Category: Books

Sirens and Sea Foam and Villanelles (by )

Sirens and Sea Foam

I've made a new poetry zine, it was planned anyway and then there was the offer of doing poetry at the Sea Shanty Festival in Gloucester so I thought - it is time! And so I made it! There are quite a few other things I've put together for Saturday poetry starts at 1 in Kings Walk shopping arcade and then there is a pirate walk and a zillion other things on plus the actual Tall Ships Festival.

But ... but before all that there is Villanelles tonight at the Fountain Inn in Gloucester where I will run a poetry writing workshop from 7 pm, it is then followed by a series of recordings of poems being performed and interviews etc... which you can watch and/or take part in.

Also there is putting poems on pigs but more on that later 😀

There is just so much more going on at the moment and I am organising exciting events including archaeology, science, art, history, science, technology, craft and sustainibility - I am quite tired! (but I am pacing myself!)

Hope to see peeps both on line and at physical events 🙂

p.s. the workshops are free and happen on the last Thursday of every month.

Art Activity Booklet!!! (by )

Art Activity Booklet

At the end of April me and Jean were sitting in the Gloucester Waterstones Cafe - she was doing her home work and I was working on my graphic novel script. I think I swapped what I was doing to making stuff for a writing workshop and she finished her homework stole my sketch pad and began drawing. Her drawings have been improving drastically this year and she love the general idea of anime and comic book art. She wanted an activity book so she could work through a series of exercises - not like the shelf of how to draw/art books we have on the shelf at home but more... interactive ie you get to draw in the book but it's not a colouring book type thing.

So off I went to look at what the bookshop had (well actually I popped off to the loos but noticed they had some books that matched her description so nabbed a few on the way back), none of them were quiet what she wanted and she decided they were too expensive...

"Could you make one with your tea cup and mug picture in it?"

So I started work on it and she vetoed and swapped things etc... until we have ended up with this booklet - it is along the lines of the Cuddly Science Activity Booklet and the Christmas Activity Booklet I made.

And also because it is us it has an essay on cave art with examples from around the world!

There will be a free downloadable PDF version on WigglyPets Press when I get round to it 🙂

In the mean time it will be coming with me to workshops, festivals and shows and physical copies can be bought from my etsy shop.

May’s Challenges 2017 (by )

May is about my picture and children's books - there is a write a book/script a day challenge for the first week of the month. It's called NaPiBoWriWee and is actually more insane than the nanowrimo writing challenges 🙂

I have plenty of ideas for my picture books and zines so this is kind of a great way of actualising some of them 🙂

I am being slightly boring in that I am focusing on stories I kind of need finished for festival, workshops and my activity booklets anyway... but the plan is to kind of continue the challenge and actually spend this month working on my children's stories and picture books (and yes there is actually a distinction between the two groups - they heavily over lap but not completely - so I have kids books with no pictures and picture books that are not aimed at kids!).

So for those who want to know this means I am working on:

1) The Origami Story Box - this is a series so as long as I get number one done I will then work on it until I get bored 🙂

2) Scripts for the Paper Pals Theatre - same as above really only these are scripts for making the puppets act!

3) Folded Friends - again another series and yes it involves the origami and paper craft creations but this one involves humans too 🙂

4) The Little Books - there is lots of finishing up to do for The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry like finally putting it on Amazon and making sure the audio is out, same with The Little Book of Festive Poetry, then The Little Book of Easter Poetry needs to be put together and zined and The Little Book of Baby Poetry needs recording and zining. There are also many many more that are written but not edited or illustrated so probably going to get bored before completion here as well 🙂

5) City Scum (might be Scum City I can never remember!) - this is Alaric's role playing game and I need to finish the illustrations for it!

6) Activity Booklets - these are booklets I create to accompany workshops, they contain stories, games, facts and stuff to make and do. Main focus is Cuddly Science 2, Salaric's Arty Activity Booklet, Funky Folding, Spring Time Activities and Summer Activities.

7) Colouring Books - finishing off my Myths colouring book, sorting some sort of year thing for Love: A Stranger Dream, finish the Autumn Colouring In Booklet and make a Spring and Summer version.

8) Admin stuff - sort out Orange Monster which is my illustrations and kids books blog and in general sort out my art work and writing into easier archives for searching, sort more places to sell products etc...

9) Graphic Novels - I have unfinished The Punk Universe comics so getting them finished and planning out the other story lines 🙂

10) Zines and things - there is stuff waiting to be scanned, edited, printed, folded, stapled, and the Wiggly Pets blog needs some work on it.

This is obviously a lot of stuff which I doubt I'll get through but it gives me clear goals and shows me exactly what there is to do 🙂

My only concern is that there is no room for random creation - but then that does have a tendency to just happen anyway so maybe that's not a bad thing?

And that is just the writing side of things... so apparent from that little lot I am also having a finishing things off month again. So the aim is to try and finish one started project or work on a larger already started project each day - at the moment this is mainly things like candle making and knitting

Suppose I'd better get on with it all then 🙂

Making and Creating (by )

So today has been a making things only day - when I got up I knew writing was going to be a no go as I am still recovering from the cognative tests at the hospital yesterday. This is what I made:

Upcycled book made with graze boxes and old colouring books

An upcycled book-wallet from graze boxes and colouring in books.

Flip note-let booklet with customised pencil

A little flip notelet holder also made from graze boxes and colouring in book (ie off cuts from the one upbove). Including a half pencil I have customised.

Origami boxes for story and poetry scrolls

Origami boxes made from special card Al bought me yesterday, for the large illustrated scrolls both story and poetry. Decorated with patterned tissue paper and stickers of my art work.

These are all still in the concepts phase as I need to see how they hold together etc... Also I have seen the colouring I did after the head injury and it is not pretty but mostly salvagable by help of black marker round the edges.

Here is more of the same from different angles:

WigglyPets Press mini pencil

I ended up using a cheese knife to remove a section of the vanished wood so that I could ink onto the pencil. Very pleased with how they came out though.

Book-wallet for blank poetry scrolls

The book-wallets are for blank poetry scrolls which can be used as note-lets. I am so so pleased with how this came out!

hand made book-wallet

It is lit. some card cut out from a graze box with colouring in sheets stuck to it.

Book wallet pouch with blank poetry scrolls or mini notepaper in

Using origami skills I then folded a double pouch which I stuck on the inside. I folded it out of an off cut from the uncoloured colouring in sheet I used from the inside.

Inside of upcyled book cover

I put the blank poetry scrolls which are little pieces of paper with my art work on that I have printed and cut to size. I hope they will help people get writing 🙂

Story Scrolls and box folds

These boxes came out lovely but the reason one has stickers on it is that it is actually very easy to buckle the cardboard, I ended up using a cheese knife to score lines where I wanted to fold and I added in a fold to make popping the boxes together nicer and avoid the ripping that occured with the first box. p.s. if anyone has seen my craft knives and metal ruler I would be most pleased to have them back but to be honest I don't think I've seen them since we moved from Essex!!!

Of Test Drives and Zines (by )

Surprise Pouches for mini-zines

This is a Surprise Pouch - they contain one mini zine each plus some other bits and pieces like but not always stickers, page corners, charms and so on 🙂

I love them, I am very pleased the idea worked so well. They will be coming to shows and things with me, they are 50p and will first appear at the OK True Believers Comic book Festival in Feb. I'm there as Wiggly Pet Press and there will be cosplaying and things a foot but I'll bore you with all that at some later date 🙂

I've spent the last few years writing and illustrating and constructing zines (little homemade comics and booklets) but have not always had the infrastructure to actually birth them completely into the world. Now I do. Now I am finishing off all those little zines that have been langishing on hard drives and the like (or worse in my head!).

So be prepared to see alot more of these little butes 🙂

Also I am in general mixing the writing up with the arts and crafts side of things, making tie in necklaces and writing stories for the steam punk accessories I'd made and so on.

Yes I'm aware I need to sell it all on line or something... I do have various e-shops I just don't always remember to list new things or tell people when I have!

Mary had Ballet today it was her first time in the new more advanced class, she was shy and with drawn, it is probably because she hadn't really slept but it was also because her two friends are not in this class. We are seeing how the next few weeks are going but if she continues to be distressed then the teacher says she can drop down again.

Then we went to test drive the Zoe - an electric vechile - we've wanted to have an electric car... well since before Al could drive. I used to enter all the comps to try and win a hybrid when they first came out - of course we never won 🙁 But now we are in a position where we might be able to do a lease for three years. Electric cars are still emergent technology so we wouldn't really want to invest as such in owning one (at the moment) but leasing one would cost us less than running our car plus we wouldn't have to do the maintinance and that is driving me insane (haha!).

Yeah I'm sick of spending weekends crawling under cars getting my cloths drity when it's a desperation factor because I need to be somewhere - also bare in mind I can't even drive!

The show room where lovely and we got hot drinks and we all got to go in the car. Jean likes it because it's smooth, I like it because it's quiet, Al likes the way it handles, Mary doesn't like it because a) it is not a red tesla (kind of agree on this one as we don't really have a choice of colour and they are all erm... muted but at least they are not biage!) and b) it was too "jumpy" this was actually Al getting used to the breaking system.

I like the back lights stylistically not too keen on the front ones, am sad that if we get it then I can't really put decals or anything on it and we don't even get funky hub caps because that all costs more or ment we had to wait longer or something.

I was pleased and yet embarrassed that I was asked if I wanted to test drive it.

We were supposed to then go shopping but there had been ceiling fans all rotating at different speeds around the lights and I'd had to think about numbers without the naps I am taking for the head injury during the week - the result was that I completely crashed and we came home, not really sure what we then did until I started folding things for comic book festivals but I know I slept.

Whilst Mary was in ballet I got another origami book from Waterstones because it has the little baskets/boxes I want to fold for Mary's birthday party in. I think it is counting as my birthday present from Al but I already have it because I finished all the projects I can do in the other books and have infact started to improvise weird geometric structures out of multiple sheets of paper and altering simple folds to be other things. Hence the Surprise Pouches which probably do exists elsewhere but for me are an adaption.

Alaric is helping me out with some zine formating as my brain is just not playing ball at the moment. The Christmas decorations are still sitting in piles in the living room but I am taking things at my own pace.

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