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*Starting at Earth Day 2018, I decided to spread some everyday happiness with my neighbors, the UPS guy, people dropping off Amazon stuff, etc. So, I began putting a daily, decorated motivational message on my front door.
This project started as my personal notepaper. Then… it sort of grew.
At first, I wrote my messages in the white rectangle in the middle. Then, I hand-colored the border design.
Last week, I realized I could print these for the children in my family, so they had an area to color, but also an area to draw in. (They’re at the age where they love coloring, but they also love to draw.)
And then, I decided to make these available to everyone, free, for your personal use. (Please don’t claim they’re your original art, or use them commercially.)
Click on each image below, and the related PDF will open for you to download. (These are 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages, and each graphic is linked to a different PDF.)
And then… I realized my other neighbors might enjoy this writing paper, too. So, I got an easy-to-remember Bit.ly URL, Free2Color.
After that, I created the following sign, colored it (by hand, of course), and taped it to our front door.
This goes along with another recent, hippie-style project for my neighbors:
Every morning during the week of Earth Day, I put a new message in one of my front windows. I printed the signs large enough so passers-by could read them when they’re on their way to work, or walking their dogs.
Most of the messages came from late 1960s’ and early 70s’ songs… things from Woodstock and the hippie era, in general. Others reflected similar attitudes.
Here were a few of them, stacked on my floor.
If you like this window-sign idea, the font is Elsie Swash Caps Black font, and the size should be at least 120 pts to be read by people passing by your home. (For other signs, I’ve used Placard GF at about 150 pts, and a few similar fonts.)
Generally, I printed them on two sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ paper, horizontal, and then I taped them together to make the window sign.
But then, I decided to create actual door signs, and color them. (They’re smaller and more fun to create. Generally, I design, print, and color them in one-week batches, in front of the TV.) You can download some of my door signs – already colored, or b&w copies you can color, yourself – at my Enthusiasm is Contagious post.
These projects come from my “still a hippie” soul, with the idea that doing nice things for other people – and putting more happiness into the world – is the right thing to do.
This Christmas – like last year – we started kitchen gardens for friends & family.
They’ve been a great success. (My own green onions have been thriving for over a year now. I just keep cutting them back – to use in recipes – and the plants regrow bigger & more flavorful every time.)
Today, we delivered four green onion plants (already started) as Boxing Day gifts to the four managers of the apartments where we live.
If this sounds interesting to you, here are links to the instruction sheets (PDFs) I created. They explain how to start your own kitchen garden, using items from the produce department at your grocery store.
The search for the earliest “selfie” (self-portrait, as a photograph) seems to be at full tilt.
One of my favorites is (supposedly) dated around 1900. It’s shown at the right. The largest version I can find, online was posted by Sabine Niedola. (The largest, clear image is usually the first – or one of the first – posted online, and I like to give credit to the person who first found it.)
Frankly, the subject’s features look a lot like my own portraits from the 1980s. I’m also pleased to see her hairstyle. I’ve tried that kind of style – even with ultra-thick hair – and it turned out the same as hers.
So, I wasn’t alone with the “pouf” issue. (I know about “rats” – long, sausage-shaped supports hidden under the hair – for better-looking versions of this style. I just wasn’t that committed to the style.)
Note: Since I posted this, my friend David Locicero pointed out authenticity issues. This may be a hoax or a cosplay photo.
Something looks a little like an outlet, on the lower right side of the photo. I’m not certain it’s an outlet, but it might be. I don’t know enough about household hardware from the early 20th century, to be sure.
My bigger question is about the matted photos on the shelves. The double-matted pictures are more consistent with modern-day presentations. In the past, someone who could afford that kind of matting would have framed the photos under glass.
There’s also the question of the light fixture (if that’s what it is) on the ceiling in the reflection. And, the high quality of the mirror reflection.
But, whether it’s an authentic photo or not, it’s not the earliest “selfie.”
The Earliest Selfie?
One in the running is a self-portrait by photographer Robert Cornelius. He’s the dashing young man in the photo on the left.
The fashions are, of course, post-Regency, but I still see a little Colin Firth / Pride and Prejudice in that photo.
Ah, if time travel were possible…! (If he came through a time portal, like in Kate and Leopold, I’m sure many women would swoon.)
Then there’s the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia’s self-portrait, on the right, dating to 1913 or 1914.
The Daily Mail featured the picture in a really nice article.
I’d always hoped Anastasia had survived the attack on her family. Alas, DNA evidence suggests otherwise.
Nevertheless, I’m intrigued by the white blurry image in back of her. Online, that’s sparked some discussion with no firm conclusions. Very cool.
If you enjoy old self-portraits like these, visit Google or any search engine and look for “oldest selfies” and “earliest selfies.” You’ll find plenty, right now. (I’m not thrilled with the term “selfie,” or that it’s the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013, but if you’re looking for early self-portraits, the term makes online searching much easier.)
When I create anything artistic, I feel good. I’ve also noticed that my life goes better… I attract more good things into my life.
So, when Bob Proctor sent me this quotation this morning, I knew I wanted to turn it into a mini-poster and put it on my wall.
The quotation is:
“It’s really important that you feel good. Because this feeling good is what goes out as a signal into the universe and starts to attract more of itself to you.
“So the more you can feel good, the more you will attract the things that help you feel good and that will keep bringing you up higher and higher.”
Of course, that summarizes The Secret in three sentences. However, whether or not you believe in The Secret, this is still a happy way to look at life and the world around you. It’s empowering, on a deeply spiritual level… and isn’t that what creating and art are all about?
This is a freebie for anyone who’s interested. No strings attached!
I’m having such fun sending out free, artsy/creative postcards to people, I’m creating new ones and sending them — at random — in batches of 20 – 100 per week.
The original (orange & purplish, “Your year to create!”) cards are gone now.
I’ve sent a small (20-or-so) batch of b&w cards about making art with what you have, no matter where you are. Those are no longer available.
My next 100 cards were glossy, printed postcards, and they include a mountain scene and a quotation about beauty. Not signed or numbered, they were a “test run” with a different postcard design. All of them have been sent now, too.
I will create more, spontaneous b&w cards and send them on whim, as well. They’re not signed or numbered… just fun!
Starting with the August 2010 postcards, the artwork is generally my own.
To receive free artsy/creative cards in the mail, scroll down and use the form below. No charge, no strings attached, and I don’t share addresses with anyone else.
Really, this is just one of those fun things that I like to do.
If you were a subscriber and didn’t receive your postcard, please use the paid subscribers’ form to update your mailing address.
Anyway, I have about 30 postcards left from the batch I had printed. I want to send them out, too. (Update: Remember, those have all been mailed now.)
In fact, I want to do this with every zine or gift-y, artsy item that I publish:
In addition to mailing to my subscribers’ list, I’ll draw names at random from the freebies list. When someone receives that month’s postcard, it’ll be like receiving a treat. They’ll have a free, 30-day pass to something cool and exclusive.
Some of the postcards will be a signed & numbered artsy something, in itself.
And, the info on the postcard will lead the person to the hidden location of whatever-it-is. (It may be a riddle or a mystery to solve, to figure out the download location. I want this to be a game, sometimes, but not too difficult.)
If you’d like to be part of the freebie pool of names/addresses, send your name & snailmail/postal address to me, using the form below. (It’s okay if you’re not in the U.S. I’ll choose a few non-US addresses each time, too.)
The first 30 (or so) will receive my current postcard, which is simply the “confirm your mailing address” card I’ve been sending. (You will NOT need to confirm your address.)
After that, you’ll be in the regular drawing for access to… well, I’m not sure what, yet.
If this works out, I may turn the subscription area into something that new people can subscribe to. Let’s see how this first step goes. This has to be fun!
Some people were confused about my earlier call for addresses from former, paid subscribers. If you were NOT a paid subscriber — someone who signed up for a year of paper zines, probably in the 1990s — and you sent me your name + address during my earlier call, you do need to resend it with this form.