When I discover a new crafter or artist whose work I enjoy, I always want to know more about them – where they draw their inspiration, how their ideas develop, why a particular piece took that particular direction, why they use one technique rather than another, or any number of things about their personal ‘story’. Sometimes an artist is especially open, and all sorts of information might be available, but many people – myself included – simply don’t know where to begin when talking about themselves and their work. With this in mind, I have drawn up a series of questions designed to extract the kind of information that I would often like to know, and I will be asking fellow crafty types to share their answers. Continue reading CraftSeller Q&A: TangleCrafts (Part 1)
Over the last couple of days, I have been weaving yet more postcards. Why? I hear you wondering… Well, partly to try out some different yarns, partly to try out some alternative woven postage ideas, and partly for…another reason. Where are the postcards going? What are they for? Well, this time I’m not sending them to myself, but I won’t say more than that for now – look out for updates!
My postcard from a couple of weeks ago (right) was woven with an aran weight knitting yarn. The ‘stamp’ was a very basic surface needle-weave which hid the background weaving nicely. The more recent postcards, however, were woven with a less bulky (dk) yarn – largely because I simply could not find the blues I was looking for in a heavier weight. (I always find it surprising that despite the vast array of yarns out there, sometimes it’s impossible to find one that matches the colour in my mind’s eye…)
I soon discovered that the same simple needleweaving came nowhere close to covering the background. I got around this by weaving diagonally (both directions) across the grid that was formed, and this did the trick.
For the sake of experimentation, I also tried weaving the ‘stamp’ as part of the main body of the postcard weaving, rather than as an embroidered addition on top. I instantly liked the way the splicing together of the envelope & stamp colours gave the appearance of a serrated edge (well, at top & bottom, at least) and will most probably use this method again.
I still also want to experiment further with the matchbox loom, though, and applique a tiny weaving onto the postcard, instead. Another day, though…!
One of my most enduring projects, dating almost from the inception of TangleCrafts, is the Handwoven Postcard Project. It started life in a now-retired zine, has been through various incarnations, and is currently available both as a part of the Postcard Recycling Kit, and the DIY Weaving Handbook. Much as I love the idea of it, and despite a couple of (very welcome!) contributions, the Handwoven Postcard Project never caught the imagination of my followers in the same way as either Going Postal or Friends & Faux. But I’ve kept the project open anyway, because I like it.
Okay, time for the confession…: I never actually wove and/or sent a handwoven postcard myself! Yes, I hang my head in shame; but it’s true. Shame on me!
Well, I can confess only because I am about to rectify the error of my ways. Who wants to guess what I did with my day off today? Anybody? Yeah, not a tough one, really: I spent today weaving a postcard. And here it is! A very simple plain weave in pretty heathery colours (lovely Noro Kureyon). Tomorrow, I will be adding a stamp to the reverse side (2nd class rather than 1st class only because the colour will match better; Corey rolls his eyes at me for this, which I think a little unfair…), and posting it to myself, so I can see first hand how it survives its journey through the postal system. It won’t have far to travel – will that make any difference? A woven postcard from Hawaii survived its journey far better than one from Manchester (see link above). so it’s definitely a tough one to predict. I will of course update with the results once it arrives home.
Here’s something else you won’t be expecting, given my recent wanderings of attention. I’ve added a brand new, step-by-step Handwoven Postcard Tutorial to the TangleClub Archive, so that my long-neglected TangleClub members need feel neglected no more.
However anybody, yes anybody is welcome to join the Handwoven Postcard Project, so if you are inspired, please get weaving and send your postcards my way. All pics will be shared, and you will have taken part in one of the most exclusive mail art projects out there! 😉
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! 🙂
Just a quick note to alert you to the £1 Summer Sale just launched in the TangleStore – head over now to pick up a bargain (or two)! Some of these items will be entirely discontinued once the sale ends, and some will revert to their original higher selling price, so don’t miss out.
Following on from the recent TangleWeed explosion, the ideas have been flowing fast & furious, so watch out for all-new lines coming soon, just as soon as time allows me to move a little further along the path of actualisation. I’m getting there! I’m going back to my TangleCrafts roots for one of these projects, but recycling an old idea by wrapping it up in a completely different concept. Can’t wait till it’s ready to show you!
Another special offer for June can be found in the ETPrintworks Store which is currently offering the No New News Notebook (fairy tale zine, diary & notebook all-in-one) absolutely free when you spend £5 or more (excl. shipping)…
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.