Friday, August 27, 2010

A zine library in Spokane

Spokane is a small city that gets a lot of sneers. Not large enough, not cool enough. Often you hear it's a great place to raise kids, but your kids will flee the city for Seattle or Portland or points beyond. I've done my share of bemoaning Spokane.

But in the last year, I've started to feel more optimistic about it. More adventurous restaurants, bicycle-centric events, a cadre of 20-somethings who seem determined to do some fun and unique stuff even if they're not in a cool town. . . . Today I met one of those folks. He helped me get my own library card at the Bird's Nest Zine Library.

Yes, a zine library! I'd read about it in the local alternative weekly, and thought it sounded like a great idea. You can borrow up to 3 zines a week. They are inhabiting a hallway next to the local alternative radio station (3rd floor of the Community Building, next to KYRS). It's staffed two afternoons a week.

Here's the main shelf:

Bird's Nest Zine Library shelves

The basic info:

Welcome note at zine library

This is an intriguing shelf:

Zine library shelf close-up

The other cool thing: a section devoted to local zines. I had no idea that there were so many folks making them around here. Maybe it seems strange, but it makes me feel like I've got more of a tribe around here.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Hello world.

Close-up self-portrait

August has been a stew of heat and sickness and busyness and false starts. And true starts.

One start has been my next zine. The Invitation: Something Extra #3 is my contribution to this year's I Heart Zines swap. I worked on some of the covers this weekend.

Einstein peeking through

The act of creating a zine is a leap of faith. Faith that I have enough to say, and that it is actually worth saying. Faith that I'll fit in all the work that needs to be done. Faith that my zine will arrive in the right hands.

Some days I doubt everything. I wonder what I am doing. Why am I doing any of this creative, crazy business? Why can't I stay happy only by consuming instead of creating?

Then things unfold a little more to me. I suddenly see why I went through an painful experience, why I connected with someone's artwork, or why I see beauty in my imperfect attempts to capture a feeling or moment. The "ah-ha" moments keep pulling me along, drawing me in. I am a very curious creature. I want to understand.

Orange rose heart, blurred center

I become content to let the blurred image speak. The mysteries are simply a part of life. I don't have to understand it all right now. I am invited onward on this journey.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

More vinyl flowers

I'm making more vinyl flowers, to construct a garland or a wreath.

Vinyl flowers with doodles

I like drawing and writing on the circles before I stitch them. I've been thinking about plants -- their qualities and their needs. What plants need, we need. Their strengths can be ours as well.

May you feel firmly rooted, reach for the sun, and share your bright blooms with the world!