Saturday, 27 January 2018

Finding New Fonts

I wanted to find some new fonts that would add to the vintage feel of my tin artwork. Not being a very adept IT person it took me an hour or so to work out how to add fonts to my Pages menu. Some font additions can be cut and actually pasted onto images. I also want to play with combining images and font online. 

I found a wide range of fonts on this site including Mom's Typewriter which I particularly liked

Here is a picture I've been saving for a tin, wall plaque or as a basis for a lino-cut with the added font and my caption.

Here is another use of the font. This time with an image I found online and gave a pen and ink effect using an art filter.

The actual process of incorporating the new fonts onto my Pages font list took a little thought and effort. I used this advice. An afternoon has just vanished whilst I've been fiddling with all this technology. Still - it's pretty murky outside and Nicky is down in the workroom creating another lovely little wooden animal so it was a good time for time-wasting!

Work in Progress: Puncture Kit Tins

One of my next projects is to create a little diorama or collage using old puncture kit tins. I'm assembling some ideas but need to seek out a few lines from a poem about cycling. I can't remember the poem I originally found!

If it's possible, I'd like to make a collage using the contents of the tins in a little display alongside the tin diorama. I've already got some tiny cyclists to put inside the tins! One figure is mending a puncture so it's particularly fitting!

Not sure though if everything will stick on in such a way as to allow the hanging of the collage - and the opening of the tins!

Back to Bowie

After a long time away from the workroom I finally finished my 'Ashes to Ashes' David Bowie tin. Nicky helped me to finish it by customising the colours of the spaceman, Bowie figure and the mother figure (though we left her outfit red to co-ordinate with the artwork). I like the match between the spaceman image on the sweet tin and the space theme of the inside lid. I used quotations from the song on each side of the tin. 

The beach image started out as a holiday pic from our sailing holiday in Greece (I was sitting on the beach but I cropped myself out).  I played around with various filters to try to give an effect similar to the odd colouring on the Ashes to Ashes video.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tusky (Rhubarb) Gin

I've been away from my blog for a while for family reasons.
With the Autumn upon us, Nicky and I decided to make use of the fruits of the garden (well not quite our garden). When I was a child I lived near rhubarb fields and we loved to eat the rhubarb - or 'tusky' as we called it then - raw, dipped into bags of sugar. More recently we've enjoyed a rhubarb gin cocktail at a wine bar in the Rhubarb Triangle town of Rothwell (where I lived from 11 to 18). We enjoyed it so much we decided to have a go at making some ourselves.

We used rhubarb kindly donated by our neighbours: the only other ingredients were a bottle of gin, some sugar and lots of patience.

We chopped and washed the rhubarb and put it in a couple of kilner jars with the sugar! Full recipe link here We shook the jars - lots of frosty looking rhubarb. After a night resting on the Raeburn the sugar had all dissolved into a gloopy syrup!

The next step was simply to add the gin. And wait!

And wait. And wait. About four weeks later the gin was ready to drink. It tastes absolutely delicious on its own - more like a liquor. Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic also works well with it. We're saving the rest for Christmas!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tins: Another Stourton Tin

I've had a long break from this blog - mainly because of another break - a broken hip! I had a fall in January and I ended up having to have a full hip replacement. The recovery process takes a while and it is only recently that I've felt confident enough to head back down the cellar stairs to our lovely below-ground workshop.

Just before my accident I made another Stourton tin. Once again I used a Pontefract Cakes tin and pasted a map of Stourton around the insert and on the back of the tin. This picture on the insert this time is a photograph of me and my sister Ann in our front street in Stourton. I'm the baby in the pram and Ann is in the toy car.

The railway figures in the tin were self-assembly and self-paint. I found the pram almost impossible to assemble - so fiddly! Nicky proved much better at this than me and assembled and painted everything. I gave the tin to Ann as a gift. I hope she liked it!

Still got a few tins halfway completed - next one to finish is my Bowie 'Ashes to Ashes' tin. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Tins: Memories From The Past

Mum's Birthday Tin

I made a tin as a special surprise present for my mum's 87th birthday. It includes a picture of the streets where we lived in the 50s and early 60s. The border inside is a map showing the town, Stourton (now completely demolished, church, schools and all). The inset picture is of mum and dad in their courting days, sitting on a bench in Stourton Park. 

Mum was only about 15 or 16 at the time. The streets we lived in were called 'The Idas' after the wife of the man who built them. We lived on Ida Terrace. The houses were constructed from the bricks and rubble left from slum clearances. People used to say that the houses had the fleas built into them! 

Here's a fuller map of the location on the back of the tin. I used a Pontefract Cakes tin because the road on the picture is Pontefract Road. 

Mum was delighted with the tin and likes to tell the stories behind it to all the people who visit her. Here's mum on her birthday surrounded by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren!

My poem 'Google Earth' recently published by The Letterpress Project mentions Ida Terrace. You can read it on the site here.

Here's an image of the poem as it was originally published in the magazine Mslexia.

More Writing Bits and Bobs

666 Horror Anthology

This arrived yesterday.  I have four stories in here: 'Loft Conversion' (competition second prize); 'The Pond' (shortlisted entry); 'Bad Vibrations at Stratisfest' and "a Perfect Match' (both longlisted entries). I've had fun reading the other pieces of flash fiction in this Fantastic Books Publishing anthology. Love the cover!

Here's a taster - the opening paragraph from 'A Perfect Match'.

A Happy Anniversary - Roald Dahl

This year is the centenary anniversary of the year of Roald Dahl's birth. On November 3rd, the Letterpress Project launched a book of writings by adults and children celebrating Dahl's work. 
The book Roald Dahl: The Man Who Believed in Magic is available from Letterpress in paperback form or in a free PDF. My poem 'The Whoopsy-whiffling World of Mr Dahl' is included. 

A Sad Event

On November 7th, we heard of the sad death of the wonderful poet and singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen. On an online blog, I shared my memories of a long-ago meeting with him. This was published by the BBC in an online article, listing experiences of everyday folk meeting him. You can read the article here.

The article includes a picture of me in the location where I met him. I and my friends used to sunbathe on rocks on the Greek island of Hydra close by to his favourite sunny spot! I'm the shy one in the frock!

Wow - this is almost 40 years ago! When did I get old? Here's another pic - converted by Prisma (more on Prisma later). This shows me sailing to Hydra.