Sunday, 27 April 2014

Death by Knitting

Kandy Diamond and her amazing knits are in town for a few months with her amazing new exhibition Death by Knitting at Prick Your Finger. The exhibition runs from 25th April to 7th June 2014 and you should all go!

The exhibition features large scale knitted pieces inspired by the use of knitting needles as murder weapons in films. It is AMAZING!

Somne of the pieces features scenes directly from films with 3d knitted effects over the top which join up to other works using coloured yarn as a connecting thread.

And some pieces are large scale images from films with knitted 3D effects. Don't worry, you get given a pair of 3d glasses at the exhibition to see these images pop out in your face!

There's also a long scroll of knitting with dialogue knitted in taken from The Old Dark House:
  And there's also a special zine produced for the exhibition with a 3d cover design!

Get yourself down to Prick Your Finger pronto for 3d cinematic knitted FUN!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Upcoming zine fests

I'm gonna be tabling at 2 zine fests in London in May.

The first will be part of the London Radical Bookfiar & Alternative Press takeover, Sat 10th may 2014 10am. Entrance to the fair and to all talks is FREE.

The second is DIY Cultures which was so much fun last year. The event will be taking place at Rich Mix again on Sunday 25th may 2014 from 12 - 7pm. Entrance to the fair and to all talks is FREE.

Both these events are gonne be awesome with some super rad people tabling and talking. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cooties Attacked

I love getting post, and today's surprise in my mail box made me well up and sob proper big tears of joy and loveliness.

My wonderful ex-bandmate and current member of The Swapsies had made a commemorative zine for our old bands Cooties Attack and Shrieking Shack Disco Gang.

In the zine are pix of us playing, fliers from every gig we played, setlists, lyrics, forgotten songs that we never recorded, and anecdotes from Huw including my favourite : "All I remember of this gig was that we were really quiet and I said to one of the organisers after 'that seemed to go well' to which she replied 'nah, there weren't enough gays' before walking off."

Cooties Attack was a diy bedroom pop band that I formed after my old band Smartypants died a death, and my nerves couldn't handle performing solo as Supercasio anymore. We were Huw, Melisa, and me. I lived with Melisa, and every Sunday Huw would come round for band practice. We'd play songs in my bedroom for a couple of hours, then eat all the food and watch Lord of the Rings. Later when Melisa left, we were joined by our friend Heena for a rather nervewracking gig with Kimya Dawson. 

Me and Huw and Melisa were also in a wizard rock band called Shrieking Shack Disco Gang. We wrote songs about Harry Potter and played wizard rock shows and put out a couple of EPs, one of which was released through the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club. We were our favourite of the UK Wrock bands cuz we are egotistical like that, and a lot of other Wrock bands did slow songs, and we've never really been that fond of slow songs. 

Those two bands meant the world to me. Thinking about recording our first cd and bringing in a backpack full of irn bru and donuts in the studio and then going to toys-R-us next door while a sound engineer did some mixing makes me smile with joy. I'm so proud of everything we achieved and sometimes I'm sad that we didn't get to do more. But it's not a bad sadness, it's a good sadness, it's that I was so proud of us and I will always wish I could go back and re-live those Cooties days. 

This is the best thing I've got through the post in forever. I love this zine with all my heart. It made me cry and it made me proud and it made me miss my friends. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Tabletop day!

Saturday 5th April was many things! It was 20 years since Kurt Cobain died which a lot of people who don’t even like Nirvana seemed to really care about this year, it was my brother’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!) and it was International Tabletop day with gaming events held in comic/game/book shops and libraries and in people’s homes all over the world.

Me and my friends game a lot together and it is the most fun. As well as playing D&D every other month, we also regularly have game nights where we play all kinds of tabletop games. It’s cheap and so much fun and we usually eat so much pizza that we all have pizza babies and then our pizza babies have pizza babies. I love tabletop games because I’m dirt poor and I can’t afford to go out much. I also never really played board games as a kid. To this day I have never played Monoply and I feel like I’m making up for lost time.Having the option of having ALL THE FUN IN THE WORLD for absolutely free with my bffs is bloody brilliant.

So for International Tabletop we got together for a day of gaming. We had big plans, we were gonna play ALL THE GAMES!

Ok so we didn’t play all of these games, there was only a day to fit it all in. There’s boards to set up, rules to read out, and pizza to eat and we are on a schedule!

We usually manage 3 or 4 games. We like to mix up 2 biggish games that take a couple of hours to play, as well as the smaller games that can be played really quickly to break things up like Zombie dice. We like zombie games.

So after some pizza (there is so much pizza!) we get started with some super fun Zombie Dice.

The aim of zombie dice is simple – you select 3 dice and roll ‘em. If you get three 3 gun shots symbols then you are out, but if you get footstep symbols you can keep rolling. You need to get 13 brain symbols to win. I like this game cuz there is absolutely no skill required just dumb luck. Some of the more competitive members of our group probably get super frustrated with this game for that very reason. Zombie dice is ace cuz you can play it with as many or as little people as you like and even though it’s a quick game to play, you can play it loads of different times with lots of different outcomes. We probably spent about an hour on zombie dice alone.

After zombie dice, we continued our horror themed games with Goosebumps the boardgame. The edition we are playing is based on the Horrorland series. I first played this at my friend Seleena’s birthday party last year where she had a teen sleepover party. It’s super fun but requires you to be quite mean and sneaky to your opponents. This is something I’m quite bad at. In all honesty I think I’m probably a bad person to game with because I’m not competitive. I don’t really strive to win, I’m just happy to be there (Hufflepuff through and through) and so I don’t really get into strategising against other people. Which means I don’t win a lot, but I have fun. And did I mention the pizza?
Goosebumps is fun cuz it’s a wee bit like Mousetrap in that there are a lot of parts to set up before play. There’s the death slide, the horror wheel, and the haunted bridge. Your players need to go round the board, collecting cards, and riding each of the horror rides. It’s not enough to ride, you need to survive, as the other players can try and knock you off the ride. It’s a fun game and once you get past the overly complicated rules at the beginning it’s a super fun game to play. We played in teams and my team won! My prize was pizza

Then we got out the big guns, Settlers of Catan. This has been sitting unopened for about 6 months now. We always mean to play it at games day but we never get round to it. There are lots of games like that though. We each have so many amazing games that we can’t possibly play them all. So after setting up the board and reading out the instructions we were ready to play! Well actually after setting up the board we made a cup of tea and re-read the instructions again, cuz man, that’s a lot of instructions.

The winning board. Check out the blue cul-de-sac. Those 2 points for Longest Road were ours!

It’s like a peasant version of monopoly, like if monopoly was set in Rohan. Players need to roll die and collect resource cards – wheat, stone, brick, sheep, wood, to build walls, settlements, and eventually cities. Settlements are awarded 1 victory point and cities are awarded 2 victory points, and the first to get to 10 victory points wins Catan. I also think it should be law that at the end the winner shouts CATAN! Like you would shout BINGO! when you win. This is not yet written in the instructions though.

It’s a good old fashioned strategy game as you need to think about your road and settlement placements as well as trying to work out what the other players may be doing. Some of our gang became expert card counters and somehow always knew when I had a fist full of wheat in my hands. Wheat! Ugh! At first it’s just non stop wheat cards when you are yearning for a rock or a brick card, but be warned: towards the end you’ll be wishing there was more wheat cards cuz all you’ll have is brick. BLOODY BRICK!

mo' wheat mo' problems

We played in teams and my team won! Well the first time we played it we realised we’d actually accidentally cheated and put a settlement in the incorrect place. But not to worry, we played again and won for realz this time. I can’t take any of the credit for that though. I was in a pizza coma by that point and not really helping much.

After a big game like Catan, you need a little fun game to break things up – gaming is TIRING and game fatigue is a real thing. Since Uno is now banned from our game days as SOME of the gang get a little bit too competitive, we decided to have a quick game of Them’s Fighting Words. TFW is a fun little card game based on memory. Each player is given a series of insults. You place down the card and read out your insult, the next player then has to remember the insult you just read out as well as reading out their own. It goes on and on until the player can’t remember the string of words and they lose a life. You have 3 lives and then you are out. It sounds boring but it’s actually fun. It’s based on wild western cowboy type insults, and so the game is best played when putting on ridiculous accents.

After a few rounds of Them’s Fighting Word’s we realised we’d been gaming for about 9 hours. We all had gaming/pizza fatigue and rounded off the day with a sleepy yet passionate re-watching of Catching Fire, raising our hands for a three fingers salute in all the right places. Games day is the BEST!