Wreck & Roll

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My International Zine Month is slowly becoming a DIY Month, like I had back in 2012. Although not as elaborate, I am still finding myself doing different things. Aside from zine-making, I am engaging in the utter destruction of Wreck this Journal (more on that later).

I am also keeping up with my Writing Thursdays. This morning was yet another brilliant morning. I sat on the living room sofa with my husband’s laptop on my lap, typing away about anything at all that made my heart go pitter-patter.

Of course, I am also keeping up with blog-writing and journal-writing. Plus, I’m trying to add some drawings into the mix.

Yesterday morning, I met up with my friend for art morning. I bought my copy of Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith a while ago but never got around to decimating it, so I thought art morning would be a good time to get going. If you search “wreck this journal” on Google Images, you would understand why I found it so appealing. The ways that people use to destroy their copy are above and beyond anything that you could imagine. Using paint, crayons, scissors, glue, glitter, washi tape, needle and thread, hair, and absolutely anything, they turned the book into nothing short of a masterpiece!

I don’t know if I could produce anything as amazing as what I saw, but I thought of giving it a shot anyway. If anything, it might turn out looking like a zine, which is fucking fabulous!

I also don’t know how long it would take me to ransack the fucking thing, but I wish that if I managed to create (i.e. destroy) anything decent, I’ll post the results on here. In any case, destruction is another form of art I want to do this IZM/DIY month.

Peace, love and on with the jackhammer!

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Zooted Zinester

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I just read some of the really old posts I wrote (like from 2005) and I thought “Hmm, maybe I should write something like that again.” And then I remembered, I’m not 22, I’m not living with my parents, I’m not single, I’m not a student, I’m no longer a pothead, I don’t live in Canada, I’m not a journalist, and I’m not childless. I’m a completely different person and whatever words I put down on paper will be lightyears away from the ones I did all those years ago.”

I do have fun with the zine I’m making for International Zine Month, though. And that’s good. Again, the stuff I wrote so far is by no means brilliant, but the mere fact of creating and zine-producing is totally exciting as it’s always been.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had discovered zines earlier. Back when I lived in Canada, I could have attended some zine fests, which I never get a chance to do now that I live halfway across the planet (the Boston Zine Fest in 2015 notwithstanding).

What would I have called my zine? At 12, probably something Michael Jackson related. At 16, something Marilyn Manson related. At 18, undoubtedly something riot grrrl related. At 22, more like something weed related, as Buddah was at the center of my universe back then. In fact, I remember an assignment I had to do for my computer applications class was a newsletter I designed with a bunch of made-up articles about Mary Jane. I called it The Daily H (hence the logo I put on all my zines reading “Daily H Publications”).

A newsletter about drugs called the Daily H could be misinterpreted as a newsletter about heroin. But no. I used the letter H to stand for my name, as Hadass is also a plant and the newsletter was about a plant. The tagline of the newletter was “Get your daily dose of vitamin H!” Have some weed, and have some hadass while you’re at it.

Journalism school was fun, so I bet I could have totally dug being a zinester back then. Maybe smoke a doobie right before, to make the writing sound like the ramblings of a stone-cold stoner.

Reading my old diaries and high school agendas today is fun. But I bet a stoner’s zine would have been hilarious.

Peace, love and H is for High

The 31-Day Zine Thing

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International Zine Month 2018. Fuck yeah.

So being a mother, I barely have five minutes to spare for anything at all. But five minutes is all it takes for me to write one page of a quarter-page size zine. So here are (is) my plans (plan) for International Zine Month 2018:

  1. Make a zine

That’s it. Just that. If I can do that in 31 consecutive days, I will be one super fucking happy zinester. I’ll spend about five minutes of each day to write/draw/collaging one page about whatever. If I keep at it for the full 31 days, I will have a nice full-length zine by the end of July. And that will be rad!

Also, I’m totally up for zine trades if anybody’s interested. IZM is totally the time for sharing zine love. So hit me up!

Peace, love and cutie booty, just because.

The 24-Hour Nothing Thing

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This is like the fifth blog post I’ve been trying to write. The other four drafts have all ended up in the trash section of my admin page. For some reason, my writing has turned stale and my level of inspiration is so low, I’m tasting dirt. Another piece of paper gets ripped out of the typewriter, crumpled and tossed.

Anyway, I read a few of my posts from a few years ago (because they’re always so much better than the recent ones) and came across a post I wrote when I first signed up to the 24-Hour Zine Thing challenge. It was my very first time and I was excited at the prospect of staying up all day and all night and doing nothing besides working on a zine.

Since then, I have participated in this challenge three times and produced three motherfucking AMAZING issues of my zine.

But since 2016, I’ve done shitall. Throughout July, as International Zine Month was in full swing, I tried doing something zine-related. I came across posts from other zinesters who were taking part in it and also reread my older posts from my past experiences with IZM. I couldn’t believe how inspired, creative and driven I was, and how I’m the exact opposite of it these days. Even if I manage to create a zine or something here and there, I still don’t feel that enormous sense of accomplishment I felt in the past. Inspiration is still super difficult to come by, and my writing still sucks ass.

There is no way I could participate in the 24-Hour Zine Thing ever again. I know that. But as I was reading that old post I thought “Why not do it anyway? Not in the conventional no-sleep-no-shower kind of way, but in increments. Keep the spontaneous no-prior-planning aspect of it, but take the necessary “breaks” that come with the territory of taking care of a toddler.”

But then I think, how is that any different from making a regular zine? The point of a 24-hour zine is to make it in the space of 24 consecutive hours, start to finish. As it stands, the only way I could make a 24-hour zine is by leaving my baby in my husband’s care, temporarily move to a remote location, with no reception or internet connection, and switch off the maternal part of my brain that is on constant worry-mode.

No way that is happening.

Inspiration is still miles away. I am absolutely disgusted by how stale and moldy my writing has become. And the only thing that could potentially turn any miserable spark of inspiration I have left into an all-consuming blaze (i.e. the 24-Hour Zine Thing) is desperately out of reach.

Fuck this. If I can’t write, I might as well read. Thank Goddess for my constant flow of books.

Peace, love and this is what the end of words feels like.

Zinesteritis

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Zinesteritis. Definitely a virus worth spreading!

I planned to have an art night or whatever crafty event with a couple of friends on Tu Bishvat. The friends invited are all mothers (all but one) and living on opposite sides of the country, so finding a time and place for the art event, plus an arrangement for the kids that would work for everyone was tricky, which is why only one friend showed up.

However, it didn’t take away from the awesomeness of the time I had and only served to encourage both me and my friend to try and set a future date where more people would show up. That’s for later. But for now, I was just happy to be creating again.

After spending a rather frustrating night where I couldn’t fall asleep because of my on-and-off problems with insomnia for one thing, and my daughter’s inability to sleep due to intense teething for another, I was sure that this morning’s art endeavor would go down the drain and I would simply fall asleep on my pile of papers and art supplies.

But no. Quite the opposite. I had such a blast, I totally forgot my sleepiness. And in the spirit of zinestering the winter blues away, I even forgot it was winter and just how much I hate it. Not only did I manage to produce several collages for my upcoming silent issue of PMS Perzine, but I also taught my friend how to make a mini zine! It was her first time making a zine and I gave her my copy of Overthrow the Status Quo zine by my friend (which I already wrote about here) for inspiration and to show her that anybody can make a zine. ANYBODY! And she did, and it came out even more amazing than I expected. For a newbie zinester, she wrote one biching zine! She packed so much power into such a small zine, I was totally blown away that this was actually her first shot at zine-production.

Not to mention that she also felt rather proud of herself and proved to herself that yes, she too can make a zine. I totally know what that feels like. I remember the pride I felt when I first held my first zine in my hands. There is no other feeling like it.

“Not only can we make human beings, we can also make zines,” she stated in a coincidental rhyme.

So yes, indeed an awesome, productive and satisfying morning. I can’t wait for the next time I get to engage in badass zinestering, and hopefully have some more people to share it with.

Next up for my silent issue, hand drawings. I’ll try to use color crayons this time.

Peace, love and yes, laundry basket, overthrown.

In My Heart of Arts

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61574_430831122470_2287989_nMy mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.

Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.

We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.

So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”

And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.

Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.

I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.

“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.

But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.

These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.

Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.

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.