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Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card
Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card

Although she won’t know this until it’s published, I have combined a delightful article from Pippa Rathborne’s Last Post blog about love and the Brownings with some of my Pen and Ink products from Zazzle, which include Elizabeth Browning’s famous sonnet.

Pen and Ink Love Bag
Pen and Ink Love Bag

Pippa writes:


Feeling weary, stale and unprofitable, I’d vowed to give up blogging for a while, but the always happy thought of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning has spawned this self-indulgence.

As I mentioned before, I was named after Browning’s Pippa Passes, and immersed by my mother in the love story of Robert and Elizabeth while I was growing up, Flush the spaniel and all. For a long time, as happens with history’s celebrities, their romantic personae overshadowed the value of their individual work.

If ever there was one, theirs appeared to be a marriage of true minds. It is painful to consider the possibility that in reality he had a restricting effect on her writing, specifically on her social and political freedom of thought. Robert had trouble stopping Elizabeth from dressing their only child, their son Pen, as a girl. Ignore, ignore, forget, forget, facts are only the dreary letter, not the spirit of truth.

And, anyway, Pen grew up filial, amiable and cheerful, a lover of Italy, a restorer of a palazzo, a painter and a bon vivant. He did not inherit his parents’ intellectual genius or determination, but he did not…

Continue reading“How do I love thee?” collateral « LAST POST.


Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker
Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43, Sonnets from the Portuguese, pub. 1850

Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder
Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Design available at the following galleries:
Zazzle (UK)
Zazzle (US)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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My internet connection is even worse today so no chance of doing a new post. Here’s a Valentine one from a year ago. I am aware that you’ve seen the first one recently!

First Night Design

One of the most insightful of quotes about love and the nature of relationships comes from William Shakespeare and features on an early design of mine.

Love is Not Love... CardLove is Not Love… Card by FirstNightDesign

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.” Shakespeare, sonnet 116

It is easy to forget this when young.  Desperate for love after a confusing  and contradictory set of lessons from childhood, I would constantly alter and bend in my late teens and early 20s.  This is not love.  If the object of your affections wants to mould you a certain way, or you get the feeling he or she is not going to like you if you behave a certain way, this is not love.

schulz-lucy

If someone loves you, they love you, warts and all, and it matters not a jot if you have heavy thighs or a…

View original post 290 more words


One of the most insightful of quotes about love and the nature of relationships comes from William Shakespeare and features on an early design of mine.

Love is Not Love... Card Love is Not Love… Card by FirstNightDesign

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.” Shakespeare, sonnet 116

It is easy to forget this when young.  Desperate for love after a confusing  and contradictory set of lessons from childhood, I would constantly alter and bend in my late teens and early 20s.  This is not love.  If the object of your affections wants to mould you a certain way, or you get the feeling he or she is not going to like you if you behave a certain way, this is not love.

schulz-lucy

If someone loves you, they love you, warts and all, and it matters not a jot if you have heavy thighs or a habit they find annoying.  It took me some years and many mistakes, including a marriage, to realise this. There is nothing healthier than being comfortable in your own skin. While this self-confidence, I have found, comes with age and experience, realising early on what isn’t healthy can smooth the path.  (Your time is up!)

Love Letters Valentine Throw Pillows
Love Letters Valentine Throw Pillows by FirstNightDesign

As much as I appreciate technology, I am sad that we have almost lost the art of letter-writing, particularly when it comes to love letters. It is this sadness that inspired the collage piece on this cushion. Hand-written letters of whatever description are still a joy to receive.  I  can no longer reply in kind because of  dexterity problems and hate that this is so.

Which brings me to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and  Sonnet 43, Sonnets from the Portuguese, [pub. 1850].

Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card
Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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