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.
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50% off ALL Cards, Invites, PhotoCards & Postcards!
Enter code: ALLCARDSSALE
at checkout in the “Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates” box
50% of the greeting card, invitation, photo card, or postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased and the coupon code ALLCARDSSALE is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping & taxes). Offer is valid through October 5, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. This promotional offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
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Black Friday Alert!

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Before anything else, I want to give a tip of the hat to my good friend, Michelle a.k.a. Dogkisses. I met her through a comment she wrote to my blog almost a year ago. She’s an incredibly brave, strong, and loving woman who’s got a lot on her shoulders yet still finds the time to help keep my spirits up. She’s also a very moving authoress who’s words paint pictures and move your heart. If you haven’t discovered her blog DOGKISSES yet, I highly recommend it. While you’re there, in addition to her regular posts, check out the other tabs where she hides some of her very best stuff.

I’ve been extra busy the past few weeks, creating a bunch of new designs for greeting cards, postage, postcards, stamps, and gift labels so they’d be ready for the holidays. With Black Friday coming in a couple of days, you might want to make a note to check out my online shop – as well as other artist’s Zazzle Shops – as we’re all going to be running some really great sales which will change every hour. So you’ll want to check there often. Depending on when you get there (online) you’ll find savings as much as 75% on all kinds of great gifts, clothing, cards, and more. Share the news with your friends and if you all use this link you’ll get a coupon with your purchase worth at least 10% off of your next purchase from ANY Zazzle store! How cool is that?

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Going Postal Over Thanksgiving

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In doing some research concerning the history and traditions of our celebration of “Thanksgiving” here in the US, I came across something that really peaked my curiosity. What I found was that a dozen or so countries around the world have issued one or more postage stamps depicting either the “Mayflower” (the ship which the first wave of pilgrims journeyed) and/or honoring those pilgrims in general or individual passengers that landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusettes on November 21, 1620. (November 11 to those of you using the Julian calendar, as did the pilgrims themselves).

Among those countries, I found stamps issued by: the United States, Bangladesh, Chartonia, Great Britain, Guinea, Isle of Man, Oman, GrenadaUganda, Burkina Faso, Canada, Antigua, Liberia, and more. The question I was not able to find an answer to, is “Why?” Why would any country, other than the US, have any connection to or interest in honoring the Mayflower or those pilgrims?

While the ship did depart from an area of London, England known at the time as “Plymouth”, the pilgrims were fleeing that country due to oppressive (deadly) means of dealing with those who defied the rules of the Catholic Church. They were not government-sponsored explorers or emissaries that Britain could claim bragging rights in the more traditional manner. So had their issuance of such stamps been with the attitude “Thank G-d, we got rid of them buggers! They’re your problem now.”? Or was it simply a matter of commerce in that they saw the US as a great marketplace that they sought to exploit by appealing to our vanity? Me thinks that is the most likely explanation, not only for Britain, for all of the other countries as well. What do you think? And while you’re at it, anyone ever heard of Burkina Faso before? Or am I the only one so ignorant?

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)

The Welcoming Committee

Mayflower Landing at Plymouth RockMayflower Landing at Plymouth Rock (2)

Turkey Feast

Mayflower Landing (3)

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Giving Thanks (& Thanksgiving Art)

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There is so much I have to be thankful for this year. Things/situations/blessings that are so significant that words expressing my gratefulness seem so inadequate or, worse, sound trite. While it has been an extremely traumatic year for myself and for my little family, we have made it through both individually and together. It is that bond, our love and support for each other through both good times and bad that makes bad things bearable and all else possible. Those relationships, freedom, and good health are the ONLY things that really matter to me and I’ve been blessed with most. In the words of Jim Steinman, sung by Meatloaf, “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”.

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains all images in each preview group (each image is 512px X 512px in .png format) or, in the case of the individual icons, do your clicking on each one you’d like to download.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ChicagoTurkey5

Chicago Turkey 2

Thanksgiving-Banner

Thanksgiving Banner - 1600px X 391px

Thanks-1-1600x1200 - Desktop Wallpaper

Desktop Wallpaper - 1600x1200 - Thanksgiving #1

Desktop Wallpaper - 1600x1200 - Thanksgiving #2

Desktop Wallpaper - 1600x1200 - Thanksgiving #2