The (temporary) return of TangleCrafts

Has it really been 3 months since I last posted?  Guess so!  Well, after a much appreciated summer break, my muse has returned with the autumn weather.  There are new items in both the TangleCrafts and E.T.Printworks Etsy Stores, including zine bundles, mini notecards, a return to TangleCrafts’ roots (sort of) with the WeaveWorld Mini Manual of Weaving (for Novice Weavers with Imperial Aspirations), and possibly my favourite addition which is currently only in the E.T.Printworks store, the Light of my Life Matchbox.

Why is this only a temporary return?  Well, guess what?  TangleCrafts is moving house, yet again!  (Hence the Random Craft Clearout which has appeared in the TangleStore.)  Not until the first months of the New Year, so I will be around until Christmas; but then there will be another hiatus for a couple of months while everything (and we have a lot of stuff!) gets packed, unpacked, and settled in again.  At least this time it will have been 2 years since the last move, and please join me in  hoping that this time we have found somewhere we can actually settle!

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Clubland updates

After more paper/printer/alignment issues than anticipated, yesterday the last ever TangleClub Deluxe edition of the Mulberry Digest was finally printed, enveloped & stamped.  The first batch will be posted today with the next to follow on Monday, so TangleClub Deluxe members will be receiving their final Mulberry Digest very shortly.  In the next week or so, I will be adding some new, completely different TangleClub options to the TangleStore.  I’m just finalising all the details, at the moment. 🙂

In the meantime, I have re-launched the DIY Weaving Club!  I added an old/new zine to the TangleStore yesterday – a reprint of the DIY Weaving Club Handbook, now condensed into an 8 page, A6 fold-out zine.  Although I have not done much weaving of late (DIY or otherwise) I decided it was a shame that my old projects were languishing unloved and out of print.  I’m really loving the simplicity of this fold-out format for framing single, focused ideas; so my plan is to use this format to re-issue selected features & projects from my very first zine series, Telaic Fantasy (which have not seen light of day for over a year!).  realistically, though, it is unlikely that any more in the series will be released until the New Year.

Although I have some new projects underway that will hopefully be completed in the near-ish future, I will otherwise be taking a break from ‘creation’, while I focus on fulfilling orders, preparing stock for craft fairs and generally trying to keep on top of everything between now and Christmas.    Wish me luck! 😉

Handwoven faux postage!

Well, it could be.  I’ve been meaning to make a matchbox weaving loom ever since writing my Borrowers zine, and today, I finally got around to it, and I even remembered to scan each step of the way:

Cut down to basics, all you need to do is:

  • Snip notches at approx. 3mm intervals along the short edges of a 32ct matchbox tray.  (My advice: mark it out first!  I ended up with 7 notches, but an even number will work better when it comes to ‘finishing’/removing from loom.)
  • Warp loom.  I warped all the way from one end to the other, around the back of the loom and back to starting point.  See finishing tips below for how the way you warp will affect your options.
  • Use matches woven under and over alternate threads to adjust tension, as required.  I removed the matchsticks as the weaving grew, so that I could weave all the way to the top of the loom.
  • Weave!  I used a (hand-dyed) variegated perle 5 cotton to get a stripy effect without having to change threads too often.  Using a needle will help you when weaving.  I used the needle I use for bookbinding, because it happened to be to-hand; but the book-binding needle is a sharp, and a blunt-ended tapestry needle would be far better advised!  Visit my weaving freebies page for basic/additional weaving instructions.
  • Removing your weaving from the loom will depend on how you have warped:
  1. If you have an even number of warps and warped all around the outside of the matchbox tray, snip across the threads in the centre of the matchbox reverse.  Tie off warp threads in pairs, and trim to preferred length of fringe.
  2. If you warped your loom back and forth around notches (across front of loom only), carefully nudge loops off notches and thread onto matchsticks for a miniature wall-hanging.

Well, it entertained me, so hope you will enjoy this little (no pun intended 😉 ) project, too.  Let me know if you try this out – would love to see pictures!

I’m back!

The move was horrible, let’s not talk about that.  But I am in the process of catching up on all orders placed over the last few weeks, and should be mostly on top of things after the weekend.  Thank you, everyone, for your patience!  I will be including extra niceness with all orders from the house-moving period, as a thank you for bearing with me.

Now, on to fun and exciting new things 🙂 .

First and foremost, the long, long awaited and very overdue 4th issue of Telaic Fantasy has finally been unleashed on the world. I’m very happy with the way it has turned out, after playing with a new layout, and (to conform with the rest of the series) keeping it to A6 (/quarter-size) format.  I am thrilled to report that TF4 includes an exclusive interview with the awesome Diane Gilleland of the Crafty Pod, found poetry from my vintage craft/weaving book collection, along with reviews, extracts from literature AND template, yarn and instructions to weave your very own Oddball companion. Check out the Etsy listing for more details & extra pics.  I’ve also put together a special bumper package, combining TF4 with membership to the DIY Weaving Club, so if you’re not already a member, join us!

If weaving doesn’t float your boat, however, I have more fun in store for you. For the last month, an innocent little link has been lurking to the right of your screens: Going Postal.  What is is it all about?  Well, it’s a super-cool mail art project, of course!  A meta-mail art project, if you will.  Click on the link for full details, but in brief, I’m asking anyone with the inclination to do so to create an ATC (using any medium they prefer), the only real stipulation being that contributions must have a postal or mail art related theme.  In some way.  If you send me an ATC, I will send you in return a (free) mini-zine featuring your artwork alongside at least 2 more contributors to the project.  (And if you just want to admire everyone else’s work, the mini-zines will be available at nominal cost in the Etsy store).  Eventually, I will compile a Going Postal super-zine, including selected contributions to the project, and various other editorials, miscellany & fun stuff; but I think the mini-zine project will run for a good while before the super-zine sees light of day, so there is plenty of time to get your creative thinking cap on, and, um, get creative…!  [ACEO above right by Hazel Fisher of Hazel Fisher Creations – check out her Etsy store!]

These two ‘news items’ are just the tip of the iceberg – look out for even more new projects & zines to appear, perhaps slowly, but steadily, as I unpack my workroom, and dig out the ideas that I packed into boxes just a couple of short weeks ago…  Well, with a name like TangleCrafts, it was never going to be straightforward, was it…?

What’s everyone up to?

I’ve had some great updates in the last week! And it’s always cool to see what other people are working on, so if you’ve been inspired to try something by one of my kits or zines, do let me know so that I can share 🙂

wall hangingFirst up today is Sharon Schmeidel – back in January, she bought one of my ATC weaving kits and has been weaving away ever since. In her own words, tapestry weaving has become “another passion I should probably have done without”! The scale has increased somewhat since her ATC-sized beginnings – I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this wall-hanging is pretty awesome! Sharon is a member of the Iowa Art Quilters Group, and this piece has been on display in Grenell, Iowa, over the summer, at a show in conjunction with an area weaving conference. Cool!

doodle stitchI was also really happy to see Robin O. Mayberry’s post on her Alchemy Studio blog, about the bookmark she doodle-stitched, after I sent her a copy of my new ‘Contours’ zine, less than a month ago! The zine is all about doodles, and at the very last minute, I decide to include a bookmark as an extra. I didn’t have time to trial the concept first, so I just hoped that it would work – and it looks like it did – hurrah! Huge thanks to Robin for being my guinea pig & actually trying it out :-). If you would like to try it yourself, every bookmark that comes with the Contours zine is hand-doodled, and will be similar but different to Robin’s, so your doodle-stitching is guaranteed to be unique.

faux stampedAnd last but not least, I received a great piece of post from Kristina Howells in France. I’ve been taking part in some faux postage projects, lately (although Kristina was very quick off the mark with this one, & I haven’t created, let alone sent my response, yet!). The envelope I received from Kristina had 2 ‘real’ stamps at the top, which had been duly postmarked, but also a faux postage stamp just beneath – and what tickled me was that the faux stamp had also been postmarked! I hadn’t got too far yet with my ideas for the faux postage project, but receiving this really prompted me to give it some thought & I’m itching to get started, now…

Woven postcard update

arteth postcard beforeArteth's woven postcardArteth Gray has just posted the ‘before’ (pre-mail!) picture of the woven postcard I received, on her blog, so I thought I should do a before and after update here.

I feel kind of bad, because the ‘before’ picture is so lovely (look how straight those edges are!), and you can see just how much damage the journey did to it.  On the other hand, the whole point of mail art is that the journeyis a part of both the process and the artwork, so I’m still exceedingly happy to have received it, & I still think it’s brilliant.  Thanks again, so much, Arteth!

If you’re inspired by this, check out the Handwoven Postcard Project – more info to come soon!

‘New’ Telaic Fantasy #2 – postcard recycling/mail art kit

TF2 CoverIt’s felt like a long time coming (to me), but I have finally caught up with myself, and re-formatted Telaic Fantasy #2 into the new, bigger A5 size.  Now that all the back issues have been updated, that means I can focus on getting a new issue ready.  Actually, I have something pretty cool in mind for TF4, but because it involves allowing for somebody else’s schedule, it means the new issue won’t be out until the beginning of July (ish).  Don’t worry – I will have lots of other new stuff popping up between now and then!

For now, here’s a preview of the revised TF2:

TF2 Preview 1The free postcards now come tucked into an envelope bound into the spine, and the postcard labels themselves are printed onto (recycled) gummed paper (I recently learned that gummed paper is better for the environment than self-adhesive, as it is water-soluble, and doesn’t clog up the works at the recycling plants).  There is also an additional page of labels for you to photocopy, cut and paste, so you can recycle as many postcards as you like :-).  Ever fancied trying a spot of mail art?  I’m not sure about the realistic possibilities of a tapestry reaching its destination in tact, but it’s surely a concept worth experimenting with!

TF2 Preview 2There are lots more features crammed into TF2, not to mention the fact that it doubles up as a handy notebook, with lots of custom printed pages for you to scribble down your sketches, notes & ideas. TF2 is available to buy as a stand-alone zine, or as part of a membership package for the D.I.Y. Weaving Club.   As always, the first 10 issues will be signed and numbered.  Check out the listings at my Etsy Store for full details & all options available!

TF2 postcard stampAnother addition to the postcard recycling kit is this cute illustration that I hand-carved using my new-found lino-cutting skills ;-).  I’ve used it to stamp onto the envelope that contains the free postcard & postcard cutting template.

Today is a happy day, as it marks the beginning of my revised working hours at the bookshop.  From today onwards, I will only be working afternoons, allowing me to squeeze in precious extra time every morning to keep on top of all the crafty stuff.  Too-many-ideas-and-not-enough-time will I’m sure remain my mantra, but hopefully those extra few hours a week will make a difference.  🙂