#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour For Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford & Hull

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour For Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford & Hull

Paint On Canvas…

What image does ‘art’ conger up in your mind?  If you’ve ever been to the National Art Gallery you’ll have seen a great many paintings from small to extremely large. However, if you’ve ever been to Tate Modern you’ll have seen something completely different.  Art really isn’t just about paint on canvas, it’s much more than that.  Of course, we can debate good and bad art until the cows come home but what it all boils down to is ‘do I like it’?

Who’s The Artist?

I can tell you straight away that it isn’t me!  If I try to draw stick men I can guarantee they won’t look right.  Thankfully we all have our own talents (art isn’t mine) so we can all be grateful for something.  I may not be able to produce anything that even resembles art but I do know what I like and I am a collector of art in its many forms.  I will buy anything from paintings on canvas through to photos, jewellery, carvings, sculptures, needlework…. You get the picture (no pun intended), I like art!  Not just any art of course, it has to be something that I like.  That may sound obvious but we all like different things.  Surely, that variety is what makes the hunt for a good piece of art so exciting?  Who is the artist then?  Well, I believe that it is the photographer, the jewellery maker, the crafter, the potter…  It’s not just about the paint on canvas but without the paint on canvas the art world would’t be complete!

How Do You Find Your Art?

There are many places to find art and in Lincolnshire we are blessed with some fantastic galleries and shops.  Social media provides a good platform for art shopping too of course.  I’ve found some fantastic pieces of art and, because it’s on social media I’ve also been able to chat to the artist too.  Not every conversation ends in a sale but that doesn’t matter.  The conversations help to build a following, the followers have friends, the friends have friends and family… If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone somewhere is going to like what the artist is doing and that can lead to sales and commissions.

Are You An Artist And Would You Like To Get Involved?

If you’re a Twitter user you’ll be familiar with the various ‘hashtag hours’ which involves everyone on the planet interacting about one subject in a frenzy of tweets and conversations.  Choose a subject and there will probably be a dedicated hour to it!  They are fantastic platforms for networking and getting messages seen  but they can be very hectic and difficult to follow.  By the time you have seen a post, reacted to it and asked a question you could have missed 30 or 40 other posts.

I want to change that ‘frenzy’ if I can.  My plan is to have a dedicated hour using the #LincsConnect hashtag on Twitter with Lincolnshire artists of all genres posting their pictures, messages, links and special offers.  The beauty of the hashtag is that anyone can search it at any time so if the #LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour is on Monday from 12.00pm – 1.00pm you can still search through it on Wednesday or Sunday of the same week, a different week or even a different month.  Once the tweet is there, it stays there until the author takes it down.  My challenge after that is to be able to transfer the idea onto Facebook so that those artists/crafters who don’t use Twitter can still make use of the idea.

Get Involved

If you’re interested please do get in touch by email so that I can get everything coordinated.  You can email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk


Lets set a start date:

Monday 7 September from 12.00pm – 1.00pm

How Will It Work?

Here’s the deal:

It’s FREE!

It will rely on the artists and crafters to post their messages, links, pictures and special offers which MUST include the hashtag #LincsConnect

The hashtag #LincsConnect will automatically post your message to the file for everyone to see.  However, assume no one will be looking for you on the hashtag until YOU tell them to have a look!

Post your messages with the hashtag and tag in your friends.  Ask them to help spread the message by telling their friends.  This cascade of conversation can quickly get the hashtag seen and used  locally which will mean your posts will be seen by more and more people.

Don’t worry that you aren’t available during the #LincsArtCraftHour because you can schedule your messages in advance to make sure that they hit the hashtag at the right time.

Here’s the crucial bit:  You ‘must’ search the hashtag during the week to look at the posts and do your free networking.  Be prepared to get into conversations, say something positive, share other peoples posts… The more you share for others, the more likely they are to share for you.

   Click the logo above to see how the #LincsConnect hashtag works


What’s In It For You?

The posts will be on twitter but I will also do a weekly arts blog.  I’ll search the hashtag to see who has been interacting with others and as a ‘thank you’ I’ll highlight  the posts in the blog.  I’ll also include links to your websites and social media pages.

What’s In It For Me?

I’ll create paid advertising slots, paid blog links and paid features.  The whole process will be time consuming for me so I will need to have some form of recompense for my work.  Will it make me a fortune? No! Will it pay my bills? Probably not!  I always enjoy helping others though and if I can manage to produce a small income from my efforts, all the better.

Click on the picture to go straight to Daves Facebook page or click on this link @DaveSpherical to find him on Twitter

Dave recently joined me on Twitter and ‘Oh Boy’! he has some stunning pictures for sale. In this day and age where photos are easy to take with our digital mobile phones and editing platforms it’s such a joy to see some truly stunning pictures of nature at its best.  This is just one picture of many that Dave has taken and is offering for sale so if you like what you see you should definitely get in touch.

Mel is widely known around the County and beyond and when you see her artwork you’ll understand why. Click on the picture to go straight to her website or click on this link @MelLangtonArt to follow her on Twitter

Mel creates some truly remarkable artwork including bespoke commissions like the one you can see above.  I’ve been quietly following Mel on Twitter and can honestly say that her artwork really needs to be seen (and purchased of course).

Click on the picture to go to Ellies Etsy shop or click on this link @ElliesTreasures to follow her on Twitter

Arts and crafts go hand in hand and I’m sure you’ll agree that this hand made key ring really is delightful.  You’ll find much more on Ellies Etsy shop page so why not pop over (click on the picture above) to discover more.  I certainly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Click on this picture to go straight to the Etsy Shop page of Twibell Arts or click on this link @TwibellArts to follow Serena on Twitter. I’ve been following Serena for several years and am always amazed at her talent and versatility. Not only did she paint the picture of this gorgeous cat (commissions welcome) but she also made the decorations in the picture too.


Manipulating an image (in this case ‘two’ images) to make an interesting piece of art is really special. This image of Lincoln High Street was taken by John and blended with an old image to create a piece of art that goes beyond the normal photograph. Click on this picture to go to Johns website or click on this link @jpbphoography to follow him on twitter.


If you would like to place an advert on the Lincs Connect blogs please do get in touch.  Bloggers can also have links to their blogs here too.  Get in touch today if you would like to feature here by contacting me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

Mandarin Therapies and Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies (Covid-19 safe) including Aromatherapy massage, Antenatal, postnatal massage and injury rehabilitation. Click on the picture to go to the website or click on the links above to go to the social media pages


PCC Marc Jones is looking for young people to join the Lincolnshire Commission.  It’s an opportunity for young people to help the police better understand their concerns and thoughts.

Click on the picture above to go to the website

See You Soon

That’s it for now but there will be lots more happening here so please keep the link handy and log in for a quick catchup when you get the chance.

Stay Safe

The rules have’t changed – keep washing our hands as it’s the best way to help control Covid-19



How Secure Is Secure?

How Secure Is Secure?

As A Blogging Novice I Wonder How Secure A Blog Can Be

Having experienced several scares on the internet I wonder how secure a blog, website, smartphone or social media account can actually be.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic support around me to help and guide but (is this a ‘man’ thing)? I’ve also been determined to do things by myself.  Getting things wrong is part of the learning curve and I can’t blame everything on my dyslexia.  That leaves me with only one conclusion then;  Sometimes I get it wrong!

As usual though there is a ‘however’ to add to that.  Having had a few comments on my last blog my suspicions were raised as I noted the addresses of the emails.  Although it’s nice to think my posts may have reached .de (Germany) and .xyz (who knows where?) I’m not likely to approve those comments without first checking their credibility.  Putting the question out to Twitter I received an interesting tweet from Liam @ZaddleMarketing who advised me not to click on any links or even the email addresses in those suspicious comments.  Confirming my fears that these posts were in fact SPAM but also advising me to look at a good security plugin for my WordPress site.  Liam is a very knowledgeable and trusted member on Twitter and I won’t hesitate to recommend him.  Of course there are lots of good people on social media that you know you can trust so it’s always best to ask the question of your contacts if ever you’re in doubt.

Thank You Kerrin

Thank you Kerrin @Kerrinwilson999 for your hospitality (and the lovely cake of course).  It was really nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to extending the reach of  LincsConnect to include regular posts by you and your team across the whole County.  Thankfully I have already had some security tips from some of your colleagues and that information has proved invaluable.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy my short post here today and will have time to add a comment too.

Getting It Right By Chance

I’ve heard that smart speakers listen in to our conversations and it’s not uncommon for adverts to pop up on our social media platforms directly relating to a conversation at home the previous day.  I know I’ve had issues with my iMac and I’m convinced it had been infected with some sort of malware.  It’s taken a long time to convince the experts that this is the case but after trying to rebuild my computer it has become obvious to them that some sort of infection had occurred. Thankfully it has been stripped back to factory settings now and re-built.  It’s extremely uncommon (I’m led to believe) that an iMac can be infected but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it’ll happen to me!  Technology and I don’t gel all of the time I’m afraid.  However, having feared the worst following a rash of phishing emails (ransom emails sent to my inbox supposedly from my own address) I decided that the only course of action was to contact Lincolnshire Police Cyber Crime Unit who responded very quickly with a visit to my office.  A full inspection of my computer confirmed that the emails were really just phishing emails and should be deleted.  However, the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right stayed with me and after several incidents with my computer Apple decided that a full restore and section by section re-build was required.  Needless to say, I’m happy now that my computer and details are safe once again.

What If…?

What if it’s true that the smart devices can leak our information?  A recent BBC Panorama programme about Amazon revealed that they knowingly and openly use our information for marketing and advertising purposes. I don’t think that the machines (or people) are listening to our every conversation but when key words are detected the link is made with you, your device, your email address and your broadband hub.  Recent news reports have also highlighted that smart devices can be hacked and accessed remotely.  The video doorbells, video baby monitors and even smart TVs and smart fridges are all susceptible to the unscrupulous hackers who want our information.  Accessing our personal data can be very upsetting and worrying of course so we need to protect ourselves.

Basic Protection

If we can access any devices from our smartphone it’s a fair bet that the unscrupulous criminals can do the same.  The smart fridge, smart monitor and smart TV come with factory settings and passwords that can be found easily online and it may not be possible to change those settings.  Hacking your fridge isn’t too much of a problem of course.  Let’s face it, what’s the worse case scenario with that?  Perhaps someone could remotely alter the temperature or turn it off?  I’m sure that isn’t going to be at the top of the criminals priority list but accessing your router from your fridge Or your smart TV etc may be more sinister.


The obvious and most basic form of self protection is strong passwords of course.  Whenever you get the chance, change the passwords from factory settings to something that you can remember.  Names aren’t usually a good idea for passwords as we would tend to use names of relatives, pets or celebrity/sporting heroes.  All of these names are likely to crop up on your social media pages at some point so can easily be guessed.  Random passwords are by far the best option but it’s important to have different passwords for different logins so that your security is as high as possible.  There are some very clever Apps around that can store your passwords for you but I’m sure you will have your own remembering system that works for you.


I’ve had a few scary moments that have made me review my security of course but thankfully, as I don’t trust myself with technology, I don’t keep any client information on computer or electronic device.  The closest I get to storage of any data is the phone numbers on my smartphone.  That’s protected by a security password as well as facial recognition, finger print and VPN (I’ll cover VPN later).  It’s better to be safe than sorry!  Keeping your personal information safe should be a high priority and simple precautions can be all you need.  If you have data stored on you mobile device make sure it’s protected with a security code and backed up regularly.  My devices can be deleted remotely which is a good feature.  If you’re not sure if you can do the same with your own device it’s best to check for peace of mind.  Two factor authentication is handy too – that’s when you get an alert on your chosen device to tell you that someone is accessing your other devices.  My iPhone will prompt me to confirm that I am who I say I am when I log onto my computer and I have to type in a one time only code before the computer will let me in.  It takes seconds and provides an extra level of security.

How Secure?

You’ve changed your passwords from factory settings to secure ones that aren’t easily guessed.  You have a different password for every device so you’re good to go….?  Well, not quite!  Your router may not be secure so if you’re not sure ask your provider to guide you through changing the factory set password.  You’re ‘almost’ there…  You’re now safe in your own home but what happens when you are out and about?  Do you log in to the Cloud or other public WiFi to use your device?  How secure is that system?  The truth is, you have no idea.  Your final piece of security is VPN.  What is VPN?  This is the explanation from Wikipedia: “A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.”  You might want to look this one up for yourself.  It is a ‘belt and braces’ approach to security but if you have any private or confidential information on your devices you might want to read a bit more about it.  It is a ‘paid for’ service so you’ll need to be aware of that and you’ll also need to be aware that not all internet routers are capable of installing it. However, once installed on your home router ‘all’ devices using that WiFi connection will be protected under the higher level of security.  I have it installed and the one I chose covers six devices. I have it on my iPhone and iPad so that I know I’m secure whenever I log into a public WiFi system.

It’s Good To Share

All of this information comes from people I have spoken to who have been kind enough to guide me.  I’m not an expert in this field at all but hopefully some of the things I’ve learned along the way and printed here will be useful fo you.  If you have any other tips that may be useful for other users please feel free to add a comment and send a message on twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LincsConnect

Helping each other is always good of course but if you need any additional help I suggest you contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local IT specialist or if you’re worried about cyber security you could contact @lincspolice to ask about their Cyber Security courses.  I have been on one and can highly recommend it.  After all, these are the experts who really want to help you to prevent crime.


Back Soon

Thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.  I’ll be back soon with more blogs of course but keep watching as they are about to evolve into something quite unique.

Best wishes