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No sooner did I come across my Indian Glories piece the other day than an email arrived from Redbubble to say I’d sold a notebook with the design. I’ve tried it since with all sorts but it hasn’t worked!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Jacques-Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Marcel Proust” (1892), oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay ([Public domain] via Wikimedia)

Jacques-Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Marcel Proust” (1892), oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay ([Public domain] via Wikimedia)

Perhaps the most ironic, darkly comic, and touching death scene in 20th-century literature takes place in front of Vermeer’s painting “A View of the Delft” (1660-1661) in Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927).

Bergotte, a terminally ill novelist who has had a decisive influence on…

via Marcel Proust’s Dream of Art


It’s been a while since I aired Hot Air Balloon Voyage in any form so I’m delighted to tell you I’ve sold a cushion.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


richard-wallace

In 1870, Richard Wallace (1818-1890) received a windfall from his employer the 4th Marquess of Hertford which comprised an art collection consisting of Old Master paintings, 17th and 18th century furniture, snuff boxes and perhaps the second largest assembly of Sevres porcelain in Britain (all in addition to homes in Britain and France as well as land in Britain). Ostensibly the inheritance was a reward for the services Wallace had performed for the 4th Marquess as his private secretary and art advisor, but the long-standing belief was that Wallace was the…

via Exhibition Review – Sir Richard Wallace: The Collector | Enough of this Tomfoolery!


Taken from the front cover of a vintage edition of The Play Pictorial — Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra [1906].

  • Dimensions: 5″ x 7″ (portrait); 7″ x 5″ (landscape)
  • Full colour CMYK print process
  • Double-sided printing for no additional cost

A classic paper with a natural feel and an uncoated matte finish; our Standard Matte stands the test of time. Elegant and understated, colours print softer and more subtle.

  • 17.5 pt thickness / 120 lb weight / 324 GSM
  • Light white, uncoated matte finish with an eggshell texture
  • Paper is easy to write on and won’t smudge

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Oops – I meant to publish this yesterday!

Photo Notebook (80 Pages B&W)

Organise your day with a custom notebook! Made with your images and text on the front cover, this notebook is a great way to show off your personal style and keep track of all important notes and appointments all at once.

  • Dimensions: 16.5 cm x 22.2 cm (6.5″ x 8.75″)
  • Cover printed in vibrant, sharp colour
  • 80 black & white lined pages
  • College ruled
  • Lay flat spiral binding

This product is recommended for ages 8+.

Join Our Fight to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Sign painter in Beer St by William Hogarth, 1751

Sign painter in Beer St by William Hogarth, 1751

Meredith Kasabian of the Pre-Vinylite Society introduces an exhibition of contemporary sign painting she has curated which opens at Oxo Tower Wharf on the South Bank.

via Society Of Sign Painters’ Grand Exhibition | Spitalfields Life


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Re-blogging because I’ve just sold another of these cushions!

First Night Design

Mandarin Duck Throw Pillow
Mandarin Duck Throw Pillow

I was chuffed to sell this Mandarin Duck Throw Pillow over Christmas. It is a piece of ancient Asian art that I am particularly fond of. According to a quote from children’s writer Katherine Paterson on GoodReads (the only quote about mandarin ducks on the site!), these birds “mate for life and will die of loneliness if separated from their chosen mate”. Yes, I’m a sucker for evidence of loyalty.

The image is available on many other products at the following galleries:

Zazzle USA
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Don’t worry – you can change the title of this or any other Avery binder in my store!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Tell me and I’ll forget.
Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I’ll understand.

I adore this Native American quote because it shows how important it is for education to be involving and fun. To follow this in action, visit Jennie of A Teacher’s Reflections. She is a superb teacher who should be cloned throughout the world and I’ve told her so!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


© Channel 4

© Channel 4

I meant to write this post two or three weeks ago but I forgot all about it. You have two days only (tonight and tomorrow) to catch up on Channel 4 [the UK only] with a programme that ‘stars’ my family’s railway carriage and the writer of this blog!

Episode 2 shows the incredible work done by talented volunteers on restoring our Oldbury carriage which dates from 1864. It is part of a series called Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow. Channel 4 bankrolled the series enabling four carriages around the country to be restored to their former glory. I am interviewed first by Henry Cole and then by Peter Snow.

I don’t think it will spoil the watching of it if I give you a little of the backstory, most of which is not included in the programme.

After the Second World War and with my maternal grandfather having been killed in 1940, my grandmother bought a house in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight which had a large garden and an overgrown orchard. At the bottom of this orchard was a dilapidated railway carriage. She later sold the house and garden leaving the path that led to the orchard and carriage. In the 1960s and early ’70s, this shabby beauty became the setting for all our childhood holidays. It was glorious. It felt and still does when I look back on those years like we were part of an exciting Enid Blyton adventure, not that I was ever very fond of Blyton. I was more of a ‘Chalet’ girl myself!

© Pete Jardine 1980s

© Pete Jardine 1980s – one of the passionate volunteers at Havenstreet

My brother and I were both grown and my grandmother in her grave when my parents decided in the mid-1980s to donate the carriage to the organisation that is now The Isle of Wight Steam Railway and replace it with a Scandinavian log house. The land and log house were sold by my brother in 2001; it saddens me greatly that this part of my history is no longer in the family.

It is my love of the Isle of Wight and the memories of those times that have brought me down here to live.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


lucus-landers-wildlife-4

The incredible black and white film photographs of Lucus Landers seemingly highlight the beauty of the animal kingdom. But, look a bit closer and you’ll notice something else at play. His grainy, artistic images of animals in their natural habitat aren’t quite as they appear.

For Wildlife, the Brooklyn-based photographer didn’t have to join an exotic…

via Film Photography of Exotic Animals by Lucus Landers


When I was young, my father – a passionate sailor – bought a small yacht called Bruno of Bath. Eighteen months ago, I received an email from a couple who had bought her, seen a list of her previous owners from the 1960s, found me on the internet and told me they were restoring her. They have promised to sail her to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight where I now live and where Bruno was often moored so that I can see her again. This rusting pilot boat looks nothing like my father’s Westerly but I have named her in honour of my childhood adventures.

Original photograph from Absfreepic. Texture from Jewell of Distressed at Flickr.

So far she’s only available on products at Redbubble but I will be uploading the picture to my other galleries shortly.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Reblogged to commemorate Grimaldi’s death on this day, 31st May, 1837. Click through to buy the greeting card or postcard and to get the joke!

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

A story is told that in 1806 a man goes to visit a doctor who is acclaimed for his ability to treat melancholia. “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” says the man. “I feel constantly miserable.  Please help me, doctor.”

“Laughter is the best medicine, my friend,” says the doctor. “Take yourself off to Covent Garden Theatre* where you will find The Great Grimaldi performing in Harlequin and Mother Goose; or the Golden Egg. It is exquisitely funny and will cure you of all your ills without…

via First Night Design | Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778–1837 | First Night Design

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© Sarah Vernon and First Night Design 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Vernon and First Night Design with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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