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I’m hot-footing it to the hospital tomorrow for my cataract operation. I leave you with some of my favourites for Valentine’s Day. I should be back before then. Mind you, while one would normally expect to be in and out in a day with such a surgery, I’m told I have to stay in the night before and the night after. I’m spitting with rage at the ghastliness!

All of these pieces are my own except for Kissing on the Chaise-Longue which is a vintage postcard I restored.

You're the Cream in My Coffee Valentine Greeting Card
You’re the Cream in My Coffee Valentine Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

Search for Love.
Search for Valentine.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Make Me a Willow Cabin Valentine Postcard
Make Me a Willow Cabin Valentine Postcard

Make Me a Willow Cabin was created some time ago but I don’t think I’ve ever sold it as a greeting card or postcard or on anything, which is a shame. I’m rather fond of it.

‘Make me a willow cabin…,’ declares Viola to Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Viola, disguised as Cesario, has been sent by Orsino to declare his love for Olivia. Viola, however, chooses to give the message in her own way, telling Olivia that if he, Cesario, were in love with her, he would go much further than simply send a go-between.

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

Sarah


Decorated Valentine Fan © Sarah Vernon

Decorated Valentine Fan © Sarah Vernon

If you intend to shower your beloved with passion and romance, make sure you have everything to hand.


First, the greeting card.


The little party favour box which you can fill with the chocolates of her choice.


If that doesn’t take your fancy, you can choose a calendar of chocolates.


 I’m sure you already know what you’re buying as a present but if you’re short of ideas, how about a iPad Folio case.


Or a pretty cushion.


It goes without saying — unless you’re my  late ex-husband! — that you will want to wrap the presents.


And put them all in a matching gift bag.


Are you taking her for a romantic meal somewhere special  — a restaurant or cooking for her at home? Send her a beautiful invitation.


Fan from The Graphics Fairy.
Vintage Document from 2 Lil’ Owls.


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

Sarah


duras“I’ve forgotten the words with which to tell you. I knew them once, but I’ve forgotten them, and now I’m talking to you without them.”

Source: Marguerite Duras says:


I know, I know — the last thing you want to think about is Christmas, especially when we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to come but what’s a girl to do when she hasn’t planned any other posts and she’s just sold a couple of these greeting cards? Don’t answer that!

Angel Love is a reworking of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Song of the Angels and has proved surprisingly popular over the years (surprising to me, anyway). The background texture is from a scanned wrapping paper bought at the turn of the century. The gold-stamped Christmas greeting is exactly that — hand-stamped from a time when my fingers allowed me to do hand-made cards, and scanned for the purposes of digital art.

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

Sarah


‘Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.’ Nathaniel Hawthorne

‘I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.’ John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

‘Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.’  Robert A. Heinlein

These butterflies are found in China, Japan, and Korea, and come from an image at  The Biodiversity Library. The soft background of flowers is adapted from a painting at the Rijksmuseum — I’m so thankful this inspiring museum allows artists to download some of their exhibits to merge them into our own work. The other texture, which includes the flowers bottom right of the image, is from Kerstin Frank.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


No change in internet connection!

This exquisite watercolour of one man and his dog was a special commission. The artist is Janet Weight Reed. The subject is Mr FND with our dog Pisch.

In the twenty years we have been together, we have rarely been able to give each other birthday presents. Let us say it has been the norm more often than not to let the occasions pass us by with barely a nod; finding money for food and utility bills has taken precedence.

I determined that last winter would be different because our circumstances were changing. Mr FND was in London selling our flat and as soon as we exchanged contracts, I emailed Janet asking if she would be able to paint a watercolour in time for 19th December if I sent her a photograph.

She could, she would and she did!

It was at this point that my old MacBook Pro died, as some of you know, and I was reduced to data roaming on my mobile which is not conducive to work or approving Janet’s painting before she sent it to Crete. I sent Janet a message, via a friend, with our address and said that I trusted her talent and instinct enough to ‘approve’ without seeing a scan!

The pleasure and excitement that the painting was coming and that Mr FND knew nothing about it was indescribable.

Except that it didn’t arrive before 19th December. Nor did Mr FND as there had been endless problems on the journey from London, not least the Anek Lines Ferry driver who broke the hand brake on our small van, and the impossibility of finding the new Piraeus ferry terminal in Venice. Signposts might be a good idea, especially as it still looks like an unmanned building site!

Mr FND arrived on 20th December but the painting went AWOL in the Greek postal system and did not arrive until after Christmas.

In spite of the delay, our joy in the watercolour is infinite. Janet has done a superb job, capturing a likeness of man and dog that is quite, quite remarkable, and every brush stroke expresses the loving bond between the two.

Janet, you really have made us immeasurably happy and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If anyone reading this is considering commissioning a painting for a special occasion, I cannot recommend Janet more highly.

I end this post with some of Janet’s magical hummingbirds.

p1150411

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A Valentine image taken from a vintage postcard in my collection that early readers may know but is here shown on heart stickers, greeting cards and make-up bags.

Kissing on the Chaise-Longue Valentine Cosmetic Bags
Cosmetic Bags


“I’d always worried but kissing’s not so tricky. Your lips know what to do, just like sea anemones know what to do.”
― David MitchellBlack Swan Green


Available at the following galleries:

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


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…

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5296a4ee-e269-441a-9365-b2c97d73b398

Order by February 1st to get your art in time for Valentine’s Day!
Save 15% with code: CR2FQV

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


You're the Cream in My Coffee Valentine Spiral Note Book
You’re the Cream in My Coffee Valentine Spiral Note Book

You can’t beat Nat King Cole…enjoy!

This design is available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
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Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Love is Not Love... Cards
Love is Not Love… Cards

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

All Valentine products
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



“Give me Pablo Neruda, picnic beneath a full moon & iridescent stars, black olives, cherries, dark things, canoe on a river…that’s romance.”
― Brandi L. BatesSoledad


Just Dropping In Valentine Sticker
Just Dropping In Valentine Sticker


Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I am still not able to create new images, in this instance for Valentine’s Day, which saddens me. I had hoped I would have received my new MacBook Pro by now but ‘Greek Time’ is something else! In the meantime, this is a post from a year ago about love and seahorses.

First Night Design

Valentine Seahorses
Valentine Seahorses Couples Mug
  • Did you know there are contradictions wherever you look as to whether seahorses mate for life? Most, it seems, are certainly monogamous during the courting season and can be so for several seasons after.
  • Did you know there are 35 species of seahorses?
  • Did you know that they’re very poor swimmers and can sometimes die of exhaustion in the process if the weather is particularly stormy?
  • Did you know they have chameleon-like eyes?
  • Did you know that their ‘courtship dance’ can last for 8 hours?
  • Did you know that the female of the species produces the eggs and inserts them into the male’s pouch?
  • Finally, did you know that several species of seahorse are in danger of extinction due to pollution, destruction of their usual tropical, shallow water habitats and the continuing practice of harvesting them for traditional Asian medicine?
Valentine Seahorses
Valentine Seahorses Greeting Card
Valentine Seahorses
Valentine Seahorses
Valentine Seahorses
Valentine Seahorses

Photo: yellow seahorse anchored to coral

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