Pollyanna Lives!

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It’s been so long since I’ve been able to post. So much going on in my head. So much going on in my life. While my body continues to fail me, my efforts to beat the clock have succeeded beyond what I ever dared to hope for, and I’ve somehow managed to continue to grow while dying. (Is that a Dylan song in the making, or what?)

Optimism is an odd but powerful creature and my religion of choice. I’ve been labelled a “Pollyanna” by those who intended it as a derision, but I have always worn that as a badge of honor. To me, the label means that nothing is impossible. Improbable, yeah. But not impossible. Even when I’m overwhelmed, have good reason for feeling sorrowful and afraid, a voice inside nags at me to “just hang on, as this, too, shall pass.“ Without that voice, I would have succumbed long ago. Without that voice, I would not even want to survive. But with that voice, I will always look forward to tomorrow and whatever it may bring.

While I have never really made specific plans for the future, I learned early on the importance of being open to whatever came knocking on my door. It’s taken me in so many directions – wonderful directions – which were well beyond my ability to conceive of beforehand, and led to a rich and enjoyable life filled with interesting and wonderful friends and associates. The only downside (besides my health) has been in trying to keep up with all the plates I’ve got spinning. I have tried to give 100% to everyone and every cause. I know that in my heart, the commitment is there, but have yet to be able to consistently show it. Never enough hours, never enough energy. But as I truly believe that nothing is impossible, I’ll keep on trying and hopefully my friends will continue to understand and put up with my sporadic bursts of activity and periods of quiet.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day: ”Brass Balz” Series, Part 1

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)

Brass Balz_Address Book

Brass Balz _ DayPlanner

Brass Balz _ Generic FolderBrass Balz _ Downloads

Brass Balz _ Notes

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Easter Tiger Lily (card) card
Creepy Friends (3-ring binder)
Easter Bunny in Pink (card) card

Moody, Grungy, Faux Books

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No big thoughts today, just a couple of moody, grungy faux book cover images for you. Sweet Dreams.

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)

Come Blow Your Horn

Which Way?

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Halloween Folk-Art Avatars

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Halloween has always had a special place in my heart: from the “Peter Pan” costume my Mom made for me, to sneaking out to go trick-or-treating on “Beggar’s Night” with my best friend, Janie; to meeting the man who I eventually married at a party given by a bunch of art school students who came into the drug store I worked at and on the spur of the moment, invited me (a total stranger); to making all kinds of fun costumes for our son when he was little. In our previous home, we used to get a hundred or more kids coming to the door. The 4-to-10 year old kids were always the most fun as they were just so enthusiastic. The last ten years we’ve lived on a street where only one family has school-aged children and there are no street lamps, so no one comes around. Costume parties with adults can be okay but it’s just not the same or as much fun as dressing up and dishing out goodies to a new generation of little ghosts, superheros, princesses and the like.

For your own Trick-or-Treat pleasure, I’ve created a new batch of spooky, fun avatars inspired by the folk-art styling popular in Mexico for their “Day of the Dead” celebrations, Kachina Dolls that are an important part of the Zuni and Hopi tribes; and West African tatoos. I arrived on these subjects in a very round-about way that is an interesting story in itself and what I learned was really fascinating and in many ways, quite unexpected. I’m not up to going into it now but promise to follow-up and share some of the highlights with you in a day or two. In the meantime, Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following image is a reduced size preview of the nine (9) separate 512 X 512px images in .png format included in the linked-to zipped file. To download the set, simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. 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.

If I Were A Zuni (preview of zipped file)
If I Were A Zuni (preview of .zip file)

Mrs. Hudson & Sherlockian Icons

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My cousin, Flo, is one of the most brilliant and talented women I know. Intensely passionate about her work as the head of a successful I.T. consulting group, Excalibur I.T., when she doffs that cap it is most often for the other major passion in her life as a member of an elite international community of “Sherlockians“. Flo’s alter-ego, Mrs. Flora Hudson not only hosts her own website but also has designed and maintained a number of other sites for members of the Sherlockian Web-Ring and is a sought-after lecturer on, amongst other topics, “The Art of Poisons”. Yet in the midst of all her own commitments and interests, she took the time to drive 500 miles from her home to mine in the middle of a storm one night to care for me, my family and our home at a time when I was undergoing a third round of chemo and was completely dependent on the assistance of others for the most basic of human needs.

There is no adequate way really to thank someone for their spontaneous love and well-intentioned efforts that went beyond the call. I admit to being entirely inept when it comes to the formal manners of “good breeding” and society and am well-known amongst friends and family as one who never (or at least very rarely) initiates a phone call, while at the same time, will drop everything and listen for hours on end and do whatever else that I can to assist those who reach out to me and don’t take my quirks as a personal affront.

And so, the real point of this post is to publicly acknowledge my appreciation and love for my cousin, Flora Spector, and to share with the rest of you, some of the artwork I created inspired by Flo’s passion for Mr. Sherlock Holmes (and all things Victorian).

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.

Sherlock-SteelEtchdReader

Doc Watson's Bag

Watsons-bag-closed221B-Address-Plate-2

Pathologist Rudolf Virchow-2