Tiny things Tuesday #23

Hello July! Even though the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind what it’s doing, I’m feeling summery.

Here are this week’s tiny things;

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1. I am in LOVE with this Brow Box by Urban Decay. it was a gift from my lovely friend Donna and have I have the Brown Sugar version. I usually use pencils for defining/emphasising my brows but this product is so much better. It’s also really, really cute with its tiny mirror, angled brushes and mini tweezers*

2. I got home tonight with energy to spare so I made this bread. The recipe was also in a vegan book that I was given for my birthday by my partners parents. They gave me some carrots and courgettes from their garden when I saw them last week, so I’ve put them to good use.

3. We got new bed linen last week and I picked up the matching bottom sheet today. I love the bright colours and the bold pattern. I’m pretty sure this year is all about embracing bright colours into my life. It really does seem to helping with my mood too.

4. This weekend I had a lovely time on Saturday hanging out with some friends at the Godiva Festival that Coventry puts on once a year. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine chatting with friends. We had a BBQ afterwards at a friends house and I was presented with some belated gifts. One of them was this cuddle version of the Prince from the Katamari games. I love playing Beautiful Katamari when I’m in the mood to relax and they have the best soundtracks.

& now I’ve worn myself out with baking and cleaning, it’s time to relax with my feet up, some fresh bread and Netflix.

Till next time…

* It’s really hard to find information about which Urban Decay products are vegan any more it seems. I’m not 100% that the brow wax included in this box is vegan but I’ve emailed to check.

IZM 2015

It’s July which means it’s International Zine Month! This celebration of all things self published and zine-like was dreamed up by Alex Wrekk (who writes the long running zine – Brainscan, plays in the zine themed band the Copy Scams and writes zinester bible Stolen Sharpie Revolution – she’s basically THE zine queen)

So what are my zine themed plans for this month? I’m going to be taking some inspiration from the list below (but due to energy and boring stuff like work, I can’t commit to doing ALL of the things)

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I hope to get a new zine finished by the end of the month, write lots of mail to my zinester friends, get all my for sale/trade stock up on this site and make a flyer with info about my perzine – ellipsis, and my comp zine – Rebel Rebel. I also want to write some posts on here about favourite zines, distros, my own history with zines and just generally give a lot of zine love.

Tiny things Tuesday #22

Oh hey! I wasn’t here last week. Well, I was here (as in, at work and in my house) but I wasn’t here online. My laptop is *still* not working and I had no easy way to get my pics online and make this post.

Today though, I was prepared for it and took my photos before I left for work and then uploaded them on my break so they are all here waiting for me when I came to post this evening.

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1. I’m in love with my latest craft project. This is my 3rd full size crochet blanket and I got the yarn from the Attic24 shop (http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/attic24). I’m using the Original Stylecraft pack but excluding 3 of the shades (the dark purple, the red and the mossy green) because they didn’t quite fit for me. The bright colours are so fun to work with and I’m really enjoying sitting on my bed with 14 squishy balls of yarn in front of me and trying out different colour combinations. The pattern for the squares comes from this book.

It feels weird in some ways to be working on a blanket when it’s so hot, but the summer colours are perfect for my mood and it’s also nice to have something I can work on in small parts. Hopefully by the time I come to joining all my squares together, it will be cooler.

2. I went to visit my friend Sarah in Stafford at the weekend and we had an impromptu trip to TK Maxx before I got the train home. I picked up these shoes for £16. I really love the pattern and how round the toes are. I’m looking forward to wearing them with cute skirts and dresses.

3. It’s July tomorrow which means Indietracks is really, really soon! I brought a camp stove last week for making coffee and noodles and the 2015 compilation is now out on bandcamp. It’s such a bargain at £3 (although you can pay more if you are feeling flush) it’s getting me in the mood for camping, dancing and hanging out with some of my very favourite people.

4. I spent my lunch break today laying on the grass in the shade near where I work, listening to podcasts and eating my lunch. I have been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency this week so I stood in the sun for 5 mins too. It really relaxes me being around grass, trees and blue skies at the moment. I need to take a blanket next time though as I got an ant bite on my boob! Ouch.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday* #21

*Yes, yes this is still titled Tuesday but is posted on Thursday because half way through writing this my laptop decided it had to install urgent updates which unfortunately went wrong and meant the laptop wouldn’t start again. I’ve only had the time to carry on with it this morning so that’s just how it is.

Sleepy, slow week. I feel like a sloth. Still, it’s Tuesday which means it’s time to write. Then when I wake up it’ll be Wednesday which means the weekend is coming in to view again.

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1. It’s summer! no, really – even if the weather is more grey skies than sunshine. Summer means ice lollies and cocktail – so why not combine both of those with these lollies I picked up from Tesco. Both flavours are pretty delicious and they only taste a little boozy which means you aren’t going to be suddenly over the limit after enjoying one of these!

2. I’m listening to a lot of podcasts at the moment. Undisclosed is one of the post-Serial podcasts that I am really enjoying. Yes, there is bias towards Adnam in this but I feel like they make this clear at the start AND there is so much interesting evidence that is being uncovered that I feel like most episodes end with my jaw flapping open and me skipping straight back to the start of that episode to listen again. I’m also really enjoying Serially Obsessed for the snark and general commentary.

3. I got this game for my birthday one or maybe two years ago but recently had a renewed energy with playing it. The first time I got what I thought was a fair way through before stopping for a while and then forgetting all the story and wondering what was going on when I returned to it. I started played this again from the beginning a few weeks ago and seems to have raced through it in a way I didn’t on the first play through. I’m really enjoying the story and the missions and have got really into levelling up my weapons and adding on all kind of stupid mods.

One thing I enjoy about not being an up to date gamer is that I can pick up some amazing titled for usually less than £10 and have hours of enjoyment from them. I currently mainly play on a Xbox 360, but also have a 3-ds XL, a Wii and a PS 2 which I use for various different things. Although a newer console may be fun, right now I’m pretty happy with what I have.

Till next time…

The busiest week (and a half)

A little catch up on some things I have been up to lately. It was my birthday on the 27th of May and I turned 35. It was a good but incredibly busy week socially on top of a really busy week at work so everything that wasn’t sleeping, already arranged social engagements and finishing up stuff ready for North West Zine Fest fell by the wayside.

Some highlights of my birthday and surrounding days
(I didn’t really take many pics so there wont be many in this post)

☆ I went to see the Alice’s Adventures Underground play in London which was really fun and well put together. It was part play and part interactive experience. We went in at our specified time spot and then got separated off further into smaller groups. Each group had a different story although there was a lot of cross over. I would definitely recommend checking it out while it’s still on. The location under London Bridge works really well too.

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☆ I went to see the Julie Ruin (also in London) The gig was wonderful – it has been so inspiring to see this band and Sleater-Kinney play this year and to be reminded that there is nothing at all stopping me making music except for my own fear.

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I managed to not see anyone else I knew who was going though sadly and we had to dash off very fast after the gig to make the last train back to Coventry (on which we had a fairly eventful journal speaking to a lovely lady from New York who then missed her stop – eek!)

☆ I went to Birmingham with Joe and ate at Café Soya, brought stamps and browsed bookshops (aka my favourite type of day out)

☆ I went to NWZF and debuted my new zine (Rebel Rebel) I didn’t make it to any workshops in the end. I heard really good stuff about them all though. I had a lovely day hanging out with old friends and chatting to some new people. I really enjoyed tabling in between Emma Jane and Emily (who writes D&D virgin) so thanks to both. I shared my table with my friend Sarah who was selling her zines and some super cute brooches she made. She gifted me her last one at the end of the day so it wouldn’t be a lonely typewriter on it’s own.

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I found my scrappy list of possible things to do this year on my phone earlier and one of the items was having a zine fest in Coventry. Going to NWZF made me want to do this. I did go to a zine fest in Coventry this year BUT it wasn’t really a positive experience for me. It came over as more of a self publishing/small press fair and I was looking for something more DIY/radical/not for profit. I can’t relate to events where an A5 photocopied zine is being sold for £5.

☆ On my actual birthday I had to work but look at allll the vegan chocolate and sweets that my work colleagues gave me. They also got me a lovely coloring book, new pencils and some Alice stickers and post-its. I felt really spoiled and also like they very much get me!

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☆ and finally, I went to see the Moomins on the Rivera film which was lovely. The voices seemed a little weird at first but I soon got used to them and it was just a lovely relaxing film to watch on a Sunday morning.

Tiny things Tuesday #20

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1. I got these headphones for my birthday and they are excellent. The sound quality is really good – lots of bass and they feel comfortable to wear. It’s actually making old songs sound new because I can hear different parts that my old crappy headphones didn’t pick up on.

I also love the bright orange colour of them. I have found myself really drawn to orange and yellow accessories and stationery lately – more so that I have ever been before.

2. I was meant to see No Ditching at the weekend but their Birmingham gig fell through so I was feeling a bit glum. Luckily my friend Sarah visited for a sleepover and craft session. On Sunday we spent a few hours at a guinea pig and rabbit rescue cleaning out the piggies and cuddling some of the babies. I love the noises that guinea pigs make. It’s so cute to hear them chatting away to each other. It was so lovely and relaxing and I’m looking forward to going back to the rescue again soon to help out again.

3. Sarah also taught me how to DIY screen print at home using muslin, an embroidery hoop, acrylic paint and grease proof paper. I made this little print of a silver Totoro outline last night when I got home and I’m pretty happy with how it came out. I haven’t had much luck attempting to add further details on top yet but I need to experiment further I think. Learning new skills (especially ones that I can do at home for little money) really energises me. I have been thinking about other ideas since the weekend.

4. There is yet another free Moomin app out and this one can be used to add cute Moomin themed borders and pictures to photos. I will of course be decorating all my pictures this summer using this app.

(also, the link says it’s coming soon on iOS but it’s now out)

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #19

There was no post last week for reasons I will explain in my next post (the short version – I’ve been really busy) I missed writing in here though. I have lots of ideas for things to write about and changes I would like to make to this website but I lack the time to properly sit down and do them.

Here’s this weeks list;

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1. Ready Player One – this book was recommended to me by stall mate at NWZF – Emily (who writes D&D virgin) I’m absolutely loving this so far. It’s been a while since I felt so engrossed in a book and I’m reading on the bus and at lunchtimes to squeeze in any extra time I can.

2. Brooches – In the last year especially I seem to have a growing collection of brooches that I wear on my coats/cardigans/jackets. I’ve been enjoying how much these brighten up my mostly plain clothes and add a focus point to some outfits. My favorite one is this little guinea pig dude who was made by Inki Designs. Also pictured is the glittery lips brooch from February’s Lucky dip club.

3. My Stay Home Club top just arrive and I’m already wearing it. I love the design and it fits ok (despite it being my most hated “one size fits all” style) This is pretty much my motto at the moment. I’m living my days at work just looking forward to getting home.

4. I just got an order of zines from Fight Boredom distro in Canada*. With these, my haul from NWZF and all the books I got for my birthday, I am going to be set for a while. I’m feeling so fired up about zines at the moment so having loads to read, is really giving me energy, inspiration and strength.

& now, back to my book.

Till next time…

* the website is actually offline at the moment, hence no link.

Tiny things Tuesday #18

I’m so tired. I worked 6 days last week and averaged about 15,000 steps each day (7.5 miles) I just feel like I could spent a week sleeping. I’m glad we have a long weekend coming up even though I have a far few things planned for the weekend.

This weeks list…

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1. I’ve been really into making my own pesto lately. Vegan pesto tends to come only in one type – plain basil. I made some roasted red pepper pesto the other night by blending the peppers with pine nuts, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. It went a lot further than I expected and wasn’t too expensive to make aside from the pine nuts but I probably went slightly OTT with them. I blended all the ingredients with a stick blender until it was smooth and enjoyed it over pasta with some vegan Parmesan cheese.

2. With my ever growing love of GPS based games – I needed a portable power supply that lasted a decent amount of time. Last week I went to my first Ingress meet up and found out about the wonder of Anker batteries. I got myself am Anker 2nd Gen Astro E6 and it’s very impressive. It takes a few hours to charge but then gives me more than enough power to charge my phone (iphone 4s) a few times over before running out. It’s much more powerful than other portable batteries I have had which only really gave given enough juice to half charge my phone and are good for an emergency but not really for gaming or being out for the whole day.

My Anker was reasonably priced (around £30) and came with it’s own storage pouch and a charging lead (but not USB socket). I love how it has 3 USB ports on it, so I can share it with other when I am out. I think its going to be a “must carry” piece of kit for me.

3. I spent this evening watching The Office (US) on Netflix and folding and cutting copies of my past zines to take along to North West Zine Fest at the end of the month. Who else is going? It should be a really good day with tons of my favorite people.

I’m hoping to have issues 2, 3 and 4 of ellipsis on my stall as well as my new zine about small acts of rebellion (which I really hope I can finish, copy and debut) and some felt brooches. I just need a few more hours in each day to do all of this.

On that note, sleep time for me.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #17

It’s exam season where I work, which means my days are becoming very hectic. I have been staying close to home and conserving my energy as best as I can. Being busy has actually been a blessing at work as it has made the day fly by. I have a balance of enough to do but not so much that it’s piling on top of me.

I’m still going to my mindfulness class on a Tuesday night so I am finding that I want to write these posts and then fall head first into bed. So without further delay, here’s this weeks list;

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1. Eating these type of instant noodles in their own cardboard bowl reminds me of reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (and writing this reminds me that I’m probably due a re-read) I got rained on at lunchtime today and was in need of something warm, comforting and cheap for my lunch. The convenience store on campus has lots of international products and I love how many of the noodles, rice crackers etc. are accidentally vegan. They also get bonus points for having added dried veggies and other exciting things that make them a cut above a bog standard pot noodle!

2. This was my somewhat immature way of cheering myself after the awful election result the other day. I’m not going to get on my political soapbox here but the result saddened and depressed me and made me worry for the future of a lot of my friends. I’m trying to counteract it with humour, good music (ONSIND, the Lovely Eggs & Against me) and thinking what I can do to help make world a little better in a local sense.

3. Because I have been so busy with exams and walking around campus, it means I am easily hitting (and exceeding) my 10,000 step goals each day. I’ve been using my fitbit flex for a while and although it does have a few issues (like the bands snapping far quicker than I would like) it is really motivational having it on me and using it to track my sleep and movement (and sometimes water intake although I didn’t enter any today)

4. Last pay day I ordered some zines from Stranger Danger Distro in America and they arrived this week. I can’t afford to over from overseas distros very oftern because of how much it ends up costing in postage so I try and make my orders count and spent ages reading the descriptions and deciding what to buy. I think I made some good choices because everything I have read so far has been great and Heather who runs the distro included a little note to say I had picked some of her favorite titles. I’m going to eek out my reading so they last me a while. I also love the extra bits that were included like postcards and stickers.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #16

I can’t believe it’s May already. I’ll be 35 in a few weeks which I am pretty ok with, but I’m not sure my 25 year old self would believe me if I said that I would turn 35 with purple hair and a septum ring.

Only going to make a teeny tiny post today as it’s Joe’s birthday this evening and I want to spend some time with him eating Thai food rather than typing on here.

It’s been a funny week. I fell down the stairs last Wednesday and I’m still pretty sore from that. I have a fairly impressive bruise covering a large part of my right hand. I am still struggling with moods and stress but there is are still many things to enjoy in my life.

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1. Long weekends are such a welcome thing at the moment. This one was pretty great as I got to visit London and had a fairly bus day on Saturday but then a nice relaxing time on Sunday with Joe. We walked around Regents Park, collected munzees and saw some baby goslings (too small to see in this photo but they were fluffy and adorable). This followed by a visit to Vx, a cheap and tasty fry up and a sneaky visit to Paperchase at Euston before our train home. Usually London exhausts me but I came home this time feeling nicely chilled out.

2. I spent a good few hours colouring on Sunday and Monday. I’m working on this piece and it’s been really relaxing. I went to my mindfulness class this evening and we talked at the end about how beneficial colouring can be in terms of mindfulness. I never really know what to do with things I have finished because I think for me it’s more about the process than the finished piece with colouring – which is the opposite to almost every other craft I do.

Till next time…