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As you know, I can never resist altering a modern photograph in order to give it a vintage feel. The original photograph of Saint Étienne Fontaine du Square Jean Cocteau in Paris is by Daniel Vill…

Source: First Night Design | Saint-Étienne Re-imagined #Art

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 6th October 2015

The original photograph is by Joshua Hibbert at Unsplash and I had enormous fun changing the dimensions of each element and layering the result with a couple of my textures, one orange and one a gr…

Source: First Night Design | The Magic Lighthouse #Art


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


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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Created with my own photographs and scanned ephemera blended with a vintage architectural drawing from The Graphics Fairy.


‘There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.’ Pablo Picasso


Accidental Abstract Greeting Card
Accidental Abstract Greeting Card


‘The surrealists, and the modern movement in painting as a whole, seemed to offer a key to the strange postwar world with its threat of nuclear war. The dislocations and ambiguities, in cubism and abstract art as well as the surrealists, reminded me of my childhood in Shanghai.’ J. G. Ballard


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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The background is from EKDuncan-My Fanciful Muse and the cows from The Graphics Fairy, which I blended with my textures. It’s a piece I made three or four years ago but only now have I uploaded it to all my galleries. It’s so much better than I thought now that I can see it with an eye no longer compacted by a cataract. The double vision is improving but those darned stitches have to stay in until the end of March at least.

The Cows Came Home Hip Flask
Buy The Cows Came Home Hip Flask © Sarah Vernon at Zazzle


“I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thoughts, I’d rather dance with the cows till you come home.”
Groucho to Margaret Dumont in Duck Soup [1933]


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Inspired by the work of J M W Turner, I created Turning Windmill (yes, the part-pun is intentional!) by using one of my textures, one from Kerstin Frank and a photograph of a windmill in Estonia from Wikimedia.


‘Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on—that is, badly.’
George Orwell, Animal Farm


When I first posted about Turning Windmill in January 2014, I was not at all sure about it and had yet to upload the image to any of my galleries. But those of you who were following my blog at the time were enthusiastic and I went ahead and put it up for sale. I’ve become very fond of the image and am rather glad I left it as it is.

Turning Windmill Service Tray
Buy Turning Windmill Service Tray © Sarah Vernon at Zazzle


“This little piggy saved some water,
This little piggy biked for sun,
This little piggy used windmills,
This little piggy used sun,
And this little piggy squealed
‘Re-re-recycle!’
All the way home.”
Jan Peck and David Davis illustrated by Carin Berger


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


 

Using a personal photograph, I have added some of my textures along with one from Kerstin Frank.


“The man is not wholly evil – he has a Thesaurus in his cabin.” (Captain Hook as described by J. M. Barrie in Peter Pan)”
J.M. Barrie


 


“One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


parrot_in_a_gilded_cage_double_sided_standard_business_cards_pack_of_100-r297e2c23650c46f7bc0360d41b87f43a_i579t_8byvr_325
Parrot in a Gilded Cage Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100) by FirstNightDesign

When I posted The Merry Widow image the other week, BeetleyPete assumed (it was a compliment) that I had coloured the central image. In fact, I hadn’t, and the colours were on the original Play Pictorial Cover. However, Parrot in a Gilded Cage is a different matter. The illustration is a black & white sketch from one of my vintage Children’s Encyclopaedia and I coloured it. So there you go, Pete!

Parrot Quote Greeting Card
Parrot Quote Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Parrot Fashion © Sarah Vernon - Buy from Crated

Parrot Fashion Framed Print © Sarah Vernon – Buy from Crated

I’ve been reading up about the different red-headed parrots, of which this is one, but I can’t begin to tell you which. The name on the original print from the Biodiversity Heritage Library that I have used, ‘platycercus’, seems to be a very general term, hence the confusion. I have combined it with several textures of my own.

Didn’t you always know that parrots were extremely intelligent? I give you this excerpt from Creation.com:

[…] researchers have shown what many parrot owners have known or suspected—that parrots can use individual words in appropriate situations. For example, studies by Brandeis University (USA) researcher Dr Irene Pepperberg on an African Grey parrot named “Alex” showed that these birds have an impressive intelligence—about the same as a five-year-old child. When Pepperberg’s research subjects spoke English, it was not mere “parrot fashion”. She said, “If I ask Alex … how many keys; he’ll tell me ‘two’. If I ask him what colour, he’ll say ‘green’ and if I ask him what shape, he’ll say ‘three-quarter’.” He was able to correctly identify 100 objects, do simple addition and identify seven colours, just as children do.

The article goes on to say that parrots can also behave like five-year-old children in deliberately choosing not to give the right answer even though they know it full well. Wouldn’t you just know it!

Parrot Fashion Laptop Skin © Sarah Vernon - Buy at Redbubble

Parrot Fashion Laptop Skin © Sarah Vernon – Buy from Redbubble

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Heavens to Betsy! My weekend has been totally transformed by an email from Zazzle telling me I’ve sold 25 of these Give Thanks Postcards.

The main image is a photograph of our garden – they’re actually Cretan olive trees in the background – and a couple of textures. I’ve used Photoshop to create a Thanksgiving scene with a pumpkin from The Graphics Fairy and an open book from The Cottage Market.

Are you wondering about the phrase ‘Heavens to Betsy’? I have to acknowledge that it’s one of my favourite sayings. I learn, however, that it’s fallen out of use and considered far too anachronistic. Tough. I shall never stop using it. It seems it originated in America in the late 19th century. No one knows who Betsy was and the etymologist Charles Earle Funk said the origins of the phrase were ‘completely unsolvable’. [#1]

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first written use as from a short-story collection by Rose Terry Cooke, Huckleberries Gathered From New England Hills published in 1892. [#1; #2]

I’m also very fond of ‘Heavens to Murgatroyd!’ but I’ll leave that lovely for another day.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Layer upon layer, clip art upon clip art and texture upon texture went into the mix for this ‘fishy’ collage. All mine own. This a very early piece and I thought it could do with some fresh air. So here it is!

Swimming Against the Tide Flasks
Buy Swimming Against the Tide Flasks from Zazzle

Buy a studio pouch from Redbubble © Sarah Vernon

Buy a studio pouch from Redbubble © Sarah Vernon

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The title is a quote from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark in which the inimitable Morningside teacher of impressionable girls is talking about carnations. These vintage flowers—at least, I think they’re carnations—are from Mindy Somers of Vintage Art Downloads, a treasure chest of high-resolution images for artists. The underlay is one of my watercolour textures in pale magenta and green.

Below is a snippet from the film version of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) with Maggie Smith as Brodie and Celia Johnson as the headmistress, Miss Mackay. Incidentally, Dame Celia and I went to the same boarding school…though not at the same time. Obviously.

’Such Serviceable Flowers’ Greeting Card
Such Serviceable Flowers Greeting Card

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Magic Lighthouse © Sarah Vernon

The Magic Lighthouse © Sarah Vernon

The original photograph is by Joshua Hibbert at Unsplash and I had enormous fun changing the dimensions of each element and layering the result with a couple of my textures, one orange and one a grungy yellowy cream. The outsize marigold is from The Graphics Fairy. I guess you might call it a cross between surrealism and magic realism.

https://unsplash.com/joshnh

Using exactly the same combination of photo and textures, Mr FND created his own surrealistic take.

Lighthouse © Mr FND

Lighthouse © Mr FND


“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl


#BLOGSHARELEARN LINKY PARTY OCTOBER 9/15

#MidLifeLuv Linky

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Vampire Quote Flasks
Vampire Quote Flasks

“I can resist everything except temptation.”

This was one of my very first designs, which I created by hand-colouring a vintage bat from my Picture Book of Animals.

Vampire Quote Greeting Card
Vampire Quote Greeting Card

Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)
Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)

Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin
Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Green, Green Grass of Home © Sarah Vernon

The Green, Green Grass of Home © Sarah Vernon

I combined a Chinese print from the Library of Congress at Flickr with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, and the bluewatercolor texture from Angie Makes via Design Cuts.

texturese319blog

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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