Thursday, October 6, 2016
Linking to some fun Halloween clipart collections then, seemed an appropriate focus for today's missive. But first, before we get to that, I hope you will indulge me as I share some personal thoughts and remembrances about this particular time of year.
One of my earliest recollections of Halloween was my first one in Kindergarten. My classmates and I wore our costumes to school and showed them off as we paraded through the senior classes. Call it a trial run on the ooh-and-aah factor because if we heard these from the Grade 8 girls or saw reluctant grins on the faces of the boys, it was an assurance we were looking pretty darn cute. Which meant that getting our treat bags stuffed to the brim was not going to be an issue.
The standard practice as a youngster in those days was to hit as much of the town as possible. However, travelling to one area just a few blocks from my modest, middle-class neighbourhood, was imperative. Older kids, our siblings and friends from that area encouraged it. Home to the affluent, it was well-known that the greatest satisfaction for a sweet tooth was here. Rather than single chocolate bars, these people often met us at the door with goody bags full of decadence.
That's why it's strange that my only, albeit rather harmless and humiliatingly unsuccessful, foray into Halloween mischief targeted a home in that neighbourhood. If 'trick or treat' is the mandate for this holiday, then my gang and I had clearly fallen outside the terms. But who can understand the ways and minds of teenagers?
Having reached the age caught between 'adorably cute in costume' and 'too cool to care', some friends and I decided to grab a few bars of soap and hit the town. And again, for whatever reason, we chose as a first stop a home that had always delivered in the treat department. Perhaps it was the absence of lights in the back. Perhaps it was the temptation of the open garage door. Either way, with our brains taking a back seat to common sense, we believed we had our target. Entering the building, we raised the bars to the window just in time to be illuminated by headlights from a car turning into the driveway.
Knowing back then that getting caught would be a very bad thing for us on the home front, we sidled out with the speed of centipedes before hightailing it down the street. The soap was dumped and we headed home, never to stray into the criminal life again.
It was after having kids of my own, though, that the best memories of Halloween were formed. They are far too many to list, but pictures of a tiny princess, a sweet lederhosen-clad boy, a pretty kitty and super-cute Dracula are among the reminders of those special years.
Back then, hubby and I alternated who would take our brood around town and who would stay home and dole out treats to the other sweethearts. Each was equally satisfying — one could see everyone's reaction to our darlings, the other enjoyed seeing the variety of little characters who came to the door.
After the kids grew up and left home I transformed into a bit of a Halloween Scrooge. I had little interest in the celebration, and could have cared less about participating on any level.
Then a few years ago circumstances forced me into a costume and buried feelings began to emerge. I remembered that it's rather fun to be someone or something else for a bit.
The arrival of grandchildren has also put the pleasure back in Halloween. We have toured around with a little bee, a lion and pumpkin. Given that they received treats in the process and being with them is a treat for us, life couldn't have been sweeter on either side.
So, as I reflect on past Halloweens, I approach this one with renewed elan. To go along with that here are some of those adorable clipart collections promised earlier:
iCLIPART.com Cute Halloween Illustrations
262 Adorable Halloween Illustrations from iCLIPART.com
A Terrific iCLIPART.com Halloween Collection
iCLIPART.com Halloween Cartoon Illustrations
Clipart.com Halloween Images
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
The friendships we welcome into our lives will always enrich us. New acquaintances have experiences to share and often open us to possibilities we would never have dreamed of on our own. When the going gets tough it's wonderful to have friends to prop you up. They can provide the support you need, not just helping you find the strength to keep on trucking, but supplying it when your store is depleted.
True friends will always be there, not just sharing in the fun and adventure, but in toil too. When a goal lies before us they will work with us to its fulfilment. It might just be providing that extra push when we lag in our commitment, or making lighter work of manual labour but either way, without hesitation their presence can be counted on.
When we think about it, it's really not that much different with friendships founded on business. Brainstorming together, forging a strong union are integral components of building success into the future. Connecting with companies that complement the ideas and ideals of another, forming partnerships that inspire growth are important for businesses if they want to remain competitive in today's commercial world.
Vital Imagery Ltd., an online subscription graphics industry leader, loves making new friends in business. As the parent company of several popular image sites, including Clipart.com, iCLIPART.com, iPHOTOS.com and Animation Factory, VI can provide clients diverse content for creative success. In the royalty-free subscription market they offer the world's largest collections of wholly-owned content, as well as fresh and original photos, illustrations and animations. Exclusive packages mean great value on quality images. As the company is proud to say, "We help you do great work."
Just like any good friend.
One of the newest relationships VI has formed is as an Affinity partner with the Craft and Hobby Association. With over 2,300 member companies from 50+ companies, the majority of whom are small-business owners, CHA Director of Membership Jason Baum said the opportunity to take advantage of the vast quality of images available to them from VI is a big benefit. "They'll have easy access through the CHA website complete with great discounts."
CHA's roots date all the way back to 1941 as the Model Industry Association (MIA). Many big changes have happened in the years since. Most notably, in 2004, the two prominent organizations serving the industry, The Hobby Industry Association (formerly MIA) and the Association of Crafts and Creative Industries combined to form a "more robust association with a greater purpose," said Jason.
"CHA was constructed by the hands of creative arts product leaders and inventors with decades upon decades of experience. Today, CHA is the global non-profit trade association for the creative arts products industry." Companies are engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution, education and retail sales of creative arts products worldwide.
Among the myriad of resources that CHA offers its members is the annual trade event in January — Creativation. This award-winning gathering is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in North America. In addition, CHA members get valuable research on the size of the industry, craft participation by category and trends.
Other exclusive member benefits include business webinars, industry news, networking events, chapters and sections and affinity discounts, like the one offered with VI.
"We knew our members would love the image content available from Vital Imagery Ltd.," said Jason. Not to mention the great savings."
From our side, to recognize the beginning of a beautiful friendship, I've sourced some wonderful craft and hobby themed VI clipart and animations. As well, there are some links to some collections from our Pinterest board which inspire design and inspiration.
iCLIPART.com Craft and Hobby Illustrations
iCLIPART.com Swirls and Elements from Our Pinterest Board
iCLIPART.com Scrapbooking Backgrounds from Our Pinterest Board
iPHOTOS.com Small Business Photos
Clipart.com Craft and Hobby Illustrations
Animation Factory Craft Animations