Bikecast!

I have wanted to take a typewriter for a ride for a long time, and finally got around to it. Unfortunately a dog scared the birds away almost as soon as I sat down to type a picture of them, so I’m afraid this trio is all I can offer. However not to worry, I brought my swimming kit, so all is fine and dandy.

The water is 16.6 degrees C, about as warm as it will get this summer. The safer seas and rivers app tells me the water is also clean enough to swim in. I never venture in these days without checking. Southern Water has an abominable reputation for dumping untreated sewage into the sea, and this year was fined millions for its misdemeanours. But today all is looking pretty nice.

On the Thames

My first zip on the cable cars yesterday. I do not have a head for heights so taking photos was a good distraction.
Getting my land legs back along Southbank, we met these guys. It was so good to see poets with typewriters again. I asked for a poem, and received a lovey response.
I love the fact that the word “unbroken” is the only word here with a typo. The poets blog included here at the top of the image 🙂

Variations

Cover design 1 in progress. Gold foil on maroon book cloth
Cover design 2. Ink on grey book cloth
Cover design 3. Silver foil on midnight blue book cloth
Jacket-slip typed on Smith-Corona Classic 12 6cpi
Pretty satisfied with the way this project has turned out. Now on to the next!

120 lino prints…

being sewn into a first run of ten little books

This is tank-top guy feeling festive
This is Crow, missing her friend Tank-top guy
Sometimes when you miss someone, you just have to caw them up on the phone…
and work out how to spend time together, in a corvid safe way.

Replacing a paper finger on Underwood 5

A little while ago an eagle-eyed fellow typospherian Bill M very generously offered me a replacement paper finger for my 1909 Underwood 5. I was so excited to receive the parcel and get the screw drivers out this weekend. The procedure for replacing the finger is quite straight forward when you know how and have prior warning about the teeny spring and rod in the finger which have to be held carefully in place. I was grateful for the instructions Bill sent along with the part, otherwise I might have spent a while messing about with fiddly bits!

The screw to release the rod for the paper fingers is located behind the nickelled plate on the right side of the carriage. I had to loosen the rusted in place screw first with some penetrating stuff (ok, ok! it was WD 40, but as you can see I protected the rest of the typewriter with rags)
The rod lifted out without a hitch. Bill kindly sent the replacement finger with a bolt holding the spring and rod in place
Sliding the part into place on the rod. (Yes, my fingers are stained with black printing ink 🙂 more on that another time but I can tell you I’m kind of wishing I had a printing press now!)
Lovely
The rod slides back onto the machine. You can see part of the serial number there which is hidden beneath the nickelled plate.

It’s the little things that make all the difference. The typosphere is a wonderful thing! I’m always grateful to be a part of it.

Printing without a press

This is the first test this evening of a bookplate design. A lino cut of my Underwood 5, and text printed by hand using some type I bought off eBay a few years ago. I made the text block by clamping the letters and spaces together with duck tape. I’m using oil based block printing ink, and rubbing the back of the paper with a bone letter opener. The text block is simply stamped on by hand. I do love making things completely by hand. Don’t let the lack of a printing press stop you from making prints at home.

Distraction

Yes! It’s a photo of a machine I’m happy to be addicted to. Also, I finally got around to taking some nothing else in the background shots of my Underwood Five.

What a massive hunk of machine with only one purpose. “I’m here to serve your every writing need. I promise not to distract you, or judge you. I promise I never even thought about trying to spy on your friends or track your every step around town. I won’t measure your waking hours or interrupt you when you are eating with friends and family or reading a book. I’m yours, I’m just waiting for you. Whenever you’re ready.”

Imagine what the makers of this machine would make of that imagined typewriter dialogue. They would be shocked, horrified. Amused? Bewildered? What kind of world has this machine travelled to? One in which we do still have a choice. It’s worth clinging onto choices.

Simple Remington portable typewriter case handle: how-to

Take one sorry case
Gather some materials: scrap leather pieces, leather hole punch, cutting tools, curved upholstery needle, thick waxed thread, and a pencil
This piece is 14mm x 260mm. Insert the cut piece and mark where you want the stitches to be.
I put the marks underneath so it would be easy to see. Make sure to protect the cutting edge of your hole punch with scrap leather.
Do the other end, and reinsert the leather to mark the other holes underneath
Like this
Your leather piece should now look like this
Thread your curvy needle and go in like so. This will hide your loose end. Do not tie a knot!
Go to your diagonal top corner, and take the needle through both layers. Be careful not to pull the loose end right through. Pinch the leather together with your other hand as you sew. This photo just shows me sewing and taking pictures 🙂
Come back in underneath through both layers..
And go over to the fourth hole. Pull tight.
And now come back to your first hole again through both layers.
Repeat your cross stitch several times until you feel like it’s enough.
To finish off, take the needle through only one layer…
And pass the needle through and behind your stitching between the layers of handle.
Trim thread leaving a little tail of about 15mm
Repeat process on the other end. One simple handle.

Getting a handle on it

Probably the easiest handle I’ve made
Jazzy purple shoe leather off cut with a sturdy cross stitch at each side

I haven’t had my Remington Portable on the desk for ages. One of its old issues was letter piling so I typed a page of random words to see what was what. Only a couple of instances of piling. Usually the more I use this machine the less it piles letters

I’m always keen to increase my vocabulary. I remember the first time I heard the word “realtor” and I thought huh?! I must have been about 20. Before that I assumed the Brits and Americans were speaking basically the same language with merely a large expanse of water between us. Then I learned what “rubber” meant and that it’s not for correcting mistakes on your life drawing. Oh no. And how could anyone say “fanny” in public without blushing?! Well probably me. But I blush for others.

The creator of Aunt Fanny used a Remington portable

If we read these books we (my kids and I) usually ended up having a talk about sexism and racism at some point and how different the stories might be today. I would not have chosen the books myself but if you give children free choice at the bookshop I think it’s worth exploring historical texts, and learning to say “Aunt Fanny” and “Dick” without cracking up mid-sentence is a life skill it’s never too late to learn.