As it’s been a while since I’ve shown the layers that go into creating a particular image, I thought I’d give you the three pieces that make up Red Rose.

I started with the back of a vintage advertising card from The Old Design Shop.


But no matter what I tried, it would not gel with this rose from The Graphics Fairy.


I discarded it and went in search of a background with reddish tones from 2 Lil’ Owls’ Effervescent collection and decided upon this number.

2LO Effervescent 12blog

The effect created by blending the rose in ‘multiply’ mode over the top was very pleasing but there was something missing.

I searched through 2 Lil’ Owls‘ French Brocante collection and my first choice proved the perfect addition when blended in ‘colour burn’ mode and sandwiched between the rose and the ‘effervescent’ background.

2LO French Brocante 1-20blog

Et voilà!

Red Rose © Sarah Vernon [Crated]

As I’ve often said, there’s many a tweak and a twist in the process before I’m happy but if you are expecting me to write it all out in this post, you’ve got another think coming! As Shirley Conran so memorably once said, life’s too short to stuff a mushroom, and it’s certainly too short to detail each tweak. Pay me and I might!

‘Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I.’
Oscar Levant

‘Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.’
Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Take care and keep laughing!


It may or may not surprise you to know that this is, in essence, an inverted version of Japanned Butterflies. A little blending tweak here, a little blending tweak there and Bob’s your uncle!

Take care and keep laughing!


As a prelude to a post in which I will talk about how Mr FND and I are now ex-pats, I give you an old-fashioned bon voyage. This collage was put together some time ago, inspired by the delicious leather bag you can see in the centre of the image, which Mr FND bought for me from Oxfam. Alas, though delicious, the leather is so thick and the empty bag so heavy that it’s impossible for me to use. But who cares when I can include it in my art!

Take care and keep laughing!


Originally posted on The Last Post:

Beguiling_of_Merlin1874Edward Burne- Jones, Beguiling of Merlin, 1872 -77, Lady Lever Art Gallery.
“La Belle Dame sans merci/Hath thee in thrall!”
Image source: Wikipedia. 


When the Pre-Raphaelites, ardently following “the footsteps of Keats”[1] away from mannerism towards revitalized Gothicism, took inspiration from the fresh, saturated colours of his imagery and medieval settings, they chose to overlook his devout Hellenism and appreciation ofRaphael’s “heroic simplicity and unaffected grandeur”. [2]

Their admiration for his technique of conveying intensity of sensory experience was genuine – “the next Keats can only be a painter” observed Dante Gabriel Rossetti in a letter to William Morris – but like many apostles they distorted the vision of their prophet.

View original 878 more words

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Spot the difference? Well, of course you do. One simple black cat and suddenly it’s for Halloween!

The Witch's Cat Post Card 

The Tree
The Tree

And for good measure, below is a large version of The Tree, as available on cards, prints, cushions, bags & duvet covers at Redbubble.

The Tree © Sarah Vernon

The Tree © Sarah Vernon
Available as cards, prints, cushions, bags & duvet covers. [Redbubble]

Take care and keep laughing!


First Night Design:

One from the archives.

Originally posted on First Night Design:

Constantinople Business Cards

Try something a little different for your next business card!

Take care and keep laughing.

About Sarah & First Night Design

View original

Originally posted on The Library Time Machine:

Mortimer Luddington Menpes is having a bit of a renaissance in his home country. This year there were two exhibitions devoted to his work in Adelaide, the city of his birth. We contributed some images to one of them, and they sent us a copy of the book of the exhibition, which is where most of this week’s pictures come from. My colleague Tim and I also got an invitation to the private view. But it was a bit far to go, which was a shame. It would have been good to see the place Menpes came from. He was born in Port Adelaide in 1855 and came to England when he was 20. Although he lived the greatest part of his life in the UK there was always something of the outsider about Mr Menpes and he never lost an Australian artist’s feeling for light and colour.

Dolce far niente 1885-86 p45

“Dolce far…

View original 631 more words

Originally posted on The Genealogy of Style:

Cabinet of Curiosities, Domenico Remps, 1690s

The Gold-Bug is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story is often compared with Poe’s “tales of ratiocination” as an early form of detective fiction. Poe became aware of the public’s interest in secret writing in 1840 and asked readers to challenge his skills as a code-breaker. Poe took advantage of the popularity of cryptography as he was writing The Gold-Bug, and the success of the story centers on one such cryptogram.

Poe originally sold The Gold-Bug to George Rex Graham for Graham’s Magazine for $52 but asked for it back when he heard about a writing contest sponsored by Philadelphia’s Dollar Newspaper. Incidentally, Poe did not return the money to Graham and instead offered to make it up to him with reviews he would write. Poe won the grand prize; in addition to winning $100, the story…

View original 594 more words

A friend of mine from drama school, after witnessing another friend get one acting job after another without apparent joy, said, “I hope, however successful I might become, that I never get blasé about getting work.” I agreed wholeheartedly.

I also hope I never get blasé about selling my art. Today I sold two of these postcards to a French customer and, as ever, my heart gave a little hop and a skip when I saw the notification.

Take care and keep laughing!


First Night Design:

One from the archives.

Originally posted on First Night Design:

Dancing in Greek

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon, though he wasn’t the first.  This certainly happens when I’m in Photoshop.  I started with creams and greens and a romantic couple walking on the beach.  An experimental change of blending modes with the textures, one of which is a freebie from French Kiss, produced this vivid mahogany-like backdrop and I was sold!

I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette.  The result reminds me of the lustrous designs on Ancient Greek  pottery, hence the title, Dancing in Greek.

Take care and keep laughing!


View original

First Night Design:

Time for another recipe as it’s been far too long since I posted one. Not one of mine this time but a delicious-sounding Chinese Braised Pork Belly from A Recipe for Gluttony, which I could do with now after being unable to eat properly over the last few days for obvious reasons (see Reason for Absence and RIP Roy Heather).

Originally posted on arecipeforgluttony:

Chinese Braised Pork Belly

This is the first recipe in our simple suppers series. We will be posting more in the coming months & are keen to hear your favourite ideas for quick, healthy meals.

Depending on your viewpoint pork belly might not seem like a particularly healthy meal. I think it is fine to eat sometimes & have included this recipe as it is nutritious, easy to prepare and is really tasty. You can take some of the fat off the pork – I did this after cooking so that the meat stayed soft & moist & flavoursome. The braise takes a little while but if you shove it in a low oven or slow cooker it does not need watching. It should take 10 minutes before and about 5 minutes to finish off after cooking.

Chinese rice wine is widely available and useful for lots of dishes so it is worth…

View original 395 more words


I’m not around at the moment as I’m finding it tough to deal with the loss of my ex-husband and friend, Roy Heather, who died on Wednesday morning.

He was best known for playing Sid the café owner in John Sullivan’s classic sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. Looking at the tweets being sent is extraordinary. I wouldn’t exactly say he’s trending, but I’m still amazed by the love and support being shown. Someone even tagged him alongside Joan Rivers – this seems right since Roy could make anyone laugh!

Update: If you want to know more about Roy, I have written an obituary for him on my theatre blog, Rogues & Vagabonds.

#OFAH #Sid

Take care and keep laughing!

Originally posted on Synkroniciti

The Two Fridas, Frida Kahlo, 1939

The Two Fridas, Frida Kahlo, 1939

‘I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.’

Frida Kahlo

See original: Quote for Today: Frida Kahlo


Take care and keep laughing!


First Night Design:

One from the archive. Happy Wednesday!

Originally posted on First Night Design:

My latest collage created with ephemera from my collection and a flamingo from Birds from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and The Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby and George Edwards, published in 1754, and found on Public Domain Review.

I must confess to being immoderately pleased with how this turned out, particularly the colours.  Knock me down to size if you think I’m getting above myself!  This actually came about, as so many of my pieces do, by accident.  I was working on a completely different artwork and a chance blending in Photoshop made me save the result for something else.  This is that something else.  I do hope you like it.

Take care and keep laughing!

About Sarah & First Night Design

View original

Sarah Vernon

Sarah Vernon

Artist, Actress, Writer

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,917 other followers



Artists 4 Peace
FND on Twitter
FND on Facebook
Bright & Beautyfull!

Irish beauty blogging with a dash of American opinionation!

Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

where writing is a performance art and every post is a show

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Violet Gallery

sketching, creating and looking at life

Jane Wenham-Jones

Author, speaker, journalist, presenter -

Tropical Affair

Observations of the illusion through the eyes of wonder...

War and Security

History of war and current national security issues

Chris Holmes photography

My photographs may NOT be used, in any shape or form, without my specific written permission. I always invoice for images used. For enquiries please contact -

Princess of Eboli

History - Taking the reader to another era

Adventure Travel and Gastronomy, Passionately Explored


A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

A Writer of History

M.K. Tod on writing & reading historical fiction


News , Blues and Guns ... Not Necessarily In That Order

In touch with Emma

Gill McGrath

Ann Novek--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

Airborne, Seadwellers and Landlubbers Lives

Oil Pastels by Mary

Painting with oil pastels

Elizabeth Melton Parsons


writing for self-discovery

creating a life that fits like skin

Siobhan Daiko

A blog about writing, and my life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong and Italy

Crooked Cat's Cradle

Crooked Cats sharing tidbits

Cynthia Reyes

Author of "A Good Home"

Victorian Paris

Life in 19th Century Paris


Promotion and prattle from author Lucy Blue


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,917 other followers

%d bloggers like this: