Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Happy International Zine Month!

That's right it's July (already) and so it is International Zine Month!
Even though I know every year it happens at the same time, I always seem to think 'shit, International Zine month and I don't have time to do anything!'
I am currently working on, I think 4 zines, hopefully at least half of them will materialise, it would be great if all 4 did.
We are tabling at Leeds zine fest the first week of August, so July may just be spent getting ready for that.

In the meantime, here are my favourite zine things!

Favourite Zine:
I always bang on about this zine but I think it is because it is soo good, the zine is Colouring Outside The Lines.
Edited by the ever lovely Melanie Maddison, it is a zine that features interviews (conducted by Melanie) with female artists.
Melanie has made 6 issues (with number 6 appearing, much to my joy, after a brief hiatus) and has featured some of my favourite artists (Tara McPherson, Elizabeth McGrath, Dame Darcy, Sarah Utter and Lisa Petrucci, Christy Road, Nicole J Georges, Marion Peck and a shit load more!) and introduced me to many artists I may never heard of!
I don't think old issues are in print, but if you're ever round mine I will let you have a read!
Get issue 6 HERE!

Favourite Zinester:This one goes to my old friend Holly. We became penpals via Teletext in like 1999 when we were just 15. Holly was the first person I knew in real life who made zines, we used to make zines together, we are currently trying to make zines together again. She makes zines about the things she loves (mostly all the Bru's, Bruse Springsteen, Bruce Wayne and Irn Bru!) about queerness and class and being a fan of stuff, all the best things in life really!
See her stuff HERE!

Favourite Zine fair:I think this goes to Sheffield zine fest. The one I have tabled at the most. I have done other cities, London, Leeds and my own fair city, Manchester. But I really like the Sheff one, it could have something to do with the fact I see all my favourite Yorkshire faces there and the venue has a giant slide in it!

Favourite type of Zine:I make a craft zine, I love a good skill sharing or recipe zine, I also edit Poor Lass which is the stories of working class folk, told by working class folk, so I guess that could be called perzine (personal zine), I guess my zine Brown Girl has a perzine touch to it, but my one true love, the first zines I ever got sent in the post as a teenager were Fanzines, zines about the stuff people love.
These are my favourite zines, I feel they don't get made as much anymore, but maybe now I don't have ten penpals and friendship books and zines covered in glitter dropping through my door anymore all the time, I am just out of the loop!

Favourite Zine place:Whenever I go on holiday I seek out the zine shops and zine libraries, but my favourite place is at home.
It's Salford zine library (that is no longer in Salford but in Manchester City Centre).
It's housed in Nexus Art Café off Oldham st, next door to my favourite comic shop, Travelling Man.
I reckon the fact it's just a 10-15mins bus ride from my house makes it my favourite place to peruse zines, but it also has a great collection!
Check their new website HERE!

Favourite way to make a Zine:
I am a cut 'n' paste kinda gal! For many reasons; my favourite zines growing up were made this way, it's how I learnt to make zines, it's the only way I know and it's accessible for lot's of people to make zines this way.
I have gotten a little modern from when I first made zines, I used to hand write or type on my typewriter, but I then eventually got a computer so typed all my writing out and sourced backgrounds and drew pictures and cut and pasted it all together. I don't understand computer programmes or have photoshop, I do have scissors and a glue stick and a long armed stapler so this is what I use!
I like to show people how to make a zine with one piece of paper, a pen, a pair of scissors and access to a photocopier.

Favourite Zine I have made:I have made a lot of zine about a lot of things (being brown, My-So Called Life, EMO music, teenage crushes, Gerard Way's jackets to name a few) and Sugar Paper is the longest running zine I have made (14 issues, I reckon in like 7 years!) and had the pleasure of making with one of my best friends, But I think I am most proud of Poor Lass Zine.
A zine I edit with my friend Em about being working class, it's a contributions based zine and the fact people keep wanting to share their stories and people keep reading them is s heart warming. We have received such a great response from this project I think it's the most important zine I have put my name too and therefore my favourite.
Check Poor Lass out HERE.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

How to take in a T-shirt!!

I have been asked several times how I manage to get band t-shirts I buy at gigs to fit me, answer is I buy the closest to my size then take it in!

I thought this would make a great feature for Sugar paper #15, T-Shirt alteration, but seeing as 'make a back patch from your old/non fitting band t-shirts' is the most popular blog post we have done, I figured everyone would want to know.

So here it is....

You will need:
- A t-shirt you already own that is the perfcet fit
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Thread
- Stitch unpicker
- Tailors chalk/pencil
- Pins

1. Take the tee you want to adjust and turn inside out. Unpick the sleeves from the tee and put aside.

2. Lay the old tee on top of the tee you’re adjusting. Line up necks and trace the line of the armholes on your old tee. Then mark down the sides to get the correct width. Lastly mark on the length across the bottom.

3. Trim the armholes. The trim the length leaving 1”/2.5cm below the line you marked for the hem.

4. Using straight stitch, sew along the lines you marked down the sides of the tee.

5. Trim the excess off the sides and overstitch with a zing-zag stitch.

6. If the sleeves are too long trim them to the required length (again leaving 1”/2.5cm for a hem.

7.Unpick the sleeve seam.

8. With the tee still inside out, pin the sleeve to the arm hole. Have the sleeve’s right side facing you (so when you pin it the right sides of the sleeve dn the tee will be facing) tuck into the arm hole. Start pinning at the top of armhole (on the shoulder)

9. You may have excess sleeve in the armpit area. Start from this point and straight stitch together until you get back to the armpit/side seam.

10. Pull the sleeve out of the armhole (so the tee and sleeve are facing you both are inside out) Stitch the sleeve seam, cut off the excess.

11. Overstitch with a zig-zag stitch along the armhole join and sleeve seam. Now repeat for the other sleeve.

12. Overstitch with a zig-zag stitch along the bottom of the tee. With the tee still inside out, fold the bottom up 1”/2.5cm, pin, then straight stitch down (close to the bottom edge) to create a hem. Straight stitch again closer to the bottom edge (so when it is turned the right way out you have two rows of stitch!)

13. For the sleeve edge you can do the same as step 12, or for a capped sleeve look, turn the tee the right way out, leave the raw edge, fold the edge in around ½/1.5cm, do this again and pin on the sleeve top and the armpit. Do a few stitches at bot these points.

14. Press and enjoy your new perfect fit t-shirt!
This will also be in issue #15 of Sugar Paper along with lot's of other great stuff like crumpet and jam recipes, knitted sunglasses case, weaving and much more!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Inspiring Sugar Paper #15

It's summer and Sugar Paper 15 is not out yet (or even halfway done, oops!) but here is what we have been (slowly) inspired by.....

Monday, 1 June 2015

May: birthdays, bands and from A(rt)- Z(ines)

What the fuck is that title?!?!?

ANYWAY as mentioned in the previous post I love May, but holy fuck where did it go?!?1 how is it June already? WHERE IS THE SUN!?!?

I started May in Amsterdam and ended it completely tired out on my sofa, but I had the best time.

I (again see previous post) had all the birthday fun (and received my last birthday present last week, love to drag my birthday out for the whole month!), but the fun didn't stop there!

Here is what I got up to in May.....

I visited the new home of The Cornerhouse, HOME, several times. twice for the cinema (Girlhood= so good and Clouds of Sils Maria= I love you Kstew!) and last week I checked out the two exhibitions on there at the moment.
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (that I was alerted to several times by friends as I have a tattoo of those words, I was a teenage JT Leroy fan, what can I say!) is a collection of works by several artists centring around the theme of love and loss.
My favourite pieces were Douglas Coupland's 'Slogans for the 21st Century', 148 pigment prints on watercolour paper with bold slogans on, a lot about the internet.

Irina Gheorge's piece, John, you Like Her, Don't You? 1994-1996, stood out as it featured a framed poster of 90s Mark Owen (with his nose ring and all), now I am NOT a Take That fan, but this piece was great. it Was a selection of her notebook entries she made with a friend about the 100 hottest boys in their school. My favourite bit was where she said she wanted to throw something at Robbie's head as she thinks he is the reason TT split up and how is solo career is shit HAHAHAHAH!).

My favourite in the whole exhibition though was Gemma Parker's The Tattooed Lady. It's an oldschool vending machine that dispenses a temporary tattoo when you turn the handle. Each tattoo has a story on the back. The design relating to a tattoo that people have regretted! So good!

There is also a Magda Archer exhibition on, #givemeverythingandnnothingbaby . Featuring paintings and posters that show our love/hate relationship with the internet!

Birthday's are big business in May, it seems like 80% of the people I know are born in May, September must be a popular month for parents to be getting jiggy with it! Anyway this meant I consumed lots of cake in May, and that's always a good thing.

My sister was up for her birthday which was nice. On her actual birthday though I went to see The Julie Ruin.
Now that morning I woke up in a bad mood (tiredness and moontime combo) then I went to work and working Saturdays is never fun. After work I hot footed it over to Leeds, trying to make myself feel excited.
I got to the Brudenell and got excited about seeing a bunch of my favourites and faces I haven't seen for a while. the excitement still didn't kick in. I spoke with a friend and we decided it was because we were just not that into The Julie Ruin album. A couple of friends I was with were excited to see Kathleen perform for the first time so I tried to steal some of their excitement.
The band came on and it was great to see Kathleen do her thing again for the first time in ten years, it was good to see Kenny on stage again for the first time in 13 years and to FINALLY see Kathi on stage for the first time ever. They played a mixture of songs from the new album, some Le Tigre tracks and Kathleen's solo Julie Ruin album (which I absolutely love) some of the versions of those songs they played I was not so sure about. The crowd had a few idiots in it, people who don't know about personal space and one idiot who was super drunk and it seemed managed to annoy everyone I spoke to at the gig, he made his way to the front and called some women 'fucking stupid cunts' so we all decided it was time to leave and chucked him to the bag of the venue where someone I know turfed him out! that sucked, but the song they played after this was Radical or Pro Parental and I had much love for that!
I had fun, they are a party band, and the whole show was like a works of Kathleen Hanna cabaret and I am glad I got to see them, but I didn't leave sweaty, with a stitch and feeling like I could take over the world (I decided it was because I was getting old!)

A few days later saw me heading to London to see Babes In Toyland!!!!

I had excitement for this. I had seen Kat perform in Katastrophy Wife and As Babes (with members of Angelica!?!?) before, but never Babes In Toyland themselves.
We Missed Skating Polly (boo) but made it in time to get a good spot for Babes, squashed in between the dreads, babydolls and punks, the room smelt of patchouli and old clothes, 90s heaven!
The moment they hot the stage I didn't stop and neither did the crowd! Everyone went wild, moving, jumping dancing, every song I was in a different place in the venue, at one point I was stood next to some people from Manchester, another point in the pit, then three rows away from Maureen. IT WAS SO GOOD!

All the hits, so much noise, Lori's drumming SWOON and Kat's voice still has it!
At one point I was experiencing some Gregg Araki film shit, I was close to the front dancing away, to my left some attractive guy with long hair was throwing his pint, to my right a woman in a pink faux fur gilet was dancing like she was listening to techno, behind me a couple were having almost full on sex to Maureen's bass lines and I thought IS THIS WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO ATTEND A GIG IN 1995?!?!

I left the gig on a total high, I haven't been to a gig like that in years. The next day however my body ACHED. I hoped on the train back home to do it all again!

Manchester was a much smaller venue, the crowd wasn't as wild (which my aching body was thankful for!) but it was twice as loud! I got to see Skating Polly (who were so good) and no middle support so babes were on just after 9. They looked happy to be playing, I saw more of my favourites (being spoilt this year!) and met an internet friend for the first time IRL. the gig finished just after ten, my ears were ringing and I had some tasty peri peri chips. both nights were some of my best gigs ever!

Band reunions 4eva, roll on L7!

I had a couple of days to try and ease my achey body and catch up on sleep before tabling at NorthWest zine fest in Manchester.

This was such a fun day, chatting to out of town friends, making new ones, seeing a bunch of amazing zines in one room and being inspired to want to make a million more zines!

Well done to the Salford Zine Library guys for organising such a great day!
Ahhh May you were good to me, now I must spend June doing nothing but sleeping!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The month of May and all the fun things it brings....

Just dusting the cobwebs off this blog! Posting is slow these days, I think now we are in the 5th month I can't blame my slowness on 'getting over working retail at Christmas' (note to self I can't keep using this excuse for all areas of life!)

We should be making a start on Sugar paper #15 right now, but we aren't, we half a list! maybe when the sun appears so will the zine!

I always look forward to May though, mostly because my birthday is the 1st and who doesn't love birthdays?!?!?

I started this month in Amsterdam, celebrating Alison's 30th birthday. I had a great time, looking at art, relaxing on canal boats, getting exited by things that glow under UV, hanging with friends!

I celebrated by birthday a day late with a trip to Jodrell Bank where I stood in fron of the Lovell telescope on the 2nd of May (this is a reference for Placebo fans there!) then went home and had a 90s Leo D film sleepover, because Romeo and Juliet is the best!

Now that is all over I can get excited (and ready!) for the rest of  May.
Seeing bands (The Julie Ruin and BABES IN TOYLAND!!!!!!) and soaking up zines! Sadly, as hard as I tried to fit it in, we won't be at DIY Cultures in London, but we will be at North West Zine Fest in Manchester!!!!!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Space Knits!!!

I know the sun is out, but SPACE KNITS should always be in season!

Space knits I hear you say? Yes the latest collection from Kandy Diamond's Knit And Destroy is faaaaar out!

Scarves, cushions and non-knit brooches! space colours, sparkles and glow in the dark, what more do you want?


Saturday, 28 March 2015

So you want to be entertained?

This week I went to see Sleater-Kinney, twice and had the best time ever!

Last time I saw Sleater-Kinney was the second May Bank Holiday weekend in 2006. I had gone down to see them in Brighton and my friend Nick and I decided straight after the gig that we should hop on a coach and go and see them in Bristol the next day.
Little did I know then that it would be another 9 years since I travelled on a coach again, and 9 years til I saw Sleater-Kinney.

The few days leading up to the first gig I felt awful, like complete shit. I felt anxious, sick, lost my appetite and had a dodgy stomach. I last felt like this when I went to Morrisoncon in las vegas, I was hoping it was just the anxious excitement I always used to get before a gig I couldn't wait to attend and that if I still felt like this by Thursday I might have to go see someone.
It was just my body not handling what was about to come!

I first saw Sleater-Kinney in July 2000, with my penpal turned gig pal Holly. I was 16, she was 15. This was my third ever gig.
The gig was at Manchester's Roadhouse (where my previous two gigs had been in as many months). They were supported by Mary Timony and Valerie (a Manchester band that featured my soon to be bff Nick).
It was the sweatiest, gig I have ever been too. We were squashed at the front, falling over the monitors on to the stage as everyone sweated on each other, danced, sang and had the best time. We bounced around with our youthful energy (that always got us noticed by bands back then!) and Holly had her live saved by Janet Weiss when she handed her a bottle of water (Holly later kept that empty bottle for years, best thing ever).

Fifteen years on from the first time I saw them, here I was again with Holly and a rad bunch of others getting full on Kinney excitement.
Photo taken by the actual Police!

I managed to eat some pizza and cocktails and we headed to what I kept telling everyone was Manchester's most haunted building (it was on most haunted and my mum went unofficial drunk ghost hunting one time when she was at a club) Albert Hall.

We got there and I was surprised to see lot's of faces I didn't know. I realised I am no longer the youngest person at a Sleater-Kinney gig, I felt old!
We entered the huge chapel turned venue and I thought I have never seen Sleater-Kinney in a venue this big, only they could fuck off for almost a decade and come back bigger than ever.

They had lights, they had a fancy backdrop, they had a barrier, the ceiling was so high up and that wasn't Janet Weiss handing out water to dehydrated fans but some guy in a polo shirt and ear plugs.
Thing's were very different, but ultimately the same.

I spent the gig dancing and being happy that a load of my bests were round me but mostly overwhelmed that they were back on stage.
I learnt that 30 year old me can enjoy songs from The Woods much more than 20 year old me did. I learnt that this band are still as important than ever. I also learnt that there isn't really any need for any other bands to exist when there is Sleater-Kinney.

Photo taken by Em.

After the gig all the people dispersed and it was then that I pretty much saw everyone I ever knew, 9 years felt like 9 days. It WAS a reunion.

When the dates were announced I only got tickets for Manchester, thinking that would be enough, who was I trying to kid, with very little persuasion from Nick I bought a ticket for Glasgow. I was so glad as I was over the initial shock that they were on stage and the fact that each gig on the No Cities To Love tour so far has had slightly different setlists.

Holly, Nick Zak and I got on a coach to Glasgow. As the sun shone we kept forgetting and remembering why we were headed to Glasgow!

I was a bit blurgh about having to get the coach, I like riding trains, but it was such a great journey and we stopped at the best service station ever. Great views great food, it was like the world's fanciest shop with the best prices! Fancy pop, fancy cheese, fancy cakes, fancy bakery. I got a giant meringue, it was sooo good!

We arrived and checked ourselves into Euro Hostel (nostalgia overload as this is where Holly and I and everyone ever stayed when we came to Ladyfest Glasgow in 2001) went to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet and headed to the venue.

This gig was different, it was in a non fancy venue which I was kinda glad about and the only people (aside from my friends) that I knew didn't know me, ie they were 'celebrities' (Manda and Steven from Bis, members of Dananananakroyd, Jamie McKelvie and Taylor Schilling).
Everyone seemed super friendly though, I was offered some whisky after being there for like 5 minutes, oh Glasgow I love you. 

We got closer to the front than the previous night and on Corin's side (Carrie's side in Manchester), don't worry both night's had obstructed views of Janet.

They blew me away again, before they cam on I was tired and achy and Holly said she might move over to the side to take it easy, but once they hit the stage we didn't stop. So much so that I was convinced Corin looked at us a few times and smiled at our 'youthful' energy. After the gig Nick said he saw this without us even mentioning it, she probably thought we were 15 year olds with wacky coloured hair and having our lives changed by seeing SK for the first time. It certainly felt like that!

Glasgow was a total love fest, so much so that they played (for the first time on this tour they said) Yr No rock ,n, Roll fun and everyone went wild, full on party, including me and I didn't even think I was bothered by that song!

They dedicated Little Babies to Zayn from 1D, Corin did a Scottish accent that wasn't that bad, they looked like they were having such fun and that fun was infectious.

I am now sad that I am not seeing Sleater-Kinney every night, but happy that they will most likely be back and I can't wait!

As a side note, my friend Nick who has seen Sleater-Kinney a million times mentioned a zine about his SK adventures, it better happen it will be the best thing ever!

Here are the set lists for anyone that cares to know.
Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Surface Envy  Ironclad  What's Mine Is Yours A New Wave One Beat  No Cities to Love  Start Together  Light Rail Coyote No Anthems Words and Guitar  Bury Our Friends One More Hour Entertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone  Let's Call It Love Modern Girl Dig Me Out

Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Start TogetherI Wanna Be Your Joey RamoneSurface Envy
No Anthems
What's Mine Is Yours
A New Wave

No Cities To Love
You're No Rock 'N' Roll Fun
Turn It On
One Beat
Bury Our Friends

Little BabiesEntertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
Words And Guitar
One More Hour
Modern Girl
Dig Me Out