Tonie – something a bit different.

I was recently contacted by a fellow on instagram who wanted something painting as a gift for his daughter. He explained to me that what he wanted painting was a thing called a ‘tonie.’ I had never heard of these before, considering I do not have children though, this is not surprising.

What the device does is enables you to record a message onto it, which can be played back to the child at any time. They are customisable too, so I was asked if I could paint it to look like his daughter.

I had to ensure that both the paints I use and the varnish are ‘child friendly’ first, once that was established, I was more than happy to have a go. Here are the results:

It was nice to paint something different too – I’ve never done anything like this before, and I do enjoy a challenge.


Fossil finding!

Time for something different! Today, we headed out of Hull to the ‘dinosaur coast’ to look for fossils. The weather was warm, the day clear and so off we went. Robin Hood’s bay is just south of Whitby and features some picturesque countryside and views. Car parking is at the top of the hill, and you have to walk down a considerably steep incline to get to the beach.

Walking along the firm sand was a lovely experience, and we searched for fossils. They can be found in the cliffs, which are made from a crumbly slate-like rock.

We walked for a good hour but we didn’t find any fossils. I did find egg rock, a flat rock and a rock with red in it though. They have been added to the rock collection in front of the fire place and I had a really good day. The walk back up the hill was less fun, but all in all, it was great fun.

wine making

Another type of hobby…

During the week, it occurred to me that most of my time and headspace is taken up by painting, selling, reading and writing about miniatures in one form or another. I love what I do, it’s amazing fun and hasn’t felt like work at all. However I feel I want to do some thing that isn’t miniature related. Before I started teaching, way back in the dark ages, I brewed wine from fruit, I remember this being a lot of fun to do and the result was interesting. Previously, I made banana wine, and apple and raisin.

In the back garden, there are several large bramble briars. These have produced a good number of fruit. Seeing these, and finding most of the gear in the shed, sparked me into trying it all over again. I know that there will not be enough to fulfil the recipe requirements, but I knew where some other bushes were, so off I went to pilfer a load. I now have more than enough to make a gallon of wine.

My next task will be to clean them all and sterilise all the gear so it’s ready to turn the fruit and sugar into glorious booze. The books I am using were own by my nan and grandad, and I have fond memories of helping my grandad pick fruit and prepare it with him as a child, specifically elderberries. Maybe I will find some of those to do as well. It’s good to have a variety of things to do, and this will be good.