New Project: The Paperchain Pen Pal Club

Hi all!

It’s been a while, and for that I apologise! I’m certainly not made of the right stuff to be a full time professional blogger, that’s for sure! But I will try my best to keep this more up to date now.. starting with my latest project!!

I have loved writing letters, ever since I was a tiny girl, and I still adore the postman bringing me lovingly hand written goodies.

I had been writing to my best friend on and off for a while, since she lives in another city, but recently wanted to collect an assortment of pen pals from all over the globe. I thought how cool would it be to have a service that would match up awesome letter-writing creative types from a carefully curated database? Then I thought, there’s no point waiting around for someone to do it… I SHOULD DO IT! Ans so… The Paperchain Pen Pal Club is born!

It’s in its very early stages now, and currently I need to collect as many members as possible, so there is lots of variety to choose from.

If you are interested in joining The Paperchain Pen Pal Club, please email thepaperchainclub@gmail.com and supply your address for post, some details about yourself (likes, dislikes, hobbies etc), a brief description of what you are looking for in a pen pal (e.g. similar, opposite, specific hobbies etc) and how many pen pals you would like to be writing to as a maximum.

To start with I will be capping membership at 50, to make it a little more special and close knit, but if it is a success, then who knows!

I have 8 pen pals personally, and tonight I wrote my first letter to my most recent pen pal!

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With all this correspondence coming through, I thought it would be a good idea to arrange a system so I would know when it was my turn to send, and when I would be waiting for a reply. I took an old corkboard that I had painted bright pink from a previous project, and added some decorative elements to the top (favourite postcards, paper letter banner and a photograph of me and a maid from a maid cafe in Tokyo). I then created headers of ‘sent’ and ‘received’, so I would know when I should be replying and when I have already sent out, and little markers for each of my pen pals (Japanese patterned papers with their names written on). My mum bought me the awesome button themed push pins, and they really tie the whole thing together!

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Stay tuned for more on my letter writing adventures, such as how I organise addresses, and my letter writing supplies, and also keep your eyes peeled for the fashion posts starting back up again alongside some craft items and articles!

Kate x

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An Introduction to Slimeball Zine

A slight break from style theme posts today.. I thought I would share with you all my experience co-creating and co-running an independent zine!

Slimeball Zine was dreamt up by myself and the wonderful Charli (of ValentineXO). We realised that we like a lot of the same things, we like to draw, write and be creative just for the sake of it and we like to share fun stuff with the world! 

The concept behind Slimeball Zine is that we wanted to create a fully independent publication that was completely free, unpretentious, inclusive and really good fun. Our choice to set a theme each month was brought about to provide inspiration for any creative types to base submissions around and also to ensure some variety in our issues. 

Me and Charli meet every Thursday evening to plan, draw, cut, stick and more for each months issue! We never wanted to rely on computers too much in the creation of each issue so you will usually find us slumped over the table physically writing out our editors letter or drawing little pictures to decorate the pages. There is something incredibly satisfying about making things with your hands and getting stuck in. When I draw, or type something on my typewriter, or cut out bits from magazines to collage together, or take photos for Slimeball, I feel part of a movement (okay maybe a movement of two for now) with the intention of getting back to true creativity, the bit in our brains that say ‘pick up the crayon and scribble’ when we are kids.

We work super hard on each issue and we do hope that shows! Details for how to be involved are at the end of my post, but for now.. onto the zine!

We launched with the ‘Teen Angst’ issue..

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We figured a launch issue about the awkwardness of your teenage years was perfect, and we brought it out in September which coincides perfectly with ‘back 2 skool’ vibes and fresh starts. Included in this issue were angsty playlists and film suggestions, reviews, an article, plenty of art and illustration, DIY tutorials, collages and more. This issue set the tone for what we wanted Slimeball to be about. There’s no minimalist pages, no posey posh paper and probably plenty of mistakes. It’s honest, it’s creative and it exists because we just wanted it to!

 

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We’re suckers for any kind of seasonal event so out October issue was obviously going to be vaguely Halloween themed! Charli did an AMAZING job of the cover, dragging Buffy back from the 90’s and planting her as our star! We had submissions for the first time in this one as we had invited all creative types to submit work! There were more tutorials, a whole story and photos too!

 

We decided to go with ‘Voyeurism’ as our November theme. This wasn’t a mistake, as we had some submissions which were great.. But this was definitely a pointer that we maybe shouldn’t make our themes so vague or cryptic. The issue itself was great but it didn’t seem to grab as much attention as previous months..

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I drew the cover for November, which I was happy with, and it made me want to draw more! As time goes on and we produce more issues, It’s becoming obvious that working on Slimeball has really encouraged the creative side of me to make stuff without needing a real reason, and without having to justify my creative choices through a sketchbook full of mistakes or a 1000 word essay, like you would if you were in school!

 

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December was all about things that make us feel good. We wanted the issue to be about ‘Comfort and Joy’, extending beyond Christmas too! We had a DIY den building article, a feel-good film list and a Yorkshire Pudding how-to! 

 

We decided to have a break in January, as things were manic after Christmas. We needed to wind down and plan.. We decided that our February issue would celebrate things that come in pairs and settled on the theme of ‘Just the Two of Us’. Choosing a theme is something we do quite impulsively. We try not to think too much about it as I wouldn’t want to find myself expecting certain types of submissions because I’ve chosen a very specific theme, but then also we don’t want the problem of too vague a theme cropping up again. I always love hearing feedback from people, so if you feel like you have come up with a killer theme for us don’t be shy to let us know!!

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To date, February is the latest issue we have created.. I drew this cover too, and thought the image of Sid and Nancy says so much about partnerships and pairings, the fun and spontaneity but also the destructive element that can sometimes arise too from being bound and linked to a person.

You may have noticed that the covers alternate in style, we take it in turns to create the front covers with me thinking up the September, November and February ones so far and Charli making the amazing October and December covers! I’m super excited to see Charli’s ‘Out of This World’ cover for March!

The latest (Just the Two of Us) issue has lots of submissions, which we love to see. The future of Slimeball now is in the submissions. It is a platform for all you creative people to make some art in any form to be shared! 

If you would like to be involved and be a Slimekid, please ‘like’ our page on facebook, which should appear if you search for ‘Slimeball Zine’. We would urge you to try get your hands on a copy too! Each month we only print 100 copies so the key is to get in there quick! Slimeball is stocked in Travelling Man, Pop Boutique, Mad Elizabeth, OK Comics, Birds Yard and Black Crown Tattoo in Leeds for free, but we are happy to post issues within the UK for 50p (just to cover postage!) and for a little bit more we will even send them to exotic lands!

To submit to Slimeball be sure to keep your eye on the Facebook page as that’s how we communicate to the Slimekids.. We are also on twitter too @slimeballzine. Once you know what the theme is and the deadline date you can get busy creating whatever it is you create which could be (but is not limited to) poetry, art, illustration, tutorials, articles, photos, collage, prose, stories, lists, reviews and whatever else you can think of!! We then ask that whatever you create be viewable in Black and White and make sense in A6 format. We don’t mind shrinking down A4 or A5 pieces on our copier, but please don’t write tiny or put teeny details in the original bigger drawing as this will get lost when we shrink it!

Once we receive submissions we decide which ones go in the issue based on whether they have the Slimeball feel to them. We are working on a way to showcase any submissions that we unfortunately don’t have room for in the zine by putting them online. We are also working on ways we can show off the work of video makers and other digital format artists online too!

All submissions must be sent to slimeballzine@gmail.com and we would love it if you could say whether you would like to be credited or not! You always get a copy posted to you if you submit too so please include your address in the email!

I hope I have given you a little glimpse inside what goes on at Slimeball HQ. We love the response we get from people who have experienced our little zine. Please.. spread the word and be a Slimekid 4 Life!

Kate xx

PS: March’s theme is ‘Out of This World’!

Something Beautiful: Meadham Kirchhoff SS13

Take roughly 4 minute out of your day to watch this beautiful catwalk show from Meadham Kirchhoff for their SS13 ‘Cautionary Tale’ collection.

I love the eccentricity, the mash-up of Marie Antoinette/ 80’s vibes and all the BOWS!!

Meadham Kirchhoff never disappoint me, they always bring a pastelly tinge of joy to my day. I dream of owning something by them one day!

In the meantime though I shall start scheming on how I can incorporate these looks into my current wardrobe. I have a pastel yellow vintage dress and a flower crown I made out of a children’s headband, some artificial flowers and some ‘No More Nails’ (there is a good tutorial here from Rookie!). I think that’s a good start! Now all we need is warmer weather!

What do you think of this collection? Does it inspire you?

Etsy Cute 17/01/13 – Study Hard

So my school and college days are over! But I still enjoy burying my head in a book and learning! On top of that I work hard on practising my writing, publishing my zine (Slimeball), sewing and working on this blog! 

I thought it fitting then, that I write an Etsy Cute post dedicated to injecting the adorable into our office and work spaces! 

Mean Girls Pencils! 

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I know, I know.. Mean Girls.. the ultimate tacky American bimbo film.. but I LOVE it! These innocent looking pencils have the movie’s most famous quotes on them, including my favourite, ‘Boo, You Whore’.

They are by The Common Grade, who do all sorts of famous movie quote pencils, pins and notebooks and the full set is only about £5.00!

 

Mountain Monster Notebook!

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Look at his adorable little monstery face! Eeee!

This super cute little monster notebook is by the very talented Kim Lawler of Finest Imaginary. Kim is based in my hometown of Huddersfield, and I have been aware of her work for a while now, after meeting her at a few craft fairs. 

This handy pocket notebook can be made lined or plain (you just make your note on checkout) and features a screen printed original Mountain Monster design (seriously guys, I cannot get over how ADORABLE he is!!) It’s a steal at only £4.00!!

 

Retro TV Pencil Case!

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Mary had a super cute retro little lamb!

Nongjianu sells all kinds of retro and kawaii stationery! My favourite of their retro pencil cases is this ‘Mary and her Little Lamb’ one. I love the fact it looks like a vintage TV set, and the inside is super roomy and boxy, to prevent pesky snapped leads. It’s well worth the £13 price tag as you could use it as a quirky clutch bag on nights out or a super sweet makeup case!

 

Bunny Corner Bookmark!

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Sleepy Bookmark Bunny

I actually did a squeee when I saw this! This little fella is so cute and happy looking! He slots over the corner of the page you want to keep and his little ears stick out of your book! This would be perfect for all of you with lots of heavy reading to do for uni… it’ll make opening that text far more enjoyable! 

Book bunny is only around £4.00 from ‘So Cute Things‘ on Etsy! 

 

Rainbow Kitty iPad Cover!

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I died.

I saved the best til last for you guys!! Another amazing piece from a seller I have featured before, Sugar Junkie Shop! I mentioned her crochet bow in my Etsy Cute Party Time post!

I just love the pastel rainbow effect, the neatness of the stitches, the blank little kitty expression and THOSE EARS!!! I died, I totally died from the cuteness.. I am now a blogging ghost, thats how much I died.

This version is an iPad case, but it also comes as a Kindle Fire case and an iPad Mini case. I just wish she did a Macbook version and I would have a reason to get one! If you want a slice of kawaii kitty action you can nab one for only £25!!

 

So there is my round up of must have items to motivate you to do more work! But don’t get so lost in a book you forget to read igetdressedinthemorning! 

Kate xx

 

Stuff We Forgot 20/12/12 – Fuzzy Felt!

Yes, this is meant to be primarily a style blog but, fuck it… I like toys. So my first ‘Stuff We Forgot’ post focuses on one of my most treasured childhood possessions.. FUZZY FELT!!

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I don’t wanna alienate anyone younger than me, but I definitely think my generation may have been one of the last to play with Fuzzy Felt. Sure, they still make it now, but it’s just not the same! Things have faces on the modern stuff, there’s no room for pure imagination to run wild!

When I was a child, I was given Fuzzy Felt to play with and my creativity took over, I still remember the crinkly blue plastic segments that held all of my precious shapes, and the thin cardboard ‘background’ which would be my canvas. I truly feel that Fuzzy Felt made me realise from quite a young age that ‘art’ didn’t have to be a drawing or a painting. And it didn’t have to last forever.

Fuzzy Felt was originally born in 1950, so the staying power of this fantastically simple toy is testament to it’s appeal. Maybe if todays kids weren’t so distracted by telly we would still see a hell of a lot more Fuzzy Felt magic!

It’s not particularly valuable if you have a vintage box today, but the satisfaction you will get from making a rude collage or dream home scene is beyond monetary value.

Finally, in combining style with toys.. imagine what Fuzzy Felt brooches could bring to an outfit! I love anything that reminds me of my childhood, I love anything childish in general. Felt brooches are all over Etsy right now, why not create a nostalgia laden Fuzzy Felt alternative.

On that note.. I’m getting myself on eBay… this is my new ‘thing’.

This Lives In My House – Paper Toy Monsters

Here is a picture of the thing:

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Hey look I got a little better at taking a picture! Go me.

I MADE THESE MYSELF!! I know, I’m a genius huh? No really… I did fold and stick these myself, but they are from an awesome book I bought from my local ‘Travelling Man’ comic book shop in Leeds.

I don’t know what compelled me to buy it.. I have never been particularly interested in paper toys before, but I DO like vinyl and collectible toys, so I guess my inner child (so all of me then) couldn’t resist!

Here is the book they are from..

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Jam packed with awesome paper toys!

If you want it too, you can buy it HERE. I can’t tell you just how fun they are to make! Some of the expressions on them are amazing. Like the little bed guy… he’s my fave! 

I have made roughly a third of the toys in this book (more than I have shown on the photo). Some were really hard and not fit for anyone to see by the time I finished mangling them all up! In the back of the book they have blank templates for you to draw, paint, collage or whatever your own designs onto!

I keep my little fellas in my display cabinet with all my other toys.. which you will probably see in a future ‘This Lives In My House’ post!

Kate x