Thursday 31 October 2013


Hope you are all enjoying a ghoulish evening......!

I have a very grave picture for you all tonight.....
Taken in the cemetery next door to the Brontë sisters house in Haworth, Yorkshire.

Don't forget to do the MONSTER MASH tonight!!!!!

Sunday 27 October 2013


Have been out shopping again!!
Found some amazing, full on retro footie cards!

Produced by the legendary A & BC, these chewing gum cards take you right back to the late 60s and early 70s. Some immense names from footie's past are here.... Roger Hunt, Pat Jennings, Charlie George, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan, Peter Bonetti, Bob Wilson to name a few!

I'm hoping to do some amazing things with these cards, in fact, I've already started with the collage down below!

Talking of retro football, you can't get more retro than 1863......
I sauntered along to the British Library in London one lunchtime this week to have a look at the exhibition called Football Rules.
Although it's tiny, all contained in one glass cabinet, the centre piece of the exhibition is the stunning FA Minute Book taken from meetings which decided upon the rules of football. All meticulously written down by the brilliantly named Ebeneezer Cobb Morley in 1863, it's basically the most treasured footballing item anywhere in the world.

There is still time to have peep at it:

Wonderfully, sitting next to this was a copy of the CHELSEA INDEPENDENT....
The fantastic Chelsea fanzine of old. Still going today in a different guise as the CFCUK.
Along with Fulham and Preston fanzines, it was there to show the fans' own contribution to the football world. They had a copy from 1991, which seems a far off time now! The cover brilliantly illustrates Chelsea missing out on going to Wembley yet again!
The fanzine was a vital part of the club, always asking questions, funny and poignant stories of supporting the club and generally being the only real outlet for fans' frustrations before the internet.

Getting a fanzine outside Stamford Bridge has long been a ritual of mine, and the sounds of "Chelsea fanzine only a paarrnnd!" still ring out today. 

Incidently, the fanzine cost 50p in 1991 and still only costs £1 today, shame the same can't be said of match tickets.....
I went scrabbling around the loft to find my own copy of the one used in the British Library!!

Saturday 19 October 2013


Have been working on some promo material for the wonderful ARCANE PUBLISHING, including a brand new book cover...

Arcane's chief protagonist CARYA GISH will be appearing at the SHORELINES LITERATURE FESTIVAL OF THE SEA in Leigh Community Centre next month, so as a handy bit of advertising she will have some postcards giving you all the info on her books.

She will be at the METAL LIT LAB READING on November 10th in Room 7 on the 1st Floor between 1pm - 3pm. Free Entry!

Her amazing first book I AM A MUSE is already out, and the first draft of the manuscript for her second THE BOOK OF THOTH is nearing completion.

It was with great pleasure that I've been able to design both these covers. Carya specifically wanted a very minimalist and clean cover for THE BOOK OF THOTH. So we have a stark white cover with striking typography. Incidently using a font I designed myself!

Check out the ARCANE PUBLISHING website here:

Carya's own blog will give you even more info!:

And then have a look at the line-up for the SHORELINES festival here:
Keep on scrolling down to get to the METAL LIT LAB READING featuring Carya!

Saturday 12 October 2013


As we know, all of today's photos used in magazines and online are in some way changed or enhanced, I myself do it all the time at work and at play.

But the pioneering postcard producer JOHN HINDE had beaten us all to it!
Already experimenting with colour photography in the 1930s, he set up his own company to produce thousands of colour postcards from the 1960s onwards.

I bet you have one in your own collection. They stand out from the black and white cards being produced at the time by their magnificently garish colours! He often chose quite mundane scenes, but they were transported into these beautiful, colourful sunny British holiday pictures!

The process involved is fascinating. Although an accomplished photographer himself, he would send out his photographers to take all the pictures, mostly of seaside resorts, and then pour over the negatives to choose his favourites. After getting black and white prints done he would then get to work in true Photoshop style!
He would mark them up with all the colours he wanted. 'Make that car red', 'That jumper can be green', 'Those shorts yellow'! 
I think it's great that he would also just get rid of things that got in the way as well. 'Delete that rubbish bin', 'Remove those clouds', 'That man is getting in the way'!

All the prints would then be sent to Italy, who were the leaders in this field, to make the 4-colour separations for printing. The results were stunning, never before seen full colour postcards.
They have become a part of our memories of holidays and are at last getting the recognition they deserve.

So next time we are deleting that annoying lamp post on a photo or boosting the colour of the sky to make it look like a sunny day, remember, Mr Hinde was doing this 50 years ago!!

If you are quick (it finishes tomorrow!!), you can still catch a little exhibition of his work at the Photographers' Gallery in London. They are down in the basement, next to the shop!

And check out this brilliant gallery to see a wider range of his postcards.

Great example of the colours chosen by John Hinde. ©

Red and yellow were often chosen as they stood out the most on the postcard stand! ©

A typically mundane scene, but with the colour added becomes a stunning picture. ©

The photographers would often get people to stand around to add interest to a picture! ©
Gloriously cheesy postcard!! ©

Another fairly boring photo, somehow transformed into a stunning masterpiece! ©

I love this card, the monorail adds to a classic Hinde combination of people, colours and an impossibly blue sky! ©

This is a great example I found on my recent trip to Dorset, giving you multiple scenes and colours.
This is a stunning picture of Piccadilly Circus, giving you a hint of the other side of Hinde's work.

If you fancy delving a bit deeper into John Hinde's work, it's would be worth your time. Although chiefly remembered for these gorgeous postcards he took some amazing photographs himself. Especially the series of fascinating shots taken on a tour with a circus in 1948, called British Circus Life. And a forerunner to his postcards were a set of atmospheric colour photographs taken of an Exmoor Village in 1947.

Wednesday 9 October 2013


I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be at the next SECRET VINTAGE FAIR on November 30th!!!

These fairs have become huge events and with every new event comes a stunning new venue.....

But SSSHHH, it's a secret!!!!

All I can reveal for now is that it will be in Colchester.....
Keep tuned for more news!!!

These fairs have been a roaring success for me personally, so I'm very excited to able to bring along lots of new designs and amazing vintage items to sell. Dare I say it now, all will make perfect Christmas presents!!!

See you there!

Sunday 6 October 2013


Hi everyone, I'm back from Dorset!!!

Had an AMAZING time there, saw some fantastic places and even more antique and vintage emporiums! We were even lucky with the weather....!

From scrambling up Hambledon Hill, taking tea in Corfe Castle, steam trains to Swanage, meeting artists in Lyme Regis and vintiquing in Bridport, it was an eventful 2 weeks....

Here are a few piccies to show you our travels.....

An impossibly atmospheric scene looking towards Worbarrow Bay, near the abandoned village of Tyneham.

The majestic ruin of Corfe Castle, looking down from West Hill.

My favourite tree in Dorset! Just outside Abbotsbury at the foot of Chapel Hill.

A close up view of the mysterious St Catherine's Chapel.

A lonely pillbox still stands guard on Chesil Beach.

Vintiquers paradise is to be found at Brewers Quay in Weymouth!

A fantastically British scene here. The grim determination to enjoy your seaside holiday and eat your chips, despite the rain and gale force winds!!

There was FUN to be had at the amazing Bridport Antiques Centre. Unbelievably soon to be demolished to make way for a housing estate. Words fail me.

This is the lovely chapel at Eype, where PJ Harvey recorded her Let England Shake album.

Here lies a bit of Thomas Hardy, (his heart actually), the rest is at Westminster Abbey...

A rusting Victorian grave in the atmospheric churchyard at Osmington.

Whatever you do, don't mess with the bridges in Dorset! This beauty is at Lower Bockhampton.

Giant Ladybirds were spotted on the golf course at Weymouth!!

Amazingly this clock tower used to be at London Bridge, until moved to Swanage. A pillbox keeps it company in its new home.

Evocative steam train at Swanage, what an absolute joy to travel by steam.

The setting sun sweeps across the fields at Swyre Head.