Monday, 22 December 2014

Twelve Days

A few years ago Amy and I became a little obsessed with the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. Amy spent a few days working on various pictures depicting the twelve days. She ran out of steam a bit by the time she got to ten lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming, so the later days have been 'digitally enhanced' to increase the numbers. I spent some time working the pictures into a montage with the help of movie maker and a version of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' I found on an old Marks and Spencer's Compilation CD. The resulting video can be found on my YouTube page. More recently I developed the pictures into a series of Christmas Cards.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Destination Deep Space

The illustrated poem, Destination Deep Space, developed out of a collection of leaflets I designed to advertise an art show I organised in 2005. The words and pictures are amalgamated from and inspired by different sci-fi movie posters of the 1950s. I loved films like 'The man with X-Ray eyes' and 'The incredible shrinking man', when I was growing up and loved reacquainting myself with them when developing the art show's promotional material. Although those two films don't feature in my poem or pictures, other wonderfully titled films, like 'The land that time forgot' and 'The day the earth stood still', do.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Gone Swimming

Ballet and swimming have been important activities while Amy has been growing up. When Amy was in primary school swimming pool parties were all the rage. 'Gone swimming' features pictures Amy drew inspired by swimming lessons and swimming parties and also pictures by Amy and me of mermaids and underwater scenes. 'River child' was written and recorded by me on my old tape recorder portastudio.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Fur, Fin and Feather

These three pictures represent the creatures of the forest, the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. They illustrate three of my songs 'Primitives', 'Our Watery World' and 'Phoenix'. I painted the forest and the ocean pictures ages ago, before my daughter was born. I had more trouble coming up with a picture for 'the birds of the air' and finally settled on a digital collage.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Lorna's Reviews on GoodReads


I love reading and hate it when I don't know what to read next so I joined GoodReads on Friday morning for more ideas. I have so far rated 30 books, reviewed 16 books and have some ideas about what to read next. I don't think I'll be rating or reviewing many more books until I have caught up with the extra ideas I now have. Above are my two 'best book' shelves and below are twelve books I have thoroughly read and enjoyed which I have rated and reviewed on my page at GoodReads.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween Party

The first version of Halloween Party went up on YouTube in 2008, it was set to Saint Saens' Danse Macabre and is still available on the LornaJHart channel. I was very pleased with the pictures drawn by Amy and me and with the animation and was very keen to use the ideas for one of my songs. It took me a while to work out an arrangement of the moving images for my Halloween song 'Scorpio Eyes', but I was pleased with the result when I finally got to grips with it.

Monday, 13 October 2014

AmiloFinn on Vimeo

AmiloFinn now has a channel on Vimeo at I am hoping to put videos of ALF Creations books and DVDS on there, as shown in the picture below. I'm only allowed 500MB a week, so it's going to take some time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Music Collection on Pinterest

I have recently been sorting out my music collection and have also been painting and drawing various pictures representing different artists, styles and genres. The two above represent Classical and Jazz, the Cellist is inspired by Jacqueline du Pre and Jazz is inspired by Ella Fitzgerald. There are ten pictures on the board at the moment.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Concert for N-GHASaid

I had a really enjoyable evening, the night of the N-GHASaid concert on the 2nd October 2014. I hadn't been to the Northwick Park Hospital Social Club in years, it hadn't changed much and still has a traditional pub atmosphere. 

The proceedings got off to a slightly late start and then we were treated to a vocal and guitar duo, Charles on classical guitar and a poet, before it was my time to play my 'Music from the Movies' selection of piano pieces. Charles had bought his keyboard in for me to play and my piano teacher had suggested I purchase a universal sustain pedal, which would really enhance my performance. The pedal was a very good idea and I'm glad I made the detour via central London to get one. I was quite pleased with my performance and people said it sounded good, it would have really good if the keyboard had been touch sensitive and had one extra octave at the bottom.

After my tunes I was accompanied by my colleague, Kiran, and my daughter, Amy, who sang John Lennon's Imagine with me accompanying them on the keyboard. I was really pleased that my daughter had got up to sing, that was the highlight of my evening. After Imagine, we had Phillopino dancing interspersed with Kiran's Indian singing, both were excellent.

We had to go early as Amy had school in the morning, but my boss stayed on and won the raffle. In the morning I heard that we had managed to raise over £500 for the charity, so I was pleased with what we had achieved.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Passtimes Handmade Cards

The set of 'Passtimes' handmade cards came from a set of website designs I produced, which never made it onto the web. At the time I loved looking at old style web designs like 'Pat's Web Graphics' and 'Moyra's Web Jewels'. The passtimes designs are based on the popular hobbies of fishing, genealogy, book collecting, gardening, drama and wine making.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Music from the Movies

I have been practising hard for a concert next week in aid of the Northwick Park Hospital charity N-GHASaid. I am really getting into music from the movies at the moment and have compiled a mix of some of my favourite movie music on 8track. You can find it on my AmiloFinn 8Track channel at

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lavender Matrouskas

Last year I became fascinated by the Matrouska doll design. I have found and been inspired by various Matrouska themed craft dolls around the web so decided to design and create some of my own. I had originally intended them to be quite a bit bigger, but found, in practice, that a small lavender matrouska is much more practical and pleasing.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Pictures at an Exhibition

'A little girl and her mother visit a magical art gallery where pictures come to life and take you on fabulous adventures. 'Pictures at an Exhibition' is inspired by the work of Modest Mussorgsky.'

I developed the 'Pictures at an Exhibition' idea into a short illustrated story and a DVD film which I sell on my craft stall. The pictures the little girl, Grace, visits, include a lot of stories and pictures by Amy and are divided into different coloured rooms as follows.

In the Blue Room: The Planets, The Puzzle, Gone Swimming

In the Green Room: The Tudors, The Legend of the Dream Box, Phoenix

In the Red Room: Through the seasons, Snow White, In the Garden

Details about these individual short films and the short films themselves are available on the LornaJHart YouTube page and the Lorna Finnigan Facebook page.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Temps

Before I had my daughter I was always doing evening classes; tap dancing, French, computer networking, yoga, all sorts. One class I attended was the WEA writing course in Northwood Hills, while there I managed to get one of my poems published in a Katabasis volume entitled 'Work'. The poem is called 'The Temps'. I was on a fixed term contract when I wrote it, but am now in a permanent post and much happier in my work.

The Temps by Lorna Finnigan

This place is like a railway station
So many people come and go
Some you vaguely recognise
Some you barely know
I suppose it's to remind us all
Just how brief our lives will be
It makes you feel quite desolate

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Xenophobia Magazine

I worked on Xenophobia in the 1980s in my teens. It was inspired by Smash Hits. My musical tastes at the time were New Romantic and Goth. Inside are features on Altered Images and Japan (the pop group), also art galleries and baroque influences. I made up two of my own groups, Beautiful Europeans and Bondage Strap, and also my own lyrics to imagined songs.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Mythic Muse

This poem by me and accompanying picture by Amy concerns Greek mythology.

The Mythic Muse by LJ Finnigan
Psyche opens a door for you
Echo reflects your surprise
Guinevere offers you her hand
Venus gazes into your eyes
Boreas calls and Ophelia falls
Helen awaits her destiny
Miranda creates a terrible storm
The Daeniads sob with futility

A fairy tale beauty softly sleeps
On Circe’s island we feast on dreams
Penelope faces reality
A doomed lady drifts downstream

Pandora lifts the lid on mischief
The water nymphs ebb and flow
The mermaid combs her luxurious hair
Persephone leads you below

Monday, 14 July 2014

Saint Mary's Art Exhibition

I took part in the St Mary's Church Art Exhibition on Saturday 12th July. I was really happy with the display of eleven of my pictures that they had created for me.
I have been contributing my arts and crafts to St Mary's Summer and Christmas fetes since 2010. This year I contributed the above three paintings and in previous years I have contributed the pictures below. Recently one of my pictures was sold and the money donated to the church.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Charity Coffee Morning at Northwood Hills URC

I took my craft stall to the charity coffee morning at the United Reformed Church in Northwood Hills on Saturday 5th July. There was a good crowd and a nice display from the Northwood Live at Home people and a lady who made cards. People were generously interested in 'ALF Creations @ the Star Heart Cafe'. One lady bought three of my books; Amy's story book, our poetry book and my song book. I also sold cards and lavender scenters. A little girl bought a mauve and gold gadget pouch, which she was very pleased with, which was very sweet. Mum and I had a nice time. I am aiming to rethink several items on my stall before I do more craft events.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Another Day, Another Place

I originally wrote my play 'Another Day, Another Place' when I was eighteen after experiencing a 'holiday of a lifetime'; a three week coach tour of central and southern Europe. I have updated and condensed the play into a seven minute video, which includes more countries in north, west and eastern Europe, that I visited in my late teens and early twenties. The play was really about self-discovery and the friendships, loves and break-ups experienced by the young people on the tour bus, rather than a great appreciation of the places we were visiting. The accompanying music is made up of two songs written by me when I was seventeen and eighteen 'I can see you' and 'Waiting for me'.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Through the Seasons

'Through the seasons' began as an early computer project involving Paintbrush, Publisher and PowerPoint.
In 2012 I remoulded my words into four seasonal haiku which I included in an ALF Creations poetry book along with accompanying pictures by Amy.

 There is also another version of 'Through the seasons' on my YouTube page, which uses one of my songs 'For what I am' and one of Amy's illustrated poems 'What do people do'.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Northwood Craft Market

At short notice I took part in the Northwood Craft Market on the 7th June. It started off a very wet day and the market was quite slow and quiet, however there was some positive interest in my craftwork and I did sell a few dolls and cards. On the plus side it does mean that I still have a lot of stock left for my next craft morning on the 5th July at the United Reform Church in Northwood Hills.