Christmas Chat-up

Hand-letterpressed Christmas card featuring Asta the cat driving a motorised Yule Log

As is our little household tradition, we print up our own Christmas cards every year on a tiny, hand-operated letterpress. We usually try and let our experiences of the past year direct what the design is, and after the second year of pandemic-life, we almost didn’t get our cards made in time for the season, because we couldn’t think of anything exciting that happened in our house in 2021.

Then we spotted the elephant (or should it be cat?) in the room: Of course something totally awesome happened this year – I had my first children’s picture book published! So we went pretty simple with the design, and I drew up Asta driving another absurd vehicle, but in a Christmas stylee. It’s one of my favourite seasonal accoutrements, the yule log!

If you haven’t checked it out already, have a look at Alley Cat Rally – perhaps someone small might enjoy finding it under their tree!

Toothpaste and Garage Doors

I continue to find documenting some of my projects by way of video an interesting challenge. I’ve averaged one video a month in 2021, which is a pretty good pace, and think I’ve been getting better at making them, though I’ve no idea how I could get anyone to actually watch them. Here are a few of my more recent short videos I haven’t mentioned on my website until now:

Improving my Game Boy Advance

My little old Game Boy Advance got the consumer-tech-equivalent of sunburn this year, so I set about making it look less putrid, then got carried away making technological improvements to it while I was at it too.

Painting a Portrait of My Dog

I set about painting a portrait of my dog, and timelapsed the process of painting it. I thought it was a really terrible portrait when I was done but not a bad video – and now I think the portrait is OK. I still don’t know if I’m going to put it up on a wall somewhere though.


This video wasn’t very favoured by the YouTube algorithm, if the fact that nobody has watched it is anything to go by. Or maybe it’s just too random – my better half certainly thought so. Just a little video about finding inspiration somewhere strange and making something from it!

Hospital Top 5

I had posted about the Hospital record cover exhibition in a more timely fashion here already, but over the course of the past couple of months I put together a video about my five favourite covers from the exhibition, and some of the design thinking behind them too. I think it turned out pretty good!

Papa’s Garage Door

My grandpa, who helped me on so many of my random endeavours over time, passed away in 2020. The pandemic dragged the process out, but his passing means that we have been clearing my grandparents’ house recently. So before the house leaves the family, I thought I would document one of my grandpa’s finest domestic engineering moments for historic value. I think an automatic garage door doesn’t seem very remarkable to anyone these days, but if you watch the video, you’ll see how brilliant his home-made one is!

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