zine

As promised, the "tea stories" zine

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As promised, I’ve made a little zine, celebrating “tea stories” from all over the world. A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who shared their stories on this blog post, as well as those of you who emailed me privately. And especially to Nanette via Instagram, who posted me a box of Dutch Tea and Lady Grey Tea all the way from The Netherlands, when I told her I didn’t know what Lady Grey Tea was.

I had seriously so much fun making this zine. I decided to embrace my inner-90s self, and made this thing completely old-school. I painted the pictures below then glued them in, drew others in by hand, cut old ads out of magazines, and hand-wrote most of the stories. So what you see here is something truly handmade, warts and spelling mistakes and stickytape-lines and all.

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What I learned as I hand-wrote all of your stories, was that our mutual love of tea, while it is undeniably delicious, isn’t really about the taste at all. Tea is about taking a moment: it’s about self-care, it’s about slowing down, it’s about comfort, it’s about mindfulness… and more than anything, tea is about the people we love. Whether shared with our loved-ones or sipped in their memories, tea connects us and comforts us.

(I suspect that if coffee is more your beverage of choice, or hot chocolate, the same could probably be said of these drinks, too. Maybe one day I’ll make a zine for you.)

So, here’s the zine I made you: simply click the arrows on the right to flip through the pages, and if you want to make it bigger, hover over the zine and you’ll see an option to view it in “fullscreen”. (If all the pages in the flip-book aren’t showing for you, you can download a readable PDF here). I really hope you enjoy reading Tea Stories as much as I loved making it.

Download and print this zine

If you want to download the PDF and print this zine for yourself or your friends, simply click the button below. The file has been laid out so that you can print it back-to-back. It will print this way onto 10 sheets of paper, which you can simply fold in half, together, to have the whole zine laid out in the correct order. (It’s designed to fit onto A4 paper so if you use US Letter or Foolscap, you may want to trim it slightly.)

Once you’ve made up the booklet, if you want to post it to friend (perhaps with some of your favourite teabags tucked inside), you can simply fold it in half again to fit a standard letter size (although it will be fat).

OK I’ve got to go, I think I hear the kettle singing.

Naomi xo


19 cheap or free ways to practice kindness, randomly and intentionally

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I've made a new thing. Do you remember the zine I made recently on snail-mail? I've been drawing and pasting again but this time, the zine is about kindness. Specifically about random acts of kindness, but also intentional acts of kindness.

I agree it's important to cultivate an attitude to life that leaves us open to performing random acts of kindness. To being open to opportunities when they present themselves, to do something good or nice or kind for others. But I also think it's equally important to be intentional about kindness. To deliberately plan - strategise even - to make the world a happier place, and spread kindness.

So this little zine is just a fun little book of ideas and inspiration for me, and maybe you would enjoy it too?

I'm going to make 10 copies to send to blog-readers. They are all hand measured and cut and pasted together, which makes them satisfyingly substantial to hold and read, but means that every copy takes me several hours to make. One of these days I'll get to a print shop that can correctly align front and back photocopying for me, and then I'll be able to make many more copies of both zines, and send them to you if you'd like them.

Naomi xo

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19 ways to make snail-mail (even more) fun

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A little while ago I mentioned I was making a zine about things you can do with snail mail. Things that help you connect with other people (both strangers and friends), to play games, practice creativity, and show you care. Every page has a call-to-action, like a website you can visit or key words to Google or an address to write to.

I made 11 copies of the zine, and sent them off to some lovely blog readers. I wanted to make more, I truly did, but I don't have a double-sided printer and I just couldn't get the fronts and the backs to line up (do you know what I mean?), so I had to cut and paste all the individual pages and each zine literally took me HOURS to make.

In for a penny in for a pound, so I also hand-made some little envelope homes for the zines, out of last year's old calendar (it was SUCH a beautiful calendar - I wish I had one like it this year!). I finished the whole thing off with a wax seal, as you do.

If you'd like your own copy of this zine and can help me figure out the photocopying conundrum, let me know. Or maybe I should make it available as an e-book? What do you think? Would you like that? In the meantime, I made this little movie so you can see what's inside.

Yours truly, Naomi xo