Mother’s Day Postal Patchwork

Today I took a short break from Etsying in order to actually make my mum a handmade Mother’s Day card for once.   I know my overseas readers don’t need to think about this just yet, but over here in the UK, Mothering Sunday is this weekend, so I was cutting it a bit fine!

PP Mum

The pattern is mostly abstract, but if you look at it the right way, it does actually spell out MUM (in quite angular, blocky letters!) – follow the pink/purple from left to right…can you see it?  Not incredibly obvious, I concede, but my mum will like the colour combination, regardless! 😉  I added an insert of cream coloured lokta paper inside, to give it a touch more ‘finish’.  Now all I need to do is get it into the hands of the lovely Royal Mail (before they put their prices up, on Monday!).

Give or take a bout of flu, I feel like I’ve been on the production line for the last few weeks non-stop – same old story: too many ideas, too little time!   See mini gallery below for a sampling of new collaged notebooks (in varying sizes), some very prismatic rainbow postal patchwork, and a glimmer of Springtime in the end-of-winter weather led me back to the Secret Garden, with new zines, DIY seed packets & more.  JaguarSnail's WolfNot to mention some gorgeous wolfish notebooks from Britta’s latest hand-carved stamp.

Hop on over to the TangleStore & take advantage of a 15% discount using coupon code MADMARCH at Etsy checkout – only valid for a few more days! (coupon expires March 31st)

A circular owl-sound

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, but finally, at long last, I have been able to find a source for one of those exclusively elusive Round Tuits!  I can therefore now present to you the results of my acquisition: a sequel to what is definitely one of my bestselling zines of all time, The Postcard Recycling Kit:

postcard recycling kitWithin this new edition kit, you will find labels designed to stylishly upcycle any old scrap card into functioning postcards, and extra labels to decorate the ‘picture’ side.  These include: a quotation from Lewis Carroll’s mostly forgotten treatise on letter-writing, a wordsearch puzzle allowing you to personalise a greeting for multiple occasions, a stamp album collector’s page, and a (hand-designed) cross stitch chart for my beloved classic Machin postage stamp.  As if that wasn’t enough, there is also an extra cardstock postcard ‘blank’ for you to upcycle with your own choice of used postage stamps and/or other ephemera.  Click here for full details.

For the puzzlers amongst you, I will soon be introducing a wordsearch-only recycling kit, and there are also more postcard kits on the way (soon-ish), to include blackout poetry and collage.  As of tomorrow, I will be away from home until the weekend, but upon my return, there will be all manner of new TangleCrafted delights to look forward to.  See you soon! 🙂

Stampy stampy goodness!

Although all has been quiet on the TangleBlog-front of late, anyone who has been watching the TangleStore will have seen a flurry of activity throughout January.  I’ve been going stamp-notebook crazy with more of the Machin patchworks as seen in my December post (every colour of the rainbow now available! 😉 ) and then expanding my repertoire to include older vintage stamps from around the world, and a slightly different style of collage.  I’ve also added some frameable postcards to the range:

Vintage Rainbow

Venturing out into a different corner of the postage stamp world definitely has inspired me.  The colours, styles & production values and all my (ongoing) postage stamp projects culminated in the design of a brand new TangleStamp – and anyone who is familiar with my previous TangleStamp designs will see that this has been a big change of direction for me!

MC3 standard editionThis journey is documented in the equally brand new issue of MailCraft #3, which follows through these projects and thought processes.  It also includes mini-tutorials for very simple postage stamp collage, if you want to give it a try yourself.  MailCraft #3 is currently available as a standard 24 page edition with plain kraft cover and self-adhesive TangleStamp insert MC3 Limited EditionOR (while stocks last!) a numbered, limited edition of 10 copies which has a bonus outer cover which can be transformed into a postcard with your own collage, plus a gummed (lick & stick), hand-perforated TangleStamp insert.
 (The special editions will be listed one by one, as they are sold, so don’t despair if you don’t see one in the TangleStore when you look: the next numbered issue will be re-listed within 24 hours of a sale.)

Rainbow Definitives

Little Red Hoods & Big Bad Wolves

Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood set off through the forest to visit her Grandma. On the way, she met up with a Big Bad Wolf who struck upon the clever plan of taking a shortcut to granny’s house so that he could gobble her up then have little Red for dessert. Ms Red didn’t fall for it, though, and a heroic woodcutter saved the day by chopping the wolf’s belly open with an axe & retrieving Grandma (thankfully still undigested). End of wolf, end of story. So the Grimm Bros would have us believe, anyway…

But what if Little Red Riding Hood is not necessarily the innocent heroine of times gone by? What if she is a little older, a little cannier, a little altogether sneakier? In our new Enchanted Times report, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of itinerant seamstress Ms Scarlet Hudd, after a Mr. B. B. Wolf claims to have been stitched up in every sense of the word…  Who do you believe? Read the brand new issue of Enchanted Times Mini & make up your own mind!

little red set

A complementary Little Red Stamp Booklet has also been issued by the Fast-As-You-Can Courier Company (staffed entirely by rehabilitated Gingerbread Men), featuring genuine FAYC (lick & stick) stamps and further variations on the Red Riding theme.

Hop on over to the Enchanted Times blog for an exclusive online interview with the aforementioned Mr. B. B. Wolf, who offers his own views on the subject as well as additional points regarding lupine discrimination.

Friends & Faux is back!

I first hosted Friends & Faux back in 2010 and although slightly fewer project postcards made it home due to my moving house (twice) than might otherwise have done, it was still an awesomely fun project to co-ordinate.  The project postcards feature ‘gallery’ spaces for 8 artistamps/faux postage stamps, and are filled up as they are passed from one mail artist to the next before the completed card finally returns home.  I recently compiled 3 mini-zines showcasing the completed postcards that arrived home safely.  And I’ve also been preparing for a re-launch of the project…

FF1

ff logoFriends & Faux (version 2) has a new logo, plus its very own blog where I will be posting regular updates on postcards sent out into the world, progress reports from participants as they add their artistamps, and, of course, the homecoming celebrations!  I will also add random faux postage/mail art snippets, on occasion.  During F&F Version 1, I was alerted to the fact that some of my handmade postcards did not withstand the rigours of multiple mailings too well (peeling surfaces etc) so I have had the new postcards professionally printed to hopefully avoid a similar fate.  And if I move house again (please join me in hoping not!), I have implemented a new way of accessing the postcard return address, so hopefully I will be able to keep on top of any unexpected changes much better this time around..,

As of yesterday, the first 20 postcards are on their way out to who knows what adventures in the world, and more will follow in the near future.  Friends & Faux postcardIf you would like to learn more about the project, please visit the F&F blog, and if you would like to join in the project, you will find a brand new Friends & Faux Filately section in theTangleStore.  In fact, you can request an F&F postcard as an absolutely free add-on with any purchase at all from the TangleStore or ETPrintworks.  More news to follow, as it occurs! 🙂

Postage stamps for charity

Project Dissimulation bird badgesEarlier this year, a lot of kind people helped me out when I made a plea for used postage stamps featuring birds for Project Dissimulation (in aid of bowel cancer awareness, following my dad’s diagnosis).  Well, it suddenly occurred to me that it was time to pay this thought forward.

I have accumulated far more stamps than I will ever be able to use over the last few years.  I’ve shared some recently with Britta/JaguarSnail (see below) and I am going to send a big batch off to the RNIB mixed international(Royal National Institute of Blind People) next week.  I’ve chosen this charity because it is based in Benfleet, where most of my dad’s family lives.  While I was growing up, we always saved our stamps (I had lots of penpals when I was at school, so this was an area I felt I could help!) and gave them to my great aunt Rene when we visited in the holidays – she passed away several years ago, but I know she would appreciate my carrying on the tradition.

Britta (/JaguarSnail) does amazing things as a volunteer for the Air Ambulance Service – her job is to creatively re-craft plain items that have been donated for sale, so that they can be sold at a higher value and raise a greater amount of money.  She does lots of postage stamp collages which appeal to me for obvious reasons…!

Stamp Collages by JaguarSnail

There are so many great causes out there that need our support, though, so here is a non-comprehensive list of UK charities that are currently appealing for used stamps – please help them out, if you can!  (If you know of any other charities collecting donations of used stamps, whether UK or overseas, please feel free to add the link in a comment.)

I’ll let you into a secret…

F&F Mini #1…do you remember the Friends & Faux mail art project I hosted back in 2010?  Well, it’s about to return!  I’m currently in the process of building a new blog so that updates can be kept together all in one place.  Due to moving house multiple times following the inception of the first run of the project, I did sadly let it slide off the back-burner once the initial wave of postcards was sent out.  If you helped me track the project by forwarding a pic of one of the project postcards, though, please rest assured your reward (mini zine documentation) will finally be on the way to you within the next week.  And I promise I have learned from my mistakes and will be far more efficient, this time around!  Full details of the new project to follow shortly…

Beanie Mouse with F&F #1
Beanie Mouse with F&F #1

While I was working on the new Friends & Faux blog yesterday, I was reminded of one of the contributors to the very first F&F postcard – Beanie Mouse!  Beanie is star of the Found Art Blog, c/o Andrea McNeill.  Together, they create and then ‘lose’ labelled artwork around the south of England and the rest of the world, while the blog documents all the artwork as it is lost and then found again by happily unsuspecting members of the public.  As I was browsing, I soon learned that Beanie is a somewhat prolific mail artist and artistamp creator.  Above, you can see Beanie with Postcard #1 after adding his stamp, but this barely scratches the surface of his vast catalogue (album?) of work:

Photos used with kind permission of Andrea McNeill.  Please visit Found-Art for further adventures of Beanie Mouse!