Monster-Munch - SockMonsters, People Making Things, Graphics, Typography, Illustration, all the good stuff.

Farnhill's Shakey Leg Ale

I’ve been hiding for ages. ‘Recovery’ you might say ;) But i have very good reason. And it’s this lot’s fault :D

Meet Poke, the bunch of talented mentalists i ‘work’ with. What happens when you lock 50 creatives in a house for the weekend? An impromptu improvised, spur of the moment Wedding…. Home brew… Falling in lakes…. and not to mention a Sexy Disco Volcano. Full-on laser-rave. I can’t really explain any of that. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Suffice to say, the bits i can remember, will not easily be forgotten!

Above is my label for Mike’s tasty custom brewed Ale. Paying homage to Nick Farnhill’s infamous shak(e)y leg… er … the Ole English spelling ….. ahem (!)

Team Awesome

Above: Team Awesome, trying to maintain the illusion of respectability for as long as possible.

Mike proudly presents the Brew!

Mike proudly presents ‘The Brew’ … then we swiftly slide downhill into …

Carnage ensues at Sexy Disco Volcano

Sexy Disco Volcano! Carnage ensues …. and the monumental unveiling of Will’s ‘very fitted’ shiny gold hot-pants – Crikey!

Three shots above by the Marc Davies – aka Mr.Lomo! The Poke Wedding photographer of choice.

Thanks everyone for an unbelievable weekend! Love you all :D xx

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Been a busy bee lately. Lot’s happening in the day time at Poke. And lots of nice things to keep me busy in the evenings too. The above is a work in progress identity design for the lovely Elaine of Lainey’s Cakes. ( They are damn good by the way! The cakes i mean ;) ). A favour for a friend type-of-project. It’s been a great typography challenge so far. And hopefully when i’m done i’d like to share with you my creative process from sketch to finished printed items. ( This is just a photoshop mockup to show how a screen printed cake-box tag might look ). Let me know what you think, and if you have any cunning ideas i could incorporate in to Lainey’s wonderful world of cupcakes!




Come and visit us at That’s A Cappuccino! And add your best and worst coffee shops to the map :) You can read all about what makes the perfect Cappuccino from the experts here. Our Mission is detailed here spelling out what we stand for and how you can assert your right to a proper coffee ;)

Special thanks to the rest of the very awesome Team#1 who managed to get this from idea to working website in under 24hrs. Impressive! Super work Iain, Gav, Meachin, Chris R, Aina, & Kate.

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That's a Cappuccino

It’s our very first Hack Day here at Poke. And we have 24hrs to come up with an idea and build it into a real ‘something’ on the interweb.

It’s a touch challenge. And i hope that Team #1 can live up to it’s name. We battle valiantly against some of the best in the industry today. The theme has been set: FOOD…… read the rules etc here :)

Our thoughts turn to the ( very disturbing ) slippage of standards, of Cappuccino making we been experiencing recently! We will stand no more for these ropey Lattes passing themselves off as Cappuccinos. What’s with all the milk ?? It’s diluting the caffeine! An overly milky coffee plainly isn’t good enough to keep our hard working brains afloat. It’s simply a dangerous predicament. So we’re standing up and shouting about it.

Introducing “That’s a Cappuccino”. The campaign to seek out and highlight the best and the worst of the offenders who shun ‘The Golden Rule’ of 1:1:1 Espresso to steamed milk, to froth. We will expect no more, no less. And we will be coming to a coffee shop near you very soon ……


Elliot & Joseph the twin monster cats

Here’s a couple of cheeky chappies i’ve been making recently. Their temporary names are Elliott and Joseph until their new owners are old enough to speak, and give them their proper names :) These Cat Monsters are twins, similar but not the same. Their eyes are slightly different to tell them apart ;) I’m sure over time they’ll develop their own unique characters much like their owners, twins Eleanor and Josie ( who are themselves the fantastic creations of Iain & Sophie ). A couple of soft, button free, squishy friends to keep them company.


A little while ago Katie passed me this Traveling Moleskine. There are a fair few of them knocking around all with various themes, this one with the theme Crafty… So i set to work creating a special tweedy felt monster. He actually turned out quite nicely, and i’m thinking that technique might work really well on a bag or cushion or tshirt maybe ? Anyway, i’ve been meaning to blog this for ages. I’ll pop some images on flickr too so you can see the details. You can just see the reverse side there of Katie’s wonderful paper embroidery. Very nice! And i’m excited to see what the next recipient, my old mate Jaypeg, will do to her page :) You can read more about the project over at Culture Vulture. ANd you can peek inside some of the other moleskine’s here.

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Could it be you ? This is my lovely house that i own with my good buddy, and fellow creative Chris ( from Design Friendship ). We bought it a while back and did a ‘Phil and Kirsty’ on it, knocking out walls, laying walnut flooring and popping in glass panels. Now as you know i’m now living with the lovely Cookie, so in fact there’s half a house going spare and we need a new friend fill it. And that’s where you come in! Mail me at Nicky[at] or Tweet me on @NickyGibson if you’re up for moving in. For more details Download the Pdf here – Thank you friends :)

It has an 11 meter garden ( which is a sweet extra in London ). It’s really peaceful and over looks a park. Only the tweeting of birds to disturb you ;) A five minute walk to Hoxton and Shoreditch, and only a couple of mins from the ( soon to be ) new Hoxton Tube station.

Most awesomely though it’s just off of the famous Columbia Road Flower Market which is now stuffed with Vintage Clothes shops, Cafes, Cake shops, Retro Homewares, Art Galleries, and one of the best pubs in London, the ancient looking ( and cosy log fired ) Royal Oak.

It’s a pretty sweet deal! So get in touch for details like price and more photos etc. Ps. The Habitat walnut bed is there for you too ;)

A Brick Lane curry, Vintage shops and gig venues are 10 mins stroll away, as is Broadway Market, and Hackney Farm. Basically you get relaxing chilled home, within stumbling distance of all the creativity and party action that East London has to offer. Shoreditch also has it’s own proper music festival. ( Remind me.. Why am i living in Dalston again ? …. )

Columbia Road Flower Market and Shops, Nelly Duff Gallery, Royal Oak Pub, Jones Dairy, and illustrator Rob Ryan’s Shop to name a fraction.


One week, two weddings, several hangovers, and a biblical amount of rain. That’s a holiday in the UK for you :) Brilliant fun though. We managed to get all over ‘the North’ to a bunch of gorgeous places i’ve never been. The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, Cumbria, Loch Lomond ( way up in Scotland ), and many a tiny village on route. Many village pubs, and pub lunches too – i think i managed fish and chips at least 3 times. Amazing ;) We tested local ales where ever we went. I quite like Cumberland Ale but the Cocker Hoop was also very much worth a tipple.

We made a wedding cake. Well, Cookie baked it ( his first cake! ) and we decorated it with tiny marzipan characters. A labour of love but well worth it. To see the making-of shots, more pics here.

Cookie and i visited the Wensleydale Cheese making place, watched the cheese being made, and stuffed ourselves with an enormous Ploughmans cheese selection! And then headed underground to the White Scar Cave ….

We stopped off at the Keswick Pencil museum – the village where the pencil was invented! Saw the longest pencil in the world… wooOOOoo … And went nuts in the shop buying one of every colour they had.

( Van Photo by Akrabat ) – It was raining of course!

Cookie became a conductor on a vintage bus, punching tickets of the happy wedding party.

We listened to bag pipes, we smuggled wine, went on a boat trip, ate Haggis for the first time, ( it tasted amazing by the way! ). Did traditional Scottish dancing … and a few ‘power slides’ on the dance floor for good measure.

And we made a few new friends along the way :) Here’s the blushing bride El with The Cake! More wedding photos here.


Been making Monsters! Well, i’ve had a batch on the go for a while – but here’s a sneak preview… I’ve been mega busy at work recently, so as soon as i’ve had a second to myself i’ve been busying away on a new collection. These ones are going to be very special as they’re all based on a bunch of fantastically imaginative socks from Ashi Dashi. Check out their wares here. I love them! High res images of Meat Monster and friends on Flickr.

Meat Monster is going to be one of my all time favourites i think. The packaging the socks come in is brilliant. A plastic wrapped meat tray.

The Pencil Sock is also looking great. I’ve got some little arms and things for him yet so look out for developments ;) I put a little bit of stitching detail around the eraser on the end to plump it out a bit. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions! Next – the Wooden Socks ….! Watch this space.


This weekend i’ve been mostly getting sticky fingers, in the jam making process. These are my first ever pots of jam! Pink Grapefruit, Ginger, Lemon and Lime Marmalade. And if i don’t mind saying so myself, it’s flippin’ awesome.

Cookie helped me make it ( he’s a jam pro ). Then Sunday my sister came round and we made some pretty wicked Plum Jam too. It’s pretty satisfying. Both to make and consume. MMmmmmmm.

There wasn’t a special recipe as such, we just went freestyle. So if i get a chance i’ll write out the details : ) Right – off to eat toast!



Photos above taken by the Flippers!

I think it’s fair to say we were quite badly behaved.
Highlights were:

‘Elf n safety
- We can have plastic gun’s right ? It’s a cowboy duel.
- No guns… There’ll be children present. Not with the current climate.
- Well, we’ll use bananas in our holsters instead ?
- No, you can’t use bananas, people might be allergic to bananas
- …….  ?

The contraband booze boxes wrapped up in brown paper and marked “Hat Box”, “Box of Moustaches”, “Pony food” etc ;)

A lot of people not realising the ‘cold tea’ was in fact Jack Daniels despite it being in a Jack Daniels bottle.

Being allowed to legitimately shout out disgusting swear words at the top of your voice through a loud speaker at a baying crowd ( Adult’s night )

Lots of parents forcing their kids to play repeatedly, to get as many 50p shots in as possible before home time. ( Family day )

Mr(s) Simon Waterfall in a corset and yellow high heels.

Chris being helped into his chaps by two twin cowboys.

‘Slut in a bin’ incident – Our saloon whore getting carried away in the role. She made 20 quid for ‘services rendered’ and lost it down her cleavage.

Will Dogg’s five year old nemesis who kept coming back and whopping him at pictionary

The dubious and controversial drawing of ‘Berlin’.

People queuing up thinking we were the actual bar.

Branding a bare arse.

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An amazing couple of days was had at this, the final ever V&A Village Fete. Our Saloon was in place in all it’s glory. Punters were rounded up by the posse. We were ready. And as the crowd gathered, the cowboys dueled it out in the hot sun, to crys of “Sausage!”  “Godzilla!” “Gary Glitter!” “Jumping The Shark!”, followed by slightly less savory things later in the evening… ( they were skull and crossbones pack ). It was brilliant fun, all fueled by many shots of “cold tea”. A storming success with some hilarious moments. Excellent work team StuffClub! You can see the proud posse above. Five cowboys, one bar tender, one little Apache (me), and two saloon whores for decoration. ( One was a bit hairier than the other ).

Photos above, and a bunch more great shots taken by Stuff Club’s own Katie Marcus. Check them out here.

Thanks to everyone involved, everyone who came down and made it such a great couple of days, and also a massive thanks to Poke for sponsoring StuffClub for the materials, the big ol’ van and the booze! And also for letting us take the afternoon off to run around in silly outfiits ;)

Update: Wrote up the highlights for the Poke blog today ;) Check them out here.


It’s Giant Pictionary! In a Wild West stylie.

Yes, Stuff Club from Poke have been beavering away in the evenings constructing the Quick Draw Saloon – the setting for a duel of the marker pens. A few work in progress sketches above….

The game works like this: The barman gives out the cards. It’s markerpens in holsters at noon. The Sheriff’s decision is final. Winners get deputised. Losers get branded on the arse. Should be brilliant fun – or at least loud fun. If you fancy joining in, come down on Friday night for the boozy opening, or Saturday daytime for the Kids and Family day, at the Victoria & Albert Museum Village Fete.


Caveman Rides Trunki-Mamouth!

Cookie and I have been busy working on a little project for the Bristol Design Festival, Pimp My Trunki! If you’ve not heard of Trunki, it’s a much loved kids-ride-on-suitcase designed by Cookie’s college buddy Rob Law. ( Documentary about Rob here ) Kids go mental for them.

A set of Trunki’s were mailed out to prospective, product designers, artists, and wild cards for pimping. Fascinated to see what’s been done to the others ( i’ll post pics if i can wangle any ).

We’ve been sewing, stuffing, and weaving wig like no-bodies business! I was in charge of Caveman Construction, and Cookie of Mammoth Management. ( Although i helped with the stuffing and eyes ;) ). Mammoth is made from a bath matt bought from Ridley Road Market in Dalston – plus a couple of buttons. And Caveman Rider is comprised of a pair of American Apparel socks, some goofy tooth shaped felt, a bit of fake zebra skin i had laying about ( as you do ) … and finally, the pièce de résistance – the hair piece. Took me flippin’ hours to cover over his bald patch!

Cave-fella and his hairy elephant-like mate fold down and pack inside for handy carrying….. Does anyone else think he looks a bit like Tina Turner ?


I think the main thing we made was a mess! But the nice chaps in there were very nice to us, and let us take over the back part of the pub with our chopped up socks and piles of felt. A few shadies were had, and a couple of characters brought to life. Rex was constructing a 3D effigy of his famous Grip Wrench (Hollywood Hardman) character, complete with awesome stuffed quiff. Cookie was sketching away doodling ideas for a tshirt range. And Jay was creating an athletic looking striped monster. A good night was had by all!

Photos are talented photographer Jaypeg

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