Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Wonderful Collections of Number Illustrations

If you want to get a giggle from any of my family, friends or co-workers ask me to do some math.  Numbers and their many combinations and computations have been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember.

Though I loved the little circle formations that illustrated the various numbers in kindergarten, though I tolerated arithmetic at its most basic form,  once numbers were put into the context of problems, they became a problem.  Combining with letters, as in algebraic formulas,  was as clear as Greek to me.

So, while I'm not completely incompetent mathematically speaking,  make an equation  too complicated and my knees wobble, my heart pounds and my mouth dries.  Who'd have thought those innocent little numbers we learn in grade school,  such as the adorable ones in the featured iCLIPART.com collections below,  could become such a nuisance when put to practical use?

Cartoon Numbers

Numbers and Pictures

Birthday Candle Numbers

1-10 Images

Numbers and Stick Figure Kids

Thursday, August 27, 2015

6 Collections of Adorable ABC Illustrations

Confucius said you cannot open a book without learning something.

I discovered at an early age the pleasure of losing myself within the pages of a book. I was inspired by them. I travelled to places I'd never seen. I found a friend when I was alone.  And yes, I continually learned something.

Math did and does terrify me. But language and words have always been a source of fascination.  I can recall the fun I discovered during my formative education in phonics.   Knowing my ABCs and seeing the journey they took me on was exciting.  I could never wait for the next chapter in Dick and Jane's adventures and was spellbound while listening to the rhymes of Mother Goose and the fables of Aesop. 

As a tot sitting on my grandfather's lap, I found the music in poetry as he shared recitations from his school days. Even the German words of my paternal grandfather bewitched me.

In later years, my vivid imagination found its place on paper as I used the magic of ABC and my love of storytelling to spin yarns of my own.  Creative writing became an outlet.  When my nose wasn't stuck between the pages of a book,  my thoughts were unleashed as I scribbled prose across a page.

So as we look toward the beginning of another school year,  I thought I'd find some clipart collections that go back to where learning language begins:

ABCs With Images

Alphabet Cartoons

Stick Figure Kids and ABC

ABC Words

Cartoon Letters With Images

Animal Alphabet

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How To Draw Everything From Animals to People

One of the first things kids do when developing their motor skills is put crayon in hand to colour or draw.  And who doesn't love those combinations of colourful swirls and squiggles that are presented with the same solemn satisfaction I'm certain great artists demonstrated when showing a new work of art?

What I don't love is my inability to recognize what my kids saw in their tiny masterpieces. All of those gorgeous baby blues in their turn,  looked at me with wonder and pride, and had to settle for  insipid, but safe and flattering remarks.

Equally challenging was when they could actually create images that were unmistakeable but didn't yet match even the level of Aunt Ada's watercolours. Seeing a future Da Vinci or Picasso in those stick figures, cartoon houses and rudimentary trees took a lot of imagination.

Of course there are some who show promise early. Our daughter surprised us in elementary school when she started bringing home artwork that surpassed that of her classmates, as well as any that could be produced by her parents or siblings.

It was a talent I can only assume she inherited from my maternal grandfather, who spent countless hours drawing for my cousin and I.  He was an adorable man, sweet and kind beyond fault.  When Susan and I visited he would patiently entertain us after a long day on the job. There were songs, recitations and games, but most notably he drew horses, the animals he loved, as true to the real thing as one could imagine.

With back-to-school on the horizon,  and memories of early works of art and those of my grandfather, it seemed appropriate today to provide these links to some drawing tutorials:

How to Draw a Horse

Draw Belle

40+ How to Draw Tutorials

Draw a Cartoon Cat

Eye Drawing Tutorial

Draw a Tree With Pencil

How to Begin Drawing

Draw Dazzler

Draw Cartoon Puppies

Monday, August 24, 2015

Great Tips for Back-to-School Photos

You can actually feel it in the air. At least that was my thought as I headed out the door this morning for my bike ride to work.  There's a heaviness that wasn't there before.  And despite the promise of seasonal temperatures for the day, it's a little sluggish about reaching them in the early post-sunrise hours.

Autumn is quite a few weeks away yet, but summer seems to be preparing itself for its ultimate demise.  This change in the weather was always the precursor of the beginning of a new school term. Almost like it was important that everyone be reminded the good weather would soon be leaving us, so why not be back in a classroom.

This was always the time of year for me when the kids and I headed to the city and mall to stock up on supplies, spruce up the wardrobe and spend some time together before formal education resumed. 

When we got home, after they excitedly shared the day with Dad and showed him the booty,  the backpacks were prepared for the big day and the decisions were made regarding which new outfit would be sported.

Though the wheels maybe fell off the wagon for the rest of the year, such care was taken on the morning of the first day back. Clothes were pristine, shiny hair styled. Everyone glistened and looked so smart for the annual photography session.

As they got older there were always a few groans about posing for the back-to-school photo, but they typically acquiesced, right until they graduated from high school. Looking back on them, I wish I'd had these helpful tips on how to do my subjects justice:

Must Take Back-to-School Photos

9 Tips for Memorable First-Day-of-School Photos

Back-to-School Photography Tips

8 Tips for Great Back-to-School Pictures

4 Easy Ways to Get Great Back-to-School Photos