Handwoven postcards go Crafty!

crafty coverLife has been a bit hectic round these parts since September, largely as the result of being asked to write a tutorial for UK craft magazine, Crafty. Keeping the deadline meant various other projects had to be put on hold temporarily, and then (more recently) the catch-up period commenced…  I was very excited about the magazine project, and it was very hard for me not to mention in advance, but I received my contributor’s copy today & it will be in the shops tomorrow (Friday 8th), so I can finally share the news!

I was given carte blanche for a DIY weaving project, and was very happy when the go-ahead was given for my handwoven airmail envelope idea.  The observant amongst you may have noticed my sudden resurgence of interest in the Handwoven Postcard Project, and an unprecedented number of posts where I shared (unbeknownst to you!) my prototypes for the magazine tutorial.

crafty cropYou may or may not have also noticed that my blog posts are usually conspicuously free from pictures of myself (largely because there is no camera in my household), but now that a photo has been published in a national magazine, I decided to break with tradition and share the (actually quite old!) pic I shared with them.  There I am!!! >>>>
Far more interesting to me is the nice job they made of photographing the actual handwoven postcard – much more enticing than my usual flat scan…

By the way, the magazine people very kindly returned my handwoven postcard sample, so I have popped it into the TangleStore for somebody to snap up a little piece of TangleCrafts history!  (Sorry, someone was quick off the mark with this!  Look out instead for limited edition ‘custom’ handwoven postcards, available soon…)

airmail sample pageThe Crafty feature provides step-by-step instructions to weave your very own postcard-that-looks-like-a-letter.  To complement the project, I have also just added a new TangleClub* freebieprintable airmail stripes and/or background – to make the non-woven airmail border that little bit easier to achieve.  (Of course, you can also use the printable for non-woven mail art projects if you feel so inspired. 🙂 )

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space in the Crafty article for the extra steps I had prepared for adding the ‘address’ and ‘stamp’ to the weaving/postcard/letter, so I will be working on a new kit/instruction booklet which will include those little finishing touches as well as various other bits & bobs.  Watch this space for availability!

There are lots of other exceedingly cool projects in this month’s issue of Crafty (I especially can’t resist those Clanger-esque needle-felted mice on the front cover by illustrator Gretel Parker) and I notice there is currently a half price subscription offer on the Crafty website, which sounds like a bargain to me!  If you check out the magazine, please stop by and let me know what you think. 🙂

*TangleClub membership available here.

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Carved stamps and Christmas robins…

Britta (aka JaguarSnail) and I had another productive afternoon in the craft room, yesterday.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that she is a bit of a demon when it comes to hand-carving stamps?

A collection of hand-carved mail art stamps by Britta Jarvis

Britta's stamp-carving mini zine & airmail labels
Britta’s stamp-carving mini zine & airmail labels

Well, she has put together a tutorial mini-zine so that you can perfect your own demonic (I mean stamp-carving) skills.  The demo design teaches you to carve an ‘airmail’ stamp featuring a funky little arrow in flight – but as if this wasn’t enough to satisfy you creative mail artists out there, she has also pre-cut & hand-stamped a set of airmail labels from the very design featured, so you can start adorning your outgoing post while you are still honing your own carving abilities.

I went through a stamp-carving phase myself a few years ago.  I enjoyed it at first, while I was playing with new ideas, but I wasn’t really ‘a natural’, and eventually decided my time was better spent pursuing other…pursuits.  So while Britta & I were sitting companionably in my craft room yesterday (with popcorn & chocolate close to hand), I was somewhat relieved when she ever so kindly offered to carve a robin stamp for me, to illustrate the presentation cards for my new Round Robin upcycled postage stamp badges.

Round Robin badge with Britta's illustration on the card
Round Robin badge with Britta’s illustration on the card

(I know it seems early to be working on Christmas designs, but I thought better now than in a couple of months’ time when everything is too hectic to think straight & I don’t have enough time to put all my plans into action…)  Then on top of feeling relieved, I was equally fascinated to watch her turn swiftly to the task at hand, and present me with the cutest little (2-layer) robin stamp you’ve ever seen in what can’t have been more than 15 minutes!

Britta's robin illustration in pride of place
Britta’s robin illustration in pride of place

I loved Britta’s robin illustration so much that today I made a new batch of Round Robin badges giving her robin pride of place – and then I made some matching envelope seals, too!  I’ve had a soft spot for robins since first reading The Secret Garden, so working on these projects the last couple of days has made me happy… 🙂

TangleClub December Update

Happy December!

handy pouch tutorial coverWith reference to this recent post, I have just added A Handy Pouch – Simple Sewing Tutorial to the TangleClub Archive. The file sizes were quite large so I have split the PDF down into 3 smaller chunks, for ease of download.  Have fun – would love to see results if any of you try it out!

If you are not yet a TangleClub member, but want to share the crafty freebie goodness, never fear – it’s very easy to join!  You can still get FREE TangleClub membership with any purchase of £5 or more from the TangleCrafts Etsy Store, or click here for all current options.

And while I’m here,
a very merry festive season to you –
may craftiness and happiness
be with you all! 😀