Friday, June 28, 2013

So... Canada Day, eh?

This weekend, Canadians are going to party. Monday, July 1, is the 146 anniversary of Confederation. On that day, in 1867,  three British colonies became four provinces of the new Dominion of Canada.

Canadians may not be as outwardly patriotic as their neighbours to the south, but never doubt how much they love this country. This weekend they will boast their red and white, fly their maple leafs and celebrate the birth of this proud nation.  Folks across the border will probably feel the love.

As this occasion is always celebrated on July 1, the opportunity of a long weekend doesn't come often, so expect the barbecues to be heating up, the beaches to be filled, the parties on a roll and the fireworks exploding over the next three days.  In preparation for all of the fun, I give you these true Canadian illustrations: Canada Illustrations

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Image Collections for Classic Car Lovers

Several years ago, in 1979,  my husband discovered a 1967 Coronet RT sitting in a yard. In love with all things Chrysler he decided to buy it and give it a new lease on life.  My trusting fellow made the purchase and said no receipt was necessary. Days after he picked it up, a tornado levelled the area. This is our classic car story.

Most people who own a vintage automobile will have a tale to tell when people ask about how they came by them. They found it in a barn somewhere or travelled across country to get it.  No matter what the saga, one thing is evident — these folks are so proud of their babies.

Last summer, while attending a classic car show, a friend of mine who'd never been to one (odd) was impressed by the atmosphere. This, she said, is a brotherhood. "They love  these cars. Not just theirs. They respect what others have done to their vehicles and  enjoy their stories.  It's quite a neat thing, really."

Couldn't agree more. One of the highlights of my summer is taking our nice 'new' shiny red 'Artie' to hang out with its peers. Nostalgia plays a big part of it; I came of age during the era of muscle cars and great music, so walking around these shows under a blazing sun, listening to good tunes and checking out these well-aged beauties is a walk back in time to my classic days.

But I also just love the look of these special rides. If you agree, enjoy checking out some classics in these clipart and photo collections: Classic Car Collection of Illustrations Classic Car Collection 

Acclaim Images Classic Car Photos

ClickArt Online Classic Cars

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Go Wild With These Photo Collections

While floating along the French River on a recent vacation, camera close at hand, I spied a  heron resting on the bank.  As I tried to jockey into a position that would allow me to get a photo before the bird fled the scene, my mind travelled back to a  heron in another place and time.  That one proved far more elusive.

I had been working at the local newspaper for a few months back in the late 1980s. At that time, with limited budget and no artist, we featured a photograph on our editorial page, rather than a cartoon. These were typically of nature or wildlife, so I was ever watchful on road trips for any opportunity to get a nice picture.

One morning, while crossing the bridge that was on my route to work, I spied a  heron wading in the low waters of the summer river. Quickly pulling over, I grabbed my camera, opened the door and watched it take off.  For the remainder of that summer I took part in this woman versus animal contest. The bird often stopped by that river, and each time I spied it,  I was a little more furtive in my approach for fear of scaring it off.  Each time I got closer. Each time it flew before I could got the shot.

Eventually I gave up, declaring this splendid creature the winner.

Photographing wildlife isn't easy.  Patience is perhaps your best asset, though my subject never gave me the chance to test mine. Animals will behave, well, like animals, so the photographer must be ready to seize the moment when it happens, no matter how long they have to wait for it.  You need to be willing to kill some time,  just like the photographers responsible for these pictures must have been.

 National Geographic Best Wildlife Photos Wildlife Photos Wildlife Collection

National Geographic Winter Wildlife Photography

Acclaim Images Wildlife Photos

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Get in the Swim With These Illustrations

Here comes summer and finally with it some hot, muggy weather. 

Heat and humidity aren't the favourite climate conditions for a lot of folks, but when you live in the northern hemisphere as I do, there are plenty who make sure not to complain when temperatures soar.  Winter here, after all,  can be a long, long, long, season.

When the force of summer sultriness and simmering sun strike, whether your tolerance is high or not, finding ways to keep cool is imperative. Lazing in the cool shade of a leafy maple, or sipping icy lemonade while relaxing on a porch swing are perfect summer idylls.  But when things are really blazing there's only one way to beat the heat — it's time to take a dip.

Backyard pools put a social spin on bringing the cool to summer, but the area in which I live also happens to be in close proximity to a number of the best beaches there are. Sandy and clean they provide hours of endless enjoyment during the day and aesthetic pleasure at night with some of the world's best sunset views.

So with temperatures heating things up, the time to get in the swim of things is now. Go ahead. Jump in. Just like the folks in these collections of charming illustrations. Swimming Illustrations Swimming Illustrations

Acclaim Images Swimming Illustrations

ClipartGuide Illustrations of Swimmers

ClickArt Online Illustrations of People Swimming

TOONClipart Swimming Cartoons

Monday, June 24, 2013

Photos of and Advice on Beautiful Hydrangeas

Life teaches us a lot of things. One of the first and easiest to learn is that what we like and desire isn't always within our reach.

While there are examples of major hopes and dreams that are unattainable, such as early retirement or our dream cottage,  this reality attaches itself to many mundane facts of day-to-day living as well. For instance — hydrangeas.

I became besotted with these gorgeous blooms during a visit to wine country many years ago. Pulling into the driveway of the B&B where we were staying, I was immediately drawn to the stunning bushes filling the front bed — the verdant foliage, the glorious colours and impressive flowers, much different from the plain white ones I was familiar with up to that point.

That autumn, it was of course essential that I plant some of these beauties myself.  The results, however,  have unfortunately been hit and miss. Then last fall, I did a little research.  In my findings were hints that the fall pruning, which I'd been told was the proper care, might not have been,  that the type of hydrangeas I had purchased bloom on old wood.

So, for the first time I left them. And despite many naysayers and green thumbs suggesting that I had made a mistake by not cutting them back, the bushes are teeming with blooms and the promise that I will be enjoying these spectacular flowers soon.  This time, it seems, I will have what I like.

In the meantime, however, I found these lovely photos to tide me over, along with some tips for those who like and want to grow hydrangeas too.

Pinterest Hydrangeas Photos of Hydrangeas

Acclaim Images Hydrangeas Hydrangeas

National Geographic Hydrangea

This Old House Growing Hydrangeas