Friday, September 20, 2013

A Life Story Illustrated in Tattoos

I'm not a fan of tattoos. I've never quite seen the attraction, at least not when done in excess. A subtle one — a beautiful butterfly on an ankle or a tiny symbol on the inside of a wrist — I actually think can be rather sexy. But big, bold and gaudy-ful I will never understand.

From his early teens my youngest child threatened he would one day have a tattoo.  I foolishly tried to reason with him. I had created a beautiful, flawless child, I told him. Did he understand how difficult it would be for me to see him covered in things?

No surprise my pleas didn't work. What was a surprise, however, was how long it took before he acted.  His three siblings had all secretly personalized their bodies many years before the family baby got around to it.  You can be assured, however, that he has more than made up for it since, with a right arm covered in a colourful design of monkeys and a carousel. 

Oddly, I don't hate it, because while the other kids got smaller tattoos, our son has created his life story in an original design. The monkeys represent people.  My husband and I hand-in-hand with his son are there, waiting for the carousel. Tribute as well has been paid to meaningful relationships outside the family. 

So, it's been with no small amount of surprise to myself that I have been hoping for more monkeys.   That his siblings in primate form haven't made an appearance has made me a little sad. These are specific and to my mind necessary additions.

Guess little brother agreed.  A picture was sent my way of an important element being added to his story — his brother and two sisters — seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil.  Love it.

And, if you're a fan of tattoos there are many to love in these collections of illustrations too:

iCLIPART.com Tattoo Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Tattoo Collection

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vintage Photos for Throwback Thursday

Today being Thursday, I thought it might be nice to enjoy our own little version of the popular hashtag 'game',  Throwback Thursday.

The original idea behind this is to include an old photo of yourself, not something from a week ago, but years or decades. It's little wonder it's become as popular as it has — people love nostalgia. Certainly, living in the present is the most important thing, but  let's face it, it's always fun to share a few memories and glimpses of who we were before we became who we are.

I've never thought spending some time in the past was a bad thing. It can be a lot of fun, which might explain why nostalgia tends to be so popular.  From entertainment to fashion, we revisit and relive the past in a variety of ways. Old tunes, old styles, old movies, even old images are fun to return to from time to time. 

So for my Throwback Thursday offering, here are some vintage collections of photos that bring yesterday to today.

iPHOTOS.com Vintage Photo Collection

iPHOTOS.com Vintage Photo Collection

iCLIPART.com Vintage Photos Collection

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tutorials for Creating and Painting Pumpkins in Photoshop

A walk around my garden and deck this morning was an excellent reminder of summer's impending demise.  Frost-bitten plants, remnants of once beautiful blooms now dead and dreary, line the perimeter. Potted flowers struggle to maintain their once glorious glow.  The birds' songs are quieter, squirrels are busier.

Yet, while we must soon say goodbye to the flowers that brightened our outdoor living spaces, we need not leave all the colour of autumn to the trees. A walk around your neighbourhood on a gorgeous fall day provides plenty of evidence, with porches, beds, decks and patios boasting collages of mums, cornstalks, bales and pumpkins.

The latter of course are a big part of the season, holding centre stage from early autumn decorating, to the Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween, through to the American Thanksgiving.  And you don't just have to carve one to be creative. There are some fun tutorials online to help you draw and paint a pumpkin with Photoshop. Here are just a couple examples:

Wordpress How to Draw and Paint a Pumpkin in Photoshop

tutorial9.net How to Design a Thanksgiving Pumpkin

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just a Bunch of Cute Illustrations

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by another name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called."

When it comes to romance Romeo and Juliet knew a thing or two.  In the practical world of keywording, however, you know that people searching online image sources for a rose will be calling it a rose when looking for it.

People are occasionally surprised with the search results that turn up when they're seeking illustrations and photos online. The thing to remember, however, is that attaching appropriate words to an image in order to make them easier to find is a human science.  Behind the scenes, it's just regular folks looking at an image and putting as many applicable words with it as they can. 

All then, are open to individual interpretation. For example, finding stressed businesspeople when looking for 'rat race' make sense. Conversely, however, if you use just 'race' to search you would probably be a bit confounded to discover some rodents in the mix.

When searching, therefore, it's important you keep in mind there are many variables and variations to be considered. A word that narrows the search for some will inevitably broaden it for others.  Sometimes a group of words will help, sometimes a single one is the best option. 

A site with an Advanced Search option such as the ones at iCLIPART.com and iPHOTOS.com  helps customers separate the wheat from the chaff, allowing you to exclude words, search within categories as well by colour or black and white.

So now, with all of that said, and, as I was feeling in the mood for something 'cute', let me share some collections I found using just that word. See if you agree with the results.

iCLIPART.com Cute Illustrations

Acclaim Images Cute Illustrations

ClickArt Online Cute Illustrations

ClipartGuide Cute Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Cute Illustrations

Monday, September 16, 2013

Livestock Illustrations and Photos

The annual Fall Fair is coming to my town this week, an celebration that stirs up plenty of memories.

The big deal surrounding this event started literally from the beginning for me.  I was born on Fall Fair day in my hometown a bunch of decades ago.  My sister, who was 10, proudly boasted to the world that she'd won a budgie and got a baby sister (note the order of importance). In the ensuing years, therefore, it was with heightened enthusiasm, knowing that another birthday celebration was on its way,  that I greeted the arrival of this community event.

Truth be told, the excitement was palpable among most of the kids in town as the time neared.  There were the intensely serious marching practices to perfect our one, one, one, two, three for the school parade. There was the afternoon out of school to hang out with friends, and the arrival in town of our country cousins to join us. There were the midway to ride, candy apples and cotton candy to devour. 

And I can't forget, of course,  the most important aspect, the agricultural component. The cattle and sheep shows, the animals in crates and pens, as well as the horse races did intrigue us. Despite the fact we were in a rural area, most of us never had many chances to get too close to livestock. Though I had farming relatives to visit, I was always a bit nervous near the great and enigmatic beasts that roamed the pastures or slept in pens.

Hasn't changed much for me either.  Probably best I just stick to the ones in these collections of images.

iCLIPART.com Livestock Illustrations

Acclaim Images Livestock Illustrations and Photos

iPHOTOS.com Livestock Photos

ClipartGuide Livestock Illustrations

ClickArt Online Livestock Illustrations

TOONClipart Livestock Cartoons