The move was horrible, let’s not talk about that.  But I am in the process of catching up on all orders placed over the last few weeks, and should be mostly on top of things after the weekend.  Thank you, everyone, for your patience!  I will be including extra niceness with all orders from the house-moving period, as a thank you for bearing with me.

Now, on to fun and exciting new things 🙂 .

First and foremost, the long, long awaited and very overdue 4th issue of Telaic Fantasy has finally been unleashed on the world. I’m very happy with the way it has turned out, after playing with a new layout, and (to conform with the rest of the series) keeping it to A6 (/quarter-size) format.  I am thrilled to report that TF4 includes an exclusive interview with the awesome Diane Gilleland of the Crafty Pod, found poetry from my vintage craft/weaving book collection, along with reviews, extracts from literature AND template, yarn and instructions to weave your very own Oddball companion. Check out the Etsy listing for more details & extra pics.  I’ve also put together a special bumper package, combining TF4 with membership to the DIY Weaving Club, so if you’re not already a member, join us!

If weaving doesn’t float your boat, however, I have more fun in store for you. For the last month, an innocent little link has been lurking to the right of your screens: Going Postal.  What is is it all about?  Well, it’s a super-cool mail art project, of course!  A meta-mail art project, if you will.  Click on the link for full details, but in brief, I’m asking anyone with the inclination to do so to create an ATC (using any medium they prefer), the only real stipulation being that contributions must have a postal or mail art related theme.  In some way.  If you send me an ATC, I will send you in return a (free) mini-zine featuring your artwork alongside at least 2 more contributors to the project.  (And if you just want to admire everyone else’s work, the mini-zines will be available at nominal cost in the Etsy store).  Eventually, I will compile a Going Postal super-zine, including selected contributions to the project, and various other editorials, miscellany & fun stuff; but I think the mini-zine project will run for a good while before the super-zine sees light of day, so there is plenty of time to get your creative thinking cap on, and, um, get creative…!  [ACEO above right by Hazel Fisher of Hazel Fisher Creations – check out her Etsy store!]

These two ‘news items’ are just the tip of the iceberg – look out for even more new projects & zines to appear, perhaps slowly, but steadily, as I unpack my workroom, and dig out the ideas that I packed into boxes just a couple of short weeks ago…  Well, with a name like TangleCrafts, it was never going to be straightforward, was it…?


You may have noticed the proliferation of zines around here, lately…  A lot of them are the by-product of swaps I’ve taken part in recently (some on Swap-bot, some elsewhere) .  The swaps weren’t necessarily for zines, but sparked ideas in my head, and that’s how I interpreted them.  This latest zine, however, exists for no reason other than that I really, really wanted to write it. papertrail #1

Welcome to papertrail #1:   it is a celebration of some of the most beautiful fiction that I have read, over the years.  I have picked sections from my favourite novels, and turned them into poetry.  Then I’ve offered random musings and observations about the novels, as well as suggestions for ‘papertrails’ (what to read next), and because I always like sections to fill in, spaces for you to add your own to-read list, and make up your own ‘papertrail’.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I’m a big reader of fiction.  The most important thing for me in addition to a strong story is that it is well-written, so if, like me, you’re not really into poetry, you could instead read this zine as a ‘style’ sampler for a collection of novelists.  Well anyway, I love it.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if the idea intrigues you, check out the listing in TheTangledPress Etsy Store.

Ironically, I liked the idea of this zine so much that it prompted me to set up a swap for a book-ish zine.  So if you’re tempted to have a go yourself, you have until July 20th to sign up!  (And as always, if you mention this blog post in a message to me, you will get a copy of my zine in addition to those you get from your allocated swap partners.)

A couple of new zines

Just added to TheTangledPress Etsy Store:

profound tapestry cover‘Profound Tapestry’, a 24 page, A6 (quarter-sized) zine.  I umm-ed and aah-ed over whether to put this in the Tangled Press or the TangleCrafts store, but it’s poetry, not a practical craft zine, so the Press won out.   It is a collection of found poetry, that I discovered within the pages of my many vintage weaving & tapestry books. Weaving, spinning, and technical weaving terminology like warp and weft lend themselves very easily to metaphor, so that the poetry frequently does not appear craft-related at all.

Just added to the TangleCrafts Etsy Store:

cover complete 2I’d been meaning for ages to try out covering buttons, after my fabric badge-making experiments using a kids’ badge-machine left me with very sore fingertips indeed.  Happily, buttons appear to be far friendlier, and this little zine is the result of my explorations.   ‘Cover-Button Moon’ is a 16 page mini-zine that comes with 3 free buttons!  It is a complete introduction and how-to for covering buttons with your own funky fabrics, including full step-by-step instructions, photos, tips, and 5 simple projects to start you off (the 3 buttons included can be used to try out the projects, too).

Check out the store listings of both items for full details & more pics.

I found more poetry

craft of weavingFrom ‘The Craft of Weaving’ by Irene Waller (c) 1976

we are astoundingly blind
and really do not look at
and see properly
the world around us
which is the source of

The next step on from finding poetry within fiction was to start flicking through  my ‘archive’ of vintage  weaving books.  I felt sure there must be poetry in descriptions of this wonderfully repetetive and meditative craft.  I wasn’t wrong, but what I found still surprised me, erring towards the philosophical and the abstract, rather than a simple appreciation of craft and colour.

Anyone who has read Telaic Fantasy 1 will already know about my dichotomous feelings towards Irene Waller – on the one hand so creative, on the other, with such a frightfully upper-class, scarily no-nonsense attitude (can’t you just see the attitude oozing out, even just in that cover photo above?).  If there was one author I didn’t expect to find poetry in, it was Irene Waller, yet there it was, all the same.

I also wanted to share another idea I found in the above book.  It’s possibly not entirely original (although you must remember it was written several decades before the likes of Keri Smith’s fantastic ‘How to be an Explorer of the World’), but I really like it:

A marvellous way to break down any inhibitions you may have about colour is to have several large glass jars on your shelving and to drop into them fragments of anything, colourwise, which you find pleasing – beads, glass, paper, yarns, fabrics.  Have a jar for blues, another for greens and so on.

This is just supposed to be an exercise in developing a greater understanding of colour, but I think a jar crammed with miscellaneously textured colour would make a fantastic ornament, or if not ornament exactly, source of inspiration, in my workroom.  I don’t think I could put yarns inside, though, as I would just have to fish them out again, when inspiration struck.  Could get messy.

I really need to overcome my resistance and look out Irene Waller’s other books…