Friday, June 3, 2016

2 Collections of Summer Fun Illustrations

Who doesn't love Friday? No matter how much you love your job,  on the fifth day, it's time to recharge those batteries. You need to clear out a mind full of detritus left over from a productive week and fill it with distractions.

So, no offence to the bosses you love, or to the job you do, but getting through this day tends to preoccupy thoughts.

I saw a quote from James Johnson about Friday that just made me smile on this particular one. I share it here, with no disrespect of course to the bosses I love and the job I enjoy.

"If my boss knew how unproductive I am on Fridays, he wouldn't want me here either."

Reading it to my colleagues prompted a good bit of chuckling around the office. Good workers though we might be, satisfied as we are in our workplace, we often joke about what happens to us on Fridays. Though we get along quite well, there's an ebullience on the final workday that doesn't quite exist at any other time. Full of giddy cheerfulness, excited about weekend plans,  finding our focus and settling in can take a little longer in the morning.

We have turned it into a bit of a party day actually. With some assistance from the boss who has given us access to a television so that we can enjoy The Blacklist while dining on takeout.  See, he understands Fridays too.

I don't really think that anyone can be blamed for Friday distraction. Especially this time of year. The sun shines through windows reminding us that we're indoors and it's quite lovely outside. For days, we kept our eye on the weather and kept in our minds ideas for the weekend. Now they are ultimately within reach.

The places we expect to be are the kind we spend the long winter dreaming about. Lounging poolside. Being soothed by birdsong and aesthetic perfection from a garden chair. Lazing on the deck with chilled wines and good books. Slicing through cool waters in sailboats or jetskis.  Listening to surf while stretched out on warm sand. Relaxing on a lake country dock to the chorus of bullfrog and loon.

These are the joys of Canadian summers.

So who can blame us really for losing it a bit on Friday? It's We're so close to the fun, with the glow of anticipation surrounding us. The clipart collections today then are a reflection of all that's good about weekends in the summer: Summer Fun Illustrations Summer Fun Illustrations

Thursday, June 2, 2016

127 Rose Animations

June is here and with it all the goodness of summer without the bad. Temperatures are warming but the humidity is held at bay. There is a plethora of birds serenading us from treetops and in gardens, yet the mosquitoes presence is still somewhat subtle.  Flowerbeds are full of promise, just a hint of the aesthetic perfection we will soon behold. Conversely, the weeds aren't winning. Yet.

There is much to celebrate in June. Summer will officially arrive. It's the traditional month for brides to take their ceremonious stroll down the aisle.

And a quick look at a calendar of special events and holidays will reveal that many organizations have selected June as a good month for fundraising campaigns and to promote  their causes. From A-Z there's a diverse cross-section of interests represented.

Some, such as National Scoliosis Month,  raise awareness of health issues.  Those similar to Great Outdoors Month and National Oceans Month hope to raise environmental consciousness. There are also social issues addressed, as with the National GLBT Pride activities that will be held this month.

Finally, there are observances that are just plain fun. Whether it's promoting an interest or hobby, such as gardening, or something delectable (June is National Candy Month) there's a celebration for everyone to get behind.

In trying to decide which of these to honour with a collection of clipart today, I decided to see if I could find a way to highlight at least some of the elements I've mentioned above.

June is National Rose Month.   Glorious to behold, the lush flowers also have many health benefits.  They are a favourite bouquet of brides. They are symbolic of  social issues such as grief and  faith. That their beauty is a benefit to our outdoor world is unquestionable.  For their fragrance and  plumage they are a favourite of gardeners.

So the list was pretty much covered, I decided with the rose. How to make it fun was in choosing animations as the clipart collection for today:

Animated Roses from Animation Factory

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2 Collections of Photos for Graduation

They're always held on lovely, warm days. Even if we're experiencing a damp spring, it's been my experience that you can count on the sun  beaming for this particular event.  No matter the month, no matter the geographic location.

And so, while the weather exemplifies all that's good about the season,  dozens, or occasionally hundreds of people, mash themselves into a stuffy, hot auditorium, where for a few hours they  sit through one of the most boring ceremonies there is.  Sweat pores from every pore as they fidget and fight against dozing off.  Yet, upon their countenances are ear-to-ear grins. Inside, hearts swell with pride.

It's graduation. No matter the level of education obtained, from kindergarten to university, Moms and Dads are positively beaming over the achievement. It's  the end result of the guidance and nurturing that goes hand in hand with parenting.

Yet, there's no doubt that the pride is not directed inward, not to the notion that this was all a result of one's own parenting skills.  At least on my part.  As a mom of  four,  I attended many graduations over the years. At each I felt such awe at my incredible offspring. They were these amazing people, not because of me, I thought, but more likely in spite of me. 

As a niece of mine once said when I complimented her on the beautiful daughters she had raised, "I think they came that way."

Graduation, at least from higher education, is a time to acknowledge that while parental guidance steered the course, the hard work was ultimately done by the students.  Finding the balance between social life and academic success is a lot easier when Mom and Dad are there to remind you. At university, social distractions are many. Even the best students can lose their way. And it's equally problematic if every waking moment is dedicated to studies.

Therefore, on those four occasions as I found my way under brilliant sunshine to an auditorium on campus, as I sat stiffly in uncomfortable chairs, breathing stifling air, I couldn't think of another place I'd rather be. I couldn't have been prouder of the people for whom I had come to celebrate this moment.

The days will soon be here when the crush into auditoriums will begin. Cute kindergartens move on. Grade 8s get set for their imposing educational leap, while secondary students mark a new beginning. Post-secondary graduates will join the real world, with all its benefits and challenges. Today's photo collections then celebrate graduation on every level: Graduation Photos Graduation Photos

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Celebrating Graduation with These 5 Clipart Collections

Until our local board of education decided in its infinite wisdom that closing a full school in a community was okay, I had an elementary school in my backyard. It was a front-row seat to all of the action.

When my own children attended,  they would often stop by the fence at recess if they saw me outside to have a little chat, excitedly updating me on some bit of news or gossip.  Hanging out at the clothesline, I would laugh when I heard our exuberant youngest making himself known, or saw his bubbly older sister dancing across the playground.

It didn't take long to become familiar with the routine and the people. I came to know a lot of things. Sports and games changed with the seasons and I soon knew who the natural athletes were among the students.  Even after my children no longer attended, I knew when special events were happening since the cars were parked right up to my driveway.

I knew what songs the band was practising, especially when the gym doors were opened during spring concert rehearsals.  When the mats and bars came outdoors in May I knew the time for the annual track and field competition was nigh.  I knew when it was just too hot inside, as teachers led classes  outside on muggy June days to sit on blankets beneath the shade of a tree.

And I certainly didn't need a calendar to know when Grade 8 graduation was on the horizon. The senior students pulled into animated circles, carrying on conversations about dresses, hairstyles, the mysteries of Grade 9 and whether that cute girl or boy would dance with them.

The air was charged with excitement and it drifted across the fence into my yard. You could feel the energy.  The day of the big celebration, there wasn't a senior student in sight, though, as they got ready for the big night.

After the board closed the facility, I really missed the life that was in that schoolyard. Recently, the building has been re-opened as a small private school, and it's nice to see some of that back.  But I still look  fondly to those happy days, especially the exhilarating ones of an ending and the promise of a  new beginning, that came when a school year ended.

Graduation will soon be happening at area schools. It's a fun time of year, and whether I have a front-row seat or not, it's worth a celebration. So here are some clipart collections for all of the graduates looking to the future: Graduation Illustrations Graduation Illustrations

Acclaim Images Graduation Clipart

ClipartGuide Graduation Illustrations

ClickArt Online Graduation Clipart

Monday, May 30, 2016

7 Fantastic Photoshop Flower Tutorials

Another glorious weekend is behind us. Temperatures and humidity soared so it felt as if we'd been immersed in a steam bath. The air was close, the sun was hot.  It seemed like a muggy July afternoon.

And it was on this day that I decided the time had come to dig out some under-performing hydrangeas and replant. No points for brilliance here.

The best part of the experience was a leisurely tour around a nursery to select some plants to fill what would soon be empty spaces. A lovely butterfly flitted around from bloom to blossom guiding me in my search, while a dragonfly danced along above me.

Then I was home again. Under hot, blazing sun I stuck spade in scorched, tough earth, all the while questioning my sanity. Frustration over how the gardens had been looking was enough though to drive me forward, though.

I chugged water and wiped my brow while digging, prying, pulling and working with dogged determination.  After 2 1/2 hours the task was complete and I, replete with satisfaction, sat down to enjoy an ice-cream sandwich and the fruits of my labours.  Though the effort had been undeniably exhausting,  it left me in a state of good tired. There's no question that playing in the dirt has its therapeutic benefits.

Getting down to earth is a fond pastime for many adults. There's something so basic about putting your hands in the ground.  Placing a single beautiful plant somewhere that it  enhances the aesthetic of your property is gratifying in so many ways.  It challenges us physically, it soothes us emotionally.  We learn as we study the many varieties and come to understand what will work best in the location we have. We play — not just in the dirt, but with colours and textures.

The finished results bring summer to our backyards. The flowers we painstakingly plant, the blooms and blossoms that thrive because we tend them,  are so cheery after our long, dreary winters.  While some might not grow them as well as others, there's no one who doesn't love them.

So I thought it might be fun today to try our hands at bringing floral perfection to life another way —  with some great Photoshop projects. Here are a few fun ones I discovered:

Draw a Realistic Flower Paint

Demo Painting of Hydrangea Using Photoshop

Draw a Flower Stencil in Photoshop

How to Draw a Nice Flower

Creating Leaves and Flower in Photoshop

Creating a Flower in Photoshop

Make a Digital Painting of a Rose