Virtual Green Healing

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I’ll get to explaining the title of this post in a minute, but first, a little preamble is called for.

While I’ve been laying low in the background for a few months, I’ve been silently enjoying reading my favorite blogs (Dogkisses) and Green Healing Notes, along with a ton of books. If you’re a regular reader here at IconDoIt, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned Dogkisses several times and that the author of those two blogs is also a frequent commenter here. So what’s that all about, you might ask?

One of the greatest serendipities of writing a blog and commenting on blogs other than your own, is that you have the opportunity to come to know people from around the globe with whom you already have something in common (an interest in the subject of a particular post commented on). Now, the odds are pretty dang slim of that happening as you go about your daily routine and encounter previously unknown people at work, at the grocery store, etc. even if you are one of the rare folks who actually speaks to strangers! And when you find yourself commenting and/or receiving comments on more than one posting from the same person, you start to get to know them a bit and after a while, may find yourself communicating with them “off blog” and developing a deep friendship. For someone like myself, who has extremely limited face-to-face contact with anyone in the world beyond my front door, such opportunities and friendships are valuable beyond compare. This is how I first met and became friends with “Lady Dogkisses” (whom I’ll refer to as LDK for the sake of brevity).

From the outside looking in, it might appear that LDK and I have very little in common. I’m close to 20 years older, live in an upscale suburb of a large city on the north coast of Ohio while she lives in the mountains of North Carolina and struggles just to get by. Our ethnic backgrounds and religious upbringing couldn’t be more different and we have entirely different work backgrounds, skills and hobbies. But what we DO have in common is how we have reacted to the tragedies, outrages, and challenges in our lives; the basic principles that guide our decisions and actions; a strong spiritual connection with the earth and sky; and a tendency to want (and make our best attempts to) bring comfort to everyone who hurts and cure the world’s ills. Of course, this latter trait – which is an impossible task to ever fully accomplish, thus we are always feeling badly for our “failures” – often gets played out at the expense of our own personal best interests. And that’s why we need each other to remind us to give ourselves permission every once in a while to escape from our self-appointed burdens to pamper ourselves with some free time to “play” or do nothing at all, get some uninterrupted sleep, and have a few relaxed good meals with enjoyable company. Now THAT’s my definition of a “real” friend!

So now back to the title of this post, “Virtual Green Healing”. For several months now, Dogkisses has been writing a series of posts centered around the concept of “Green Healing” which is a way of cleansing oneself from all of the chaos of the man-made world and getting back to the core of our spirit through working with the earth, planting and growing, and taking the time to breathe in and breathe out along with the land and the creatures who inhabit it and make it work. LDK has embarked on a project to facilitate this Green Healing through volunteering, along with her adult son, in a horticulture program for folks with special needs. Now, I love a beautiful flower garden and eating fruits and vegetables fresh picked each day but its’ been over a dozen years since I’ve been physically been able to participate in that process and more than 20 years since I actually had the time, and even then, I never did have much of a green thumb. But my lack of gardening skills and infirmities have never gotten in the way of my love of nature and, in fact, one of the strongest images in my mind when I engage in guided imagery exercises to deal with chemotherapy and pain, is of walking in the woods along the Skyline Drive in Virginia on a clear, cool autumn day. I can just smell that clean air and hear the crunching of dried leaves beneath my feet and the honking of flocks of geese and ducks soaring way above the trees. And it is with this same imagination that I am taken into the garden alongside my friend and her son, whenever I read the latest posts on her blog and I feel myself healing right along with them. (Thanks LDK for sharing your experiences and letting me tag along for the ride!)


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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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WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

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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.

Never Too Old To Party!

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Just a simple post today to wish my hubby HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And more important yet, I want to thank God for making it possible for Don and I to be both still be here and able to share one more kiss, one more sunrise, one more sunset, and one more year. Cherish each moment, my love!

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)

Never Too Old To Party

Balloons More!!!Balloons!!

Birthday Party

Happy BirthdayHappy Birthday Pink

Birthday Cupcake

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New Look Is Here! + Elegance Pt. 2

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Finally completed the change-over to a different WordPress Theme which I have heavily customized. The longest part of the task was in going back through all the posts and removing the post-specific CSS mark-up. While a few kinks still need to be worked out, I hope that this cleaner, softer look will be a hit with my fans.

GEEK ALERT! (If your eyes glaze over at the thought of coding, skip to the next paragraph!): For those of you who have dabbled in hand-coding before, it’s a heck of a lot easier to do updates if you have started out with a well-crafted modular system as the global backbone for your blog (or website). Of course, to create such a system, you really need to have a clear idea of the range of media, size, and other visual criteria you plan to be working with on a regular basis so you can keep the blog-specific CSS to a minimum – or better yet, not even necessary at all. When I started this blog back in July 2008, I really had no clear concept in mind – or rather I should say, no clear PRACTICAL concept in mind. That’s because I truly had no idea what the significance was to the limitations placed on bloggers hosted by WordPress.com (where one is restricted solely to working with CSS and even then restricted further based upon whichever template they have selected. It is the latter which posed the most surprises because there is no way to know what those restrictions are until you try to make changes to the default CSS of a template. The bottom line is that I realized the template I had originally selected was not as flexible as I had thought and created a greater need for a lot of hacking and workarounds. While the core css of this new template is not as clean as I’d like, I think that I will be able to get a better handle on it over the next couple of weeks to force it into a more modular structure making it easier to keep up and more visually pleasing.

Along with the launch of IconDoIt’s new look, I thought it’d be particularly apropos to serve up Part 2 of my Elegance icon/clip art series. 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 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.

Elegance_Teatime….Elegance_PixFrame

Elegance_SweetDreams….Elegance_Security

Elegance_Fav….Elegance_Favorites

“Escher Sketch” Redux

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Back around 1986 when I was playing around with my beloved Mac-Plus (that I had just upgraded to have 4 whole MB of ram!) and a 2400 baud modem (think of “Inch Worm” to get an idea of that connection speed), I came across a website that had some monochrome desktop pictures that could be downloaded for free. This was one of my very first encounters with the generosity of the early software and digital graphics pioneers. Not only were they offering the fruit of their labors for free to anyone stumbling upon their site but they would share with you their tricks and techniques, brainstorm with you on a new concept of your own, and introduce you to others with similar interests who may be of help. While I grew up in a family of extremely successful entrepreneurs going back several generations and consider myself to be a deeply ingrained capitalist at heart, my parents also taught me by example, how important it is to share your knowledge and skills as well as the fruits of your labors with those first starting out and hungry to learn and with those who simply have no where else to turn. So while the sentiment of the early freeware-shareware movement wasn’t foreign to me personally, it was a bit of an anomaly among the rest of the Me Generation when, according to the media, “everyone” was out for themselves and “Greed is Good” was their motto. I think this is one of the major reasons that I am proud to be a Geek. If it were not for this generous community, I would never have had the opportunity to learn as much as I have over the years nor have been encouraged to try my hand at skills that others outside of that online community told me were beyond my ability and that it was ridiculous to even try.

So, back to that first website I mentioned. It was one of those hosted by CompuServe(one of the earliest portals for us mere mortals with personal computers and not mainframes) and there was a desktop picture I came across that I thought was the most creative, clever concepts ever that was an Art Parody which merged the work of M.C. Escher and the popular toy by Ohio Art, the Etch-A-Sketch. While it was executed quite expertly, because of the state of the technology I owned at that time (limited to 2-bit graphics) it was incredibly crude compared to what can be done these days with 32 or even 64-bit graphics and millions of colors. Unfortunately, I cannot recall who had originated the concept of the “Escher-Sketch” to give him or her their proper due (if any of you knows, please put it in a comment to this post!). In honor of that anonymous wizard, I’ve created an updated version which makes a perfect backdrop for my Chiquita Series of icons. So without further ado, here’s tonight’s late night snack,..

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.

Peel & Insert MonkeyMonkeyFldr

Chiq_Family Fldr

BananaBananas

Carmen_bevel

Chiq_WorkGroupJust A Banana Fldr

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Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1600px X 1200px)

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Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1920px X 1200px)

Blankies, Bananas & Bears, Oh My!

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Have you ever noticed how little kids will latch on to a favorite hat, or shirt, or pair of socks that they just HAVE to wear every day and act as if it’s the end of the world if you suggest they skip a day so you can put the beloved piece in the washer? I’ve never done a study on this but I’m guessing that this phenomenon it’s probably one of the stepping stones to becoming independent (weaned from their mother’s breast, consoling themselves with their own thumb, parenting their teddy-bear in the ways that they learned, and now, gingerly taking those first steps out in the world as a “big kid”, where lugging your stuffed animal or blankie everywhere you go is no longer socially acceptable.) Looking back to when my son began that phase brings such a smile to my face as he was just so enthusiastic about everything . Rob’s particular obsession was in wearing this jacket I had made for him out of an old pair of blue jeans that had a secret pocket on the inside to hide the treasure maps he had made. At recess, he’d pull them out with a flourish and lead the other kids around the playground “capturing after bear”. What a grand time he had and I admit not feeling the list bit guilty for conspiring with him to figure out a way he could get past the unreasonably strict principal who forbid the kids from taking anything outdoors to play with.

I wasn’t nearly as creative as my son when I was that age, but I did have a fixation for a while on always wearing a little white sailor hat (after I saw a picture of my Dad in the navy) and created tattoos for myself (an idea I got from Popeye, not my father!) by plastering my arms with those little blue oval stickers that came on fresh bananas in the early 1960’s from the Chiquita Banana division of United Fruit. If you’re as ancient as I am, you probably remember and can still sing the happy-go-lucky jingle sung by a Carmen Miranda-inspired character pitched by that eras “Mad Men”. It was all fun and innocence in those days, before the Banana War in South America and before we realized such abuse existed in our own country on the farms in California. As painful as it was to face the truth and to make strides towards ending (or at least no longer condoning) such practices, I can’t say that I long for the “good old days” of socio-political naivety. I do still enjoy though every once in a while, humming that happy little ditty to myself and wondering whether or not my son ever caught that elusive bear.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews of all clip-art included in the linked-to zipped archive. Simply right-click (or control-click) on any of the previews below to save the complete set 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.

Chiquita Series Part 4 Preview

Chiquita Clip Art Series - Pt 2 - Preview

Chiquita Pt 3 - Preview

Chiquita Pt 4 - Preview

Elegance (Wow! deez icons got class!)

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“Elegance” is one of the new icon series I’m presently working on. Its’ soft jade green and silver colors are easy on the eye and is perfect either for use on your home computer or if you have a small business such as a wedding planner, jewelry shop, baby/maternity shop, etc. Also great for those of you into scrapbooking.

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.

Elegance_CastleFldr

Elegance_diary.png….Elegance_fldr

Elegance_BabyBook

Elegance_CookbookElegance_Home

Elegance_Pix

Elegance_WeddingAlbum….Elegance_Xmas

Elegance_XmasList