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. 🙂

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A question for you (about notecards)

I must confess, I’m really not much of a letter writer (something which I’m sure will be readily confirmed by anybody who has corresponded with me in the past).  It’s a little odd, you might think, because my zines are generally pretty wordy; but for some reason I just don’t seem to have many words left over when it comes to actual personal communication.  I can usually fill a postcard, but not much more.  If I’m sending somebody a zine (etc), usually a mini card (/business card) has more than enough space for what I have to say.  Thus, my latest range of postage stamp stationery consists of flat notecards (/blank postcards) and mini notecards.  Because these are the sizes I’m most likely to use myself.

My question is…actually a series of questions…  I’ll list them instead!  So, are you ready?  When it comes to correspondence:

  • What kind of cards do you prefer?
  • Are you a full-on letter writer and would prefer notepaper, instead?
  • Do you ever/often use notepaper & notecard combined, or would it usually be one or the other?
  • If you use notecards, do you prefer a flat, single-sided notecard or a single-fold notecard with more space to write inside?
  • If you prefer a folded notecard, do you prefer a design printed on the back as well as the front, or do you prefer the back to be left blank so that you can continue your note?
  • Do you have any other thoughts about notecard design which might be relevant?

You might gather, I’m thinking of adding a blank-inside single-fold notecard to the range in the future, so I’m just trying to establish what would be the most practical, attractive-to-a-buyer/notewriter option.  But I’m also genuinely interested in your correspondence habits & preferences, so please do share.  And browse the current range, too. 😉

How did that happen?

Going PostalI suddenly realised I only have 7 copies left of my Going Postal zine!  It might have had a few more views thanks to this fantastic review by Jennie Hinchcliff (co-author of Good Mail Day) on her RedLetter Day Blog (thanks Jennie!).

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! 🙂

FIRST CLASS MAIL

pic below shows Pastel Postage Stamp Stationery Rainbow Set by Edelweiss Post

EdelWeissPost.etsy.com

MORE Christmas cards (Fast-As-You-Can!)

Even though for once I was relatively organised & had actually made a small batch of Christmas cards before December even began, I decided I needed just a smidge more variety for all that last-minute card-sending.  I should have thought of it sooner, really, but the first part of December always disappears in a flurry of time lost, and for some reason the thought only just formulated itself.  So there you go & here they are.

festive fayc cardMy little Santa-hatted Fast-As-You-Can Courier stamps have been adorning all outgoing ETPrintworks mail for the last couple of weeks, and I decided they needed a little showcase.  A mini-sheet of festive FAYC stamps is mounted on the front of the card, and the reverse has been printed so that it can later be upcycled as a postcard by the recipient (as per the Evergreen Greetings).  The back of the card features a brief introduction to the Fast-As-You-Can CoCo, and is hand-stamped with the FAYC postmark.  I’ve been long overdue in designing a FAYC CoCo envelope, so I popped that into the mix, too…  I’m really happy with them, and hopeful that my speedy little gingerbread couriers will hasten them to their recipients in time for ‘the big day’, even despite the late date.

I have an extra batch already made up, so if you want to chance a last-minute order, I have added stock to the ETPrintworks and Folksy stores & will despatch all orders received ASAP.  I will, however, be leaving them available to purchase year-round, just in case anyone actually wants to plan ahead next year! 😉

Bookalogging (new TangleClub freebie)

In between projects, I’ve been reading a lot, lately.  Despite the fact I lived with my nose in a book when I was younger, it always feels very decadent now to spend a day with a comfortable chair and a good novel – but sometimes it just needs to be done!  Do you ever think back on the books you read years ago and find you only have the sketchiest memories of the details?  I’ve been lucky enough to be selected as a World Book Night ‘giver’ this year (one of thousands of people across the country – & I believe in other countries, too, this year – giving away free copies of books in order to ‘spread the joy and love of reading’), and the book I chose to give was Small Island by Andrea Levy.  I read it and really enjoyed it probably 5 or 6 years ago, and of the available titles, it was definitely the one that spoke to me.  But I realised that I only had the vaguest recollection of the actual plot, which isn’t really the best way of convincing somebody else they also want to read that book…  I’m currently re-reading Small Island, and relieved to say I am enjoying it just as much second time around!

With this in mind, I have just added a brand new TangleClub freebie: the Bookalog!  Maybe you have a journal where you keep track of the books you read, maybe a spreadsheet, maybe a blog, or maybe you just rely on your memory (all I will say about that is, I hope your memory is better than mine! 😉 ).  Whatever your preference, the Bookalog is designed to supplement rather than replace your preferred method of record-keeping.  Simply print & fold the mini-zine ‘blank’ – maybe use as a makeshift bookmark (I don’t know about you, but I always lose nice bookmarks & end up using business cards or till receipts, instead) or just stuff a couple into your purse or handbag.  Then when you finish a book, wherever you might be, you can jot down a few notes to keep everything fresh in your mind until you have chance to update whatever other system you might use.  You can, of course, use the Bookalogs as a record system in their own right, but if you read a lot, be warned that this may soon become impractical! 😉

The Bookalog includes spaces for:

  • your name!
  • an index of titles
  • dates read
  • a log of your thoughts about 3 books
  • space to add doodles or pictures or extra notes
  • books similar in style/theme
  • ratings
  • books added to your wishlist

(Please note, if you are not currently a TangleClub member but you wish to partake of the TangleClub freebie goodness, membership is available here, or is FREE with any purchase of £5 or more from the TangleStore!)

In the meantime – have you read any good books lately?  These are my favourite reads from the last month:

Ella Minnow Pea by Matt Dunn
A clever & enjoyable fable set on an island where an overzealous council bans more and more letters from daily usage as a historic monument begins to decay.  If you enjoy word puzzles, this is a really fun read, but more importantly, it’s a good story, too!

The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki
A career conman reflects on his life as old age catches up with him, in this surprisingly touching portrait of a charming egomaniac and the lives he has touched.  This story could easily have produced a caricature but instead revealed a very perceptive look at human nature.

War Crimes for the Home by Liz Jensen
In this sharply witty tale, Gloria looks back on life with her sister during the war, and discovers why certain memories are more reluctant to re-surface than others.  I was relieved that the ‘twist’ (evident that it would be coming from early on in the story) was slightly different than I had imagined.

The next small thing!

We all know that often the best things come in small packages, so to celebrate the long-awaited launch of the Society for the Preservation of Borrowers, I have created an Etsy Treasury of all things Tiny!  There are some exceedingly cool (& tiny) things included (such as the wonderful miniature message embroideries from Of Little Consequence (right), so please take a look!

This month’s TangleClub freebie continues the Borrowers theme but moving away from miniatures and toward recycling,  with a set of printable envelope re-use labels & seals featuring the Borrowers Recycle! logo.  If you want to share the TangleClub freebie goodness, all you need to do is spend £5 or more in the TangleStore – Etsy, Folksy or Storenvy – and you will receive a free membership card plus password to access the TangleClub Archive of FREE projects & printables.

And on the subject of clubs, you are all hereby invited to join the Society for the Preservation of Borrowers!   Membership packets are now available from the TangleStores.  Each miniature manila envelope includes:

* a copy of the micro-zine Borrowed Time (you will need a magnifier to read this!)

* a membership card cut from discarded packaging

* and an upcycled pinback badge made using pages from a vintage copy of Mary Norton’s original ‘Borrowers’ book.  

The first 10 Membership Packets will be signed, numbered & dated.

Everyone knows that the Borrowers were the true pioneers of the upcycling movement, so SPoB is the ideal cause for crafters & literature lovers to support! 😉

TangleClub New Year Update

Happy New Year, everybody!

I’m sure everybody has been too busy with celebrations to notice that this month’s TangleClub Freebie is a day late, but it is now up and ready to access for all you lovely TangleClubbers.
It is actually not at all what I had intended to post this month, but over the New Year weekend, Corey and I re-discovered a card game which we invented several years ago (it’s very cool; more to come about that another time!), and that sent my train of thought in an entirely
different direction.

Thus, this month’s freebie is a set of printable playing cards (to use in conjunction with the 1000 Blank Cards site/game which I have blogged about previously) – or alternatively a set of mini notecards/enclosure cards; your choice!  The PDF includes 3 pages: Dandelion Smile cards as shown, optional lined backs, and a template sheet for you to design your own cards.

N.B. If you go for the notecard option, check back to the January 2011 freebie for matching Dandelion Smile mailing labels!

If you are not currently a member of the TangleClub but want to share the monthly freebie-ness,  simply spend £5 or more in the TangleStore or TangleStore UK & you will qualify for TangleClub Basic membership absolutely free!