How to grow a landscape…

I’ve not done this for a while so thought I would share the journey of my latest postage stamp collage…

24 blue green whimsy 1a cropIt began with a blank notebook, and 2 stamps which serendipitously turned up while I was sorting through a large batch of old stamps. Continue reading How to grow a landscape…

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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…

Faux Postage Trials, Part 4

The lovely Britta (of JaguarSnail) has found yet another potential faux postage perforation solution for us to try and I, for one, am sold!

While rummaging in a junk/antique shop recently Britta came across a pair of rusty, slightly odd-looking scissors with teeth on one side, where the blade would normally be.  When she asked what they were for, she was told they were thinning shears, used in hairdressing.  Who knew?!  (Not us, but probably many other people in the world…)  Anyway, I tried out Britta’s shears and they did indeed make neat-if-square-ish perforations which tore off nicely, so I immediately ordered a cheap pair of (new!) thinning shears to try for myself.

New TangleStamp perforations
New TangleStamp perforations

Mine arrived this morning, and when I tested them out, not only did they make a lovely perforated edge to my new artistamps, but they separated them in the same swift movement, without any need for tearing!  (I’m assuming Britta’s shears only pierced holes because they had been dulled slightly with with age and use.)

I’ve just made a new series of artistamps, printed on self-adhesive label paper, using my most recent postage stamp collages as background images.  Here I’ve done a comparison test, first using a serrated pattern tracing wheel to tear off a stamp, and second using the thinning shears (not shown to scale!).

Faux postage perforation comparison
Faux postage perforation comparison

The auto-separation of the paper after using the shears means that rather than pre-perforating a whole sheet of stamps to tear off as needed, I will be cutting off one stamp at a time, but I like the clean edging so much, I’m pretty sure I can live with that compromise!

I designed the sheet of artistamps from notebook covers collaged in July.  This is my first notebook collage of August in a combination of some of my favourite colours: an imaginary landscape which only narrowly missed the window of joining the artistamps above!  Check out the TangleStore listing for more details.

The latest imaginary landscape
The latest imaginary landscape

For more info about faux postage/artistamps, please see my Faux Postage Q & A page, plus all of these previous posts!

Catching up, Craft fairs & Colours (oh my!)

At last I have time to write this long overdue catch-up post! The last month or so has been a whirlwind of non-stop activity/work for me, but in a good way. In June I re-entered the world of local craft fairs after a break of more than 2 years. I was somewhat swamped with preparation – stock was easy, but signage, packaging & presentation are a whole different kettle of fish from selling online. With a lot of work, though, I managed to get everything straight and had a really good day (including many conversations about stamp collections!).

Following on from the first craft fair, I had a busy week of collaging to replace sold stock, talks about a commission for a local independent restaurant (I’m designing & hand-binding their new drinks menu!), contact from a UK magazine about a couple of spots coming up over the next few months (more on that to follow later), plus top-up preparation for a local Vintage & Arts Market yesterday. Here I am in situ:

craft market 050714

It’s a lovely courtyard venue and we were very lucky with the weather (a fine, dry day, after very wet evening & morning preceding). Had lots of interesting conversations with customers & stallholders alike, and various possibilities have arisen from the day, so definitely another worthwhile (ad)venture. As you can see from the photo above, my display so far is largely of the make-do-and-mend variety, using display materials I already had on hand (spot the toast rack, camping plate & dishes!). It’s a work in progress, though – I’ve learned something useful and new from each fair I’ve attended so far – and having now made the decision to continue with local fairs as well as selling online, I will be continuing to work on signage, as well as swapping in a few more purpose-built props for future events (although I’m pretty sure the plate & dishes will stay!).

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Are you based anywhere near Derby/shire?  You can keep track of my upcoming events here!

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As it’s such a long time since I last posted, here is a little gallery for you of my new range of notebooks:

(Find the above notebooks & more in the TangleStore!)

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I’ve been creating ‘imaginary landscapes’ and discovering that however hard I try, there are always certain colour combinations that I’m drawn back to. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how different colours speak to us in different ways? Interesting how not only do we simply have different taste in what appeals to us, but how we can each perceive exactly the same colours from a different perspective, and draw a different inference entirely. In fact the ‘palette’ a particular artist uses is entirely a part of what makes their work recognisable.  I used to think I was somehow ‘failing’ by not catering to every possible colour preference one of my customers might have; but I’m now pretty well convinced that actually it’s more important to work with the colours that inspire you. Push yourself sometimes, of course, and try out something different just to see what happens; but mostly, I say go with the flow. 🙂

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Don’t forget to stop by the TangleStore to see what’s new!  The above is just a sampling, and although it’s a while since my last post here, there are new additions to the store regularly.   You can also follow me on Twitter – @TangleCrafts – for daily updates & other snippets that catch my eye from day to day.  And in case you missed it, be sure to check out my previous post for a special July discount coupon!

Another rainy crafternoon…

As has frequently been the case in Derby of late, yesterday afternoon was of the rainy persuasion.  What to do with such a damp occasion?  Another crafternoon with Britta (JaguarSnail), of course!  I was mostly on the production line, folding envelopes in anticipation of a new version of the TangleClub to be introduced in June, making address labels to include as extras with craft fair goody bags, and then unwinding with a couple of new collaged notebooks.

TangleCrafts, as drawn by JaguarSnail!
TangleCrafts, as drawn by JaguarSnail!

Britta was working on a couple of embroidery samples from her new mini zine (coming soon to a TangleStore near you – but not quite yet!); then while I collaged, Britta drew me in action, using her new copic marker pens.  She was filling up gaps in an old sketchbook from her university days, hence the JaguarSnail trial business card shown (with personal info inelegantly edited out by yours truly) to the left of the drawing.  Flattered though I am by the portrait, I’m afraid it does err to the flattering side & my face is definitely not quite so hollow-cheeked…  The hair looks great, though!

Britta was having a ridiculously creative day, and after using some of my excess stamps to trial a little postal patchwork, she then took a different direction with them, and made this oh-so-awesome envelope design:

Presidential Mail Art by Britta Jarvis
Presidential Mail Art by Britta Jarvis

I love this ‘doodle’ so much!  I immediately scanned it, then printed out a sheet as labels, so that Britta can actually mail them (the original being trapped on a tea-stained page within the afore-mentioned sketchbook). Thinking of adding them as a label set to the TangleStore – what do you think?

I should have had even more of Britta’s mail art to show you, as she brought along a whole batch of pre-artified envelopes, ready for me to list in the TangleStore.  But I noticed (far too late in the day) that she had not signed her work, so they have temporarily left the building again, to return in the near future inc. JaguarSnail maker’s mark.

Yep, there was an awful lot of craft (and art!) afoot in Tangledom yesterday, and there’s still so much more to come!  I have new projects coming out of my ears, so please keep an eye on the TangleStore, Twitter, and of course here on the blog for all the latest updates. 🙂

TangleCrafts on Twitter

I’ve resisted for a very long time, but I have finally launched a TangleCrafts Twitter page!  It’s all new to me, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes/grows – please stop by & follow if you are a fan of TangleCrafts, and you will be the first to hear the latest new news.  🙂  (And I won’t feel so lonely over there!)

In other news, another local craft fair has been added to my summer events list; and here is my latest collaged notebook – another one which reminds me of an abstract summer coastal scene (I think my subconscious is trying to tell me I need a holiday!):

First Class Notebook #9

Bazaar Update

It’s been a couple of years since I last tabled at a craft fair.  I planned to get back into it last summer, but circumstances prevailed and after my dad passed away I did lose creative impetus a little.  This year, though, I’m itching to get out there and get back into the fray and have already booked into two markets, with hopefully some more a little further down the line.  I love to see what other people are making, and chat with (potential) customers in person – it’s such a different experience than selling online!

I don’t expect a high volume of sales – I know a lot of people just like to browse – but having changed focus since my last craft fair, I’m interested to see how my collage notebooks go down.  The zines & upcycled badges will still be there, too, of course!  I’m also considering branching out & making some framed collage art – something I have so far baulked at attempting on Etsy due to the extra cost and worry about potential damage when shipping bulky-but-fragile frames…

I’m looking forward to all the ‘boring’ preparation – planning different packaging, deciding on labelling etc.  There are lots of ideas bubbling around inside my head, now I just need to work on organising them into a format I can put into practice!

Are any of you out there in or near to Derbyshire (UK)?  I’d love to meet you at one of the craft fairs!  I’ll be giving away small goody bags to anybody who spends £5 or more, but if you mention this blog post, I will find a little extra something for you, too. 🙂  I have added a link to the mainpage sidebar with further details of forthcoming fairs & markets, but here’s a shortcut for you.  New dates will be added as I book them.  Hope to see you soon! 🙂  (But if you can’t make it to an event, you are always very welcome to browse the online TangleStore, instead!)