From my blogging review the other day, I realized that I had not shared any news about my zine for the past few issues. I literally do not want to believe it, but I know from experience that life takes over and overcomes us at times. In my younger years, I always thought it was quite simple to keep track of things, cross out my to do’s and complete projects. What was the rocket science in all of it? Not until I grew up a bit – more life experience – did I realize that life can get really complicated. We can easily overlook, forget and/or purposefully forgo certain activities in life. It’s not easy (being green, as Kermit says). Goes to show, I am still growing up and learning about the limits in life.

So, better late than never, here’s a review of the zines I’ve created thus far. There are now 8 issues of Pensieri, a handmade zine about art and craft topics of interest to me. I started back in August 2010 and working on the latest issue this month. I’ve always loved how my zine has turned out, the idea of a big envelope turned into the cover… because it means I can include treats in the back pocket. Somehow that has always been the coolest feature for me…novelty, I know! I also really love writing. It’s very casual, like me talking to you. Here’s a backwards chronology of the issues…

Pensieri Issue 8 – Scrap Slam Smash
A mini history of memory, story, and life keeping… this issue is all about the art of scrapbooking. I’ve been scrapbooking in some form or another since high school, so it was a very satisfying topic to share and write about. I want to spread this hobby to others and hope to do so with this zine. I go through a brief history, quickly review design principles and color choices, followed by pages and pages of journaling prompts and project ideas in the zine. I hope that it will get you started on a project asap!
Check out Pensieri Scrap Slam Smash in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 7 – Just Draw It!
Sharing my learnings and love for drawing and doodling in this issue. Believe it or not, I used to think that stick figures would be my only ability in the visual art arena. It took me a long time to overcome the fear and to find my own way of drawing simply. I might never be an expert realist drawer…but I’m pretty darn happy with my doodles and know from experience that I get better day by day. It’s amazingly fun and it’s very possible for all of us to draw. I go through some of the basics in cartooning and share lots of my own doodles throughout the zine.
Check out Pensieri Just Draw It! in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 6 – Gustav Klimt
I’m a huge fan of Gustav Klimt’s work and realized I knew very little about him and his work one day. We have a huge print in our living room and it spurred me to do some research, really diving into his life story. This zine is all about his life and artwork, sort of an art history exploration of Klimt. I really enjoyed creating this zine…feels like discovering and learning about a cool topic with friends. I also include a mini handmade Klimt painting puzzle to play with – harder than you think!
Check out Pensieri Gustav Klimt in my Etsy shop


Pensieri Issue 5 – Chinese Brush Painting
A lesson in the freedom and loosening up fun of Chinese brush painting in this issue. I go through all the basics I’ve learned about using a brush as you do in Chinese calligraphy painting, as well as offering project ideas and an original bamboo painting by yours truly in the back pocket. I’ve learned so much in the process of writing this zine, because I was going through a period of needing to loosen up and lighten up! Ultimately, this zine gets you started in brush painting, but all of it revolves around the philosophy of how this painting style can help to loosen-up your creative life.
Check out Pensieri Chinese Brush Painting in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 4 – Carve and Stamp
I’ve loved rubber stamping as a kid, but did not discover the wonders of carving my own stamps until much later in life. This issue goes through my adventures in carving my own stamps, providing lots of examples and templates for carving designs…with traditional as well as alternative materials. Stamping is sort of like the old fashioned way to “mass produce” something. Even though we can create digital prints, there’s something beautiful and real about the imperfections of stamping. I love the varied textures that come with hand stamping materials.
Check out Pensieri Carve and Stamp in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 3 – Decorative Knots
All about the art of knot making that I learned in Chinese school, this issue goes through some of my favorite knot patterns as an illustrated guide, along with project ideas. I also include a bunch of string for you to start knotting right away. It’s pretty amazing what one long piece of string can become. I hope that this issue will help you to learn a bit about this “old” craft…
Check out Pensieri Decorative Knots in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 2 – Pockets Galore
A foray into papercrafting, all about creating pockets for your art journals, scrapbooks and other crafty projects. It’s really not that complicated and I introduce a variety of pocket types to choose from with printed templates in the back pocket. I show you the examples and ideas that I have created, so hopefully you’ll get pocket creating straight away. It’s amazing how a pocket can liven up things – just a bit of paper fun.
Check out Pockets Galore in my Etsy shop

Pensieri Issue 1 – Art Journaling

My very first issue was inspired by iHanna because I loved her zine so much…so I decided to write about the beloved topic of art journaling. The whole zine is a “let’s journal together” type of book, the pages are hand painted, splattered and decorated, to get you started art journaling immediately into the zine. My hope is that you will make it into your first art journal or a unique collab art journal.
Check out Pensieri Art Journaling in my Etsy shop – by far the most purchased of my zines to date.

Although the amount of work I put into creating the zine is HUGE and even stressful at times, I also reap a lot of benefits from it. It’s not a product for profit in the end and to keep it sustainable, I’ve had to cut down the number of pages and items included in the back pocket. However, I love sharing my loves through the zine, writing about them and creating something that can inspire others. Pretty cool. I think moving forward though, I might have to change what Pensieri becomes – because it is getting hard to keep up with the production…

Recently, I participated in Alma Stoller’s zine exchange, so I’m really looking forward to receiving a whole bunch of cool zines to devour in the new year. Hopefully I will have a clearer picture of Pensieri’s future then. Are you a fan of zines? Do you make your own? Maybe we can trade?

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