Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Safecell Security - New Website

This summer I was commissioned by the wonderful OH at Big Tank Productions, to design a web site for his client Safecell Security.  The project has now gone live and we are all happy with the results.

It is always enjoyable working with the fella, it has been a while since the last time.  Usually my retainment it is in a Production Assistant capacity, this is the first time we have worked together directly producing individual products for his client.  Lets hope that after the success of this project, there will be many more to come!

Thanks to Mick, Kirsty and all at Safecell, been a pleasure working for you!

Safecell Security's new website

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Paper Toys - Christmas is coming!

How gorgeous are these wee darlings?

They are the creation of artist and illustrator Samantha Eynon and I want them all for Christmas!  To see the full range see here facebook gallery.

Samantha or Little Gamgee as she is also known, is on twitter should you like to follow her!

Colour colour everywhere - colour schemes from Kuler

Loving this resource.  Clever creative people create and share colour schemes, a huge source of inspiration for my uni assignments, thank you!!!

Black and Pink Productions - our latest uni assignment

Have been neglecting my blogs of late, for which I am sorry and which I really miss!

Got to blame the 3rd year of my degree I'm afraid (technically year 2/3 as we are part time but is our 3rd calendar year).  The assignments have stepped up like ten gears! Becky and I are working on a game and in that there is so much work involved I have set up a separate blog so as to not swamp this one.

Final versions will of course be posted here also, but all work in progress is being documented on (for those that may be interested)

The overall grades that counted to final mark (pitch of 72 was not included) Project implementation - 68, Project evaluation - 70. Not my best marks and not my most rewarding/enjoyable of experiences.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mark & Emma's wedding at Singleton Lodge

Finally got round to getting these up!

Mark and Emma are good friends of Rob and I. Rob has known Mark since they were young and he had the honour of being best man.

The wedding was held at Singleton Lodge near Blackpool. Emma and I stayed over the night before with her daughter Poppy allowing for a leisurely morning getting ready for the ceremony. Would certainly recommend Singleton Lodge, the rooms were lovely, service was great and the food was great.

Here are a selection from the day.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Exciting Day for the country mouse

Spent 45 minutes in Manchester today. Picked up Rob's glasses, bought a Philpotts' salad MMMM, posted a parcel, got a parking ticket despite having another half an our left on the clock and just as I was about to get on the M602 my water pump went on the little fiesta!

Much tweeting, web surfing, bonnet lifting, reservoir fiddling later, I called Rob, my Dad and the AA.

All in all an exciting day! Feel better that I know I hadn't let the water reservoir run dry ( was Christmas when I last topped up!!) Dean my AA man was brilliant a true saviour and good company on the run home, with a recommendation to try the Red Hot World Buffet in Manchester (watch this space).

Whilst Dean was diagnosing the problem I chatted to two year 8 Salford lads who shared their bugglegum with me, even let me have the tattoo!

So just got to await the verdict, or rather estimate, from the garage and see what have to say about my parking penalty appeal.

How to check your water in a Ford Fiesta

So for those of you that know how... look away... for those that think they know but are having a mental slip like I did today (baby brain) here is how and where to fill your little Fiesta with water.


2) A - Open bonnet, in my model there is a red handle/ lever on the steering column (the bit below the steering wheel) - pull it.
B - Go to the bonnet, it should have popped up a bit, slide your fingers in the gap at the front (in line with badge) bend down to look if you can't feel it. There will be a catch, mine is yellow, push it to the side. This will release the catch and you should be able to lift the lid.
C - hold it up with the metal arm. This is at the front of my engine (could be at the side) it's a long thin piece of metal that can be poked into a hole in the lid (the front or side of the lid).

3) Look at the water level - you will be looking at the 'expansion tank' that is water filler bit to those not in the know (me!) This reservoir will have a min and max line on the side of the tank to enable you to see if you have enough, too little, too much water. My expansion tank is at the top left hand corner as you look at the engine, see pic....

4) ONLY when you are sure the engine (and more importantly the water) has cooled down, you can open the cap to the expansion tank - water filler bit! I say this as it is possible that if your engine has overheated, the water will be scalding, and highly pressurised.. you do NOT want to get a geyser of scalding water over your face and hands (I am not exaggerating)

5) Make sure you have opened the correct cap - check all the other caps first to eliminate them - if you put water in these you could be up shit creek! Here are some symbols to show you what to avoid!

6) Once you are certain you have the correct area, you can pour in your water, remember to use the min/max lines on the side of the reservoir as you don't want to put too much in. The liquid in your tank may be clear or coloured, in the winter it is advisable to put anti freeze in. This is a liquid that stops the water freezing in the cold. Some countries have red or green anti freeze, I have only ever seen blue when purchasing from UK garages. (My water was cloudy orange... rust! Speaking to my garage about it!!!)

7) Replace the cap, tighten as much as you can.. and then some.

This should see you right. If you had to check the water level because your car was overheating it is probably advisable to get the garage or breakdown assistance to check your engine as there may be another reason why your engine got hot (faulty fan, water pump shot......etc) better to be safe than sorry! I got the AA to take me to my garage.

********DISCLAIMER************ I am not a mechanic, I simply know how to check and replenish my water and oil levels (which I'd advise you do every few months!) Do not rely on this information for problem diagnosis or fault repair, always seek advice from mechanic, or reliable Dad type personage!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Photographing comedians in the rain - happy anniversary

Laughter Lines is a comedy promotion company that has been in operation for years, their newest venture is into performer representation.

Husband and wife team Kevin and Penny Bland have set up this new agency representing stand up comics and they asked me to photograph the comedians for the new website, forthcoming promotional material and for posterity.

The maiden crew are Dan Bland, Scott Bennett, James Cook, my husband Rob Hallam and his alter ego.. sorry... Australian cousin Bob Darwin, Tudur Owen and Phil Pagett.

Today is our first wedding anniversary and much like our big day the rain lashed down for most of the day, so all good intentions of trekking into the woods for the group shots by the old mill ruins were shelved. As were the head shots that were also at an outside location. Not to worry as our spare room, soon to be nursery, is in a state of dis-repair and the walls with the patchy old plaster added great texture for the back drop.

The shots have been presented to the team for their selection but here are some of my favourites.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

How to... convert scanned text to an editable document... JPEG or TIFF to .doc

Doing a favour for a friend at work, she wants a story book producing with images and only has hard copies of the types text and painted illustrations.

I have scanned in all the images but there are 3 pages of text so currently trying out OCR software to convert the scanned text (jpeg/TIFF etc) into an editable format .doc or .pages

There were some online advice pages suggesting that Microsoft Office Document Imaging software does this, but I only have Office for Mac. According to my tech guru @jhothersall advises that the PCs in school do have this software, but school is a 51 mile round trip and I'm still recovering from over doing the decorating mid pregnancy, so glued to the sofa for the afternoon!

I stumbled across they offer OCR facilities, free and budget versions. The paid options between 99c and $1.99 offer proof reading which is great for projects when you are to busy or too slapdash to do it yourself. Normally that would be me, but I have summer holidays to occupy and this book task is a freebie so not wanting to incur any extra costs on this trial just yet. I am currently position 98 in the queue so will wait and see how successful this service is, and come back with a recommendation...

...well, I let the batch run and completely forgot about it until this morning, but all three jobs are complete and save a couple of formatting and spelling issues (to be expected as the original was not in great condition) the results are great!

Absolutely worth doing, it has saved me time and effort copy typing, and for the cost of the other services I would certainly use again to trial their proof reading.

Better OCR get a big thumbs up from me!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

How to centre a website page ?

Learnt this neat little trick here

Thanks to Helen Dev at

Keyboard Shortcuts for Symbols

What a fab little resource here. I was looking for the keyboard shortcut on mac for the copyright symbol and so looked to my trusty google search bar. Within the results came this page from In Design Central

Hope you find it useful!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Vuebox - New company, new graphics job, new uni assignment

Rob is launching Vuebox, the budget brand of his TV and Film production company, specialising in online videos for small to medium sized businesses.

Rob asked me to produce a logo for Vuebox. At the same time, I received a new assignment for Uni, to produce a logo, logotype and branded materials. Two birds one box shaped stone.

Here is the final submission.

The website is still under development, should you have any enquiries for Vuebox online videos contact Rob at

Final marks: 72 = First

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Embroidery Pictures

Yesterday we visited Rob's aunt Dorothy and uncle Bob in Nottingham and found a treasure trove of artefacts collected from their round the world travels and Dorothy's embroidery.

This is a snap of the first one I noticed, hung in the downstairs loo. It is the size of a postcard, carefully stitched landscape of a flower meadow. This is most certainly my favourite, but there were lots of beautiful designs, hung on walls, covering cushions and boxes.

I have always liked embroidery, but I do not have the patience nor the steady hand required to produce my own work. I'll be on the look out for other stitched delights.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Baby news - 12 week scan - feel free to skip it!

I know this isn't strictly professional but I feel this is the best place to post this picture.

I am 13 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) I am busting with pride and want to tell the world. I am also aware that many people are struggling to conceive, are overcoming loss, or are just plain bored with other folk’s baby joys so they do not want more gushing status updates or pictures popping up on their social networking walls.

Many people have asked me to post my scan picture on facebook, and although I do want to share it, I didn’t want to ram in down people’s throats, so I though a more suitable forum would be my blog. Lets face it, blogs are online diaries so it seems a suitable platform.

Rambling explanation over, if you have landed here, chances are you chose to, so here comes the good stuff….

I had my 12 week scan at Fairfield hospital in Bury this Monday at 0930. Rob was working so my baby sister Sophie came with, thank cripes she did as I had a proper wobble and blubbed before, during and after. Think I was overwhelmed with everything. The appointment suddenly made it real, after waiting for so long I was finally here, and was thrilled but equally terrified, what if there was nothing there, what if I had invented the whole thing?

Well there was certainly something there, initially dozing, the wee monkey woke up and started kicking it's legs then proceeded to invert up the umbilical cord. Think we have a pole baby!! They were some chunky little thighs so got Mummy's legs. I could have watched it for hours.

Mr H puts it down to is supreme fertility, I just think Mother Nature has been kind to us and that so far the timing and environments have been good. It is still early days and things could go wrong, but we take comfort and assurance that we can get this far.

So, I will be posting the occasional bit of baby news on this blog, under personal and baby tags. If you want to skip them please do, but if you want to check out what we have been up to that is equally cool.

Here is the picture, science is amazing, allowing us to take a sneaky peek inside. I also thing Mother Nature is pretty amazing too, check out what she helped us build.

Wedding invitation arrived

How cute is this? Rob's good friend and former housemate Hamish is marrying Alys and have kindly invited us to share their special day. This invitation is designed by their friend Lucy Palmer.

Excuse the quality of the photo, I used my phone!

I have just taken a sneaky peek at Lucy's jewellery work, if you like this cute design you must visit her website at

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Funky little spaceboy - Zoom Zoom

Done and dusted. Here is the final version of the animation for year 2. I love the music, found it on youtube, perfect for my little space boy. The track is called 'Zoom a little zoom' sung by Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans. The track is from Ballads of the age of science by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer.

The 11 second teaser was to show an emotion. I chose excited, don't think I have executed it as well as I'd hoped but I can develop it with time and more practice on Flash.

Final Marks: 70 = First

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Vintage Bride with tea and shortbread

Helen and her husband are good friends of Rob and I, knowing your couple can have as many advantages as disadvantages. Fortunately (for me at least) our relationship offered us the opportunity to gatecrash what was essentially a closed affair.

The wedding party consisted of the bride and groom's parents and siblings only. An intimate celebration for two private people. Quite the opposite to most of the weddings I have attended and poles apart from my own wedding on many a level.

Hassop Hall was the venue, a privately owned house in Derbyshire near Bakewell. The ceremony was at 11:00, tea and shortbread served immediately after and all photos were wrapped up by lunch at 13:30. Rob and I were de-rigged back on the road by 14:00. One of the shortest shoots I have ever been on.

I mentioned before that this wedding offered me advantages. I was able to sneak in to Helen's dressing room and capture the many emotions that rippled over her face, nerves, elation and the overwhelming conflicting grips of stage fright and confidence. Such honest accounts can be hindered by knowing someone too much, or too little. Perhaps says more about Helen's character than anything else.

Helen's dress is over 80 years old, bought from a vintage bridal fair. The dress was tweaked and fitted by her talented mum, a former Home Economics teacher, the lady who also created the wedding cake.

Details of names and suppliers to follow shortly, but I can advise that the stunning feathered headpiece was created by one of my tweeps DC Bouquets.