Thursday 27 November 2014


Have been plundering the ArtPix Archives Footie Department to find some material for a new Retro Football collage. And I've chosen NEWCASTLE UNITED as my next subject...

I found this glorious portrait of Newcastle legend JACKIE MILBURN from 1949 to set the ball rolling.

Nicknamed 'Wor' Jackie by the Geordie faithful, he enjoyed a fabulous career in the North-East. Not only did he grab 200 goals for them, but he led them to 3 FA Cup wins in the 1950s.

Unbelievably, the 1955 FA Cup triumph remains their last major domestic trophy.

I already have some interesting Newcastle memorabilia for the collage, and I'm looking forward to putting it all together. Once I've finished all the scanning of course!!!

My list of completed Retro Football collages so far is:













Check them all out HERE

Monday 24 November 2014

JOHN NEAL (1932-2014)

Sad to hear today of the passing of former Chelsea manager JOHN NEAL.

Neal oversaw an extraordinary period in Chelsea's history turning the club around into a major force in the top flight. After taking over the reigns of Geoff Hurst as manager in 1981, the following seasons were two of the most difficult seasons the club had ever seen.

Huge financial restrictions kept Neal's budget to its limits, but he had a canny knack of findings gems for little or no money. David Speedie, for instance, picked up from Darlington in 1982 for £70,000. Success was hard to find on the field though, only a memorable FA Cup win over Liverpool standing out. 

The 1982/83 season almost ended in disaster, with the club's future hanging in the balance and relegation to the Third Division a real possibility for a long time.

Chairman Ken Bates kept faith with Neal and the summer of 1983 brought the best out of his bargain hunting and rebuilding skills. The following season turned into one of Chelsea's most entertaining seasons, as the team gelled quickly the results started coming. Amazingly they achieved the long-awaited return to the First Division by clinching the Second Division Championship.

Neal then carried on the good work on their return to the top flight, as an impressive 6th place finish and a League Cup Semi-Final appearance showed. 

Sadly that was to be his last season as Chelsea manager, as ill-health prevented him from carrying on. He moved 'upstairs' to stay with the club, but somehow he seemed to slip away from the limelight. Perhaps not surprisingly, as the quietly spoken man would probably have preferred it.

John Neal will forever be part of Chelsea's history and the period he was in charge has become legend amongst the club's fans.

His career also took in successful stints as manager at Wrexham and Middlesbrough. He also enjoyed a productive playing career with Hull City, Swindon Town, Aston Villa and Southend United. He also won the first ever League Cup in 1961 as Villa beat Rotherham United.

Never forgotten.

Sunday 23 November 2014


On a recent jaunt to the Imperial War Museum in London, I had a fantastic find! 

I went along to see the revamped First World War galleries, which were absolutely stunning.
Then of course I sauntered into the gift shop, as you do!

And they were selling these amazing boxes....

They were originally used to store aerial photo negatives, mostly of important locations on the Western Front during the First World War. They've been tucked away in the museum's vaults since the early 1930s, when they were donated by the RAF School of Photography

The museum had over 2,000 of these boxes holding 120,000 negatives, which they think is the largest collection in the world. The decision was made to house them in modern, safer storage containers and to sell off the wooden boxes to raise money for the museum.

So that's how they ended up in the shop!
If you fancy getting your hands on a unique bit of history, you'd better hurry up, as after I bought one, there were only three left!!!

My one has its original sticker on the side and is BOX 5051, with the date 1917. Brilliantly, inside there were several original paper envelopes which the negatives would have been kept in. They give tantalising clues as to what was on the negatives. 

Each has a date on it and are from just before two major battles. April 1916, three months before the Battle of the Somme and April to July 1917 which preceded Passchendaele. Could they have been reconnaissance photos for these two ill-fated battles?

A further historical touch was provided free of charge as it still had dust on the top of it!!

As you can see, here are the original envelopes left inside the box.

BOX 5051 from 1917.

Here are the envelopes with their dates and reference numbers on them.

This was the oldest one, from 23 April 1916, featuring No. 6 Squad.

This was the information provided in the shop, but they've probably sold out now!

Saturday 15 November 2014


My favourite vintage magazine of all time is PICTURE POST!
So this week I was very pleased to acquire a fantastic stash of them from the 1940s.

The magazine started in 1938 and ran until 1957, and during that time set the standards of photojournalism and pushed its boundaries to the very limits.

Highly vocal on social and national issues it never pulled any punches. Its finest hour came during the War, when again it asked the questions that needed asking and provided its readers with a vital record of what was going on, whilst also providing relief from the stress of life in wartime.

The reader's letters are always probing, knowledgeable and entertaining, giving the impression that its readers were an intelligent bunch as well! And of course, as with all vintage magazines, the adverts are fantastic!

If you ever find any at a vintage fair or shop, do buy one and have a read!

Monday 10 November 2014


November 11th has, this year, the heightened poignancy of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. 

There has been more coverage of the Great War recently than there has been for decades. Sadly we are now reading and hearing that journalists and commentators are starting to get "bored" of it all. How awful for them. Isn't it about time that such a vast and important subject is now being treated with the dignity of proper discussion and analysis?

I think they have seriously misjudged the opinion of the people of this country. Especially when you see the extraordinary events going on at the Tower of London, with the enormous poppy display, Blood Red Sands and Sea of Red. I visited it last Friday, and it was a truly amazing experience.

It actually gave me a tiny glimpse of what it must have been like to have seen The Unknown Warrior ceremony of 1920. The way everyone turned up, for their own personal reasons and quietly showed their respect.

Siegfried Sassoon asked at that time... 
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

I hope this proves, just a little bit, that we haven't.

Those who served in the First World War were acutely aware of some bitter ironies.
There is a cutting poem by a Lieutenant John Stanly Purvis, who served at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Using the pseudonym, Philip Johnstone, he wrote a bitingly satirical poem about people visiting the battlefield sites post-war. It was written in 1918 while the war was still happening. 
The subject of the poem, High Wood, was literally one of the worst places on the Western Front. Even today, as it is inaccessible to the public, it retains an air of mystery and menace. Its reputation still holds something over the landscape.

High Wood by Philip Johnstone 
(First published in The Nation, 16th February 1918)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is High Wood, 
Called by the French, Bois des Furneaux,
The famous spot which in Nineteen-Sixteen,
July, August and September was the scene
Of long and bitterly contested strife,
By reason of its High commanding site. Observe the effect of shell-fire in the trees
Standing and fallen; here is wire; this trench
For months inhabited, twelve times changed hands;
(They soon fall in), used later as a grave.
It has been said on good authority
That in the fighting for this patch of wood
Were killed somewhere above eight thousand men,
Of whom the greater part were buried here,
This mound on which you stand being.... Madame, please,
You are requested kindly not to touch
Or take away the Company's property
As souvenirs; you'll find we have on sale
A large variety, all guaranteed.
As I was saying, all is as it was,
This is an unknown British officer,
The tunic having lately rotted off.
Please follow me - this way ..... the path, sir, please,
The ground which was secured at great expense
The Company keeps absolutely untouched,
And in that dug-out (genuine) we provide
Refreshments at a reasonable rate.
You are requested not to leave about
Paper, or ginger-beer bottles, or orange peel,
There are waste-paper baskets at the gate.

Sunday 9 November 2014


Had a marvellous day yesterday at MONICA'S VINTAGE FAIR!!!

The venue was stunning and spacious and the quality of the stalls was exceptional.
The amount of visitors there who were dressed in top quality vintage clothes proves it has become a big fixture on the vintage circuit.

Pleased to say I had tonnes of interest in my designs and collages and sold loads of cards, magnets and foamboards. Also it's always pleasing when I sell lots of my vintage items as well. I spend a lot of time choosing and preparing the antique and vintage bits I bring along, so it's great when they find a new home!

Here a few piccies of the day...

Another jam-packed stall!


Carya Gish's new novel, THE BOOK OF THOTH, made its debut on the stall!

There was also a touch of Hollywood glamour!

The Susie Qs kept the troops entertained throughout the day!

And so did the impressive local lindy hoppers!

Thursday 6 November 2014


This Saturday I'll be at the marvellous MONICA's VINTAGE FAIR in Gravesend!!!!

This is an amazing fair that has really put itself on the vintage map!
I can't wait for it, as this will be my first time there as a trader...

Housed in a stunning and spacious venue, there will be loads of vintage stalls plus music, dancing and a tantalising tearoom!

I've a super selection of vintage inspired framed pictures, cards, fridge magnets and my latest idea, the RETRO DECADE PACKAGES!!! I'll also have loads of original vintage items for sale.

AND! Carya Gish will have her brand new novel THE BOOK OF THOTH for sale!!!
This exciting new book, is a kaleidoscope of a story, with Egyptian Gods, Gothic mansions and time travel to the 1920s! A perfect gift for a flapper!!!

Come along and say hello and have a browse!!!

Here is the flyer with all the details, see you there!!!

Wednesday 5 November 2014


Carya Gish's new novel, THE BOOK OF THOTH, has arrived from the printers!!!!

Five big boxes were delivered this morning to ArtPix Towers, full of lovely books!

This has been a long journey for Carya, who started writing it three years ago, so to finally have the printed books in our hands is fantastic!

It was a pleasure and an honour to work on this book, doing the cover and typesetting, and I can't wait to see it on our stalls.

Have a peep at Carya's blog for some pix taken this morning! HERE

You can already buy a copy from our stall at MONICA'S VINTAGE FAIR in Gravesend this Saturday, see you there!!

Sunday 2 November 2014


Had a super day yesterday at the SO VINTAGE LONDON fair at OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET!

The market was absolutely packed all day and we did brilliantly!!
I displayed lots of new things and they did very well, so a great day all round.

That was my 3rd market there this year and I would really like to make it my 2nd home and have a monthly stall there. I've already got a few regular customers and it will make it easier for all of you to visit my stand!!!

Here are a few piccies to show you the outrageous amounts of stuff you can cram onto a couple of tables!!!

The all new SO VINTAGE LONDON sign on our stall!

My stall, in super vivid colour!!

Bit of a closer look!

Carya Gish's Arcane Publishing stall next door!

French artist SabineT's amazing jewellery made a guest appearance on the Arcane stall!

Next up is MONICA'S VINTAGE FAIR in Gravesend, Kent, next Saturday!!
More details to follow this week....