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?
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.
(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!
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… 🙂
I first hosted Friends & Faux back in 2010 and although slightly fewer project postcards made it home due to my moving house (twice) than might otherwise have done, it was still an awesomely fun project to co-ordinate. The project postcards feature ‘gallery’ spaces for 8 artistamps/faux postage stamps, and are filled up as they are passed from one mail artist to the next before the completed card finally returns home. I recently compiled 3 mini-zines showcasing the completed postcards that arrived home safely. And I’ve also been preparing for a re-launch of the project…
Friends & Faux (version 2) has a new logo, plus its very own blog where I will be posting regular updates on postcards sent out into the world, progress reports from participants as they add their artistamps, and, of course, the homecoming celebrations! I will also add random faux postage/mail art snippets, on occasion. During F&F Version 1, I was alerted to the fact that some of my handmade postcards did not withstand the rigours of multiple mailings too well (peeling surfaces etc) so I have had the new postcards professionally printed to hopefully avoid a similar fate. And if I move house again (please join me in hoping not!), I have implemented a new way of accessing the postcard return address, so hopefully I will be able to keep on top of any unexpected changes much better this time around..,
As of yesterday, the first 20 postcards are on their way out to who knows what adventures in the world, and more will follow in the near future. If you would like to learn more about the project, please visit the F&F blog, and if you would like to join in the project, you will find a brand new Friends & Faux Filately section in theTangleStore. In fact, you can request an F&F postcard as an absolutely free add-on with any purchase at all from the TangleStore or ETPrintworks. More news to follow, as it occurs! 🙂
This post is to welcome the zines of Britta Jarvis of JaguarSnail into the TangleCrafts fold. 🙂 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! – 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!
How 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!
A 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.
I have just re-opened the TangleStore, although I will be unable to despatch any orders until I return home in a few weeks’ time. I only closed the shop yesterday so apologies for see-sawing – but I realised that now is the time when Project Dissimulation matters the most, and I really want to make those items available. If you prefer not to wait for your print copy of the zine, though, I am also making a PDF edition available (just click on the pic):
If you enjoy this Project Dissimulation zine please make a donation directly to Beating Bowel Cancer, or a charity of your choice.
As April is bowel cancer awareness month, I was keen to get the first issue of the Project Dissimulation zine completed in time for April – so keen that I managed to be finished early! When I first put out a call for donations of bird-themed used postage stamps and artistamps, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what exactly I would do with them, although the title chosen for the project obviously lent itself to working with collective nouns (a dissimulation of birds being the traditional collective noun for a group of birds). Once I sat down to get started, though, the idea shaped itself and the first zine was quickly born, as well as a series of badges.
So far I have completed Volume I of the zine, a matching Project Dissimulation badge (I will create a new badge design for each issue, so they can be collected!), and bird badges made from upcycled postage stamps for anyone who would like a completely individual souvenir of the Project:
The first issue of the Project zine features a variety of collective nouns for birds, illustrated with selected used postage stamps which were donated to the Project. I’m not sure yet how many zines there will be in total, but I will keep going as long as there are stamps to work with. 🙂 In addition to the current items available, there will soon be a one-off chance to buy a set of badges made from the actual stamps used to illustrate Volume I, as well as bird badges grouped by species. As the Project progresses, I’m also planning envelope seals, address labels, postcards and mini-notecards – watch this space for updates & availability!
If there are any bloggers out there reading this who would be willing to help spread the word with a mention of the Project (please feel free to ‘borrow’ any of the pics used in this post), I would really appreciate your help, too – the more people we can reach, the bigger difference we can make. 🙂
Just a reminder that I still have an open call for bird-themed used stamps (& artistamps) for Project Dissimulation. I’ve received some beautiful stamps already, and am really looking forward to craftifying them! The first Project zine will be issued in April, to coincide with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (in the UK; not sure if this is international or not), but I will be continuing to collect stamps & artistamps for the project & will release further mini-zines as material is collected. Follow the link for full details of the Project & how you can help.
If you’re fond of postage stamps but don’t have any bird stamps for the Project, don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you! I’ve also recently decided to clear out some of my excess hoard of used Machin stamps – can I tempt you? I’ve put together some colour themed packs in the TangleStore so that you can creatively upcycle them however you choose, because with the best will in the world, I will never have enough time to use them all myself! I’ve also put together a couple of packs with a stamp-upcycling mini-zine for inspiration. This mini-zine was written in 2011 but hasn’t been available for sale before & will only be available now while my stocks of these used stamps remain. See listings for more pics & info.
Have you ever noticed how when a deadline is approaching, creativity often sneaks out the back door? Similarly, when I am determinedly trying to keep new ideas on hold until all moved into the new house next month (because I need to be packing & cleaning & doing boring things, not tapping away at my laptop and happily running things through my new printer) it seems that my imagination goes into overdrive.
Not counting all the ideas I’ve written down for new projects to commence following the move, I couldn’t help myself from writing & laying out an entire new issue of Enchanted Times Mini, and, um, I’m halfway through another new issue as well…
March will herald the one year anniversary of my separate E.T.Printworks store and it’s going to be all-change. Aside from the new paper mentioned in previous post, I will be discontinuing some items, re-packaging others, and of course, adding entirely new lines, as well. It will be an ongoing process, but I will have as much of the new presentation ready as possible for March. Be warned, there may be a couple of price increases (so buy now with your 25% discount for the best deals!) but there should also be a more cohesive and professional feel.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I will be closing the Etsy stores while my re-location takes place. Everything should be re-opened by March, and if at all possible I will re-open a little earlier, but this will all depend on realities and practicalities of unpacking & more. In the meantime I will try very hard to stem the flow of ideas, because I really already have enough to be going on with… 😉
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! 🙂
“Barbara and Marlene, enjoying an Autumn afternoon in the pumpkin patch, are enjoying the latest editions of Enchanted Times being delivered by Raven Rural Route postal service to outlying areas. Their opinions are that while the news can be pretty Grimm at times, doll children need to be informed of fairy land news too.”
Many thanks to ET reader Wanda Mortensen for sharing this candid snap, showing dollkind catching up on the latest old news. It’s great to see even more readers behind the Times & good to know that the Fast-As-You-Can Co Co (courier company) is working in successful collaboration with so many Real World postal services, as well as subsidiary branches of smaller districts such as (most commonly) the Local Post of Tangledom and the Raven Rural Route (as above).
While I eagerly await updates on Wanda’s recent yarnbombing adventures, you can catch up with her earlier crafty exploits here.
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!