Friday, March 21, 2014

Great Sites for Free Photoshop Resources

If there's one word in the English language we tend to all like it's 'free'. 

Granted, we've all been taught, and if we've lived long enough learned, that very little in life is actually free. There are usually strings attached or a price to pay for trying to get something for nothing. 

In the world of Photoshop, however, there are many resources available that cost nothing and prove to be quite useful tools for your projects. No strings attached. It was indeed a happy day when I discovered how many there are out there.

In the spirit of spreading the happiness around, therefore, I decided to share  just a few of the ones I found here:

iCLIPART.com Pinterest Free Photoshop Resources

Top Photoshop Resources

250 Free Photoshop Resources for Designers

60 Most Wanted Photoshop Resources, Brushes, PSDs and Tutorials

Free Photoshop Brushes

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oodles of Babies

There are oodles of babies coming my way this spring. Three more grandchildren being added to a group that was, as far as their papa and I were concerned, not expanding quite quickly enough.

All this is changing with the influx expected and we couldn't be more thrilled looking down the road to summer vacations and Christmas with Santa again.

Just three weeks after a baby shower for our son's partner, we will be taking time on Sunday to celebrate the same special event for our daughter, at a shower hosted by her equally pregnant sister. These are wonderful family times indeed.

With little else but babies on the brain, it seems obvious to me  that when I set out to choose a clipart collection for today,  it was going to be all about cute, blue and pink bundles of joy.  Here then are the adorable results of that search:

iCLIPART.com Baby Illustrations

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's Your Favourite Spring Flower?

After the robins arrive in our corner of the world, other signs of spring begin to bloom all over the place. Quite literally really. From the first early snowdrop peeking through the earth,  to the delicate beauty of the cherry blossoms in Ontario's Royal Botanical Gardens,  the arrival of colourful buds is as welcome as, well, the flowers in May.

The aforementioned snowdrop and the crocus are the first to strut their stuff, bringing warmth to a place too long stark and cold. As they push through from their underground bed, we awaken too, moving outdoors to clear away the remaining detritus of winter.

As a young girl, I remember planting a hyacinth bulb for a school project. When it bloomed I thought it was the prettiest flower I'd ever seen. For sometime thereafter it remained my favourite and I would often pick bouquets for my Mom and my room, allowing its heady fragrance to fill our home with spring.  Sadly, allergies developed, and now that same perfume leaves me breathless so I can only enjoy them from afar.

If I need to be cheered, there's nothing like the appealing freshness of daffodils to do it. The colour of sunshine these unpretentiously pretty flowers epitomize spring. It's little wonder they were chosen as the symbol for the Canadian Cancer Society as representation of hope.

The riotous variety of colour that tulips bring to early landscapes is a treat for the eyes. These jaunty blooms arrived in abundance in Canada after World War II,  a gift from the people of The Netherlands, in gratitude for the safe harbouring of their royal family after German occupation, and in appreciation of  the Canadian soldiers who liberated the country.

There are many others of course; these are the ones most familiar in my corner of the world. Like anything else, some appeal to some, others to others. What's your favourite spring flower?

iPHOTOS.com Daffodils

iPHOTOS.com Hyacinths

iPHOTOS.com Tulips

iPHOTOS.com Snowdrops

iPHOTOS.com Crocuses

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When Spring is in the Air

Though a lingering nip is still hanging around, there's something else in the air now too. Signs of spring abound— in the receding snow, the morning songs of birds, the longer days and the warming heat of the sun.

Though I posted a few blogs about how to get great winter photos, I most definitely didn't practise what I preached. Like the bear, I hibernate in the cold months, limiting my amateur shutterbug tendencies to loved ones and social events.

But now that spring is mightily pushing winter out of the way, I think it's time to start thinking about taking my camera outdoors. The rebirth and rejuvenation is quite frankly a blooming  opportunity for some lovely pictures. The first signs of returning flora and fauna, the colours are the images of the season that beg for attention. The trick is in how to make the pictures you take as fresh as the subjects on which you're focussing.

PictureCorrect Spring Photography Tips

PictureCorrect Useful Tips for Spring Photography

11 Tips for Capturing Spring

Spring Flower Photography TIps

Spring Landscape Photography Tips

Monday, March 17, 2014

Flags from Around the World

Today everybody's Irish. In keeping with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, people have donned green and drank green. Heads fill with images of shamrocks and leprechauns.  But it's quite likely only those with green blood coursing through their veins will be waving the tri-colour flag of Ireland in true patriot pride. 

The recent Olympics are the epitome of a nation's flag symbolizing the patriotism of the people. Watching yours rise highest above the podium, accompanied by the national anthem in honour of  gold-winning athletes, strikes a unifying chord across the country.  

The flag is a symbolic representation of that nation and its denizens. The colours themselves often carry meaning. For example the courage, revolution, hardiness and valour typified by red; the
freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity and peace of blue;
sun, wealth, and justice for yellow. Groupings too can be significant — red, white and blue being a representation of revolution and freedom; or of an area — red, yellow and green being the colours of the Pan-African nations. 

Images on the flag can be a coat-of-arms or symbolize something distinctive. For example, there is one star for each state on the American flag. The bold maple leaf in the centre of the Canadian flag celebrates that country's nature and environment. The five stars on the Chinese flag represent the relationship between the unity of the people under the Communist Party of China.

Here then is a clipart collections showcasing flags from around the world. a virtual tour of national pride.

iCLIPART.com International Flags