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FROM THE ARCHIVE 4th October 2015

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 mo…

Source: First Night Design | And for my next trick… #Art | First Night Design

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This is a very old design which I hadn’t looked it in years and now that I do so with newly-minted eyes, I like it rather more than I did at the time. It is, in fact, a straight scan of an old cushion so it didn’t take much designing!

Source: Autumn Fabrication Greeting Card | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Size: Fleece Blanket, 60″x80″

It’s hard to cuddle by yourself. But with these fully customizable comfy fleece blankets, you won’t have to anymore. Customize the entire front panel and wrap yourself in personalized plush luxury. Delicate, soft and colorful, it’s the perfect blanket for picnics in the park, outdoor events, and cozy winter snuggles.

  • Available in 3 different sizes: small (30″x40″); medium (50″x 60″); large (60″x 80″)
  • 100% buttery soft and cozy polyester fleece
  • Edge-to-edge sublimation printing in vibrant full color
  • Sturdy double edge stitching for a clean finish
  • Back color is off-white
  • Machine washable, gentle cycle, mild detergent
  • Tumble dry low

Source: Through a Glass Darkly Fleece Blanket | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Welcome to Margate … translated.

Margate in Kent, a popular seaside resort since the 18th century, is possibly best known these days as the town where artist Tracy Emin grew up. But did you know that it was home to J.M.W. Turner?

“Where therefore, and in this very town of Margate, [Turner] lived, when he chose to be quit of London, and yet not to travel” John Ruskin

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_harbour,_Margate,_KeAlthough I wasn’t thinking of Turner when I discovered this photograph of Margate and its harbour dated 1897 (Wikimedia), I might have been ‘channelling’ him!

"Mrs Booth", sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate

“Mrs Booth”, sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate [Wikimedia]

The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate writes that ‘Turner’s connection with Margate was the founding inspiration for our organisation. He loved Margate for the sea, the skies, and his landlady Mrs Booth.’ Don’t you just love it that he was potty about his landlady!

Visit Thanet gives some interesting snippets about Margate:

  • In the 1700s, bathing in the sea and drinking seawater became a fashionable cure for all sorts of diseases. From the Georgian period onwards visitors from London began flocking to resorts like Margate for the seawater cure and increasingly as a place to socialise. Margate has built a reputation as a place for bathing in the sea – both for health and pleasure.
  • Margate has a special place in the history of the ‘Bathing Machine’ with Benjamin Beale inventing the modest hood in 1753. This canvas canopy could be lowered and raised by the driver of the machine, allowing bathers a modicum of privacy as well as some protection from wind and waves.
    A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the wom Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the woman in side looks shocked and angry; the man claims he thought it was his machine. Coloured lithograph by Br. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    A man opening the door of a woman’s bathing machine. [Wikimedia]

  • Whilst in Margate recuperating from a nervous breakdown, TS Eliot sat at the Grade II listed shelter on Margate seafront and composed the key lines in his poem ’The Waste Land’ – “On Margate Sands./I can connect/Nothing with nothing./The broken fingernails of dirty hands./My people humble people who expect/Nothing”.
  • Margate, was the first place to offer and popularise donkey rides on the beach, starting back in the early 1800s.

So now you know!

Available at the following galleries:
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Fine Art America
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Saatchi Art

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:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

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:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

This photograph of the Venetian Harbour in Chania, Crete, was taken by me on this occasion and not Mr FND! My idea was to create a watercolour with the gentle lines of a preparatory drawing showing through.

My first layer was the bluewatercolor from Angie Makes in Photoshop’s Normal mode. This I followed with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls in Linear Burn. As you can see, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of those two backgrounds! Next came the Venetian Harbour which I put in Screen mode. To create the line drawing, I used the Trace Contour tool; this is not the best tool in the world but since I wanted the bare minimum showing, I knew it could work. To top it off, I used another 2 Lil’ Owls texture, 2LO Confetti 8. Putting the latter in Multiply mode was the perfect finishing touch.

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The last time I tried to create a watercolour effect with this photo — some years ago now — it was disastrous and very obviously ‘Photoshopped’ using their ‘watercoloor’ tool. Not a good idea. I’m much happier this time round!

Incidentally, the mosque in the centre of the picture is the Mosque of the Janissaries, now an art gallery. If you ever find yourself in the harbour, by all means have a drink but don’t, whatever you do, eat a meal. The quality is appalling and you would be better off going up the side streets to find good, authentic food. Most important of all, avoid the taverna that sells very pink and very green cocktails — coloured fizzy water at best! We were each offered one for free having allowed the owner to do a quick run round the harbour on my mobility scooter. Never again!

Here, for your delectation, is a recipe for what looks and sounds like an excellent green cocktail from MyBestCocktails.com:

minttu

Minttu

Ingredients
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Cuban Rum
1 oz Batida de Coco
2/3 oz Midori
1 oz Pineapple Juice
6 leaves Mint Leaves

  1. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a tall glass with some ice.
  3. Enjoy!

No, I’ve never come across Midori either!

Available at the following galleries:
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Fine Art America
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Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



‘The confluence of perhaps the most exotic cultures in the world exist right here in this pink city. Arabian, African, and European influences are found in the streets, its inhabitants, and its monuments.’ Sensational Colour


Marrakesh Arches Greeting Cards

I went to Morocco in 1986. A week in Agadir was not the delight my then boyfriend and I had hoped. The sky was grey, the beach was grey, and the sights were grey. We hadn’t realised that the earthquake of 1960 had destroyed so much. According to BBC News, it was the deadliest in Moroccan history.

The rebuilding was typical 1960s fare and depressing beyond belief.  Marrakesh, however, proved to be a highlight and we spent two days and nights taking in the lemons, pinks and ochres of the buildings and the souks, and bought endless supplies of saffron. We also tried to sell my chap’s wilful, spoilt and selfish daughter for a couple of camels. The Arabs didn’t want to endure her temper tantrums any more than I did. Shame!

Marrakesh Arches
Marrakesh Arches Throw Pillows

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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