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1920s Print

Having been involved in advertising and print for more than 30 years*, old typography and print often catches my eye.

Over the last few months, as part of her volunteering her her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, my youngest has recently been doing some digital archiving of old print publications for the Girlguiding organisation. 

These ads in ‘The Girl Guides Gazette’ from as far back as the 1920s caught my eye.

My how things have changed. Or have they? 

*In the days before desktop publishing, I served my time in a design studio in the South West; here. Happy daze.

But back to the present day, print still has its place. If you need anything designed and artworked for print or the screen – let me know. PRINT

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Reading…

I’ve been reading One Man and His Bike: A Life-Changing Journey All the Way Around the Coast of Britain” by Mike Carter. A good read! 

Books read recently… March 2021

I have also just finished the much acclaimed ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig. I’m gonna let that one ruminate for a few days.

In my experience, often certain books come along at the right time. I wrote about my Steinbeck encounters before. Of course it only seems like this. If a book’s not resonating with you, then you put it down. Conversely, if a book’s hitting the right notes then you lap it up. But, when the experiences in a book really do ring true it’s invigorating. I’m not a great reader but I’ve had a few good reads over ‘lockdown’. Reading’s good.

Of course you really do need to read it to get the experience, but here’s some of the quotes that struck me from Mike Carter’s book:

“finishing lines are good, but their most important role is to get you over the start line in the first place.’” 

“… there was no end, only process, and that ultimately, this was just fine.” .

“The miracles are always found in the stuff of daily life if you have your eyes open.” 

“‘happiness is the acceptance of the journey as it is now, not the promise of the other shore’ 

“‘Assume Goodwill’.

As mentioned, I’ve had a few good reads over so far this year:

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter
  • Away with The Penguins by Hazel Prior
  • The Decent Of Man by Grayson Perry
  • My Abandonment by Peter Rock
  • Human kind by Rutger Bregman
  • The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
  • The Demon Club by Scott Mariani
  • A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris
  • The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

I enjoyed all of these very much – for different reasons. What anyone might make from this selection, I wonder?

In a previous life I produced a lot of work designed to promote reading.

and I have written here before about the benefits of reading:

  • Reduce stress:  Get lost in a good novel and take time out of your hectic lifestyle to unwind.
  • Help you sleep:  Turn off the TV, get into bed, pick up a book and snuggle down.
  • Keep the brain in shape: What better way to work out your brain than reading?
  • Improve knowledge: Even a fictional novel can teach and inspire you.
  • Health and well-being:  Regular reading is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of dementia.
  • Feeling:  Reading boosts empathy. Fiction can simulate real-world problems and therefore has real consequences for the reader.
  • Boosts Vocabulary:  What better way to discover new words?
  • Reading is sexy:  Reading increases emotional and cognitive experience. It is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
  • Achieve: Reading for pleasure helps to improve skills at the same time as increasing enjoyment, self-confidence, motivation and a sense of achievement.

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.

Ray Bradbury

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Easily Distracted by school?

I few years back I read “you can’t get lost in a labyrinth, only distracted…”.

It’s true, we are easily distracted. Anyway, I digress…

New project: Mugs, Bags, Coasters, Stickers, T-Shirts, Prints…

If you or someone you know is easily distracted by Science, Maths, Books, Geography, History… then they might like these designs I’ve produced on mugs and things…

As well as the Easily distracted designs, I’ve created a “Diverse, Inclusive, Accepting, Welcoming, A Safe Space, For Everyone” graphic.

This and the other designs are available on a range of products from my Redbubble Shop here.

If you have an idea for another design, let me know!

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Give your heart…

After last month’s postcard project, a good friend approached me to create another postcard as a culmination of their community project in Wolverhampton.

A5 Thank you postcards…

Residents of a couple of streets in Wolverhampton were invited to add a heart to a frame set out in the street, to say “thank you” to everyone who’s work and contribution has been helping people through the pandemic. Despite lousy weather, a love-filled selection was collected from neighbours.

I have to say what makes this project is the wonderful hearts that people have created by people in he community, and given, to say thank you.

I have always struggled with the cultural concept of our ‘hearts’. Our culture flippantly uses the heart symbol daily, and the heart can have a saccharine sentimental significance.

But the notion of our hearts being ‘the core of us’, is a definition that holds true with me. We cannot deny that we have ‘a core’, an essence. That thing that brings a tear, a chill, a smile. We do have hearts.

The A5 cards I’ve designed using photos of the gifted hearts, will be sent out to local schools, shops, GPs, care homes and the like to say ‘thank you’.

The cards read: “Thank you to everyone keeping us healthy, safe, supplied, connected, educated and cared for. To say thank you for all you have done and are doing to help us through this pandemic. We made these hearts for you.”

This project was created and organised by Rachel Parkinson, as part of a wider initiative by the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church, encouraging people to bless their communities around Valentine’s Day. You can see more about this project here: God is With Us: Valentines Project

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Spring back

Last spring (2020) I took a lot of photos of nature in our garden and on walks. So we thought we’d celebrate this spring by sending a quick printed* message to some friends – A celebration of spring and all that this time of year freely gives us. #print*

Forget-me-nots from out garden being tended by the gardeners’ friend Mrs L. Bird.

Alongside the sickness that the media have relayed recently, I’m reminded of John Steinbeck’s words ‘a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ’.  Thankfully positive energy is contagious also!

Infused with metaphor, folk tales, and traditions our springtime is full of energy. Whether it’s Creme Eggs, cake, and daffs on the window sill, or seasonal TV drama, religious reflection, and recollections of a horrific old rugged cross, it’s a season full of spirit; new things, awakenings, warmth, light and yes revitalisation.

Hopefully our springtime allows us to reconnect. We can feel the warmth of the light coming through the kitchen window, and see verdant velvet buds shooting from the grey-brown dormancy of a passing winter.  You can really feel it. There’s an energy, some might say spirit, that brightens the shadows and eases the strains. A new realisation of our humanity, our breath, our connection.

There ARE flowers everywhere, for those that want to see them. Happy springtime.

In 1947 Henri Matisse published ‘Jazz’, which included the words ‘… Il y a des fleurs partout pour qui veut bien les voir.’  This has been popularly translated as ‘Happy are those who sing with all their heart, in the forthrightness of their heart. Find joy in the sky, in the trees, in the flowers. There are always flowers for those who want to see them.’ A more literal translation ‘…there are flowers everywhere…’.

*If I can help you realise an effective creative print project, just send me a message. #print #julesprichards

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Remember me…

I was asked to create an Easter card for a local Methodist Church Circuit and thought others may like similar.

Below is the A5 card I created that Borders Methodist Circuit will be using to share Easter greetings and resources with their friends.

A5 Greetings Card – Easter 2021 ©julesprichards

I have also created a generic A6 postcard. If you’d like some for your organisation just let me know.

A6 postcard – Easter 2021 ©julesprichards
Easter 2021 ©julesprichards

I can arrange delivery of A6 (148x105mm) postcards using the above design.

Printed in colour on both sides, on special 300gsm TruCard; coated on the outside and uncoated the reverse so it’s easy to write on. Price includes delivery to one UK address.

50 A6 Postcards £32
100 A6 Postcards £37
200 A6 Postcards £47
300 A6 Postcards £58
400 A6 Postcards £67

If you’re interested in this or similar just send me a message: Jules P Richards

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January February

Argh!!!!!!!!!* I woke up this morning with a Boyzone song in my head!? No matter what they tell us… What!? Where did that come from? I don’t even know who Boyzone are!
Sensing an intoxicating earworm, after six words, my wife said “No! Stop!”… it was too late we were both infected.

Alas here’s another one for you. This post has nothing to do with Babs Dickson but it’s titled January February which, if you are of a certain age, is probably enough to trigger another earworm
You’re welcome.

As you know I create images, it’s what I do. Recent morning exercise before work has seen me passing the local allotments at sunrise. and this quick post is just to share two of the unplanned encounters.

January and February at the local allotments:

As I have mentioned before, I often find the vibrancy and intensity of the world around me so strong I have to stop and acknowledge it… Stop. Pause… breathe… to quote Ezra Bayda “What happens when we slow down and pay attention?  Everything! Innumerable delights are right at hand.” 

*how many exclamation marks are appropriate?

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Educational printables

Over the years, I have created a lot of educational tools, initially in the form of the handy bookmark.

But, there’s still a place for the poster on the wall, the reference in the hand, and the printed resource.

“…print is superior, particularly for learning…”

So I thought I’d share some more of the work I’ve produced before here. 

Matters and Measures A4 PDF for printing
Initially created to help with my kids homework – download the A4 sheet here

Multiplication Grid A4 for printing
and a handy ‘Multiplication Grid’ resource –  Two on an A4 sheet here, or Six on an A4 sheet here – print on card and laminate?

Fractions and Percentages
Find out more about and download a printable A4 PDF of the Fractions bookmarks here.

Simply here for you if you want it. Just say thanks if you find it useful, or send a message if you want something developed.

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Peater Butnut Cookies

We like to mix it up a bit.

Covid, kids, broken doors, antibiotics, chalazion, wall papering! argh!…
I had to take my mind of things for a bit…

There’s been a jar of peanut butter in our kitchen for months, and it’s usually only me that eats it. But for some reason even I’ve gone off peanut butter sandwiches!

So, as I say, I needed a distraction – hence Peanut Butter Cookies.

The easiest! Four ingredients, 15 mins.

  • about 200g or peanut butter
  • about 200g of caster sugar
  • about 100g of breakfast oats 
  • 1 egg*

*incidentally, I can recommend the double-yokers from Sunrise Farm Seagrave!

  1. Heat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix the peanut butter, sugar, oats, and egg until smooth.
  3. Place balls on a baking tray – I used an ice-cream scoop.
  4. Flatten each ball a tad.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, until just starting look brown*.
  6. Cool on a baking tray.

Don’t over cook them or they will be hard when cooled. If you take out when just turning brown, they should remain chewy on the inside.

Enjoy!

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Seafood Linguine

This is so simple it’s silly. We tried this a few months ago – trying to vary from the lock down staples. It’s become a regular favourite for me and the boss, though the kids are still at an “ick, fish” stage.

You do really need to be a chilli fan but do it to your liking. Again, it’s so simple – initially you think basic/bland – but, if you get the mix just right it’s delightful and filling.

  • Enough pasta for two: we use linguine.
  • olive oil
  • Lazy garlic, or finely chopped fresh if you have it
  • Lazy chilli, or finely chopped fresh if you have it
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • cherry toms whole
  • white fish like cod, and cooked large prawns or anything you fancy.
  • parsley if you have it.
  • A lemon

Pasta: A pasta of your choice – make your own if you can, it’s so much more tasty – there’s some nice ones if you just look above the basic pasta, and I think it’s worth having a nice one. For this dish try a nice linguine. (Digression: I do keep looking for Orzo, not tried it yet, but once we’re out of lock down I intend to track it down)

  • Cook you pasta accordingly…
  • While the pasta’s cooking, in a large pan heat up a dash of olive oil and add lazy garlic and chilli (you decide quantity!) and heat for no more than 1 minute – just until it starts to colour. Then pour add the white wine, and bubble until it’s reduced by half.
  • Once reduced by half, add the cherry tomatoes and heat for cook for 2 mins. We like keeping cherry toms whole, as when you eat them they are really juicy – boom!
  • Then add your white fish and cook for ~2 mins – Your white fish should break up in a few mins. Use the pan lid to retain heat and moisture if needed.
  • When fish is breaking up, add your drained cooked pasta to the fish and toms – you may want a bit of pasta water if you’ve over reduced the mixture too much. Also add your precooked prawns (things like precooked prawns just need to warm through, not too long or they’ll be chewy)
  • Mix it well, and serve with parsley and a good squeeze of lemon.

Again, it’s so simple, but if you get the mix right it’s delightful and a small amount can be filling.

Other recipes: Recipes