Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My year in lists (Kandy) 30 going on (20)13

Does that title make any sense?! I don't know.
What I do know is that in 2013 I turned 30! Anyone who knows me will know that I love saying, oh, it's just a number...birthdays are the best, and although I still firmly believe that, 30 was a bit different. I'd heard tales of people "turning 30 and becoming boring"..and throughout my 20s there's been a lot of "oh, just you wait, you'll get broody when you're 30", so I was more concerned than usual by this year and this age change! IT'S ALL OK THOUGH KIDS, being 30 can be AWESOME, I've not suddenly turned into a bore or started buying baby magazines, I have had lots of fun times and done things I never thought I would do. I am definitely more 30 going on 13 than I ever was the other way round. Here's a list of 13 things (in a sort of chronological order) that made this year memorable for me..
1. Formed Yiiikes! collective with Alison and Seleena, working on Art with friends is super-fun!
2. Roller Derby tattoo, I wanted one of these for a while but promised myself I had to make the A-team before I was allowed one. I first made the A-team in 2012, but got my tattoo booked in with one of my favourite tattoo artists for early 2013. Her helmet and the colours reminds me of quidditch too which I love!
3. I built a website, from scratch! I had made pages for my website in photoshop before but this year I learnt to use dreamweaver and made a whole website for the super talented Seleena!
4. Yiiikes! had our first exhibition, yeah, we mean business. We created a glowing world instillation exhibition at Islington Mill which was really fun to put together, and to see/hear people experience it.
5. I got to see the Breeders play live, I never thought I would get to see them, not only that, but they played Last Splash in its entirety, s-woooon!
6. MY KNITTING BOOK CAME OUT!!! The writing of the book mostly happened in 2012, this year was all about releasing the book to the world. It took about a month after it came out to sink in, I still have moments where the fact I wrote a book overwhelms me. The best thing about the book is hearing that people are enjoying it and seeing what people have knitted from my patterns!
7. Indietracks! We ran some awesome workshops, saw some great bands, discovered Martha, and Helen Love stole the show, but Indietracks, as always, was all about having a laugh with good friends. This was my face for most of the weekend...

 8. Another band, beginning with B, that I thought I'd never get to see..B52's, I saw them as an early birthday present, and they blew me away, SO good!

9. PARTY!!! One of the great things about turning a landmark number is having a party, for me this meant getting lots of friends together, setting up party games, putting on a spread and having a dance!


10. New York! For my birthday, I went on holiday to NYC, somewhere I have always fancied but never had a reason to go to. It was PERFECT, I got to spend some quality time with Ben, checking out the sights and discovering all the delicious food. On my birthday, my present was a trip to Coney Island where I got to be part of the freak show and pretend to be Cyndi Lauper on the wonder wheel.

11. Went to Shetland to speak at a conference in front of 3 of my knitting heroines, met Lisa Anne Auerbach..and made friends with her. I have been a fan of her work for years, she is great!

12. Became a regular Roller Derby coach. I might have done a bit last year, I can't remember, but this year I did a lot, and really enjoyed it. I was rewarded for my hard work by my team with my own stopwatch and whistle...watch out 2014, I'm gonna whip you into shape!  

13. Realised that I am, and continue to be massively inspired by the people around me, their creativity, talent, love and enthusiasm, keep it up you awesome bunch. Xxx    

My year in lists. (Seleena!!!!)

My year in lists. MY YEAR IN POSI POINTS!

2013: unlucky for some.
It's this time of year you think about all the crap stuff that's happened in the past 364 days. It has seemed a weird one. I wasn't even excited about my birthday this year and that's NEVER happened before.
My Grandad passed away, my favourite band ended and I got mugged. I saw many friends and loved ones struggle with money/health/life in general.

But do you know what, I'm still here and my hair looks fucking awesome! So as reminder to mostly myself here's all the good shit from this funny year...

I got my first solo exhibition! Yeah you know it, I'm like a proper artist now. Ok so it was upstairs of a library next to the public toilets in some small town outside of Manchester, but it was mine.
I also discovered the joys of working tax credits, so gonna be trying out this artist thing for a while longer!

ZINES!! every year I go oh I made some zines and get a big chufty because of it, but I don't think I don't ever wanna make zines. Obviously there were more issues of Sugar Paper, I probably made some others too, dunno how many, maybe a couple. Definitely more next year. But what I'm most pleased by is my friend Em and I finally got Poor Lass zine off the ground.
A collective zine featuring stories on various subjects from the mouths of actual real life working class folk! The response we have got for the zine is so good and I hope it goes on to GREAT things!

Dressing up was good for me this year. I was well into my Halloween costume (Oblina from Aaaah Real Monsters) and for one of my bff Nick's birthday we dressed up as Romy and Michele. But my favourite was Cher and Dionne from Clueless.
For as long as I can remember, Kandy and I have joked about dressing up as everyone's favourite valley girls. 2013 was the yea we finally did it

And because we wanna do it again, we are totally available to hire for public appearances (not even joking).

One solo exhibition wasn't enough so I formed an art collective with Kandy and Alison and next thing you know Yiiikes! have an art show! The glowing world of Snotboobs and the Severed Toe was one of the most fun things I ever got to work on, keep on eye on us for more in 2k14!

Slightly related to Yiiikes! I got a drum kit, I started off real good and practiced loads then I got busy, it became 'Christmas in retail' months before it was even Christmas and I haven't had my drums out for a while. But I will sort that out in 2014, the year I don't give up after a day on a musical instrument!

We went to Indietracks fro the 3rd time this year and had a blast. Took along my oldest friend and her little sister, had fun times with my favourite lasses from Leeds, Mel and Amy, ran a radical Cheerleading workshop, and filled a teenage dream of seeing Helen Love live. GLITTER CANONS!!!

And of course got some rad hangouts with my friends and family (never enough though!). And got to feel super proud seeing my loved ones do awesome shit from making zines and books, to exhibiting stuff to running cool businesses, to just being AWESOME!

I definitely didn't do enough dancing this year, I didn't master wings (in tap). But I did have blue hair for the first time ever (I know right).

Anyway enough about my hair, looking forward to the adventures 2014 has in store for me!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

All I want for Christmas.....

So here is our Christmas list, a little later than usual and sadly full of a lot of self promotion (sorry, not sorry!).

Winter, is a magical time, we love it here, all the lights and the changes of colour and the snow, it's beautiful. BUT in reality I live in Manchester and Winter is just another season where it's cold and wet, very wet.
I don't do very well in the cold and my hair can't take the wet, plus I work in retail so I'm super tired in Winter.

So as much as I like to imagine I'm taking brisk walks and frolicking in the snow, I'm inddors watching my favourite films and TV (pfft I'm pretending I'm a winter Recluse, but it's an all year round thing!).

In short, our list is for those loved ones of yours that too like to curl up in their pj's in the warm indoors!!

For your off centre pal: Do you have a friend who likes knitted things and David Lynch? Well then Kandy's latest Knit and Destroy collection is Inspired by twin Peaks!! It's the best thing she's ever done FACT! And if you do have to go out in the cold, you can keep warm. Collection includes scarves, cushions and a brooch!
get it HERE.

For your child of the 80s sister: My actual sister totally wants this. things she loved growing up; Lego and the Back to the Future trilogy. So what she would actual love IS this Lego Deloreon!!Hours (well minutes if you're a professional Lego builder like my sister and I) of fun, indoor fun!

For your magical mate: I bet everyone has a friend who likes Harry Potter. If you do then you need to go to the HP studio tour. This is a treat for people who don't even like Harry Potter, just to see props, sets and costumes is so much fun. I know I've been. PLUS it's like 98% indoors!

For your super cool sidekick: Who doesn't like Daniel Clowes' Enid Coleslaw and her bff (sidekick) Rebecca?!? Who doesn't like giant eyeballs? Who doesn't like T-shirts. I like all three and I would love one of these from Mishka NYC.

For your penpal: Speaking of Enid Coleslaw (and Twin Peaks Audrey Horne) check out these postcrads made by me (Seleena!). Anyone who has a penpal probably loves stationary, and most likely the odd postcard or too. So what you do is buy a postcard pack for your friend, send it to them and hope they will send it back to you with some words on the back WIN WIN!
This three pack also contains everyone's favourite hummingbird Dawn Weiner. Images taken from a felt triptyche I did where I took some of my favourite fictional characters and reimagined them as POC! Get them HERE.

For your felt tip owning friend: Have a friend who loves nothing more than colouring in? Well you know what they need in their life, a Paul Rudd Colouring book!!!!! I know that's what I need and I don't even like colouring in!
Canadian art collective Team Art also sell many others including a Parks and Rec one and a Voldemort one! Check them out HERE.

For your child of the 90s BFF: If you have a friend who thinks Jared Leto leans great then you need to get them this postcard set. At the time of writing this blog I was still trying to figure out where you can get one (my friend Nick picked it up at London's Queer Zine Fest at the weekend). I'll keep you posted. But look Jared's beautiful face + inspirational quotes!

For your cat loving, slayer supporting total recluse mate: I love almost everything on Stay Home Club, even the fact it's called Stay Home Club. Form their no friends tee to recluse baseball top. SO GOOD! also check out this Stay Home and watch Buffy patch!See everything HERE.