New zines, old zines, something for everyone!

There has recently been a little flurry of activity in my Etsy store with all sorts of interesting new arrivals!  Time for an overview:

First up, I am thrilled to offer copies of Kristin Roach’s latest issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly.  Inside there is a bounty of crafty goodness, including a ZineBomb mini-zine (by me!) and a Postal Travel Kit guest article (also by me!).  The best part is the accompanying pattern for a fantastic Postal Clutch that Kristin has designed with pockets to fit all your mail art essentials. Click here for more details and to buy your copy from my Etsy store, where I’m offering two FREE mini-zines with every copy sold!  It’s such an honour to be included in this awesome zine. 🙂

My own latest zine is called ‘The Thief of Time‘ – very apt considering how time has been escaping me of late!  It is a collection of blank to-do lists for you to fill in, to help organise your own time, combined with an overview of 7 crafty days of my life – projects, pics and points of view.  It covers everything from doodle-stitching to artistamps, mini-zines to stamp-carving, and it also includes a free copy of Going Postal mini-zine, Volume 6.  Thief of Time is available with the usual plain kraft paper cover, or a special edition with a funky fabric cover, instead – check the Etsy Store now to choose your copy!

Yes, there’s more!  I am about to retire one of the old TangleCrafts favourites, Leftover Lavender.  Inspired by the lavender currently in bloom in my garden, I have put together 3 final copies, each with a bundle of beautiful overdyed embroidery threads in greens and purples.  Buy it now, while you still can (located in the Special Editions category)!

…and even more from the Special Editions category, I have  put together a bumper edition of the ultimate guide to Tangledom’s mythology and customs, the Mulberry Digest. This is lots of fun for the eco-romantics out there, with the creation myth of a land that was dreamed into being, free mulberry seeds for a spot of guerilla mulberry activism, an exploration of the symbolism of Tangledom’s arts and crafts, and two free cross stitch charts.  The Mulberry Digest is printed on A5 (half-size) mulberry pulp paper, with a ‘unique’ hand-stitched binding of my own devising!

Last but not least, we have yet another issue of Going Postal, which has now reached the giddy heights of Volume 7! Click here to find out more about the Going Postal project, and how to take part.  If you’re feeling inspired, your artwork could be included in the very next volume!

Well, I do think that’s all for now (isn’t that enough?!).  Please browse through at your leisure, and remember, you will get FREE membership to the TangleClub with any order, which then entitles you to discounts on future orders, as well as access to the TangleClub Archive with a new free project or printable available online, every month!

A House of Stamps!

Is this not the cutest/coolest thing you’ve ever seen?!
Visit Just Something I Made for free templates and tutorial for this gorgeous little House of Stamps.  In the version shown, a roll of US postage stamps sits inside the house, and is fed outwards through the ‘letterbox’.

Unfortunately, UK stamps (to my knowledge) are not available on a roll; however, it has set me thinking about a new format for my next set of artistamps.  Hmm…

Actually, I’ve created 2 new artistamp series’ recently, but have failed miserably in giving them any exposure due to time escaping me entirely throughout May (appropriate to the theme of one of said faux postage designs).  However, I will update with a little ‘album’ of my stamp designs so far, in the near future.

Notebooks…mmm…

What is it about a new notebook that is just so…I don’t know…enticing? All the unexplored potential it has, perhaps. Or just the invitation to scribble notes for nothing but your own sense of satisfaction. Anyway, for fellow notebook fans, I just wanted to add a couple of links that I found:

Are you a fan of the traditional Moleskine notebook? They’re nice, granted, but do they really justify being at least 3 times as expensive as your average notebook? Well, they do have that handy pocket, and perforated, tear-off pages… Even so, thanks to a couple of very helpful online crafty types, now you can save yourself some money and make your own! Surely not, you ask? But it’s true, I tell you! My favourite is from The Long Thread, and shows you how to make a replica Moleskine Cahier with just a sewing machine and a cereal box (see left).  If you prefer the thicker Moleskine Notebooks, try instead this tutorial from Michael Shannon.

But – and yes, it’s possible! – an even cooler notebook project can be found courtesy of Diane Gilleland over at The Crafty Pod.  This tutorial shows you how to cover a notebook with a wonderfully retro 70s fabric (it would probably work with other fabrics, too but would it still be as cool? 😉 ).  I totally love this tutorial!  It’s not just because I adore these retro patterned fabrics (honest!), but because it actually shows me to how to make something useable with the fabrics I love without having to touch a sewing machine.  Which in my eyes is nothing short of genius.  Sister Diane, I salute you!  😀

The Letter Writers Alliance

I just had to share this total genius little package that arrived in my letterbox today!  I joined the Letter Writers Alliance back in January, but sadly (ironically) my membership package was lost in transit :-(.  However, the lovely Donovan was kind enough to send me a replacement, which – as you can see! – has just arrived! 🙂

For just $3, you too can have such fun stuff delivered to your door (or buy an ultra-cool stationery set, & get membership free!).  I’m sure everybody knows by now how much I adore all things postal, so a society in honour of hand-written communication is of course right up my alley (see also my own Post Post Post Club).  This is the LWA’s mission statement:

“In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form; neither long lines, nor late deliveries, nor increasing postal rates will keep us from our mission. As a member of the Letter Writers Alliance, you will carry on the glorious cultural tradition of letter writing. You will take advantage of every opportunity to send tangible correspondence. Prepare your pen and paper, moisten your tongue, and get ready to write more letters!”

How can you not be drawn in?!

The LWA is hosted by design duo Kathy & Donovan, of sarcastic cards company, 16 sparrows – for those who are sick of traditional bland and/or saccharine greetings.  Thus the LWA can also boast access to a pretty awesome range of stationery.  There are also lots of free downloads, not to mention exclusives for members-only.  I also love the blog, which highlights all the latest cool stuff in the world of letter-writing, mail art & all related products.  Everyone knows (well, maybe) that as well as all things postal, and despite the fact I have a tendency to kill all but the hardiest plants that I do love green stuff & stuff-that-grows; so I am totally smitten with one of the LWA’s recent posts about the PostCarden.  Check out the PostCarden site for full details  – that is truly mail art at its finest!

Anyway, enough of this chit-chat – I’m off to explore the LWA’s members-only pages – maybe I’ll see you there!

Dog Eared

I’ll tell you, back in January when I stumbled across Dog Eared Town on Etsy, it made me very very happy (even amidst all the upside-down-ness of an iminent & unwanted or anticipated house-move).  You see, I actually stumbled across Dog Eared magazine (a journal of the book arts) maybe a year or more ago, when I was going through a phase of investigating pretty much anything/everything related to bookbinding and artist’s books.  Problem was, the website I found told me about the magazines, but there was no way to actually buy them… 😦  They seemed to be exactly what I wanted – but I couldn’t have them!

So happily, now that has all changed 🙂 (see, smiley face, now).  I have already bought 4 back issues – although really 7, as one of them is a bumper compilation of the first 4 issues, and who knows how many more will lure me in the coming months…  Each issue covers a different area of the book arts, from journals to zines (as illustrated!) to collage to marketing, to the tools you use, so whatever your own specialism, you’ll more than likely find something of interest.

Without wishing to be rude, they are really just overgrown zines; but they are absolutely brim-packed to the gills with good quality journalism (so I guess that is where the ‘journal’ qualification comes in), lots of well-written and entertaining feature articles, how-tos, and well, just lots of ideas.  And I love ideas.  Not that I don’t already have enough of my own…  Anyway, don’t take my word for it, check out the Dog Eared Etsy Store for yourself.  It’s cool.  And will hopefully make you as happy as it made me :-D.

A bird in the hand…

…is worth lots of zines, direct to your letterbox!  I’ve just found out about the Bird in the Hand Distro’s awesome new zine club, & I want some of that zine-y goodness!  If you love zines, surprises, and getting stuff (that isn’t bills, bank statements or junk mail) direct to your letterbox, then you should really check this out.  Sign up to the club, starting at $40 for 3 months, and you will get a mytery, zine-packed bundle direct to your door, once a month.  That’s really kinda cool, no?

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…?

Feeling creative?

I just found out that my friend, Misti Ko, is organising an ATC exhibition in Vancouver (Canada), running from March 1st to 21st.   If you would like to participate, all you need to do is submit 9 ATCs in a clear 9-card sleeve, with a theme along the lines of: friendship, solidarity, peace, fair play, optimism, inspiration and empowerment.  Other possible themes include ‘personal best’ or ’10’.  All ATCs submitted will be traded on the closing night of the show, and if you include return postage with your submission, you will receive 9 assorted cards in return.  What a cool way to expand your ATC collection!

Submission deadline is February 28th,

and the address to mail your submissions to is:
Vancouver 2010 ATCs
c/o RubyDog’s Art House
623 Kingsway
Vancouver
BCV5T 3K5
CANADA

Click here to visit the website for full details.

P.S. Be sure to pass on this info to any arty/crafty friends you have, who you think might be tempted to get creative with some ATCs for this cool event!

P.P.S.  Misti is also the host of another fun (ongoing) ATC Mail Art project,
It Starts With a Pencil, so be sure to check that out, too! 🙂

Good mail starts here!

Good mail dayCatching up on a month’s worth of blogging in one day, I really need to plug the (not-so-new-any-more) book Good Mail Day by Jenny Hinchcliff & Carolee Gilligan Wheeler.  I’m taking my time working my way through it, because it’s packed with ideas and resources for just about every aspect of mail art you could possibly be interested in.

happy mailday travelling kitChapter 3, ‘The Traveling Mail Art Kit’, really captured my imagination & I started to think straight away what would comprise my own essential mail art kit.   I’d love to share, but I’ve set up a mail art kit swap over at Swap-Bot, and I don’t want to ruin any surprises for my partners, should they happen to stop by here.  But I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks of as their mail art essentials (it’s such a personal thing) – I’ll probably be inspired by your ideas, & then still ruin a surprise, anyway ;-).  And you’ll probably hear more about my own kit as time goes by…

Find out more from the authors through their blog – where you can see all the cool mail art they have been receiving – and also at the Pod Pod Post website (which looks great, but I was disappointed by how few of the shop items are actually available).