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

When There is No Cure

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Science and medicine have come so far over the last 50 years that it’s easy to presume there is a “cure” for everything, or at least a treatment that’ll ease any pain or other disabling symptoms and extend your life. But that is hardly the reality for millions of folks suffering from either rare or just simply mysterious illnesses that medical researchers have yet to crack. I don’t know what is worse: to find yourself saddled with conditions in the class of those “un-cracked” diseases or to be suffering from diseases and conditions for which treatments (or even cures) ARE available but you can’t take them because you either can’t afford it or because you have other diseases or conditions at the same time that make you ineligible for such treatment. I happen to be in that last category and can honestly say it really sucks! But I also think that there is no good reason for anyone to actually try to weigh “what sucks more” as that would end up invalidating the frustrations and grief experienced by those in whichever group is found to “suck less”. Nothing positive can come out of being subjected to others who try to deny the reality of your situation and who attempt to invalidate your feelings. All it accomplishes is adding to the frustration, stress, and feelings of isolation you already feel.

While those who suffer from any medical condition in any of the above categories can (and should) attempt to educate their family, friends, bosses and coworkers about the reality of their situation (particularly if does or can have a direct impact on those others), too often those “others” don’t WANT to be educated. Usually, such reactions are out of fear for their own health, comfort, or other personal interest. But IMHO, from my personal observations, any benefit gained from sticking one’s head in the sand is doomed to be short-lived and eventually regretted. (Ed. That’s not intended as a threat to anyone, as it is simply the statistical truth based on experience and the laws of probability). Quite candidly, I’ve finally learned to recognize that the consequences suffered by such Ostriches, due to their deliberately maintaining a status of “plausible deniability”, is THEIR problem, not mine. I am no longer willing to waste my time trying to open the eyes of those human ostriches as experience has taught they will only ever see what they want to see. My mission is not to console the regretful naysayers, but to help myself and others who face no viable treatment or cure available to them. My 2012 plan towards achieving that goal via my blog is to research, explore, blog and share different ways to Live (with a capital “L”) even while we’re struggling just to survive.

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_Vanity

PJ_Music—-PJ_Textures

PH_Seed Orders

PJ_MailPJ_Widgets

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE? VALENTINES!

6 More Updates (just 17 left to go!)

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HEADS-UP! I’ve completed updating the links to my freebie icons and clip-art on six (6) more of my older posts. As previously mentioned (here) and (here), these updates may have some icons or clip-art that was not in the original post, so you might want to check them out. See below for a list of the latest updated posts with links to them.

MORE UPDATED POSTS

  1. New Look Is Here! + Elegance Pt. 2
  2. Elegance (Wow! deez icons got class!)
  3. Halloween Folk-Art Avatars
  4. Avatars March for Sylvan Rights
  5. Who’s yer Avatar see in the mirror?
  6. Something to Crow About

And for this very early morning day’s serving of freebie original images, I offer you Part 1 of my quirky, quickie new series entitled “Pink Jelly”. 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.

Pink Jelly - Generic Folder

Pink Jelly - Bookmarks Folder….PJ_Favorites

Pink Jelly - Textures Folder

Clippings….Threads

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Wm. Morris Window (Premium Magnet)
Wm. Morris’ Window (Premium Magnet)
Class up the joint with this 4×6″ Flexible Refrigerator Magnet featuring YOUR uploaded photograph (or the grandkids, the hottie from next door, or…?) with IconDoIt’s wonderful new frame design (A delightful tromp l’oeil of a richly carved cherry wood window frame, gracefully draped swag curtain panel, all against one of William Morris’ intricate Arts & Crafts movement wallpapers.
Edwardian Photo Frame Plaque
Edwardian Photo Frame (Plaque)
Upload your own photo and personalize the inscription for a simply elegant, thoughtful, affordable gift that’ll be cherished for years to come. Your photo will be surrounded by IconDoIt’s original artwork inspired by an ornate, Edwardian-era (Art Nouveau) brass picture frame inherited from her Grandmother, Sara.
The Puzzling Tale - Tuxedo  Puzzle w/Tin
The Puzzling Tale – Tuxedo Puzzle w/Tin
What Fun! A 110-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring YOUR uploaded photograph (to replace IconDoIt’s with her favorite lamb), surrounded by IconDoIt’s original ‘Tuxedo Frame’ and personalized with the captions of your choice. All in a great storage tin with the completed image on top.

Updated Posts Worth Revisiting

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I’ve been working my tail off moving all of my shared files off of my iDisk since Apple will be discontinuing that service now that they’ve got iCloud) and re-linking the icons and clip-art in most of my older posts so those Freebies will still be available. It’s a rather tedious process trying to identify the images in each post and locate them on my numerous hard drives and back-up disks but as I do it, I come across some of my older work and wonder what the heck did I have in mind when I created that! 😉 So due in part to laziness (for the tedious stuff – not for the creative) and in part to coming across some wildly noticeable “Jaggies” and such, I’ve been touching up or recreating a great number of the images on those older posts. What this means to YOU is that even if you’ve read all my posts right from the very first one in July 2009, it’s worth your time to return to those early ones as you will likely come across many new icons and clip-art images that weren’t there before.

To make things easier, I’ve put together a list of the posts that I’ve updated so far.

  1. Birth Of A Blog
  2. A Century Ahead of it’s Time
  3. The Constraints of WordPress.Com
  4. Art Deco Rebellion
  5. Art Deco says: …”No Thanks for the Memories”
  6. Speed is Beauty
  7. Art Deco’s Celebration of Life
  8. Wise Words to Whet the Visual Appetite
  9. Versatility of Man-Made Materials in Art Deco
  10. Art Deco: Icons – or – Clip Art?
  11. So Many Choices!
  12. South Beach Goodies
  13. The Democratization of Art
  14. Small on Talk – Big on Icons

Since my energy went into this project, for this morning the Freebies are a bit light. 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.

HousePlansWidgets

MailDownloadsScriptLibrary

Internal Combustion (or How I Will Turn the Bile of Betrayal into Fuel for Deliverance)

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There are as many reasons why people may choose to write a blog as there are bloggers. There is no right or wrong reason and readers have the complete freedom to come and go as they please based upon whether a blogger has something to say or offer that is meaningful, entertaining or useful to the reader or not. In my own case, my initial purpose in starting this blog was have a forum to share my original icons and clipart in an effort to give back to a community that had always been very generous with their own knowledge and talents. Secondarily, I wanted to simply share some of my own personal experiences, things I’ve learned, and questions I repeatedly find myself pondering, in the hopes that I might find there are kindred souls out there who can relate to my views and either gain some useful insight that might help them and/or who can impart some differing viewpoint that I can learn from. Although I wish there would be more discussion between more people in the comment sections, I believe that I’ve achieved exactly what I set out to do and cherish this opportunity and the readers who’ve made it so rewarding. I love you guys! 😉

What brings those thoughts to my mind on this particular day, is that I am critically aware of the fact that over the last year, I have been increasingly lax in publishing new posts and that too many of the posts I have written reflect my anguish over circumstances that I’ve not been at liberty to reveal adequate details about so that anyone who only knows me by my posts could have any idea at all what I’ve been so upset about. Between my inability to be specific and my simultaneous struggles due to my declining health, I’m afraid that I have not continued to uphold my commitment to providing uplifting, interesting text to accompany the freebie artwork that follows it. I expect better from myself, even if no one else does, and so have been trying to figure out how to overcome this rut.

One of the serendipities to doing research on a wide variety of subjects in order to find inspiration for my artwork or to help me describe my creations that are offered for sale on my zazzle websites, is that I am constantly being exposed to ideas that send me in an entirely different direction and enrich my knowledge, imagination and understanding in ways I could never have anticipated. A good example of that came up over the last 2 days, when I was trying to discover the identity of a particular woman in a photograph taken by a very talented photograph during the heyday of Art Nouveau but which I suspect was a private portrait contracted for by the woman or her family’s private enjoyment and not part of any commercial intention. In the course of that research, I ended up at a great webpage with a huge list of quotations. Of particular interest to me was the very large section of quotes from artists representing a wide range of disciplines (painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture, writing, etc.) who lived anywhere from the time of Aristotle to the present, trying to describe what makes artists different from non-artists, what is necessary for an artist to produce their art, and why art is so important to mankind despite the fact that it isn’t listed on the FDA’s chart of our daily nutritional requirements nor specifically called out in Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”.

While fascinating all on it’s own, I ended up gaining some valuable insight into why I have been finding my ability to write more of the type of blog postings I’d like to that has been so hampered as of late. I also realized that the same reasoning explains why I have almost completely withdrawn from personal interaction with family and friends whose love and support and camaraderie I have always been privileged to share and take such great pleasure in. It all simply comes down to the fact that Of Course! I haven’t had a free and uncluttered mind that is so crucial to creativity, because all of my time, energy, emotions, and thought processes have been so weighted down with trying to make sense of a nonsensical situation; expecting loyalty, honesty, logic or compassion from people whom I had no reasonable expectation of them being capable of those traits much less inclined to exercise them in a way beneficial to me; and naively relying on the belief that our judicial system was about ensuring our laws and their own court orders are enforced consistently and justly as opposed to existing to simply quell any discord that inconveniences the system and achieving that aim in whatever manner deemed most efficient and effective without due regard to the concept of fairness or justice. Silly me!

SO with that mystery revealed, I find myself forced to finally recognize the unpleasant reality that our system is irrevocably flawed and broken and there is apparently nothing I can do about it. I am left with being expected to stoically stand silent to yet another slap in the face while the truly guilty party not only walks away relatively scot-free and inexplicably “exonerated” but having to suffer the further insult, harm and injustice of having my good name and honor publicly besmirched based upon another’s lies and the system’s indifference. I am desperately trying now to integrate that reality with my personal view that if ethics and morality have no place in our courtrooms, then there really is no hope for America, no hope for mankind, and no basis for me to even want to live in such a world. And this is coming from one who has always felt like and been known for being the supreme optimist, always believing in the best of mankind, always believing I could help make a difference in this world that would somehow leave it a better place, and who believed that “The Truth will set you free!” was an inviolate promise from G-d and not a cheesy, commercial slogan.

As I stand today (figuratively since I remain confined to bed) I have no idea how I will be able to go forward and resume the life I had before this 12+ year trauma, or at least resume the faith, optimism, and ability to enjoy life as I had before. All I know for sure is that I simply refuse to allow my spirit to be so thoroughly trashed by others that I am no longer able to be myself. SOMEHOW, I will not only survive, but I will thrive once again. And that’s a promise!!

BTW, if you’re interested in the apparent disconnect between our justice system and morality, the Duennes& Russell blog has a great post entitled “Everything Has to Do With Morality” that’s written from the point of view of a current law student who is a deeply committed Christian. Very thought provoking.

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.

Semi-Sweet Justice - NOT!

Justice for All... NOT!

NOW THAT I GOT THAT OUTTA MY SYSTEM, ONTO A NEW DAY!

Friend Files

Project Oversight

Travel Plans

TimeLogs

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

IMAGE NAME
PRODUCT NAME
DESCRIPTION

The Pain of Switching Online File Hosts

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For at least six years now, I’ve stored a large portion of my publicly shared files on my Apple iDisk, which is basically online storage hosted by Apple’s .mac “aka Dot Mac” Service. While there were always a few drawbacks to that service, it was convenient and easy, so I stuck with it a little longer than perhaps I should have. A couple of months ago, I receive notification from Apple that they will be discontinuing the iDisk feature as part of their phasing out of “Dot Mac” and transitioning to their new iCloud service. Unfortunately, they haven’t given me the option of simply having the contents of my iDisk transferred automatically to an iCloud account, so I have until June 2012 to move my files to a new host. While that may sound relatively painless (simply upload my original files to one of the other online storage hosts I already have accounts with), the part that IS a pain in the biscuits is the process for updating the links on all of my blog posts.

Part of what is making this procedure so time-consuming is that Apple (as well as all other online storage hosts, as far as I know) doesn’t allow you to simply use the name of the file you’ve stored on the server as the download link address (the URL). Instead, they assign an encoded name as the URL, which means you cannot tell which file is which by just looking at the URL. For example, if name of file I uploaded was “MY_CAT_IMAGE.png” the url to download that image would look something like this:

http://files.me.com/my_account_name/6802eca119d8716bcaeb7ef68b0e017d

While I can easily figure out what the file named

http://files.me.com/my_account_name/My_CAT_IMAGE.png

contains without having to actually open the file and without having to switch from my blog-editor window to the published version of that particular post to see which image file is supposed to be posted in that location, the same can’t be said when the html code to download an image file uses an encrypted name.

To those of you who have never written a blog post using only an html editor, what I’ve been talking about is probably a bunch of gobbledygook and boring at that. But to my kindred geeksters, if you haven’t already experienced the pain of switching your online file host, beware. The process is not one you’ll want to procrastinate in doing and I highly recommend you have an organized plan as to how you’re going to accomplish the task before you start. I don’t know whether the way I’m going about is the most efficient but it should end up being accurate, meaning I replace all the anchor url’s and image url’s with the correct new addresses and don’t miss any of the links that need to be updated. If anyone out there has their own system for doing this that they’d like to recommend – or discourage its’ use, use the comment link below and share your story!

LAST MINUTE INFO: I just came across this WordPress.org Support Forum post, Updating Links in Old Posts When Things Change. Don’t know whether it’s more efficient than my method as it looks like, from a quick glance, that it really is intended for updating many instances of the same URL. It’s worth checking out if your blogs are self-hosted (i.e. NOT wordpress.com blogs) because it requires you to be able to access the SQL database for your blog.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

On the freebie menu tonight are some random icons I’ve created recently. Let us know how YOU end up using them!”

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)

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Blacklightreadme3

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KissyMum-72

OFF THE TOP

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Autumn Flame
Autumn Flame Necktie
The brilliance of autumn colors expressed in this silky, woven necktie speaks volumes about your warmth, passion and creativity. Perfect accent with cool weather corduroy, herringbone, wool, suede, camel’s hair or leather blazers – for men and women!
Stack O'Elephants #1
Stack O’Elephants #1
Whimsical stack of elephants on a family jaunt is part 1 of IconDoIt’s series of Gift Bags that keeps on giving! Fill this with T-Shirts, Mugs or other goodies for that special holiday gift then use it for groceries, crafts, & more! Made from 12oz cotton twill, it has cotton-web handles which have stress-point reinforced stitching. Dimensions: 13″w x 15.5″h x 7″deep.
Stack O'Elephants #3
Stack O’Elephants #3
Whimsical stack of elephants on a family jaunt is part 3 of IconDoIt’s series of Gift Bags that keeps on giving! Fill this with T-Shirts, Mugs or other goodies for that special holiday gift then use it for groceries, crafts, & more! Made from 12oz cotton twill, it has cotton-web handles which have stress-point reinforced stitching. Dimensions: 13″w x 15.5″h x 7″deep.

Organizize!

Posted by: – Date:

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.

Org_Accounts

Org_Medical

Org_Wallpapers

Org_Shopping

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE