Easter cards – made with love…

This is my 101st blog post, so by rights it should include some dalmatians, but it doesn’t. It’s more about rabbits.

When I get that rare luxury called ‘free time’ I love to read, but if I have more free time than time to just read, I do like to make handmade cards, but this is quite rare these days with more commissions and so many other concerns and worries that the world seems to be throwing at us all at the moment!Eastercardsby Michael Quinlyn-NixonforblogHowever, putting the world issues to one side, I recently found these handmade cards that my youngest niece, Cora and myself made a few years ago, before my middle sister and her family moved to California. Most Saturdays my sister and my two nieces would come over for a cup of tea and a piece of cake and Cora and I would either play Cluedo (my very favourite board game) or make cards.

Cora has a natural talent for card making and crafts and together we fashioned some cardboard templates and found some nice gingham paper backgrounds and things that would be suitable for Easter cards and we got to work. Quite quickly we could produce a good few cards and then put on the wording and the features of the rabbits’ and chicks’ faces.

Easter is my favourite time of year and although this Easter has been anything but usual or expected, I have still found time to enjoy this special time of year and the odd one or two pieces of chocolate eggs.

There’s nothing like an Easter egg, unless of course you can have two…

Thoughts On – Sherlock & Baskerville

I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since my early teenage years. I remember having studied a small piece of his writing for a mock-examination at school. The only thing I can recall about it was that it was an excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes book ‘A Study in Scarlet’ (first published in book form in 1888). The small section contained a detailed description of the exterior of a house, and something to do with sickly-looking laurels… The evocative title alone caught my attention, as I am also a big fan of Cluedo (a Miss Scarlett connection) and being an artist, colour names rather get my attention at first glance. Baskerville(michaelquinlynnixon)forblog2Years later, a ‘Study in Scarlet’ (stored away in my memory banks), I saw a small piece of the movie ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ starring the renowned Basil Rathbone, as Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth… The story grasped me with its twist on a typical Gothic horror mystery, with a large and glowing hound striking fear and causing death to the noble Baskerville family, living in Dartmoor.

Later still, when I was studying, what was to be 5-years of graphic design qualifications, I became more familiar with the name of Baskerville, as it is a traditional serif typeface, which is popular to this day. I liked the font because of the Sherlock Holmes connection and it has become one of my all-time-favourite fonts. With or without its connection to one of my sleuthing heroes, it is a fine font and one that I use fairly frequently in my work… Having started my career exactly one-hundred-years after the publication of ‘A Study in Scarlet’, it is rather appropriate that my fondness for this font remains strong.

The font, which is easily recognised for its distinctive swash tail on the uppercase Q, was designed by a writing master, John Baskerville (1706 – 1775). His evergreen typeface also shows some beautiful cursive serifs in its italic form. The capital letter Q is unique among typefaces, as it is longer than its body width and cups the following letter.

So, after finishing the novel ‘The Baskerville Legacy – A Confession’ by John O’Connell today, all of these Baskerville memories bubbled to the surface… It’s funny how the name ‘Baskerville’ can conjure up so many emotions from both my social and professional life…

Q as an appleI also like the fact that the Baskerville Q looks rather like an apple with leaf when viewed upside down…