Friday, February 28, 2014

Positively Animated About Spring

Old Man Winter might just as well face the facts — his days are numbered. Despite yesterday's snowsqualls and today's deeply frigid temperatures, the calendar pages continue to flip as spring moves ever closer. 

With bright, warming sunshine giving icicles a run for their money this morning, I have definitely moved into my happy place.

Yet, in this day when time seems to move so quickly, I try not to wish away these final days.  Once winter passes every other season will move on too, so I love to enjoy the anticipation of nature's rebirth. It is enough for me right now to know that in a few short weeks, the snow and ice will no longer have a chance, that the sun is moving ever closer to us, that our days will fill with more hours of light, that the flowers will bloom and the robins will sing.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. Why, I'm positively animated. Which is the perfect segue into announcing a featured collection for this final Friday of February — some delightful spring-themed animations:

Animation Factory Spring

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Confessions of a Hopeless Mechanic

I married a car guy. Good thing because while I appreciate having four wheels and a motor that works, I have absolutely no idea how to solve even the simplest of automotive problems. Having transportation at my disposal is one of the things I take for granted and suffer not at all silently when indisposed by a faulty transmission or even a flat tire.

Several years ago an area auto supply merchant recognized that women tend to have less knowledge about what makes their vehicle run and keep running. They were realists, not sexists, fully understanding that older generations of ladies in particular had not been given the opportunity or permission to learn such things.  When I attended high school, the tech wing was reserved for the tough guys, while the girls learned to cook, set a table, wash dishes and sew. Pathetic, but true.

Thus, with this in mind, the company decided to host a weekly seminar to instruct my gender in everything from changing sparkplugs to quick fixes. Sadly, work commitments kept me from attending and trust me I have had reasons to regret that. Many times when my automotive warrior has been away I've found myself stranded for minor problems all because I hadn't attended those Car Repair 101 classes. 

I was no more appreciative of the people with the no-how than this morning when I was able to drive to work rather than walk in the blustery cold. As an homage to them, here then are some terrific automotive illustrations perfect for educational, promotional and personal automotive projects:

iCLIPART.com Automotive Illustrations

clipart.com Automotive Illustrations

ClickArt Online Automotive Illustrations

ClipartGuide Automotive Illustrations

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Few Favourites from iCLIPART.com

The reasons to use images in a project are many and varied.  On the professional side of things you have people in the design, media and printing industries who all need illustrations and photos for diverse purposes.

When you think about it, every day your hands  probably touch or your eyes probably see something created by a professional using images purchased from an online resource.  A letterhead,  a website, a magazine ad — the list is endless.

But, it's not just business demanding the content. Lovely backgrounds and gorgeous swirls or flourishes are wonderful additions for moms working on scrapbooks.  Brides looking for unique and economical wedding stationery can find designs that make creative design easy. There are colouring pages to keep tiny artists busy, and animations to enhance personal emails.  Budding writers can find the perfect image for their first novel at a much lower cost than hiring an illustrator.

Me..  ? Well, I'm a bit of a strange mix when it comes to how I use images — a relative novice who likes to play with them in personal projects, but incorporates them into blogs, etc. for work.  When it comes to picking them, my needs, therefore, are as varied as the many ways they can be used. Thought it might be fun to share just a few of my favourites from iCLIPART.com :

A Collection of My Faves

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Great Photos to Advertise Beauty Products

It's good to know that with age comes wisdom, but with that wisdom comes the knowledge that the face I see in the mirror every morning sure isn't what it used to be.  Like so many aspects of my life now, it seems to take a lot more to achieve less.

Where once a bit of cleaning and cream, some blush and mascara achieved that dewy freshness we all aspire to, my beauty regimen these days is time consuming and intended to just keep me hanging on. Each morning I rise, wash, scrub, tone and moisturize, then prime, conceal, plump and powder. Each evening I get rid of the primer, concealer, plumper and powder, by washing and scrubbing, before smoothing in a night cream full of retinol and promise.

Throw in waxing, exfoliating, masks, body lotions and shaving, and trying to look just my age has become a full-time job.

The cosmetic industry is huge, a morass of products with pledges of revitalizing and reviving our skin to its once youthful glow. Or, if it's already glowing, to help us maintain it through middle age. There are creams that promise the disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and large pores; lotions that blend skin tones or cover acne.

With such a competitive market and such wide diversity, finding the right images to sell those products is important. These collections of photos are excellent starting points for your marketing and advertising projects:

iPHOTOS.com Beauty Product Photos

Clipart.com Beauty Products Photos

ClickArt Online Beauty Product Photos

Monday, February 24, 2014

How to Take Great Birthday Photos

Yesterday we celebrated my father's 90th birthday. Now, when my Dad could dance and party he was a social man.

However, since moving into a nursing home and, as one would expect at his age, not exactly in top waltz form, he has come to prefer solitude over large gatherings. For this reason, his huge milestone was marked by a small gathering consisting of my two siblings, our spouses and two elderly aunts.

This was apparently chaos enough for him as both he and Mom seemed ready a few hours later for a nap.  But before that our family enjoyed a special time together that we can look back on in years to come as one of life's blessings. Photographs help keep those memories alive of course, but for this amateur shutterbug it was a challenge to come up with some interesting shots. The limited number of attendees and lack of activity seemed to stifle my creativity.  Beyond the candles on the cake, and a few random pictures, the photographic tally for the day was significantly lower than what is typical for me.

Even playing back the day on my way home I was unable to think of any other images I could have captured. As I know I won't be the only one faced with this I decided to do a little searching and see if I could find some tips to help me, so I'm ready when the 100th birthday arrives.

Perhaps not surprisingly there were very few results dedicated to taking better photos of adult birthdays. The majority were for children but I found that most points could be adapted to suit my purpose. Here, then, are just a few of the useful sites I discovered:

Great Birthday Party Photos

Unique Ideas for Birthday Photos

How to Photograph a Child's Birthday Party

Birthday Photography Tips

Taking Birthday Photos