Thursday, 25 August 2016

Recent Reads ~ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Clothes Music Boys, Story of Pain and Sailor Moon

*Writing words is not my thing, reviews are not my thing. However, I love books so much and always want to share what I've been reading so I'm just going to go ahead and do it regardless. Also, I don't much care about spoilers so who knows if I say too much or not but I also rarely read anything new. Read at your own risk.*

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons From The Crematorium by Caitlin Doughty - I was expecting this (probably just because of the title) to be more anecdotes about working in a crematorium but, as well as a memoir of her start in the funerary business, it was more about her general view on how we have an awful relationship with death in the west. Maybe if you haven't read anything on the topic before there'd be enough of the mortician work anecdotes for you (because there definitely are some), maybe it's just because I'd read other books about it so what she did share were things I already knew (except the bit about getting the babies in the cremation machine, that must take some getting used to), or maybe it was purely because I'd wrongly judged what the book was going to be like and held it to a standard that wasn't fair because I'd made it up. It might not have been entirely what I was expecting but it was still a real good book. I'm so interested in this topic, the death one. It's so fascinating and she's so right, we are dumb about it. It happens to everyone, we should talk about it much more.

Clothes Music Boys by Viv Albertine - This book is amazing, it's such a good look into the London punk scene in the seventies and it's an amazingly honest, raw story right up through her adult life so far. She tells some pretty amazing stories and how they're written just works so perfectly. The first half got me feeling all riled up and ready to make stuff and just get on with it (whatever 'it' may be lol) and the second half was so amazing because you rarely hear such an honest account of a middle aged woman's life. I don't really know what to say about it without just telling all the stories but I definitely recommend it. I read a couple of excerpts in my July wrap up video.

The Story of Pain From Prayer to Painkillers by Joanna Bourke - This is the first book I've ever read that uses she not he when it's not about a particular person so I was sold from the start to be honest. It was a slightly heavier read in that it was more academic, although not as academic as some books can be. It was really interesting and she touched on so many subjects that often get ignored in favour of the white middle class story such as chronic illness, race, class and gender issues within the subject of pain and how people have been treated over the centuries (and still now) depending on these factors.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi - All the little drawings in the speech bubbles and how it changes from pointiest of chins style manga to chibi heart eyes is just amazing. (I draft these posts as I read the books and then come back to try and flesh them out but I'ma leave that review as is) I'll just add, Sailor Moon is one of those things that I know I like but have never had the chance to experience yet but I'm finally getting to read/watch it bit by bit and I was totally right. It's awesome, I love it.

Please tell me what you are reading or what I should read and add me on goodreads if you use that because I love it for finding new books to add to my ever growing list ^_^

Also, go visit your library if you don't already (and if you do then go an extra time, treat yourself), it's where I got all these books from. Libraries are magical, amazing and important and need your support. If you can't get to your local library look them up online, I know mine also do ebooks and stuff so maybe they can still help you out.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Sketchbook March - July 2016

I'm too lazy to photograph or scan pages at the minute but here's a video flip through of my recently finished sketchbook.

That baby was £2 from Tiger (⊙_⊙)
£2!! I mean, it wasn't the best sketchbook in the world but it certainly did the job. Markers didn't bleed on the page and they only showed through, they didn't hit the next page. And it wasn't all weird and smudgy like some 'proper' sketchbooks can be. Overall, not too shabby.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Let's Make Stuff ~ One Sheet Zine

Let's make zines. Seriously, you totally should. They don't have to be fancy but they can be and they don't ever have to be seen by anyone except you but you could print hundreds and hand them out to everyone and they can be about everything or nothing at all. There's a bit of a trend at the minute for people making independent magazines or small self published books and calling them zines when they maybe shouldn't, don't let it put you off though. The one thing everyone can agree on about zines is how accessible they are and that anyone can make one regardless of funds and skill. It's your thing for you.

While I was making some zines the other day I thought someone might find it useful if I recorded the folding process. Hopefully I don't explain it too badly. Once you've done it once it's really easy. One sheet folded zines are actual magic, the only thing I don't like about them is that I have no need for my long arm stapler but the fact they don't need any binding also works as a pro so I'll let it slide. I use a4 paper in the video but you could use the same folding technique on whatever size paper. I'm planning to do some a3 ones soon so that when I use the blank side for posters they'll be nice and big. (Although, obviously, posters would work on any size.)

You can find my July zine that's in the video here. If you make zines leave your links in the comments and show off to me (*≧ω≦*) 

Here's a very rough example for a page guide. Obviously that centre line should actually be down the centre and all the lines should be straight but it's enough to give you an idea for where to put your content (if you even want it to sit on the pages 'correctly' you could totally just mash it all on randomly and it would be really cool too. Because all zines are cool. That's part of the magic).

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Little Things ~ 12th August 2016


I don't know why but it seems being negative is so much easier than being positive so it's really easy to get caught up in all the negativity that's floating around, whether it's being sad because of negativity coming from everywhere else or maybe you're the one being a bit down on things rather than finding the good. It's important to make the effort to be more positive, you'll feel so much better for it and it has a knock on effect for everyone around you. It's definitely an ongoing battle for me. People doing wrong (in tiny not so important ways and massive super important ones) really hits me hard and I find it starts to drag me down way too much but I also feel like it's important to see as much of what's going on in the world as possible so I can't just hole up and ignore everything. You need to find a balance.


I think one good way to do this is to take some time to notice all the little things that make you smile that you'd normally just walk past or don't really see anymore. I thought I'd make a little video/photo series out of it. Every now and then I'm going to take a couple of hours off (or just throughout a whole day) and record some of the little things that exist that are good. It's not a magical cure but it should give me chance to stop, take a breath and realise at least it's not all bad.

As well as upping my mental state I'm also hoping this little exercise will improve my filming and photography skills so win win ^_^
If only I had some editing software to correct contrast and such, one day  /(^ × ^)\

The first two photos in here are actually from a different day but they fit the theme and had no where else to go.
Hope you're having a good week!

Monday, 15 August 2016

I Am Enjoying Snapchat #2

I'm still enjoying snapchat a lot. I got a little thrown by the instagram stories update. I'm so broken, I just kind of got confused as to what I should use (because, hi instagram, you totally ripped off snapchat, it's exactly the same. How long will it be before all the face filters turn up?!) and stopped using either for a few days (ᗒᗣᗕ)
Anyway, I came to the conclusion that while the insta stories seems fun too (and I will probably use it now and then) I prefer the look of snapchat and even though it makes no sense in terms of self promotion/wanting to be looked at (I mean, why else do we post public photos?) snapchat is less stressful because I don't have so many people on there and (I think?) none that I know in 'real life', other than Will. I really do enjoy the doing of snapchat for myself rather than because I think people will look at it which is quite calming I guess. I don't know what I'm talking about lol, here are some silly photos I took mostly while bored.

I filmed this patch making too, here's the blog post in case you missed it.

If you'd like to follow me my username is vongarratt ^_^
If you follow any good public accounts on there let me know so I can follow them too!!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Shop Update ~ Zines, Stickers, Strawberry Tote Friend

July 2016 Zine

Zines! Stickers! Cute fella! All new for your buying pleasure ^_^

July 2016 Zine
No Theme Zine
No Theme Zine

Two new zines. I've been desperate to make some new zines recently but kept tripping over myself trying to figure out what they should be about. So to get me going I made one with no theme and one that is stuff from July, nice and easy. I'm glad I did them too, I really love making zines, the layout, the printing, the folding, the stapling. Uh, I could do it forever. (During August, if you buy something else from my etsy but mention the July zine I'll put one in your order for free.)

This cutie is in my Society6 and Redbubble shops. I'm not sure where he came from but I'm glad he turned up.


It turns out I get a similar joy out of making stickers as I do zines. There's just something about the combination of creating and paper, gives me those fuzzy feels. These come in four different sets; kawaii, hungry, negative and positive vibes.

I hope you're having a good weekend ^_^

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Let's Make Stuff ~ Hand Painted Patch

Making things always makes me so very happy so I wanted to share some makes on here with you. Here is how I made my hand painted Ladybaby patch.

Once you've decided the thing you're a fan of that you want to show off about you will need:
a way of getting the logo onto your fabric, I printed it at home and then traced it onto the fabric with a pencil the same colour as the paint I would be using (so you can't see the pencil later). You could hand draw it, use transfer paper, whatever you have available to you :)
water and tissue (for cleaning the brush)

If sewing isn't for you then use fabric glue, you could even use some paint and decorate the edges of the patch seeing as you don't have the stitches making colours there. Blobs of glitter glue would be great.
Also don't worry if you need to simplify the design depending on how agile you are with a brush. It's meant to be fun, don't stress over it being a 'perfect' copy just enjoy the making :)

Literally one or two days after I made this patch Ladybeard announced he wasn't a part of Ladybaby anymore and Ladybaby released a video as 'The Idol Formerly Known As Ladybaby" so as always I am current and on trend. Whatever lol, I still wear it with pride, Ladybaby were awesome while they existed ^_^