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A sale from last year the notification for which became lost in my inbox and that I’ve only just discovered!

Zazzle says: ‘It’s time to show off your favourite art, photos, and text with a custom square wall clock from Zazzle. Made for any wall, this clock is vibrantly printed with AcryliPrint®HD process to ensure the highest quality display of any content. Order this custom square wall clock for your home or give to friends and family as a gift for a timeless treasure.’

via Earthly Delights Square Wall Clock | Zazzle.com

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Some of you know that I had another eye appointment at the hospital on Thursday. The scar tissue was removed by laser, which was fairly painless. I might see a difference in a couple of days but there was talk about it taking six weeks.

AAAGGHHRRR!

No change so far. I’ve always said I was on this earth to learn patience and so it remains. I shall keep smiling and laughing. Because that’s what I do!

And now to the real point of the post.

© Marilyn Griffin

About a year ago, dear Marilyn of MKG- Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts bought one of my prints from Crated. She has now found the perfect frame, as above, and it’s going to look fabulous in her new kitchen. Thank you, Marilyn, for posting about it.

However, took a while for me to realise to whom she was referring:

I first represented this as “Lillian Vernon”… my mistake!… That name always comes to mind when reading Sarah’s Blog… I had read and heard of “Lillian Verno…

Source: Sarah Vernon Print – I Found IT! | MKG- Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook will have seen the photograph below. For anyone else, it just so happens that I bought the same print as Marilyn about six weeks ago from Redbubble and with a frame.

As you can see, it hangs above my kitchen sink. I get such a kick out of it. I’m pretty smitten also with my black tap with a white handle, which is from Ikea and the best and easiest mechanism I’ve ever tried.

It replaces what I thought was a beautifully sinuous — apparently very expensive — chrome tap installed by the previous owner but it was a painful ordeal for my fingers.

glittran-kitchen-mixer-tap-black__0144722_pe304275_s4

And that’s it for now.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


It’s World Scleroderma Day so another outing for this post to spread awareness of this little-known auto-immune condition that affects me.

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to de…

Source: First Night Design | Me, Paul Klee, and Scleroderma


This is a beautiful tribute to me and my work from Lynz at lynz real cooking. If food and life experiences are your thing, you should hot-foot it over to her blog immediately!


Originally posted on First Night Design.

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to describe succinctly. Paul Klee — though it wasn’t diagnosed until ten years after his death in 1940 — had Scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that can be utterly debilitating. I have wanted to write about Scleroderma and its affect on my life and work for some time but I never thought I would be doing so with reference to Paul Klee!

In essence, Scleroderma in all its forms is a chronic circulatory and connective tissue disorder in which the body’s defences attack its own organs and tissues. The Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Association website describes it thus:

‘Scleroderma is an uncommon disease of the immune system, blood vessels and connective tissue. In this condition the skin, usually…

via First Night Design | Me, Paul Klee, and Scleroderma | First Night Design.


Special thanks are due to Sally of Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life. Sally has been an incredible supporter of my work this year and deserves innumerable gold stars!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Buying a gift for Christmas for those we love can become more difficult the older we get. We probably have enough ornaments to dust, soap and socks. Finding something that is a little more inventive can be tough but if you enter Sarah Vernon’s online shopping sites there is no problem at all in finding just the right piece to delight everyone on your present list.

sallyinterviewme

An actress for over 30 years on screen and stage, Sarah Vernon is also a very talented artist and writer. As a blogger Sarah has delighted with her websites including Rogues&Vagabonds founded in 2001, provided a wonderful look behind the scenes of British Theatre and from time to time further afield with some additional features on television and the big screen.

For those of us lucky enough to have discovered her blog and websites, we have been treated to her original and elegant First…

View original post 198 more words


Thank you, Cynthia, for including my work. It was a lovely surprise.

Cynthia Reyes

My blogging community is brimming with ultra-creative people.

They’re remarkable. They make beautiful things with their hands, hearts and minds.

Or support projects that help talented artisans to make a living.

Blog Photo - Lotus Wonders Clutch

So today I’m celebrating these creative types and highlighting some of their products/projects that would make great gifts for loved ones.

  1. LOTUS WONDERS, made by women in a Cambodian village, in partnership with other women in Canada.  Order products and read their story at: http://www.lotuswonders.com/collections/all

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Lotus Wonders Products

Thanks to consultant Stephanie MacKendrick,  former head of Canadian Women in Communications, for bringing Lotus Wonders to my attention.

   2. MICHAEL’S WOODCRAFT. Michael lives on a mountainside in S. Carolina. He carefully chooses the wood and makes each beautiful object himself: cutting boards, ice cream scoops, and other useful items.  

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels birdseye-maple-cheese-boardgif

 Visit his blog and online shop at:  http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/shop/

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels wood-cheese-boards

 3. JEAN LONG AND JESSICA CHARNOCK’S CREATIONS.  In their gorgeous log cabin east…

View original post 313 more words


It was a treat to answer Sally Cronin’s questions for her Smorgasbord blog and this was the result. Thank you, Sally, for allowing me to burble at length!


Hairdryer in Marc’s Garden by Paul Klee (1915) © First Night Vintage

Hairdryer in Marc’s Garden by Paul Klee (1915) © First Night VintageAvailable on Greeting Cards, Postcards, Prints, Stamps & Wrapped Canvas

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to describe succinctly. Paul Klee — though it wasn’t diagnosed until ten years after his death in 1940 — had Scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that can be utterly debilitating. I have wanted to write about Scleroderma and its affect on my life and work for some time but I never thought I would be doing so with reference to Paul Klee!

Paul Klee in 1911, photographed by Alexander Eliasberg [Wikipedia]

Paul Klee in 1911, photographed by Alexander Eliasberg

In essence, Scleroderma in all its forms is a chronic circulatory and connective tissue disorder in which the body’s defences attack its own organs and tissues. The Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Association website describes it thus:

‘Scleroderma is an uncommon disease of the immune system, blood vessels and connective tissue. In this condition the skin, usually of the hands and feet, becomes stiff, tight and shiny. As a result of changes in these three areas, the body produces too much collagen. Collagen, which is the major protein of the connective tissue, binds the body together and is found in the skin, blood vessels, joints and internal organs, such as the kidneys, heart, lungs and bowel. There are several types of collagen and different forms are found in different parts of the body. They are produced by cells called fibroblasts. When fibroblasts produce too much collagen it results in fibrosis, i.e. thickening.

In addition to affecting the fingers, the fibrosis may spread to other areas and organs of the body. The arms, face, trunk and legs may be involved and movement of the limbs may become limited.’

Paul Klee as a soldier in 1916

Paul Klee as a soldier in 1916

Paul Klee was born into a musical family in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, in 1879. His talents were such that he could easily have pursued music instead of art but he found the musical milieu at that time ‘restrictive’ and was increasingly drawn to the world of art, even though his parents wanted him to follow a musical path. “I didn’t find the idea of going in for music creatively particularly attractive in view of the decline in the history of musical achievement.” (Wikipedia) He was a leading force in most of the prevailing movements such as Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism, as is clear from even a cursory look at his work. He created a vast array of watercolours, etchings and paintings during his life.

Flower Myth 1918

Flower Myth 1918

I’d like to take up his story from 1931. Having taught at the Bauhaus for ten years he went on to teach at the Düsseldorf Academy. But everything came to an end in 1933 when a newspaper denounced him: ‘Then that great fellow Klee comes onto the scene, already famed as a Bauhaus teacher in Dessau. He tells everyone he’s a thoroughbred Arab, but he’s a typical Galician Jew.’ Wikipedia

His home was ransacked by the Gestapo and he was fired by the Düsseldorf Academy. He and his family fled to Germany the same year and returned to Bern in Switzerland.

Red Ballooon 1922

Red balloon 1922

While Paul Klee coped with the rarest and most severe form of Scleroderma, ‘diffuse systemic sclerosis (dss)’, I have ‘limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis’ (lcSSc). At the age of fourteen, I was diagnosed with the circulatory condition Raynaud’s Phenomenon, which in rare cases can be an indicator of a propensity to develop the far more complicated Scleroderma, as it was in my case. At twenty-one, soon after I had left drama school, the thrilling diagnosis was amended to C.R.E.S.T. Syndrome, as lcSSc was then known. Many of the symptoms are common to all forms.

Klee’s illness first became apparent — persistent bronchial catarrh — in 1935. He was constantly tired and that is one of the less painful things I have to contend with; a lack of energy has a serious affect on one’s life, especially if you’re in your twenties or thirties and expected to be as bright as a button. This is not so marked now that I’m in my late fifties!

Tale à la Hoffmann 1921

Tale à la Hoffmann 1921

Changes to the Klee’s skin and underlying tissue all over the body followed. Where he and I differ is that his hands were apparently unaffected. He had no problem painting and drawing. I, on the other hand (no pun intended!) have major problems with my fingers, which have become curled and distorted so that while I have always been able to touch-type, I can now only use two fingers on my left hand, three on my right, and my thumbs. This varies depending on swelling and infection, as well as the time of year.

Ad Parnassum 1932

Ad Parnassum 1932

Whatever else Klee might have endured previously, living in Germany in the late 1920s and early ’30s would have been terrifying and shows just how the body can be adversely affected. I have decades of experience to show the direct correlation between life events, my reactions to them, not to mention the cruel reactions of others, and the consequent changes to my entire body. In other words, both physical and emotional pressure exacerbates all types of Scleroderma.

Paul Klee and His Illness: Bowed But Not Broken by Suffering and Adversity
by Hans Suter

In the introduction to his book (above) about Paul Klee and Scleroderma, Hans Suter writes:

‘This star teaches bending’ is the telling title of a work on paper which Paul Klee completed in the year of his death. This brilliant artist lived the last few years of his life in Bern, but they were years which were overshadowed by a dark star. In 1935 Klee suffered a variety of setbacks and became seriously ill. Although he never recovered from this illness, he always maintained his love of life, facing his suffering with a trenchant ‘so what?’ But by 1940 he had to accept that there was no hope of a cure or any improvement in his health. The star had taught him to bend to the blows of fate.’

Klee’s grandson, Alexander Klee, who is now patron of The World Scleroderma Foundation, has this to say in the preface to Suter‘s book:

‘His later work, which was not only influenced by his illness, but which was done in defiance of that illness, is surely one of the most brilliant demonstrations of how suffering and sadness can be overcome through art and imagery, and in which, despite everything, irony can still shine through.’

Untitled 1940

Untitled 1940

The World Scleroderma Foundation writes:

‘Although human suffering is universal, not all of us are gifted with the creative talent to express such emotions; we are therefore grateful to Hans Suter for this splendid book in which we share this anguish through the eyes of a creative genius, Paul Klee. In one of his last pictures, ‘Tod und Feuer’ (Death and fire), one sees the tight, ashen face of the scleroderma sufferer facing his imminent demise.’

Death and Fire 1940

Death and Fire 1940


‘If only the enigma of death were not so ambiguous! No less so is the enigma of life, for one has to wonder what beauty and splendour can be found in the torments of recent times.’ Paul Klee, 1938


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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design

Mademoiselle Couture © First Night DesignMademoiselle Couture © First Night Design

June is bustin’ out all over for me as I have had the most marvellous compliments on my art in the last few weeks and, to top it all, Mademoiselle Couture has just been featured by the RedBubble group, Artists Universe, in their Artist of the Month – June 2013.  As a self-taught artist, who has spent most of the last 30-odd years as an actress, this is an honour indeed.

Click here to see how I created this collage.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Following on from The Woman Behind the Curtain,  I had some more fun playing with the same Wikimedia ruin and EKDuncan‘s theatre curtain.

Once again, I headed to the Rijksmuseum to see what might help me to create something unique. That something turned out to be Mary Magdalene – who would have thought!  This Mary was painted by Jan van Scorel around 1530. Scorel depicts her holding a jar of ointment with which to tend the feet of Jesus. My Mary is holding a jar of massage oil and is definitely looking for earthly delights!

Sell Art Online

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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