This is an early effort that dates back to heaven knows when!


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables



“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Albert Camus


Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 7 March 2014
What! No elephants? Visitors who read yesterday’s post will know this piece started out with elephants. After adding textures from 2 Lil’ Owls, I played around for some while adding and…

Source: First Night Design | Day at the Exhibition (What! No Heffalumps?)


FROM THE ARCHIVE 25th August 2014

Russian Ballet by August Macke Greeting Cards

I came late to the work of August Macke but when it happened, I fell in love as…

Source: First Night Design | August Macke, I Love You!


FROM THE ARCHIVE 4th November 2014

What fun to have sold a whacking great print of Gabrielle d’Estrees and one of her sisters on Fine Art America. It’s a delightfully cheeky oil painting; it’s a great shame the art…

Source: First Night Design | Such a Cheeky Painting #Sold


FROM THE ARCHIVE 8th October 2012

Two Delicate Screens Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

How wise the creator of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Source: “You are Never too Old to … Dream a New Dream”


americanbeauty

Now what on earth was I going to do for American Beauty for Week 8 of Julie Powell‘s makeover challenge. There have been several different covers for the film which is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening and Thora Birch, in which a ‘sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend’. IMdb

I knew I wanted to avoid a rose but what was my main focus going to be? I decided it was people so I swiped a slice from Tallulah Bankhead, a profile shot of Spacey from Wikipedia and set to work, the idea being that Spacey’s character is yearning for the out-of-reach schoolgirl (alright, so Bankhead was not a schoolgirl even when she was a schoolgirl). If knowing it’s Bankhead disturbs you, imagine she’s Spacey’s wife, Bening!

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

To be frank, I’m not enamoured of my treatment but — as so often — time was running out and I didn’t want to miss out, especially as I probably won’t be able to take part next week. Fonts used were Skia Regular for Sam Mendes, Bening and Spacey, Times New Roman for ‘American’ and Zapfino Regular for ‘Beauty’.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Not real. (Image: Smithsonian Institution Archives/SIA2012-6095)

Pranks are meant to be discovered—what’s the point in fooling someone if they never notice they’ve been fooled? But one 19th century prank, sprung by John James Audubon on another naturalist, was so extensive and so well executed that its full scope is only now coming to light.

The prank began when the French naturalist Constantine Rafinesque sought on Audubon…

Source: Audubon Made Up At Least 28 Fake Species To Prank A Rival


The last time I visited Knossos, it was a school cruise in, I think, 1973. Since moving here, I’ve not been. This has to be rectified but in the meantime, here’s a lovely post from my blogger friend, M.L.Kappa, describing her visit accompanied by her grandchildren.

On the island of Crete, which lies nearer to the coast of Africa than to the Greek mainland, a brilliant civilization flourished from approximately 3650 to 1400 BCE. It was rediscovered at the begi…

Source: The Minoans | Letters from Athens


FROM THE ARCHIVE 25th July 2015

When I reblog my posts, I try to leave a decent gap and hope to catch more recent followers who have not seen a piece before or to garner a new audience for a very old post when hardly anyone was following. Sailing to the Moon received a huge amount of likes and comments. I haven’t checked the statistics but I suspect it’s one of the most popular posts on First Night Design — very pleasing. I’m re-blogging it because I love it and I have nothing else to show!

‘What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all th…

Source: First Night Design | Sailing to the Moon #Art | First Night Design


Born in New York in 1893 to a French father and a Polish mother, Florence’s mother died when the little girl was 2, and her father died when she was only 15. She went to live with acquaintances, first in Rome, then in Berlin, and in 1924, at age 31, she moved to Paris. Trained as a painter, by 1928 she had abandoned painting in favor of becoming a free-lance photographer. Many of her photographs incorporate…

Source: Paris Between the Wars – “H” is for Florence Henri


This is an old book-plate by Ernest Haslehurst of a public house called The Grapes at Limehouse (once The Bunch of Grapes) that I bought from collectors Vintage Views. It would be fun to think this Taylor Walker & Co pub was the inspiration for Dickens and Fagin’s den in Oliver Twist but it certainly makes me think of the narrow cobbled streets of Victorian London where pickpockets and other nefarious persons would ply their trade. It dates from the 16th century but the frontage is Victorian.

Although the original is in good nick, it has a faded quality even though it has not actually faded, so I added a duplicate layer in Overlay to bring out the colour and detail.

Look closely — I can see Nancy on the balcony, and isn’t that Bill Sikes with his Staffy, Bullseye, coming up the ladder? And surely that’s Fagin himself at the curtain. Could this not, in fact, be the very place from which Sikes hanged himself?

The Grapes does have a connection to Dickens, however, since he knew that area of Limehouse well and probably based The Six Jolly Fellowship Porters in Our Mutual Friend on it.

From the research I’ve done, I learn that the lessees are actor Sir Ian McKellen, director Sean Mathias and Evening Standard owner, Evgeny Lebedev, the trio having bought the pub in 2011; it looks as if it’s a charming place to find some excellent beer and food. Let me know if you visit.

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


While I was in New York City for the New York Antiquarian Book Fair last week, I took the opportunity to visit the Met to see Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France. This exhibition ha…

Source: Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun at the Met | A Scholarly Skater


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 8 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 7 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

When Julie Powell gave us the challenge of re-imagining the cover for Counting Crows’ album, This Desert Life, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I adore the original by Dave McKean but didn’t want to repeat any aspect of it. Well, I have — as you can see, there’s a fish! I’ve used my surreal Beating the Blues design and changed it to violet so no hint of a desert as there is with McKean’s background. And why violet? I made it a dark lime green to start with and thought better of it because so many of my makeovers have been green-based.

The band’s name is in Shopaholics Regular which looks rather different and pleasing from my having stretched the characters. The title of the album is in PT Sans Narrow Regular.

this-desert-life_counting-crowsThis Desert Life is the third studio album from Counting Crows. The cover art is by noted comic book artist Dave McKean, best known for his work with Neil Gaiman, and was adapted from the cover art McKean did for Gaiman’s picture book The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. [Wikipedia]

‘It’s likely that critics and listeners will consider Counting Crows’ long-delayed third album,This Desert Life another retro effort by a traditionalist band, but it’s actually their most individual and finest album yet.’ [AllMusic]

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Sports Pavilion uses a photograph from a store called Clark Street Mercantile who have added what I assume to be their brochure photographs to that great free resource, Unsplash.

In the first instance I used Topaz Impressions’ chiaroscuro effect but I wanted something else. To this end I added 2LO Texture Artists 2 in the Multiply mode and enhanced the brightness and contrast. The image now appears to be a charmingly aged print of an old sports pavilion from, say, the 1920s or ’30s. Well, I like to think so!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Thank heavens it’s two years later and, as some of you know, I’ve now had that cataract operation!

FROM THE ARCHIVE 17th April 2013

A lovely customer has bought 30 of these invitations, which makes up for the cataract operation mentioned in the earlier post being cancelled.  Right…

Source: Sail Away to a Party: Invitations

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