JaguarSnail – welcome!

This post is to welcome the zines of Britta Jarvis of JaguarSnail into the TangleCrafts fold. ūüôā ¬†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 - JaguarSnailI 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!

Make a Zine - JaguarSnailHow 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!

Experimental Poetry - JaguarSnailA 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.

Once upon a…haiku?

Fairy tales are one of my recurring fascinations, and I entertained myself recently by distilling many of the well-known tales into haiku glimpses.  The result is 3 maxi mini-zines (page size is 7.5 x 10.5cm but each mini-zine contains 16 pages plus covers), featuring haiku alongside classic illustrations from artists including Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, Walter Crane etc.

I had lots of fun writing the micro-poetry & hope you will enjoy the poems, too. ūüôā An ideal stocking stuffer for a fairy tale fan, the mini-zines are available individually, or in a money saving set from the¬†TangleCrafts Etsy Store.


You may have noticed the proliferation of zines around here, lately… ¬†A lot of them are the by-product of swaps I’ve taken part in recently (some on Swap-bot, some elsewhere) . ¬†The swaps weren’t necessarily for zines, but sparked ideas in my head, and that’s how I interpreted them. ¬†This latest zine, however, exists for no reason other than that I really, really wanted to write it. papertrail #1

Welcome to papertrail #1:¬† ¬†it is a celebration of some of the most beautiful fiction that I have read, over the years. ¬†I have picked sections from my favourite novels, and turned them into poetry. ¬†Then I’ve offered random musings and observations about the novels, as well as suggestions for ‘papertrails’ (what to read next), and because I always like sections to fill in, spaces for you to add your own to-read list, and make up your own ‘papertrail’.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I’m a big reader of fiction. ¬†The most important thing for me in addition to a strong story is that it is well-written, so if, like me, you’re not really into poetry, you could instead read this zine as a ‘style’ sampler for a collection of novelists. ¬†Well anyway, I love it. ¬†I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if the idea intrigues you, check out the listing in TheTangledPress Etsy Store.

Ironically, I liked the idea of this zine so much that it prompted me to set up a swap for a book-ish zine. ¬†So if you’re tempted to have a go yourself, you have until July 20th to sign up! ¬†(And as always, if you mention this blog post in a message to me, you will get a copy of my zine in addition to those you get from your allocated swap partners.)

Zines again!

I’m not really into poetry (with the exception of the ‘found’ poetry, that I included in some of my recent posts!), but I love haiku – capturing fleeting glimpses of moments (like a photograph) in condensed, image-rich words. ¬†I have put together a 3-part mini-zine, with a booklet of Corey’s haiku, a collection of my haiku, printed on individual cards, and a little booklet of my thoughts about my own and traditional haiku. ¬†If you are intrigued, check out the full listing for ‘head-space’ in The Tangled Press Etsy Store.

I also received a wonderful bundle of zines myself this morning, from Kristin Roach of Craft Leftovers.   I would love to add a photo, but my lack of home internet prohibits that, just now!  The July issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly is a fantastic themed issue, which will give you lots of practical tips & resource ideas if you are thinking of making a zine of your own.

Also, arriving just at the right time for me, it includes a great relief printing tutorial. ¬†I’ve recently done some lino cut experiments, but made the best of what I had, materials-wise, and used stamping rather than printing inks. ¬†However, while I was bemoaning the lack of clean prints this resulted in, to a colleague at work, a customer who overheard offered to bring me printing in exchange for copies of the prints I had already done. ¬†I felt terrible accepting the offer, but at least it was a trade, and I’ve felt even more guilty since, as even though I bought a brayer to use the printing ins with, I still wasn’t brave enough to try it out. ¬†Well, with July CLM as my guide, I will definitely be trying it out this month. ¬†Honestly. ¬†Well, maybe…

I found more poetry

craft of weavingFrom ‘The Craft of Weaving’ by Irene Waller (c) 1976

we are astoundingly blind
and really do not look at
and see properly
the world around us
which is the source of

The next step on from finding poetry within fiction was to start flicking through ¬†my ‘archive’ of vintage ¬†weaving books. ¬†I felt sure there must be poetry in descriptions of this wonderfully repetetive and meditative craft. ¬†I wasn’t wrong, but what I found still surprised me, erring towards the philosophical and the abstract, rather than a simple appreciation of craft and colour.

Anyone who has read Telaic Fantasy 1 will already know about my dichotomous feelings towards Irene Waller – on the one hand so creative, on the other, with such a frightfully upper-class, scarily no-nonsense attitude (can’t you just see the attitude oozing out, even just in that cover photo above?). ¬†If there was one author I didn’t expect to find poetry in, it was Irene Waller, yet there it was, all the same.

I also wanted to share another idea I found in the above book.¬† It’s possibly not entirely original (although you must remember it was written several decades before the likes of Keri Smith’s fantastic ‘How to be an Explorer of the World’), but I really like it:

A marvellous way to break down any inhibitions you may have about colour is to have several large glass jars on your shelving and to drop into them fragments of anything, colourwise, which you find pleasing Рbeads, glass, paper, yarns, fabrics.  Have a jar for blues, another for greens and so on.

This is just supposed to be an exercise in developing a greater understanding of colour, but I think a jar crammed with miscellaneously textured colour would make a fantastic ornament, or if not ornament exactly, source of inspiration, in my workroom. ¬†I don’t think I could put yarns inside, though, as I would just have to fish them out again, when inspiration struck. ¬†Could get messy.

I really need to overcome my resistance and look out Irene Waller’s other books…