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