Samples, samples, more samples…

I have FREE promos for you!  This month, I’ve been swapping bits & pieces with some other crafty types, and now have some great little tasters so that you can sample their wares.  How?  Simply place an order of £5 or more (excluding p&p) in the TangleStore, and I will throw in a free (randomly chosen) promo sampler with your order, while stocks last.  Spend over £10 and I’ll include one of each!  I only have a few, though, so it’s first come, first served…

Here’s a preview of the samples I have for you… Continue reading Samples, samples, more samples…

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Handwoven postcards go Crafty!

crafty coverLife has been a bit hectic round these parts since September, largely as the result of being asked to write a tutorial for UK craft magazine, Crafty. Keeping the deadline meant various other projects had to be put on hold temporarily, and then (more recently) the catch-up period commenced…  I was very excited about the magazine project, and it was very hard for me not to mention in advance, but I received my contributor’s copy today & it will be in the shops tomorrow (Friday 8th), so I can finally share the news!

I was given carte blanche for a DIY weaving project, and was very happy when the go-ahead was given for my handwoven airmail envelope idea.  The observant amongst you may have noticed my sudden resurgence of interest in the Handwoven Postcard Project, and an unprecedented number of posts where I shared (unbeknownst to you!) my prototypes for the magazine tutorial.

crafty cropYou may or may not have also noticed that my blog posts are usually conspicuously free from pictures of myself (largely because there is no camera in my household), but now that a photo has been published in a national magazine, I decided to break with tradition and share the (actually quite old!) pic I shared with them.  There I am!!! >>>>
Far more interesting to me is the nice job they made of photographing the actual handwoven postcard – much more enticing than my usual flat scan…

By the way, the magazine people very kindly returned my handwoven postcard sample, so I have popped it into the TangleStore for somebody to snap up a little piece of TangleCrafts history!  (Sorry, someone was quick off the mark with this!  Look out instead for limited edition ‘custom’ handwoven postcards, available soon…)

airmail sample pageThe Crafty feature provides step-by-step instructions to weave your very own postcard-that-looks-like-a-letter.  To complement the project, I have also just added a new TangleClub* freebieprintable airmail stripes and/or background – to make the non-woven airmail border that little bit easier to achieve.  (Of course, you can also use the printable for non-woven mail art projects if you feel so inspired. 🙂 )

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space in the Crafty article for the extra steps I had prepared for adding the ‘address’ and ‘stamp’ to the weaving/postcard/letter, so I will be working on a new kit/instruction booklet which will include those little finishing touches as well as various other bits & bobs.  Watch this space for availability!

There are lots of other exceedingly cool projects in this month’s issue of Crafty (I especially can’t resist those Clanger-esque needle-felted mice on the front cover by illustrator Gretel Parker) and I notice there is currently a half price subscription offer on the Crafty website, which sounds like a bargain to me!  If you check out the magazine, please stop by and let me know what you think. 🙂

*TangleClub membership available here.

Handwoven faux postage #2

handwoven letter postcard by Su MwambaIn a recent post, I claimed that the stamp woven in the corner of this ‘letter’ was my first handwoven faux postage.  Who knew?  Turns out I was wrong…!  I just re-discovered an old post of mine from 2010 in which I wove a postage stamp on a tiny matchbox loom!

I had completely forgotten about this, but really need to try it again – it would totally be possible to embroider a little detail onto the surface of this tiny weaving…  

Matchbox weaving loom

Ironically, this miniature weaving probably took as long to complete as the handwoven postcards I have talked about recently, due to the fine embroidery threads used instead of bulkier knitting wools.  It would be possible to weave a quicker stamp using a bulkier yarn or thread, though – it would just afford less opportunity for adding finer detail.

See the original post for further details.

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! 😉

TangleClub December Update

Happy December!

handy pouch tutorial coverWith 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…

The next small thing!

We all know that often the best things come in small packages, so to celebrate the long-awaited launch of the Society for the Preservation of Borrowers, I have created an Etsy Treasury of all things Tiny!  There are some exceedingly cool (& tiny) things included (such as the wonderful miniature message embroideries from Of Little Consequence (right), so please take a look!

This month’s TangleClub freebie continues the Borrowers theme but moving away from miniatures and toward recycling,  with a set of printable envelope re-use labels & seals featuring the Borrowers Recycle! logo.  If you want to share the TangleClub freebie goodness, all you need to do is spend £5 or more in the TangleStore – Etsy, Folksy or Storenvy – and you will receive a free membership card plus password to access the TangleClub Archive of FREE projects & printables.

And on the subject of clubs, you are all hereby invited to join the Society for the Preservation of Borrowers!   Membership packets are now available from the TangleStores.  Each miniature manila envelope includes:

* a copy of the micro-zine Borrowed Time (you will need a magnifier to read this!)

* a membership card cut from discarded packaging

* and an upcycled pinback badge made using pages from a vintage copy of Mary Norton’s original ‘Borrowers’ book.  

The first 10 Membership Packets will be signed, numbered & dated.

Everyone knows that the Borrowers were the true pioneers of the upcycling movement, so SPoB is the ideal cause for crafters & literature lovers to support! 😉