Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Flight of Puffins... (an obscure joke I'm afraid)

Dear Blog reader, I must apologise for the lack of posting for the last week - it really has been a bit busy. What I can promise you is a Halloween special with some of my favourite Autumn covers. In the mean time, please enjoy a lovely throwaway decoration that festooned the walls and ceilings of the Commonwealth Institute at the Puffin Exhibition.

At the end of the show I saw them being pulled off the walls and stuffed into rubbish bins. This horrified me, even at a tender age, and I asked Kaye Webb if I could take one home. The pink one lived blu-tacked to my wall until it found its way to the safety of my portfolio - as far as I know it's the only one left.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Puffin Post Relaunch

eptember is on the way out and so is the ultra brief Indian summer.

Here I am back from the newly relaunched and re imagined Puffin Post party. I'm glad to say that it has retained the spirit of the old, whilst made it accessible for today's kids - and what a lot of kids there were!!
I'm sure that there will be coverage in the press about the party, but it included all of the elements that were around in the old Puffin Parties and Exhibitions. I think Kaye would have been very pleased.

I also did my bit talking about the clubs old and new on BBC Three Counties Radio with author Jeremy Strong. For some reason, the listen again facility for the show hasn't been updated for over a week - The nice people at BBC Three Counties Radio have told me they are looking into it. As far as I can tell, it went very well. I'd be interested to know if any of you heard it.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Puffin Thinkbook - The Return!!

Well, I finally did it! I mentioned in my earlier blog entry that I would attempt to tun my Moleskine sketchbook into a Thinkbook - It worked! This is my old Thinkbook from 1979 with the new improved model of 2008. Now my kids are bugging me for one as well! Talk about making a rod for my own back!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Puffin Post Vol.2 no.4 - Wait a tick, this looks familiar!!!

Those of you keeping up with events will recognise this image - the new Puffin Post has snipped Jills artwork out of this and updated the background. I must admit I have a soft spot for decoupage, and 1968 was a very good year for it on the covers of Puffin Post.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Radio 4 are on the case

For those who might be interested...

The Today Program on BBC Radio 4 had a small item at the end of the show about the launch of the new Puffin Post. Listen again will be available till Friday 26 September 2008. The Gallery of covers will probably survive for much longer.

Today programme link



Another little treat for you. This is the original Puffin Club bookplate design. You would get a sheet of eight of these on pre-gummed paper. I think this has a lovely old school charm about it. It certainly felt like your books were safer when you lent them to friends (didn't stop them from getting scuffed to hell though - you know who you are!!!!)

The new Puffin Post club has revived this design with a lot of colour and the addition of their puffin mascot - as yet unnamed.

Puffin Club? Puffin Post? What's the difference?

I have to admit I'm a bit of a pedant when it comes to history - it comes from working in Film restoration and in the media. There's a lot of revisionist thinking out there (re-writing of history).

So what was the 'Puffin Club' (not Puffin Post)? Well here's a great little explanation by Kaye Webb herself, writing in the Puffin Diary of 1979:

The new club is called 'Puffin Post' - not the 'Puffin Club'. The club is now the schools entity. I suppose this makes it easier to differentiate between the two. I can't help feeling this may confuse a few of us older members, but I have to remind you - 'It's not for us! It's for our kids!'

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Another stamp

Yes indeedy, it's one of the few autographs I have bothered to get in my life - and it's a good one! This is one of three autographs I got from Kaye Webb - The other ones are in 'The Puffin Joke Book' and 'I Like this Poem'. You can see this image used again in one of my earlier postings used as the cover of the 'The most gigantic tiny notebook in the world' (a new version of which will be included in the new club members pack - not by Jill McDonald though!)

A Puffin Explorer

Goodness! What's got into me, more than one post in a week! This was a lovely rubber stamp that I vaguely remember being stamped onto the back of the hand of visitors to the 12th exhibition. I asked nicely if I could have one stamped into my Puffin Thinkbook - and I got it!

This was one of a whole set of Jill McDonald designs that appeared on button badges that were also doled out - yes, you guessed it, I'm going to post these as well.

Nice new things....

Well folks, I have just received my preview copies of the new Puffin Post - It has a bit of the old and lots of the new.

Sad to say, Fat Puffin is now officially deceased - as is Odway! TOMCAT has lost his steam powered looks and is now a more conventional PC. To be philosophical about it, however fond I am of the old characters and style of the old, the new generation needs something to be theirs and theirs alone.

I think it will be nice to have the club back for a new batch of puffineers. For those of you who find your way here after the launch - I plan to continue my trawl through the old puffin club ephemera for old times sake.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Another sticky thing...

One of the better preserved exhibition stickers - not by Jill McDonald, and I'd love to know who did do it! This was a brilliant event that for the time was pretty epic. I still remember the twelfth show as being something pretty special.

I met Spike Milligan at this show and had my hero worship bruised by his confusion and anger that a Half-Irish boy could have an Islamic name. He is still a hero to me, and I have come to understand his views - however uncomfortable they make me feel - RIP Spike - Greatly missed.

Puffin Thinkbook

How many of you have one of these? This is the full spread artwork of the Puffin Thinkbook - designed, as always, by Jill McDonald. These blank paperback books were given away as prizes for competitions, and more importantly, on sale to members at some of the Puffin Exhibitions. That's where I bought my copies.

I must have had a premonition that I would need a pristine copy to use nearly a quarter of a century later, because I kept one copy back from scribbles.

The spine of the book is the fountain pen which wraps around nicely. I've been toying with the idea of laser printing the design onto Duralabels and sticking it onto my Moleskine notebook - I think it would look pretty smart!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A little bit of news...

Not a picture this time, just news.

I've been asked to go on BBC Three Counties Radio on Ernie Almonds show (?) to talk about the Puffin Club and the the upcoming new club 'Puffin Post' - it looks like it might be fun! If I can wangle the listen again facility for local radio I'll put the link up for those of you who may be interested.
Also on the show will be the well known childrens author, Jeremy Strong (www.jeremystrong.co.uk - with a slightly annoying sound effect on every page, but worth visiting!)

It's on Monday 22nd September 2008, at 14.05 (or 2.05pm in old money), which happens to coincide with the relaunch of Puffin Post in London that evening!