Tuesday 27 August 2013

What the Hell to Buy Your Dad...

If you're anything like me, buying for your Dad is always the hardest. With Fathers day just round the corner I though I'd ask my Partner, Scott (a real life man) to pick some affordable gifts that would make even the grumpiest Dad smile. 

Shameless plug alert my 'More Awesome that 2Pac on a Unicorn' t-shirt has just been restocked in all sizes and is a pretty neat gift for telling Dad how cool he is. However if 2Pac's not your Dads' bag. Here's Scotts list. Most of these are NZ finds so you should still have time to sort for Sunday.

The Smith Journal by Frankie Press ($12.95 NZ in most bookstores like Whitcoulls, Paper Plus etc) … a quarterly mag for discerning men which surveys interesting, creative and genuine folk with stories. Your Dad can gloat that he knows 'what's up' cause he reads Smith. Volume 7 out now. 

Samurai Sword Chopstick Set by Think Geek ($7.79 US or a set of 3 for $19.99 US) … you know your Dad doesn't eat pies for lunch he eats sushi! So facilitate him to do so in style and annihilate his lunch with these samurai sword chopsticks.  

Rude Hand Gestures of the World Book ($21.95 NZ from the online store Wocolate) … description writes itself.

Bear Grylls Scout Folding Knife by Gerber ($52.50 NZ from Top Gear) … although your Dad can't be Bear Grylis, let him fantasize about being so with this Bear Grylis knife. He can open any can, slice an apple or just scratch his back. 

The Dude Abides Sweater ($48.00 US from the Lebowskifest Store) … all Dad's love the Big Lebowski and now you can confirm that he is also the DUDE. 

Regional Art Prints by Ink Big ($30 NZ  for a A2 art print from  Ink Big, other sizes available) … for your Dad's home office, get some beautiful illustrative prints that give sentiment to the wonderful family holidays of summer past. They can replace that scantily clad poster which has been up for ages but no one will acknowledge as art, let alone talk about. 

App Store Gift Card ($30 and $50) … a none physical option.  Dad loves to tells you the latest apps he got for his phone but as you know your Dad, there are more things than Angry Birds out there. These are some more practical options. 

Camera Noir ($2.59) … Your Dad is probably not into Instagram but likes to take photos. This allows him to take 'beautiful' black and white photos without having to go to his home developing studio. 

Wake Alarm ($2.59) … it's hard enough to get Dad up in the morning. This alarm is pretty though so surely he can't get too mad with it when it wakes him from his slumber. 

Multi-Measure HD ($2.59) … bring your phone into the workshop. This will allow Dad to keep things level, measure angles and with the decibel function allow him to tell you how much noise you are making. 

Convert Bot ($2.59) … this is unit conversion robot. When your Dad is managing his shares or just needing to know how many pints he will get out of his micro home brewery this will do the trick. 

A huge thanks to my lovely better half Scott Savage for taking time out of his day to write this.

Monday 19 August 2013

How to Make a 16 Page Zine from One Sheet of Paper!

I taught this simple class on how to make a zine at 'Wellington Handmade' back in June (along with a few other tips and tricks). Once you get your head around pagination it's all really simple and a lot of fun.

Of course you can use this technique for making more than just zines! It's idea for making little info booklets particularly if you're on a budget. It's also a great way to put together family or holiday snapshots to send to loved ones or strangers if you like; who am I to judge. Today I'll refer to it as zine making though, as zines are often about producing multiples of a publication in a cheap and easy way.

1. You'll need a few bits and pieces. Most importantly access to a printer or photocopier. Scissors. Stapler (all the better if it's long armed). Paper, standard sizes such as A4 or A3 work best.

2. We'll start by making a master template. You can later use this to make your photocopies/prints from. Take a piece of A4 (this will fold down to make an A7 zine) or A3 (folds down to make an A6 zine) sheet of paper...

...fold it once longways...

...fold it again vertically across the centre...

...and fold once more vertically across the centre again.

3. Now comes the tricky bit. You need to number the pages 1-16 in Sequence. Start on the front page and work back. 

Some of the pages are folded/hidden but these need to be numbered as well. I recommend using a pencil so you can rub out the pages once you have finished designing.

4. Unfold the sheet of paper and you'll see that both sides have numbers on them. The numbers show where the pages will end up once the zine is folded again. Trust the numbers, even though it seems odd that they are often not sat near the pages you want them to be.

It's now time to get creative and start placing your designs/text/images onto the template. This is important - make sure what every your putting on the page is orientated to the same direction as the numbers you draw on earlier.

5. Now your pages are all laid out (on both sides) you are ready to photocopy (or scan in and print). You'll need to print 'duplex' (on both sides of the same piece of paper). Do a test run to see if you need to duplex on the short or long edge.

The free downloadable 'how to make a zine, zine' is flipped on the short edged (this means you turn it over on the short, rather than the long edge of the paper). Just play around to work this out or ask for help in the copy shop, they deal with this everyday so will easily be able to give you a hand.

6. Once you have a print out ready fold it up the same way we did at the start (step 2). My zine is pink because I chose a pink paper stock.

7. Now it's time to bind. This is where the stapler come in. Open the zine up to the centre pages and staple twice along the fold line. Binding done, it's that easy.

8. Now close the zine back up and cut along the top and non bound long edge using a strong pair of scissors. That's it you have a zine. Repeat for as many editions as you like.

Download your how to make a zine, zine here!

Thursday 15 August 2013

Seasons' Eatings 2014

It's very weird to be thinking about calendars in August but believe it of not, in giftware circles, i'm behind the game. Luckily for a small business like mine there's still enough time to get it all illustrated and printed before Christmas.

To build on the success of last years seasonal food calendar I have teamed up with a friend and fantastic cook Bronwyn Mason (you might also know her as R.W. Scissors) to create a seasonal calendar-cum-recipe collection. Unlike most calendars, this one carries on having a purpose once the year is done. Simply tear along the perforation to remove the dates, and you are left with an illustrated cookbook and guide to season produce. Even the torn-off dates have a second use as a shopping list for the ingredients used.

Bronwyn and I are both taking a bit of a leap of faith as we don't yet have the funds to produce the calendar. That's where New Zealand 'crowdfunding' site PledgeMe comes in. We're aiming to raise $1,500 to get a run of 100 of these calendars professionally printed to the highest quality on 100% recycled paper.

I am running this PledgeMe as a pre order and there are some great rewards up for grabs. Here's a wee gander of the rewards list:

$5 - One illustrated recipe emailed to you with a thank you message.

$10Three printable, illustrated recipes emailed to you with a personal thank you message.

$20 - A 297mm x 210mm Seasons’ Eatings signed artist print, recipe card and handwritten thank you note.

$25 - Screen printed fruit and veg tote... design to be finalised but based on the style of illustration used through out the calendar.

$30 Seasons' Eatings calendar/cookbook, including free shipping within New Zealand 

$45calendar and tote bag combination

$50 - Two Seasons' Eatings calendars

$80 - Two Seasons' Eatings calendars and two tote bags

$120Seasons' Eatings calendar, but also an original illustration (in the same style as the calendar) of any recipe of your choosing: from a family favourite to a cookbook classic.

$290 - Seasons' Eatings calendar and tote, and you also get the hand-illustrated recipe of your choosing. On top of this, you will be sent (by courier, anywhere in New Zealand) a lovingly homemade, decorated Christmas cake, carefully packaged in a hand-illustrated box.

$450Seasons' Eatings calendar and tote. Plus your own world famous Dear Colleen ‘Dishes’ tea towel designed and printed just for you. Your choice of up to 5 people - from hollywood stars to sports men to yourself. You'll get 3 tea towels plus you can have more printed at request at a cost of $12 each.

My PledgeMe will be up for 19 day. Some further rewards may be announced if the funding goals reach their targets. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Saturday 10 August 2013

My Name is Earl(wolf)

If you follow me anywhere online you would have noticed my partner Scott and I have added a puppy to our family. I still feel a little shocked that we opted for a Chihuahua. Having grown up in a house with German Shepherds and Newfoundlands both huge breeds (here's a link to my parents dog rescue group, yep I come from a dog crazy family). I've literally gone from the biggest of dogs to the smallest. Lucky Scott and I met a tiny Chihuahua when we were up in Wellington and all our preconceived ideas were washed away.

Earlwolf (named after Earl Sweatshirt of odd future in a round about way) is a smart and loving little cookie. I never know Chihuahuas were among one of the oldest, and are one of the brightest dog breeds around. So despite the fact he's a 20th the size of our border collie he is proving to intellectually be his equal. They had a bit of a distant first week but now, three weeks down, they are firmly the best of friends.

This year has been pretty full of worry and heartbreak and it's been so lovely to have this happy ball of fluff in our lives. Scott and I are so lucky that we mostly work at home and are able to look after and be with the pups so much, it sure makes the day job more fun.

On a side note, we planned pretty carefully getting a second dog and have been weighing it up for a couple of years. Also I just found out that Mickey Rourke is a Chihuahua enthusiast... which makes me like Chihuahuas and him all the more.