I did it! The other week I finished my first zine in over a year! "Historic Houses" is a collage of an old map of National Trust properties in the United Kingdom.
I lived with my family in England from 1998 to 2001 and went to many a manor and estate house during our tour. Being a teenager at the time, I couldn't tell you a thing about the ones we visited but the write ups of the properties in this publication were too good to pass up. It's always interesting to me what constitutes "good taste" depending on who says so and how much money they have. Ahem.
To make, I took a large piece of drawing paper, cut it to size (each page is 4 x 6 inches I think, doubled when cut and then folded at the spine), hand-stitched the binding with embroidery thread, and glued the cut outs with ModPodge, the best stuff on earth. I took the descriptions of the estates from the map, re-typed them, and embellished a bit. Or rather, bravely took it upon myself to tell The Truth, consequences be damned. A few excerpts:
The first house presented to the National Trust for Scotland, it has been lived in by the Dalyell zombie family since 1612. Set on two hills overlooking the Forth, it contains many beautiful rooms, with mementoes of the family history over the centuries. Of particular interest are those connected with the kitchen where unique tools for the removal, preparation, and cooking of brains are on display. There are magnificent, molded plaster ceilings and 215 acres of ground over which visitors can flee if any of the Dalyells decides they are hungry.
This beautiful Tudor house, built for William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer when playing Monopoly, has remained the home of his descendants, the Earls of Exeter, over four centuries, and many Kings and Queens have been bored to tears there. The enormous variety of treasures on view one would think would be entertaining, but they are not. Some walls are exquisitely painted, others covered in fine damask, and there are famous ceilings. There are several rooms that can be reserved for napping or staring quietly at said ceilings.
You get the idea. Now, en masse:
This was incredibly satisfying to make: a wee booklet in my little hands in about two days' time. I'm discovering that making zines is a great way to overcome a creative slump, a tool to get "unstuck", or just a method to inject some fun in your day where anything goes and it's yours, yours, yours. I collect a lot of quotes in my curio cabinet from books and magazines I read and am thinking this is a fun way to put them on display. I'm working on another zine right now after finishing Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird. I think the zine will be titled Bird by Bird by Bird. Spoiler alert: it'll involve birds. Plus several sage quotes by Anne. In fact, I'll leave you with one of hers:
“Some of us tend to think that what we do and say and decide and write are cosmically important things. But they’re not.” --Anne Lamott