Friday, March 15, 2013

Some Smiling Faces to Brighten Your Day

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." — Mother Teresa

Life brings us many things, some nice, some less so. Ironically, it seems that a 'one-of-those-days in the life is often not so much a balance of both, but an either/or situation. We've all had it happen. You wake to a dreary, dark morning, after a strenuous, sleepless night. You run out of hot water in the shower; spill the milk while getting breakfast.  Running to the bus stop it starts to rain; waiting in the shelter you see there's a run in your stocking.

Arriving at the office you take off your coat and see a stain on your blouse you hadn't seen when you put it on.  After realizing you left your lunch at home, you notice the stack of new messages waiting for your immediate attention, one of them from the boss who wants to see you — now.

Then enroute to there you pass a co-worker who flashes the sunniest of smiles your way and the day seems, while still far removed from perfect, much better. Returning the favour only improves things even more.

Smiles are wonderful things.  A simple curve of the lips brightens your face, your mood, and your outlook. Not to mention what it does for the recipient.  My grandpa, one of the most affable men I knew, never found a reason not to smile. Real, genuine, big, honest, 'seeing-you-made-my-day kind of grins that he was never stingy about sharing, even with strangers.  "It would be a pretty sad world, if we all just passed each other without smiling," he once said to me.

So if you're in need of a smile today, these collections of photos are guaranteed to begin the love.

iCLIPART.com Smiling Faces Photos

iPHOTOS.com Photos of Smiling People

Acclaim Images Smiles

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photos of Serenity and Inspiration

There is sadly these days just one thing on my mind — a good night's sleep. Or more precisely, how to get one.

In years gone by sleeping had actually been a restful pastime for me, achieving the preferred  result at the end of a good eight hours shut eye. I was invigorated, alert and ready to take on the day.

Unfortunately, since reaching middle age,  something has gone terribly awry. I'm lucky to get six hours and I certainly never wake up when that miserable alarm clock buzzes, feeling as if I've had enough sleep.

Short of developing a pill habit,  I've tried everything that's been suggested. Blackout curtains shut out all light. The digital clock has been moved away from the nightstand. I stay away from computers and stimulating activities for at least an hour before bedtime. I eat well, get lots of fresh air and exercise.

I've even tried meditation, which, while it hasn't made falling and staying asleep any more certain, it does helps to free the mind of anxiety and worrisome thoughts. Repeating a soothing mantra while visualizing a calming scene isn't the worst way to spend a sleepless night I suppose.  Especially once you settle on your idea of the perfect place.

These inspirational photos are full of serenity and beauty, perfect visuals to call on when meditating.

iCLIPART.com Inspiration Photos

iPHOTOS.com Inspirational Nature Photos

National Geographic Clouds

Mark Langford's Sunsets and Clouds Photos

TRIGGERPIT What a Wonderful World


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Beautiful Photos of Rivers

The reason many people choose to live in a small rural community, such as the one I found thrust upon me over three decades ago, is about a lifestyle.  It's  the quiet, the neighbourliness, the open spaces and lack of traffic.  It's a slower pace, a kinder, gentler atmosphere.

But, of course, it does come with a trade-off. Unless you are self-employed, there are very few people in this village of 1,000 who find work close to home. For over 20 years, I was among those driving to and from work each and every day, through raging snowstorms, dark winter nights, and on sunny summer days when I wished myself on the deck instead of in my car. 

Now, however, I'm one of the lucky ones. Three years ago, I found a great job seven blocks from my house. What a treat it is to be able to walk to work.  While the majority of my route takes me through the downtown core, I do cross over the bridge so get a brief glimpse of nature, and the changing patterns caused by seasons and weather in general, every morning and evening.

Rivers are fascinating. They are home to flora and fauna.  They rage, or be still. They meander and fall, ripple and flow.  They can be mighty, or mighty small.  They can be as pure as a mountain stream or as murky as swamp water.  And they provide us with varied entertainment.  We ride on them,  swim in them, fish from them,  picnic beside them or just sit and watch them.

So, if you don't have the good fortune of crossing one every day as I do, enjoy these photographs that capture all of that beauty and pleasure.

iCLIPART.com River Photos

iPHOTOS.com River Photos

Acclaim Images River Photos

National Geographic Photos of Rivers

National Geographic America's Wild Rivers

Photography Blogger Wonderful River Pictures

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elements and Illustrations for Spring

Very, very hopeful now.

A weekend of lovely warm weather, followed by some nice warm showers today has made short work of at least some of  the tons of snow that accumulated in February. Saint Patrick's Day is just a week away, and the Easter bunny will soon be on his way. 

I know things can still change dramatically from one day to the next, but I really, really do see spring on the horizon. 

And images of spring are just so bright and cheerful. The green of shamrocks, the pastels of Easter, the bright hues of early blooms and blossoms are as pleasingly warm as a gentle breeze on a perfect spring day. 

Whether you're designing promotional material for the two holidays this March, or you need some lovely illustrations for your seasonally-inspired scrapbooking designs these wonderful elements and backgrounds are all about spring.

iCLIPART.com Spring Elements and Backgrounds

Acclaim Images Background