“Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist, and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery.”
Clarice Cliff [1899-1972]

For an excellent and comprehensive overview of Clarice Cliff’s work, read Stuart Shield’s original article that contains this quote.



‘We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.’
—Thornton Wilder


 

A few ideas for Thanksgiving, if you can get your head round it when vampires, werewolves, skeletons and sundry other spooky Halloween items are being thrust upon us from every side!

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t also show you the matching tote!

The products below are for sale on Zazzle.Don't You Just Love Thanksgiving! Card 
Don’t You Just Love Thanksgiving! Card

A Bountiful Thanksgiving Postage

A Bountiful Thanksgiving Postage

Thanksgiving Rooster Letterhead Design
Thanksgiving Rooster Letterhead Design

Artful Pumpkins
Artful Pumpkins Wrapping Paper

For these and other Thanksgiving gifts at First Night Design on Zazzle, click here.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


You could have knocked me down with a feather, and all the other clichés, but I’ve read my first vampire novel and loved every minute of it!

L E Turner was looking for blog followers to read a proof copy of her book and, even though it was not my cup of tea, I offered myself up on the strength of the flash fiction on her blog.

About the Nature of the Creature is a compelling tale, written from the vantage point of Constance, whose human life is cut short during her Edwardian childhood in Bristol. After a back story the author doesn’t reveal fully until further on, we find her a century later settled in Egypt, at which point some unknown urge prompts her to return to the city of her birth.

She is faced with the changes wrought by a hundred years and the danger of a religious sect determined to eradicate her kind. There are rivalries and jealousies amongst her tribe and Constance realises it is she who has to find a way to overcome the dangers in the hope of survival.

One of the reasons I was drawn into this story is the humanity, if one can call it that, of the creatures – the good and the bad. For example, the last thing Constance desires is the death of another but the need for blood is how she is made; if she can therefore acquire blood without killing a human she will always choose thus. Turner manages to give her heroine human and vampiric qualities which don’t seem at odds. I started caring about Constance and urging her forward. I wanted her to be happy!

Turner is adept at pacing and knows exactly where to place her twists and turns of plot. Even in the best books, one can predict certain events. Not in this case. The author kept me on the edge of my seat to the extent that when my computer went down and had to be rushed to hospital where it stayed for a month, all I could think about was getting back to the story on my Kindle app!

The other characters, human or not, are as well-drawn as Constance, giving the story an edge that I suspect — generalisation warning — many bandwagon books do not. Turner’s knowledge of Bristolian history is lightly interwoven, giving a lovely Gothic depth to the piece.

Will my enjoyment make me pick up another novel about vampires? Probably not. It will, however, make me buy and read the sequel to About the Nature of the Creature, which Turner is currently writing.

The only criticism I have is that there were a number of typos and some erratic punctuation but I’m sure these were ironed out before publication.

Thank you, L E Turner, for sending me a copy!

Related

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on stuartshieldgardendesign:

800px-Alexa_Wilding_(1879)_by_Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti1024px-Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_Bocca_Baciata_1859Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_-_La_viuda_romana_(Dîs_Manibus)Henry_Treffry_Dunn_Rossetti_and_Dunton_at_16_Cheyne_WalkRossetti_girlhoodWilliam_Holman_Hunt_-_Portrait_of_Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_at_22_years_of_Age_-_Google_Art_Project

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Rossetti’s art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats. His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence The House of Life. Poetry and image are closely entwined in Rossetti’s work; he frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures, spanning from The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and Astarte Syriaca (1877)…

View original 3,799 more words


‘Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay,
And at my easement sing,
Though it should prove a farewell lay
And this our parting spring.

— William Wordsworth To a Redbreast—In Sickness

Stay, little cheerful Robin!
Stay, little cheerful Robin! Greeting Cards

‘The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.’

― J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird

The original robin is “Erithacus rubecula with cocked head” by Francis C. FranklinOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Textures used are from 2 Lil’ Owls.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

I was so struck by this poem from Dax Christopher that I had to re-blog it.

Originally posted on aliisaacstoryteller:


Justice in Winter
(The Goddess of Wind and Rain)

Deep in the woods off a long, winding road, and finding no reasons for where she now lay

Was a broken young woman half buried in snow, just married, half clothed in torn rags and the gray

Of the season that later would prey on her heart and remain there until she had seen her last day.

Dismayed eyes spoke of betrayal and hurt and had frozen, uncertain of why she was slain

In a portrait of ice and without any warning, but morning would yield all the answers she’d need.

If only she’d known of the meeting of late she might not have died there under the tree.

But as is often the case, we see everything clearer in the mirror when everything’s done and behind us.

When life gets too warm and cozy it goes without notice until something…

View original 3,819 more words


Originally posted on MY LAST POST:

enchanted castleClaude Lorrain, Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, 1664
National Gallery. Image source: National Gallery

“You know the Enchanted Castle, – it doth stand / Upon a rock, on the border of a Lake, /
Nested in trees….” (Epistle to Reynolds)

(FINAL) PART EIGHT

Claude’s Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, inspired by Apuleius’sstory, which Keats sourced for his Ode to Psyche, is a late work of the painter’s, an elegant baroque fantasy with less than the usual “incessant observation of nature” and quality of “Brightness [that] was the excellence of Claude, brightness independent on colour…the evanescent character of light”[1] that Constable valued above all other artistic attributes.

The picture’s shortcomings, its dark, sleeping stillness, as if waiting for someone to step in and breathe life into it, gave literary advantages to Keats. The glimpse of the stone…

View original 1,255 more words


Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe [1887-1986] by Alfred Stieglitz

“I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say in any other way — things that I had no words for.”

Blue and Green Music 1921

Blue and Green Music 1919-1920

“I have things in my head that are not like what anyone taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me, so natural to my way of being and thinking.”

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

One from the archive, an article about the artist John Craxton, taken from the New Statesman.

Originally posted on First Night Design:

via The world of private mystery in John Craxton’s paintings.

They may not like it but it is the fate of artists, as with all interesting creatures, to be labelled. John Craxton, a friend of Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash and John Piper, has duly been filed under “neo-Romantic”. These were the painters who in the years before the Second World War rediscovered the mystical work of Samuel Palmer and William Blake and reacted to the lowering mood of the times by conjuring up a British Eden of shepherds and overgrown green lanes among billowing hills that could be pulled close like an eiderdown. Craxton refuted the label, but grudgingly accepted a more accurate one: “Arcadian”.

This separation from his fellows was not just a question of taxonomy. From 1946 he lived largely in Greece…

View original 121 more words


The Little Glass Slipper 3 Cards
The Little Glass Slipper 3 Cards

This is taken from the cover of a charming 19th century booklet of the Cinderella story. The original cover is actually more of a cardboard colour, though it may once have been cream or off-white! I created versions in shades of pink, blue, orange and green, which you can see here.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

It was a treat to answer Sally Cronin’s questions for her Smorgasbord blog and this was the result. Thank you, Sally, for allowing me to burble at length!

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

My guest today epitomises the meaning of creativity. An actress for over 30 years on screen and stage, Sarah Vernon is also a very talented artist and writer.

Sarah comes from a long line of sailors on her father’s side and in the more recent past a renowned theatrical family. Her father was the stage and screen actor Richard Vernon and her mother Benedicta Leigh, an actress and author.

After completing her Acting Diploma at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art Sarah has worked in the theatre and television for the last 30 years. She was diagnosed with Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis in her early 20s, and whilst this might be physically restricting it has certainly not inhibited her creative process. For those of us lucky enough to have discovered her blog and websites, we have been treated to her original and elegant First Night Design creations which adorn…

View original 3,661 more words


My own textures and photographs, along with some Photoshop brushes, went into creating this image which, you will not be surprised to learn, is geared for a spooky Halloween!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Update 21-10-14: Alas, the Wilde family have very strict control of their famous forebear’s work and this wonderful image has not been allowed so is no longer for sale at my Zazzle vintage store.

Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony 1882 © First Night Vintage

Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony 1882 

New to my vintage store on Zazzle is this glorious sepia photograph of the inimitable Oscar Wilde. It was taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony and hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was able to use it as the image is in the public domain on Wikimedia.


“Ah, every day dear Herbert becomes de plus en plus Oscarié. It is a wonderful case of nature imitating art.” Wilde commenting on actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s unwitting acquisition of certain on-stage character traits in a Wilde play in his off-stage life.


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

Bullying is very damaging. This is a simple message but explains in no uncertain terms the lasting effects. It has to stop.

Originally posted on Callum McLaughlin:

Anti-bullying awareness

Anti-bullying awareness

October is anti-bullying month. The fact we even need to set aside time to raise awareness for this saddens me and this is a topic I could ramble on about for hours, but sometimes simplicity is best. In light of this, all I am going to say is that while bullying may seem to some people like a meaningless or even fun moment of frivolity, the mental scars you give others will never leave them. Never.

Happiness is a wonderful gift; please don’t ever be the one responsible for taking it away from someone else.

View original


Originally posted on MY LAST POST:

“…..every man whose soul is not a clod
Hath visions, and would speak, if he had loved
And been well nurtured in his mother tongue.”
(Keats, The Fall of Hyperion – A Dream)

turner sunriseTurner, Norham Castle Sunrise, 1845, Oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London. Image source: WGA
“Oh God, not another f******* beautiful day”. (Alice de Janzé quoted in White Mischief, novel by James Fox, 1982, and in the film adaptation, 1987, screenplay by
Michael Radford and Jonathan Gems.)

At the climax of Hyperion, tremors are passing through golden-haired Apollo’s classically beautiful body like electric shocks . He shrieks while “Creations and destroyings, all at once / Pour into the wide hollows of my brain”. Empathizing with all this random suffering and emotion is too much for a god to bear, let alone an artist or poet, striving to render teeming images exactly as they were when originally experienced.

View original 2,335 more words

Award-Free Blog

about.me

Sarah Vernon

Sarah Vernon

Artist, Actress, Writer

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

Join 8,586 other followers

Archives

Categories

Artists 4 Peace
FND on Twitter
FND on Facebook
Gourmet Paper Mache Blog

Formerly Paper Mache Blog

THE CRAZY CRONE'S ARTY-FARTY STUDIO

REVOLUTIONISTA FOR FEARLESSNESS, FEISTINESS AND MAJESTIC MOJO

A Life Less Organised

Where to munch your little face off in Bristol and Bath

lisemeijer

Creative vitamins

Catherine, Caffeinated

Writer, astronaut, skinny - Catherine Ryan Howard wouldn't mind being any of those things.

Life on La Lune

A British writer's life in southwest France

CIRCA

A Journal of Historical Fiction

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Turning people into toads is usually redundant.

The Green Room

A showbiz blog by & for real professionals

Kev's Blog

Thoughts and Expressions

Peak Perspective

Trying to climb out of the fog.

Blommans konst- & kulturblogg

Kulturmöten • Poesi • Konstanalyser • Upplevelsereportage m.m.

Brotherly Love

A personal exploration of autism from a brother’s perspective, including family relationships, philosophy, neuroscience, mental health history and ethics

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

Vampires Realm

The vampiric myth – in both the past and the present! Just as it is found in history, literature, movies and even science...

WRITER'S BLOG

Annette J Dunlea Blogging On Ireland, Books, Gardening & Cooking

writerchristophfischer

Just another WordPress.com site

Reel Roy Reviews

…to the chagrin of true arbiters of taste

Noir

the darker side to sedge808

PI Photography and Fine Art

Find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

The Linden Chronicles

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones

History Myths Debunked

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Albert Jack

www.albertjack.com

Kurt Brindley

listening for the wind ------------------------------------- (´-`).oO(( hmmm... )) -------------------------------------

My personal blog about my art, photography, makeup, travels, life, people and whatever else I can think of.

EdMooneyPhotography

The home of Kildare based Photographer, Blogger and self proclaimed Ruinhunter.

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

Daily Echo

Sue Vincent ~ Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,586 other followers

%d bloggers like this: