Spot the Difference #2

postcard 2a afterYou’ve got to be impressed by Derby’s mail service!  HP#2 arrived home safely yesterday, and you really would be hard-pushed to spot any signs of  damage due to it’s journey through the postal system (compare the pic above to the earlier pic in this post – I defy you to spot the difference!  I assure you, they are different pics, taken days apart).  postcard 2b before & afterThe only evidence can be found in the slightly disappointing hand-scribbled cancellation of the postage stamp.  Otherwise, it is entirely unscarred, and might just as well have not travelled anywhere at all!

I suspect I am not challenging my handwoven postcards sufficiently, by sending them on such a short, local journey.  Perhaps Derby is especially (unusually?) mail art-friendly?  But HP#3 (& possibly HP#4) will test out the services slightly further afield.  I’ve not had chance for any further weaving yet, but should be underway in the next few days…

On the plus side, the results of my experiments so far must surely be encouraging to anybody who is worried about the damage that might befall their artwork should they free it into the postal system.  Personally, I’m a bit disappointed – I was hoping for some scars and more obvious signs of transit…   But on the evidence to date, it seems quite likely that your missives will survive entirely in tact and unharmed, so now that excuse is by the wayside – get creative! 🙂

The Handwoven Postcard Project

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Spot the difference!

postcard 1a before & after

postcard 1b before & afterCan you spot the difference?  The weaving of Handwoven Postcard #1 appears remarkably unscathed & not at all traumatised by its little jaunt through the Royal Mail.

The address side bears an unfranked stamp, and a couple of very minor scars – if not for the postal ‘barcode’ overlapping the address box, it could easily be believed it had never left my hands or home (but it did!).  I’m very impressed by its survival skills & can’t wait to see if Postcard #2 fares quite so well…!

The Handwoven Postcard Project

A handwoven letter

I’m hoping that my first handwoven postcard trial will arrive while I’m out today.  In the meantime, I’ve been making up for lost time & have completed Handwoven Postcard #2.  Yes, it’s all a bit meta this time – a weaving that looks like a letter, except that it’s a postcard… 😉

handwoven letter postcard by Su Mwamba

I initially wove it plain, just with the airmail border but it looked very boring.  The addition of embroidered ‘address’ and needle-woven ‘stamp’ (my first handwoven faux postage!) really finish it off.  I’m slightly concerned, though, that the extra detail is more likely to endanger the weaving while it’s on its travels (more little bits to get caught up in machinery)…but we shall soon see!

Find out more about the Handwoven Postcard Project...

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! 😉

Crafty resolutions

Since my Christmas stocking project last week, my fingers have been getting all twitchy to do more crafty/stitchy things.  So I just created this treasury of DIY craft kits over on Etsy, which is full of crafty ideas for inspiration – but also the materials necessary to get started straight away.  As procrastinators will agree, not having the necessary materials to hand is the best excuse not to begin a new project, so these kits leave you with no excuses! 😉

Being totally honest, the packaging often attracts me just as much as the projects themselves, and is often just as original.  The DIY Instant Comfort Boxes by Kim Welling are a case in point; although I also have a huge soft spot for Pupurin’s Little Kitty Kit.  Those with a mildly sick sense of humour (who me?) may enjoy the 1/2 splat kit (must click to discover what this is, although the title is quite accurate!); while any embroiderers looking for a creative challenge should take a look at the wonderful Crafting Shelves kit from This Tiny Existence.  Well, take a look at the whole treasury: there are all kinds of craft kits from all kinds of crafters so hopefully something will inspire you!

My own crafty plans for the new year include a return to weaving, thanks to my lovely hubby buying me ‘The Ultimate Bead Loom’ from Fred Aldous for Christmas.  I’ve already constructed it (yes, I did in fact sit & construct it on Christmas morning), but the next stage is on hold while I figure out whether I’ll be using beads or yarn, and what I actually want to make.  My current impulse is to make a big mess of colour…  But what I love about this loom is the fact that it can just sit on a worksurface in front of me and the weaving area is (sloped) upright so that I don’t have to bend over it as I work.  I love using bead looms for small-scale weaving, but most have a horizontal working surface which my back does not enjoy.  😦  I will let you know how I get on as and when any projects emerge. 🙂

Besides that, I have a freshly acquired small stash of funky fabrics and wool felts that I am itching to play with, and lots of ideas in mind.  I can’t resist all the patterns, and the combinations of colours; and after my stocking project, I really got a feel for having a needle in my hand again.  My mother has claimed the unenviable task of teaching me to use a sewing machine, but this will be another slow-burner due to not living in the same city, not to mention my reluctance mainly concerning the noise of the thing.   I really just prefer having space to hear my own thoughts, but then again, I’m generally very good at tuning out sounds from the real world that attempt to permeate my inner world (how dare they!), so maybe I can tune out the sewing machine, too…  Again, I will keep you posted.

So, how about you?  Any crafty plans and/or resolutions for the new year?
Please share & inspire/motivate the rest of us!

Clubland updates

After more paper/printer/alignment issues than anticipated, yesterday the last ever TangleClub Deluxe edition of the Mulberry Digest was finally printed, enveloped & stamped.  The first batch will be posted today with the next to follow on Monday, so TangleClub Deluxe members will be receiving their final Mulberry Digest very shortly.  In the next week or so, I will be adding some new, completely different TangleClub options to the TangleStore.  I’m just finalising all the details, at the moment. 🙂

In the meantime, I have re-launched the DIY Weaving Club!  I added an old/new zine to the TangleStore yesterday – a reprint of the DIY Weaving Club Handbook, now condensed into an 8 page, A6 fold-out zine.  Although I have not done much weaving of late (DIY or otherwise) I decided it was a shame that my old projects were languishing unloved and out of print.  I’m really loving the simplicity of this fold-out format for framing single, focused ideas; so my plan is to use this format to re-issue selected features & projects from my very first zine series, Telaic Fantasy (which have not seen light of day for over a year!).  realistically, though, it is unlikely that any more in the series will be released until the New Year.

Although I have some new projects underway that will hopefully be completed in the near-ish future, I will otherwise be taking a break from ‘creation’, while I focus on fulfilling orders, preparing stock for craft fairs and generally trying to keep on top of everything between now and Christmas.    Wish me luck! 😉

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…?