Thursday, 14 April 2016

Springtime zine time

Zine season is upon us and to get things started we are tabling at one of our favourite zine fairs,
Sheffield Zine Fest.

This one is on Saturday 30th April 11-4pm  (and is the day before my birthday)

It's a bit of a double trouble zine weekend as on my actual birthday, I am doing a reading as part of Poor Lass for Salford Zine Library's 'stage' at Sounds From The Other City, on Sunday 1st May.

Get to dance to Tacocat and Martha too, best birthday ever.

I am likely to be accepting payments of cake* for zines in Sheffield! 

*I like a nice lemon drizzle or sticky ginger cake, fruits, nuts and flowers welcome (hello pistachio and rose!!!)
just not chocolate.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Colouring Outside The Lines #7

It's fairly well documented on this blog that Colouring outside the Lines is my favourite zine (and editor Melanie one of my favourite people)
So you can imagine my excitement when issue 7 landed on my door mat. But can you imagine my excitement when I got interviewed for it!!!!!!

This issue is slightly different to previous ones, it still features in depth interviews with all different types of female artist, but these artists all happen to be people Melanie knows on a personal level, basically she interviewed her mates, I'm one of them as are two of my besties Kandy Diamond and Alison Erika Forde.

I urge anyone who is interested in art, an artist themselves or is just really nosey and likes to hear about peoples lives, to get yourselves a copy.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day.... Political crafting!


We love crafting (D'uh) we love to find other rad ladies that craft too. And we definitely love crafting that crosses boundaries whether that me into the art world, to build communities or make a political statement.

In celebration of International Women's Day here are a few of our favourites... 

The Yarn Mission


The Yarn Mission was created in October, 2014 as activism in the St. Louis area expanded showing breadth and longevity. While the community reacted to police murders of disproportionately young Black men and women (an issue that existed before the Summer of 2014), organizations that existed expanded their audience-base and new organizations emerged. The Yarn Mission was created to support and promote anti-racism/anti-sexism/anti-oppression activism.

I think I stumbled upon The Yarn Mission sometime last year in an article somewhere and I loved the whole idea.
They have four aims:
skill sharing: I am an active believer in skills sharing and something I aim to do throughout my life, The Yarn Mission hopes to share skills for economic means and promote self care.

Community engagement, bringing others who may not be aware of activism, to a place where activism is encouraged via a craft.
Also Service and fundraising, giving back to the local community.

 I love the idea of an activity that is primarily seen as something white people do, being done by POC whilst simultaneously bringing a community together.


OLEK’s art explores sexuality, feminist ideals and the evolution of
communication through colors, conceptual exploration and meticulous
detail. OLEK consistently pushes the boundaries between fashion, art, craft and public art, fluidly combining the sculptural and the fanciful. With the old fashion technique of crocheting, she has taken the ephemeral medium
of yarn to express everyday occurrences, inspirations and hopes to create a metaphor for the complexity and interconnectedness of our body and
psychological processes.

Polish born artist, Olek crocheting master, using looped yarn to create large scale pieces of art often commenting on political and cultural affairs. Creating brightly coloured installations, smaller scale pieces and taking up public spaces with a very traditional form of yarn craft.

Lisa Anne Auerbach

Lisa Anne Auerbach started using knitting as a means to ‘write’ bumper sticker style slogans directly onto woollen jumpers to create both an artwork and a wearable, topical statement. Through the process of knitting, her words form an integral part of the final structure rather than being painted or printed on to an existing support, (be it a canvas or a t-shirt), allowing the art and the words to be interwoven as one and the same.

Lisa Anne Auerbach is an artist that creates a range of work, but it's her knits that we love.

Particularly her knitted jumper series'. Creating technically skilled pieces of work, that look like traditional knitted jumpers but with political statements within them. Looking like the 'Christmas Jumper from yr nan' but bearing slogans such as 'Keep Abortion Legal'.
Her work provides an amazing display of craft whilst simultaneously a social commentary.

Craftivist Collective

Craftivist Collective was founded in 2009 when after years of marches, signing protests and working on campaigns for large charities, experienced activist Sarah Corbett had begun to doubt the effects of some conventional activism and sadly didn’t feel that she fitted in to many activist groups. The time felt right too add a slower and less aggressive approach to the activism toolkit
An urge to get back to making things with her hands at the same time of feeling like a burnt out activist led her on the journey of becoming a craftivist

I first heard about Craftivist Collective few years ago and Sarah did a feature in one of our early issues of Sugar Paper.
Back then they sent out mini banner kits, where you cross stitched something you felt strongly about and made it into a mini banner, using the cable ties provided you put it in a public place for all to see, with the intention of sparking of questioning and thinking over something.

They know do much more, from the mini banners to solidarity bunting, protest post its and alternative love letters. It's a project that has grown and grown, helping people to learn new craft skills whilst fighting and speaking out about the world's injustices! 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Weirdo Zine Fest

We're still only in the first month of 2016 and we are tabling our first zine fest!!

In that there big London town this Sunday (30th January) is Weirdo Zine Fest

It's gonna be filled with the best zines and the best weirdos!
You'd be a fool to miss it!

More info HERE.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My year in lists: Seleena!

I was determined to get my end of year list out within the first week of January, and I just made it.
2015 seem to disappear quicker than 2014 did.
I mot definitely think less procrastinating is in order for 2016.

Anyway, here it is, some of my 2015 highlights....

- GIGS! lot's of fun gigs happened in 2015, Girlpool, Gerard Way, Ex Hex, Sleater-Kinney, Babes in Toyland, Frank Iero, The Julie Ruin, Babes in Toyland, L7, Queer Fest, Martha, The Potentials, Jack Off Jill and loads more. It was of course the year of the reunion gigs!

-Zinefests. I tabled four times last year. A return to my favourite one in Sheffield, Leeds in an old church, the debut of North West zine fest in Manchester and at Ladyfest Manchester. I love doing zine fests because I get to sit behind a table eating snacks and selling things and buying things and seeing a bunch of great stuff but mostly hanging out with people I don't see often enough!

-Sleater-Kinney!!! Yes Sleater-Kinney returned and I didn't think I was gonna be that arsed about it, but it turns out I was! Saw them in Manchester and one of my favourite places to visit, Glasgow. They were amazing and spending a couple of days with a bunch of my favourites was even better.

-Amsterdam. I said it in last years end of year post, but the best thing about getting older and turning the big numbers I that it means your friends do too, so May saw me celebrate Alison's 30th birthday in Amsterdam. How I had never managed to get to Amsterdam before I don't know, but I shall be returning!

-Babes in Toyland. Another reunion gig that blew me away, going to London and Manchester meant I got t see a whole load of faces (it's nice to have events that pull older people out of the house!) also meant I got to see faces I only knew of online, it's great finally meeting people you've only spoken to in the virtual/postal world (hey Rachel!)

-SUMMER TOUR! this was probably the highlight of my year. August is always a fun month as three of my bests have their birthdays then, but this year was a dream. Yiiikes! decided we needed to play a gig, so what better way to force ourselves to do this than go on a week long tour of 6 gigs with two bands, that just so happen to be yr mates!
Got to hang out with my bffs and new bffs for a whole week whilst travelling up and down the country and playing songs! From the southern seaside to finally getting to the north east, this was like the best free holiday ever!

-Yiiikes! It's been a great year for Yiiikes! we didn't get any art out, but we made a bunch of great songs, toured, played a few gigs after the tour, had matching stage outfits and ace merch and most of all had fun doing it! SLIME POP FOR LIFE I.D.S.T.

-Zines. I didn't make anywhere near enough zines what I wanted to make, my infamous crisp zine still hasn't seen the light of day (watch out 2016) and I think I spent most of the year talking about what zines I was going to make. Did manage to put out the annual tradition of two issues of Sugar Paper, two issues of Poor Lass and a second issue of Brown Girl.

-Jack Off Jill. The end of a year of great reunion gigs came in the form of JOJ, a band I never thought I would get to see, a band who blew me away. Seeing them in Manchester and London, witnessing Jessicka perform and probably being one of the greatest front people I've ever seen. <3 font="">

-Slayerfest. Halloween is always one of my favourite times of year and in 2014 when we were trying to egg ourselves on to play a gig we made a pact to play on Halloween 2015. Our dreams came true when we got to play Slayerfest '98 (2015)!!!
Our great mates (and my new fave band) The Potentials, organised a night off great bands and disco dancing and Yiiikes! got to play, I also got to do a tap dance to the Buffy theme whilst dressed as a yellow crayon. Good times!

Other highlights include....
attending the indiepop wedding of the year where Bearsuit played, indie pop royalty attended, and had a great dance. Probably going to Karaoke more times then I ever have and adding more staples to my Karaoke repertoire aside from Lisa Loeb's Stay. Sorting my 'studio' space and making it more organised and inviting. Meeting Patrick Ness who was a total sweetheart. Remembering how much I love to make things and just staying home!

Photo of the year is this one with all my favourite weirdos....

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Zines of the year!

You get  lot of end of year lists round this time of year, mostly music ones, but seeing as my tradition from 2000 onwards seems to be that I don't get more than two new albums a year (forever stuck in the 90s) that would be a boring list.
I do however get more than 2 zines a year and this year I got some great zines.
here are my top 5....

BRUXCORE A zine about Irn BruHolly Casio
March 2015

My favourite zinester Holly made a few zines this year, but I think this is my favourite.
With a bright orange front cover and blue inside pages, a zine full of stuff about one of her main loves, Scotland's finest import, Irn Bru!
The zine has all about Holly's love for Irn Bru, Irn Bru imposters, Irn Bru in different forms, contributions and a bunch of recipes.
It's a zine for anyone who likes the orange fizzy pop!

July 2015

Kathleen is someone I have known for years, but never spent lots of time with. But I had the pleasure of doing that in August when she drove us round on our super summer tour!
Kathleen also brought a mini zine distro with her, which included her latest issue of Scratch That Itch zine.
Scratch That Itch is always a treat, but this one is particularly great, for a start it looks great.
It's an A6 affair that Kathleen hand bound (there ain't nothing Kathleen can't do!) and is a tour diary!
It's a diary of the month in spring 2015 Kathleen spent driving top notch band Caves round on tour with Against Me!
It has some highs, some lows and some pretty great scenery! It made me want to get out more and visit places.
It was like reading someone's diary and Kathleen writes so well, would recommend this to anyone!

August 2015

In 2015 Holly an I went to a comic con in Las Vegas and we made a great friend.
Fast forward to 2015 and this awesome friends makes her first zine!
She has been making really intricate and awesome dioramas with her vast collection of star wars figurines and then turned them into this zine!
The zine is ascetically amazing, full of detail, heart and passion, just like the diorama.
You don't even need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy it.

AFTER GRRRL small stories from big livesCarrie Jo Tucker/ Jessicka Addams
October 2015

A zine full of short pieces written by all my favourite artists and musicians! what more could you ask for!
It has Allison Wolfe talking about her Cool Mom and rubbish boyfriend, Camille Rose Garcia talking about being told girls can't do art and Lori Barbero on learning drums and SO MUCH MORE!
It also has a page where you can write your story!
I wrote a lot more about it HERE.
And you can get yourself a copy HERE!

SHAPE AND SITUATE 7 posters of inspirational women in Europe
Melanie Maddison
December 2015

Melanie compiles some of my favourite zines (her Colouring Outside The Lines zine will surely top next years list) and this one just made it out before the end of the year!
Shape and Situate is a zine made of posters people make of women they have found inspiring for one reason or another, artists, educators, activists, community pioneers. I love tis zine because you learn about so many great figures you may not have heard of otherwise, plus you get all the different styles of posters the contributors send in, from illustrated to written.
This is the last issue of S&S (boo) but fear not Melanie will still be working on other zine projects.
Also I co-produced a poster for this one, so get it now.
Get it HERE!

Special mention goes to Poor Lass #6 Health Issue, a zine about working class people from working class people, that I co edit with top lass Em!
Get it HERE!