Comics, Drawing, Zines

What is The Green Bean?

What is The Green Bean?

I’ve been publishing The Green Bean for four years now, and I still get just as excited about bringing out a new issue as I did the first time around. It’s become such an integral part of my life, my work, everything! And I love it.

If you’d like to give The Green Bean a try, or you’re a long-time collector with some gaps in your collection now is the perfect time. I’ve made all the back issues available individually at a special price of just £4, for this weekend only. Complete volumes and year-long subscriptions are also available, all here in my shop.

I’m just putting the final touches to a new issue, about my recent birthday and challenging the ’30 before 30′ lists you see. It will be out and on its way to subscribers next week.

Crafting, Knitting, Rubber Stamps

A Stamp for Knitters

Handmade by Knitters' stamp tag

I’ve been rediscovering my love of knitting lately, and in doing so I found the inspiration for adding a new custom rubber stamp to my range (it’s definitely a range, now there are two designs, right?). I recently completed a scarf for my friend Howard, and wanted to add a little something when I wrapped it up. I decided a “Handmade by…” label would be perfect, so I set about designing one.

The basic idea was straightforward: a knitter’s stamp should definitely include needles and yarn, and if there’s swirling yarn then why not make the yarn spell out the text? Figuring out just the right placement of the ball of yarn, needles and words took a little playing around until I hit on the right fit.

handmade-by-sketches

Handmade by Knitters' Stamp

I’m chuffed to bits with the finished design, and I love receiving a package of a drawing I’ve made turned into a beautiful hardwood backed stamp by the English Stamp Company. I spent a little while mulling over which colour to make the first impression with, then settled on trusty Green Bean recycled brown, and black ink to complement the greys in the scarf. The result was  a very crisp, smart-looking tag to accompany Howard’s scarf on its journey to him, and a new product I’m very proud of that I hope other knitters will enjoy playing with too.

Handmade by Knitter's Stamp Label

You can order your own customised “Handmade by…” stamp, or buy one for the avid knitter in your life, here.

Work In Progress, Zines

How A Green Bean Comes To Life IV

Untrimmed Green Beans

When I pick up Green Beans from the printers, they look a bit drab: my work isn’t quite done. Part of what I think people like about the Green Bean is its handmade feel, and a lot of that is down to the touches I add after the printers, when many people would consider it finished.

Trimming Green Beans

I am a pathological perfectionist. The first change I make to the freshly pressed Green Beans is to sharpen the crease with a (vegetarian) bone folder, then trim the three edges to make them flush. I do this by hand with a scalpel, and have a fine callus on my index finger from the 2000+ Green Beans that I’ve finished this way. One day, I will invest in a guillotine.

Green Bean Corners

After the trimming, I punch the corners. My Zutter heavy-duty lifetime-guaranteed corner-rounder has indeed lived up to its claim, and continues to plough through whole Green Beans in one clunk.

Colouring Green Beans

Next, the best bit! I pick from my generous supply of Neon Green Lyra Colour Giant pencils and colour the beans on the front by hand.

Signing Green Bean

Finally I sign and number the issue and send it on its merry way out into the world…