There’s Something About B&W…

I received a beautiful package a couple of days ago that brought a genuine smile to my face even before I opened it.  Doesn’t this hand-decorated envelope make you smile?

Dee enclosed gorgeous handmade black and white photo notecards and a lovely letter that I will cherish.  She empathizes with the loss of a sister, as she lost her own beloved sister many years ago. Her letter was wrapped in hugs and hearts.  Here are the photos.  I’ve received photos from Dee before.  Whenever I discover she’s my partner in a swap, I delightfully–and a little impatiently–anticipate what I know will be a lovely package.  She never disappoints!

Wilting Tulips by Dee Stead

“Wilting Tulips” by Dee Stead

Dee added a little color to “Home by the Bay” below.  She also sent the color version of this photo.  The home has character and history.  I can just imagine the stories!

"Home by the Bay" by Dee Stead

“Home by the Bay” by Dee Stead

My partner will receive three photo notecards as well.  If you’ve been following my blog, you should recognize “Sweet Beloved” from the previous post.  I had little intention of sending it, but it really tugged at my heart.

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I had a little fun deciding which ones to send.  I solicited opinions from my hubby and son.  My hubby is partial to black and white photos, so he loves them.  My son, I learned, prefers color.  He doesn’t like any of these!  Oh well! I can’t please everyone.  Hopefully, my partner will enjoy them!

I can’t say I prefer one or the other, but there’s something about black and white photos that I really like.  They’re classic, appealing–stunning really.

Art + Quote = Inspiration

I participated in a “Words of Inspiration” Postcard Swap last month.   The swap was hosted by Kara, of I Wanna Be Me When I Grow Up blog.  For this swap, swappers added a quote to a “work of art”–a photograph, a mixed media piece, etc.–and sent their creations to five other swappers.  I enjoy integrating words into photos and I have put together many, many “photo inspirations.”  For this swap I sent one that features two of my favorite things–music and Paddington Bear.

“The Musician”

The photo features “The Musician” from the Royal Doulton’s The Paddington Bear Collection.  A very dear aunt (-in-law) sent four of the PB figurines from this collection to me from England several years ago.  I cannot be any clearer than Martin Luther regarding my sentiments about music.

Imagine my glee when day after day I retrieved delightful postcards from my mailbox featuring the work of the individuals who sent them.  I had the postcards sent to my campus box, so the postcards were a special treat in the middle of a few workdays.  Here are the five postcards I received.


This postcard was made by Shari of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I like the color combination and the way Shari uses paint and book pages to “create” texture.

Lisa’s “Sea Jellies”

Lisa, lschwing on Instagram, took this beautiful sea jellies photo at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  She writes on the postcard, “Life is full of amazing beauty! It’s important to take time to enjoy it!” Sea jellies are mesmerizing in their beauty, so Lisa chose a perfect subject to underscore her point.

“Every Leaf is a Flower”

Deborah of Ohio sent this postcard which features her own artwork–watercolor paper with airbrush ink, stitched by machine.  Deborah shares Albert Camus’ quote–“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

“Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life”–Pablo Picasso

Kara, our swap host, created this one.  I’m intrigued by how people like Kara can use a few simple art tools and techniques to create such interesting pieces. This one, along with Shari’s, is going in my favorite handmade postcards collection.

Last, but not least, Jo’s postcard traveled all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand.  Jo is attracted to rusty old houses “that are falling down.”  For her they are full of mystery.

“Rusty Old House”

Jo loves the many textures and colors in this lovely scene.  I do too.  Oh, don’t miss the tiny heart in the window or the good advice–Be in love with your life!

All of this inspirational art has me craving for a bit of creativity, so I must take some time over the Thanksgiving Break (yay!) to craft something meaningful.