Tuesday, June 17, 2008

cut outs

I am very taken with these French and Italian vintage paper toys and models that some generous person is putting up on flickr. They are so very charming and fun and easy to put together. I especially love the newspaper/magazine girl. Her little kiosk is so neat.

They make me want to make stories up for them and then do videos, coming in close to each person while telling you the going-ons of everyone waiting for the train.

I really need to get some better scissors though before I do that. Mine are too big to get into the small spaces.

I have to admit I am pretty taken with this glue, as well. It is called Cocciona and it is imported form Italy and it smells like almonds! Makes gluing so much more pleasant. It works good, too. You can get it from Little Pink Studio.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How to make a Zine

There are many good resources out there on how to make a zine, Alex Wrekk's Stolen Sharpie Revolution probably being the best choice. But, it occurred to me that there may be people out there who are like me and don't like reading directions. Although the zine guides available are great and well done, I am the kind of person who would not read it and just start doing it. I am pretty much like this with everything except putting together Ikea furniture.

I started making zines in 1994 without really having seen one (except the fanzines they had at Tower Records) and with no knowledge of how to do it. I had a word processor back then that typed the pages. I would have the text reduced to the size I needed it and then would literally cut and paste it onto a template. I have graduated to a computer now, but in many ways I still do it like I did then.

So, If you want the no-frills down and dirty easy way to make a zine, here it is. This is the way to get it out when you want tactile control and are kind of lazy and impatient like me.

Size: If you want the easiest size to make a zine, choose the standard size paper folded in half like a booklet. This is called 1/2 size. When it comes to putting it together you will be glad you chose this size, no cutting involved and real easy.

If you want smaller. Choose the 1/4 size, which is a standard paper cut in half (either way) and then folded.

Content: Type up all the stuff you want on your computer or typewriter. Scan all the images you want. Remember paragraphs and don't discount the value of white space. It makes it easier to read to have a little break once in a while, no matter how punk rock your zine is. Very few people want to read big blocks of text and images all jammed together. If you don't have access to a scanner, get a real good copy of the image you want and make it a few different sizes, so you will have a choice.

Layout: If you are doing it on the computer, write it up in a word program (I am sure there are better programs, but this is the easy and accessible way, remember). Make the page landscape (if that is what you want, let's assume you are doing a standard 1/2 page zine) and put in 2 columns. Now you have 2 pages. This way you can see what it is going to look like. If one article is taking up too much room you can change font size or the font to get it to fit how you want.

The word program gives you a view choice and you can look at it at 50% or something like that to get an idea of where it lands on the page. You can also, of course, insert images, but I am trying to keep it to the easiest down and dirty way to make a zine.

Once you get all your articles the way you want and have your images printed (don't forget headers for the articles, if you didn't include them) and images ready you can start laying out. Here is what I have done in the past and it worked pretty good.
  • I get card stock as the base and fold them in half. You can use paper, too, and I have, but the card stock works better. I basically guess about how many pages I need.
  • I layout the zine from the first inside page (save cover for last so it doesn't get messed up). I use a removable glue stick, sometimes it is called post-it glue stick, because in my experience I have needed to move things around a lot.
  • I lay it out how I want, changing if need be. As I get closer to the middle pages I reevaluate to see if I really need this many pages or do I need more? If I need more I add to middle, if less I take some out of middle.
  • Continue laying out zine, when it is all done and you are definitely sure it is how you want, glue it down with real glue.

I know this probably seems so archaic that this is how I did it for so long and mostly how I still do it. But, it works for me and I like the physical act of laying it out, although my text is often crooked. I also kind of like the panic of having one or two pages left with nothing for it, sometimes what I do with that one page is some of my favorite stuff.

Some tips that are very important:

  • Margins. make sure you allow at least a 1/2 margin around all your pages or your text will get cut off and that looks like crap and people can't read it.
  • Keep the pages really clean, in a file folder, and be clean with the glue so they don't stick together. Sometimes I have even used wax paper between them.
  • Number the pages. This tip is for me, too, as I seldom do it and I always regret it.
  • Get yourself a deadline, like a upcoming zine symposium, perhaps. It helps with the motivation. Even if you don't table you can use your zine to trade and go home with lots of new zines and comics.
  • Make sure you are done laying out and copying your zine at least a week before the deadline. Then begin collating, folding and stapling. You might find some pages missing or something you need to redo, so you need the extra time.
I guess that covers the basics. Now go out there and make a zine! If you have any questions let me know.

Friday, June 13, 2008

current resident #3 done

Issue number 3 of Current Resident is now in the shop.

Each copy has a different residence address written on the back. I wanted to make each one a little different.

The new orange table I got at Ikea is a great background. I will have to remember that.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

some blog fun

Creature Comforts blog has been around for only a year and has quite a following. To celebrate her 1 year birthday of the blog, CC is having an amazing drawing. The winner is chosen June 28th and some of my favorites, including ohmycavilier, shim and sons, skinnylaminx have contributed, as well as lots of other shops that are new to me and look so wonderful.

I really like this print from Lab Partners:

You can sign up here. You have to include a favorite quote. My favorite of the ones listed so far is:

"We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -- Joseph Campbell

Not the most unique quote, but a good one that I like a lot.

Also, if you don't already visit Bloesem you should check it out. She is doing a weekly gallery post and it is filled with lovely handmade things you may not have known about.

I love these linen pieces from coolcitrusbasil

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Portland Zine Symposium year 7!

It is hard to believe that it is already year 7 of the Portland Zine Symposium! I attended the first one in 2001 and have participated ever since. I just reserved my table and now I only need to finally finish up Current Resident, make a whole new issue of Figure 8 (this one is going to have a little twist to it!) and copy lots of old zines - all in 2.5 months! Yipes. The dates this year are August 23rd and 24th. You can find out more here. I hope you can come!

Monday, June 9, 2008

sale at ponyboy press

From Now till June 15th! All craft items (zines not included, sorry) get free shipping! If you order, just wait and I will send you an updated invoice. Come in for a visit!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

5 things I really like

1. sheer post-it notes. Although I haven't gotten any of these yet, I can see how they would satisfy me on many levels, especially when used with a borrowed book. via unclutterer blog

2. Mini pies baked in glass jars. They look like a lot of work, so I am thinking I probably won't do them, but they are so beautiful and you can freeze them out one at a time for a single little pie. via notmartha blog via many other blogs.

3. The different interview types of series that are done on the blog poppytalk. Right now she is doing ones on the Art of Display. Look in the archives for the studio spaces interviews and the ones on collecting.

4. Wil Wheaton's blog. Yeah, Wesley Crusher. I have been really into reading it and it doesn't really have to do with my epic undertaking of viewing Star Trek:TNG all seasons and films in order. I somehow stumbled across the link and have just been enjoying it, although some geeky stuff goes over my head.

5. Google Reader. I love it. It makes keeping up with all the blogs I read so much easier. It is the best!

Monday, June 2, 2008

the iprc turns 10

Last month was the 10 year anniversary of the Independent Publishing Resource Center or the IPRC as we all call it. The IPRC is an amazing place, one of the things that makes Portland so great. Imagine a clubhouse where you have everything you need to make zines, books and art. There are letterpress machines, computers and scanners, copiers and drawers and drawers filled with crafty things. It is also home to probably the best zine library on earth. And all the people hanging out there are into the same geeky stuff you are! It is pretty keen. I found the IPRC in late 2000, only a few months after I arrived and I knew I had found a home away from home.

In honor of their anniversary the IPRC had a show up for the last month showcasing some of the zinesters and the zines that have been a big part of the iprc for the last ten years. I was very happy to be asked to be a part of this showing. I finally got over there this weekend to take a couple pictures before it came down.

Many of the zinesters that were a part of this display have moved out of town or moved on. It was strange seeing us all lined up there. I used to see all of them so much more regularly. It really does feel like the end of an era. But, as they say, all good things must end.

Luckily, the IPRC continues and a whole new group of people can come together and bond over zines. Meanwhile, I am still here in Portland and still working on my zines. They may not come as fast, but I am still cutting and pasting. The new Current Resident will be out soon - finally!

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