Organizize!

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A very short post tonight to deliver up a 2nd serving of my “Organizize!” Icon Series. Tonight I present for your pleasure, four well-used oak file drawer images for your Accounts, Medical Records, Shopping Lists and Receipts, and Desktop or Scrapbook Wallpapers. Hope you enjoy them! I’ve got more coming over the next several days, but if you have any special requests, just leave a comment to this post and I’ll give it a whirl.

Sometimes I get asked where do my ideas for clip art, icons, or paintings come from. This particular series was created originally for my cousin, Flora Spector, who developed and maintains a few different websites (including several of her own) geared to fans of Sherlock Holmes. A couple of years ago, when she was looking to update one of the sites, I designed a few different concepts that I thought would be perfect. Alas, Flo didn’t feel any of my artwork fit what she had in mind. Normally, I would simply try to get a better understanding of what a “client” is looking for and try again, but this happened just at the time when I was undergoing a particularly grueling round of chemo and was having a hard time even sitting up or focusing my eyes. So – I put that artwork on the back-burner and forgot about it, while Flo went ahead and either created the artwork she wanted herself or hired another graphic artist. The site came out quite nice – but very different from what I had in mind, so I see why she didn’t find my designs suitable. A couple of weeks ago, when I was cleaning up my digital archives, I came across that artwork again. Seemed a shame to let all that work go to waste, and so, hopefully, now it won’t!

By the way, if you’re a “Sherlockian” or know someone who is, you might want to check out my cousin’s two related websites (or any of the other Sherlockian Web Ring sites that link to hers). One of Flo’s websites is a blog she maintains for her alter-ego “Mrs. Hudson” (yes, THAT Mrs. Hudson!) at: The Musings of Mrs. Hudson. Another of her websites is for one of the Sherlockian groups she belongs to, The White Rose Irregulars, which holds their meetings in and around Reading, Pa.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

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The Difference Between “You” and “I”

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In total darkness and bubbled water I sat, crying my eyes out uncontrollably, my chest heaving with hysterical cries. Rushing in like a madman to save his damsel in distress, my hubby got down on his knees, praying I hadn’t fallen, praying our baby hadn’t decided that would be the day he arrived. Still unable to calm down enough to speak, I nodded my head to show that my distress was not physical. After a minute or two in watchful silence, accompanied by a lot of head scratching, followed by his hand thrust into the water, Don looked at me even more perplexed. “I don’t get it. This water is pretty warm so it can’t be that.” He was of course referring to the day before, which was the first time he had to rush into the bathroom to rescue his delirious bride, mother of his soon-to-be son, whose eyes and decibel level appeared to be seriously trying to compete with Victoria Falls, for no reason other than the lack of hot water. This time, my anguish was over something far more solemn and deserving.

Sensing that our first (and only) child would be showing his face in a matter of days, I had finally permitted myself to look beyond my pregnancy and imagine all the possible kinds of fun we’d soon share with our child, when I was rudely interrupted by the ever so practical, pragmatic side of me that had to speak up and remind me that with fun also comes responsibility. (What a Party Popper!)

# # #

I was already well prepared for that without any serious trepidations, but what had managed to get me in such a panic was the sudden realization, Don and I bore the primary responsibility for teaching our child to SPEAK! and I had absolutely no clue how to do it. Okay. Breathe.

I tried to work it out in my head while lying in my (usually) calming bubble bath with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” wafting in from a stereo in the adjacent room. I managed to come up with a plan for words like ”Cat”,”Dog”,”Apple“, and ”Daddy”. That was good. Then, I came up with similar solutions for a nice size rudimentary vocabulary that I figured would get him through his first year. Whew! That’s when the ground began to shake and give way and the dark clouds suddenly overcame me, when the terrifying thought entered my brain screaming out “How on earth are you going to teach your infant – a virtual alien to this planet born without any conception of words or their purpose – the difference between “You” and “I”?

That day, in the throes of the lunacy commonly shared by many women in the 48-72 hours before giving birth, this dilemma seemed not only rational but absolutely crucial to our child’s entire future. Perhaps I had seen Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine one too many times or spent too many hours reading Sartre and Kierkegaard. As it turned out, my pregnant panic was all for nought. The truth is, I never had to consciously teach Robert how to distinguish between that particular pair of words or the meaning behind them, as one day, somewhere between the ages of 18 months and 2 years, Don and I realized that Rob was way ahead of us and had figured out this linguistic dilemma all on his own! Just like a million other toddlers before and after him, likewise accomplished.

# # #

The memory of that day, which was close to 30 years ago, popped into my consciousness last week-end while my oldest, dearest friend and I were enjoying the intellectual challenge of trying to apply various philosophical, scientific, psychological, and spiritual theories to the very concrete reality of each of our lives, trying to find the sense in what has no sense. While the specific facts and circumstances of my friend‘s life has little in common with mine – at least to the naked eye – we have shared the same frustration, hurt, and complete bewilderment over how can there be (and why?) people, chronologically adults, who somehow managed to miss out on that “Aha!” moment, when most toddlers learned that there IS a difference between “You” and “I”.

Subtle as the concept may be about where “You” end and another person begins, it just seems so fundamental to the ability to get beyond the proverbial sandbox, that I find it even more incomprehensible as to why it seems to be such an impossible hurdle for some folks to handle, despite the fact that for most other intents and purposes, they seem to have above-average intelligence and potential.

”When we feel our emotional boundaries, we can discriminate between our feelings & another’s feelings. We can hear another’s feelings & not have to fix them. We can discern what issues are ours & what issues belong to the other person. We can protect ourselves from being dumped on when someone else can’t handle his feelings. We can refuse to take responsibility when it rightly belongs to the other guy.” Boundaries – Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine

I simply don’t get it and so these remain questions I still have no answers for.

And that’s my rant for the day and utterly biased opinion. :-) What’s yours?

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

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Mucha Do’d It – And So Have I

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As many others who came of age during the 1960’s, I first became familiar with the art of Alphonse Mucha, via the logo and poster works he created for JOB cigarette papers. Although originally created in 1898, in my ignorance (which I was not alone in), I had considered this work as symbolic of the Haight-Ashbury ideal “Flower Child”. It was not until the publication of E.L. Doctorow’s novel, “Ragtime”, in 1975, that I learned not only the name of the artist and the year he created that poster, but also who the model was that inspired him and the history of her infamy. Of course, the model I’m referring to, was Evelyn Nesbit, who first came to the public’s attention as the “The Gibson Girl”, then one of the “Floradora’s”, and finally as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing”.

Evelyn’s physical beauty was greatly complimented by the skills of photographers such as Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr.Alfred Stieglitz, and Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, which then lead to her becoming a favorite model (both from life and from her famed photographs) not only for Gibson and Mucha, but also Aubrey Beardsley and others. As sought after as she was, Evelyn was hardly alone, as the so-called “Edwardian Period” boasted and then promoted a number of strikingly beautiful young woman who’s likenesses made it onto not only works of “fine art” but then quickly exploded into the realm of commercialism by being adapted into poster-art that endorsed various consumer products and trading cards. Some of the most well-known of these beauties, in addition to Evelyn Nesbit, included Lily Elsie, Maude Fealy, Gaynor Rolands, Clara Bow, and Bessie Love. While their names may not be as familiar these days, undoubtedly their photographs and the art they inspired are just as well known and appreciated 100 years later as in their heydey.

Feeling in good company then, I have created my own interpretation of these timelessly classic beauties for my own enjoyment and hopefully, for yours. For your reference, you can view some of the original photographs which inspired my work at these sites: Edwardian Ladies at the The Thinking Tank and Vintage Spirit.

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The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Evelyn Nesbit

“Miss Evelyn Nesbit (Mrs. Harry K. Thaw)”

Lily Elsie

“Miss Lily Elsie”

Maude Fealy

“Miss Maude Fealey”

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Too Loose Nouveau for the 21st Century

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I’ve gone back to playing around with trying to develop clip art and icons derived from Art Nouveau and Edwardian themes and influence but with some unique twist bringing that genre into the 21st Century. Tonight’s offering are a couple of my latest experiments. (they go along with a couple of earlier posts: ‘IconDoIt Lautrec’ and ‘Sneak Preview’ ). I think some of these might work well either as enameled pins and other accessories and perhaps a series of greeting cards. Any thoughts?

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The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Too-Loose

“Too Loose to Trek”

Margaret

“Margaret Rose LaVie”

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Today’s My Birthday – Sew What?

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A lot of folk in western culture seem to dread growing older. Some stop counting their birthdays after age 30, 40 or the like and shun celebrations. Some go as far as to lie about their age, deducting a few years while their physical assets are plausible enough for them to get away it and when their body’s defy the hoped for illusion, some turn to plastic surgery. Personally, I’m just so grateful for each and every day, week, month and year that I’ve been able to survive, I feel like wearing my age pinned to my chest like a badge of honor. For all intents and purposes, for me to be still alive and kicking on this day, which is my fifty-sixth (56) birthday, is a miracle and such a blessing, that I can hardly find adequate words to express it. I can think of no greater gift than to see this morning’s sunrise. Everything else is just gravy.

For those of you who share the burden of living with chronic pain, chronic disease, and/or a terminal diagnosis, you know what I’m talking about. Because even with having to deal with pain and fear and all the various effects and disabilities in our lives, every sunrise begins a new day to hope. Yep. Better days are coming.

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The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

treadle sewing-machine

Sew and Sew Rose Thread

Threads 4

Spools of Thread Golden Thimble

Quilter's Vingiette

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Victorian Clip-Art & Icons

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This past week has been a heavy one as my 91 year-old Mother-in-law moved from our home into a residential nursing facility. My thoughts and feelings about it are still in too much of a jumble to put words to them yet and I am extremely weary and weak tonight. I did not want to let too many days go by without posting though and so here I am.

For today’s goodies, I’ve pulled out of my stockpile a selection from a series of Victorian themed original clip art and icons I have been working on and off over the past couple of years. They are probably best suited for scrapbooking and cards rather than icons but I leave that decision up to you. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

ntryVic_ParlorEntry-2

Vic_LibraryWindowVic_Desktop

Vic_DeskGlobeVic_Library

Vic_ShoeVic_Shoe-2

Vic_BirdieVic_Lace

Vic_EyeglassesVic_Portrait