Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The things I want to make and do in 2015

I know this is a little early and I also know if you want to change something then do it! I'm a firm believer in not waiting for the end of the week, or the year to start making false promises to yourself.
Having said that, there is something about this time of year, that makes me reflect and look forward. Look forward to the things I will be doing in the new year.

I think working in retail, I get really busy around Christmas, to the point where I just want to curl in a ball and sleep, so any free time is gone, and then January hits and BOOM it's really not that busy and I have a lot of free time. So I need good things to think about to get me through the winter and good pre Christmas and good things to do to get me through the winter post Christmas!

So enough of that, here are the things I want to make and do next year...

1. Make lot's more art: So there is already something in the works for Yiiikes! which I am super excited by, but I would also like to have a solo exhibition and/or have work in group exhibitions.

2. Make more zines: I say this every year, but I mean it every year! I want to write another Brown Girl zine (which I made a start on this year) and one about favourite space's, and make more zines with my friends!

3. See my family and friends more: as your get older time seems to go faster and I definitely want to hang out with my loved ones more!

4. Start a craft day: I've been meaning to do this for a while, I basically wanna have rad hang outs crafting with snacks like Heidi Kenney does. I'm not sure this will happen as my friends live all over the place but I would like to!

5. Poor Lasses on tour: or maybe just one city, but I really wanna have some event around Poor Lass zine, some readings, hanging out, story exchanging, dancing, and of course snacks!

6.  YA book club: Kandy and I were talking the other day about how the older we get the less we read 'adult' books but the more we get into Young Adult novels and how a lot of my friedns are the same. And I was like we should have a YA book club, but will mostly be online (see number 4 re friends!)

But most importantly in 2015, I want to make sure I look extra cool and stylish whilst on my Hoverboard!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Sugar Paper # 14....


The owls are not what they seem!
jam packed, winter, Twin Peaks themed issue 14!
With 20 things to make and do including; crochet bauble, cherry pie recipe, log barrel bag, cabin candle holder, coffee coaster, colouring in from Ben Cooney, embroidered mountain brooch from Young Explorer Liz AND MUCH MORE!

Get it HERE!

All I want for Christmas...

Not to scare you all but Christmas is just around the corner (I can't believe it either, despite working in retail and it been 'almost' Christmas since early October, it still feels super soon!) so here we are once again with our gift guide.

This one is jam packed full of awesome stuff, something for everyone in your life, be it ghouls or grrrls, astronauts or aliens, monsters or mermaids and witches or weirdos.
Or just a list full of stuff to get yourself!

Ghouls....A bunch of gifts for the spooky in your life.
Everyone likes to have a dance, even the undead, so why not go for the latest album from the best scouse/ horrorpunk band ever Zombina And The skeletons, heck get their entire back catalogue from HERE!

They might also want to adorn their walls with ghoulish art, so how about this print from Camille Rose Garcia?

Grrrls....Need something for the rebel grrrl in your life? Then try this super zine (that's actually a book inspired by zines) Double Dare Ya. Full of writing and cool artwork inspired by the riot grrrl movement.

Not much of a reader? And or super stylish, then you need to gift this Wacky Wacko grrrls tee, featuring a whole host of awesome ladies women and grrrls.

or maybe they want to relive their youth? Then this Sleater-Kinney vinyl box set is a must (someone buy me this please thanks!). No turntable? No worries, who needs a record when you can see the band LIVE, yes Sleater-Kinney have reformed and are off on tour next year!


For all your cosmic pals and intergalactic loved ones.
Keep them clean with this mutli coloured bath bomb from Lush (Honey scented but containing no honey, for all vegan space cadets!).

Teen-C space invaders who want to stick stickers on their jetpacks could do much worse then to stick on this Tara McPherson sticker.

And yeah space is awesome and there is so much to explore, but everyone needs a little downtime and or gets bored, so how about this bumper knitting book pack in a super spacy tote from Knit And Destroy!

Aliens...Want your alien friends to phone home and tell everyone how rad you are?
Those from another planet who like to veg out* would love a boxset of the complete X-Files (I'm not from another planet nor do I veg out ever BUT I would still love this buy me this thanks!).

It might be cold for aliens here on earth so keep their feet warm with these awesome socks from Modcloth and Rip n Dip (respectively).

But my alien friends are total babes/ Hole fans, fear not this Miss Universe tshirt from Sister Ectoplasma is one for them! (I have this so no need to buy it for me, but it is totally awesome!))

What about those stylish aliens that like to wear a nice shirt? Then these Mulder and Scully collar pins from Sweet and Lovely will look great.


Monsters....Monsters aren't always mean and they deserve gifts!
Want to tell your scaly, green, bug eyed monster friend how much you love them? get them this Monster Tshirt from You Were Swell.

Or give them a squeeze with this Peggy Noland Squeeze Me dress.

For those more stay at home Monster children of the 90s then the complete collection of AAAHH! Real Monsters is a  definite yes! (I was lucky enough to get a bunch of DVDs from the pound shop, so always keep your non monster eyes peeled!)

Mermaids...Got some fishy friends living on land? then stop them missing home with these treats.
For when they grow legs to walk on the ground, keep them scaly with these shorts from Hellcat Clothing.

And to remind them of the beautiful colours of the sea, instead of the brown soil, try some Barry M nail polish aquarium range.

And to adorn their walls, this beautiful print from The Black Apple will be great.

Put your friends under a spell this Christmas with these bewitching gifts.
Who doesn't love a zine, or poster or some original art? You can get all three from my latest art project All Of Them Witches.

And what witch doesn't like nail art? Then grab them these nail decals by Sara M Lyons.

Or how about this handy guide book? By everyone's favourite art Witch, Dame Darcy, is the handbook for Hot witches (I have bought this for many a witchy friend and for myself!)

And not forgetting those witches who dress like Cyndi Lauper, they need this Not All Witches wear Black postcard set from Bunny Bissoux.

Weirdos...And gifts for all of the above and everyone in between, THE WEIRDOS!
For the superstitious sister and psychic pal, these pins are perfect from Explorer's Press.

Things that people think are weird; feminists, cat ladies, witches, pfft what do they know? Maybe your friend is one of them or hopefully ALL THREE! then they need this Tshirt from Jessicka Addams!

Speaking of Addams', treat your weirdo mate to some Addams family trading cards from Bunny Bissoux's online shoppe.

Not forgetting the weirdo art friend, they need this rad book The Graphic art of The Underground by Ian Lowey and Suzy Prince.

And last but not least, maybe they want to wear their weirdo badge with pride, then this Craft inspired Tshirt from Killstar is a YES!

And not forgetting the ultimate stocking filler, an issue of Sugar Paper zine, for the creative and crafty or those who just love a laugh!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Inspiring Sugar Paper #14

(Just realised we didn't do one of these!)

Monday, 3 November 2014

All of Them Witches

Halloween saw me (Seleena) launch some new art, All Of Them Witches.
A.O.T.W is a collection of 12 fictional characters who have all been witches at some point, rendered in felt form!

From Winifred Sanderson to Elvira, Willow Rosenberg to Grotbags and lot's more in between.

The original art (4x4" felt pieces) are available to buy, alongside an A3 art print and zine of all the works!

Get them HERE!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Zines, zines zines, if yr looking for a good time!

Recently I have had quite a few people ask me about zines, what zines are, how you make them, what can they be about. So I thought I would write a (hopefully not too lengthy) post with all I know about zines!

I'm not claiming to be the holder of all zine knowledge, I just know I like zines a lot, I like to read them and I love to make them, in fact I've been making zines on and off for half my life!
I started contributing and making my own zines around the age of 15 and 15 years later I still contribute to others and make a whole host of zines of my own.
I sell at zine fairs, I read books about zines and zine culture, I give workshops on zines, this blog exists alongside it's namesake zine and I love to encourage others to make zines!
ZINES ZINES ZINES! I just love them, so here goes....

What is a zine?
To me, the definition of a zine is a self published magazine.
Self published works have begun even before the birth of printing press, but I believe some of the first zines to exist were in the '30s and were self published works by science fiction fans who wanted to share and tell their stories.
There was a big resurgence of zines in the '70s with the rise of punk, anarchic and DIY culture, using zines to talk about music, politics and rebellion. There was also a rise of underground self published comics and prose in the 70s, written by very politicised people. The second wave of feminism in the 70s also meant a lot of comics/zines/ manifestos relating to feminism were published around this time.
The next great surge of zines was in the '90s particularly related to the riot grrrl movement and the third wave of feminism that came with that. Taking ideas and inspiration from zines of the 70s and 80s, the punk aspect and DIY ethos, whilst mixing in with politics and feminist theory. This is where I discovered and learnt about zines.
A zine, is quite often unlike the glossy magazines mass produced and sold worldwide in that they have a DIY feel to them, especially zines coming from the 70s/80s/90s, where the cut and paste method came from.
The do it yourself, with the resources you have style came about as it was the only way you could get your zines made, no computer programmes or fancy equipment, just scissors and glue, words and pictures.
The aesthetic of a zine can obviously vary greatly, but to me it's essentially a little photocopied book of joy!
Just some of my zine collection!

What are zines usually about?Zines can be about ANYTHING! like anything in the world, you can write/draw/stick/say whatever you want to, it's YOUR work.
I have zines about all sorts of things, music, film, TV, being a fan, tea, countries, feminism, class, POC, art, crafts,fiction and more. I have made zines about; class, fake letters to celebrities, friendship books, fandom, jackets owned by Gerard Way(see ANYTHING!) Because zines can be about ANYTHING there are sometimes sub genres of zines you can use just to give people an idea of what your zine is about.
You might hear...

Fanzine: to me where the word of zine comes from, in the 90s this term was used a lot, especially with music zines and the whole Britpop boom. A fanzine is a zine written about being a fan of something, whether that's music, or a person or sport or whatever. I feel fanzines are not as valued as they once where and regarded less due to the nature of the content, but I feel fandom is awesome and should be celebrated and want to see the rise of fanzines!

Perzine: This is where you take a shortened version of magazine and a shortened version of personal and get perzine! A zine mostly about yourself! I have read so many from topics such as mental health, eating disorders to self care, sex, class, race lot's of things!

Art zine: this is exactly what you think it is, a zine that mainly contains art, be it illustrations, photography or more. The term art zine is often used to describe a more glossy high quality zine, compared to more cut and paste style.

mini comic: Again another self explanatory one, some people may refer to their mini comic as a zine others may not, but another self published work.

web zine: This is not a paper format physical zine, but often people say they write zines online. Some web zines are a continuation of physical format zines or something that started up just online.

all the zines I made in my teenage years/early 20s!

How do I make a zine?The following information will be about how to make a cut and paste style zine, as I am not technologically advanced enough to use computer programs and stuff to make zines ha!
Also the methods I use are accessible to most people and really fun to do, so the way I always lead zine workshops!
I always say if you want to make a zine and never done one before, the best place to start is with a one page zine. here is how to do one.....

The one page zine is great because, it's only one sheet of A4 so you won't get tired of making it! It is easy to photocopy as just ONE SIDE of A4, and no need for stapling!

Once you have mastered the one page zine it good place to go is an A5 zine. This is where you make it up on pages of A4 fold and staple it (or stitch or pin or tie yarn/ribbon, or don't even bother at all!).

I find the best way to make one of these is to make up each individual page on loose sheets of A5 and compile them at the end on sheets of A4. A good thing to remember is you will need to have pages that are multiples of 4 (each sheet of A4 paper has 4 sides of A5!).
Work out how many lose sheets you have, then divide that by 4, that's how many sheets of A4 you will need (remember to include a front and back cover!)
Hope that makes some sense.
Then you just need to either do it yourself or take it somewhere to get double sided copied!

Here are some handy tools and bits and bobs you might want when making a zine...

Glue stick: A cut n paste zinetser's (someone who makes a zine!) best friend is the glue stick.

Scissors: See above ha! who needs photoshop when you have scissors and glue!

Long arm stapler: If stapling is the method you want to secure your zine then the long arm stapler is what you want to go for. Can be found in most big stationers.
If you don't have a long arm, you can use a regular stapler. Place centre of the zine on a cork mat or at the very edge of a table, open up the stapler and staple the zine, using a ruler, flatten down the staples!

Dymo tape/Letraset: Dymo is great for headings and titles and just looks great! Letraset (transfer letters) is also great for this too.

Stickers: who doesn't like stickers?

Sharpies: and other brands of  permanent marker are great for lettering, drawing and much more.

Scraps of paper: Bits of paper make for great backgrounds, from wrapping paper, to inside envelopes. Save it all you may never know when you need it!

How do I distribute my zine?So now you've made your super awesome zine but don't know what to do with it! Hand them out to your friends. but if you want to reach further afield there are ways.
When I was a teenager making zines, I used to find out about other zines via pages in the back of magazines, Teletext, at gigs or in fact inside other zines. Mainly through post, good old fashioned snail mail, sending on fliers for my own and others zines, to penpals and people who buy my zine. Back then it was all about Sellotaping a pound to a bit of card and sending a SAE to send a zine back.
Now however things like webstores (Etsy, Big Cartel and more) exist so you can have an online shop to sell your zine.
Prefer to do it in real life, many cities host zine/publishing fairs and can get a table and sell your zine. If you don't have funds or enough zines to do this, many zine fairs have a communal table where you can leave copies of yr zine to sell.

If you don't/can't have an online presence or attend a zine fair there are such things as distros.
Distros are usually run by one or a few people and is their way of collating zines, music, art and more and selling it through one space. You can contact distros and ask if they would like to stock your zine.
They take them in a number of ways, several copies that they pay you for, or on a sale or return basis. Some distros ask for flat copies, this just means they want a copy of the zine unstapled or folded so they can make copies of their own, this sometimes proves cost effective for both parties involved!

Another great place to have your zine be seen by a bunch of folk are zine libraries. Zine libraries are exactly that, a library full of zines! Some places pay for a copy of your zine others don't have the ability to do that. Some zine libraries are static (in buildings, in actual libraries, in places of education) and some are mobile!!!

Useful links....
We Make Zines: a great zine community where you can talk zines, connect with other zinesters and more

Stolen Sharpie Revolution: A great site for news about zines, how to's, distro and libraries lists, zine fairs and stuff about International Zine month (which Alex Wreek, all round good gal of SSR was instigator of!)

List of  UK Zine libraries: My great friend Holly compiled this list of zine libraries, super handy.

Footprinters: based in the north of England, this co-op printers are not only really ethical BUT zine friendly so can offer you a bunch of hints and tips when it comes to printing your zine.

Fanzines: keep up to date with all things zine related.

Sorry that was A LOT of words, but hopefully of some use! The two important things to remember are,
1. zines are a labour of love, they are more often than not non for profit, so don't expect to become a millionaire through making them 2. making zines is fun!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Men Who Like Women Who Smell Of Their Jobs

Thursday saw us attend the opening of all round art babe Alison Erika Forde's new exhibition, Men Who Like Women Who Smell Of Their Jobs*

The show is part of Manchester Literature festival and is a collaborative effort from Alison and writer David Gaffney.
Alison took inspiration from some of David's short stories in his Sawn-off Tales collection.
It's really interesting to see her work using the imagination of someone else, characters that weren't born from her brain but yet still her interpretation of them and undoubtedly her style.
The work is displayed with each short story that inspired it and is housed in the beautiful building that is The
John Rylands library.
Opening night had electronic duo
O>L>A playing music inspired by both the stories and the paintings, and even the venue. And it was a perfect fit to browse the works in such a decadent place as they played!

Here are a couple of not very good pictures I took (sorry Alison!)

The show runs until the end of January so there is no excuse not to check it out (especially if you have never been in John Rylands!)

When: Now- 31 January 2015 (Sun-Mon 12-5. Tue-Sat 10-5)
Where: John Rylands, Deansgate, Manchester.

*I spent a lot of the night joking about how I am indeed a woman who smells like her job A LOT!(I work at Lush!)

Friday, 5 September 2014

There's no fear when I'm in my room

If you head over to the Cut out + Keep website you can get a tour of Kandy's craft room....

Even though I have been in this room loads, I've slept on the floor there many times, I still love having a nosey at it. I love looking at people's workspace, I'm really interested to see what they do or do not clutter their desk and walls with!

It's not just workspaces I love looking at, there was a time I LOVED looking at teenagers bedrooms! As I got older that shifted to just looking at any number of spaces people loved.
For years I've always wanted to do something, a zine maybe, on people's spaces.

I think maybe the fact I have spent the majority of my life in the same room; sleeping, hanging out, obsessing, creating, dancing, having emo breakdowns and so much more, makes me even more interested in other's spaces, whether that is bedrooms, workspaces, safe spaces, open spaces (actually probably not as interested in these as there are no walls to hang tat), basically a space that makes you think 'There's no fear when I'm in my room'.
I hope that one day I will make a zine or some project on my own favourite space and those of others, it may take me another few years of thinking about it, but if it's the sort of thing you're interested in, just send me a gentle reminder next year or something!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

August fuuuuuuun!

August is always a busy month over at Sugar paper HQ, as three of my oldest and closest friends all have birthdays (one of them is Kandy) so I try not to book anything in in August except fun stuff. And as my two oldest friends both turned 30 within 4 days of each other I knew it would be a busy one...

It all kicked off with a surprise party for Holly in the big smoke.
I've spoken about Holly quite a lot on this blog, mostly because she is awesome but also because she made the cool person I am today (I am totally cool).

We met via Teletext in around 1999 I think when she requested some information on Bis (later I found out it was a way to reach other Bis fans) and I sent a late rude-ish letter in reply, we became super penpals and gig friends and badass dancefloor mates, co-radical cheerleader, she told be about cool music, zines, books, comics, people and now half our lives later she is still informing me on cool stuff, being the best dancer I know and putting up with me being rude!
So when a surprise party was being arranged to celebrate her 30th I couldn't wait! It was a total surprise to her right to the moment we all jumped out and said SURPRISE/HAPPY BIRTHDAY/RARARARARAHHH which was great (I am a terrible person who would have tried to Nancy Drew that shit out!)
Lot's of dancing was had and I got to play our favourite grrrl/9t6/emo/pop anthems. so much fun!

The next day we went to see The cornershop, but the previous blog post was all about that, so go read if you want to know more!

3 days later on Holly's actual birthday Kandy and I were jetsetting with my highschool bff Katie (and her little sister) to Italy to celebrate her 30th!

Katie I met in year 7 of highschool, she was in my form, we didn't become great friends until around year 8 or 9 though, we bonded over the fact we loved to laugh. The moment I think we knew we would be friends for life though was when we were stood in my kitchen and almost wet ourselves laughing about all the Farmhouse (pre smart price Asda budget brand) and No Frills (Kwik Save's budget brand) food we have to eat due to being right poor.

More than half our lives later, we still only live a ten minute walk from each other and love to laugh about being poor!

I had never really though about going to Italy but I had a great time.
We flew into Rome where we spent a couple of days. taking in the sites hoping on tourist buses, eating great food.
We also managed to squeeze in two exhibitions. We saw Andy Warhol at Palazzo Cipolla and Frida Kahlo at Scuderie del Quirinale. The Warhol one was fun and super surreal to see works that have been printed on everything from greetings cards to t-shirts, in their original form. I think we mostly enjoyed the 70s polaroids though.
Frida was also surreal in the sense that I never thought I would get to see so many of her works up close and personal! So good!

We left the heat of Rome and took a scenic train to Naples and then onto the coast, to Sorrento!
We spent the next few days, taking in sites, having a beach day, going on the Amalfi coast drive, seeing Italian villages that inspired home of The Prisoner, Portmeirion. SO MUCH BEAUTY!

We saw lot's of lemon related products, ate tons of ice cream, bought cheap pizzas that were super tasty, had great service from friendly locals, caught a tan, stayed up late and had the best time!
We even managed to get free Champagne, chips and cake on Katie's birthday!

We got home after midnight on the Sunday and it was back to work for me at 8.30 on the Monday, but still had (other people's) birthday fun to look forward to!
Kandy's birthday was Wednesday where we had a birthday band practice and I made her a lemon and almond Yayoi Kusama cake!

awesome gifts Alison Erika Forde painted!

Then I had work and hanging out with my sister before we headed to Leeds fest for the day on Saturday!
I had every intention of going to Leeds for the day on my own but then when Kandy saw the line up she wanted to come to, so we decided it was a birthday trip!

I was little worried my obsessive fan tendencies had overcome and I made the least sensible decision, seeing as I'm not a festival person and the last and only time I had done Leeds fest was for a day back in 2000, 14 years later and I had a great time!

It only rained a few times, our friend Em ended up going too, we saw Gerard Way (yes my main reason for going), Jimmy Eat World (twice in one day!), Lizzo, Brody Dalle and Paramore. Had such a great day, everyone we saw made me smile lots. Highlights were giving and receiving a cheeky smile to Jim Adkins as he left the tent after Gerard Way's set, seeing Gerard Way on stage, Lizzo and drinking hot chocolate standing next to my mates watching Paramore under the night sky!
I might even go back again, see you in 14 years Leeds!

One more fun thing to do this month (another old friend's 90s themed hen do at the weekend) and then it's back to school time, which means back to work for me.

Had such summer fun, getting old is THE BEST!