Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making a Miniature Book // by MissRuth

Making a Miniature Book // by MissRuth
Originally uploaded by zineproject2009

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Making a Miniature Book

All rights reserved © MissRuth    at Flickr

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heart Handmade Holiday Zine

Heart Handmade Holiday Zine: "It may be the ultimate cliche, but there truly IS something special about the Holidays.

And for those of us in the handmade community, this time of year brings an extra layer of excitement as we see an incredible explosion of creativity from the artists and designers in our world.

It's that sense of creativity energy that inspired me to put together the Heart Handmade Holiday Zine - which is available...

(1) as a preview (via issuu.com/hearthandmade), split up into three parts: part I, part II, part III or...

(2) download the zine in three parts: part I, part II, part III
warning: the files are kind of large, but I promise it'll be worth the wait!!

The Zine includes an inspiring collection of stories, wishes, tips, recipes and gift ideas from some of the talented people who've contributed to Heart Handmade in 2008. Plus a few of my personal favorite artists have donated print-your-own art prints and gift tags!!! Yay!!

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had putting it together. Let's raise a Holiday toast to the Handmade Community!


PS. I'm taking off for the rest of the week!!! I'll see you back here on Monday - a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this Thursday and Friday!!


Pikaland's 9 Tips to be More Creative

Pikaland's 9 Tips to be More Creative:

Amy Ng, Pikaland blogger and artist collaborator extraordinaire, has many a helpful article on creativity, business and life in her zine, The Good to Know Project. Amy hosted a Virtual Lab as part of our Holiday Workshops for Sellers series on Getting Out of the Box (you can find the recap here). I asked Amy to share more tips on sparking the creative process with Storque readers. Here they are...

About fueling creativity:
  1. Creativity is fueled by experiences, sights, sounds and smells. Sitting still won’t bring new ideas in; experimenting and trying new things will jog your creativity.

  2. I maintain a certain pattern to the day, with my morning bath signaling to me that I am starting my work with a fresh mind and spirit. After breakfast is when my day officially begins — I turn on the radio and look at my to-do list (see #3).

  3. I jot down notes every night before I go to bed about what I need to accomplish the next day. This way, I’m actively placing my worries onto paper so I can go to bed not fretting about what needs to be done.

  4. I have a box labeled for each different project I’m involved in, so I don’t worry about misplacing things or ideas. (This one was inspired by The Creative Habit.)

  5. I also keep a different sketchbook for different topics and ideas. I have one for business, one for random sketches and another for my writing. And in these sketchbooks I sometimes allocate different sections so that my thoughts don’t get messed up too much (there isn’t a search function on them, like a computer has!).

  6. I throw these sketchbooks all over the place, so when I have a thought I scribble it down quickly.

  7. I try and find the pattern between things, and connect the dots between random things just for fun when I’m stuck in a rut. For instance, when I see the color yellow around me, I start to focus on finding yellow things — stuff that I didn’t notice before will show themselves to me. I’m heightening my sense of awareness because I’m narrowing my focus to one thing.

  8. Doing things differently helps. I love calligraphy, but sometimes I seem to be stuck in a rut — it seems that I could only write in a certain way! So I stop, and see what others are doing, and try to analyze what I could do differently. A little more pressure on the downward stroke? Or how about adding more flourishes to that letter? It took me about a week of constant practice to free up my hand. If you’re stumped for ideas, have a look at Keri Smith’s 100 ideas to get you started.

  9. Practice, practice, practice. Creativity is like a muscle that you need to flex regularly. I dread staring at a blank piece of paper, but everything begins with that first stroke. I’m a perfectionist, so I train myself to not use erasers at all when I’m drawing. And if I do make mistakes, I start on a new piece of paper — that way I let new ideas in and not just dwell on what I previously did.


Here are some books in my collection that I pick up whenever I need a boost:
  1. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: I love this book. Twyla is a dancer and choreographer, but a lot of the things she has to say cuts across all disciplines.

  2. How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith: Keri reminds everyone to put on their explorer goggles and look at the world with new eyes — I did a review of her book here.

  3. Living Out Loud by Keri Smith: Although the book is a little girlish for guys, I love the article she wrote about how to find what you love to do.

  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: This is an amazing book that I pick up and read again and again. The message is simple — you won’t find what you’re looking for until you follow through on your dreams.

  5. How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees and Nicholas Blechman: I like how they talk to illustrators and get their feedback on running a creative business.

  6. Lines & Shapes by Lena and Mav: Amazing artists and beautiful, beautiful pictures. I have volume no. 5 and I treasure it.

  7. The first issue of the Good to Know project: I like keeping a copy on my bookshelf so I can read up on what my friends have to say about being creatively stuck.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season greetings...

even though i've mentioned in a previous post about my non-religious/catholic beliefs, therefore being atheist, it's hard to escape the social habits of wishing everybody:


.................... yey! ....................

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where do zines come from?

[continuous updating // last update: 2009-12-22]

World Map - countries where i got zines from

visited 5 states (2.22%)
Create your own visited map of The World

so far, i've been buying/getting zines directly from their makers, from:
Canada, USA, Australia, Portugal, United Kingdom, ...

Map of the USA - states where i got zines from

visited 8 states (16%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

so far, i've been buying/getting zines directly from their USA makers, from:
California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, ...

i had been wanting this sort of maps thing for a while now, mostly to track down the countries/places where my zines come from. it's my alternative version of those "Visited Countries" maps yey! 
with some more time, i can add other countries, since i'm not including the zines i buy through mail orders from distros.
as to the USA State's map, i've included this one because the majority of the zines i get are from the USA...

Friday, December 18, 2009

wishlist: This is Not a Book


being a fan of Keri Smith's work, this is her latest book published... and the one left to complete my collection of my Keri's selected books for "fueling up" creativity!

more on Keri Smith and her work at www.kerismith.com

How To - make a Zine from one sheet of paper

from the same inspiring website as the previous post - Doodlers Anonymous - comes another interesting link. it's not something never-seen before, actually, it's a bit of a re-run hahah
(i mean, i've posted about this before, with video links included... blah, so much for original tutorials!)

A Zine from One Sheet of Paper

Many thanks to Super Duper for putting this all together. You can
download the art (with complete instructions) here »

be sure to check out that Super Duper link, and even browse around the website a little ;-) they have a category specially for ZINES!

[ ok, i'll spoil all the fun and give you the direct link http://superduper.shapesofsweetness.com/category/zines/ ]

DA Coloring Book, Vol. 1

DA Coloring Book, Vol. 1: "

This is it, it's real. In three weeks time we put together a coloring book like you've never seen before. It features the drawings of 29 artists from around the globe.

I am so proud of this project and want to thank everyone who submitted a drawing. Now you can get your hands on it and fill it in with every ounce of ink you have lying around.

See the inside and all participating artists by clicking here or buy a copy today (while supplies last) with a portion of the proceeds going to the International Child Art Foundation.

Doodlers Anonymous Coloring Book, Volume 1

32 pages printed at 8.5'x11'

Left: Welcome Letter by OKAT
Right: Stacey Walker

Left: Conor Finnegan
Right: Josh LaFayette

Left: Nate Williams
Right: John Malta

Left: Abigail Daker
Right: uberkraaft

Left: Max F.
Right: Gemma Correll

Left: Tuomas Karkkainen
Right: Natsuki Otani

Left: Bony Bünz
Right: Simon Mills

Left: Lisa O'Hara
Right: Vaughn Fender

Left: Chris Piascik
Right: Kylo Coughlin

Left: Will Bryant
Right: Cassie Hester

Left: Pierre Antoine Thierry
Right: Liquidpig

Left: Emmi Ojala
Right: Jamie Tao

Left: Laura Alvarez
Right: Kate Ferguson

Left: Jolby
Right: OKAT

Left: Melissa Jones
Right: Hayley Warnham + Artist credits

Cover (front + back) as spread

Doodlers Anonymous Coloring Book, Volume 1

32 pages printed at 8.5'x11'

Thursday, December 17, 2009


whoa! we got ourselves a little earthquake in Portugal tonight, around 1:35am.
everything is fine, it was just a scare for some of us...

me - was lying on the living-room couch, watching tv...
i heard some weird noise, sort of a thump, but i thought it was the wood furniture cracking with the heat from the fireplace. right after the noise, the little birds moved nervously and started tweeting inside their birdcage, like they do when they get frightened with something. next, i felt the couch shaking "smoothly", almost imperceptible if it wasn't for the noise i'd hear and the birds reaction, and i knew immediately it was an earthquake. a pretty "mild" one, but, still... an earthquake. the first "shake" lasted for what seemed like 2-3 seconds, and then a second shake, for about 5 seconds. but i stayed calm, what else was i supposed to do?

dad - was siting in a chair, on his computer, a bit far from me and the couch, headphones on his ears. he was caught by the birds noises and looked at me to try to understand what had happened. i didn't wanted to shout out loud «dad, it's just an earthquake, that's why the birds woke up scared like hell», it was past 1:30am... i just sat on the couch, and after the second shake, i got up and went to tell him what i'd felt and what was going on. he never felt any shakes.

mom - was in her bed, trying to fall asleep. she felt the shake(s) pretty bad, as she got up and came running into the living-room, right after i felt the second shake. poor thing, she was trying to fall asleep and suddenly she feels the bed shaking and realizes it's an earthquake. pretty scary for someone dealing with depression, bipolar disease, and anxiety disorders.

birdies - were in their birdcage, probably asleep, because we had the cage covered up with a cloth so they can sleep even if we're still in the living-room (the lights are out though). since animals usually feels these things before humans, it's pretty normal that the two little canaries felt it before us. after the scare, my dad lifted the cloth and talked to them for a bit, trying to calm them down.

strangely though, i didn't hear any of the many dogs we have in the building. no barking or howling. i live in the top floor, the 5th, and in almost all floors belows us, neighbors have dogs, there's about 6 or 7 dogs in the whole building.
after a while, i looked out the window and there wasn't anyone in the street. neither did i hear any noises or voices coming from other neighbors. so i guess they most of been really asleep, or maybe they take sleeping pills too hahaha.
and to think i was going to try and take a double or triple dose [of sleeping pills] tonight to fall asleep... it's almost 4:30am and, though i feel a bit sleepy and tired, inside i think i'm a bit anxious due to the earthquake. i don't think i'm scared, but maybe that's just conscious thinking, my unconscious is probably feeling something else ;-)
and i wanted to try to go to bed earlier tonight, but i guess tonight's spoiled anyway.


oh, in case anybody's wondering about the details of the shake, here's some news i found on international online news sources:

Dec 17, 2009

Quake shakes Portugal, Spain

MADRID - AN EARTHQUAKE measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale shook southern Spain and Portugal early on Thursday, Spain's seismological institute said.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at 2.37am (0137 GMT, 9.37am Singapore time) was in the Atlantic Ocean about 100km south-west of Cape St Vincent in Portugal and at a depth of 58km, the National Geographic Institute said.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 5.7 magnitude on its different moment magnitude scale. It said the quake struck at a shallow depth of 10km. -- AFP

and that was it...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


only two days since my last post and it seems like it's almost been a week.
these last 2-3 days, since monday, the temperatures went down, in some places in Portugal even reaching negative degrees, where around in Matosinhos it was between 4º-6º degrees (that's about 39º-43º Fahrenheit degrees), specially at night.
all this lovely chill and brain-freezing weather affected me more than what i thought it would. i guess it's because i spent the last two winters [note: i know it's not Winter yet, but it feels as cold as that!] working, out of the house... I thought rainy days were bad for depression, but cold freezing days aren't that much better! it's a huge sacrifice to get out of bed and move around the house. it's not that easy to come to my laptop either (now that i've had it set-up in our "office" in the living-room since last weekend), because the heat from our "metal boxed" fireplace hardly reaches this corner of the living-room. having the laptop on the table near the fireplace doesn't seem like the best idea either. taking it back to my bedroom isn't that much of a good idea because i'd freeze in there, so, i'm stuck with this.

this chill even gave me a headache, a couple of nights ago. i hardly ever get headaches, i'm more the migraine type of girl, so realizing that what i had was a headache caused by the cold wasn't very pleasant.

i was trying to get my sleep schedule a little back to normal, trying not to go to bed so late and getting up a bit earlier in the morning. but the double-dose of sleeping pills doesn't seem to work for me anymore. am i gonna have to use the "3 pills" tactic? because, we're talking about benzodiazepines, and they're well-known for causing dependence and tolerance over the time they're used...
i know the 3 dose will work for sure (as i've used it a couple of times when i felt worse), but my problem is i never know when it's the right time to take the pills so they are efective and give sleep that makes me want to go to bed. sometimes it's already 2am or 3am and i think about taking one to get sleepy and stop me from staying up for much longer. but then i'm afraid it might be too late and that taking a sleeping pill that late will make me sleep for most of the next day. it's all too confusing.
the last days i tried to go bed a bit earlier, i'd find myself and my brain quite awake, and thinking about the problems with my work situation. insomnia is a pretty f~cked up thing, you know? eventually, i do fall asleep, but the next morning is always the same strenuous sacrifice to get out of bed.

it's hard to feel motivated with all this "internal chaos" going on. it's hard to get out of bed every single day, when i don't have a job anymore, when i don't have any sort of schedule to follow. something is taking away my willpower, every day, bit by bit. and i feel like there's nothing i can do to change this. there are times i feel so impotent, like it can't get any better than this.
i was chatting with a close friend on MSN and i said, sort of joking, that i was going to hibernate, until Spring or at least until the cold-grey-rainy-gloomy weather was (almost) gone. i wish i could do something like that, hibernate, but eventually, i would miss out on some things i like. and i would end up feeling even more useless about myself and my life than what i already feel sometimes...

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Make One Hundred Somethings" project

i saw my first refernce to the "Make One Hundred Somethings" project at

wich had a link to the original inspirational idea, from

the following text is an excerpt from Tollipop's blog post (in December 2008) about this project:

make one hundred somethings: an open invitation

«(...) I am extending an invitation to join me and others who have expressed an interest in the Tollipop Hundred Dresses project.  What one hundred somethings could you make?  It doesn't need to be elaborate or worthy of virtuosic skills.  Trust me.  It doesn't even need to be one hundred, for that matter.  But you might enjoy the challenge, the outlet, the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from making something exist that wasn't there before. 

For example, you should check out the lovely Belinda of Witchetty. She is creating her own one hundred wide-eyed, long-lashed girls with delightfully detailed dresses, and stories to go with them as well!  And I've already told you about the talented Louisa of Picture Book Studios. Her little mouselings have me altogether charmed!

So just think about it.  Your one hundred somethings.  One hundred somethings that didn't exist until you created them.  The thought alone brings good energy, a light in your mind.  You may as well get busy and follow it--there's just no telling where you might go! (...)»

although this post/project is a bit dated by now, the idea resonates me... i don't know why, but it does.
maybe it's the art-making/creativity/obsessive-compulsive in me hahahha!
yet, at a first glance, i don't know what i could make 100 "items" of, so i'll just leave this project aside, maybe sleep over it and perhaps i'll come up with something... Maybe i'll combine it with some other project(s) that have been in the back of my mind in the last couple of months, when i started getting into the zine "thing".

[mental notes:
europe; europe's countries - there are 48 countries in europe, according to my research on Wikipedia; while the european union itself as only 27 countries...; 
one contributor from each country (rests the doubt: EU countries only or not); two-pages at least, 4 at max; maybe the theme can be divided into 2 parts, being part 1 «my country» and part 2 «europe/the rest of europe/what i think about...»; etc, etc...]

Links: Zine libraries/archives online

first of, let's start with my latest find in the Internets:


and then move on to another cool archive website on zines:

both these websites have hundreds of zines available for download - for FREE!! 
(no shit, it really is free. well, except when they have files hosted on some servers like megaupload or rapidshare, and there you have to wait a while between downloading multiple files from their servers, unless you buy a "premier account" and stuff like that)

they are on PDF file format or plain scanned image files on zip/rar files. some zines are ony available for reading them online, but you can't have it all, can you?

either way, i'm sure it will guarantee you hours and hours of fun :-D

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mercado Negro: alternative book fair @ PORTO, Portugal

alternative book fair - from 9 to 19 December 2009
in Porto city, Portugal

this is the perfect event, right now, and i wanted to go from the very first moment i saw this ad.
i got about 5 days left to visit the fair... but i'm not really sure if i'm gonna make it :-(
first of all, i can't go alone, that's totally out of question! i don't remember the last time i was out on the street, specially to attend an event. or like the last time i went to the mall all by myself. there were times when i could do that and be ok all alone, but in the last couple of years i don't feel ok about it, it makes me feel too anxious...
so you say i could go with a friend, right? ok, i've tried this one but i only have one friend in this whole frickin town that could/would like to go wiht me, but we haven't got our schedules straight yet :-(
and i can't even use the weather as an excuse, since it hasn't rained in the last couple of days.

anyway, i really wanted to go to this "indie" book fair but if i actually make it there, it's gonna be a bit sad because i'm gonna have to keep myself very self-contained on not spending (too) much. since i'm 'sort of' unemployed (again, after almost 2 years at a steady job) and i still don't know if i'm gonna have to pay back my ex-bosses for two-month's work for resigning instead of giving them the two weeks notice, i gotta keep my expenses short on "extras". and the gods* know how i get when i'm in place with lots of books and magazines, how hard it is for me not to touch them, pick some up and browse my fingers trough them... and not buying anything!

at least this event as been a bit useful for me to google up some of the organization's names and publishers, and i have come across some good news on the Portuguese zine (under)world. there IS actually some activity still going on! now i just have to find the courage to mail some of the people/orgs involved in this and ask them on the possibility of a zine workshop or some meetings or something to get like-minded people together...
i even thought about sending them an invitation to join the We Make Zines online community, but without a "proper" introduction of myself and/or my intentions towards them, i feel i'm kinda invading their space or even spamming them. and that would make for a terrible first impression, don't you think?

* note: i like to use the expression "the gods know" but it's totally in a manner of speaking, since i'm not catholic (although i was raised by catholic beliefs), or anything like that. i don't see myself as a religious person, actually i identify more with Atheism. i just like to make the "god" plural and say "gods" for fun.

if i were to look for a religion, i think i'd be more einclined into something Pagan, related to Nature and definitely Mother Earth would the goddess i would most likely choose to worship ;-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

what about tonight?

i spent most of the afternoon rambling around the internets, doing some "fast reading" on zines & zine making stuff though not learning anything new... a few browsings through the We Make Zines community, keeping up with some of the latest discussions and waiting for some more replies on a post i replied to, about a chain zine project.

this means i spent a lot of time... doing nothing! as usual, anyway. procrastinating.
so i was thinking about what to do tonight, as i had already thought about it about an hour ago. maybe put the latest orders/zines i made from Microcosm all over my bed and start filing them with the rest of my zine collection/stash.

The Unemployment Game Show: Are You *Really* Unemployed? - From Mint.com

The Unemployment Game Show: Are You *Really* Unemployed? - From Mint.com: "

From http://Mint.com - Are you *officially* unemployed? The reported rate actually excludes millions of jobless Americans.

To learn more, visit: http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/unemployment-rate-video/


--- actually, this is a funny (ok, sarcastic humor though, i know!) coincidence that i found this on Google reader's postings this afternoon...

the first 'No'

well well... i made a "random" post a few weeks ago, on the night before a job interview. i was a bit anxious about it, because i hadn't been to a job interview in a couple of years. and also because this seemed to be the little light at the end of the tunnel that i was looking for at the moment (and still am...).

turns out i got a phone call today, and i didn't get selected for the place (oh, it was a copy shop). it's ok.
by now i was already counting in a NO answer, because they published the ad again after interviewing me, a much more detailed ad, so i was thinking that maybe i didn't have all they needed/expected for the job. by then i got really down when i saw the second ad and it made me feel even worse than i was already felling, with all the "chaos" that was going on concerning my current (future-ex?) job problems.
anyway, they said they would call me whether their decision was 'yes' or 'no', so, i feel a bit okay about it because they kept their word, and i think that shows a bit of respect for the people they interviewed.
on the phone call, they also said that maybe in the future, when their business starts getting more and more work and they come to need another employee for the store they'd call me to see if i was still interested/available. that was nice of them to say, even if they didn't really meant it and were just being polite (or even saying it out of pity for me...).
i thanked them for the opportunity of the interview, and wished them the best luck for their business. and i really meant it, besides being polite too.

so this was the first No of many (more?) that are to come, i guess. once i start (e)mailing my resume and stuff, i'll have to be prepared for everything.
it's nothing i haven't been through before, but i kinda lost a bit of practice since in the last 3 years i didn't need to do this kind of stuff, as i was working on a trainee job and then went to another company for another trainee and then got a real job for (almost) the last 2 years.

i hope i can keep being strong about this, and not let the hard things get me down too much, not let the depression grow on me too much. not that this Autumn weather is helping me stay positive, and the coming Winter will probably be much worst, but... i really really hope i can keep myself together into fighting for a better change in my life.

...................... because hope might be just around the corner

lost post (but not that much)

last night i was writing a new blog post but then it turned out to be very long and in the end, i got my internet connection shut down hahahha. no crisis though, because i managed to copy all the text in the browser and copy-paste it into a word doc, and i even continued on writing more... making it longer! i dunno about posting it here, all the full text or do some editing and use the full text for a zine or something :-s.
oohh, decisions, decisions!...

anyway, let’s talk about what i did today first. basically, nothing new. nothing that much different from what i've been doing the past few days. browsed the internets, ended up on a website for a zine that i'm not sure it's still being published or what, but i spent a long long time there. the site was full of text-heavy pages, dozens of articles, from politics, esoteric, art, even sexuality articles. i saved quite a few pages that seemed interesting but it's hard to get down and really read them, as they were really basically just text and more text. my eyes get itchy from staring at the computer screen for too long, so i hardly ever read e-books and long articles.

i was googling for pics on riot grrrl stuff and i ended up on a webpage with the Riot Grrrl Manifesto by Kathleen Hanna, then proceeded to satisfy my usual curiosity and went to the main page to see what this site was all about. and that takes us to the paragraph above, as to the reason why i ended up spending most of my online time on that website...

i had read the Riot Grrrl manifesto before, but it's the kind of thing i have to read more than once to really get into it. i think i agree with most of the points in the manifesto, but i still don't really know where i stand in the middle of this Riot Grrrl thing and Feminism and all that. as i've been reading a lot of feminist (or at least, feminist "inclined") zines, i know there are many ways of interpreting Feminism, many "types" of feminists movements and many different ways to incorporate it in your everyday life.
as i went through my teen years, i came to learn the world wasn't all just bunnies and romance, 4ever love and that kind of stuff. i become aware of the social injustices towards women, the need for women’s rights statements and awareness campaigns. now that i'm on my thirties, i seem to feel this even more, as i kind of feel it affects my life and has been doing it since a young age. so i kind of feel myself as a feminist, but i don't quite know how to life my life according to this feeling.

of course, all this talk about Feminism and Women’s Rights as made me think, many times, of how i could incorporate this part of me into the zines. even if i should incorporate these kind of subjects at all, but i feel that society needs to be reminded every now and then, that we Women are here and deserve to be treated with respect and all that stuff that Fem-talk is about.

apart from my online “life”, my real life is just about the same as it was yesterday and the day before...
this Fall seems determined to give me no chance to cheer up a bit, because it’s been raining ‘all the time’ and lots of wind. and to think that when Winter comes it will be worst!... well, at least ‘all the time’ i’m awake during daytime. if you consider i go to sleep late now and i get up late too, usually always after midday and then go straight to the kitchen to have lunch with my parents, then if it starts to rain heavily around 4pm, i don’t get to see much daylight or even the sun at all. when it starts to rain, it gets all gray outside and even with the curtains open i have to turn on the lights if i wanna read something or even just watch tv.
lately, i’ve been coming to my bedroom and set up my laptop and spend the rest of the afternoon and the after dinner secluded in my room. this also helps keeping my parents away, for most of the time, so that i don’t get bugged. i get enough of that when we get together for our meals...

today was Sunday, so as a “tradition”, my dad buys the sunday edition of JN newspaper. lately the newspaper has become an important thing because of my (undefined) job/unemployed situation. i almost crave for it because of the job ads, but today it was really poor. i could almost tell it would be, when i picked up the Ads section and saw it was thinner than usual. so, no ads i could apply to, pouring rain outside, no answer/news from my “former” employees, no news on the interview i went to a week ago last friday. any more negative things to add up to this cool list?

on the positive side, i got some music from Hole and Bif Naked (still waiting for Bikini Kill tunes to download), because i had seen references to some of their songs on Amber’s zine «Culture Slut» and also on her twin sister’s (Maranda) zine «Telegram Ma'am». i’ve seen references to some bands i hardly know and others i don’t know at all, in many of the feminist/riot grrrl zines i bought, so i decided to go find new music. since i’m a music whore - meaning i like music very much, i like many different styles and i’m always willing to try new music - this isn’t a hard task for me.

last night i finally took some time to read and “examine” Niku’s «Hello My Name Is Niku personal zine pack» i got in the mail on tuesday. the Pack is made of 3 minizines but i got an extra mini, which is great, it’s another mini treat for me to examine and contemplate.
i gotta say i hadn’t read them when i first got them or in the days after because i needed to clear my head from clutter caused by the problems with my job. Niku’s minizines seemed - and are! - so rich in details and full of inspiration and ideas on copy-paste. the fact that she can make a mini out of an A4 page, with many imagery and a few words made me rethink my whole concept for my zine project. that might sound like a bad thing at first, but i don’t see it that way, i see it as a good thing!
the extra minizine i got, was made in one day(!), for one of those 24hour zine projects. i find the 24hour zine projects to be an amazing way to encourage immediate creativity and DIY techniques. i even thought about participating into one of those projects...if i wasn’t such a procrastinator, and a chickenshit!
besides, i’m still all alone when it comes to real life zine makers, zine communities and projects where i live (or anywhere nearby) that i lack that first push it takes to begin and makes you get your hands dirty. i know there are some handmade crafts groups around here, from the time i was “into” that stuff, the time i become obsessed with handmade crafts, but they are mostly into sewing, jewelry, polymer clay, drawing/painting and stuff like that. i really don’t know if anyone is into zines now, because i sort of “abandoned” my flickr account and blogs on the subject... it wouldn’t kill to browse flickr for that or even ask around in the forums i was in, i know, but when i think about that, i see myself getting sucked into the flickr-addictive (virtual)world again.
and that means i will be spending more time looking at the pretty pics of beautiful crafts other people are making than really trying to make new connections and looking for zine makers or anyone curious about them.

** i made some zinester references on this post, they are all amazing girls that make really cool zines, so i feel they deserved some free pub (hahaha) right here! **
Maranda Elizabeth «Telegram Ma'am» -- 

----- p.s.: sometimes when i post, i have some problems with text formatting on this blogger thing... and it's getting on my nerves! i have to edit the post after i publish it, sometimes twice or three times! aaarghhh!

Friday, December 4, 2009

To be, or not to be...

... ...
To be, or not to be - unemployed: that is the question!

i handed in my resignation letter on December 2nd. 
and i'm still waiting to know if 'they' will accept it or not. if they don't accept it, what will their "proposition" for an alternative be? 

i was getting into a downward spiral since i was moved from work places last month. i was falling (back) into depression and taking the desperation, anger, and frustration feelings on myself. and we don't need another depressed woman in the house, do we? and i'm not that much interested in becoming bipolar either, so... i rather give up that job and move on. to something new, something better, hopefully.

maybe this post got a little too personal to be available to all the "online world" to see, but... i guess i don't care anymore.
... ...

Friday, November 27, 2009

wish me luck!

for hope is just around the corner... *

[note: this is a pic from lovely stationery i bought from a 
Japanese seller at Etsy - she's got lots of beautiful stuff, it's hard to resist...
i apologize for the rush in posting this non-sense post and 
not providing a link to the seller's shop :-x]

i'm tired and in a hurry to go to bed, to sleep, of course, but to read the zines i just got in the mailbox today from lovely Pippa :)) along with the zines i bought her, she added some more extras/goodies (as usual :D) and that made me feel happy joy. happy to be alive (to read these zines and read the lovely handwritten notes they send me), even if my life is going through such troubled times.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

trials and tribulations at etsy...

i've updated my profile page on Etsy. no big deal, but i felt i needed to inform people of the reason why i have an empty "etsy shop", because i'm mostly an obsessive zine buyer hahahaha
also, i've been giving the feedback on the last orders that have been arriving in the mail, but my brain is too tired and blank to add some written notes that are worthy and make the sellers feel good. i totally suck, but my brain is just like it is.

and unfortunately, i've had some mix-ups in a few orders. i hate it when these type of stuff happens because i have to contact the seller and tell what happened without sounding rude or something, i don't want anyone to be offended. the first time it happened, i contacted the seller and our conversations went ok, so now i've been waiting for something on the mail. it's been a while though... but ok. just last week i got another mixed order and i still couldn't find the mental strength to contact the girl about it. and today, here we go again, another mix-up with a rubber stamps order. and right now it's too late to go and write some elaborate text about it, besides it's just about time for me to turn off the laptop and tuck myself in bed reading some zines.

i say to myself "i'll have time to deal with this tomorrow, i'll write them about the mix-ups tomorrow, it's not the end of the world!" - but it's just me trying to convince the other me that i'll have time. cause tomorrow i'll arrive home from work, one hour later than usual (because at my "new" store we have to work 1 more hour than on my "ex"store) and even more tired than i used to be before and then there will be no time to get on the laptop, go online, check the emails, deal with those mixed-up orders.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

is it worth it?

i had written something to post on my blog concerning the latest events that are talking place in my life, but if i were to transcribe it all it would be too long - it took me 4 and a half A5 pages to write - so perhaps i should save the best parts for my shitty zine project (yep, that one that will never came to life).

it's been about a week since i was on my laptop for the last time. yesterday i tried to turn it on early morning and the mouse wasn’t working, but i thought it might be because the laptop was working on batteries (?). but today, i connected everything with the usual plugs and then the mouse... still not working. i even tried testing it with the mouse i use on my desktop and none of them work! it's frustrating and it infuriates me, it makes me wanna pick the mouse and throw it against the wall, to see it smash in little pieces. and it's even more frustrating because this is actually the second mouse i got for the laptop, since the first one didn't work well (it would work for a while, then suddenly for no reason it'd stop working). so i went to the store (this was about 2 months ago) where i bought it (ironically, the nearest store of the very own corporation i work at) and explain to them the problem and had the other mouse exchanged for a new one, different brand and even a bit more expensive (19,99€). now, two months later no mouse’s work here... what the f~ck is going on?? do i have to go and get my dad desktop mouse and try it here too, so in the end it will be some f~cked-up problem with the laptop itself and with the connections on the USB ports? looks just like the whole world is out to f~cking get me.

yes, this time i'm swearing a lot, no wonder although. how can i work around on the laptop, moving files and working on word files using this stupid touchpad thing? how can i write this blog post, make copy-paste of text parts, spellchecked it correctly and whatever? i sense a nice headache coming this way (coming my head, i mean).

today is my father’s birthday, he's turning 65, officially entering the so-called middle-age. he and my mother went out for lunch at some restaurant and been out the rest of the day. mom just called me some minutes ago, and i heard dad joking about that he was going to buy a champagne bottle to celebrate when they come home for dinner.
i don't feel like celebrating. i keep remembering that i didn’t wish him «happy birthday!» or even gave him a kiss when he came to check on me [note: i was feeling “sick” and didn’t want to go to work, but i’ve got more details on that further down this post] at my bedroom this morning.

i just wanna curl up inside my bed, turn off the lights, and cry till i fall asleep. ah, not to forget to take the two magic (sleeping) pills so that i can fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. that's what i would be doing right now, if it wasn't for the guilt. always the damn guilt. maybe it's something we are cursed with from Christianity (even atheists like me?) and can hardly ever run way from. or maybe it's just our Conscious trying to tell us we can do better, we just have to try harder, even if it hurts and it turns you inside out.

overall, i initially turned on the laptop today because i had to check and update my resume, so that i could answer a job ad from this weekend's newspaper. that's why i'm not sleeping or lying around in the sofa watching some random tv show. because for the last 3 days i would get my conscious/guilt constantly reminding me that i would feel guilty later on, if i didn't at least try and send my resume (they asked it be sent by email) to that job ad. still, i've been on the laptop for almost 3 hours and haven't done much more than open the word file with my resume, update a few things here and there... and stare at the ad, at my email account, and at my resume.

i didn't go to work today. i couldn't. i just didn't feel in proper conditions to function and attend costumers the way i feel it's right, the way i used to do in my other store. yeah, i got transferred. i was "informed" on the last minute, you can almost say it that way. i wasn't asked if i wanted to go, if i could go, if i would like to. i was told i needed (have) to go. i was "informed" of my transfer on the 16th almost at 6:30pm, and had to be at me "new" store on the next day at 3pm. a whole lot of changes with a less than 24hour notice. i don't even know if that's legal (cause i suspect it is not). but who cares?

so this morning when i was feeling
sick, i didn't called to warn them; not that i'm specially needed in there or that there's no-one else in there to do what i've been doing there... but they didn't try to call me either. they didn't even bother to ask for my phone number, so i guess it really isn't (i'm not) that important after all.

the last weeks, when i was still at my "ex" store, i used to secretly wish i'd get sick with the flu. no, really, i'm not kidding! just the normal flu would be enough, cause that would give me about 3 or 4 days to stay home away from all the negative energy i was starting to feel building up around me. maybe there was some sort of 6th sense kind of thing i was feeling... and know that i think about it it feels even weirder...

all this shit happening in the last week as made me unable to find the strengths to came online and reply to pending emails, to pending trades [i’m so sorry LM, please forgive me!] and etsy sellers (all lovely people) and check We Make Zines for new zines & people. my biggest apologies for not answering back to all you people that i’ve had been contacting the past weeks :-((

i wish i could just magically disappear and came back into a whole new world, or a whole new life, with a job that made me feel good about myself, a job that made me feel like a was making a (positive) difference in the world, a job that made me feel worthwhile. and, maybe, why not, a job that would be related to community service, helping animals (animal shelters, animals rights associations)? oh, i forgot, these are not “paying jobs”, so they’re not real jobs. ok, so...

... then i would just like to disappear into a dark and quiet void, please. Thank You, shitty world.

[2009-11-26 // 0:23am update]

i ended up drinking the champagne, as a little part inside of me remembered those days in the past when booze and dancing would make a bit of the pain(s) go away, even if just for a couple of hours. now, i guess that only worked when i was on my early twenties, because now at 31 alcohol seems to make me feel even more awake & aware of the shitty life i have and all the problems that can't never be fixed that easily. not with alcohol anyway, that's for sure.

i don't even know how i got enough brains to come back to the laptop and read some stuff, browse some zinester's blogs, go to my etsy things, etc etc. and even write another post for my blog.

and now i'm facing the harsh reality that i have to go to sleep so that i can wake up tomorrow early morning and fix my shit back up again so i can face another day of work at that place. how can i do this? how and where can i find the strengths to face another day in there?

i have no religion - therefore, no god(s) to pray for hope, no faith
i have no romantic relationship - therefore, no loved one to cuddle and give me hugs
i have no typical supportive family - therefore, again no loved ones to cuddle/hug/cheer me
i have ...nothing?

on a completely different issue, i emailed my resume to that job ad i wrote about in the middle of this post. it took me hours to get the guts to do it, but i finally did it. now i'll just wait. i now i'll try to act calm and not obsess over it if i don't get an answer (any answer, even if a NO) in the next few days. it makes me feel like that job ad is my last resort, which doesn't make that much sense, since i just barely started taking a peek at job ads and applying for them. maybe i should start doing more of this. the only problem is i have about two months of work to give my company if i want to quit my contract. it's something about contract laws, i would owe them 2months of work or then i'd have to pay them the equivalent of 2 months work. what if i get called to start working immediately somewhere else? lucky as i am, the downside will be on me. ahhh, shit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

LINKS: Zines & Distros

from the idea of the blogger gadget - the links list i called "IN THE MAILBOX LATELY" - that's on the right side of my blog, i decided it was time to compile a list of the zines i've been buying outside "major" distros (i mean Microcosm), and specially linking them to their authors.
i noticed i had edited those links list and had removed some people and that's not fair because they all really deserve to be known!

ZINES @ etsy & other websites
[note: i know many of you zine-lovers are not much into the commercial side of online shops like Etsy. i'm posting links to etsy shops because that's where i'm able to buy these zines from their authors. either way, most of them mention their personal website/blog on their etsy shop, so you can always contact them for finding alternative ways of buying their zines directly from them]

Chantilly [One Shot Zine] (country: Canada)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/chantillys

Pinchdog Press (Kate Andres-Toal) [Riot Wife zine, Cultivator zine & more] (country: Canada)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/okate

Alex Wrekk [Brainscan zine & more] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/brainscan

Erin Partridge [Anon zine] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/2littlewings

Filka (E J Zyla) [Haich zine & more] (country: Australia)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/Filka

The Ephemeral Mailbox Museum (Niku Arbabi) [Polaroid-Celluloid zine & more] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/niku

Tiny Paper Hearts [ Epitaph for my Heart zine, Shy Like A Punched Pie zine & more] (country: Australia)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/amandapandajapanese

Ayun Halliday [The East Village Inky zine] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/Ayun

Missy Kulik [Kneehigh mini series zines & more mini comics] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/sugarcookie

Katie Haegele [The La-La Theory zine & more] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/thelalatheory

Eleanor Jane [Girl Photographer zine & more] (country: Wales/UK)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/eleanorjane

Lamesha [CocoaPuss zine] (country: USA)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/CocoaPuss

redguard [Absent Cause zine & more] (country: USA)

Amber [Culture Slut zine, Fight Boredom zine & more] (country: Canada)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/helloamber

Maranda Elizabeth [Telegram Ma'am zine & more] (country: Canada)
-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/schoolformaps

Sandy [Marbles zine & more] (country: Australia)
Tom Hendricks [Musea zine & more] (country: USA)
-- http://musea.us/

Pippa [Rebel Grrl zine, 50:50 zine & more] (country: UK)

Clementine Cannibal [Licking Stars Off Ceilings zine & more] (country: Canada)

Laura-Marie [Functionally ill zine & more] (country: USA)

Nicole Harris [Introvert zine] (country: USA)

Chris Mikul [Bizarrism zine] (country: Australia)
-- only known contact by email -- cathob@wr.com.au

Keith Rosson [Avow zine] (country: USA)
-- http://keithrosson.com

Cindy Crabb [Doris zine & more] (country: USA)
-- http://www.dorisdorisdoris.com

» last updated - 2010/01/01
well, these are it for now, as far as i can remember and as far as my research through etsy & paypay emails go ;-)
if you sent me your zine and i forgot to mention you here, please leave your comment on this post!!
»» also, there are many more zines i really like that i bought in bulk orders from distros. in time, hopefully i'll add them to this list too ;-))
just a short list of these zines: Doris; Ker-Bloom!; Avow; You Don't Get There From Here; anything by Corinne Mucha; Black Carrot; Rocket Queen; ...]

DISTROS @ online

Click Clack Distro [by Nicole Harris, of «Introvert» zine]
(country: USA)
-- http://www.clickclackdistro.com

Small World Buttons [by Alex Wrekk, of «Brainscan» zine]
(country: USA)
-- http://smallworldbuttons.bigcartel.com

Microcosm Publishing (country: USA)
-- http://microcosmpublishing.com

Riot Grrrrrr Distro [by Cindy Crabb, of «Doris» zine]
(country: USA)
-- http://www.dorisdorisdoris.com/zines.html

writing subversive

somehow, today i managed to write my stuff while i was at work, wow amazing! i finally found a "technique" for doing it in a way that i can quickly close the program i'm using (windows wordpad) if i see someone approaching. sounds almost like i'm doing something bad or illegal, and i can understand the fact that when at your workplace you should be: working! but i really needed to write and i don't think witting in a piece of paper would be that very discreet, specially when you think of the security cameras. anyway, i had done most of the work i had to do, and was just laying around trying to kill time until lunch time, so it was perfect to have the chance to write. i can't tell you how many times i closed the file, but when it was safe around, i would open it up and continue (or at least i tried) my stream of thoughts.
i didn't get to finish my writing, there was some more stuff i could have written, but then i didn't have enough privacy anymore when costumers started to appear. it was a good thing to have costumers showing up though, don't get me wrong!

a while after i got home, i started setting up my desktop and the small mayhem that usually goes around it: zines, notebooks, plastic file bags, mail packages, etc...
i came up with an "awesome" idea - to make a file like a database (more of a spreadsheet like microsoft Excell) where i keep track of the zines i buy, mostly the big orders i make from Microcosm, because i'm afraid i'll order the same zines more then once, but also of other zines, and thus making a database of the zines i have in my collection, for future reference.
then i had yet another idea - to go trough my last orders (from Microcosm, of course) and start filing zines that i have more than one issue together, and putting together other "one-shot"-like zines by author.

this might be a little too much planning for tonight, since i'm working the morning shift this weekend, and it's the eternal dilemma between:
a) going to bed "early" to get enough sleep (which didn't happen last night) so that i can go to work and function properly the next morning without feeling sick (which did happen this morning, obviously); or
b) stay up late online or even if offline but doing stuff on the computer (that includes playing Solitaire too!), plus having daddy nagging me about what time it is blablabla, "do you have a watch?" - "are you going to work tomorrow? yeah? well, you sure seem like you're forgetting that no?" - "do you want m to turn that thing off for you?" - "i'm shutting down the modem in 5 minutes, so you better hurry and shut that sh~t off!" - blablah

yeah... this is just as ridiculous as it sounds, and has you're thinking it is, but it's real life. that's what you get for (still) living with your mom and dad :-D

shopping, reading stuff, bla bla bla

my first try at using rubber stamps
(sorry or the blurry & very bad photo, i guess the camera was too close to it)

just got my first (etsy) order from Japan ever wow! and my very first rubber stamps. i've been craving on these things for a while, after seeing some used in sweet original envelopes some zine people have sent me ;-)
and while sometimes i get these "obsessive-compulsive" wishes to buy certain things just for the sake of it, i tried my luck on searching for rubber stamps and ink pads on Etsy. it's just a pity that many of these items are  a bit expensive and then there's the shipping costs, which can make this quite an investment...

not quite the perfect day today but i guess it was the best i could get. considering the bad weather outside, strong wind and chilling rain. i lost the little motivation i had to go shopping for my food/groceries/etc stuff; it was my day off and that's what i usually do on these days.
but theses days seem to be all spent around doing the shopping and then coming home to put everything in their place and then i get no more free time left to do much of anything. so i kinda get a little frustrated on this type of (bad) routine and lately i've been avoiding doing this.

another reason that i didn't want to go out today was because i went to sleep really very late last night, almost at 6 am! so i spent the whole morning sleeping today, and when i tried to get up, around lunch time (1 pm), i just couldn't make myself do it... i'd turn over to the side of the bed and..zzzzzzzz fell back asleep. when i finally got the power to get up, it was around 3 pm. when you come to think of it, by 3 pm most of the day is already gone i guess... specially if it's one of those autumn days when it's all grey and cloudy outside, you can hear the wind hissing through the apartment windows and doors and by 4 pm you can't sit and read a book without having to turn on the lights because it's just too damn grey to read without ruining your eyes!
then i had lunch, vegetated a bit around the living room and decided to come back to my bedroom, set up my "stash" (laptop, zines & mail packages, notebooks, etc) and feed my addictions - zines, mails, artsy stuff, music(!), etsy, etc...
i felt a bit relieved after last night, even if that made go to bed really late, because i got to send some emails and give some etsy feedback on great zines i bought from very talented people. i even came to find out that someone actually does read this blog YEY! it's a bit embarrassing to think about it, but hey, if i was putting out a zine [my zine, that never-ending project i keep talking about], i'd be writing about much more personal stuff than what i write here on this blog, and people would read it (hopefully) too and then that would be much more "real" than the blog thing.

oh, i forgot to mention, i also got my polymer clay red kitty magnet, from the talented ladies of the Bichanos do Porto project. they're a group of friends that take care of abandoned cats and stray cats, many times they take them in their homes, take them to the veterinary (since most of the cats that are abandoned or living in the street for a while are most likely to get sick, injured, etc) and try to give the kitties and cats up for responsible adoption.
to support them financially, since this is obvisouly an expensive project, they have a few online shops/blogs, and i sometimes buy them stuff from their handmade crafts blog. unfortunatly for any foreign readers, their blogs are written only in portuguese, but you can just look at the pictures!

the Bichanos do Porto project blog --
the handmade crafts blog/shop --
another shop (2nd hand stuff, and new stuff too) --

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


it's f~cking cold!! bbbrrrr i'm hating this winterly Autumn!
i'm wearing 2 pajama pants and 2 pajamas sweaters plus 2 coats and 3 pairs of socks... can you believe this? i wouldn't if i had not seen it with my very own eyes!

so much stuff to do, so many zines to read and so little time :((

and that's it for tonight's blog update... lame, very lame.
i know ;p

Saturday, November 7, 2009


i don't feel so good tonight. work wasn't that much hard today and when i got home i was in a mood to spend the after dinner working on the zine, answering emails & updating stuff. although my lunch break didn't go so well, cause i ate almost 2 yogurts and the last one was just to much and i got a bit nauseous and feeling my stomach really full. but i kinda got better after arriving home anyway.
just that unfortunately, during dinner, my eyes started to itch/burn a lot and i hardly ever resist to rubbing them, and even put these special "artificial tears" medication i have, to use when i get dry eyes. still the burning feeling didn't go away for quite a while and after coming to my bedroom and setting up my "workspace" i still don't feel well enough to spend that much time here... the itch/burn was fading but then i started to feel very sleepy (true that i didn't get enough sleep last night). i even thought i might be coming down with something, maybe a cold, not to even to mention the flu.. uhhhh scary!

it's chilly in here, my hands and fingertips are almost freezing, and the tip of my nose gets cold easily. during the day at work, i did have to blow my nose a few times and since i'm home i've done that a lot. which can get annoying, specially with my nose "problems" - sinusitis or rhinitis or whatever the heck this is, it makes my nose hurt when i blow it many times, and even when i'm not even touching the nose.

so this whole thing has messed up my plans for this lovely saturday night... and i even have tomorrow my day off work. maybe i'll feel better tomorrow.
what can i do know? go to the living room and watch some stupid dance-on-ice contest or "steal" the remote and watch some sitcom on FoxLife. maybe there will be a good movie on later tonight... nahh, i doubt it. last night they had Aliens, i think it was the 1st movie and i couldn't stay up watching it (though i have seen it more than once) because i had to get up early today for work. so i don't have much hope that there will be a(nother) good movie  on tonight ;-/ . i'm not really excited about spending the night vegetating in front of the tv though, case i've spent so many nights (and days) doing that, that after a while i feel like i'm wasting my time doing nothing. when i could be doing something much more productive... and i sure don't lack on stuff that i need to get done around here. but my brain is a mess right now. i hate the cold water, and it's not even Winter yet!

i even thought about going to sleep but it's still a bit early for that geez!... doing the "lay-down-to-rest-for-a-bit" would end up in the same thing, i'm sure i would fall asleep soon and then i'd wake up freezing.
maybe i could read some of the last zines i got in the mail, and continue the other ones... if my stupid eyes weren't starting to itch again! baahh tonight is really sucking a lot now! perhaps it's the antibiotic i'm taking for the tooth treatment i got yesterday at my lady dentist? gotta go read the side effects again, dammit!