Friday, February 1, 2013
Feb. 2, as most people in North America know, is Groundhog Day. Across the continent at various places there are celebrity rodents that will rise out of their burrow to deliver their prediction for that area.
I remember as a little child being very excited to hear that we'd have six more weeks of winter. Not so much now. I'm all about spring these days. Funny how getting a little older and wiser changes perspective.
However, as I got older I also sadly came to realize that winter here isn't going away in six weeks, shadow or not. I'd be thrilled if we saw the last of the snow March 17, but heck, there are years when it can take six weeks after the last snowfall to get rid of what's on the ground.
Yet, despite this wisdom I've attained, I still catch myself feeling a momentary glee when I hear that our Wiarton Willie came out of hibernation to a dreary dark day and returned without seeing his shadow. I guess an eternal optimist hides inside me somewhere.
So in preparation for what I hope will be a celebratory proclamation, enjoy these cute little groundhog illustrations just in time for their big day.
iCLIPART.com Groundhog Day Illustrations
Acclaim Images Groundhog Images
TOONClipart Groundhog Cartoons
ClipartGuide Groundhog Illustrations
ClickArt Online Groundhog Images
Thursday, January 31, 2013
And these were just the basics. It's almost embarrassing now to think how awed I was by what were essentially a few neat tricks. I really didn't fully comprehend then all of the things this type of software could do for us.
In the years since, my eyes have been opened a little wider. Image editing software is used to not just improve upon an existing image, but create something in combination or on its own. Equally inspiring is what unique projects can be achieved through the use of special effects. These sites have some great tutorials to help Photoshop fans create exciting designs:
PhotoshopRoadmap Special Effects Tutorials
DesignParagon Exception Photoshop Effects
AdobeTV Adding Special Effects
TutorialWiz Creating Special Effects in Photoshop
FreePsdDownload Fresh Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials
PSDVault 10 Exceptional Photoshop Tutorials for Creating Special Effects
Best Free Web Resources Amazing Special Effect Tutorials
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Typically, this is the time for bridal shows and let's face it, it doesn't get much more romantic than planning for a couple's big day. For people promoting their expertise or products at these events, however, romance is business. For everything from advertisements, to flyers, to business cards and courtesy gifts, people are looking for safe resources for illustrations that polish their professional image or promote the theme of love and romance.
Also, smack dab in the middle of February is Valentine's Day. There are any number of reasons a person would be looking for images to use for this special celebration. Last year in the United States, it was estimated that Valentine's Day would contribute around $17.6 billion to the economy, according to the National Retail Federation. Obviously then there is a commercial need for appropriate illustrations and photos to be used in Valentine-themed advertising and promotions.
Regarding gifts for our sweeties, not everyone goes for the big-ticket items such as fancy dinners and jewellery, opting instead to put their personal touch on the occasion with a hand-made greeting card. You can still express your love with hearts and flowers using backgrounds and elements from online clipart sites.
Another romantic offering that can be enhanced by online illustrations is a photo album or scrapbook containing pictures of you and your special guy or girl, from past to present.
Fortunately, there are some wonderful online sites that offer affordable images and protect you legally from any issues with copywriting. Here are just a few of my favourite collections:
iCLIPART.com Romance and Love Photos
iCLIPART.com Romantic Illustrations
Acclaim Images Love and Romance Collection
ClipartGuide Romance Illustrations
TOONClipart Love and Romance Cartoons
ClickArt Online Romance Illustrations
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It was a rainy day yesterday, it's still raining today and it's supposed to be raining again tomorrow. For me, and people of like mind, I don't mind a bit.
It's not that I'm hugely impressed with precipitation of any kind, but at least rain makes travel easier. And getting rid of the snow makes winter shorter too. Which of course will take us to spring — and, again, lots of wet weather.
So with rain on the brain I offer these photos inspired by warm-weather precipitation as harbingers of what we have to look forward to when the snow is gone for good.
Smashing Magazine 35 Beautiful Examples of Rain Photography
onextrapixel Rain Photography
iCLIPART.com Rain-Themed Photos
DPS Fabulous Photos of a Rainy Day
National Geographic Umbrellas, Florence
Monday, January 28, 2013
At six months Little Miss is at that interesting age — still needy, but eager to go. She's showing a good deal of feisty independence already and it's amusing to see how much she's like her mom. Now, that is. Not as a baby.
Her mother was the perfect child for a baby-obsessed woman such as myself to nurture. She loved her cuddles and lullabies. She loved sitting and being read to, quiet time and naps. Holding her daughter now, when Little Miss allows it, all of those memories flood back to me.
The bond between mother and daughter is unique. Author Victoria Secunda descibes it well: "A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships"
Certainly, the relationship is not without its frustrations. I was blessed with two girls whom I know I drove nuts on occasion. But there was indeed a sense of alliance and a strong connection. They were always my girls. As time went on we shared secrets and clothes. I treasured our talks and it was odd, I began to notice, that I counted on them almost as much as they counted on me.
Being invited into the details of their life honours me, no more so than being there for the arrival of our first granddaughter and seeing the bond renew in this next generation.
Here then is a photo collection celebrating the family's female allies:
iCLIPART.com Mother and Daughter Photos
Acclaim Images Pictures of Mothers and Daughters
Mother and Daughter Photo Ideas
CBS News Famous Mothers and Daughters