Beauty in Black and White

A greeting card featuring this Marcella Walker illustration from The Girls Own Paper is sure to please any romantic–especially when the paper she is printed on has a textured linen finish.

image (4)Indeed, I find it truly delightful to the eye, the touch and the heart; though she doesn’t utter a word, she speaks volumes.

Note that, for the time being, she is available in my physical inventory only, and comes with a blank interior so you can write a personalized greeting for any occasion, to Show You Care.

Mother’s Pride

More often than I ever would have imagined, my children create small miracles.

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Kristina Drake’s Recently Published Creation

I actually have a total of five two-legged miracles from them. And these five are delights that will forever feed my soul–I only hope they realize how much.
Today, though, I want to share a different kind of miracle: my daughter’s poem, Indulgence. It speaks strongly to me and, if you are a woman, it probably speaks to you as well. A man who appreciates poetry will also surely like it. Enjoy.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Well, yes, it is more springy out there: the birds are all a-twitter and the temperatures are more inviting.

Happy Spring Bird

But now we need some sunshine!

The rain has been falling for several days; lake and river levels are rising; basements are getting wet and yes, even flooded; it’s definitely time for a break.

 

 

Do You Believe in Magic?

I’m sure most of us did at one point in our lives. And yes, many of us still do – if only in our dreams.

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However, if we truly observe where we find joy, we can see that indeed, there is magic all around us: in the love that flows between a mother and her new-born; in the discovery of tiny flowers that have bloomed overnight – in the darkness of the forest; in the millions of stars in a midnight-blue sky; and in surprisingly glorious sunrises and sunsets.

Whatever your definition allows on this fabulously cold spring day, may it truly enthral you and enchant you to bits!

And may it add a touch of magic to your wide-awake dreams.

Behaviour 101 — No More Tiptoeing Around

We do have choices. We just have to be brave enough to act upon them.
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When people expose us, or others-in-our-company, to inappropriate behaviour that includes over-reacting, sulking, ranting, bullying, criticizing, belittling, ridiculing or any of many other demeaning styles, we do not have to tolerate it, or feel bad, or fidget, or hang our heads, or crawl within our shells, or in any way, accept it. Indeed, we have an obligation to ourselves and others to not ignore it. And to not accept it. If we are faced with unkind, unnecessary, unproductive and quite simply, unacceptable behaviour, we must stop tiptoeing around, and react. Pointe finale!

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Teenage Girls Don’t Need Makeup

Pay attention, girls, ’cause I’m telling you the truth:

You don’t need any makeup to get your through your youth.

True beauty – that is real – doesn’t come inside a jar.

It’s important that you realize, you’re great the way you are.

image-10Forget about the lipstick, mascara, cream and blush.

They may make you look older, but what’s all the rush?

Enjoy your life at thirteen; learn to love yourself;

Stop looking in the mirror; leave the products on the shelf.

They’re full of nasty chemicals that aren’t good for you;

They coat your skin and lashes and muck your lips up too.

Plus after you have put them on, and you’re caked with all that stuff,

Before you go to bed at night, you have to scrub it off.

Finally, when you’ve finished that, your face is once more clean.

But wait! According to the pros, you must apply more cream.

Yes, this circle is a vicious one. It’s really quite a pain.

Before you leave to go to school, you must dress your face – again!

These products are not good for you, and look at the price you pay!

Though they promise to make you beautiful, this is what I say:

Without them you ARE beautiful, and you have a lot more time,

To do the things that really count, and that really help you shine.

Just be yourself and live your life; do real things – for you.

Spend time with friends, and learn, and do. Be beautifully real and true!

Don’t listen to cosmetics claims – the scene they show is fake.

Real women don’t look anything like the nonsense they portray.

Ignore their ads and keep your cash, and refuse to pay the price.

Instead of falling for their claims, consider my advice.

Makeup can cost a fortune, and help companies grow richer.

Just forget all their slick talk and listen to your teacher.

 

Note:This Rapper Drake” wrote and performed a shorter version of this rap for students in her last years of teaching at Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie, a girls’ school in Outremont, Quebec.

Thank you, Robert Frost

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The woods are lovely, [white and bright,]

But I have [Wordpress posts to write,

And work to do before tonight,

And work to do before tonight.]

It’s rare that I enter these woods without the words of Robert Frost’s famous poem dancing through my mind. But since I was there on a sunny afternoon, his words didn’t quite ring true. So, I had to modify them. And yes, now they respect the moment. 🙂

Perhaps you’d like to listen to Robert Frost reading his original creation, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.

From Illustration to Greeting Card

Turning an interesting old illustration into a greeting card, requires a few steps, including from the very beginning, research on copyrights and “Permission to Use.”

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With the legalities taken care of, we then imagine how we would like to use the selection in an original or personal way that says Audities’ Cards.

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Browsing through our photos, we find an image that could be combined with the illustration to create an interesting or humorous message.

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Then, through patience and the magic of photo editing, we combine the two photos to create the scene.

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Finally, we work on the finishing touches to the image, and add the overlays and text to complete the greeting.

Now, surely you agree: that’s fun!

Enough Stuff

When I look around me, I see educated and very intelligent sick people. The disease they suffer from is affluenza, a serious addiction to buying . . . stuff.  Stuff they do not need or even really want, but stuff they feel compelled to buy. At first glance, you would say they are healthy and happy and wise about their spending, but they spend a lot of time saying: “I’ve just bought this!” and, “I got this on sale!” and, “I’m so excited about my new this!” Usually they are also very good at justifying their need for this new stuff.

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The Pink Lady in 2009 — A 3-story house with 21 rooms full of stuff!

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