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!
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.
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…
Friends & 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. If 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! 🙂
Earlier 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(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…!
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.)
…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…
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!
One of the items in the TangleStore which ticks over regularly is this set of 3 ‘Instructional Craft Badges‘, featuring vintage book illustrations and ‘sage advice from bygone crafters’.
I was singularly tickled to receive an email yesterday from Kris Bailey with a pic (below) of what she had done with her set! Putting slight feelings of inadequacy aside (suddenly my plain kraft packaging looks somewhat lacklustre…) I’m sure Kris’ friend Jan* will adore this witty, hand-lettered, handmade birthday card with badges for embellishment – so much fun! I’ve been thinking about making some cards to go with the badges for ages (who doesn’t love a badge on their birthday card – especially if it doesn’t tell their age! 😉 ), and Kris has definitely provided me with some inspiration here.
This rather pleasant surprise set me to thinking – have you done something creative with any TangleCrafty goodies? If so, please do drop me a line. It’s fascinating to see what happens to my stuff after it ventures out into the world…
(*Jan Eaton, author of numerous needlework books – by the by, but an interesting snippet nonetheless!)
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! – 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!
How 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!
A 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.
As April is bowel cancer awareness month, I was keen to get the first issue of the Project Dissimulation zine completed in time for April – so keen that I managed to be finished early! When I first put out a call for donations of bird-themed used postage stamps and artistamps, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what exactly I would do with them, although the title chosen for the project obviously lent itself to working with collective nouns (a dissimulation of birds being the traditional collective noun for a group of birds). Once I sat down to get started, though, the idea shaped itself and the first zine was quickly born, as well as a series of badges.
So far I have completed Volume I of the zine, a matching Project Dissimulation badge (I will create a new badge design for each issue, so they can be collected!), and bird badges made from upcycled postage stamps for anyone who would like a completely individual souvenir of the Project:
The first issue of the Project zine features a variety of collective nouns for birds, illustrated with selected used postage stamps which were donated to the Project. I’m not sure yet how many zines there will be in total, but I will keep going as long as there are stamps to work with. 🙂 In addition to the current items available, there will soon be a one-off chance to buy a set of badges made from the actual stamps used to illustrate Volume I, as well as bird badges grouped by species. As the Project progresses, I’m also planning envelope seals, address labels, postcards and mini-notecards – watch this space for updates & availability!
If there are any bloggers out there reading this who would be willing to help spread the word with a mention of the Project (please feel free to ‘borrow’ any of the pics used in this post), I would really appreciate your help, too – the more people we can reach, the bigger difference we can make. 🙂
Yes, the time has come & keys to the new house have been acquired. Over the next few weeks, we will be trundling boxes (& boxes & boxes) of our stuff from one house to the other – such fun! We should be fully installed by the end of the month, but I have put both TangleCrafts & E.T.Printworks in holiday mode while everything is sorted & settled. Re-launch is planned for March but due to some family concerns, I can’t be more specific until more is known about the current situation. Please bear with me – I will update when everything is a little clearer!
In the meantime, if you are desperate for a little fairy tale frivolity, please take a look at The Shop of Interest (which is very interesting indeed!). The Shop of Interest is stocking a select range of E.T.Printworks items, including Truth-Be-Told Mirrors, and some shop-exclusive samplers and gift sets. They stock a wide range of unusual, quirky, arty and narrative products so be warned, if you browse around, you may find far more hops into your shopping basket than you anticipate…have fun! 🙂
But once the current copies are gone, I have no plans to reprint, so just thought I would mention in case you want to pop along to the Etsy or Folksy store before they run out! 😉 (Don’t forget you can get 25% discount on your order until end January – see this post for full details.)
Or if you just want to join me in a bit of a postal celebration, I recently created a new treasury along similar lines – lots of lovely browsables for you! 🙂
It’s a while since I created an Etsy Treasury, but I was thinking about newspapers and this one turned out to be very easy to compile! There are all kinds of upcycled artwork and newsprint-inspired creations here – check it out and be drawn into the most creative headline news: