Series Two: Children’s Book Illustration Postcards 1-5

Back in June I posted a five-part series on the children’s book illustration postcards I’d received through 122 consecutive weeks of swaps hosted by Marjan.  She ended the series in December 2015.   I really missed the swaps, so as I reviewed my blank CBI postcards “crying out” for new homes, I knew it was time to start the swaps again.  Marjan gave her blessing and the swaps began (again) in July.  I host the swap every two weeks–in the “Book Lovers Congregate” group (BLC) on swap-bot and as a public swap (which means any swap-bot member can join as long as she/he meets swap criteria).  I hope to eliminate the public swap eventually and only host in the group, but so far, the public swap participant roster is three times longer than the group’s.  For now, it’s been fun hosting in two places.  Besides, I have more than 300 blank children’s book illustration postcards to share with the world; I plan to host the swap until I run out of postcards…or steam.

We just completed the 10th swap.  Here are postcards from the first five swaps–with illustrations of books from Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA).

BLC Swap #1: From Ksenia (Israel)--

BLC PC #1: From Ksenia (Israel)–“What’s the Story?” Ksenia found this postcard at an illustration exhibition. There was no story attached, but it feels like a children’s book illustration, so it counts. 😉

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)--De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)–De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)--Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)–Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

Public #2: From Pikkis (Finland)--From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

Public PC #2: From Pikkis (Finland)–From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)--From The Children's Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)–From The Children’s Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

Public #3: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered.

Public PC #3: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered. “Presently Peter let the picket-handkerchief go again.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)--Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-Well Loved Tales. By Vera Southgate, Illustrated by Eric Winter

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)–Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-“Well Loved Tales.” By Vera Southgate. Illustration by Eric Winter

Public #4b: From Karen07 (USA)--Something to Do, 1968. Cover Illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public PC #4: From Karen07 (USA)–Something to Do, 1968. Cover illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public #4: From Karen07 (USA)--The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover Illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

Public PC #4b: From Karen07 (USA)–The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods. “Old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and when through the wood to the baker’s.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

Public #5: From Karen07 (USA)--Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover Illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public PC #5: From Karen07 (USA)–Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public #5b: From Karen07 (USA)--Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

Public PC #5b: From Karen07 (USA)–Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

That’s it for now.  Tune in tomorrow for swaps six to ten.

Ciao!

Guest Post: “My New Song” by Takiyah Franklin/Takiyah Suhail

Today’s post was written by Takiyah Franklin/Takiyah Suhail, whom I usually refer to as “My Tk.” Takiyah is a former student, mentee, and research assistant with whom I’ve always shared a spiritual kinship.  During her undergraduate years we ministered together–she through song, I through biblical teachings.  Over the 10+ years since she graduated, our relationship has evolved and I consider her a spiritual sister.  In January, I posted about Takiyah’s single, “My New Song,” which was inspired by the words of Howard Thurman, one of my favorite theologians. Today, Takiyah, talks about the song, shares the recently released video, a little about herself, her music, and her faith journey.

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Takiyah Suhail aka Takiyah Franklin

Takiyah Suhail aka Takiyah Franklin.  Photo Credit: Denna Bendall

I am excited to introduce myself and share “My New Song,” my recent single release. I am a singer/songwriter from Oakland, California and I have the pleasure of working with Rev. Andriette Earl, the founding minister of an amazing spiritual community, Heart and Soul Center of Light, a world-class teaching and empowerment ministry located in Oakland, CA.

Theologian Howard Thurman’s essay entitled “I Will Sing a New Song” inspired Rev. Earl and Erika Luckett, a renowned Emmy Award winning singer/songwriter, to write “My New Song.”

Here’s an excerpt from Thurman’s essay:

The old song of my spirit has wearied itself out. It has long ago been learned by heart so that now it repeats itself over and over, bringing no added joy to my days or lift to my spirit. It is a good song, measured to a rhythm to which I am bound by ties of habit and timidity of mind. The words belong to old experiences which once sprang fresh as water from a mountain crevice fed by melting snows. But my life has passed beyond to other levels where the old songs are meaningless. I demand of the old song that it meet the need of present urgencies. Also, I know that the work of the old song, perfect in its place, is not for the new demand!

I am blessed to have been chosen to deliver such an incredible life-shifting and affirmative song.

You can listen to “My New Song” and/or watch the music video on my website, Takiyah. Feel free to post the YouTube link for the music video everywhere:  (https://youtu.be/m-hK_kvP010).  The song is also available for purchase on all digital distribution music outlets: Search Takiyah “My New Song.”

I am a radical advocate of the transformative power of Love and it is my intention to use my music to encourage the conscious spiritual practice of being a Love Light. When I allowed the healing, transformative power of God’s Love to lead, guide, and direct my life, everything outside of Love steadily faded away. This is not an easy practice: it is radical and requires a lot of internal work.

I invite you to listen to my latest EP, Unfolding I Affirma brief collection of songs born out of breakthroughs of practicing faith through my life’s most difficult times. In my lowest points of being alone and raising three beautiful children, my faith in the Highest Power guided me to perfect Peace.  I’m learning how to live a life filled with joy, love, and peace in the midst of mental and emotional challenges. I want to share my journey with you.

You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @blackstarworld.

Love and Peace…

There’s Something About Vintage Photography

Not too long ago, I printed an “oddly sized” photo with my printer that left me with top and side borders and a slightly larger bottom border.  Instead of trimming the borders, I  kept them and wrote a description and date at the bottom.  It reminded me of Polaroid prints. The nostalgic moment compelled me to purchase a set of vintage photo reproduction postcards from Amazon for pennies–literally.

Vintage Polaroid Postcards from Spectrum

“The Impossible Spectrum”

The collection is called The Impossible Spectrum Collection: 100 Instant-Film Postcards.  The postcards, as you can see from the image above, are simple and elegant, reminiscent of times long gone. The box sits on my desk and I look at the postcards almost daily.  There are two of each design in the box and I have been having a hard time sending any of them just yet.

Because of my recent obsession with vintage photos, I’ve been playing around with my own photos in various apps, adding vintage effects, and searching for an app that would make my photos look like Polaroid photos, frame and all.  Of course, no matter how much I try to “replicate” a vintage photo, there’s little I can do to fully capture the experience of what is now vintage photography.

My friend Cy, on the other hand, can.  She has this cool Argus 75 her grandmother gave to her many years ago. Before I even saw the camera, I decided I would feature it in a postcard design. So when she brought it to campus for a quick visit last week, I had a only few seconds between student conferences and classes to take some shots.  Jasmin, my student and mentee, was killing time in my office and kindly agreed to be my model.

The camera is the cutest! I captured at least 15 shots of it and then edited it in various apps.  Here are a couple of the ones I like best:

img_4652

Discovery: The Argus 75

I wanted the image to have a vintage feel, so I edited it in Snapseed using the retrolux effect.   This one (below) uses a different retrolux effect.

Discovery: The Argus 75

Of course, I had to create a landscape postcard with a different quote. I edited this one in Pixlr.

Vision: The Argus 75

Vision: The Argus 75

Jasmin and Courtney (one of my other students) weren’t impressed with the “vintage look.” They prefer little to no tampering with the original photo, so this was their pick:

Vision with Diamonds: Argus 75

Vision with Diamonds: The Argus 75

I don’t know much about vintage cameras, but I love the look and feel of them.  In my search to learn more about the Argus 75, I found a detailed blog post on the camera that featured some images shot with it.  If you, like me, are curious about the Argus 75, you can see the post here: Random Camera Blog: The Argus 75–Toy or Tool.  Or, if you just want to see shots captured with the camera, go to Argus 75 1958-1964 (also referenced on Random Camera Blog).

I’m seriously considering putting this camera on my Christmas wish list! 😉

 

More Postcard Love!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did receive a number of extra postcards from Love Notes participants.  The great thing about the Love Notes community is that the connections to other individuals are not just about getting postcards.  Participants enjoy reaching out in their own way to other participants. Some make cards and notecards. Some purchase them, but all seem to use snail mail to brighten someone’s day and to get to know each other better.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received my first unsolicited Love Notes and now I look forward to the occasional happy mail in my P.O. Box.

Here are the extra love notes from October 2016. From Christine B.:

Paris France Arc: De Tiomphe De L'ecole

Paris, France Arc: De Tiomphe De L’ecole

“Don’t forget to remember:

  • You deserve the very best.
  • Be sure to love yourself.
  • Pay yourself a compliment.
  • Continue to make art and look at nature.”
Sunset, Pto. Lobos, Mexico, photo by Christine B.

Sunset, Pto. Lobos, Mexico, photo by Christine B.

“Imagine…No hate. No judgment. No suffering. Just peace and love.”

“People with Courage,” art by Christine B.

“Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway…”

From Lorelei (whose name I love):

“3-D Pumpkin Love,” made by Lorelei C.

“Don’t forget to remember…

  • to enjoy a pumpkin latte or muffin or both
  • to treat the kiddies to best treats ever
  • to enjoy the gorgeous colors of the season
  • to unplug and read a good book
  • to enjoy friendships old and new”
The Duquesne Incline was once a practical mode of transport for Pittsburgh's citizens, providing safe and gelable public transportation. The hisser rail care, which began operating in 1877, is now a popular attraction for tourists. With is 400-foot rise up Mt. Washington, the Incline provides sa scenic view of the Pittsburgh skyline. Photo by Blair Seitz

The Duquesne Incline was once a practical mode of transport for Pittsburgh’s citizens, providing safe and reliable public transportation. The historic rail car, which began operating in 1877, is now a popular attraction for tourists. With its 400-foot rise up Mt. Washington, the Incline provides a scenic view of the Pittsburgh skyline. Photo by Blair Seitz

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.  –Albert Einstein

“Can you imagine using this as transportation to work, shops, churches, or schools? And with kids, packages, bad weather?  Oh, my!”

From Jacki W., a new Love Notes friend, who resides in the U.K.:

Weeping Window from the installation

Weeping Window from the installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas Red.” Poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins. Installation designed by Tom Piper

“Don’t forget to remember that life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it.  Nobody said it would be easy. They just promised it would most likely be worth it.”

“The Beguiling of Merlin,” Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898). Lady Lever Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool

Sent with a nice long note with lots of love.

That’s it for now.  Hope to see you in January for Love Notes 2017!

Postcards = Love

Shannan, a Love Notes participant, stopped by my office today.  She traveled all the way from her office on campus to say hello.  That’s right!  One of the participants and I live in the same area and work at the same university. What are the odds? We discovered this just after the October round began.  Furthermore, I had been following her blog and never made the connection between the blogger and the grant writer who helped me with a recent grant proposal. The world is so much smaller than we think, and I’m always surprised by that reality.  Anyway, her stopping by reminded me that I hadn’t written about my October Love Notes!

As you may recall from an October post, Love Notes is hosted by Jennifer Belthoff.  Participants sign up for the swap on her website, and then she assigns partners–notified via email–who correspond with each other for three weeks based on a prompt she provides each Sunday.

My October partner, Martha Slavin, is an artist and writer who resides on the West Coast.  She sent beautifully designed cards with well-considered messages.

"Imagine," art by Martha Slavin

“Imagine,” art by Martha Slavin

In response to the week one prompt, “Imagine,”  Martha wrote:

Imagine

a word that resonates deep

inside you–like

Remember

Kindness

Joy

words that connect us.

For the week two prompt, “Don’t forget to remember…,” Martha sent a community themed postcard that underscored the message she wrote on the back.

"How to Build a Community," Text by members SCW Community. Karen Kerney, watercolor and colored pencils.

“How to Build a Community,” Text by members SCW Community. Karen Kerney, watercolor and colored pencils.

She reminded me of our connection to each other as humans and advised:  “Don’t forget to remember…”

  • that community is what makes us human
  • that it takes at least two to be whole
  • that you can reach out every day to someone who needs you

If you’re interested in the postcard art, you can find more information here: Syracuse Cultural Workers.  It can be purchased in various forms–print, notecard, bookmark, t-shirt.

For the final week’s prompt, “Courage is…,” Martha sent a mixed-media piece she created:

"I See You, Butterfly," artwork by Martha Slavin

“I See You, Butterfly,” artwork by Martha Slavin

She defined courage as:

  • taking the next step
  • seeing with new eyes
  • living with you feelings
  • reaching out to others
  • getting help when you need it

Martha sent an extra piece with the final mailing:

"What Blows in the Wind?" art and text by Martha Slavin

“What Blows in the Wind?” art and text by Martha Slavin

What blows in the wind?

songs. leaves. smoke. dust. memories. seeds. scents. Mary Poppins. rain. sleet. snow. hail. storms. sailboats. birds. hats. thoughts. feathers. doors. whispers. bubbles. petals. curtains. longings.

Who wouldn’t love a poem in which “Mary Poppins” makes an appearance? Notice the mix of abstract and concrete?

Martha also tucked into the envelope her business card which features her artwork (on back):

"Tree of Life," art by Martha Slavin

“Tree of Life,” art by Martha Slavin

A lovely reminder of the life-sustaining contribution of trees.

I also received cards from other Love Notes participants–Christine, Lorelei, and Jacki–but I’ll share those tomorrow (maybe).  For now, take a few extra moments to enjoy Martha’s pretties. You can find more of Martha’s art and writing at: Postcards in the Air.

Save the date:  The next round of Love Notes begins January 2017.

 

Guest Post: “Walks with Chandra”

The week promises “cruel and unusual punishment” with little time for fun, so my friend Cy volunteered to write a guest post for me. Here, she shares photos from a few of our photo walks.  She very thoughtfully stages photos for her Instagram feed, so maybe, we can convince her to write a post with some of her IG photos one day.  Maybe, we can convince her to start a blog too!

Thanks, Cy, for taking a little of the burden for me this week!

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“Begin where you are with who you are. In order to go where you want to go creatively, you have to start somewhere.” Julia Cameron~ Walking In This World: The Practical Art of Creativity

Two years ago, I joined Instagram, became a planner addict, and started taking photos with my cell phone. These things happened because of my walks with Chandra. Our walks are not for exercise. They are art walks, the kind that inspire me to see a tree or a cloud as art. I am interrupting her blog to share some of the photos I’ve taken on my walks with her.

I’ve never considered myself a photographer, but I’ve taken some cool photos. Of course, Chandra’s photos show much more skill than mine, but I think my photos have improved because she has shared a bit of how to look at the landscape.  My photos have been shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6.

Image

“Light and Shadow,” Photo by Dr. Cy

This image (above) was taken after Chandra pointed out to me how the light and shadow played against the side of a building. We were taking photos of trees that day, but like a good teacher, she saw something more interesting and we changed course for a few moments.

Image

“Light and Shadow II,” Photo by Dr. Cy

This image (above) was taken on the same day, just a few feet away from image one. The same concept of light and shadow is emphasized.

Cloud

“A Walk in the Clouds,” Photo by Dr. Cy

Sometimes, we just take photos of the same thing over and over. One day we took photos of clouds only.

Image

“Tree in Bloom,” Photo by Dr.Cy

This image is of a blooming tree. Chandra had seen the tree the day before and we made a special trip to take photos of it the next day, but in less than 24 hours the tree had already lost some of its “blossom” fullness.

"Tree in Bloom," Photo by Dr. Cy

“Tree in Bloom,” Photo by Dr. Cy

Same tree, different perspective.

So, let me know what you think. Has Chandra been a good teacher?

Photo Inspirations!

A few years ago, I began a series of  photo swaps that required pairing a photo with an appropriate quote and making the quote part of the photo. My partner for the recent round, in October, was Diane, Midteacher on swap-bot. We swap quite regularly, so if you have been following Pics and Post for a while, you may have seen her work many times before.

Midteacher sent three quote photos.  She used the first photo, captured on a morning walk, to make a card:

"Morning" by Diane, swap-bot: Midteacher

“Morning,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive–to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

Oops. Forgive her typo on the word “precious.”  She’s still working on getting the crop right with her photos. Digital photography is pretty tricky when it comes to printing on standard 4×6 paper.  I created templates in Pages (for Mac) and Photoshop Essentials to avoid losing critical parts of photos or having them cut off at the edge.

I’m intrigued by Diane’s card-making techniques.  She typically uses card stock, torn paper, fabric, metal, paint, metallic paints, and other embellishments.  As soon as I have time, I’m going to work with some of the tips she shared with me to make my own unique photo cards.

Diane shot this photo at an apple orchard:

"Apple Picking," photo by DBW (swap-bot: Midteacher)

“Apple Picking,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.  –Buddha

And this one on another foggy morning:

"Foggy Morning," photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

“Foggy Morning,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.  –Theodore Roosevelt

I’m pretty sure integrating quotations is my favorite thing to do with photos. I sent Diane at least three photo inspirations; I’ll share them in posts later this month, so keep your eyes open.

If you need more inspirational photos, head to  P.H. Fitzgerald’s 365 Polaroid Quotes on Flickr. You’ll especially love his album if you like vintage Polaroid shots.  His work makes me want to find the Polaroid camera I know is buried in a box somewhere and put it to work.

Until tomorrow…

Found! More Monochrome Photos

While I was looking through computer files yesterday, I stumbled upon photos from two monochrome swaps I was supposed to blog about way back in 2015! Yep. Last year’s “should-have-blogged” list is even longer than this year’s, but I have no plans to “catch-up” on those posts.

The photos below are from two swaps for the “A Thousand Words” group on Swap-bot: Clouds in Monochrome and Trees in Monochrome.  My partner for both swaps was Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie Selders of Captured Adventures.  Since so much time has gone by, I don’t remember much (read: anything) about the photos, so I’ll just share them and hopefully you can figure out what I don’t remember.

This is my favorite photo of the bunch:

"The Horizon" by Zoey Rayne

“The Horizon” by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

Zoey took a creative approach to the next photo–man-made clouds from a “factory.”  While growing up in Algiers–Westbank New Orleans–we could see the emissions from the factories in Chalmette, Louisiana which was across the Mississippi River.  As a really little kid, I always imagined that’s what clouds were made from.

"Man-made 'Clouds'" by Zoey Rayne

“Man-made ‘Clouds'” by Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

Now that I know better, I’m a bit suspicious about what those emissions did to our environment and our health. More than once, those companies had to fork over dollars to the residents because of mishaps that released dangerous toxins into the air.  Where’s Erin Brockovich when you need her?

And now, we turn from factories to trees.  Here’s an original tree photo:

“Zoey’s Tree,” Original, Photo by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

And here’s the monochrome edit.

Tree in Monochrome by Zoey

“Zoey’s Tree in Red,” Photo by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

I wish I knew more about these photos. Perhaps, there’s a note or letter somewhere that gives more details, but there’s no way I’m tackling the giant 2015 box of mail.  Not tonight.  Not anytime soon.  For now, let’s just enjoy the pretty.

Veteran’s Day: Honoring America’s Heroes

I cannot let the day end without paying tribute to America’s veterans. The images below are from Huntsville-Madison County’s Veterans Memorial Park.  The memorial, dedicated on November 11, 2011, “holds before present and future generations the principle that freedom is not free and that a free people must always be prepared to defend that freedom at whatever cost.”

Courage Sacrifice Duty, Huntsville Memorial Park

“Courage. Sacrifice. Duty.” Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park

On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. –Dan Lipinski

“I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade,” Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. –Douglas MacArthur

"I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade," Huntsville-Madison County Memorial Park

“I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade,” Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park

America’s Veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.  –John Doolittle

"I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade," Huntsville-Madison County Memorial Park

“I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade,” Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park

It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” –President Barack Obama

"Never Accept Defeat," Huntsville-Madison County's Veterans Memorial Park

“Never Accept Defeat,” Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park

Thank you, Veterans, for your service and your many sacrifices.