Friday, April 15, 2016

6 Wonderful Collections of Music Illustrations

So here we are. Another Friday is upon us. In the blink of an eye it arrived, despite how far away it seemed on Monday.

On weekdays I live in a visual world, one comprised of technology, words and images. I sit before a computer, sharing thoughts and notions, ideas and stories. I spend time as well, attaching words to pictures in order for other people to find them more easily.

For one whose scholastic strengths were in language above all else, it's a dream job.

Yet, there is one element of the work week that relies less on what I see than on what I hear. As I sit to write each morning, I first pop in my earbuds and find a genre of music in which I feel I could lose myself that day.  With tunes cranked I can find a rhythm, uninterrupted by office chatter and ringing phones.

It's to the audio that my focus turns on the weekend too.  Music streams through the house all day long after the first, and silently savoured, coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Once the weather warms enough to enjoy drinks on the deck, the outdoor speakers are up and ready for music to pour through into the natural world as we do yard work, socialize with neighbours and friends or just bask in some alone time. Birds accompany soaring vocals and tight harmonies, the drone of a neighbour's lawn mower is lessened by  melodic guitar and pounding drums.

While evenings during the week typically end up with my husband and I sitting in front of the television before retiring,  on weekends we will often find our way to live music at night. Here our minds are simultaneously stimulated and eased by the beautiful contributions of the talents on stage.

Today then, as I sit tapping on the keyboard through this final day of yet another work week, I reflect on the weekend ahead. Tomorrow we attend a life celebration for an old, dear friend, whom I met through his wife, a woman who decades ago sang in the same choral group as I.  We sang at her daughter's wedding, at her parents' anniversary. I have little doubt that the group to which she now belongs will share their gifts on this significant occasion in her life too. Regardless, I know there will be music.

Then Sunday, with temperatures hitting the high teens, hubby will most assuredly be affixing those outdoor speakers to the wall, after which, to paraphrase slightly a recent meme, my neighbours will be listening to good music, whether they like it or not.

So with these musings in my TGIF mind, I have scoped out some wonderful collections of music illustrations to blend the images of my work day with the soundtrack of my weekend:

 iCLIPART.com Music Illustrations

Clipart.com Music Illustrations

Acclaim Images Music Clipart

ClipartGuide Music Illustrations

ClickArt Online Music Clipart

TOON Clipart Music Cartoons

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thousands of Transportation Illustrations

One week from today, I am leaving on a jet plane. No big deal for many, but trust me here. I am seriously stepping outside my comfort zone.

Several months ago, our daughter and her husband invited us to take a trip south with them after his Snowbird parents vacate their condo. We could relax and warm our way out of the last part of April in sunshine and sand.

The plan was that our daughter would take their two babies by plane, while my husband and I would help our son-in-law drive his boat to Florida. This was going to give us a longer vacation besides allowing us to tour through other places on our way.

The real reason I was accompanying the men though, had nothing to do with any of that or with my driving skills. The simple truth is I don't fly.  I've tried it and hated it.  The problem isn't a fear of flying exactly, but is more directly connected to claustrophobia and a great need to control the situations in which I place myself. I want my feet on the ground,  space to stretch and room to move. In a car I wouldn't have this but I could, simply by asking.

Then a couple of weeks ago my husband learned that an unavoidable work commitment was going to be keeping him on the north side of the border.  Weighing the options now it made more sense for me to fly.  So with sweaty palms and pounding heart I sat down to book my tickets.

This new situation was further impacted by the fact that while I could book on the same flight as my daughter departing,  I was going to have to fly alone coming home. Stomach churning I gave consideration to a number of other possibilities — bus, train, even begging my guy to take a long weekend and come get me.

Eventually, however,  after reminding myself that I'm a grown up, that I have faced greater adversity than getting on a plane, I took a deep breath and completed my travel plans.

In the time since, I've done some visualization, some meditation and some self-chastising.  It seems to have worked as I no longer want to jump out of my skin when I think what lays before me. I'm even a little excited. This is going to be an adventure and really shouldn't we try to find the glee in that?

Getting from one place to another these days is a big part of life. We need transportation in its various forms for business and pleasure. As I plan and ponder in preparation for my big adventure it seemed appropriate if I was going to scope out some clipart today that transportation be the theme. Here then are some wonderful collections:

33,226 iCLIPART.com Transportation Illustrations

21,285 Clipart.com Transportation Illustrations

338 Transportation Illustrations from Acclaim Images

10,053 ClickArt Online Transportation Images

456 TOON Clipart Transportation Cartoons

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

4 Collections of Beautiful Garden Photos

Things are going to get very nice soon.

After a rather dismal spring thus far, the forecasts are showing a transition to seasonable weather is in the works.  We will finally be able to shed those winter coats and socks, in favour of lighter wear and open toes. Such a treat.

However, as we close out the last week of April,  I will be heading out on a little vacation to even sunnier climes.  With the promise of temperatures finally heading into double digits here, I am going in search of an even swifter return to balmy breezes and welcoming warmth.

It might seem a little late in the season to fly south, but it was the only option available. Our daughter and her husband invited us to come along with them on a trip to Marcos Island Resort in Florida. We will be staying at his parents' condo so our arrival was scheduled following their departure after a more traditional winter sojourn.

When first presented with the late date I admit  I couldn't quite see the point. Now, however, knowing that the last little bit of Canadian cool will be easing away while I bask in hot sunlight, knowing that spring will finally have come to full bloom in my corner of the world by my return, has inspired some excitement.

This April trip south is going to be a swift entry into the summer vibe. It's a head start on the tan. It's days at the beach, nights walking in cool sands. It's morning coffee on the balcony, lazy hours of reading in a lounger by the pool.

It is too, of course, the flowers. On previous trips south, my nature-starved eyes have been sated by the bevy of beautiful blooms, gardens full of riotous colours that relax and revive.

It made me think that a nice prelude to my trip then would be some wonderful garden photos. Here are four collections to enjoy:

100 iPHOTOS.com Garden Pictures

National Geographic Night Garden Photos

National Geographic Top 10 Magnificent Gardens

Country Living Garden Tours

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Tutorials for Creating Collages in Photoshop and Illustrator

There's nothing like playtime with a preschooler to get the creative juices flowing.

Yesterday, while my daughter took her baby boy to an appointment, I had the pleasure of the his big sister's company for the afternoon. After the two of us discussed some options for a few hours of entertainment, she excitedly told her mom that we were going to have a girls afternoon and watch her favourite movie.

As it turned out this meant turning on the movie, and me listening to Missy's chatter. The best sound in the world.

Following that special time we moved on to Lite-Brite and colouring for a bit before exhausting the planned activities. And this was where we decided to really get creative with some arts and crafts. Snipping colourful papers and photos from magazines into various shapes, then gluing them on to another page of brilliant hue, resulted in some interesting work.  I'm fairly certain neither of us will be pursing a career in the arts, but in terms of quality time this was a masterpiece.

Making the trip back home that evening,  I thought about my special afternoon and the hands-on fun of the activities we worked on together, most notably our final project. These ruminations then led to reflections on the arts and crafts lessons of my childhood, the cutting and pasting together of shapes and colours, of creating something unique with my hands and with my artistic talent. Or lack thereof.

Even as a young parent putting together a collage of some kind typically involved the same techniques. I remembered posters and projects, then later as well  the old cut-and-paste days of journalism.

My mind eventually turned, as it often does these days, to the method more likely used in creating a collage now. Whether it's a photo montage or chunks of images composed into one finished piece, it's probable that the work will be done with an image editing software program.

For this Tutorial Tuesday then, I thought I'd find some 'how-tos' for this using Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Here are some of the results:

Create a Digital Collage of Summer Floral Fashions

Create a Stunning Photo Collage

Create Geometric Collages in AI

Create a Super Kawaii Collage in AI

How to Make a Photoshop Montage

Create a Mixed Style Collage

Design a Charming Collage Composition

Create Collages With Blending Modes in AI

Make a Collage in Photoshop

Create Abstract Geometric Photo Collage Art