The Hoarder’s Collection: chainsaw fuel

Folks, I live with a bit of a hoarder: he has grown up with a “keep that, you might need it one day” ethos that many rural farmers have, and it proves useful more often than I’d care to admit! You see, I don’t have a lot of vision, so if I can’t clearly see a use for something right now then I’m likely to move it on. 

Consequently, I sometimes go “garage saling” in our shed when I’m looking for something that might suit my needs. Last night I found some wire crates to cover newly-planted seedlings with (sheep are undiscerning weeders), and spotted this collection of old jerry cans; they looked so appealing, I went back to the house for my camera. 

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 with Panasonic-Leica 45mm f2.8. 

Bespoke Handmade Book: ‘Looking Down’


Given that my paid employment involves handling hundreds of books every week in a public library, it isn’t surprising that book creation is part of my favourite hobby, and is a great way to curate a collection of photos. Over the years I have used Blurb’s and Mixbook’s online on-demand print services, and been very happy with the process and results of each – it’s a method that satisfies my craving for a professional-looking product, and I particularly enjoy the design element.

At other times, a bespoke, handmade book is even more fun, particularly for giving on special occasions. On the occasion of a friend’s recent retirement, I created a tiny concertina book, Looking Down: photographs by Melanie Y’lang, that fits inside a vintage hinged cigarette tin; the tin forms the cover and protects the book entirely, while providing a firm structure for sitting it on a shelf as a sculptural object.

It was a fun and therapeutic process, from measuring up the tin and creating a design on my computer, to printing the pages on watercolour paper with my Epson printer and assembling the book. And best of all, my friend loves it!