Simple Pleasures

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It turned bitter cold today and we were treated to Cleveland’s lake effect snow, caused by north-eastern windows coming down from Canada and across Lake Erie. We’re just on the receiving end and the high winds blew the fallen leaves from our neighbor’s trees into our backyard. The way our home is situated on the property, and being at the bottom of one of the many rolling hills at this end of town, the leaves from ALL of our neighbors like to gather here each year. And so the bunnies , deer, and crows like to congregate here as well, snuggling beneath the leaves, and munching on our garden. A lot of suburban folks would be pulling out their hair, searching for critter repellents, and cursing Cleveland for it’s volatile weather. But for some reason, this is my favorite time of the year and I’m happy our yard can provide a small refuge.

Today’s weather and a phone call reminded me that Thanksgiving will be here next week. Kind of ironic that I needed that reminder, seeing how I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last couple of months creating holiday artwork for greetings cards and gifts. But the days all blend together for me as there really is nothing to distinguish one day from another – or even day from night, so it’s easy to lose track of the date. That’s a whole ‘nother post for another day, though. Today, I’m just enjoying the view out my bedroom window and trying to get into shape for Thanksgiving by going over my mental list of all that I’m thankful for this year. From the outside, it might look as if that list would be almost nonexistent, but from the inside I feel terribly blessed. The interesting thing is that the more frequently I focus on counting my blessing, the bigger that list becomes. Try it yourself and let me know whether it works that way for you, too. I’ve a hunch that it will.

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.

turkey-512x512-talk

turkey-512x512-Say What?

Count Your Blessings_5x7

Downloaded image is print quality 5x7" 300dpi

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

IMAGE NAME
I Am The Woman
Ginko leaves and a soaring gull frame the sentiments in this lovely Art Nouveau inspired design by IconDoIt. Text is the title of an original poem by Leslie Sigal Javorek (read here) – or change it for your own message.
Ladies of Art Nouveau BS
Ladies of Art Nouveau BS
Cozy Black Hoodie features this sensational original tromp l’oeil (‘fool the eye’) by IconDoIt creates the appearance of a vintage gold necklace with framed, hand-painted enamel portraits of 3 of the most enduring, beloved models (Evelyn Nesbit, Maude Adams, and Lily Elsie) favored by Art Nouveau artists such as Alphonse Mucha and Charles Gibson.

A Summer of Hummingbirds

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First things first. Over this last weekend, I created a new page for this Blog, titled “Hot Links” where I have gathered some of my favorite websites, blogs, and resources on the Internet. While I’ve still kept links already in the right-hand sidebar of my pages, I just had so many more that I wanted to share with my readers – and hope you’ll add to it, too. I’ve kept the links there as text-only to cut down on the loading time. Hop on over there when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

As for the title of this morning’s post, “A Summer of Hummingbirds”, this is the title of a fascinating book I’ve read by author, Christopher Benfey. Published in 2008, it has the intriguing sub-title of “Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily DIckinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, & Martin Johnson Heade”. Anyone who is a history, sociology, or biography buff will enjoy this easy to read treatise that interweave glimpses of pre and post Civil War American society through the eyes of these famed authors, artists. Their lives not only touch each other in unexpected ways but Benfey has managed to reveal insight into these personalities, the influences upon them and the imprint they left for future generations without resorting to heavy-handed background detail or moralistic commentary that historians and biographers often fall prey to. The central theme of hummingbirds not only runs through the lives of the central characters, it is a theme which those characters and this book’s author view[ed] as an allegory for the entire era that saw the social fabric of America (and much of the world, as well) brought into question and literally torn apart. Suddenly, the “younger generation” growing up in the 1840’s began to question and discard the old traditions and attitudes of their parents regarding the concepts of nature, religion, sexuality, family, time, eroticism, and beauty. Not being familiar in the least with anything to do with Hummingbirds, despite having enjoyed Dickinson, Twain, Stowe and Heade for years, I had never picked up on this common thread between them much less recognized that every one of them had been drawn to this species and beheld it as a symbol in their works where the bird was never just a bird.

So whether you’re into history, sociology, biography, birding, the US, or Brazil (which was not only a newly sovereign nation back then but it’s Amazon River and Rainforest serves as home to the world’s largest population of Hummingbirds), this is a book I’m sure you’ll take pleasure in. You can buy it here.

Of course, how can I not offer with this review a selection of Hummingbird art? 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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Hummingbird 3

Hummingbird & Flower 2

Hummingbird 4Hummingbird

Hummingbird & Flower

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Rx: Silliness & Laughter Daily

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My friend, “Dogkisses” has once again inspired me as a result of one of her comments to a prior post. This time, her comments led me to create images that purely stand for a bit of silliness and fun. Included in tonight’s offering, you’ll find my very own “daughter”, Lamb-Patty, as the camera caught her in her first solo flight. I think Shari Lewis, who first brought her Lamb Chop puppet to life and into our hearts so many years ago, would approve. To give the remaining credits where due, I offer thanks to Jim Henson for his irrepressible Kermit the Frog whom I’ve depicted in his very own race car.

Enjoy!

Free 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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

FunkyChicken

AirLambda-512

Kermit-Racer-2

Eleanor-Phant

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