Sunday, May 27, 2012

The old man is snoring.

It's raining.  It's been raining all morning.  It's dreary, and cool and kinda miserable.  But you know what?  I still have needs.

Nothing complicated, just a little zing of colour.  This is just a thrown-together page I did in my regular journal.  I had used marker on the other side of the paper and it bled through, so I covered it up with a page I took out of this old 1920s dictionary from England:

Then I put down a coat of clear gesso on top of it, so it wouldn't just soak up any moisture, and also to strengthen it a little - this paper is pretty old and fragile.

I started fooling around with watercolours but that just gave me a pretty background; I wanted MORE.  So I checked out my Pinterest "inspiration" board, because I was drawing a blank.  I found this sea plant and doodled it onto my page, then coloured it in with Prismas.  Turns out the clear gesso gave the paper a LOT of tooth, and by that I mean it really chewed up a ton of pencil crayon while I was colouring.  The good part is that the colour went on beautifully.

It was still too bland so I used a new Sharpie brush marker to outline it and an old Sharpie white paint pen to draw on the droplets.  Then some stamps and more white prisma, and voila.  It's not refined or amazing, but I fulfilled that gnawing need to put down some colour on something.  And since it's not in one of my "ART" journals, I was okay with just hacking around and not really caring much if it turned out or not.

In fact, now that I've done this page there are several things I would do differently, but hey, who cares.  It's not even on decent paper, and it was just something to do on a quiet Sunday morning.

For what it's worth, these are my favourite bits:

Okay, now YOU go make something.  Then report back.

Love Shelley!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another sneak preview!

So the zine is almost finished.  I'm just working on the front and back covers and then I get to work on assembling it into a form that people can actually read - not just the loose papers that I have now.

Check out these two pages:

I really have these chickens on my mind right now because THEY'RE COMING ON FRIDAY.  And I am not at all ready!!!  Do you think they'll mind if I keep them in a deck box until we figure out something for a chicken coop?  Hopefully they won't be picky guests...

One of the reasons I had so much fun making this book was because I actually dug deep into my stash of vintage treasures, and used a lot of the one-of-a-kind things I've been hoarding.  It was easy to use them, because I knew I would be printing copies and therefore they aren't "wasted" because lots of people will be able to see them.  That probably sounds neurotic and weird, but that's the way my mind works.  When I find special things I always want to wait for JUST THE RIGHT PROJECT to use them on, so that they won't be hidden away for perpetuity.  Happily, this felt like the right project!

There are all kinds of goodies in here:
 - tabs from a 1957 dictionary
 - pieces from a 1960 weather report
 - a newspaper clipping that I have been carrying around (no joke) for 13 years
 - a CN Rail switch list from an antique shop that I always look at but never use
 - a page from a 1930s copy of David Copperfield
 - bits from an old envelope (1950s?) that used to have a life insurance policy inside
 - a page from a 1960s first aid manual

This didn't even put a dent in my stash, but I think there will be a second issue of this zine (I already have a few ideas) so I'll just go on faith here and keep on making pages.

I also drew quite a few illustrations in this thing.  They went so easily (most of them) that it just felt like it was meant to be.  Do you ever find that?  I guess I was in the zone... it was a great feeling.  If you do any kind of creative thing, you will agree that it doesn't always work that way, and it's a huge treat when it does.  Best feeling in the world!!

Okay, gotta jet.  Lots to do today!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Go hard or go home

Hi guys!

Yesterday we did a bunch of yard work, cutting off all the wayward branches and shoots off of the trees around the property.  Now when I cut the grass on the riding mower, I won't have as much trouble as I did last year, with tree branches swiping my hat off my head and my earbuds out of my ears... it was getting downright annoying.  It almost felt like the trees were bullying me.  I'm a delicate flower, you know.

ANYway, I often wear whatever work gloves are lying around, but none of them fit well.  They're always too big and fall off and just generally aggravate me.  So yesterday I finally got a pair in my size!

Then I customized them, because, well why not??

What do you think?  (Of the gloves, not the photography work - my 7-year-old snapped this shot for me.)


I was originally going to go with THUG LIFE, just for my own amusement... but the kids immediately got in on the game and got into the sharpies for their own work gloves, and I figure the neighbours have enough to talk about.

Hope you had a great weekend too,

Love Shelley!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Just Burn it Down

Do you guys know what a zine is?  I was going to attempt to explain it but here's the wikipedia definition instead (why reinvent the wheel, right?)

zine (play /ˈzn/ zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier.
A popular definition includes that circulation must be 5,000 or less, although in practice the significant majority are produced in editions of less than 1,000, and profit is not the primary intent of publication.
Zines are written in a variety of formats, from computer-printed text to comics to handwritten text (an example being Cometbus). Print remains the most popular zine format, usually photo-copied with a small circulation. Topics covered are broad, including fanfiction, politics, art and design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, single topic obsession, or sexual content far enough outside of the mainstream to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media. The time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from sale of zones. 

I've done a couple before (one about the summer of 2008 and one called Letter by Letter - a mini-zine) but right now I'm working on a bigger one.  It'll be 24 pages when all is said and done.  That didn't sound like much when I started but it turns out that it's kind of a lot of work.  Fun, awesome, absorbing work, but still pretty time-consuming.  It's a half-size book, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2".

This one is all about meeeeeee, so self-centred, and how I'm trying to become more self-sufficient.  I didn't realize how much I had to say about the subject, so it's a little more text-heavy than I anticipated, but since it's almost writing itself, I guess I can't complain.

Hey, you know who else published their own zine?  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.  Yup, I'm in good company, although I doubt my contribution will be quite as literary as his.  Plus his was for psychiatric patients.... hey, maybe we do have something in common after all!  HA!

Anyway, take a look at this sneak preview and see what you think:


I'll let you know when it's done, maybe put up a few more pages for you to take a look at.  Ultimately I'll probably be selling it in my etsy shop so you can have a copy of your very own if you would like.  It's not a how-to thing at all; in fact maybe you can get the benefit of my mistakes!  That sounds worthwhile, right?

And just so you know I let my sister read this before I put it up and she was both amused and horrified.  Which is pretty much what she thinks of me in general, so I guess my real personality is shining right through on these pages.

I guess that's a good thing...

Love Shelley!