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This cute illustration of a young witch (surely an innocent apprentice!), with her cat and pumpkin carriage, takes us back to the early 20th century when greeting card illustration was highly inventive and extremely popular. I have given her a new lease of life with a starry night background.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


As some of you know, our summer holidays as children were spent in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight where I now live. The other week I trundled round on my mobility scooter visiting my favourite haunts. This shot of Bembridge Lifeboat Station through the trees is just where the steps lead down to the beach and to the exact spot we invariably used for swimming.

It is true the original photograph is rather appealing and some of you on Facebook have already seen it as my header but true to form, I had to play.

I used two textures from Design Cuts — a yellow-based and a green-based one. I ran the photograph through Topaz Impression three or four times to produce different effects. I chose to layer ‘Cezanne 1’ and ’Cavedweller’ (as you do) and blended them with the textures to produce a digital painting. I hope it pleases you as much as it did me in its creation.

Part of a paper read to the Ladies of Shanklin Evening Institute, October 1951.

“It is quite possible that some among you are quite ignorant of everything connected with Lifeboat work […] I have no intention of going back into remote history, or to the founding of the Institution in 1824.  Moreover, I expect you will think that I have gone back quite far enough if I commence with the time of your grandfathers, and I select that particular time because it was then that the proud reputation of the Lifeboat Institution was built up, on the great hearts and stout muscles of the grand old men who served as crews for the small pulling and sailing lifeboats stationed round our coasts.  But to really understand the heroism of these grand old fellows, and to give them full credit for their marvellous rescues, and for their self-sacrificing efforts, one must be possessed of…” Bembridge Lifeboat

Available 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


Apples And Pears In A Hallway Framed Print from Fine Art America

The photograph I used as my starting point was taken a year ago at an erstwhile (and that’s another story to be told when I’m ready) friend’s hallway. I threw together a couple of books — vintage copies of Jane Austen’s Emma and Northanger Abbey that I bought from the shop attached to Chawton House in Steventon — a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whisky and a wooden ‘bothy’ bowl that I bought from Garden Trading; I’ve since bought several more! The lilies were already on the hall table.

As is my way, I added a couple of textures from Design Cuts and some apples from an image by Leti Kugler at Unsplash.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Some of you might recognise the print on the wall. Yes, it’s Copper Pear.

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


Can I see again? No, but there are odd moments of clearer vision that enable me to work in fits and starts. In this instance, I have come up with a collage, The Fruit Look.


“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Helen Keller [1880-1968]


Ephemera used to create this collage is from Design Cuts and the Biodiversity Library on Flickr.

I have not yet uploaded it to my galleries, except for Crated, but if you’re interested,, do bookmark the page and return in a few days for all the other links.

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


Update: Well, I’ve no idea what happened but this post originally included a couple of paragraphs about how happy I was that Mary Smith of My Dad’s a Goldfish had bought four Jungle Look cushions for her living room sofa. And don’t they look splendid! I recommended that you visit her website about looking after her father who had dementia, a recounting that offers humour (sometimes black) and comfort for anyone in a similar situation. I can’t remember what else I said but I’m sure it was interesting and amusing! Thank you, Mary.

dscf0838

© Mary Smith

dscf0839

© Mary Smith

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I had a two-day window last week during which I could see rather better than usual. I read a book and created the piece below. Back to ‘normal’ now, though!

I blended and tweaked two images from Wikimedia. One is advertising a French event on 14th July 1915 in aid of The Great War. The other is a fashion illustration from Journal des dames et des modes, 1913, by H. Robert Dammy. Both are delightful in their own right but blending them together was a fascinating process and enhanced the Art Deco effect.

I can’t pretend it’s my favourite period in the history of the decorative arts when it comes to architecture and interior design but the fashion and illustration of the time has a place in my heart.

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


Vintage Puss in Boots Christmas Montage Wrapping Paper
Vintage Puss in Boots Christmas Montage Wrapping Paper
by FirstNightDesign

I know you don’t want to hear this but some people are already preparing for Christmas, as witness my selling Vintage Puss in Boots Christmas Montage Wrapping Paper.

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I was surprised to discover that I have never added Beulah, Peel Me A Grape to this blog. Or the WordPress search isn’t working properly! Do I need to tell you where the title comes from? No, I thought not.

While you can find all kinds of gifts and products with this design in my other online galleries (as in the links below), I have chosen to feature what is available at Fine Art America.

And now I’m going to go back on my avowed intention and show you a Rickshaw Messenger Bag from Zazzle because I like it so much!

Vintage lady and grapes courtesy of The Graphics Fairy with my own textures added.

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


The original vintage photograph is a view from campanile San Marco, Venice, Italy ca. 1895, and it is divine, I confess. But how could someone like me resist ageing it further? 

Venice Observed Throw Pillow
Venice Observed Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

The title I have chosen is a play on the name of a verse piece by Christopher Fry, Venus Observed, which premiered in 1950 at the St James’ Theatre in London and was directed by Laurence Olivier, who also starred. The cast also included such names as Rachel Kempson (mother of Vanessa Redgrave and her late siblings), the irreplaceable Denholm Elliott, and Brenda de Banzie whom film buffs will remember from Hobson’s Choice.

Of course, it might have been a nod to Mary McCarthy’s 1963 book about the sinking city, Venice Observed, but it isn’t. Naturally, it’s not — I’m an actress, dah-lings!

I’ve layered texture Divine-4 from Design Cuts over the top in Overlay mode (Photoshop) and duplicated the photograph which I’ve put in Multiply mode.

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


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


I’m  not sure about this piece. Are you?

Extreme Vogue © Sarah Vernon

Extreme Vogue © Sarah Vernon

The starting point was a vintage Vogue cover from Wikimedia and a couple of textures from my arsenal. I love the colours that have been produced by adding these backgrounds but I need some other opinions before I decide to upload it to my galleries. Thank you in anticipation!



Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions. Chanakya

“Daffodowndilly
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

“Yellow is a very favorable vibration for mental or intellectual activity, as it promotes a clear state of mind. Yellow heightens your awareness and alleviates depression, sadness, or any kind of despondency. Yellow vibration foods are: pineapples, bananas, grapefruit, lemons and corn.”
Tae Yun Kim, The First Element: Secrets to Maximizing Your Energy

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


Martha Mansfield, Photoplay July 1920 Card
Martha Mansfield, Photoplay July 1920 Card by FirstNightVintage

Martha Mansfield [1899-1923] was an American actress who was always determined on a stage career. At the age of fourteen she appeared on Broadway in Little Women (1912), while her film debut came in 1917 with a short called Max Comes Across. She made twenty-four further films, including Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde [1920] with John Barrymore but her life and career was cut tragically short in 1923 when she was filming a Civil War picture called The Warrens of Virginia. A lighted match was thrown in her vicinity and it ignited her costume which went up in flames. She was rushed to hospital but had sustained ‘substantial burns’ [Wikipedia] and died a day later. A sad story. It has never been known who discarded the match thus.

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


I’m delighted to have sold this poster while poorly. I’m on the mend, though, and really appreciate your comforting wishes. Thank you.

Vintage French postcard from The Graphics Fairy and a background from Textures of Italy.

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


I confess to being inordinately pleased with how this turned out. Taking a photograph of rotting hulks on the Isle of Mull by DeFacto from Wikimedia, I gave it two coloured pencil treatments in Topaz Impressions. I inverted one of my muddy terracotta backgrounds so that it became blue. The final touch was to layer the photograph over the background in Photoshop’s Multiply mode.

All the usual products are available.

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

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