Tag Archives: arts and crafts

Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed. Kamel Gill)

Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (Kamel Gill) / cover

One of a couple of VOM fanzines i did with Kamel / he was the ringleader, i was the ummm assistant.

This #1 includes (among interviews with bands Bill of Rights, Unknown Fibres, Shanghai Dog) a fake concert review of the “Ultimate Trendies” which was Kamel, me, Brad and Frank Baker doing a Sex Pistols air band at my church gymnasium (we didn’t win) + real reviews of actual great shows at York Theatre. #2 had with Joey Ramone at the Commodore on the cover.

Kamel was a force of nature, a complete reckless maniac but just got things done and while i didn’t get “credit” so much, I learned a lot about hustling productions and rolling yer own media & used knowledge to get into loads of shows and help out bands. 

Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) ‘ table of contents etc.

When Kamel’s name surfaced in another conversation (about band AOT which followed shortly after the fanzine) Dan Walters (punk scene erstwhile archivist and historian) who made Terminally Stupid fanzine, and Kai Erichson who also rolled in that circle and i riffed some memories of making these publications.

Me: Remember working on VOM fanzine in his basement bedroom while his dead grandmother laid “in state” upstairs and all the relatives came to visit. Also, riding buses to the York Theatre with him & Brad Rees many times.

VxOxMx vol 1 “masthead” – I “upgraded” from contributor to associate editor by volume two #bigtime

VxOxMx vol 2 was printed at my Mom’s real estate office on scott rd. Featuring Joey Ramone photo by Bev Davies

Dan Walters: Ha! My drawing on there…and the letraset I swiped from school. Shit, haven’t seen these in 34 years. Cheers

Me: Also Dan Walters Glad I could surprise and amuse you with those VOM artifacts after all the goodness you share out to the Internet. My time in the “scene” was obviously aborted with the move to Utah so your documentation helps me fill in the gaps that I missed out on.

PS worth noting that ending up in Utah with my punk concert experiences in Vancouver and a fake ID, made it a lot of fun. Saw & played in lots of bands, got backstage, “media” access blah blah blah

Kai Erichsen: I remember you Dave. And the photocopy fiasco at your mom’s work lol! Fuck we were all so broke but we made shit happen. Fun!

Dave Olson: Kai Erichsen i heard about that from her for yeeeeaaaarrsss – ha!

Kai Erichsen: Kamal stole the paper too… boxes of it.

Dan Walters: Kai- we broke into my old elementary school and ditched boxes of paper in the bushes, went back and got them after dark, lol.

Dave Olson: Kai Erichsen yeah we’d roll into Cedar Hills elementary school and just take it. i remember some “adult” trying to stop us one time and we just kept going – hanging with you and Kamel made me feel a lot tougher and taller!

Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / Bill of Rights interview
Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / Unknown Fibres and more fanzines
Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / Unknown Fibres
Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / Shanghai Dog
Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / Shanghai Dog + Live DOA and York Theatre
Folio: VOM Fanzine #1 / Surrey, BC, 1984 (ed.Kamel Gill) / fake review of “Ultimate Trendies” and real review of “DOA, Hot Spit Dancers and Chainsaw Running”

See also:front row, surrounded by pals, lost in music” for more about this era of life and these characters

Scrapbooking, with Bill Janovitz

One of my favourite all-time musicians / song writers is Bill Janovitz (best known for his work in power-pop-post-punk trio Buffalo Tom) also does various solo, soundtrack, books and covers releases. He’s also a real estate agent specializing mid-century modern in Boston area). He’s done weekly “happy hour” live shows during the “situation” starting with making a cocktail then heading down to basement studio to play a set with banter (top notch meanderings) with Buffalo Tom songs, various solos, covers and whatnot. Sometimes joined by daughter Lucy. 

The shows are archived on his BillJanovitz.com website (along with plenty other treats). Also meant to tell you he namechecks his neighbour and frequent collaborator – the remarkable Tanya Donnelly who i adore. 

Anyhow, Buffalo Tom was never as big as peers (bah!) but seemed like secret stash (and the faves of a certain type of smart sensitive type :)), judging by the barrage of enthusiastic comments and praise, i’m hardly the only one. Given time zones and replay ability, happened to watch while making scrapbooks. This is all. A pleasant moment. 

Scrapbooks for all Reasons / Japan Cottage Musings

With a coffee and pyjamas, Dave riffs about types of scrapbooks, ways to make from scratch, reasons for making (memory and flow), a bit about creative process and keeping organized, handy tools and supplies, and other ways to fancy up your books with inky stamps, postage stamps, stickers and up-cycled meta scraps. Plus hey, fun for the family, liberate the items from shoeboxes, put on an album or two and go with the flow.

fondly, dave 

Scrapbooks: Tsuchida Life, Cards & Letters, Baby book + in-process (annotated)

Catching up on some scrap books: A few fresh ones, a few bonus items some old ones, breaking the seal on a few others, organizing odds and ends for future use (and the biographers).

Annotations on individual books if curious.  Note: need more bookshelves, the overhead shots don’t really show the girth.

* Tsuchida Life 2020, part 1 *

Scrapbook: Tsuchida Life 2020, part 1

Ephemera from “regular life” / normal out and abouts to museums, events, cafés etc., mostly from this year (earlier).

Btw the kanji characters on the left are pronounced “Tsuchida” which mean dirt/soil field/paddy – this is the name of our neighbourhood.

* Baby Book *

Scrapbook: Baby book

Just starting on this one for the new human with various ultrasounds, lists, notes, name ideas, announcements and eventually, maybe some of your cards and letters.

* Nagasaki Usual Days *

Scrapbook: Nagasaki Usual Days
Scrapbook: Nagasaki Usual Days

This one is well, it’s pretty awesome… from our trip in February (which seems like 1 million years ago) to a remarkable city to visit cousins, ride trains, see some sites, and eat all the food. As such: Tidbits from museums, cafés etc. included, plus various snapshots and notes. Just about done…, But I always say that ;)

* Cards & Letters, 2020, part 1 *

Scrapbook: Cards & Letters, 2020, part 1
Scrapbook: Cards & Letters, 2020, part 1

As you might expect, this gathers up postcards, cards, letters and related oddments so they don’t get lost in a shoebox.
Repurpose envelopes, or envelope type things, attach with double-sided tape (of course) and decorate with inky stamps and various seals. Continue reading Scrapbooks: Tsuchida Life, Cards & Letters, Baby book + in-process (annotated)

“Elf Care” and Arts + Crafts / Japan Cottage Musings

Dave riffs about “Elf Care” in tumultuous times along with personal archeology from a cottage in Japan including life update about baby and wife, plus “doing what you can” – in this case making arts and crafts and sort-ganizing.

Shared examples of projects are: books of postboxes and paintings, scrapbooks of travel ephemera, family photos, and virtual learning with certificates, as well as upcoming Jack Kerouac story making workshop.

Finally offers support for artist who need a like, subscribe, comment and support. Fondly, Dave (plus plenty of sanitary face touching :))

Diary: Hermiting, baby, art, archive & you you you + us us us

I hermit like Obi-wan is his “lost years” / indeed, a Gen X kid with a lot of hobbies and a chronic illness – i know the flow. Got the food delivery service, plenty of books and art supplies and several versions of loungewear/pyjamas.

Keep in mind, here in Japan, we’re a couple months into “all of this“ – schools, events, museums, public places and gatherings have been canceled for many weeks now, and things, at least where I am the outskirts other rather minor provincial capital city, are generally calm / however, a quick glance at Twitter videos plenty of vitriol about the governments response (or lack of, or too much of, or…) especially in terms of testing (not enough of it, especially compared to neighbour South Korea) – Of course much debate and sabre-rattling about wither the Olympics – what to do? (seems to me just pushing forward exactly one year would make sense but hey, no one’s been on the phone to me to ask).

I have visited a few hospitals in the last six weeks for other reasons and found them to be calm, not busy, extremely tidy and efficient. Also note that Japan’s elderly population means much experience at treating pneumonia which has some similar respiratory components and thus treatments as current conundrum.

Certainly my first priority is taking good care of my adorable pregnant wife, though she requires very little assistance in *anything* aside from reminding her to slow down. With her business as an arborist, she is her own small business/boss and is still doing bits and pieces of work, no longer climbing trees however #ThankGoodness but with all appropriate precautions and out in the gorgeous spring weather here.

We have a check in with our doctor tomorrow though the “Papa’s Class” series at the birthing clinic has been canceled indefinitely. (This was also serving as my Japanese study session as I try to learn new vocabulary related to pregnancy and childcare but… We shall carry-on – Noting that I have absolutely zero discipline in regards to language study).

Canada’s Prime Minister implored Canadians to “come home“ before impending doom etc. and while this is wise advice for many, I live here in Japan now permanently. Plan is to grow old here raising a happy kid, write poetry and letters, make paintings and friends and books and gardens – Come visit, we’ll have tea and hit up a museum.

and… Very excitingly, my “entire life archive” arrives in a container after a trans-pacific journey on Thursday. So, just in case I’m not sharing enough creative artifacts to keep you amused 😉 40+ years of journals, scrapbooks, fanzines, photos, letters, certificates – as well as books and records and funny hats – are all being offloaded into a 300-year-old grain barn for sort-ganizing and sharing.

Anyhow, thinking about each of you wonderful people out there in the world and, as I’ve mentioned before, if you need any advice about staying chill and keeping your mind busy whilst indoors (aside from being watching television problem etc. which I don’t know too much about), I remain your semi-useful uncle in custom-made pyjamas.

Your turn, tell me about everything going on in your world, where you’re at, how you’re feeling, what you’re working on, what’s inspiring you, what do you dream about and so on and so on. All of it all of it.

Note: You can write a letter if you prefer

Riff: Creativity in solitude(ish) / from experience

I went from being very social and active to often housebound due to a chronic and complex illness, and spent extended stints sequestered at Ayurvedic clinics & various hospitals …

Finding yourself cooped up due to public health situation? Your solution is: digging into projects which maintain your mental acuity and move your fine motor skills but also, very importantly, produce something in the end.

Like: making scrapbooks of life ephemera, organizing letters and photos, writing down your stories, make a podcast, read war and peace (or similar), write a novel (desert solitaire or similar), make some songs, write some poems, compile your journals and diaries, embark on “personal archaeology” by sort-ganizing your old report cards, certificates and participation ribbons / put them in binders with sheet protectors or make a shadowbox… I can go on and on but I think you get the gist.

Or this is a great time to take an online course about something you dig (I recently did a Japanese book culture course). Many universities have all sorts of free courses (start at open culture or Internet archive) plus you can just learn something new on your own via other folks like you, i.e.: how to make Lo-Fi beats, how to play the ukulele, how to paint with oils… IOW, Get started on something interesting which can be a new hobby and produce some neat artifacts,rather than just trying to level up on a video game.
Verily, choose activities with intentions / of course, chill out but consider watching a specific classic epic movie (ask me if you need some tips) rather than sifting through nonsense to binge (and in general minimize mindless, high-twitch screentime).

Look at this as an opportunity to do all those little projects you’ve *always meant to do*.

Also, letter writing is cheap and cheerful and immensely satisfying, especially for others who are routinely shut in (elders, disabled, remotes etc.)

If you need someone to cheer you along or give you some more ideas are examples, of course I am friendly if a bit slow sometimes.

I will note that it’s totally up to you what do you do and all that, I’m just encouraging expansion of your brain through art and culture and creativity – and im speaking from so much experience.

All the hugs, your possibly-favourite uncle

Photo: Dr. Trevor Erikson (note: before Dr status)

Diary: Coffee in Tiny Café / refuge from the storm

Japan has loads of a little tiny cafés/restaurant/bars which are like less than 10 people maximum, often with a little private rooms too. It’s one of the things I love about living here, as tiny little cafés in North America don’t really exist as everything becomes chains or aggressively turning over tables to maximize the slim profits.

Anyway, this is a little neighbourhood lunch place where we can chill out in a room closed off with sliding doors to enjoy a little break from the house. Plus everyone is so excited about Ryoko’s belly

Aside: As you likely know, Japan has a declining birth rate which is especially evident in the cities with a few kids, and countryside with some kids but lots of (awesome) old people. Anyway, we’re helping to balance that out in a very tiny way.

We went out for an errand to the post office to deal with a few banking issues, and again, it’s tiny, tidy & friendly.

To friends in North America, we see/hear you… All the cancellations and restrictions and what not started here maybe six weeks ago so we’re kind of into the routine so maybe that’s a message of solidarity or just “I see you“ #alwaysbekind

##

Daniel remarked:

Okayama is the best. Such a chill and safe area. With just enough variety of food and culture to keep it interesting.

to which i replied:

That is a great summation of this remarkable and underappreciated area. Super handy transportation links to big cities, mountains, hot springs, inland sea, other islands…, including easy getaway via 2 airports if needed.
So many museums, I’m still catching up on all of them.
Certainly enough to keep amused (Plus any needed shopping) but easy enough to get out of the city when needed.
I’ve traveled much/most of Japan and this is the best “all around” place to live in my mind.
Sunny days ahoy!

Michal added:

Their the best! Especially when there’s a view on small niwa Japanese have such a great taste for! A Bliss…

to which i chimed:

I especially love the places that are sort of “lost in showa era” – with all sorts of kitschy knick-knacks and bric a brac which hasn’t been moved or dusted for a few decades… Still the old character left over from another age, run by an old couple who started the place with such dreams in their youth.

Michal again:

you incorrigible romantic

Lydia said:

That china is gorgeous

and me again:

Right! Sometimes you find these cafés that I’ve just been frozen in time and it’s like going to grandma’s house all over again… In this case, it really is as two generations of ladies both over 60 (a granny and great granny or something like that) are taking care of the shop and make a huge fuss over my adorable pregnant wife. I let them know I appreciate their great China as well, plus a fantastic tea selection

Scrapjournal: T. Aronson, esq / Interlaken, with wax seal, aerogramme + ephemera

Notes from Interlaken (T. Aronson), front
Notes from Interlaken (T. Aronson), back

There were more in this batch of scrapjournals, lovingly hand-crafted during summer of 2019 whilst on Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia.

Most go as gifts to travelers and adventurers to fill up with ephemera and musing but this one stayed with me.

Feature a cover made from vintage aerogramme, lettraset (rub-on left over 1970s) monogramming, a wax seal, cancelled postage stamps,  inky stamps, printed Lomo sardine can camera 35 mm snaps and various printed oddities – in this case, a bi-plane of significance which slips my mind.

Made with vaguely-Japanese-style-craft-binding, sewn with hearty thread via 3 holes drilled through a mighty block of various paper stock acquired at random intervals around Bali.

This is filling with quasi-fictional dispatches from the semi-fictional character claiming ownership. 

 
 

Inky Stamps: variety sampler, redux

Inky stamps, assorted/currently in use, annotated. (created to include in a package to a friend, including here to provide confusion and amusement)