Zine Review: Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love
The School of Life Design

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love is a black and white education zine designed as a seven-day course on gratitude and self love.

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love starts off with an intro that flows along the lines of ‘you get back what you put out into the universe’. That may be oversimplifying it a bit, but it basically takes you into the realm of your thinking influencing your reality. If you remember The Secret, this zine reminded me of that.

As you can imagine, a seven-day course should be done over seven days. So I decided that a proper, full review of this zine could only be accomplished if I did it ‘as prescribed’, so I did one exercise a day over the course of a week.

I like that the exercises didn’t require anything but a pen and some time (and the zine, of course). I’ve seen too many of these sorts of things that require money and various other supplies.

I am very familiar with the concept of gratitude and daily gratitude exercises, so the basics weren’t new to me, However, the exercises included were. I won’t list them out, but I will say that the ‘success of another’ exercise was definitely my favourite. The exercise made me think outwardly and about others.

That’s something that this zine does very well. The exercises cover both inward and outward thinking as well as past and future thinking. The course got me to sit down and calm down for a bit once a day, and that’s a lovely thing.

Aesthetically, this zine ties right into its own message. It focuses on the exercises with simple designs that are nice to look at but only serve the task at hand. They aren’t overwhelming and serve to compliment the words rather than take away from them.

The one detail that did give me pause is that the “Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love is a 7-day, intensive course…” is on the back of the zine rather than on the front or in the introduction. I can see someone smashing out all the exercises in one session for missing that detail. I’m not sure that’d actually be a problem, but I imagine the creators of this would prefer it be done over seven days.

While I may not have agreed with all the sentiments and wording, I did find value in the course. I like that this zine exists. I like that there are people making zines that can help people wanting to connect to the spiritual sides of their lives. If that sounds like you, I think this zine could be a good place to start.


New Zine Announcement: Intimacies 1 & 2

One thing I have wanted to do for a long time here is dedicate space to people who want to announce their new zines. Dara got in touch and gave me the perfect opportunity. If you’d like to announce your zine, zines, or zine project, let me know!

Intimacies Vol 1 & Vol 2

Available at Big Cartel | Intimacies Tumblr

I grew up on romcoms, Sweet Valley High, and friends who rotated merrily through a carousel of crushes. I grew up Muslim, sheltered, and shy. I was taught to see kissing and dating and sex and all the acts that came attached as rites of passage, and it seemed everyone else was breezing through them while I graduated high school and college, got my first job, and then my second, saw birthday after birthday pass wondering, “Is something wrong with me? Am I being left behind?“

This zine explores my journey with physical intimacy, touch, and sex through thirty something short essays of varying length. Volume 1’s first section spans years, moments where I questioned and struggled with the concept of intimacy, grew and unlearned, felt sadness, loneliness, angst, anger, suspicion, fatigue, yearning. The second section explores the beginning of things starting to change, to make more sense, to become queerer, where I started being able to find ways to be intimate outside of the scripts that always excluded me.

It took me a long time to understand I was angry at the smallness of sex, or sex as I was taught to know it – the rigidity, the binary nature, the heteronormativity, the schedule we’re all meant to follow, the judgment and shame and guilt, the divisions between the romantic, the platonic, and the sexual. I tried to shake it off, focused on owning my own story and my own body, on learning myself out of the shadow of “sex”. Of course, with hindsight working how it does, I didn’t know then that what I was doing was also making myself ready to engage with physical intimacy on my own terms.

This zine explores my journey with physical intimacy, touch, and sex through thirty something short essays of varying length. Volume 2 mostly covers a three month period that starts with a few significant and altering conversations, followed by experiences of navigating physical intimacy and how it folded in with the stories I wanted to have in my life — a series of many firsts in all shapes.

Be sure to check out Intimacies Vol 1 and Vol 2 at Big Cartel and on Tumblr.

Happy Mail Monday: Sneaky Tea Edition

Hello, zine friends! I hope you’ve had a beautiful start to the week. It’s a bit toasty around these parts, but it is spring after all.

Now you’re probably wondering how tea can be sneaky, so let’s get into this week’s beautiful zine mail!

Please don’t let my lack of skill with my camera take away from how gorgeous this card and envelope is. It’s so pretty with so much green!

Emma from Puddleside Musings was so kind to send me a card to brighten my day as well as help me relax with some tea. There was another packet of tea as well, but I may have already indulged before I took the picture… (What? I like vanilla chai. Hehe.)

This sneaky tea is sneaky because usually customs gets really cranky and sends me mean letters when people send me tea (Australia says no to tea – go figure), but these two came through! They did open the envelope, the cheeky people, but the tea managed to arrive in my post box safe and sound.

Therefore, I have dubbed them sneaky teas – but not so sneaky that they can escape me. (I’m looking at you, cinnamon tea!)

Thank you so much to Emma who sent me such lovely mail all the way from Ireland. It made my day and was relaxing as well.

That’s me for today! I have something a little different for you all tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out. Until then!

Zine Review: Tessellations

Dystatic – dystatic@gmail.com
Fishspit – fuzzybunnyflatbunny@gmail.com
Big Tight – mm12716@me.com

I’ve never reviewed a zine that has left me so conflicted as to whether I want to look at it or play with it…

Tessellations is a fun collection of photos, collages, and other art in black in on colour paper. I may as well get right into the aesthetics of it, because when you get your hands on this zine, you can’t possibly miss it.

It opens up! Well, of course it opens up, but it opens up in fun and interesting ways because it’s make of individually folded pieces of paper glued together.

I almost feel like this is as much a toy as it is a zine. With the colours and the way the papers are folded, I’ve flipped through it many, many times now. Sometimes to check out the art, other times to check out the folding, and still yet just to have fun with it. Each colour is like its own chapter, its own little world.

Not that I’ve found any story or linear thought process with it overall, but I honestly don’t need it or care. What one square or piece may lack is made up for by the enjoyment of the whole. I enjoy this zine for what it is.

I really like how you open up the last page, and each person who contributed to the whole has a square with their contact details on it. This definitely goes to the top of the list in regards to creative contact details. The only hiccup is that Dystatic does have a website, but part of it got lost in the ink of the print.

This is the kind of zine if you are like me in that you need reminding sometimes that zines are never and will never be just one thing. I want to keep it on my desk, but I feel like it will distract me all the time for want of playing with it. Haha.

Grab a copy, and let it inspire you.