Johnnyinthe56 started painting again in 2016, after a break of 25 years, inspired by a painting session with his daughter.

Fusing his love of Pop-Art and graphic novels he creates ink and acrylic paintings inspired by his huge range of interests and passions – a conversation with modern life.

The conversation encompasses, but is not limited to: football – specifically Leeds United, sunrise, audiences, Kurosawa films, gaming, animals, extream weather, baseball, Japanese culture, space exploration, Hunter S Thompson, grafitti, film noir, true crime, Jaws, architecture, David Lapham comics, portraits, nature and cost of fame, music, tatoos, the sea and more.

The artwork of Johnnyinthe56 is for sale and can be purchased online here.

Thanks & Enjoy

Sarah x

A Digital-ish Bronte Trip…

For many Bronte fans & super-fans a trip to the Bronte Parsonage at Haworth is the trip of a life-time, but sadly, at present none of us can travel. So as I am really missing the Parsonage and love all things Bronte, I’ve created a kind of digital / book tour of the Bronte Parsonage & Haworth. I wanted to share with you some of the places, books, dvds and websites that are worth a visit and hold real history and importance within the lives and stories of the Bronte Sisters.

First off, lets take a look at The Parsonage Haworth – Yes, I’m starting with the obvious, but, when you visit the Bronte Parsonage, you can really take your time and absorb and notice all the wonderful little details that speak of who the Bronte family really were. As the legend of them grows, we can lose sight of them as real people, a little bit, so it is really incredible to be inside their home environment and so close to their personal belongings, that allow us to glimpse the real individuals behind the myths.

Please note that some of the links in my blog are affiliate links, this menas that if you make a purchase through themI receive a very small commison, which helps me pay my bills, so thank you for your support.

Like the Bronte Parsonage, the book – The Brontes is a fantastic insight into the Brontes and their lives, it’s written by Juliet Barker. She writes really well and was curator at the Parsonage for Six years and her book is based on first-hand research of the Bronte manuscripts and documents, it is a compelling read for any Bronte fan!

The exterior of the parsonage is really amazing, it is relatively unchanged, from when the Bronte Sisters lived there. From here we see the views and environment that the Brontes lived in and it’s really atmospheric creating a very solid impression of where their inspiration for their work came from. A visit to the church, St Michael’s that was so central to the lives of the Brontes is not to be missed and this is where the Bronte memorial can be found.

Next stop Haworth Village, not to be missed, it’s sits right on the Parsonage’s doorstep and most of the buildings that you can see and visit today were there when the Bronte Sisters lived. You can stay in the village or if you only have time for a day trip go for a quick pint or a meal at the Black Bull, it was one of Branwell Bronte’s favourite haunts, so a great place to get in touch with his character a bit. Take a quick stroll down main Street and enjoy some more of views that influenced Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s writing. Haworth History Tour and a great way to get a feel for Haworth.

The Moor & Top Withens – If you’re feeling energetic then a walk of the moors is a must. This is where all of the Brontes were at their most relaxed and they desparately loved the moor. Please be careful the moor is vast and it is remarkably easy to get lost up there, so please go with an organised tour or with an experienced guide, wear appropriate clothing and footware and take survival essentials, don’t just wander off up there. The Brontes At Haworth is a great book for planning walks and getting local history.

The Moor is a magnificent place and you can feel the sense of freedom the Bronte Sisters felt up there. If your heading to the moor, then Top Withens is a great destination to make for. It’s believed to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte and it really feels like Wuthering Heights!

Finally, a shameless plug for my blog piece A Potted History of The Brontes and if you’d like some Bronte gifts then check out my Bronte inspired creations.

I know it’s no substitute for the real thing, but, I hope you enjoyed this little digital / virtual tour of The Bronte Parsonage and Haworth.

Stay home & stay safe.

Thanks & take care

Sarah x

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New Bronte Pen Name T-Shirts, Sweatshirts & Hoodies.

The Bronte sisters published their work using pen names to protect their privacy. The chose names with the same first initial as their own names and they used part of the surname of Arther Bell-Nichols, thier farther’s curate and the man that Charlotte later married. Emily chose Ellis Bell, Charlotte became Currer Bell and Anne selected Acton Bell. I’ve created a new range of t-shirts, hoodys, jewellery and sweatshirts inspired by the brilliant Bronte Sisters and their nom de plumes. The full range of Bronte pen name t-shirts, hoodies, jewellery and sweatshirts are for sale here.

Bronte Sisters Sweatshirts, Hoodies & T-shirts

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60+ Things To Try In Self-Isolation.

We’re getting the hang of self-isolation now, and the key is keeping the mood positive and to acheive that, having a routine, with restful brakes scheduled is vital and so is having a wide range of activities. So here’s a list to give you a few ideas…

  1. Draw a rainbow for your window – join in the rainbow trail.
  2. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure & paint your nails.
  3. Re-decorate a room or even the entire house.
  4. Do something that you said you’d do when you had time.
  5. listen to music.
  6. De-clutter – go room by room.
  7. Take a virtual tour of a museum or art gallery online.
  8. Do some colouring – not just for kids, very relaxing.
  9. Get some spring cleaning done.
  10. Take a nap.
  11. Learn to knit, crochet, draw or embroider.
  12. Support a small business – feel free to support ours: vintage bead earrings, Bronte Sisters inspired clothes and jewellery and art by johnnyinthe56.
  13. Cook a new recipe.
  14. Have a picnic in the garden or if the weather’s poor in the living room.
  15. Have a film night – don’t forget the popcorn.
  16. Mend something.
  17. Get up before dawn & watch the sunrise and listen to the dawn corus.
  18. Just be.
  19. Hold a dressing up challenge with friends of family. Pick a theme & time frame, dress up – share the photos.
  20. Try meditation.
  21. Read a book.
  22. Wave at passers-by.
  23. Draw or paint a picture.
  24. Play a board game or cards.
  25. Deep condition your hair.
  26. Go for a walk or run – if you’re locked down, then explore the world on google maps.
  27. Write down a family story or history, for the next generation.
  28. Take a long bath.
  29. Make a scarpbook for yourself, a friend or family member.
  30. Take an online course.
  31. Do some gardening.
  32. Sort your paperwork.
  33. Bake a cake or biscuits.
  34. Make a gratitude list.
  35. Have a disco in your kitchen.
  36. Hang out with your kids or pets.
  37. Phone family & friends for a chat.
  38. Learn about new technology.
  39. Play a game online – minecraft anyone?
  40. Write a list of things you’d like to do.
  41. Start a blog, vlog or diary.
  42. Binge watch a series.
  43. Do a workout.
  44. Put your photos into albums.
  45. Make afternoon tea.
  46. Watch a film or six.
  47. Learn the periodic table of elements using the song – google it!
  48. Write a letter.
  49. Litter pick – use a litter picker, not bare hands, if you’re outside.
  50. Do yoga.
  51. Water, feed & re-pot your house plants.
  52. Start learning a new language.
  53. Listen to a podcast or audio book.
  54. Clear the laundry mountain.
  55. Make a list of things you want to do when you’re no longer in isolation.
  56. Watch something that makes you laugh – Simon’s Cat is my fav.
  57. Stay up late and watch the stars.
  58. Watch a piece of theatre online – it’s free!
  59. Clean the car.
  60. Make an assult course for pets / childrens / partner / self.
  61. Voluteer.
  62. Be hopeful.
  63. Join in the Thank you clap for our amazing keyworkers.

So we can bust the boredom and keep the blues at bay by doing things differently. By embracing our new way of life and we can come out of this as better people than when we went in.

Stay home and stay safe.

Thanks & enjoy!

Sarah x

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6 Things To Do While You Self-isolate That Will Make You Feel Great!

Right now, the very best thing we can do for ourselves and others is to stay home and avoid physical contact with other people, so let’s do that! Along with many of our friends and family, we’ve been in self-isolation for over a fornight already and talking to them; one of the big challenges we’re all facing is maintaining a postive mood. So, I wanted to share a few of our favourite ways to embrace the stay home heroics and boost your mood over the next few weeks….

Enjoy my post and please be aware that if purchase through the links on my site, I receive a small comission which helps pay my bills, so thank you for your support!

Get some fresh air & excercise! If like us, you can’t be near people, you can still get some fresh air & excercise. Go and be outside, hang the washing out, have a cup of tea sat on the doorstep or in the garden. Even if you just open all of the windows for an hour, a good blast of fresh air will lift the spirits! If you cann’t face the energetic Joe Wicks for your daily PE lesson (and he’s really good, you should give him a try) then try a walk. Just remember to stay over 2m away from anyone who’s not a member of your household. If going out is not an option, then try the Bronte Sisters tactic, a walk around the table. In the winter when the Yorkshire weather prevented them from going out, they would walk laps around the table, whilst planning their writing. I’m doing this whilst listening to audio books (The Old Curiosity Shop), it’s great.

Be creative! While we’re in lockdown we got plenty of time to finish projects, learn new skills, do some glueing and sticking with the kids. We’re putting togeather a family and friend colouring in session, using zoom (online meeting app). Oh and we could even make one of those lovely little projects that we so often coo over on Pinterest (but never quite get around to making)! We can take 10 mins and write a Japanese Haiku poem – it’s really easy, write three lines, they don’t need to rhyme, they must have 5 sylables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 again in the last line. Create something, express yourself and gift yourself yourself a sense of achievement – good for our self-esteem & mood!

Get organised. I can’t be the only one with a long list of ‘things i’m gonna do, when I’ve got the time’! So let’s sort that pile of paperwork, wash our way through the permanent laundry mountain, de-clutter & reorganise the draws, cupboards, wardrobes, spare rooms, lofts, basements, garages, gardens. If you need assitance with your de-cluttering, try taking a look at Marie Kondo, she has a lovely, game changing take on de-cluttering – don’t worry about getting rid of things – just keep the things that ‘Spark joy’! She’s re-invigorated our home and I recommend her book it’s a really helpful guide. So, lets make a list of things to do and get cracking. Tidy up, sort & de-clutter and then clean. Once eveything is spick and span, then make it smell sweet; put a few drops of essential oils on to a folded hanky or tissue and tuck it behind the radiator, as it warms it will release it’s fragrance. I like to use this organic orange essential oil room spay; it’s refreshing and comforting. A clean, tidy, clutter-free & sweet smelling environment is a great mood booster.

Get cooking – So we’ve got time to expand our menu and some of the foods that we took for granted are not readily available at present, giving us the perfect excuse to get back into the kitchen and have a bit of an adventure. This is easy-peasy, take a look at what you’ve got and then check out the internet for recipes. Also, I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s new TV show, he’s doing recipes that will work for a wide range of ingredients and you can swap out things that you don’t have. This is a great way to spend time as a family and build skills!

Be part of this. We all have something we can do; self-isolating does not mean you need to be alone and this is true of everyone else. So call your family and friends, play games and quizes over whatsapp video calls, have a watch party, play hide and seek in minecraft, put up rainbows for the rainbow trail, wave to passers-by, start a neighbourhood chat group, join in the Thank You applause for our key workers, grab groceries for others when you shop, sign up to volunteer. Stay physically distant, but, do join in, it’s a important to meet your neighbours and join in with your local community.

Relax – Keeping busy during lock-down is really important, but so is getting some rest & relaxation. This is the perfect time to top up on sleep, take up meditation and mindfulness. Find things to do that relax you; gardening, painting, knitting, Japanese clothes folding, read a good book, tell jokes, sing songs or just be!

I hope you find these mood boosters helpful.

Be kind to yourself & others – stay safe !

Sarah x

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