Friday, November 28, 2014

Adorable Christmas Images Perfect for eGreetings

When retail stores close their doors on yet another Black Friday today, no one can try to pretend any longer that the Christmas season isn't here. Carols play from street corners and in malls.  There is suddenly plenty of other things to do — planning, wrapping, decorating, baking and even more shopping.

Yet, people rush from place to place, task to task, with a surprising level of goodwill and cheer given all the busyness.

As it is for many, this is my favourite time of year. All of the extra activity amidst the crazy of life should be a little off putting.  But, from trying to fit it all in,  to actually getting it all done and being able to sit and enjoy it, I love every task, every minute.  At least I do now.

If there was one aspect of Christmases past that I could quite happily have ignored it was sending out the annual greeting cards. For some reason I can't define, it seemed not just a chore, but a waste of precious time. Not to mention the cost. With postal rates continuing to rise  it became clear that there had to be a better way to spend my money.

So, a couple of years ago, my husband and I decided that instead of our cash to Canada Post we would donate the same amount to a charity, then send an electronic greeting to our family and friends. And with a  subscription to an online graphics service, such as iCLIPART.com or  Clipart.com, we have found awesome seasonal illustrations to decorate our festive message.

When using these types of sites, do be sure to read their terms of use carefully before purchasing as there can be special restrictions on electronic distribution. For example you might need to send your greeting in HTML format rather than as a PDF.

Here is a sampling of images from various sources that would give your holidays e-greetings a festive flair:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thousands of Retail Illustrations

We all have our weaknesses. And when it comes to one of my vices, I have to admit I'm a bit of an 'aholic'. The temptation is always there; the restraint, when  presented with the opportunity to indulge, is virtually non-existent.

Take me to a mall, any time, any day, anywhere and I will shop until you drop.  I buy what I want when I want, I'm a sucker for the 'spend this much and get a free gift' pitch and I have never seen a bargain I could ignore.

That said, even I have my limits. There's one time of year when I strenuously avoid retail centres. No enticement or inducement is strong enough to lure me into the pre-Christmas rush. Or perhaps I should say crush.  Instead, by now, I have usually checked everyone off the list and am sipping wine by the twinkling lights of my tree while others fight the bargain-hungry masses.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving, when retailers inspire shoppers to come out in droves with tempting deals on everything.  While you won't find me there, the craze  obviously holds huge appeal for many. Specials so incredible apparently make the challenge of spending time with the hordes of other people out to get the goods worth it. Friends and family of mine on this side of the border wouldn't miss making the trip to the States on the last Friday of November each year.

Those who share my aversion to crowded retail outlets need not miss out completely, though. The internet has given us the advantages of Black Friday from the comfort of our home.

So as we approach one of the most significant pre-holiday shopping extravaganzas  in western consumerism,  here are some illustrations for use in business and retail from iCLIPART.com and Clipart.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting Great Thanksgiving Photos

Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving.  Families will gather to celebrate this special time of gratitude enjoying the company of loved ones and acknowledging the remaining bounty of blessings that enrich their lives. 

The holiday is portrayed in film with people representing assorted relatives of diverse age and cultural differences as they prepare to, and ultimately descend upon,  the home of the family matriarch and patriarch. There is then the house full to the rafters of guests who congregate in the kitchen, around the laden dining table and in front of the television for football. The interactions are defined by teasing, laughter, love, and, because we're talking made in Hollywood, conflict.

Though the actual storyline might require  a leap of faith, the meaning  of holidays and family is not lost. Certainly there can be disagreements and disputes, but holidays to my way of thinking are amazing. The reason why, comes down to being with the people who know you best and love you anyway.

These special times also provide us with the opportunity to create enduring memories through photographs.  Tips on what pictures to take this Thanksgiving and how to take them can be found at these sites:

Get Great Thanksgiving Photos

Ideas for Family Thanksgiving Photos

Capture Thanksgiving With Your Camera

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5 Resources for Thanksgiving Clipart

No matter what side of a North American border you live,  you know that the day after tomorrow is one of the most significant holidays of the year for folks from the United States.  While their northern neighbours celebrated their Thanksgiving over a month ago, Americans are looking forward to their time to count their blessings, held traditionally the last Thursday of November.

The historic intent behind the occasion is, of course that of gratitude for the bounty of good things in one's life.  What comes to mind first are always images of family and food. Extended relatives gather together to enjoy a feast usually comprised of turkey with all the fixings, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

While the day is an opportunity to reflect on the bounty of riches that have come one's way, it is also the time when Americans indulge one of their most favourite pastimes — football. While waiting for, or recovering from that bountiful feast, families will fill living rooms and dens to enjoy the Thanksgiving Classic, an annual treat since the inception of the NFL in 1920.  The event is a series of football games played during the holiday.

What better kind of celebration, the intent of which is primarily to turn one's mind to all that is good in life, than one replete with family, food, fun and games.

So to my neighbours to the south I send my wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving.  And hope that if you are looking for illustrations for those special  projects — whether it's to promote an event, to decorate your holiday emails or to use in a scrapbook of  memories,  to name just a few possibilities — you will enjoy these wonderful clipart collections:

iCLIPART.com

Best-of-Web

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hundreds of Illustrations for Tie One On Day

This week is a big one in the United States. As they prepare for their time of thanksgiving, they will celebrate the occasion with a number of traditions and events. And here, over the next few days,  I will share illustrations to highlight them all.

The last Thursday in November is a time for Americans to gather and think of the blessings that have been bestowed upon them. On Nov. 27, here will be family, food, fun and football.

But before that, there is a lesser known event to commemorate — National Tie One On Day.  Created by the author of The Apron Book, Ellyn Anne Geisel, the day is an unofficial holiday which contradictory to its name, is not about going out to partake in drunken revelry, but about giving back.

Geisel said, "Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty."

The concept then is to tuck a message of support or comfort into the pocket of an apron. Use this to then wrap a home-baked product you will present to someone in need. It's a lovely gesture and a reminder that society as a whole is still comprised of generous and kind people.

To turn heart and mind towards this ideal, here are some collections of baking illustrations to promote, with gratitude and generosity,  Tie One On Day to be celebrated this Wednesday:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

Clipart_Guide

ClickArt Online