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You have no idea just how peachy it has been to create a piece of art with my new vision after spending so many months re-blogging earlier pieces and promoting those which have sold. My heart and soul are leaping with joy. Just as well in view of the unconscionable state prevailing in the UK after a general election. I am reminded of my favourite quote from erstwhile US President Jimmy Carter (and there are many to choose from) which says it all when one thinks of Prime Minister Theresa May’s parentage: the daughter of a vicar no less. “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values because you don’t.’

The original is a photochrom from the Library of Congress of the entrance to the harbour at St. Malo in France taken between 1890 and 1900. I duplicated the image, ran the jpg through the Topaz Impressions Abstraction II filter, which I added as a third layer before topping with one of my yellow textures. I made use of a variety of Photoshop blends such as Darken, Lighter Colour and Screen.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE March 2015.
This is an adaptation of an old photochrom postcard circa 1895 from Wikimedia showing the beach at Ostend, Belgium. I have used textures from 2 Lil’ Owls to age it further, along with a French document, also from 2 Lil’ Owls, to add ‘a little something extra’…

Source: First Night Design | A Côté de la Mer or a Jolly Time was had by All!


In the mid-1990s, after a delightful holiday in Crete with a dear friend, she and I decided we wanted to buy a bolt-hole on the island. I planned to spend half the year in Crete to give my health (or lack of it) the warmth it desperately needed.

At the Going Down of the Sun 
At the Going Down of the Sun (coastline, Chania, Crete)

But life, as John Lennon and others before him said, has a way of happening when you’re making other plans and we never did buy that bolt-hole.

Lighthouse in the Mist Post Cards
(Chania) Lighthouse in the Mist

Cut to September 2008 and Mr FND and I went on our first proper holiday after thirteen years together, prompted by my having four TIAs (mini strokes) in the May. We knew we had to change our lives and a holiday was a priority.
We settled on Chania and the rest is history. I think that even before we got on the plane at Gatwick, we knew we would move to this glorious island permanently. It may, at this time in history, be part of Greece, but there is something different about the island and an atmosphere that is quite unlike the mainland.

Lighthouse in Chania iPad Mini Cover
Lighthouse in Chania iPad Mini Cover

DAKOS

Dakos

© Sarah Vernon

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Crete has the healthiest diet in the Mediterranean. The island has the agriculture, the chefs and the recipes to make your stomach and your doctor very happy! The tavernas and cafés in the tourist areas of Chania, the nearest city to the village of Chorafakia — primarily round the Venetian Harbour — are, alas, not the place to find great Greek or Cretan food but venture into the cobbled streets of the Old Town or up into the mountains and you will often find places to eat that can fulfill your every Cretan dream.

We’ve probably all heard of Moussaka and Tzatziki but unless you are partly or wholly Greek or have spent many years having Greek holidays, you may not have heard of many of the staple mezes or snacks. One such are Dakos, which originated in Chania.  These are barley rusks (twice-baked bread) topped with fresh tomatoes, feta or mizithra cheese, olive oil and oregano. Simple but delicious … and healthy!

Details of how to create Dakos at home can be found at Maria Verivaki’s blog, Organically Greek. She writes:

‘This is the healthiest salad snack you can imagine. It has been immortalised all over Greece and is famous for its Hania origins. It is served in practically every single restaurant, taverna, café or kafeneio in the province. It is extremely easy to make. I don’t know why it’s called dackos (or dakos, or dako for that matter); the same name is also used for the troublesome fly that infests olives and ruins olive trees.’

Scorched Earth Greeting Card
Scorched Earth Greeting Card (Chania’s Venetian Harbour)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Scorched Earth © Sarah Vernon

Scorched Earth © Sarah Vernon

And for my next trick, I have used the same Venetian Harbour in Chania photograph (Overlay mode in Photoshop) to show baking hot, sand-encrusted houses overlooking the sea.  The underlay (Normal mode) is a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls (2LO Distressed 21).

And oh boy, does that red desert dust cover everything. The Libyan Desert may be closer to South Crete but those pesky winds sweep it up and over. Every morning our beaten-up car is caked in the stuff.

That’s not even taking the henna-red earth of our garden into consideration. In the early days, I considered how it could be pressed into service. Might we be able to sieve it and press it into jars with some magic ingredient that would serve as hair dye? Would it work as a tanning agent? Was I ever seriously going to do any such thing? A resounding no! But it was fun to think about.

Which reminds me of our Greek friend ‘Panioyotis’. He was born in mainland Greece but brought up in Germany. He works mainly in the tourist industry but is constantly dreaming up ideas to make money, none of which he ever follows through, though not before he has brought me on board as his website designer and general factotum.

There were the rape alarms that are illegal in Greece but that he planned to order and dispatch from Germany. There were the lighthouses he hoped Mr FND would make out of abandoned wooden palettes.  There was the time he saw one of my images—

beenfishin

Been Fishin’ (US) Been Fishin’ (UK)

—and wanted to start an online business selling my Crete-based designs, whether straight photographs or digitally adapted.

Eventually, we realised these were pipe dreams that were never going to amount to anything. How much money he wasted on research—ordering the alarms and so forth—we’ll never know.

‘Panioyotis’ is now working back in Germany. He visits occasionally and although it’s lovely to see him, we have one problem: our dog, Pisch, has never liked him and barks constantly when he’s around. This activity is usually a good indicator of the decency of another human being but not in this case for ‘Panioyotis’ is a sweetheart!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Travel Mug

This is a very early piece of digital art which I’d almost forgotten about. I hope it appeals to you. Have a superb weekend — I hear it’s hotter in London than here in Crete. Perhaps we should return to the England for the summer!

Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Binders

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is an adaptation of an old photochrom postcard circa 1895 from Wikimedia showing the beach at Ostend, Belgium. I have used textures from 2 Lil’ Owls to age it further, along with a French document, also from 2 Lil’ Owls, to add ‘a little something extra’.


‘A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean.’
Henry Grunwald



“…vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else, and because bathing and basking on the shore cannot be considered an employment but only an apotheosis of loafing. (“Expiation”)”
― E.F. BensonThe Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson


Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle UK
Zazzle US
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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