IZM 2017 Recap

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This year’s International Zine Month almost didn’t happen. For the better part of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep while lamenting my lack of time to do any decent zine production. For the rest of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep, while trying my best to engage in zine-related activities and missing out on even more sleep.

Obviously, as I mentioned in a previous post, I couldn’t do all the activities listed for IZM, and unfortunately, I was also unable to do the 24-Hour Zine Thing. So instead I made a short list of activities I could probably do. Here’s what I managed to do with this year’s IZM:

Cover - pic

Create a profile on the new We Make Zines website:
To be perfectly honest, I don’t like the new website. It doesn’t have as many options to edit the profile as the Ning one did. But I still created what minimal profile was allowed on the website, joined a few groups and added a few friends.

Read some of my unread zines that I got in trades:
I had a pile of them on my desk for further reading. Some of them were pretty good. But there were some that put me to sleep and gave me a headache. I struggled to keep reading them hoping that I might actually find something of interest in them, but I couldn’t do it. At some point, I just told myself, fuck it. If the zine doesn’t draw me in, I’ll just drop it and find something better to do with my time. I’m trying to find some place/zine library/people to send these zines to. I don’t generally like to throw zines away.

Send a few more zines to Quimby’s Bookstore:
They actually manage to sell some of my zines! And I recently asked my friend from Boston to send back to me all the leftover zines I sent there for the zine fest of 2015. So now that I had a bunch of extra copies, I decided to send some of them to Quimby’s. They were happy to restock them.

Revamp my Etsy shop:
There were a few edits I had to make for the items I posted, and add a new item (the full postcard collection of Alternative Jerusalem). I also edited some of the prices, amount of items in stock, and categories.

Set up an inventory system for all my zines:
I spent a whole day counting the copies of all my zines and postcards. I wrote it all by hand in a notebook but that proved to be a mistake whenever I reprinted an issue or sold some and the numbers had to be changed. So I took my notebook to work and set up a chart on Excel.

Send trading requests and trade:
I once traded with Katherine Montalto. She sent me some pretty cool zines plus a few small drawings she made. I loved her drawings so much that I decided to frame them and hang them in my daughter’s bedroom. I contacted her again this year and we agreed to trade again. I can’t wait to see what she sends me this time! I also contacted Xyendra Fragola and just recently sent them a couple of my zines. Xyendra and I have been in touch since 2004 through the defunct MSN Spaces (before it was taken over by Windows Live before it was taken over again by WordPress. This blog started off as an MSN Space). I followed Xyendra’s progress with IZM activities on Facebook and I’m excited to see what they’ll send me!

Make an attempt to write a full-length zine:
I actually got all the written part down for this zine. Unfortunately, I wrote it all on computer instead of by hand or typewriter as this would have taken me way too fucking long. Also, the subject matter of the zine is of a sensitive nature so it will not be published here or posted for sale on Etsy. I will share it with a few select people (you know who you are) once it’s laid out.

Design a catalog for my Etsy shop:
It took me much longer than I expected but I got it done! I’m very pleased with it. I will send it out along with zines sold or traded.

Twigz 3What I planned to do but didn’t manage was: Make a mini-zine, respond to penpal letters, and make a new logo/flyer for my Etsy shop. On the very last days of the month, I even came up with an idea for a stencil for a new patch. I drew the image with a sharpie, hoping to make it as thick as possible. My husband printed it on a transparency, and today I attempted to transfer it onto the exposure sheet. But it didn’t work. It could be that the artwork wasn’t dark enough or maybe the exposure sheet was too old. I ordered it sometime around summer of 2015. Just like camera film tends to expire, maybe the exposure sheet does too. So when I noticed it didn’t work, I made the drawing a little darker and thicker and ordered a refill of exposure sheets. I hope to be able to do the rest of the activities as well as try the stencils again during August or something.

Lack of sleep notwithstanding, I had a good time on IZM anyway. I loved having the chance to deal with zines, talk about zines, read zines, being somewhat artsy after a longass time of being completely out of the scene.

Peace, love and hoping for more extensive and intensive IZMs in future years.

Messy Catalog

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One of the activities I had lined up for International Zine Month was to design a catalog for my Etsy shop, PMS Mess.

PMS banner

I compiled all the photos of my zines and descriptions and tried to figure out how to organize it all by hand. I wanted the catalog to be all cut and paste and look pretty much like my perzine does. But every time I tried to see how to make the modules fit, my mind kept coming up with ideas that would only work with Adobe InDesign.

The descriptions are all computerized. If I want it manual, I would have to copy it all by hand or typewriter. Imagine how wonderfully bruised up my hands would be if I had to copy the descriptions for 16 issues of Fallopian Falafel, 13 issues of PMS, 8 postcards, plus several care packages. Imagine how long it would take me. I much rather use that time to make an actual zine.

That’s besides the fact that I would have to organize it in a way that would incorporate photos and backgrounds. Huge headache.

So InDesign it is. I used that program to lay out my first zine, Fallopian Falafel, and I was very happy with the result every time a new issue came out. I remember compiling all the submissions and laying them out one by one, playing around with the formatting and fonts, having an awesome time. The sense of accomplishment and elation was immediate and I would lose track of time every time I laid out a new issue.

This time was no different. After my husband took the baby to daycare, I spent the rest of my morning working on the catalog. I didn’t get very far because I spent quite a bit of time figuring out what I wanted to have on the cover and went back and forth between Photoshop and InDesign, setting the background, choosing the right font, changing it around until I was happy with it.

Again, just like it was with Fallopian Falafel, I had a blast and lost track of time.

“It’s already 11:00!” I exclaimed. “Fuck you clock!”

I only got to the 9th issue of FF, but since I have the margins down, it’s all Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V from now on.

Peace, love and InDizzy

ZZZZZines

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It doesn’t matter how tired I am, if I’m busy enough at work, I don’t feel it until I leave the office. So I don’t know what happened yesterday because I was rather busy at the office but kept falling asleep. I fell asleep while writing an email, dreamt that I am still writing the email and then woke up to find the email empty. I fell asleep while updating a document. I would open the documents folder, fall asleep, then wake up, try to figure out what it was that I wanted to do, then fall asleep again.

I’m sorry if you’re falling asleep reading this post but here is where it gets exciting.

This morning I said “FUCK THIS TIRED SHIT! I slept just fine last night. So, dear bed, you’re not winning this round. No naps for this badass today.” And I proceeded to do an IZM activity!

I spent a hearty two hours organizing my entire zine inventory, including all my Fallopian Falafel issues, all my PMS issues, all random mini zines and post-its zines, all my fliers, postcards, patches, pins and assorted DIY junk. My fingers got all dusty and I felt so accomplished after that and I didn’t even feel a hint of fatigue. I hope that as the month progresses, this new order that I now have on my zine shelf will inspire me to design a catalog and maybe even write a new zine.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love sleeping. LOVE IT! But not as much as I love IZM!

Peace, love and zine is for zombies.

Mini IZM 2017

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Minizine

Seeing as I have to share my identity as a zinester with my identity as a mother, I am unable to do all the activities of International Zine Month as I have in previous years. And I am certainly not able to do the 24-hour zine thing because that would involve missing out on even more hours of sleep than I already am. So that kinda sucks.

But since I do have some free mornings to engage in a few zinester activities, I decided to go IZM Lite. Here are a few things I have done and will do this month:

  1. Create a profile on the new We Make Zines website.
  2. Read some of the unread zines I keep in a pile on my desk.
  3. Send a few more copies of my zines to Quimby’s Bookstore.
  4. Revamp my Etsy shop
  5. Make a minizine or two
  6. Make an attempt to write a full-length zine
  7. Respond to penpal letters I also keep in a pile on my desk
  8. Set up an inventory system for all my zines and maybe make a catalog
  9. Make a new logo/flyer for my Etsy shop
  10. Send trading requests

Aside from that, I also made my first minizine last week! I was so happy to be zinestering again that it didn’t matter that the zine is small, contains little text and took only a couple of days to make. I was just happy to finally do something crafty with my hands. And of course, I had to make it about what has been going on in my life, so I made it about pregnancy.

I hope that in the future, once my daughter learns how to hold a crayon, we can make some zines together!

Peace, love and zine magic

Mama Zine

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I work shifts at the office. I obviously prefer the morning shift so that I can pick up my daughter from daycare when I’m done. But most of the time, I get the afternoon shift. During these days, I have nothing to do in the morning since my daughter is in daycare. Seeing the empty stroller and the empty crib and the empty playpen and my empty arms depresses me to no end and I just crawl back in bed and go to sleep until it’s time to go to work.

The other day however, I took advantage of my free morning to make the most awesome vegetable soup ever – potato, sweet potato, carrot, squash, zucchini, onion, fucking yum!

So then I thought that instead of being depressed and sleeping it off, why not “create” it off? Every time I feel depressed and engage in whatever creative endeavor, I always feel better. And since I’ve been putting off zine-production for far too long, maybe I can use my free mornings to do just that!!

I thought even if it’s just something quick, like a mini zine or a post-its zine, it could satisfy my hunger for zine-production in a jiff. I have just the topic for that and I know exactly what I want to write and how I want to make it.

Next week, I have free mornings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Definitely more than enough time to bang out a few wonderful little sparkles of zine magic. Oh man, can’t wait!

Peace, love and Dr. Art is still in business.

Bleeder of the Pack

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Happy International Women’s Day! Here’s to being a proud female, a fierce feminist, and a crafty creator! To all my fellow sisters of the revolution, you’re fucking beautiful!|

Treat yourself or the lovely women in your life to an IWD gift from the PMS Mess Etsy Shop. Use the coupon code IWD2016 and get 20% off any purchase!

PMS banner

PMS Mess is my new Etsy Shop. There, you will find all the items that I produce by hand, sell with freebies, and ship with love!

Messy and magical items in the shop include:

Purple Myrtle Squeegy – my PMS Perzine

PMS cover 1 PMS issue 4 DSC02449 DSC03041

Fallopian Falafel – my compilation zine

Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel

Alternative Jerusalem – a series of awesome postcards I designed

Draining1 Metal Proud1 Slut

Kickass care packages

PMS collection Care Package FF

All items come with freebies such as feminist zines or minizines or stickers or patches or my band’s CD!

Peace, love and feminist forever!

Lovin’ Oven

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NotebookI love my idea of trying out a new recipe once every two weeks. It keeps my baking inspiration going and every time I bake something awesome, the satisfaction I feel and my sense of accomplishment is almost as great as what I feel when I complete a zine!

And so I decided to start keeping my recipes in zine format in a DIY cookbook notebook that I created a while back. All the pages of that notebook were blank since I made it, but decided that every time I try a new recipe and it works out, I’ll reward myself by adding it to the notebook.

I made a section for regular salty meals, for lunch or dinner, and another section reserved solely for desserts. This Friday, after I owned Betty Crocker’s ass making the best chocolate cake in the world, I added the recipe to the desserts section and felt all giddy.

“Soon enough,” I thought “this notebook will be filled with goodies and be all dirty with flour smudges, oil drops and vanilla extract stains. Just like my mom’s cookbooks are.”

So far, in the salty recipes I have my famous cheesy Penne with broccoli recipe and my lentil-rice cakes with salsa recipe. And my desserts section features recipes for my chocolate cake and my chocolate chocolate chip muffins. Other recipes I already tried but have yet to add include my sweet potato soup, my sweet potato pie, my blueberry muffins and my carrot cake muffins with the cream cheese frosting.

I also glued a measurements and temperatures conversion chart on the inner back cover of the notebook which is super handy since most of the recipes I find are from the States, but I live in a country which uses grams instead of ounces and Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. In the “belongs to” section on the front cover I wrote “Cuisine a la Badass” and “strictly kosher”. I’m truly making this shit my own!

The following is a list of other recipes I plan to try out, unlock total ownage, and eventually add to the notebook.

  1. Vegetable stew recipe I found in a French cookbook
  2. Chocolate chip cookies – my mom’s recipe
  3. Blueberry crumb cake
  4. Blueberry cookies
  5. Oatmeal cookies – a recipe I’m supposed to get from my coworker soon
  6. Oreo cake

The Oreo cake will be my ultimate challenge to prove to myself if I’m really Moroccan Mama material. The recipe says total time is 4 hours. That’s 4 hours worth of headbanging during preparation and baking. I’m ready.

Peace, love and wake and bake.