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I’m back. I’m rested but a little hysterical since I have had two more conditions diagnosed; one requires surgery, the other is a second incurable autoimmune condition for which the only treatment will be medication, which might or might not make a difference. You couldn’t make it up!

This is one of my very early abstracts created out of some flower and leaf photographs.

via In the Garden Where the Faeries Go Mouse Pad |

How pleasing to sell a sheet of round stickers!
Shape: Classic Round Sticker

Make your unique style stick by creating custom stickers for every occasion! From special mailings and scrapbooking to kids’ activities and DIY projects, you’ll find these stickers are great for so many uses. Add your own designs, patterns, text, and pictures!

  • Dimensions: Available in 2 sizes:
    • Large: 3″ diameter, 6 stickers per sheet
    • Small: 1.5″ diameter, 20 stickers per sheet
  • Printed on white acid-free paper
  • Vibrant full-color, full-bleed printing
  • Scratch-resistant front, easy peel-and-stick back
  • Available in a matte or glossy finish
  • Use the “Customize it!” button to choose between 7 different shapes

Source: Stained Glass Fish Sticker | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Orientation: Postcard

Create your own vacation-worthy postcards right here. Any view you’ve seen, any monument you’ve fallen in love with, can all be added to our postcards with our personalization tool. Craft touching, hand-written correspondence while on your next road trip!

  • Dimensions: 4.25″l x 5.6″w (portrait) or 5.6″l x 4.25″w (landscape)
  • Printed on 110 lb, 12.5 point thick, semi-gloss paper
  • Postage rate: $0.34

Source: Harp of Erin Postcard | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Size: Throw Pillow 16″ x 16″

Accent your home with custom pillows from Zazzle and make yourself the envy of the neighbourhood. Made from high-quality Simplex knit fabric, these 100% polyester pillows are soft and wrinkle-free. The heavyweight stretch material provides beautiful color definition for your design while also being the perfect complement to your couch!

  • Dimensions: 16″ x 16″ (square)
  • Simplex knit fabric; 100% polyester; wrinkle-free
  • Hidden zipper enclosure; synthetic-filled insert included
  • Machine washable
  • Made in the USA

Source: The Albatross Did Follow Throw Pillow | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Sight Update: Monday’s appointment with the ophthalmologist was a disaster. Why? Because the department had no knowledge of it. I could not remember the name of the person who had rung me, which might have led to an explanation. Either way, I wasted £50 on taxis. Yes, the taxis on the Isle of Wight are very expensive.

Style: Case Savvy iPad Mini Glossy Finish Case

Shield your iPad Mini from daily damage with a customizable iPad Mini case. Made of lightweight hard shell plastic, this case clips onto the back of the iPad adding protection without the bulk. Made with a glossy finish, your designs, photos, and text will look great displayed on this one of a kind case.

  • Designed for Apple’s iPad Mini.
  • Hard shell plastic case with glossy finish.
  • Smart Cover compatible.
  • Access to all ports, controls & sensors.

Source: The Queen and The Hookah Cover For The iPad Mini | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


I’m a great fan of Teagan Geneviene’s writing. Her serials are enchanting and by the time the latest chapter of the current serial wings its way into my inbox on a Saturday, I’m champing at the bit to see what’s going to happen!

Each week, her readers supply her with three things which she then weaves into her story. In this Saturday’s episode, Teagan used my suggestions —  a Silver Locket, Green Chartreuse and Salmon Koulibiac.

Originally posted on Teagan’s Books.

I’m afraid I gave in to the dramatic again.  I might as well tell you that there is another cliffhanger ahead.  But you’re forewarned, so try not to scream “Akkk!” about my theatrics when you get there.

The multi-talented Sarah Vernon at “Rogues & Vagabonds” sent the three things that fueled the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era for this chapter.  Sarah’s blogs are visual treats.  “Rogues & Vagabonds” is for anyone with a passion for theatre.  The feeling I get when I visit there puts me in mind of the era of this serial.

Here’s the steam locomotive.  Remember to watch for informative and fun links in text and images.  Now, let’s hurry onto the train!  There was a lot going on when we left the amethyst world last time.  All aboard!

27.  Silver Locket, Green Chartreuse, Salmon Koulibiac

Cornelis Drebbel wore a grave expression as Absinthe popped off to confront the Purple Fairy — also known as the one-eyed one horned flying purple people eater.  Our ape host and his housekeeper continued to murmur worriedly about the safety of the tiny Green Fairy.

I looked at the Dutchman.  His mouth twitched.  Then he smirked.  As I drew a breath to ask him what the devil he was thinking, Cornelis burst out laughing.  What preposterous behavior!  I was speechless, my question utterly forgotten.

Viola clutched a silver locket suspended from a chain around her neck.  A tear from her good eye trickled down her cheek.  She looked like she might swoon again.  Cal Hicks patted her shoulder, trying to comfort the violet…

via Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 27 | Teagan’s Books.

Nous sommes arrivés © Sarah Vernon

Nous sommes arrivés © Sarah Vernon

This is another of my moody ocean pieces. The original photograph is one taken by Mr. FND of a small boat off the coast of west Crete. Adding the 2LO Haunting 14 texture (multiply mode in Photoshop) from 2 Lil’ Owls (bought via Design Cuts) created such a mysterious and dream-like feel to it that I wanted to do no more but display it for your delectation or otherwise!

I am way behind on uploading my images to the various galleries so this one is not yet for sale.

Take care and keep laughing!


I’ve never been a great one for fantasy, unless you count a slight passion for time-travel and ghosts, so creating this dragon picture has come as quite a surprise to me, as it may do to you! As with The Grapes of Worth, it was work-in-progress at the end of November, a luscious grungy purple background just waiting for something perfect. That something perfect turned out to be a dragon. Who’d ‘ave thunk it.

The Purple Dragon
The Purple Dragon Greeting Card

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

Take care and keep laughing!


I’m getting s mewhere! A Macb kPr has been rdered and I’m current y w rking with a Wind ws pc n free an where there are certain characters n the keyb ard that d n’t w rk, inc uding the fu st p!

First Night Design

Valley Rose

This weekend I have been creating products at my First Night Design store on Zazzle with the Valley Rose design and enjoying it immensely.  I hadn’t planned a post today but I was so taken with the look of the Messenger bag that I wanted to share it.  (I can hear my late mother saying, ‘Get you! What makes you think you’re so clever?’)

Valley Rose Greeting Card
Valley Rose Gallery Wrap Canvas
Valley Rose
Valley Rose
Valley Rose
Valley Rose

With thanks to The Graphics Fairy for the original vintage rose.  Linking to Brag Monday.

Valley Rose on Zazzle.

Valley Rose on RedBubble.

Valley Rose on Fine Art America.

Valley Rose on Saatchi Online.

Take care and keep laughing!


View original post

Albatross from The Graphics Fairy. French script from 2 Lil’ Owls.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge [extract]

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.
It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner’s hollo!

Take care and keep laughing!


Just a quick post to let you know that the untitled abstract for which you provided such valuable feedback has now been unleashed and is available to buy at Fine Art America.

Sell Art Online

Take care and keep laughing!


Purple Silk and Satin Thank You Greeting Card
Purple Silk and Satin Thank You Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

I’ve always been a little dubious about the efficacy of Twitter and Facebook when it comes to promoting my wares. Perhaps I should think again for no sooner had I promoted this Thank You Greeting Card on both networks, than I sold eleven customised copies: a delightful turn of events.

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F Kennedy

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” Marcus Aurelius

“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” Anonymous

Take care and keep laughing!



Island in the Storm
Island in the Storm by FirstNightDesign

Beguiling is the word when I think upon what I can do in Photoshop. About eighteen months ago, I started working on a photograph from Wikimedia of Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa, near Priozersk, situated between Finland and Russia.  It is a stunning image in itself, as you can see below, but I wanted to create something entirely new. Could I? Could I f**k! I let it be.


Lake Vuoksa [Wikimedia]

In the meantime, my knowledge of what the software could accomplish increased exponentially, mostly by instinct and a deal of trial and error. (I’m not a one for following instructions — not the software kind, at least, since these rarely succeed in producing what I have in my mind’s eye.)

Yesterday, I picked up where I had left off and deleted some of the textures I had previously included and added new ones of my own, as well as this one from Kerstin Frank.


Kerstin Frank

My usual tweaking not twerking and blending not bending resulted in Island Storm.

Island Storm © First Night Design

Island Storm © First Night Design

Island in the Storm
Island in the Storm by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!


I recently had a conversation with the artist Benjamin Prewitt about red/green colour blindness and since Mr FND has the same, I decided to do a little research, only to discover that it is the most common form.

In our household it has led to some furious discussions about paint colours.  I wanted a muted burnt orange in the drawing-room and picked the closest colour on the paint chart for a tester pot but he came back with something so orange that the red notes made my head spin!

The Colour Blind Awareness site says that although it’s known as red/green colour blindness, it’s not that those affected mix up red and green but that they “mix up all colours which have some red or green as part of the whole colour”. For example, a red/green colour blind person “will confuse a blue and a purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the colour purple”. Apparently, unless the condition is the result of some other problem such as Diabetes or Multiple Sclerosis, the most common reason is an inherited gene from the mother.

“I always knew something was off ,” says Benjamin, “as people would remark how vibrant my work was, or when I would ask if this tan or green fabric matched.”

I’m beginning to understand a little more what it’s like for those affected.

What I haven’t yet disclosed to Benjamin is that I have a big problem with red (he will read it here first!) and very red-based orange — there is a lot of red in his paintings.  If the shade is deep and close to a wine red, I’m attracted to it but otherwise I tend to feel as I did with the orange tester Mr FND bought.

Having said that, I have to confess that some of his red-based paintings that scream at me on the blog look stunning when hung on the wall for an exhibition, as below.


Last year, Benjamin had his eyes checked.  “[I] completely failed the color chart test. The look on the tech’s face was hilarious. The doctor did a more in-depth test with actual light and determined I see a different spectrum of those colors than most. She also told me I have a hyper-acuity, meaning that when I look at things I can focus in far more close than normal, which I guess is why I love texture. I find texture palpable, even being told I really don’t know what it all means in the real world. I just know I feel color and written words and raw emotion [and they] create vivid clear images in my mind. I guess I’m a kook.”

‘Kook’ he certainly is not. Not only do I admire his work, I admire the extraordinary way he copes with early onset Parkinson’s.  Colour blindness is the least of his worries and surely enhances his art.

I feel exactly the same about texture and the chances are that most artists do. His remarks about feeling colour and words prompted me to tell him I have a mild form of Synaesthesia. This condition means that the senses get mixed up. For instance, I see days of the week and months of the year in colour and shape – always the same. Friday might come up in conversation and I instantly see a yellow half-moon. Tuesday is pale grey but I couldn’t begin to describe the shape or pattern, only draw it!  If you’re interested in Synaesthesia, there are a number of books on the subject.  I can’t find the book I read in the late 1980s or early ’90s on my shelves, nor remember its name but it wasn’t until I read it that I realised there was a name for what my mother and I both shared. It was an eye-opener.

By the way, if you want to know what happened to the walls of our flat, the answer is nothing! We couldn’t agree. I painted a swathe in lemon trying to imitate the ragging, rolling, marbling techniques of the late Jocasta Innes but then life interrupted for several years and we didn’t even have the money to slap on some white. Now, because we’re selling, the white paint is going everywhere.

As for what I’m seeing, who knows. I’ve been waiting for a cataract operation for what seems an eternity.

Take care and keep laughing!


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