A Completely Blank Mind

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For the last few months I’ve been doing my darndest to avoid thinking – about anything! No, I’m not a Buddhist nor a Native American, but I admire the wisdom of both of those cultures about the nature of humanity and how we can rise above our inherent flaws by first and foremost, releasing ourselves from everything we think we know about the world – about ourselves – about how and why to live – about how and why to die – and about the nature of love, of peace, of wisdom, and of souls. And so, I’ve been trying to teach my brain to simply “Let Go” and think about absolutely nothing. If you’ve never tried this, it is not as easy as it may sound. And it’s even harder if you have spent the last 40 years of your life consciously trying to keep your mind active in order to prevent epileptic seizures! I’d like to share much more about these subjects and my personal experiences with them over the next few blog posts, and hope to start a dialog on these pages with you as I think we can learn a lot from each other. I know that tonight’s (early morning?) post is extremely brief and merely serves as a notice as to what I intend to write about over the next couple of weeks, but I do hope that you will check back here every few days and join (or start) a conversation!

In the meantime, I’d like to pass on to you a link to the latest post, Healing, Harleys & Horticulture of my dear friend, “Dogkisses”. She has a very unique and personal style of writing that draws you in and opens your mind and your heart, even if you come from a completely different background and think you face completely different hurdles.

Oh! I also wanted to let y’all know I just completed updating 4 more of my earlier blog posts tonight, a task that’s been necessary to ensure all the Freebies I’ve posted remain available to you to download. The way I have them set up now, should make my blog pages load a lot faster for you, too! You can check ’em out at the links at the end of this post.

See you in a day or two!

SIGAL_signature

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.

PJ_Widgets

Surfin'Screenshots

I Love You in Sign Language

Therapeutic Bear Hugs

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A couple of days ago, I got together with a friend that I hadn’t seen for over 40 years. While the occasion was a sad one (he had come up to Ohio from his home in Florida for his father’s funeral) it was really wonderful to see him. Of course, when you haven’t seen someone for many years, the first thing is to try to catch up on all that’s happened in each other’s lives. My favorite part is in hearing all about the other person as it gets me out from under my life and I get to imagine what my friend has seen and done and felt. When the focus turned to me (as arriving with a walker or in a wheelchair that the friend wasn’t expecting is bound to do) my tongue seems to trip on my words. After all these years, I still have not figured out how best to respond to the question, “So, what happened to you?”

Not to make light of the pain of those who’ve fallen down a flight of stairs or been in a car wreck, but I wish there was some simple one sentence statement like that I could use to reply to such questions. There are some people who ask “How are you?” that are merely being polite and who really aren’t interested in details. Those are easy. To a friend who really does care, I feel that it’s a matter of respect to tell them the truth. Of course, I also don’t want to come across like a whiner or to depress them or cause them to feel badly for me. And there lies the problem, because the answer to “What Happened to Me” entails a recitation of a long series of illnesses and circumstances that built upon each other over a period of 56 years to land me in the condition I am now. While there is one cause (Hereditary Hemochromatosis “HFE”) that has been at the core of every other major condition or disease or disability that I’ve suffered, most folks have no idea what HFE is but they do know what Epilepsy, Stroke, deafness, Uterine Cancer, Hepatitis C, Non-Alcoholic cirrhosis, Arthritis, Haemolytic Anemia, Osteoporosis, Esophagitis, Peripheral Neuropathy, and chronic pain are. So whether I start with HFE or end with it doesn’t much matter and it doesn’t much matter whether I spend any time at all on the details of any of those conditions and how they’ve affected me or simply just stated their names in a single sentence. The result is still the same. People feel overwhelmed simply hearing that list, can’t imagine how any one person could have endured all that (much less still have a smile on their face) and wonder what kind of hex was put on me while still in the womb. Their reaction is understandable but for some reason I tend to feel a bit embarrassed as I know it has to be difficult to think of “the right thing” to say after someone has answered “What happened to You?” with such a mucked up laundry list.

The best friends I’ve found are those who can hear that list and then go ahead to tell me a joke or can be comfortable laughing at one of mine. People who have such a generous nature as to be sensitive enough to know when to just listen, when to ask for more info, when to laugh with you, when to share with you their own troubles and dreams, and know when you just need a great big bear hug, are priceless. (Thanks, Mark!)

Listen To Simon & Garfunkel’s “Old Friends”

On the menu tonight is a smorgasboard of orphaned icons and clip art that have little in common with each other as far as style or theme but they are easily usable as application icons, avatars, or a variety of scrapbooking or illustration purposes. 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)

chat-a10chat-a11

My Mammy 2

Speech IconVoices Folder

Cenon-Alt

The Waiter-Fatchef's hat

NetFlix LiveNetFlix Downloads Folder

Work In Progress Folder

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Glass Is In Our Blood

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There is something about glass that has always intrigued me. Just the idea that you could mix together various elements that were seemingly opaque themselves to create a new material altogether that was suddenly translucent seems magical. Learning the science of it hasn’t put a damper to my awe (same way I still feel about the transmission of radio and television waves, but that’s something for another post.) Years ago before my son was born, me hubby and I took a class together to learn how to make leaded glass windows. It was Don’s idea and I just went along for the ride (or so was my original intention). That experience was actually the first time that I found a way that I could express myself visually and it opened up a whole new world for me.

After Rob was born, I put away all of my raw glass and tools because I was concerned about him wandering into it and getting hurt. I figured I’d get back to creating new windows after he got older, but as usually happens in life, our circumstances changed. By the time Rob was old enough for me to feel it’d be safe, I no longer had the time for the hobby as I was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on a construction site. So my interest in glass resorted to appreciating the work of others.

And then, when Robert was 16, he came home very late from school one day just bursting with excitement. A friend had asked him on the spur of the moment if he could lend a hand that day with a special project. Always willing to help out a friend, Rob went along without any other thought in mind about it. Well, it turns out that the “special project” involved going to a studio down the road where the friend was blowing glass. Rob instantly fell in love with that craft and for the next several years, it was all he was interested in and even earned several scholarships to various colleges and universities based upon his glass work.

The world economy changed drastically during Rob’s last year in college though and the prospects for making a full-time living as a fine artist had grown even tougher than usual, so he decided to expand his range of skills by adding in a minor in Graphic Arts. Rob still dabbles in blowing glass when he can afford the studio costs and supplies and has several pieces on display and for sale in a “The O Gallery”, a local high-end art gallery that features new and upcoming artists. And often now, when in town visiting us “Old Folks”, Robby will wheel me off to our favorite glass gallery to drool over the Chihuly’s and such.

One day, I hope to be well enough and strong enough to join Rob at the studio and to have him teach me how to blow glass. Wouldn’t that be a kick? I just love it when my son teaches me something new, especially when it’s something he’s excited about too. In the meantime, while I dream about being able to take part in such things, I have focused my energy into creating a few digital trompe l’oeil of blown glass perfume bottles. I’ve got no idea on earth what they may be good for, but t’was fun to create. Hope 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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Parfumery

Eau-de-L'Amour (The Scent of Love)

"Eau My"

Bleu

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Get Neue-Melamine in One Swell Foop

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This evening’s post is a quickie just to let you know that I’ve put together all of the images I created for my “Neue-Melamine” series into one gigantic zipped-up package for your convenience in downloading. It includes all that were posted here individually along with a few extras. The only categories it does NOT include are “devices”. If any of you are interested in having a set of those as well, or desire an image in the Neue-Melamine style for some other function or application not already posted, let me know via a comment to this post.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

Simply right-click (or control-click) on the link below to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains the complete “Neue-Melamine” series. Each image in the package is a 512px X 512px image in .png format and the entire zipped download is 6.63mb. Usage of these images is strictly per terms of my Creative Commons 3.0, Non-Commercial-Attribution-No Derivatives license applies (see sidebar for details)

Download Neue-Melamine Now

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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