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… 🙂

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A confession (& TangleClub freebie)

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.  Handwoven Postcard by Su MwambaAnd 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! 😉

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! 😀