a zine project

Posts tagged ‘zine’


photo88The zines are in the mail, or most of them anyhow. A few get to be hand-delivered. Friday morning found me chapping fingertips putting stamps on envelopes. Said hands were already cramped from the scribbled “Please do not bend” I felt compelled to write twice per envelope. While I realize our mail slot on this elderly house is unusual, our magazines (made of sturdier stuff) hardly make it without being destroyed first. So I shall state it here, too: If your TalyaWren is received in a terrible condition, let us know so we can send another, girded in better protective gear.photo77

We are so excited to have sent out the zine! We really hope the recipients enjoy getting them in the mail, sitting down at the table, and opening them up for a good perusal and read.

I plan to get a “about me” paragraphs from contributors and add a page for that here. And post on any inspired works or quiz results we hope to find in our email box. Info about N’s Germany trip will likely occupy the next number of posts. Otherwise, I suppose it will get a wee bit quieter around here.



01 tapedGreat news! The zines are all folded and taped!

The not-so-good news: the zine didn’t go out today.

The better news: Friday!

With the task of putting addresses on envelopes, our thoughts turn to packaging. If you have ever purchased from a shop at etsy.com, you know how delightfully creative people can be. I’m not sure we are to that level. But ideas swirled and settled upon “how ‘bout a stamp?” and “whatever we do, just no more tape!”

01 stampedN and L carved stamps today.  N thought a negative of the bird would be good, so we made two stamps. We figured stamps would be an easy way to mark the envelope without embossing tools or figuring out the printer. Now to figure out how to revive the stamp pads.

01 markedN put the bookmarks we designed into the zines. It was like Valentine’s the other day, her going down the mailing list deliberating who would get which one of the 4 bookmarks. Then, because they were learning marketing techniques at school recently, and we talked about viral campaigns quite extensively at dinner the other night, N was plotting where we could leave the extra bookmarks. We may have to print more.

01 stencilWe thought about the weather and the mail slots, of water and bending and folding and jamming. It was decided, “do not bend” should be clearly marked on the envelope. We may add “best avoid liquids, too.” Stencils were an idea and using cardboard out of the recycle, we found the carving to be a bear and it too thick to easily brush paint over. Little wonder stencils are usually those flimsy plasticky things. We’ll either try again with thinner, yet sturdy, material or hand-write. N suggested tape (“you know, print out thin printed strips and tape it on”) and L balked—apparently her allergies are no longer limited to Fall and Spring.

We’ve a few days to make sure everything is lovely and in place. Eager to get this into our contributor’s hands!

taping in progress

Alright. So I, too, was hoping this post would be full of photographs of sealed and stacked envelopes on their way out the door. But soon!

There was an issue with printing the issue. It was solved, thankfully. (yay, Sean!) But we are delayed.

So this post is about the assembly.

If you will recall, I mentioned tape.

With the accordian style construction of the zine, we have to tape the pages together.

Sean set to folding the sheets into form, but first demonstrated the taping.

but do we tape from each side or only one?

(N, fresh from the shower and in pajamas staying up to her bedtime helping tape.)

N and L taped while Sean folded. We made reasonable progress but it was getting late for N.

We will continue our humble assembly line and, as Sean suggested, send them out in waves.

one lovingly taped zine at a time.

that is, after we add more tape, needing to replace the “instructions” on how to read the zine.

the b-side is a bit of a trick–unless you are a reader of Manga or other Asian constructions. Yep, the b-side pages will run right to left. We would have gone trickier if we’d planned for this well in advance, but alas…

N is on the technical writing today. We’ll print neat square patches this evening. Then add “instructions” to the “need tape” line.

postage pictures to come! will be worth the wait*, we promise.


*i refer to the zine, no promises on the quality of the pics.


to print!

We are to print! Hurray!

The weekend was well-spent.  It was a bit crazed though and perhaps more angst-filled than necessary. Okay,  I know it was more trouble than necessary. Here’s why: We changed the cover.

When contemplating binding options (something we will decide on next to first in the future) we settled on Accordian. I don’t know if that is an actual term for binding/publishing. We have quite a few pages that we did not want to shrink or cut for this edition. We had already moved from half-page to full 8 1/2 x 11. Still, we were up to 49 numbered pages. Include covers, inside and out, 25 sheets.  Lying in Saturday, I ignored my bladder and contemplated the zine (not unusual) and I thought: a small accordianed zine would be cute, a post-trip postcard-like zine. Not much later I was telling Sean of the idea. That is when we kicked-out the idea to do that with this Spring 2011 edition of TalyaWren.

So, you think organizing pages is tricky enough with a regular flip-the-pages structure…

In the end, Sean took the pages, used some tape, and tried to play out the structure. Bless him for taking on that headache. I thought I had had a good vision of it, but there was a flaw somewhere. So Sean worked it out, and two pages were still cut. The cutting was a difficult decision with which N met nobly. Suggestions were made, but she had the final word.

What does the format have to do with the cover?  Well, we were thinking of examples of accordianed pages. The cassette tape insert came to mind. Yep, that was entertaining explaining that one to N.

Sean had work to do this weekend so I took over the drawing of the cover. Some trace paper, black ink, N’s colored pencils, and some images from inside the zine–voila! I think I have graduated from Kindergarten art to 1st grade! I made them swear that it wasn’t quaint or cute or charmingly infantile. Were they humoring me? new talyawren cover

Sean’s previous cover is fantastic. We do love it so. So we kept it: back cover Not too, shabby, eh?! It was going to lie under the flipped out cassette case, half-revealed, but Sean hit the transparency button and ‘ta-da!’ A portion of it will also reappear on the Table of Contents with a hand-drawn frame by N (which turned out rather spectacularly!).

So with cover changes and binding issues, we had a busy weekend, especially yesterday. It was a bit rushed, I worry. (We rearranged some pages as well.) But Sean is right–It’s done. Now to print, and to purchase tape–you know, to accordian those pages. Just when I was thinking the zine wasn’t hand-crafted enough!

We will be printing 30 copies. (Should have a fresh-eyed reader scan over it first–Nah, it is done!)

We hope and have every plan to have the zine in the mail by Monday morning April 11th at latest.

Now for those Bookmarks N promised…


threeNot much work was done on the zine going into and over the weekend. Saturday was Odyssey of the Mind competition, so we were busy prepping, performing, and then recovering.

I’ve three little blue sticky notes on the board which represent the three little things we need to do to be ready to worry about the printing. Actually there is a pink note, too, that reads “double check mailing list.” We have every intention of disposing of those three little blue notes by mid-week at latest; as well as the pink one. Yay!!

a pen for music

Writing about Music:

To fill out the music section, N thought that she might write about one of her favorite albums. She plugged in her iPod, cued the album, and sat down with her notebook.

In the end I think the task was a bit overwhelming. I mean, how does one write about an album? Comments per song, over-all feel, compare to other albums, pair with autobiographical snap-shots… Many of us over the age of 10 and 3/4s have read several different approaches. I was curious to see what N came up with, and she did alright. It is fairly brief and the word awesome may appear repetitious, but she did alright. I think the page will be lovely. We titled it “sound check.”

We may have to find a way to incorporate writings about musical artists and their albums/songs into N’s repertoire. Do you have a reviewer, essayist, blogger, and/or magazine you follow for their excellent commentary in the music world?

Is there an Editor in the house?!

There are a few routes an English Major can take. One is pursue life as an Editor. Now, I do not understand all the nuances of life as an Editor, but I figure I would require a greater amount of training. For instance, I may have an understanding of Grammar (however underused), but articulating how that sentence errs or how that clause fails or why it is needed is lost to me. Fortunately, friends and classmates just go with it and then whisper-ask the teacher if L knows what she is talking about.

Another instance: This is a big one. Helping refine a work without taking it over and potentially compromising the voice.  Sometime I worry about fostering a belligerence in the daughter when it comes to her writing and the questioning of conventions and boundaries. That I am a huge fan of the Modernists (British in particular) and of the Dadaist (at the beginning, not presently), is telling and rubbing off. And yet, when I am looking over N’s work and making suggestions, she is willing to argue on behalf of her decisions. She is frighteningly, and reassuringly, articulate. She has been a good teammate and co-Editor in working on this zine.

My dad has also been a great help to me. After opting to put a few of my own pieces in, I sent them to him for editing. ‘Twould have been really embarrassing for me if I hadn’t.

TalyaWren has been scraping away at my rusting skill set even as it has been providing me with an opportunity to grow. It hasn’t tempted me away from pursuing Library/Information Sciences, but it has been a great deal of fun–despite the occasional angst. And I do worry–a little.

While the zine may be a home-grown Art Project of modest proportion and amateur skill, I hope that no one could call it Quaint—anything but that. In order to avoid that terrible end there must needs be an Editor in the house. I’ll take two or three…