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Showing posts from 2016

Ring in a Brand New Year With 2 Great Clipart Collections

We know time passes quickly. It's a common conversation among friends and acquaintances, a topic that crosses gender, cultural and generational lines. Our young teenage grandson once commented that the years were flying by, leaving me completely dumbfounded. At his age, my life loomed before me. Days seemed long, school terms lagged and summers were lazy.


Definitely not the reality now. Society as a whole seems to be fast forwarding through time. It comes as little surprise then that we find ourselves looking at the end of 2016. Twelve months have flown, less like the sands in an hourglass than like the dervish kicked up in the wake of a speeding dune buggy.

As we look at the final two days of December we find ourselves reflecting on the previous 363. We think of special events that brought us closer to people we love. We remember moments that surprised us and filled our hearts. We are grateful for the beautiful memories, for the blessings that came our way. We think about the pe…

202 Lovely Images to Wish You a Merry Christmas

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." — Norman Vincent Peale

In just a couple of days, we will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate what is unquestionably one of the most beautiful holidays of the year. Though it's a Christian celebration in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ, the spirit of goodwill, peace and joy is a message that transcends cultures, religions and generations. 

We offer our heartfelt greetings for the season to all we meet, ignorant and uncaring of their backgrounds and their differences. We give to those less fortunate, smile at strangers and open our hearts to extend kindness and generosity to all.

Certainly the mad whirl of Christmas preparations – the shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. – along with the parties to attend, can have us forgetting the important message and sentiment behind the day. But generally, we do a pretty good job of shaking off the stress and spreading …

6 Amazing Sites Full of Excellent Holiday Photography Tips

Things are getting exciting now.  My husband and I were so lucky to have spent last weekend with two of our sweet grandchildren. With Christmas only a week away at that point, the chatter about Santa Claus and all the lovely gifts such perfect little ones are bound to receive,  revived the magic in the season for two slightly jaded adults.

It set the mood and got the momentum building for this Sunday when our family will gather for the fun, love and joy of being together. Recognizing amidst the whirl of the day the blessings we share and those dear to each person are what makes the season special. With its proximity on the calendar to the end of the year as well, it's often a time to reflect on time's swift passage and the precious moments of the previous months.

Without question Christmas is the perfect time for pictures. Between opening gifts, preparing foods and fetching drinks, I'm also sure that my camera is never far away.  It focusses on the laden table, moves in c…

2 Absolutely Stunning Photo Collections of Winter's Artwork

When it came to what type of image collection I might share today, my thoughts were full of snow. 

We live in what is traditionally called the Snowbelt, just enough miles inland from the Great Lakes that the transformation from wonderland to 'where the heck is the land' is a harsh reality.  From now until April the potential is there for snowsqualls to swirl around us at regular intervals. Normal routine changes significantly and travel is risky. Driving through whiteouts is like a sudden plummet  into a milk bottle.

We know it's coming, but we're never really prepared. After a bit of a slow start compared to some years, snow began to fall about a week ago, albeit with a festive gentleness.  Then yesterday the portals opened above and a deluge of flakes fell while a nasty bitter wind blew them into a frenzy. Life as we know it here pretty much came to a standstill as roads closed, businesses shut down and events were cancelled.

Tucked away, we listened as this late au…

Add Charm to your Holiday Greetings With Delightful Animations

A gentle snow is falling, laying another layer onto the soft, fluffy blanket covering our sleepy landscape. Nights spent by cosy fireplaces indoors are brightened by the glow of winter white outside.  If there was anything that could inspire the Christmas spirit in these final countdown days it's this picturesque  wonderland.

Trees are glowing, lights are twinkling. Yet, much remains to be done to get ready for the holidays. There are less than two weeks left to finish up the multitude of tasks that are part and parcel of the preparations for the festive season.  There are gingerbread houses to be made and cookies to be baked. There are presents to be bought and wrapped.  Parents are scurrying,  minds full of thoughts, arms full of purchases, as they tick off items from their lengthy lists.

Of course, too, with few spare moments in a day, there are long lines to wait in as little ones are anxious for their chance to whisper in Santa's ear.

Though Dec. 25 is still a little w…

3 Wonderful Image Collections to Ring in the New Year

Today there was a little surprise waiting for me when I logged into Facebook for the first time. Besides the usual "Good morning", the social media site had prepared a short video reviewing my photos, posts and likes for the past year.

It was a rather pleasant start to the day, really — taking a look back at some much-loved faces and memories of good times.  Since the presentation wasn't something I had put together myself, it was, of course, missing a few people who should have most definitely been included. As well, there were some Throwback Thursday pictures that had nothing to do with the way my 2016 looked. But for a retrospective compiled from an outside perspective it was decent enough.

Though looking back was the focus of this compilation, however,  it also served as a reminder of what's to come. Another new year looms. Hard to believe, with all the Christmas rush and fun still on its way, that in a few short weeks we will be entering 2017. For those of us w…

3 Sources for Christmas Tree Photography Tips

"The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy." — Andy Rooney

I love the warmth a Christmas tree brings to a home.  It's been mentioned, however,  in a previous blog how much I abhor the task of decorating the tree each year. It's a comedy of errors each and every time, with tangled lights, unlit strings and broken ornaments.

At 5'2" I'm always trying to find the best approach to the top, without exercising the common sense that should come with age. The most entertaining was when I recruited a young friend to hold on to the one end of the lights while I deftly climbed atop a swivelling bar stool.  No need to go into any further details. Suffice it to say, the landing wasn't pretty.

Little wonder then, given the trials and tribulations,  that I long to get that perfect picture when the job is done.  For some time this prov…

See Famous Paintings in the Impressive Dover Publications Collection

"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." — Friedrich Nietzsche

Yes, individuality is key to what I'm going to chat about today. However, let me begin first by saying that the images I am going to highlight at the end of this missive are photos of real paintings from the impressive Dover Publications collection. For now, though, I ask your indulgence as I  outline the rationale and thoughts that led to this choice.

I am the proud mother of four amazing children. Two boys, two girls, separated in total by 10 years they are all adults now,  living their lives as fate or co-incidence ordained, depending on how you see it.  As they leave behind, with all of the momentum of a speeding locomotive, their 20s and 30s,  it is with an eye to the present, to the goals, dreams and passions that excite them now.

Four children, four very, very unique personalities formed in part by family placement, experiences and…

Love These Affordable Christmas Backgrounds and Elements

"November is auspicious in so many parts of the country: the rich harvest is already in, the weather starts to cool, and the festive glow which precedes Christmas has began to brighten the landscape." — D. Sionil Jose

Thanksgiving is still a few days away but there's no question it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Storefronts and interiors are decorated, shelves are stocked in anticipation of the Black Friday hordes.

At home, people took advantage of a warm fall to get the exterior of their houses adorned with festive greenery and lights. Then fully in the spirit, they shifted their energy indoors. Snowmen and santas took their places. Garlands graced mantels and staircases. Furniture was shuffled and the tree erected in pride of place. The efforts bring warmth to every room, an invitation for family to gather and share life, love and laughter together.

All of this takes time, of course. Busy, busy describes this season, as weeks are spent in various…

15 Best HTML5 Templates of This Fall to Warm You Up

Another guest blog from our TemplateMonster friends:

Fall is a time of cozy sweaters, mulled wine, and long walks in a park. It's also, however, the time to get back from summer vacations and start your business. Many emerging startups and small businesses only need websites to attract the right audience.

Websites today aren't just places where people can post thoughts and share photos. Most of these things people do on social media. For rising and growing business, a website is a spot to sell products or services, connect with  customers and make money. This post offers a collection of the best HTML5 templates issued this autumn. It means these themes are the freshest creations and include the greatest trends in website design for 2016.
Why HTML5 Themes? HTML is a traditional language that has been used for a long time for structuring info on the Web and creating websites and pages. HTML5 raised the level of website development higher. It allows web developers to crea…

How to Create Personalized Christmas Tags in Photshop

The bargain hunters are getting very excited. Black Friday is days away and in the time leading up to it, the sales begin. As folks take advantage of this to get that Christmas shopping under way or over with,  retail outlets, malls, big box stores and downtown businesses are filled to bursting with zealous buyers jostling others and grabbing deals. 

I love this time of year.  Searching for those perfect gifts for my loved ones is pure enjoyment on its own. But since that typically involves an outing with a friend, highlighted by a break or two for a nice glass of wine (during which we pretend the reason for this was all about going over our lists) it speaks to a lot of my favourite things.

What is different about me, though, is that I generally don't search out sales. I don't wait for Black Friday or any specials for that matter. I'm an early shopper, always have been and always will be. So if something catches my eye, provided it's within reason, I get it. Which me…

Transform Your Photo to a Watercolour in Photoshop

One of the very best things about iPHOTOS.com is the incredible variety and diversity of the content on the website. Not only does it boast professional, print-quality photos, high-resolution clipart and HD video, but with an inventory of over five million images the selection offers something for every need and taste.


However, as much as  photograph can provide the perfect visual detail to a project, there are times when it's necessary or just plain fun to play with them a bit.  For example you could take that great picture and turn it into a reasonable facsimile of a watercolour. With image editing software this is, of course, quite easy to achieve. While the process might not make the art world sit up and take notice, the results are satisfactory for most purposes and come without the expense of hiring an artist.


I actually undertook this project as a gift for my husband a couple of years ago. When his parents made the decision to sell the family farm he was devastated. Just i…