Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Solar Jar DIY

Maybe it is due to the days getting darker and colder, but as I have been grasping for warmth and light, I suddenly remembered—doh! We had a great DIY for solar jars, by Erin Duffey, this summer that we (well, more accurately, I) was supposed to post with pictures! DOH!

So, even if our backyards might no longer be places to hang out, follow Erin's instructions for some beautiful little lights that will brighten up the darkness!

Drying jars!

Mod Podge—a crafter's best friend!

Jar top + solar lid = almost there!

Brillance! No more dark days! 

Call for Art!

Are you an artist specializing in simple line drawings? Or do you just love to doodle? Regardless of where you see yourself on the self-appointed "artist spectrum," we want your work!

C.L.A.P. is currently looking for simple black and white line drawings/images to adorn the cover of our Winter 2011 issue. Ideal designs would reference this issue's theme of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" and would lend themselves to easy photocopying. Depending on how many submissions we get, we may be able to feature multiple images on the cover and/or run them within the zine itself.

If you are interested, or have any questions/comments about art submissions, email us at! Images must be submitted by December 1st, 2011 to be considered for the cover.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

C.L.A.P. Features: Miller Upholstering

In the spirit of supporting and promoting creative women, we are starting a new project on the C.L.A.P. blog called "C.L.A.P. Features." For it, we will be showcasing independent female-friendly businesses, organizations and individual creative types that are hip to the C.L.A.P. mission. 

I am very excited to present, for our first "C.L.A.P. Features" post, Helen Miller of Miller Upholstering. I first met Helen when she swung by the C.L.A.P. booth at a show we were sponsoring at the Kitty Cat Klub a few months ago. She was very enthusiastic about the zine and bought a couple to send to her daughter in London. A while later, she contacted C.L.A.P. about carrying the zine at her shop, Miller Upholstering, and is now one of our vendors. 

With that, I am pleased to present one of C.L.A.P.'s biggest supporters, Helen Miller of Miller Upholstering! 

The shop!
How and when did you start your business?

2001 – started as a result of not being able to be “hired”  in an established interiors/upholstery workroom at a living wage.  Also wanted more authority and creative license than such a position would have afforded.  Wanted to combine professional workroom practices with a craft/fiber-arts approach and see both disciplines have a place in home decoration.

A sample of the fabrics Miller Upholstering carries
What services or products do you offer that readers of C.L.A.P. would be interested in?

•FABRIC ! (new and vintage) and a go-to source of know-how in interior/domestic arts.

I assist the DIY’er with supplies and instruction as well as take custom orders for upholstery and soft home furnishings.  Vintage restored furniture and one-off cushions and fabric are for sale in shop and millerupholstering store on etsy. 

Helen at work
What is the best thing (or things!) about your job?
Full-on, hands-on arts and crafts every day, the study of interiors, furnishings, textiles thru the ages, the endless surprise of weave and pattern and how they work for or against certain frames (clothing constructionists know about this too), finding notes, photo’s, money and toys in furniture, redecorating the shop, THE WINDOWS!, playing great music in the shop, not having a boss make me listen to KQ or BOB-what is that?102?, counting my moneybags, watching my bank account rise (and fall – witnessing and learning the direct result of my endeavors) – oh and so I don’t sound completely self-indulged,  the sight of people reunited with their restored/reupholstered piece of furniture  - tears of joy, gasps of disbelief, pride of ownership and pleased with their decision to reupholster (no buyer’s remorse here!)

More of Helen's cute space
What advice do you have for other creative women interested in starting their own business?

Be ready to hunker down for a long slog – plan, and have as much capital as you can, because if you shoe-string it, you will be hating life.  But if you shoe-string it anyway – try and have a good time…enjoy yourself 100% or it ain’t worth it.  Have your support systems in place, i.e. mentors,  smart advisors (as opposed to ignorant advisors – and know the difference!), friends, etc.  Be adaptable, pay attention, cross-promote and be friends with other businesses, be good to your customers, treat them like gold,  KNOW WHO LIKES YOU ON FACEBOOK AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEM – if they are fellow or neighboring businesses LIKE THEM BACK if you deem them worthy.  Eat well and get a good nights sleep.  Don’t forget to exercise.

Anything else you would like to add?

Have no regrets – it’s a journey, not a destination, right? 

To find Miller Upholstering:  

Miller Upholstering

3614 E. Lake St. Mpls MN 55406

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Girl A Whirl Re-cap AND Sweet MPLS.TV Article!

The second Girl A Whirl went off without a hitch! To check out all the highlights, be sure to check out Yeti Record's photo album of the event here.


Bad Ass! 

The lady behind it all—Mrs. Lisa Luck! 

C.L.A.P. contributor Littlefoot plays as a potential future C.L.A.P.per looks on! 

Also very exciting: Lisa Luck (curator of Girl A Whirl, co-owner of Yeti Records and regular C.L.A.P. contributor) was interviewed by Lacey Prpić Hedtke of the Zine Apothecary for MPLS.TV about Yeti's new local zine section. Check out the interview here and be sure to swing by the store to pick up some of the other sweet publications our neighbors have been putting out there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

C.L.A.P. Sponsors: Girl A Whirl!

Mark your calendars for the second Girl A Whirl THIS SATURDAY, November 5th! From 5 pm to 10 pm, Yeti Records will be rocking with the sounds of local lady bands Jaded Matron (Gibbous & Tabitha Sheets), IS/ISLittlefootCadette and Brute Heart! Hear dj sets by the fabulous (and regular C.L.A.P. contributor) Jen Hughes of Hot Roxx and Carol (Double Trouble)! AND....witness the unveiling of Yeti Record's new ZINE SECTION!!!!! It is going to be totally bodacious. 

 C.L.A.P. is sponsoring this sweet  FREE event, curated by the fabulous artist/record store owner/regular C.L.A.P. contributor Lisa Luck. Since she is the mastermind of this event (and really funny), I wanted to get the inside scoop on Girl A Whirl, how it came about and what attendees can expect. We were finally able to catch up and I got it! The scoop!

Q.How did Girl a Whirl come about?

A. Well Holly, let me tell you. The first Girl A Whirl came to be 

on Yeti Record's first Record Store Day. It just so happened, that
 my business partner (aka my husband) was out of town. I knew 
I wanted to do something with pizzaz. I also knew I love girl 
So tada! I put together "Girl A Whirl". A rad lady band

Q. When was the first one, what happened at it?

RSD, 2011. April 16th. 4 radical instores occured. Girl Germs DJed. 

We gave away some raffles.... and had a big ole 45' Sale. It was 

Q. What can we expect from this Girl A Whirl?

More Awesome, this year 5 radical lady bands. Also the unveiling of 

our new Zine Section.

4. What are you most excited about for Girl A Whirl?

I am excited to hear the bands! Something great about having a 

record store is getting to put together shows. I get to see 5 of my 
fave bands perform and host a party. I like hosting. In fact 
every time someone comes to the store, I feel like they are at my 
house and I want to offer them a martini. Also the Zines.
I mean come on. How great are Zines!

5. How do Girl a Whirl and C.L.A.P. fit together?

How do they not? Creative Ladies are powerful dudes and dudettes. 

Also some of the contributors to C.L.A.P. are involved musically. 
Jen Hughes is Djing and Steph Onasis Nelson plays in Cadette.
Cool right?

6. Tell me about Yeti’s new zine collection!

So many people have been bringing them in. It is so exciting! From 

cooking, to music interviews, fashion.. art .. humor. It's so great 
and it's so local.

For more info on Girl A Whirl, check out the event page here and 

stay tuned for a recap of all the radical happenings that took place! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dear Sheila: When the "news" is too much

   In the spirit of playing catch up, here is our second installment of "Dear Sheila," from the Summer 2011 issue of C.L.A.P. Have a burning question you'd like Sheila's advice about? Just email it to:!                                                                   
Dear Sheila, 

Everytime I pay attention to the news, I feel so depressed, I just want to curl up and die, but I want to stay informed! How can I be aware of what is happening in today's world without it ruining my day? 

-Lovin' Ted Turner

Shoot; well, this is a tough one. What I sense, lurking behind your question, is the burden of trying to meet competing, and inchoate, expectations for yourself and the world. 

As a thinking woman, it sounds like you feel you have a responsibility to be informed about the world. As a feeling woman, you have a quite a task just keeping yourself sane in a quickly maddening world. Once again, let's take a Socratic approach to your dilemma . . . what are your expectations for yourself? What does it mean to be informed, in this globally connected world? How do you know if you're informed? Sometimes, when we're missing a metric to let us know whether we're on the right path or not, trying to fulfuill personally meaningful expectations can become a Sisyphean struggle. 

Perhaps, though your handle doesn't reflect this, you feel that major mainstream news organizations are shit and don't reflect reality on the ground (sorry for pissing on T^2). Your sense is, of course, correct->major network and cable news have more in common with fantasy novels than reality most of the time. But where does that leave you? Trapped in a hall of mirrors, in which reality is quickly bifurcated into a senseless nightmare? NO! Here are some alternative news feeds that give relatively unbiased news and current events: Jim Lehrer Newshour, on PBS; the BBC newsfeed tends to cover the whole world, and has an interesting perspective on U.S. events; for politics, is a huge clearinghouse of all the Beltway derring-dos without much editorializing. 

 I would suggest that your responsibilty can be fulfilled in a personal, creative, and meaningful manner. What role do you want to have in your world? Do you want to make informed consumer choices, and make an effort to buy local and ethically sourced products? Then keeping informed about current production practices and local business movements would seem to be important. Is a certain region of the world or conflict particularly salient or pressing to you? Focus your attention on news surrounding that area AND focus your activist energies on getting involved in organizations, demonstrations, education, etc that will increase your agency in the world. Truly, what is more depressing than seeing a miserable world and not being able to do anything about it. But, let's remember, CREATIVE LADIES (of all stripes, creeds, genders, ethnicities, and orientations) ARE POWERFUL!!! 

P.S. Look, I'm a closet Goth too, so I understand the urge to indulge your miserable side by picking scabs, watching Fox News, and listening to old Placebo CDs. There's a time and place for everything. But unless you want to live in your bat-infested basement, leaving only to tie one on at Ground Zero, you'll have to learn when to say when. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BUSINESS MAGIC WOMEN Working 9 to 5 (and then 5 to 10): Let’s Start a Business

Steph Nelson does it again! In this third installment of Business Magic Women (from our Fall 2011 issue), she tackles the subject that so many creative types are now struggling with—doing work you love while also working that other job to pay the bills. Check it out! 

By S.O. Nelson

By this point, we all know that times are tough in the employment world. Recent graduates are having a hard time finding work.  Experienced professionals are being laid off.  As an example, I am an attorney who graduated from law school three years ago.  It has not been easy entering a market with an oversaturation of attorneys and a lack of open positions.  Instead of sitting behind my desk with my face in my hands, I have been re-thinking my career plans.  I want to self propel! I am shifting my focus from legal practice into legal writing and I am also starting to build a prototype of a law firm that I will eventually open.  Additionally, my husband and I are considering starting a food truck business!

In this time of economic turmoil, starting your own business might seem scary.  But it might also be the best option – not only for your future career goals but for your mental health! Here are some reasons why starting your own business is a GOOD idea:

1) It will keep you happy.  This is your project.  You are calling the shots. Starting a business makes a boring day job more tolerable because you will be humming with ideas inside your head.  Building a business will keep you busy while you are unemployed (see #2).  Your project will be a light at the end of a doldrums tunnel. 

2) It will keep you busy.  Idle = unhappy.  Let’s face it, being busy keeps us from worrying.  When you are working on something you love, you’ll get lost in the moment.  It is a great feeling.  A creative lady in 2011 could use some lost moments for sure.

3) It will keep you focused.  Maybe you want to start a jewelry business.  But along the way, you realize that you would rather market the wares rather than bead a necklace.  Starting your own project will help you narrow down exactly what you’d like to do best.

4) It will lead to greater things! If anything, building a business will lead to some new friends and contacts, some new experiences and absolutely new ideas for more projects.

As additional inspiration, there are oodles of rebel women writing blogs about taking their careers into their own hands.  Do what you want to do and succeed! As a start, check out: Cordelia Calls It Quits, The Middle Finger Project and Brazen Careerist.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Call for Winter 2011 submissions!

While it seems like just yesterday we were finishing up the Fall issue, we are getting an early jump on planning the Winter issue to give contributors (and us) a bit more breathing room this time around. 

Big new! Since we have had such a great response from our Fall issue (we are almost completely out!), we are increasing the run for our next issue which means...ALL CONTRIBUTORS WILL RECEIVE A FREE WINTER ISSUE! 

Contributions for the next issue must be received by December 1st. 

Our theme this time around will be "Our Bodies, Ourselves."
Possible topics that could be covered under this theme include:

Food and Drink
Reproductive Rights
The Mind/Body connection
Working with our hands
Body image

While it is encouraged to utilize this theme to inspire your
contribution, we aren't limiting pieces to the theme, so if you
have a different idea that you want to explore, go for it! Pieces
that are related to winter and health are especially encouraged
since it is such a difficult time for the majority of us here in

If you think you have something you'd want to contribute to this
issue, email us at!

ALSO: we will be offering advertising for lady-friendly/run
businesses, organizations and independent creative types in the
next issue at low rates. Advertising gets you space in the zine,
as well on our blog. SO...if you have an etsy shop, run a business
or organization or just want to get what you do out there in a more
formal way, let us know. More details about advertising can be found
 here, under "advertising." Note: we aren't trying to get all
corporate here at C.L.A.P. by offering advertising—it's merely a way
 to help cover the costs of printing, assembling and promoting what
we are doing. Plus, it is a good way to help support our own
independent, female-run, alternative economy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Business Magic Women! II: Mentor Me!

Ready for the second installment of S.O. Nelson's simply superb businessy advice column for creative ladies!?

Well here it is, from our Summer 2011 issue (illustration and layout by the lovely Lisa Luck)!

buis woman II

Creative Ladies outside the TC area: C.L.A.P. is now ONLINE!

I am extremely pleased to announce that, after about six months, C.L.A.P. is FINALLY available for purchase online!

To get your hands on a copy of our Summer issue, click here. Our Fall issue can be purchased here. Quantities are limited (we are almost completely out of our Fall issue!), so get them while the getting is hot!

This just in: C.L.A.P. subscriptions are now available through our etsy shop as well! To get four issues of C.L.A.P. delivered right to your doorstep, check it out here.

For our friends in the Twin Cities area, have no fear! Copies are available at Yeti Records, Everyday People Clothing Exchange, the Mighty Swell, Boneshaker Books and (this afternoon) Miller Upholstering! Soon to come at the Grand Cafe and Mayday Books as well!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall 2011 Issue out NOW!

the Fall 2011 issue in pea green, burnt orange and mint green!

Very exciting things are happening at C.L.A.P. right now! Our third issue hit the ground running today, with a very special unveiling at the Twin Cities Zinefest!

the C.L.A.P. table

In addition to this issue sporting a simply amazing screen printed cover featuring the work of Lindsay Noble (in three different shades!), we have all the usual goodies in our fall issue: Dear Sheila, a recipe, a C.L.A.P. creative exercise, a comic by Lillithfairfan696969 (which features hiking boots and bare asses. Seriously) AND a new column by S.O. Nelson on starting your own business. Speaking of which, since it is "back to school" season, we took the opportunity to make the fall issue "job/career/work/life paths and choices" themed, so many of the articles revolve around those topics.

Over the next week, we will be distributing the new issue to several lady-friendly locations around town including Everyday People Clothing Exchange, Yeti Records, Grand Cafe, Boneshaker Books and Miller Upholstering. We will also be getting copies to the lovely ladies that run the Mighty Swell occasional vintage shop, which will be having their next sale October first (for more info on that, check out the event page here). I also have big plans to finally, finally, finally get the zine up for sale on the internet and you will all be the first to know when that happens. Now I leave you with some pictures from Zinefest (I was so tired I stupidly forgot to photograph actual people and their booths, which was a bummer because there were some great ones including the awesome feminist zine W O M A N H O U S E zine , The Flood, an amazing art zine, and She Must Be Having a Bad Day, a zine about ladies in the food service industry by the lovely Dana of Girl Germs, our favorite lady music podcast. Our friend Wendy was also camped next us selling her cooking zine, but I am a awful friend because I can't remember the name of it! But it was really cool! And she is going to do one with drink recipes next, which is much more up my alley), because I am going to take the advice of our C.L.A.P. P.S.A. and take a break!

the program

the new issue at Zinefest

buttons and info promoting The Twin Cities Runoff, an online publication edited by C.L.A.P. contributor Deborah Carver



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Behind on times, but here it is! S.O. Nelson's Business Women Magic

We are lucky enough at C.L.A.P. to have an amazing woman, Steph Nelson, who is willing to share her legal expertise with other creatively-minded women. As a musician, Steph knows a lot about working as a creative lady and has so far contributed two columns to our zine. Her words of wisdom are truly golden for those of us who are interested in pursuing creative careers in ways that involve paying the bills and growing as creative women. Since this advice is so imperative to like-minded women, we will always have her column available online for those who could benefit from it.

With that, here is her first column, all about crafting a business plan, from our preview issue!

I. In my dreams, I have a (business) plan!
Spring is here and it is time for new flowers, new creatures and...a new business venture? The readers of C.L.A.P. zine are skilled in many creative areas and some are pursuing a career in their craft. The purpose of my column is to provide a simple overview of issues that you may encounter when starting your business. If you have ideas, questions or success stories, please contact me!
Before we dive into entity formation and tax consequences, let’s start at the very beginning…
The first step is a simple business plan. This is your chance to put your thoughts down on paper. Your business plan will change as your business grows so don’t feel like your first attempt will be set in stone. Here are some ideas to get your business plan started:
1. SUMMARY – What is a concise overview of my business?
· Mission Statement – what do I want to do with this business?
· Date business began
· Names of founders
· Location
· Experience and background
2. MARKET ANALYSIS – Who is my target market and who are my competitors?
· Who is your customer?
· What is your industry?
· Who is your target market?
· What are the characteristics of your market?
· What types of media will you use to reach your target audience?
· Who are your competitors? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?
3. ORGANIZATION & MANAGEMENT – How will I organize and manage my business?
· Names of owner(s)
· Will there be employees or other individuals involved?
· Percentage of ownership
· Extent of involvement
· Will there be stock or other forms of ownership?
· Who are the managers?
· Will there be a board of directors?
5. MARKETING AND SALES MANAGEMENT – What is my marketing strategy?
· How will my business enter the market?
· How will my business grow and branch out?
· What sorts of distribution should I use?
· How will I reach my customers?
6. SERVICE LINE – What am I selling?
· Focus on areas where you have an advantage
· Identify a problem in your target market
· What people are willing to pay for your “solution?”
· What are the benefits to my product/services?
· Do I need trademark, copyright or patent protection?
(We’ll talk more about this later)
· Am I researching or developing any new products?
7. FUNDING – How much funding do I need to start or expand my business?
· What is my current funding requirement?
· What are my future funding requirements over the next five years?
· How will I use funds that I receive?
8. FINANCIALS – What do expect your company to do in the next five years?
· What are my monthly net sales? What is the cost? What is the profit?
· What are my expenses?
I hope everyone has a chance to experiment with the business plan this spring. It is a great way to start thinking about your small business. Keep this plan and make changes/updates as necessary.
Another first step in starting a business is taking advantage of resources in your community and on the web. Here are a few websites to check out:
· The U.S. Small Business Administration has one of the most helpful websites for small business information.
· Women Venture is a great local organization for classes and other resources.
· Metro IBA is a non-profit alliance working to support locally owned businesses.
· Springboard for the Arts provides information and services that artists need to make a living.
· The Minnesota Small Business Assistance Office provides an EXCELLENT publication called Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota. It is available for download at their website.
S.O. Nelson is an attorney and musician. Although she is a lawyer, this is column has been prepared for general information only and does not provide specific legal advice. Please contact her at

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

C.L.A.P. Summer 2011 Issue out NOW!

After some amazing, highly efficient work by a group of wonderful ladies last Thursday, we were able to get the summer issue of C.L.A.P. out June 24th!

In addition to some of our great reoccurring features, we had articles contributed by women who helped with the preview issue as well as a new group of lovely ladies! Just check out all the amazing pieces we have in this edition of C.L.A.P.:
  • A MN women's rights report by Carly Coughlin
  • A tutorial on making solar jars by self-professed solar jar-obsessed Erin Duffey
  • Sheila Frankfurt in Dear Sheila tackles how to deal with depression onset by watching the news
  • Molly Harrington's song about destroying the patriarchy
  • S.O. Nelson's Business Women Magic column suggests mentorship for aspiring business women
  • A Love Letter or Loretta Lynn by Nikki Miller
  • Alison Stolpa takes a road trip to House on the Rock
  • One woman musical acts STACIAN and Littlefoot interview each other
  • Seemingly difficult food tricks made easy by Lisa Nguyen
  • Deborah Carver explores the parallels between her mother and Patti Smith
  • Jen Hughes uses Fleetwood Mac for inspiration in her hair do and mix tape columns
  • Info on the world of clipping coupons by Ryn Gibson
  • Thrifting Tips from Operation Sparkle (me)
  • Eriika Etshokin's essay on males' reaction to sexual assault against women
  • A veggie spring roll recipe by Sarah Slathar
  • Katherine Peterson discusses what it means to be creative in today's world
  • Lisa Luck's second installment of her Lilithfairfan696969 comic (this time influenced by VH1's "Single Ladies" show)
  • All the other C.L.A.P. extras: letter from the editor, a creative exercise, news, calendar and more!
Even better‚ each issue comes with a special C.L.A.P. postcard featuring work by Twin Cities female artists! We have two editions of the cards—one by the lovely fashion designer/artist Danielle Everine, the other by artist Suzanne Mahoney. Keep them for yourself or send them to a lady you think would like what we do!

Be sure to pick yours up at Yeti Records or Everyday People Clothing Exchange (currently at the Uptown location, with copies available at the St. Paul location tomorrow)! Stay tuned for more peeks at the new issue as well as C.L.A.P. news!

Monday, June 20, 2011

C.L.A.P. News + Summer Issue coming out soon! JUNE 24th!

I am so very excited that our summer issue is coming out this week, on June 24th! We have some great articles, ranging from topics such as body positivity, to the parallel lives between one writer's mother and Patti Smith, to a road trip to the best destination EVA, House on the Rock, and much, much more!

Just like ma.

Even if you weren't able to contribute to this issue, we would love to have you at our assembly party, this Thursday, on June 23rd, from 7-10 at Yeti Records! We will be putting together the new issue of the zine, working on fliers for upcoming C.L.A.P. events (!), and, of course, hanging out with awesome ladies while ingesting some excellent chow and beverages. For more event details and to RSVP, check out the Facebook invite!

Thanks to our new promoter, Sheila Frankfurt (of, among other things, "Dear Sheila" fame), we will also be at these upcoming shows featuring totally rad Twin Cities lady musicians! (Note: If you want to chat with Sheila about putting together some sort of C.L.A.P. event, show or promotion, hit her up at!)

Thursday, June 30th you can see the Coathangers, Gospel Gossip, Kitten Forever and Cadette at the Triple Rock for an 18+ show that starts at 8! THEN on Saturday, July 2nd (whoa), come to the C.L.A.P.-sponsored the Chambermaids, Nice Purse and Night Moves show at the one and only Kitty Kat Club (which has a happy hour that may or may not have gotten me through grad school)!

We have so many more exciting things in store for the upcoming months, but in the meantime, check out this fabulous Girl Germs podcast featuring C.L.A.P. (including music from this issue's contributors Littlefoot, STACIAN and Cadette) AND amazing GLBT artists like JD Sampson and the Gossip. Stay tuned for a summer issue C.L.A.P. GIVEAWAY through Girl Germs this week!

Luv you JD!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Creative Ladies are ruling this week!

So much has been going on this week for C.L.A.P.!

This morning I met up with the lovely Dana from Girl Germs, an amazing female-focused music podcast, to chat about doing some work together (more details to come) AND yesterday kicked off our first GIVEAWAY with High Plains Thrifter, a great thrifting (yes!) blog by Meghan McAndrews.

To read a bit more about C.L.A.P. and for a chance to win a copy of our preview issue, check it out here.

Finally, I am working on getting the blog functioning a bit better, which includes adding important info about submissions and subscriptions. This will come in due time, but for anyone that is interested, we are currently putting together the summer issue of the zine, out June 21st. Pieces that need to be laid out are due June 7th, and those that are already laid out (for you really adventurous types) are due June 14th.

If you are interested in contributing, contact us at! If the summer issue is too soon, we are also looking for submissions for future issues as well. If you have an idea that involves women and/or being creative, share it! We'd love to have you be part of this project!

Again, I apologize for dragging my feet on getting the zines up for sale online. If you aren't able to hit up Everyday People or Yeti Records for one, but would like to get a copy asap, just drop me an email and we can work something out!

Yay for creative women! Happy Hump Day everyone!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preview Issue Materials: Creative Ladies' Rules for Writing

Creative Ladies' Rules for Writing

By Nikki Miller

Writing rule #1: Begin with a quote.

Fie, fie! unknit that threat'ning unkind brow,
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes...
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love and obey...
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more
To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.

- Katherina, former Shrew, delivering her monologue upon being tamed by Petruchio, in the 1590 comedy The Taming of the Shrew.

Writing rule #2: If you are a thoughtful, intelligent woman, 2a. don't ever begin with a quote, especially one written in iambic pentameter (as PRETty AS it SOUNDS when READ aLOUD), and 2b. realize that Katherina is not a real person, but a character dreamt up by a man in 1590. As satire? As portrait of the idealized woman? Who knows Shakespeare's intentions, but whatever they were, that woman stinks; don't be her. Don't be afraid to voice your opinions, however benign or controversial they may be. And get them down in writing for the public to take in, carefully consider, to be moved by, revolt against. Then say some more.

You open yourself for criticism when you're bold enough to share your thoughts in writing or conversation, but it seems the harshest criticisms are reserved for women. Take a little trip down memory lane with me, won't you? (Writing rules #3 and 4: Engage your readers through use of personal narrative. Engage them then by addressing them directly; furthermore titillate their literary sensibilities by launching into second-person narrative.)

You are a twelve-year-old girl. You and your friends are pulled aside one day and sent to a location halfway across town, away from the boys. Your teachers are preparing you for your lives after elementary school. Are they teaching you about menstruation? About the importance of washing while on your period? Instructions like "Don't flush your sanitary napkin down the toilet, don't wear white pants, and DON'T be SCARED you'll SPROUT some HAIR down THERE

No; that was all covered the year before, and among a much larger group of girls. So why are you being segregated?

On this day, you're joined by a small contingent of young women - the female students of your school's gifted education program - to be taught two lessons which will stick with you in the decades to follow:

1. You are a smart young woman. As such, you will on occasion be viewed as a threat to men (and to other women).
2. You're just gonna have to deal with that, honey, unless you wanna become someone's humdrum housewife. And that would be such a waste - you did so well on your achievement tests this year!

These were well-intentioned adults. They didn't mean to scare us into submission, scare us into secondary school careers as head-nodding, agreeable cheerleaders, rah-rahing in support of the boys. Rather, they were offering us our first fist raise, our first challenge to buck the system, and a caution of rough waters ahead.

Fast forward eighteen years. Last summer in the Wisconsin Dells, I saw something that made me worry for my hypothetical past self, as well as for myself in a hypothetical future. On a side street, down the block from a tiny wedding chapel, I found myself face-to-face with a horrifying device in a museum dedicated to the history of torture.

This thing - it wasn't the rack, and it wasn't the iron maiden, two contraptions that come to mind when one imagines torture. The thing that took my breath away was an instrument used during medieval times on women who said things considered disagreeable by men. You've done this, of course; if you tend to have strong opinions, as most intelligent people do, you probably don't think twice about sharing them. But learning that history had given us a device designed to shut women up brought on that gurgly, nervous feeling in my bowels.

I soon discovered I wouldn't be introduced to just one anomaly of a torture device; down the hall from contraptions meant to stretch and crush and slice and dice were a whole series of devices intended not to kill their bearers, but to intimidate and humiliate them. These "friendlier" devices were the kinds intended for use on women accused of lesser crimes than witchcraft, adultery, or having been impregnated by the seed of the Devil.

For lesser offenses, such as gossiping, nagging or arguing with one's husband, women were submerged in water repeatedly by a device called the ducking stool. This punishment was popular for those convicted of being a common scold, the name assigned to a woman who was troublesome, angry, who broke the peace by quarreling (a crime only women could commit).

Others were forced to wear the branks or scold's bridle: an iron cage for the head, with a curb-plate, sometimes studded with painful spikes, pressed down upon the tongue to inflict pain or even pierce it if the woman attempted to speak. If two women were found quarreling, they might be placed in a dual shrew's fiddle. Imagine a piece of wood cut in the shape of two violins joined at the fingerboards, with two large holes cut on each side to fit around the bearers' necks, plus four smaller holes for the wrists, binding hands near one's face as if playing a fiddle and forcing the two bickering women to stand face-to-face in this awkward position until they'd settled their differences.

This is how our society, in its former incarnation, punished women who spoke up even on the most benign matters. And while we no longer dunk and bind as punishment, speaking up seems in more modern times not all that much less offensive.

I've been described by male friends, whom I've often engaged in vigorous conversations on topics as critical as "Best ZZ Top album," as being "too opinionated," though it seems they get free rein to pontificate all they want. Women who speak up, who put their intelligent thoughts and opinions on display, are more often described as a loudmouth than an intellectual.

And with good reason; the subjugation of another's voice is one of the most commonly (and easily) used tools of those in power, whether through the extermination of native tongues, lack of attention paid to the perspectives and stories of historically disempowered communities, or spending more time talking about a female candidate's choice of business suits than her political platform.

It's a damnable problem. It's a problem that can be named, that can be contextualized historically, and that continues today (even if not through the literal bridling of a woman's face). It's about oppression so deeply-rooted in our lives still today that even women and men who consider themselves feminists might be ashamed to occasionally find themselves more likely to call a woman than a man a "loudmouthed bitch." You've done that, right? I have. It's icky, but it happens.

And so, for the inaugural issue of C.L.A.P. where we have a collective of women putting forth their ideas, whether in writing or via other media, I say, "Fuck the Patriarchy!" No, that's breaking writing rule #5: don't employ overused or cliche statements. Instead, "Fuck Petruchio!" And now, writing rule #6: write a conclusion that ties up your story neatly, and brings you full-circle to your introduction.

PETRUCHIO: Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.

And thus was born one of the worst musicals of all time.

Nikki Miller, of Minneapolis, MN wears the following hats: Volunteer Wrangler, MFA Student, Freelance Writer and Photographer, City Pages and

Bad. Nationwide.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Preview Issue Materials: Dear Sheila

Hello C.L.A.P.pers!

It has been a while, but things are back in action! I've been chatting with a great group of women about contributing to our summer issue (if you are interested, or know someone who would like to get involved, please email us at !), due out June 21st.

In the meantime, I will be posting a few more articles from our preview issue, including a couple that will be reoccurring features on both the blog and in our print zine. One such feature is our "Dear Sheila" column, in which our resident advice columnist (and phD psychology student Sheila Frankfurt) provides readers answers to their deepest, darkest problems. If you have a question you would like Sheila to explore, please share it with us! Your identity will be confidential, of course, and all you have to do is send your question to, with "Dear Sheila" in the subject.

And now, on to Dear Sheila!

Dear Sheila,

I am addicted to True Blood! My fiance isn't and I think it is negatively effecting our relationship. Help!

-Stuck at Merlotte's

Dear Stuck at Merlotte’s,

Oh my god, first I want to say: "I'm sorry." I really feel for you. Being caught between the love of a good man who's missed the boat, and a burning yearning desire to live in an alternate reality that not even Harry Turtledove could have cooked up is, you know, like a roc and a hard place. I've been there before, and it ain't easy. But don't abandon all hope, yet. This triangular relationship (between you, your fiancée, and True Blood) is turgid with possibilities.

Maybe it would help to take a Socratic approach, and ask yourself a few questions about the situation on the ground. . . 1)Is you boyfriend a smaller-statured Brunet with a tendency to possessively drawl your name and glare at the competition. If so, are you yourself on "Team Eric"? Because, just maybe, he's feeling threatened by your devotion to his on-air nemesis. Of course, maybe your boyfriend is a barrel-chested Aryan powerhouse with a tendency to take what he wants, no questions asked. Have you been sharing your dream of opening up a 3.2 dive bar on the crossroads of an abandoned highway? I'm sure you're picking up on my allusions. Sometimes, I think, we have a tendency to fantasize people we can't (and maybe don't want) to have, and living dangerous lives that are out of reach. But, even in the most intimate of relationships, there are some personal desires that aren't shared--perhaps that separation is threatening to your partner. It’s terrifying to realize you can be shut out of a part of your lover's life, a small corner in the recesses of a shared life can remain untouched and alone. 2) Have you considered that he may secretly be in to V.L.A.R.P. (vampire live action role playing), and is considering sharing his double life with you, but is threatened by your devotion to an opposing vampire-centered alternate reality? Perhaps doing some sexy vampire role playing in the boudoir will open up his doors of perception, and you can share in each other's blood-sucking outlets. Alternately, you may need to sacrifice some of your T.B. time, and see if you can both watch another HBO fantasy show together. I hear "Game of Thrones" is going to be good.

I wonder if the perceived threat of fevered fandom to an intimate relationship depends on one’s gender. Is women’s devotion to a silly fantasy show more threatening to the stability of a relationship than men’s? I’m reminded that, historically, women engaged in the solitary, and absorbing, act of reading was seen as a threat (to marital relationships? to domestic stability? It’s not clear).

P.S. The above fix to this sticky situation explicitly discusses the impact of interest-incongruence in only heterosexual couples, in reaction to the relationship described by the writer. However, I think the same situation could play out in queer relationships, because, at the end of the day—feeling distanced and isolated from one’s partner is a malady common to the human condition.

Sheila Frankfurt is a water sign, though she identifies with the wind.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Preview Issue Materials: Amalia Nicholson's Charge for Female Filmmakers!

One of the lessons that has come out of doing the preview issue has been figuring out how to ensure proper printing—especially when we need to rely so heavily on the crappy free printer I got when I purchased my computer five years ago. It was super disappointing to see articles that women laid out themselves not translating well in the printing process, as was the case with Amalia Nicholson's piece encouraging women to pick up the camera. While we were able to get the words to come through, it still bums me out that Amalia's adorable little line drawings were too light to see in our printed publication. Not all is lost, however, as we have this magical thing called the internet!

So, as promised, here it is, in all it's glory, Amalia Nicholson's "Why All Women Should be Filmmakers"!


Preview Issue Materials: Lisa Nguyen's DIY Project

As promised, here is the full tutorial of Lisa Nguyen's Framed Lace Earring Holder. Lisa was awesome enough to take the reigns and lay out this piece by herself, but as we were tight on space for the preview issue, I asked her to shrink it down for publication. What she had laid out was so nice, however, that we have to share it somehow!

If you are a bit more crafty than me (I lack the patience) and have a fun DIY project you would like to share with C.L.A.P., email ! We are always looking for interesting activities to share with readers!


Lisa - DIY - Page1

Lisa - DIY - Page2

Lisa - DIY - Page3

Lisa - DIY - Page4

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Preview Issue! Available now!

People have been asking where/how to get the preview issue of C.L.A.P.—as of today it is available for sale at Yeti Records and the Uptown Everyday People Clothing Exchange (on Thursday, we will have it at the St. Paul EPCE). I am hoping to get the zine up on etsy sometime this week, but time is running out and I am leaving for a weekend in Chicago (visiting our very own Jackie Katers, who contributed a delicious vegan marble cake with vegan chocolate butter cream recipe for our preview issue). So stay posted!

In the meantime, check out some fabulous photography featuring the preview issue (stay tuned for actual articles from the zine) and our contributors' bios!

The Preview Issue

Inside front cover
Table of Contents

F.A.Q. + Letter from the Editor
Letter from the Editor + F.A.Q.

Nikki Miller's Piece
Nikki Miller's "Creative Ladies' Rules for Writing"

Jen Hughes/Lisa Luck Collaboration
Jen Hughes/Lisa Luck Collaboration

El Fin!
The End.

C.L.A.P. would also like to thank the preview issue contributors:

Carly Coughlin
Erin Duffey
Sheila Frankfurt
Molly Harrington
Jen Hughes
Jackie Katers
Lisa Luck
Nikki Miller
Steph Nelson
Lisa Nguyen
Amalia Nicholson
Mary Willms
Tara Zachman

AND all the ladies who came to the preview party assembly night and helped put together our first issue:

Yeti Records (not technically a lady, but a partially lady-owned space that lent us its basement)
Lisa Luck
Ryn Gibson
Amalia Nicholson
Mary Willms
Tara Zachman
Carly Coughlin
Molly Harrington
Sara Bischoff
Bethann McDowell
Loren Smith
Steph Nelson
Erin Duffey
Sheila Frankfurt

...I really, really hope I am not forgetting anyone! If am, I am sorry! Please remind me of your smiling face so I can give you a proper thank you!