Catching up, Craft fairs & Colours (oh my!)

At last I have time to write this long overdue catch-up post! The last month or so has been a whirlwind of non-stop activity/work for me, but in a good way. In June I re-entered the world of local craft fairs after a break of more than 2 years. I was somewhat swamped with preparation – stock was easy, but signage, packaging & presentation are a whole different kettle of fish from selling online. With a lot of work, though, I managed to get everything straight and had a really good day (including many conversations about stamp collections!).

Following on from the first craft fair, I had a busy week of collaging to replace sold stock, talks about a commission for a local independent restaurant (I’m designing & hand-binding their new drinks menu!), contact from a UK magazine about a couple of spots coming up over the next few months (more on that to follow later), plus top-up preparation for a local Vintage & Arts Market yesterday. Here I am in situ:

craft market 050714

It’s a lovely courtyard venue and we were very lucky with the weather (a fine, dry day, after very wet evening & morning preceding). Had lots of interesting conversations with customers & stallholders alike, and various possibilities have arisen from the day, so definitely another worthwhile (ad)venture. As you can see from the photo above, my display so far is largely of the make-do-and-mend variety, using display materials I already had on hand (spot the toast rack, camping plate & dishes!). It’s a work in progress, though – I’ve learned something useful and new from each fair I’ve attended so far – and having now made the decision to continue with local fairs as well as selling online, I will be continuing to work on signage, as well as swapping in a few more purpose-built props for future events (although I’m pretty sure the plate & dishes will stay!).

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Are you based anywhere near Derby/shire?  You can keep track of my upcoming events here!

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As it’s such a long time since I last posted, here is a little gallery for you of my new range of notebooks:

(Find the above notebooks & more in the TangleStore!)

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I’ve been creating ‘imaginary landscapes’ and discovering that however hard I try, there are always certain colour combinations that I’m drawn back to. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how different colours speak to us in different ways? Interesting how not only do we simply have different taste in what appeals to us, but how we can each perceive exactly the same colours from a different perspective, and draw a different inference entirely. In fact the ‘palette’ a particular artist uses is entirely a part of what makes their work recognisable.  I used to think I was somehow ‘failing’ by not catering to every possible colour preference one of my customers might have; but I’m now pretty well convinced that actually it’s more important to work with the colours that inspire you. Push yourself sometimes, of course, and try out something different just to see what happens; but mostly, I say go with the flow. 🙂

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Don’t forget to stop by the TangleStore to see what’s new!  The above is just a sampling, and although it’s a while since my last post here, there are new additions to the store regularly.   You can also follow me on Twitter – @TangleCrafts – for daily updates & other snippets that catch my eye from day to day.  And in case you missed it, be sure to check out my previous post for a special July discount coupon!

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A Tangled Return

Just a quick update – TangleCrafts will be home again next weekend, and the catch-up process will then commence.  All orders will be prioritised, and a little extra surprise will be included with all orders placed up to May 20th, as a thank you for your patience.  Full stock range will be gradually re-introduced over the following weeks, as I get back into the swing of ‘normal’ life again.  E.T.Printworks will also re-open once all is settled.

TangleCrafts re-opened!

Well, the house-move ran mercifully smoothly.  🙂  Still various bits & bobs to get straightened out and a couple of orders from the ‘transition period’ to catch up with, but all is feeling settled enough so I have re-opened the TangleStore today.  There are a few ETPrintworks items currently listed in the TangleStore which won’t be available after E.T.Printworks re-launches next month, so now is the time to catch them!  More items will gradually be added as life returns to ‘normal’, so watch this space for updates…

Ideas

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.

Sneak preview of Enchanted Times Mini #4.5 v.iii - coming soon!  (-ish.)
Sneak preview of Enchanted Times Mini #4.5 v.iii – coming soon! (-ish.)

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… 😉

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!

Orders placed over the next few weeks

Having moved house so frequently in the past, it’s something that over the years I have become quite good at, so please don’t worry about any orders or other correspondence you are expecting from me.  My workroom will be the last to be packed away, and the first to be unpacked.  I really don’t anticipate a huge hiccup in fulfillment of orders, but if there is a slight delay over the next few weeks, please bear with me; it won’t take me long to catch up. 🙂

Still quiet?

Borrowers coverWell, it looks like I’ve not been up to much but that is definitely very far from the truth! The last week has been spent almost solely fulfilling Etsy orders (everyone’s gone Borrowers crazy!), and because I’m a fool & make all my zines with lots of extra bits, it gets very time-consuming putting everything together.  I ran out of one of the key components, but I think that worked out okay in the end, as I created a cute little addendum, with a substitute for the missing item…  Oh, and I had my first 2 Folksy sales last week, too, so that was also quite exciting – although definitely no competition for Etsy, as yet!

I say I’ve been solely fulfilling orders, but of course, that’s not really the case, as I’ve also been working on several new (related) ideas.  One is nearly complete, and the others are still at germination stage, but they’re definitely sprouting…  Will post more details once I’ve got all these orders underway!

Does anyone know the story of Baba Yaga?  That’s what one of my new projects is based on: a Russian/Eastern European folk tale about a witch who lives in a hut on chicken legs (to minimise the kernel of the story to the extreme!).  My first encounter with Baba Yaga was when I was 6 years old.  After a day trip to Cumbria where my sister and I made a wish in a wishing well, we went to bed and forgot all about it.  The next day, there was a letter waiting for us from ‘the fairies’.  They explained very sweetly, that they were sorry but they could not supply the item/s we had actually wished for.  However, they hoped that we would be happy with the record that they had left for us instead.

This was in the days before CDs even existed, and the record was a bright yellow vinyl.  For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what it was my sister and I actually wished for, but believe me, the excitement of a yellow record was more than a good enough substitute for me!  On the record was a story.  That story was Baba Yaga.  I can’t say that the story shaped my formative years any more than any other fairy tale that I remember, but it is a story that keeps finding its way back into my life.

So look out for a Baba Yaga-shaped ‘something’ coming soon to TangleCrafts; and in the meantime, check out these cool projects elsewhere, that I found while I was ‘researching’: Baba Yaga dollBaba Yaga HutA Baba Yaga doll (from SmallWorks) that you can turn upside down and magically transforms into her nemesis, Vasilissa the Fair/the Wise/the Brave; and a Baba Yaga plushie hut, complete with chicken legs from Melissa Sue Stanley!  The doll reminds me of one my Grandma made (one each for me & my sister) when I was little, which was a ragdoll Cinderella & broom one way up, then transformed into a glamorous Cinderella in beaded ballgown when turned upside down.  Why did I not keep these things…?