Zine Review: Crafty Collage


Crafty Collage
Kelly Zarb

I bought this zine on Etsy a couple years ago not only because I’m a crafty artist-type person but because it’s a zine that helped crack open this stubborn mind of mine to show that zines could be even more than I thought they were at the time.


While this zine holds to the ‘traditional’ zine idea in many ways – A4 folded in half, copied, staples for binding – it also came with a little extra that I hadn’t seen before at the time: extra stuff! This zine came with a small bag filled with various bits and bobs to get you started on your way to making your first collage. While that might not seem like much to some people – and it’s a ‘little’ detail to me now – at the time, I thought it was fantastic. Now only were you getting tips on making various collage crafts, but the zine creator helped you to take the first step. Simple but pleasurable to receive.

The zine itself is easy to read while taking advantage of the white space of the pages. There are plenty of drawings, and an artist bunny sort of guides you through the crafts. The bunny and the style of the drawings did make me feel a little like handing this off to someone younger – but that’s not a bad thing! This zine could be an amazing way to get an artsy young person into zines.

Crafty Collage is a ‘cute’ zine, through and through. There’s no getting around that, so it’s not going to appeal to some people. But the less you appeal to some of the crowd, the more you appeal to the rest who are still looking. It all balances out.

It does look a bit like she’s taken to only art on her Etsy shop, but that doesn’t stop you from sending a message to see if she has more zines…

Getting My Zine On – Hot & Toasty Style

It is a hot and heavy 38C/101F in my local patch of Oz today, and my office is mighty toasty. But a fan on my desk and a bottle of cold water are suiting me just fine as I work on Dear Anonymous 3.


I love making zines, but DA has a little bit of extra special. I ‘let the muse take me’ when it comes to how I present the letters that are sent to me. The weird thing is that, with nearly every letter, an idea instantly pops into my head. Then it’s simply up to me to figure out how to put that image into the zine.

Happy Mail!

Happy Mail posts can go up on Tuesday… I live wildly like that. 😛

One little letter to show you today, but it’s so lovely that I couldn’t resist posting a couple pictures.


A while back, when I was still looking around for examples of zine reviews and such, I came across One Minute Zine Reviews. I found it merely days after the blog owner (DJ) had put up the post about closing up shop there.

I was a bit disappointed. Even so, I dug through his archives with pleasure and figured that I’d send him a letter of thanks for letting his archive of zine reviews remain ‘alive’ on the net.

This letter is his reply.


A close up (with better lighting) of the front of the card. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I loved receiving it.

He also gets added to the list of people who have much better handwriting than I do. 😛

On another note, I received some lovely happy online mail as well. No pictures for those. I sent out a bunch of emails last night to anyone who had submitted to DA3 more than two months ago. I wanted to let them all know that DA3 is still happening, and that I am now shooting for the end of January (as I’ve had over half a dozen letters come in over the past couple of weeks).

I didn’t expect any emails back, so it was pretty awesome checking my email this morning.

Until the next post!

Happy Mail + Thoughts on Dear Anonymous

Woo! There wasn’t going to be a Happy Mail post this week, but this little lovely snuck in at the last minute. (Meaning I went to the post box on a Monday.)


The thing is that I’m not really sure where it came from… Not in a literal sense; the return address is on the envelope. I imagine it’s a trade for something… Or not. I do have a little notebook where I keep track of these things, but it just goes to show that you should always put in a little note with the trade/sale/etc details when sending your zines anywhere.

That’s all for the Happy Mail side of things. I’ve been a bit quiet on the zine front while I’ve been working on other things. Mainly? Christmas cards.



I’ve been selling cards to supplement my zine addiction income, which hasn’t gone too badly to plan. But it did mean spending a lot of time making cards. Those starburst ones? Each slice is an individually cut and pasted piece of paper. Yep, they took a while.

But this isn’t about Dear Anonymous at all.

Sorry. I got a little sidetracked. Dear Anonymous 3!

DA3 now has nine letters with another one coming, so I will be getting a start on that later today. They probably won’t be sent out until early January so they don’t get lost in the Christmas rush.

DA1 was completely handwritten and drawn by yours truly. My art skills are a bit lacking in the drawing department, so I went for more typing and stamping for letters in DA2. As I look at DA3, I’m thinking there will be a complete transition into typing for the words and more cut/paste type of backgrounds for the letter.

Where the other thoughts come in are in regards to DA from here on out. I want to keep doing it, of course. However, I am thinking I’ll do a short print run (mostly for contributors) of DA3 alone. After that, though? I want to make a bigger zine that incorporates all the letters from 1, 2, and 3.

What do you think? Should I keep them separate and thus recognisable? Or should I do as I like because that’s the way of zine culture?

Decisions, decisions…

Zine Ninja Adventures: Fun Times in Melbourne

Zine Ninja wanders as he pleases throughout the world. He decided to gift me with his presence on my recent trip to Melbourne.


Zine Ninja likes to take it all in. Even when the train hasn’t left the station yet.


Simple comforts make Zine Ninja happy.


Waiting for a tram isn’t so bad on such a beautiful day.

Sticky Institute

Zine Ninja loves Sticky! What? You can’t see him? That doesn’t mean he isn’t there…


Zine Ninja always likes to take time to hang with the locals. He gives the Melbourne Aquarium two swords up.


After a few too many drinks the night before, Zine Ninja needs a proper cup of wake-up juice.


Zine Ninja doesn’t always eat brekkie in Melbourne, but when he does, it’s a blueberry bagel with generous helpings of cream cheese.


That’s it for Zine Ninja for now. He’s off on another adventure somewhere without me. Perhaps he’ll bring pictures. Until our next adventure together…

Don’t Call Me Cupcake – My First Perzine!


It’s finished! My very first perzine – Don’t Call Me Cupcake – is finished, and it’s available on Etsy!



This issue focuses mostly on mental health stuff – my long road to finding a therapist I like, being in ‘bipolar denial’ for years, art therapy and so on. But I have a couple other things in there too, like how to get in touch plus a zine review!

Please check it out and let me know what you think. I want this to be the first of many.

Occupy Melbourne Zine

I may claim that I’m still ‘just thinking about it’, but I’m doing a little more than thinking. I put this together as a front cover.

It’s not as impressive in black and white, which I will have to print most – if not all – of them in. But I still like it as a colour. I want it to show that we’re all in this together on a worldwide scale.

Again, if anyone wants to contribute, be it with a quote, poem, diary entry, whatever, let me know. As long as you’re cool with it going in the zine, it’s all good. I’m happy to include links if you direct me with a blog entry that you would like to include.

I’m also happy to take screen shots if you have some gold in them Twitter hills. 😉 Haha.