Saturday, August 4, 2018

Back to School Images for Presentations, Worksheets and Handouts

Happily (or sadly depending on who you ask) our kids still have a few weeks left of their Summer vacation. For many other students around the world though the time has come to start the new school year!

Many teachers use our websites to source copyright-safe images for their worksheets, presentations and handouts at school. Not only do we have a huge selection of educational themed images but members are certain that the images they download have been legally licensed from the artists and photographers who created them.

Come and see some of the images we have available to download:

Education Clipart at iCLIPART.com

Back to School Clipart and Stock Photos at Clipart.com

3D School Animations at Animation Factory

Education Photos at iPHOTOS.com

In recognition of the amazing, and challenging, job that teachers do we are happy to offer them a special educational discount on any of our one year subscriptions. Please contact us for more information!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Amazing Images and Designs for Wedding Invitations

Not surprisingly many couples pick a day during the Summer months for their wedding day. The chance of nice weather is greatly increased and there is a much greater choice of beautiful venues to pick from. My husband and I were lucky to pick a particularly hot and sunny day 13 years ago in July for our big day. We got married outside on the porch of our beautiful Victorian home while our guests sweltered out on the lawn. Fortunately for them the ceremony was not too long and much fun was had by all as we enjoyed the warm evening festivities.

As the owners of iCLIPART.com we were fortunate to have a large array of beautiful illustrations to choose from when we designed our invitations. 
Here is a selection of some of our favorites:

If you are lucky enough to be planning your big day why not check out the complete collection of wedding clipart, animations and photos on our websites!

Wedding clipart from iCLIPART.com:

Wedding clipart and stock photos from Clipart.com:

Wedding animations and videos from AnimationFactory.com:

Wedding photos from iPHOTOS.com:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Clipart, Photos and Animations to Celebrate the Amazing Country that is Canada!

Although I was not born in this amazing country called Canada, I have been lucky to live here for many years now. Coming from the UK I still never cease to marvel at just how vast and diverse a country Canada is. Even after all this time I have still only scratched a tiny portion of the wonders it holds. It may be a stereotype, but the people here really are that friendly and it is a pleasure to live and work alongside them!

Our websites have a great selection of clipart, photos and animations to help celebrate this Canada Day Weekend - we hope you enjoy browsing through them!

Canadian Images on Clipart.com

Canadian-themed Clipart on iCLIPART.com

Everything Canada on Animation Factory

Beautiful Photos of Canada on iPHOTOS.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

Time for a Change at iCLIPART.com!

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. William Pollard
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=change
"Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable."
William Pollard

Change can be scary, annoying and inconvenient. It can also be exciting and open you up to new adventures and possibilities!

If you haven't already visited iCLIPART.com today we hope you will come and see what the winds of change have brought to the website. Here are some of the updates that we have made and we hope you will find them to be improvements!

- Larger, easier to see thumbnail images.
- A responsive design that adjusts itself to your browser size.
- The advanced search options are now hidden unless you want to change something. Just click on the “Advanced” button to the left of the search box to access them.
- We have completely removed the instruction page between the preview page and actually downloading the images to your computer. 
- You now have the option to download 800 and 1000 pixel versions of the raster clipart formats (where available).
- If there is a file format of clipart that you prefer to download you can specify this in your profile settings.

- You can also set your preferred number of search results in your profile settings.
- A link to the last search you made is always available on the main page.
- You can view your download history directly on the website. 

- If you forget your password you are now emailed a temporary password to allow you to sign in and update it.
- People using mobile devices no longer have to visit a completely separate website and have access to all the same features as desktop users.
In these days of mobile devices and multiple browsers, Google looks much more favorably on websites that are "mobile friendly" and have a “responsive" design. In addition to this many people were complaining that our thumbnail images were too small and our design was very dated. We know that unfortunately not everyone will like the changes and we promise that we will be taking all feedback into consideration in the coming days.




Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. William Pollard
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=chang
I don't know that love changes. People change. Circumstances change. Nicholas Sparks
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/nicholas_sparks_196017
I don't know that love changes. People change. Circumstances change. Nicholas Sparks
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/nicholas_sparks_196017

Friday, June 1, 2018

Introducing Ania Velichkovsky

Without our amazing contributors we wouldn't be able to offer our customers the diverse and exciting selection of images that we do today!

It is very hard to choose one artist to feature out of all the exceptionally talented photographers and illustrators we represent. One of the most popular with our customers is Ania Velichkovsky and so here is a little more about her:

Ania Velichkovsky was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. With its famous romantic white nights, snowy winter scenes, extraordinary and historical architecture, visual inspiration was everywhere. It's no wonder that she grew to love art and appreciate beauty.

Ania attended art college and started her career in animation spending many happy years in the studio honing her craft, infusing life, detail, technical excellence and feeling into her work. She further developed her design skills moving on to commercial graphics and illustration, and 2008 was introduced to the stock photography industry. It seriously piqued her interest. So much so, that she began creating her own illustration collections to share with the world.

 Ania's illustrations are coveted. Her approach to composition and style has depth and quality. The results are always refined, alive and totally engaging. Her settings and characters span broad categories and themes, and are popular worldwide. Her young daughter is the inspiration for everything magical, like fantasy and fairy tales, fairies and unicorns. And Alice in Wonderland is Ania's favorite book, continually inspiring her with its wonder and wisdom.

An accomplished entrepreneur, artist and designer, Ania Velichkovsky lives in Roswell, Georgia and creates beautiful things every day.

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality." Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

View Ania's Entire Collection

Monday, April 16, 2018

Music Inspires Life. This Music Clipart will Inspire Your Projects

Sometimes social media really can be entertaining.  I don't generally play the games. Only occasionally, perhaps when bored, will I play the quizzes.  I never get caught up in the requests for reposting.  And I'm not too enthusiastic about accepting the 'challenges' that come my way.

Yet, every once in a while, there is one of the latter that titillates, that appeals to my interests or my curiosity. Recently I noticed that my son had posted a 10-day challenge calling on his nominees to post a photo of "one of their all-time favourite albums, in no particular order, but something that made an impact and is still on the rotation list".

Over two days he nominated siblings and I found myself waiting, hopeful, wanting to be part of this. Because for as long as I can remember music has mattered to me.  It has made me feel alive, comforted me, soothed me and inspired me. I certainly knew then,  that coming up with 10 albums that affected me in some profound way wouldn't be the challenge. Stopping would be. And deciding which would make the list.

When, on day three, I finally saw I'd made the cut, there was a good deal of thought, introspection and a few trips down good old memory lane before making my choices.  Thinking of the word 'impact' was what inspired the selections I made — albums that had left an imprint on me, in some cases decades after first hearing them. They spoke to feelings, times and places and there wasn't a dud song on any of them. The artists were people I have often quietly thanked over the years for what their gift gave to me.

I had fun with this challenge, unquestionably. But what further impressed me was how readily others joined in. Not only did most of those I nominated participate they did so enthusiastically. All were eager to post, some almost immediately after being tagged, and were equally as excited to discuss the effect that someone else's choice had had on them. It absolutely reinforced what I've always known  — music is extremely important to lot of people.

When I think of the direction music's taken lately, or of the politicians who give it — and all of the arts for that matter —  such short shrift, I am saddened and angered. Too bad there weren't more politicians like Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This member of the British Parliament in the 1830s was also a novelist and playwright. You've heard the phrases, "the great unwashed", the "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword" and the famous opener, "it was a dark and stormy night"? All were laid to paper by Lytton's glorious pen.

The first Baron Lytton, in his lyrical prose, also recognized the effect of music on people. "Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies."

A beautiful truth.

Today, we pay tribute to that with these impressive collections of music clipart:

iCLIPART.com Music Images

Clipart.com Music Images

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beautiful Children in Beautiful Photos from iPHOTOS.com and Clipart.com That are Sure to Heal Your Soul

"The soul is healed by being with children." — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Such a powerful truth spoken in so few words.  Especially in the mind of a grandparent. I loved my children with all of the devotion and adoration that any parent does. I knew when I first met each of them, that there was magic in my my life that hadn't been there before.  But it wasn't until my grandchildren arrived that I was able to relax a bit and truly enjoy every wakeful minute spent with them.

Looking at the world through the eyes of little ones is like seeing it for the first time. The pleasure of their company, for even a few brief hours,  fills the space around you with energy and light.  Children are laughter and play, song and dance, imagination and creativity. Being with them lets us forget for a while that life isn't always fair or right, that there is a world full of worrisome events and troubles out there.

Any time they come to visit is a breath of fresh air infused into the staleness of the everyday. They bring alive a a house that sits too long without the exuberant aura of children.  The questions they ask, the stories they tell remind us that it's okay to question, that it's good to learn and wise to see things from unique perspectives.

When they come to visit, life as I've complacently come to know it, stops. Household chores that can wait actually do. Stresses are replaced by quiet games and reading.  Indoor projects are traded in for playgrounds and other outdoor fun. A mind made stagnant by daytime routines is suddenly wakened to creativity and imagination.

Our oldest grandchild arrived 18 years ago and spent every weekend at our home for a good many of those. A truly gentle spirit he was the first to teach me how to breathe again, to take those slower steps, to pass on the dish washing and read a storybook instead.

It wasn't until he was 12 that our second grandchild arrived — a sensitive, athletic miss, who has shown us that it's okay to just sit, but when the mood strikes to run. With all of the carefree abandon you can.

Her baby brother was next and from almost the start it was obvious that here was the quintessential boy.  Charged and ready to go at all times. Yet, he approaches every project, whether it's transforming blocks into a tower or working on the wheels of a bike,  with fascination rather than impatience.

Their first younger cousin has never lost the rose-coloured glasses through which she views the world around her. There is a dance in her every step and a song in her heart no matter what she's doing.

Completing the pack are a two-year-old and her one-year-old brother. The elder shares her cuddles, her very entertaining stories and a love of books — all very good excuses to stop what I'm doing and take advantage of the quiet time with her. As for the dynamo she calls Buddy he's raring to go, loves people and takes great pleasure in just about everything.  And isn't that a soul-healing approach to life?

Because children are truly the beautiful people, here are some wonderful photos of them, their innocence and vitality:

iPHOTOS.com Pictures of Children

Clipart.com Children Photos

Monday, April 9, 2018

Inspire Your Projects and Your Life With 2 Amazing Collections of Yoga Images from iCLIPART.com and Clipart.com

Clipart image of a female silhouette doing yoga on a fantasy background
"The very heart of yoga practice is 'abyhasa' — steady effort in the direction you want to go." — Sally Kempton.

For roughly five years now I've been trying to make a steady effort in the direction of improved health by practising a bit of yoga — first with attendance at a weekly class, full of grunting and groaning women,  now on my own,  guided by books and videos.

The inspiration for joining a class came mostly from common sense. The creaking and cramping that was going on in this body of mine was a good indicator that life wasn't going to be getting any kinder to it if I didn't soon find a way to slow the downhill slide a bit.  Though I've far from mastered any of the many poses, I did recognize swiftly that my stamina, balance and strength improved dramatically. The challenges of yoga clearly were outweighed by the benefits.

Our yogini often shared articles that spoke to these many benefits, too, in case we were ever in any doubt. Arthritis relief, fighting osteoporosis, toning and strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, balance, posture and focus add up to make this one of the best activities you can do for your body over the long term. Given that much of the exercise I had done in the past contributed to a lot of the physical woes I experience now, the expert opinions made plenty of sense to me.

The condition of my feet and hips has been blamed on years of high-impact aerobics, from back in the day when Jane Fonda said it was a good idea. Cycling without understanding the importance of a good stretch has tightened my hamstrings and quadriceps to a point of no return it seems, while shin splints and tight calves are leftover from my 1990s speed walks. Step aerobics did nothing to help my knees either it seems.

Since all of this has been blamed, at least to some degree, I took a more proactive approach in determining what options were left to me. Ultimately, after a little research, factoring in my existing conditions as well as those that are part and parcel of an ageing body, it became clear that yoga had a lot to offer me. It's focus on strengthening and stretching, as well as on improving concentration, clearly made it the right choice for this time in my life. Besides,  with its cool Eastern vibe, it quite appealed to the old hippie in me.

In the years since I first reached the decision to practise yoga, despite the aforementioned grunting and groaning, I've recognized that this might very well be the first exercise I've truly loved doing. Though challenged by many poses, there's plenty I can handle. The positive effects were felt almost immediately. I am calmer, more grounded, and after a good session I sleep like an old dog basking in the summer sunshine.

So in celebration of this positive turn in my life, and in the hope that I might have inspired it in a few other people, here are some wonderful collections of yoga clipart:

iCLIPART.com Yoga Images

Clipart.com Yoga Images

Friday, April 6, 2018

Whether It's Raining or Shining You'll Find the Right Clipart in These 2 Fantastic Collections

Canada is a pretty great country in which to live.   It is diverse in its people, its culture and its weather. The true north strong and free is, in a nutshell,  a nation of 'nice' people, of wide open spaces, abundant resources and the strangest mess of weather you can find anywhere.

In this particular corner of the nation, we are always eager for the warm weather that accompanies spring. This year, however, it seems to be somewhat slow in reaching its full potential. At least, when you're as happy as I am to see the last of winter, it has certainly felt that way. Temperatures in the first few weeks of the new season haven't been quite as frigid as those in the deep freeze of winter; however, a frosty chill was carried along on winds that careened from the cold north and damp east more often than not.

The early Easter of 2018 arrived with few lawns having been raked and cleared for the annual egg hunt. Taking part in it meant that winter coats were required for the task, while children sported knitted hats, mittens and by the end of it, rosy cheeks as they delightedly filled baskets with pretty coloured treats.

Indeed, the urgency for the best of this season has been ever present. At least for me. It can't get warm enough fast enough. I can't wait to see gardens sprouting, grass greening and trees budding.

It will come, of course. Patience in this place is a valued trait. In Canada, we know that the weather changes in a heartbeat. Especially in spring and fall, when Mother Nature's capriciousness can deliver balmy temperatures one day, damp and cold the next. The promise of sunshine and warmth can disappear on a whim until we almost lose faith.

But rest assured we're a hardy lot, unwavering in our certainty that the weather will get better.  Even when we know that some years it really doesn't fulfil expectations.  Last summer for example, was rather a disappointment since we never really hit the sweltering levels of heat.

When it comes to weather, variety is certainly a word that comes easily to mind anywhere I suspect. But, I tend to think no more so than in this country. We live in the deep freeze of winter with little respite for virtually six months of the year most times, four when we get lucky with a mild one. Our world can turn milk bottle white with blizzard after blizzard, or we can be blessed with my favourite — an open winter.

Spring can be wet and late like this year appears to be, or arrive full of life and right on cue. Canadian summers bring the best and the worst with sunshine and intense heat, gentle showers and frightening storms. Autumn can be as sparkling as the sun on a dewdrop, or as bleakly depressing as missing the lottery by one number.

This all reminds me of a quote I once heard, something about 'if you're not liking the weather, just wait a minute or two and it will change'. That is most definitely the case in Canada.

If it's images of weather that you're interested in, however, no matter what you might be looking for, you can find it here in these two terrific clipart collections:

iCLIPART.com Weather Images

Clipart.com Weather Images

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring Blooms in Our Wonderful Collections of Images

For quite a few years now, the walk has been happening most days. And in winter, it has never been exactly the walk I'd like. But it's only a few more weeks, and I know that trudging out the door to make my way to one destination or another is going to get a whole lot easier.  Spring has officially arrived and on the heels of that there will be the budding of warm weather and pretty blooms very soon.

You can actually feel it already. Less bundling is required than in previous months. Sure, there's still a nip in the air. Nothing, however, like the deep freeze of late January's inhumane bitterness.  Ambling along on this  day, I felt the sign of winter's thaw when the sun poking through a break in the clouds chased away the chill in my cheeks with its soothing warmth.

These early changes in spring's atmosphere have always had a heartening effect on me. I recall the first time I noticed that I noticed that. It was many, many years ago very early in the season. The last vestiges of snow had receded, but a damp coolness had been lingering. Days of icy rain and cloudiness seemed to be an indicator that Mother Nature was providing winter with its last dance before ushering it on its way. And after the long months of cold and snow it was beginning to feel as if it would never end.

On this particular day, though, the sun was winning. Like a curled cat on a couch, I sat and soaked up its heat through the windows. So comforting was its power that I felt compelled to bundle up and go visit a friend. Opening the door, I could hear the swift trickle of melting snow from the rooftops, like mini waterfalls. A robin was dancing across the lawn, and the air was so warm it continued to beckon me forward.  The heat was calming and restorative, so with a spring in my step and a song in my heart I made my way along the bare, dry streets.

This is spring to me. It has always had the ability to bring a smile and a song to my day. Even April showers can't dampen my enthusiasm.  It's a promise of all of life's good things. It heralds new beginnings, a revival,  and our spirit is rejuvenated just thinking about it.

And those images we think of are full of colour and life.  Spring is the vivid cheerful colours of fluffy baby chicks, of daffodils and tulips. It's also the soft pastels of Easter eggs and robins eggs. Spring is verdant with lawns freshening, gardens blooming and trees budding. It's also spotted ladybugs, earthy toads and pretty birds. Spring is clothes on the line, blowing in a fresh breeze. It's also wide open windows and doors.

Spring is so many things it's difficult to describe them all, and the feelings they elicit,  here.  But you can find them all in these wonderful collections of images from two favourite clipart websites.

iCLIPART.com Spring Images

Clipart.com Spring Images

Thursday, March 29, 2018

So Much to Look Forward to in Spring, Starting First With These Great Easter Egg Hunt Photos

Easter Egg Hunt Photos
Spring had arrived, but on that day, overnight,  Mother Nature took an opportunity to remind us that when it comes to winter's ultimate farewell, it's not exactly packing its bags. A glance out the window showed a pristine landscape that had once again been blanketed with a new cover of fluffy flakes.

While it might have been a little disheartening, it was also unquestionably picturesque, a reality that's much easier to accept at the end of the season.

There's so much to enjoy at this time of year. We look forward to snow showers turning to rain, which in turn will wash away the detritus left in Old Man Winter's wake.  We know that soon, yes, the skies will be crying. But that goes hand in hand with sprouting flowers and trilling birds.  The heaviest of our cold-weather duds will be packed away and lighter, breezier fashions will find their way back to the closet.  The landscape will brighten, the grass will green and trees will bud.

It's unlikely that much of that will happen before our relatively early celebration of Easter this year, however. One can always hope for sunny skies and balmy breezes. Yet even if it doesn't happen we can still look forward to the air of excitement and wonder that accompanies my contingent of beautiful grandbabies all of the time, let alone when something celebratory is happening.

Since five out of six of them are under the age of six, the year's Easter egg hunt promises to be oodles of fun. And in the hope of contributing to that as much as possible, I started early searching for games and goodies to make their quest even more entertaining.

Undoubtedly, Easter is first a religious celebration, one of the holiest on the Christian calendar. It's intended as a time of mourning and reflection, as well as a time to rejoice.

But on the flip side, it's a holiday that captures the imagination of little ones. It is carefree fantastical fluff, with images of soft bunnies, downy chicks and painted eggs. After a dreary, grey winter, Easter's pastel and vibrant hues put us in a playful mood. Sporting light and airy spring duds we venture outdoors for festivities like the annual hunt. The joyful smiles, the delightful giggles and lively exuberance of a pack of little ones scampering like bunnies to discover what's been hidden in the various nooks and crannies of the garden, are as uplifting as spring itself.

Little Missy, the elder of our young crew, is clearly team captain on outings. She's first out of the gate and always first to discover. But as a true leader, she's equally happy to help those smaller than herself. Watching her encourage and guide them is absolutely heartwarming.

Her brother, nicknamed Little Mister of course, is full of mischief and action. He's a confident, mildly chaotic hunter/gatherer, who takes delight in distracting the others with charm and shenanigans. An alluring scamp full of smiles and impishness it's quite impossible not to watch him and laugh.

Sweet Bean, who's just a week younger than Mister, sees the world with eyes full of wonder. She takes a cautious approach to hunting, not wanting to miss one amazing thing out there. Her awe at each discovery often puts her behind the pack as she pauses to appreciate what she's found rather than rushing on to the next.

Our tiny Lola's face brightens at every opportunity to follow her three older cousins around. At two, she is eager to participate. As is her little 'buddy'. Having recently celebrated his first birthday, the youngest of the crew shows in his body language exactly how excited he is to get those legs moving and join the fun.

There is nothing better than seeing delight on a youngster's face. Therefore, if you need something to advertise an Easter event, these egg hunt photos are sure to get attention:

iPHOTOS.com Easter Egg Hunt Photos

Friday, March 23, 2018

Acknowledging the Spiritual Significance of Easter With Inspiring Images from iCLIPART.com and Clipart.com

Clipart image of a He is Risen background with sunlight
"Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection." — Watchman Nee

While thoughts are full these days of spring's arrival, as we long to bid farewell to winter and as we dream of sunny days of warmth and colour, we also are looking forward to a rather significant holiday. In just a short time, it will be Easter, perhaps the most meaningful event on the Christian calendar. It is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, held on the Sunday following Good Friday, the acknowledgement of his crucifixion.

As a child growing up in an indisputably more conservative society than that of today, in a modest town in the middle of a rural community, you can well be assured that my religious upbringing was going to be thorough. My father was the Sunday School superintendent and church elder. My mom was a busy member of the women's league, and both of my older siblings taught Sunday School. All of them, at some point, sang in the choir, while I lent my alto to the junior version.

Missing a Sunday service was not an option and the Lenten calendar of events was well covered, with mandatory attendance at church on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, on Good Friday and Easter morning.

While most of these were hours of sombre reflection, for a tiny child the latter provided the opportunity to don new spring duds. Each year, Mom would treat us with outfits that epitomized the words 'Sunday best'.  The new dress in a pastel hue, the straw bonnet with silk ribbon and matching purse, the patent leather shoes, white socks and light coat were repeated annually with a modicum of distinction from the ones that went before.

We always felt pretty fancy, though, full of springtime cheer.

Beyond that little bit of frivolity, however, the remainder of the day was focussed on the spiritual. Sunday School was separate from the service, so the children of the congregation got a double helping of the holiday's importance.  I remember struggling to sit still through the minister's sermon, the words often lost on one so small. The message from my parents,  that fidgeting would not be tolerated, on the other hand, came through loud and clear. This reflection in church on Sundays was always serious business, but during the Easter season,  tomfoolery would not be tolerated.

So, suffice it to say that while a chocolate bunny must have come my way as a treat —  though I don't remember one —  the essence of the season was steeped in faith. Despite the highlight of that new Easter outfit, the only other certainty back then, was that the good old bunny would be getting very little consideration. Its role in the occasion was barely acknowledged.

Regardless of where I stand with my beliefs now,  I respect those who have strong faith. For any of them who might be looking for Easter illustration that will reflect their Christian faith, rather than the commercial fun, here are excellent collections reflecting diverse artistic styles:

Clipart image of the three crosses silhouetted against the sun for Easter


Clipart image of a Good Friday background with a silhouetted cross on a hill

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Get Hopping on Your Easter Design Products With Help From These 7 Whimsical Clipart Collections

Clipart image of a bunny in an Easter basket with spring flowers
Spring, officially has arrived — though it does have a way to go yet before it actually feels like it.

Looking out the window we can see there is still a bit of that winter blanket lying around. Stepping out the door, we can feel Old Man Winter's still got some kick left. But then the sun finds us and we know that things are only going to get better.

It's that time of year, when our heavy coats and sweaters, mittens and gloves, toques and caps are probably all just too much, yet anything lighter doesn't quite cut it.

It's also the time of year when we look forward to another holiday that tends to be synonymous with family gatherings.  With thoughts of spring filling our minds,  we look ahead to the promise and fun of the Easter season.

While getting ready for this occasion isn't the hectic organizing and prepping that precedes Christmas,  there's still plenty to think about and plan for. One of the first traditions for me has been shopping for spring outfits for my little grandbabies, which actually got a really good start this year. On a mall outing with my younger daughter the topic of this ritual came up and like two greyhounds out of the gate we hightailed it to the children's clothing store and after a frenzied spree, I was able to tick this task off the list.

Last week, I managed a few minutes to get the rest of the treats to go in their baskets and am now left with the grocery list, preparing the eggs for the hunt, the food for the main meals, along with the baking. Given that it's a far less hectic time of year than the Christmas rush, though, it's all rather enjoyable.

There will be one other task, however, a project that I came up with a few years ago, as a way to add a little personal touch to the dinner table. With our family growing, I thought it might be fun to try and avoid the mealtime shuffle around the dining room, where lefties jockey for position in order not to be constantly bumping elbows,  and came up with a well thought out seating plan. What would make this more entertaining, particularly for the little ones, was the creation of tags. It was a simple project, created with some of the adorable Easter images to be found from online clipart sources.

To show the smorgasbord of images available, here are some of my favourite collections from iCLIPART.com

A captivating collection of folksy Easter images.
Clipart image of a blue Easter bunny holding a basket of eggs
Sunny, bright and airy, this is delightful group of images can bring fun to any project.
Clipart image of a cartoon Easter dragon with eggs
When you're looking for something with a touch of humour you won't go wrong with these cartoons.
Clipart image of an Easter egg background
Start your Easter project with a seasonal background or add a nifty element to complete it.
Clipart image of a cartoon Easter bunny pulling a red wagon full of coloured eggs

There's amusement and whimsy to be found in these absolutely awesome cartoons from an iCLIPART.com favourite.
Clipart image of a vintage Easter greeting with a blue bunny painting a pink egg
This group of images is sure to appeal to your nostalgic side.
Clipart image of a puppy in a bunny costume beside little chicks and Easter eggs
Bunnies, chicks, and pups highlight this selection of adorable Easter images. 

Clipart image of a cartoon pink Easter bunny holding a basket of coloured eggs and waving
Yet another lighthearted group of of popular cartoons.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Create Your Own Delightful Images of Easter With These 7 Fun Tutorials

Photo of Easter eggs in a wicker basket
"Easter — the only time it's okay to put all your eggs in one basket" — Unknown

A recent social media post showed step-by-step video instructions on how to give your Easter eggs a marble effect using shaving cream. It looked fairly simple, which piqued my interest.

Finding hacks that make the annual egg decorating ritual not just efficient but with uniquely attractive results that are guaranteed to enchant the aesthetic senses of little ones, has become a bit of a goal the past few Easters. With mixed reviews. Some in the past were not exactly as advertised, but they had to do. It wouldn't be Easter without those colourful eggs.

Images of this holiday turn minds to Spring - from the aforementioned tradition to the season's soft pastels and vibrant hues, fluffy chicks and bunnies, the elegant lilies and for us older folks, to recollections of white patent shoes and pretty straw bonnets with satin ribbons. 

We see these images in flyers for Easter egg hunts, promotions to inspire a freshening of the wardrobe or bulletins for local events. The internet offers unlimited resources for people to step outside their imaginings and discover boundless supplies of clipart and photos themed to all of these cheery subjects for use in personal and business projects.

However, when it comes to finding the right images for these, not everyone wants to go shopping online for the perfect examples. Image editing software has given a lot of people an option, providing a new outlet for everything from designing websites and physical products, such as cards and advertisements, to scrapbooking and collages, to altering photos or even to creating original illustrations.

One's first thought on this, of course, might be that they lack the ability or the talent. For those looking for new challenges it's good to know that these days you really don't have to be a professional to give it a try. Nor do you need to invest in expensive programs. From tutorials to cost-effective software (even some free ones) you can find all the help you need to test your artistic abilities on the world-wide web.

The diversity of tutorials also ensures that you can find something that doesn't just appeal to you but matches your skill level. Start slowly and learn as you go.

To get you tapping into your creativity, here are some wonderful tutorials using a variety of software to inspire your Easter projects:


From PSDDUDE this tutorial offers a simple way to create a a vector egg in Photoshop.


Envatotuts+ outlines in an easy to follow step-by-step tutorial how to create a simple background with subtle texture and a few baby chicks.


Celebrate the holiday of spring by making your own Easter-themed, vector postcard from Template Monster.


A YouTube tutorial to guide you through the steps of making a realistic chocolate Easter Egg using GIMP.


Another great chocolate Easter egg tutorial from Creative Tutorials, this time using Photoshop Elements.


A simple tutorial from Fantasvale on YouTube to make a greeting card with the shape of an Easter egg. 


Another great tutorial from envatotuts+! Learn how to create flat Easter icons using Adobe Illustrator.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Showcasing Flags From Around the World in Image Collections from iCLIPART.com and Clipart.com

Clipart image of a leprechaun and a pot of gold for St. Patrick's Day
In just less than two weeks, many people, regardless of ancestry, will be feeling a little bit Irish. With the arrival of St. Patrick's Day, folks from all corners of the world will be into the spirit of things. In keeping with the celebration it will mean plenty of green — whether people are donning it or drinking it.

The vibe is already in the air. In the days leading up to March 17, children in classrooms will be colouring fanciful outlines of shamrocks and rainbows, pots of gold and leprechauns.

Adults will soon be diving through their closets to find an outfit or piece of clothing that's just the right hue of jade or emerald. Then when St. Pat's Day is finally here, people will line the streets for parades, and parade into pubs for lively entertainment.

But amidst the frivolity and enjoyment, it's quite likely that only those with green blood coursing through their veins will be waving the tri-coloured flag of Ireland in true patriot pride.

The recent Olympics are the epitome of a nation's flag symbolizing the patriotism of the people. When a gold medal win means citizens have the opportunity to watch their flag rise highest above the podium accompanied by the national anthem in honour of  gold-winning athletes, it strikes a unifying chord across the country. 

A nation's flag is a representation of that place and its denizens. Some proudly boast an image —  a coat-of-arms or something symbolic. For example, there is one star for each state on the American flag. Also, the bold maple leaf in the centre of the Canadian flag celebrates that country's diverse nature and environment. The five stars on the Chines flag represent the relationship between the unity of the people under the Communist Party of China. 

However, as is the case in the Irish flag, the colours can stand alone in conveying a message. Courage, revolution, hardiness and valour are typified by red; freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity and peace are represented by blue and justice by yellow. Groupings too can be significant — red, white and blue being a representation of revolution and freedom; or or an area — red, yellow and green being the colours of the Pan-African nations.

In the Irish flag the three bands of vertical colours signify an often tumultuous part of the country's history.  Roman Catholics are represented by the green, while the Protestant supporters of William of Orange are typified by that colour. The white swatch between these is a symbol of peace and hope for union between the two religions. 

So, while we find our various ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, let's pay special attention to the people who carry or wear that flag with pride in their hearts this March 17. In the meantime, let's celebrate patriotism the world over with this showcase of flags from around the world with two wonderful clipart collections:

Clipart image of a waving Irish flag


Clipart image of the flag of Ireland in a heart shape

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wonderful Photography Tips to Help You Capture Spring's Ever-Changing Palette

One of the hobbies I have come to enjoy, but have had very little time to pursue over the past few decades is photography.

My interest began with some rather technically wretched results from chasing around my children with a camera. It was the era of Instamatics and Polaroids so I can take some of the blame off myself. However, my focus was completely on capturing those beautiful faces in cherished moments, with little thought for such things as contrast, composition or exposure.

An understanding of what a camera can actually do developed later through my work as editor of our local community newspaper. Covering everything from sports to crowded group gatherings in dingy auditoriums with a 35 mm then its digital version, I picked up what I needed to get good shots. Those few tips, plus the better equipment,  have ensured that the photos of my grandkids are far superior to those I took of their parents.

Family has always been a favourite photographic subject, but during our trips up north for several summers, I discovered a fondness for landscape photography as well. And if we think of heading outdoors with a camera, is there really any better time than spring? The countryside is an ever-changing palette, a constantly-altered playground.

In a few short weeks, when we head outside each day will bring a new sprout of green to our flowerbeds. The tiny buds on trees will become increasingly more visible, the grass more green.

Birds will flit, squirrels will sprint, cats will prowl,  all happy to be in gardens bursting to life. Soon there will be colour and foliage to run through and hide amongst.

The season's capricious weather also adds interest, with sprinkles and puddles one day, brilliant sun glinting of dewy, damp leaves the next.

For photographers whose favourite subject is nature, the possibilities are endless. Given that, where to look and what to seek, then making the most of that, are the only challenges in taking great spring pictures.

Once temperatures warm,  it will be time to wander into the garden on a quiet morning and sit quietly to soak in the enlivening atmosphere. A bug crawling up a tiny bud of green, will inspire a picture.  The sun sparkling off the dew will also be a lovely photograph. And should a robin stop by to perch on the railing of the deck, how foolish it would be to not have a camera at the ready.

Getting outdoors to enjoy the new blossoming world is a great way to spend a day. Taking a camera outside with you makes it even better.

Here are some great tips to help you find your subjects and improve your spring photography skills:

7 Great Spring Photography Tips

Spring Photography Tips

Useful Tips for Spring Photography

Photograph Your Kids in Spring Flowers

How to Photograph Outside in the Spring

Spring Flower Photography Tips

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Celebrating an Enchanting Occasion With St. Patrick's Day Colouring Pages from iCLIPART.com

Clipart image of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for St. Patrick's Day
 "St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter's dream into summer's magic." Adrienne Cook

As we move ever closer to the start of March, excited for the warming sun and the promise of spring that comes with that month, we also can look forward to a spirited holiday. And with just a couple of weeks to go before St. Patrick's Day arrives,  this seems like an opportune time to focus some attention on that particular holiday.

Since we all know how swiftly time moves these days, we also know that it really won't be long before March 17 is here and with it the fun and spirit of the Emerald Isle. Though this celebration of Ireland's patron saint arrives a few days before spring, it certainly feels more like a party for that season with its charming images of leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold.

Verdant shamrocks decorating everything from windows to websites, people sporting every hue of green —  these are the images that contribute to a vibrant landscape far more synonymous with the blooming season yet to come, than the often dreary, often miserable one soon to be fading away for another year. After winter's monochromatic palette and our penchant to cocoon through it, is there any wonder that we can be enlivened by the notion of a lively celebration on the horizon?

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious event. In other places though, grownups in green gather in pubs to sip beer of the same lush hue and sample traditional Irish fare, while listening to the flutes and fiddles of Celtic entertainers.  In certain cities around the world the day is marked by festivities and parades enjoyed by many, regardless of  ethnicity or culture.

My childhood memories of the holiday are simple, yet again carry with them the hint of this being the right occasion to usher out winter.  There is such a lively vibe surrounding St. Patrick's Day that even a child must notice the sense of spring awakening that accompanies it.

Harking back to my good old school days,  I recall that prior to March 17, classmates and I (with much excitement about a holiday to which few of us could lay any legitimate ancestral claim) worked on little projects to decorate the schoolroom and Mom's bulletin board. Clipping shamrocks to hang from strings put spring in the air, in contrast to the dirty mounds of snow that lingered outside the windows.

More shamrocks were found in charming images that also included  impish leprechauns and pretty rainbows. Crayons in hand we delighted in bringing all the colours of the spectrum, as well as multitudinous shades of green, to fill in the space between the outlines. Many pleasant school hours were spent colouring St. Patrick's Day images with enthusiasm.

As this particular childhood memory fills my mind in the weeks coming up to our favourite Irish celebration, here are some terrific colouring pages for the occasion:
Clipart image of a happy leprechaun colouring page for St. Patrick's Day


Friday, February 23, 2018

Welcoming the Months of Spring With Beautiful Bird Photos from iPHOTOS.com

Photo of a cardinal in a tree
"Spring would not be spring without bird songs." — Francis M. Chapman

February 2018 will soon fade from present to past. It's dark, dreary days will open to March, a month during which we feel the bite of winter's chill, warmed by the sun's kiss on a lengthening day.  Snow still drapes itself on branches, blankets itself across the ground, but the promise of spring nudges its way into our consciousness.

We begin to ponder plans for March break. The black, white and grey images of winter that fill our minds, give way to notions of soft pastels,  of blooming buds and painted eggs.  Occasional days of warmth, foreshadowing what lies ahead, will inspire the opening of windows and doors, if only for a moment or two, chasing away the stale air of a house that's been shut away from fresh air for months.

March makes one think of revival and rejuvenation. There is snow, always snow, but rains come more frequently to wash it away, freshen the earth and brighten the landscape. And it won't be long before snowdrops and crocuses will push their heads through leftover clumps of flakes.

Photo of a St. Patrick's Day hat full of gold coinsThere will also be celebration. With a nod to the Emerald Isle, we enjoy in March an occasion full of spring's favourite colour.  St. Patrick's Day gives all an opportunity get their Irish on as, we find ourselves amidst images of shamrocks, pots of gold and leprechauns. Even the beer is green on this day of "drowning the shamrock".

At the end of the month this year will be Easter. On the Christian calendar it marks the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For youngsters it means the Easter bunny, chocolates and pretty pastel eggs, decorated and hidden for hunting.

The aforementioned are all welcome harbingers that warmer days are ahead of us that spring is nigh.  But there is one more sign that warms my soul more than any. Walking to work on a recent morning, I became suddenly aware that the typical winter silence was not settled around me. Instead, there was the music of a few of our feathered friends. Just a chirrup from one corner then another, the singers tucked away in the bare branches of towering maples, but it was the sound of spring.

The next day, a cardinal serenaded my progress and it was with much pleasure that I stood and listened to him. The melodic call put a smile on my face and lifted any worry from my shoulders.  As Carly Simon, herself a bit of a songbird, has said "The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind.

Photo of a robin in a nest
I'm a big fan of most birds. The music, colour and life they bring to gardens is the very essence of spring.  Watching a nesting robin or seeing it tug on an early morning worm can fill quiet moments. Standing outdoors on a clear spring day, the air still cool, but with a freshness that's pleasantly refreshing, not numbing, hearing the first trill of a cardinal is uplifting.  Even the cackle of a group of boisterous, tone-deaf blue jays is okay since aesthetically they're perfect.

In celebration of these lovely creatures, as we head towards the final weeks before spring, we highlight here wonderful bird photos from iPHOTOS.com