Zines, mail art, postal stuff – All This is Mine!

atim zineOver the last 6 months or so, I have acquired a few zines about mail art, & my opinion (so far) is that by far the most interesting is All This is Mine.  ATIM is a zine & a website.  The zine covers different subjects, but Issue 12 is all about letter-writing & while it’s not entirely about mail art, it’s still one of the most interesting I have read on the subject.  And it comes with a packet of random postal labels as well, which is very cool.

ATIM stationeryIf the random labels are more interesting to you than a zine about letter-writing, you’re in luck, because the ATIM website also sells absolutely awesome hand-collated themed packs of random stationery.  Whether you see ephemera for artwork or original accessories for your correspondence in these packs, they are absolute essentials for mail lovers and creative letter-writers everywhere.  I want one!

What’s everyone up to?

I’ve had some great updates in the last week! And it’s always cool to see what other people are working on, so if you’ve been inspired to try something by one of my kits or zines, do let me know so that I can share 🙂

wall hangingFirst up today is Sharon Schmeidel – back in January, she bought one of my ATC weaving kits and has been weaving away ever since. In her own words, tapestry weaving has become “another passion I should probably have done without”! The scale has increased somewhat since her ATC-sized beginnings – I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this wall-hanging is pretty awesome! Sharon is a member of the Iowa Art Quilters Group, and this piece has been on display in Grenell, Iowa, over the summer, at a show in conjunction with an area weaving conference. Cool!

doodle stitchI was also really happy to see Robin O. Mayberry’s post on her Alchemy Studio blog, about the bookmark she doodle-stitched, after I sent her a copy of my new ‘Contours’ zine, less than a month ago! The zine is all about doodles, and at the very last minute, I decide to include a bookmark as an extra. I didn’t have time to trial the concept first, so I just hoped that it would work – and it looks like it did – hurrah! Huge thanks to Robin for being my guinea pig & actually trying it out :-). If you would like to try it yourself, every bookmark that comes with the Contours zine is hand-doodled, and will be similar but different to Robin’s, so your doodle-stitching is guaranteed to be unique.

faux stampedAnd last but not least, I received a great piece of post from Kristina Howells in France. I’ve been taking part in some faux postage projects, lately (although Kristina was very quick off the mark with this one, & I haven’t created, let alone sent my response, yet!). The envelope I received from Kristina had 2 ‘real’ stamps at the top, which had been duly postmarked, but also a faux postage stamp just beneath – and what tickled me was that the faux stamp had also been postmarked! I hadn’t got too far yet with my ideas for the faux postage project, but receiving this really prompted me to give it some thought & I’m itching to get started, now…

Does anyone have any leftover lavender?

LL FrontThe reason I ask is, I’ve just added a new mini zine to my Etsy store that is absolutely packed with project suggestions for your leftovers.  The zine is printed on recycled paper embedded with real lavender flowers, and will show you how to make lavender sugar, tea, incense sticks, infused oils and more!  Cunningly concealed on the inside of the zine, you will also find a cross stitch embroidery pattern and instructions.  You just need to turn the zine inside-out to find it!  And if you don’t have the leftover threads in your stash to stitch the pattern, I have also put together a limited edition kit including 21 different shades of overdyed floss + fabric so you can get started straight away.  Check out listings for both zine and kit for more info.

LL kit[Update: June 10th] N.B. The first kit sold straight away, so I have just made up &  added a second.  There won’t be more than 5 kits made, so buy now if you want one!

‘New’ Telaic Fantasy #2 – postcard recycling/mail art kit

TF2 CoverIt’s felt like a long time coming (to me), but I have finally caught up with myself, and re-formatted Telaic Fantasy #2 into the new, bigger A5 size.  Now that all the back issues have been updated, that means I can focus on getting a new issue ready.  Actually, I have something pretty cool in mind for TF4, but because it involves allowing for somebody else’s schedule, it means the new issue won’t be out until the beginning of July (ish).  Don’t worry – I will have lots of other new stuff popping up between now and then!

For now, here’s a preview of the revised TF2:

TF2 Preview 1The free postcards now come tucked into an envelope bound into the spine, and the postcard labels themselves are printed onto (recycled) gummed paper (I recently learned that gummed paper is better for the environment than self-adhesive, as it is water-soluble, and doesn’t clog up the works at the recycling plants).  There is also an additional page of labels for you to photocopy, cut and paste, so you can recycle as many postcards as you like :-).  Ever fancied trying a spot of mail art?  I’m not sure about the realistic possibilities of a tapestry reaching its destination in tact, but it’s surely a concept worth experimenting with!

TF2 Preview 2There are lots more features crammed into TF2, not to mention the fact that it doubles up as a handy notebook, with lots of custom printed pages for you to scribble down your sketches, notes & ideas. TF2 is available to buy as a stand-alone zine, or as part of a membership package for the D.I.Y. Weaving Club.   As always, the first 10 issues will be signed and numbered.  Check out the listings at my Etsy Store for full details & all options available!

TF2 postcard stampAnother addition to the postcard recycling kit is this cute illustration that I hand-carved using my new-found lino-cutting skills ;-).  I’ve used it to stamp onto the envelope that contains the free postcard & postcard cutting template.

Today is a happy day, as it marks the beginning of my revised working hours at the bookshop.  From today onwards, I will only be working afternoons, allowing me to squeeze in precious extra time every morning to keep on top of all the crafty stuff.  Too-many-ideas-and-not-enough-time will I’m sure remain my mantra, but hopefully those extra few hours a week will make a difference.  🙂

The new D.I.Y. Weaving Club is up and running!

Taking a ‘kind-of’ break while I moved house enabled me to think about how I could improve the formula for the D.I.Y. Weaving Club.  With the first batch of 3 month subscriptions just come to an end, this seemed like the perfect time to make the change.

In short, you don’t need to subscribe any more. Instead, you have 3 options:

  • Membership inner covera one-off Basic Membership Pack, which includes a weave-able Membership Card & an exclusive Membership Book.  This gives you lifelong membership to the D.I.Y. Weaving Club, with email updates.

OR

  • Member pack 3a Membership Pack which includes card & book (as above), plus an issue of Telaic Fantasy zine with accessories for a D.I.Y. weaving project, and a randomly selected mixed yarn pack.

OR

  • Layered Preview 1 croppedif you don’t want to join the club but would like the latest meanderings & projects from ‘Telaic Fantasy’, you can buy any of the zines alone.

TF has grown quite dramatically!  It is now half-size (A5) rather than quarter, and includes at least one D.I.Y. weaving project inside (the old D.I.Y. club had separate kit & zine, but I decided integration was the way forward), plus random accessories.  Extra bits have been added to TF1 & TF2 so they are more chock-full than ever.

Want to know more?  Check out my Etsy Store!  You’ll find detailed info on the contents of each Membership Pack & zine.  New zines and Membership Packs will be added over the next few months, possibly at a slightly irregular schedule, but there’s definitely more to come, so please check back!

D.I.Y. Weaving update

Apologies for my recent silence – I promise that despite a lack of blog posts, TangleCrafts has been a hive of activity lately.  The Etsy store has been doing a roaring trade, and it has kept me on my toes staying on top of all the orders. If you have signed up for the D.I.Y. Weaving Club, rest assured despatch of the first month’s instalment is iminent! I have spent most of today printing and packaging, and I will be visiting the postbox no later than Saturday, so your bundles of weaving goodness will be with you very shortly.  Hurrah!

bumperbundlestring[N.B.  If you missed the deadline signing up for the March D.I.Y. Weaving Club, don’t despair!  You can still buy the first zine, Telaic Fantasy #1, or you can still sign up for April (and beyond) D.I.Y. Weaving Club, including a different mystery kit.  If you just want a taster of what you might be missing, get a one-off Bumper Bundle to try it out – you won’t get quite as many goodies as a club member, but it’s still lots of fun!)

mock-upI have also added 2 new items to the Etsy store: a Weaving Bowl, and a Postcard Recycling Kit.   If you follow my blog, you’ll know I occasionally have the girls round for a ‘Crafty Day’ (the most recent one, we all pitched in to make some ‘unique’ wedding invitation cards for Trish).  I laid out a prototype weaving bowl on my first Crafty Day, and 2 of the girls dived straight in.  It’s just a fun thing to leave out in your home.  When somebody stops round for a chat, they may or may not feel inclined to weave something, but hey, it’s nice to have the option!  I love the postcard recycling kits – just add the labels to front & back of a postcard-sized piece of card and you’re ready to begin!   It’s a great way to introduce a crafty friend to the joys of weaving…

I’ve also added some new pics to the ATC and Play Your Cards Right kit pages, as I have been playing with the packaging, and it’s all changed.  Well, the content remains the same, but I’ve re-done all the booklets, and the packaging is now pre-printed (still by me) with integral pockets, rather than using labels and envelopes.  I told you all that ‘research’ into ELF really was research!  To be honest, I’m not sure if I have decreased my workload with the new packaging or not, but I’m much happier with the way it looks, so I’ve achieved something, at least…!

Last but not least, the next issue of ‘Telaic Fantasy’ is in the final stages of preparation.  Watch this space next week for a bumper issue!

So you see, I meant it when I said I’ve been busy – and that’s not the half of it!  As soon as TF2 is ‘on the shelves’ I’ll be back with some more free projects for you, as well as notebooks (yes, notebooks!), and some more new kits which I’m really excited about.  It’s an ongoing process, and a seemingly neverending flow of new ideas.   I’ll never be able to squeeze enough extra hours  into each day to get throuigh it all, but I can have fun trying!  See you soon…

Craft Leftovers Interview

Find out more than you ever needed to know about me and TangleCrafts in the interview just posted at the cool Craft Leftovers site.  There’s a free set of TangleCrafts Weaving cards with the March issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly – find out more here, then sign up before Saturday to get your subscription. Craft Leftovers Monthly is a fun and funky combination of zine and crafting goodies that will show you how to make awesome cool crafts with all your leftovers – you can’t say fairer than that!

Check out the main Craft Leftovers site, too – there are lots of interesting posts & free projects to browse and explore 🙂