Category Archives: Tips

The Inspiration behind the poem “Persuasion Before Contact”

I was working on 2 canvasses that I hadn’t been satisfied with. I had painted over the canvasses with acrylic paint, but had reached a deadend as to where to go from there. So I tore up some Chinese newspapers that I’d gotten from a recent trip to Chinatown. And pages from a book that I was going to alter. I added some cut outs, stamps, vintage dressmaking tissue paper, scrapbooking paper, gesso. I layered my ephemera over the canvasses, and then noticed that I’d subconsciously chosen the words Persuasion, Before and Contact.

So I went with my subconscious and added more letter stamps and numbers etc. And came to realise that this project merited poem of its own.

Et voila! “Persuasion Before Contact” by AlyZen Moonshadow. You’ve read the poem, now here’s the inspiration behind it.

From these:

image(The 2 canvasses that I’d splashed paint on earlier. I did take some close-up photos of them, which can be used as backgrounds for other projects, so the exercise wasn’t completely wasted).

To these:


I really like the idea of using text and also the concept of letting my subconscious dictate how a piece should look.

Question: which came first, the poem or the artwork?
Answer: actually, it was the artwork. The text used on the 2 canvasses sparked off the poem. However, I believe the concept was already in my subconscious before I even started collaging the elements together. It just wanted to be expressed one way or another, and in this case, both in textual and image form.

It’s All Here…

…if you’re searching for a one-stop resource for everything and anything to do with Art & Crafts, and more specifically (in my case) Mixed Media, go directly to Interweave’s site here. Yup, they are the people that produce the bi-monthly eye candy called Cloth Paper Scissors.

Everything, and I mean even the kitchen sink, can be found on that site. If you want to learn how to carve your own stamps. If you’re curious about encaustic art. If you want to invest in some Gelli plates but don’t know where to start. If you’re curious about this thing called a “Sizzix Bigshot machine”. If you want to know the differences between watercolour, watercolour pencils and colour pencils. If you’d like to know the true capabilities of a Sharpie. If you’re after tips on making books by hand. If you want to learn how to do an emulsion lift transfer. If you’d like to know how to recycle household items into useful items. If you’re curious about Transfer Art Paper. If you want to know about Golden’s Ground Medium. If you can’t decide between Art Journaling and Collage, or want to do both.

It’s all here.

The magazine Cloth Paper Scissors embodies all aspects of Art and Crafts that utilise its namesake. I’d seen this bi-monthly magazine at my local newsagents, but they ran out of copies before I decided to buy it. The only reason I hesitated was because of the price – not Interweave’s fault, but rather the hefty profit margin that the newsagent slapped on.

Luckily, just as providence would have it, Interweave sent me an email (I’m on their mailing list) offering 50% off digital downloads of past copies of Cloth Paper Scissors. (This offer would have expired by the time you read this post, so I won’t bother with the link here. But don’t worry, there are other exciting offers on all the time). So, instead of paying nearly AU$20 per copy of CPS, for the sum of around US$79 I bought the links to download every single copy of CPS from 2004-2013. Yay, Happy Days!

But hey, you don’t have to buy anything from their site. There’s even a ton of FREE stuff you can download. Below is just One example from many.

And, Interweave doesn’t just do Mixed Media. They also offer everything under the sun if you are into sewing, knitting, crotchet, beading, quilting, weaving, jewellery making etc. And they also do paint and paint techniques. The list goes on.

But don’t just take my word for it…those of you who already know about this motherlode of knowledge about Art & Crafts, will be nodding your head sagely. Those of you who don’t – why are you still reading this? Go online already and check out Interweave for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

From Interweave’s own “About” page:

Founded in 1975 by Linda Ligon, INTERWEAVE, part of F+W, is one of the nation’s largest craft media companies with businesses in magazine and book publishing, interactive media, broadcast programming, and events for art and craft enthusiasts. Interweave’s mission is to inspire, encourage and support creative self-expression.

Interweave features:

18 craft-enthusiast subscription magazines and many more special interest publications.
More than 250 books in print and annually publishes about 40 best-selling, how-to craft books on the same subjects as the company magazines.
An extensive Internet network of more than 30 websites, including the popular online communities and, which bring together the best content from the company’s magazines and TV shows with free e-newsletters, how-to articles and patterns, with an emphasis on community.
Several major events for fiber and bead, gem, and jewelry making enthusiasts, including the Spin-Off Annual Retreat and Bead Fests in locations across the country, attracting thousands of consumers and industry manufacturers and advertisers.
A PBS television series, Knitting Daily TV and major sponsorship of Beads, Baubles and Jewels TV and Quilting Arts TV.
The company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Some Art I Just Created

Following on from yesterday’s Freebies, and in line with my recent obsession for mixed media art, here are some examples of Art that I’ve created using close-ups of my Project Palimpsest/Butterick canvasses.

The images on the left are of the close-ups, and on the right are the results after blending. There is some discrepancy with the size of the originals and the results – this is because I have resized the final image.

The App I use most for blending images these days is called Photo Blender. Not the most imaginative by name, but it offers the highest number of blend modes than any other App I know of. I really enjoy playing with the different blend modes until I come across one that I like. All effects are tweakable by simply swiping your finger across the screen.

Here is the link to Photo Blender:

You can click on any image to see a full-page version of it. Enjoy!











P/S: I think I just might put these up for sale on my Society 6, RedBubble, Zazzle and FineArtAmerica stores. Hmmm…:-)

Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Part III (FREEBIES!!)

I’ve taken some close ups of sections of my 2 Palimpsest/Butterick canvasses, and am sharing them here now as FREEBIES.

If you wish to, you may download them to your device or computer and use them as elements for your own collage or mixed media projects. These are JPGs, but you can easily convert them into PNG format to suit your projects.










Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Part I

This project is called Palimpsest/Butterick because it uses the technique of covering over an existing artwork with gesso, and then adding other elements over it, in this case pieces of vintage Butterick tissue paper sewing patterns.

I started this project with a view towards Abandoning the artwork in a public place for people to find and take home. But I like the 2 pieces I’m working on right now and might keep them…☺.

The 2 canvasses I used had identical images of one of my early teacup photos adhered to them. I’d printed the image onto tissue paper, then adhered them to the canvas using acrylic gel medium. But I hadn’t been satisfied with the images themselves, for some reason.

To prepare the canvasses, I simply applied gesso over the images to hide them behind a layer of white; I didn’t mind at all if any or some of the colours seeped through. As you may already know, I love randomness.

image This picture shows how I’ve gessoed over one canvas, with the other awaiting the same treatment.

image Next, I took 2 pieces of a vintage Butterick sewing pattern, which is printed on tissue paper, and used an acrylic medium to stick them over the 2 canvasses. As you can see on the canvas on the right, the teacup’s colours are showing through.

image In this next step, I brushed on some more gesso.

image Then I took some acrylic paint and applied them randomly over areas of the canvasses. I let the Butterick pattern guide me as to where the paints should go. At this point, I have no idea what I’m doing. LOL.

image Next, I dusted off some alphabet and number stamps, and stamped some letters and numbers randomly onto the canvasses. I also used some circular floral stamps to add more detail and interest to the overall composition.

image Close up of one canvas.

image Close up of the other canvas

I really liked how these were looking already. But I decided to add a few more details.

image To add the coloured dots, I did the lazy thing and applied the red and blue paint tubes directly to the canvasses, gently squeezing the tube so a minute daub of paint came out. These dots will lend some texture to the composition. I also diluted some yellow paint with watered down gesso, and applied a wash to parts of the canvasses.

Now to wait for the paint to dry before I add anymore elements. I will keep you updated in tomorrow’s post.

Interview by Kess InHouse – AlyZen Moonshadow

I was honoured recently to be interviewed by Sara Gupta (now Sara O’Neill), co-founder of Kess InHouse designs. Kess were kind enough to take a chance on me and offer me an Art Licensing contract for my mobile photography art. I have a number of pieces with them, and continue to submit more. Kess’s products include duvet covers, pillow cases, shower curtains, fleece blankets, place mats, desk mats, cutting boards, rugs and pet products, including dog beds, pet bandannas, feeding mats and bowls.

Answering Sara’s questions was an interesting exercise in retrospection. I never realised how far I’d evolved from the starry-eyed ingenue behind my first iPhone in 2010.  It was a walk down Memory Lane for me, and reminded me of my various experiments and love affairs with different Apps, filters and effects. Has it really been 4 years since I started my mobile photography adventures?

Here’s the link to the interview,

And here’s the transcript:

KIH:  Your artwork has a fun blend of mobile phone photography and graphic design flair.  When did you discover your passion for photo manipulation?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I bought my first iPhone 3 in 2010, shortly before I emigrated from Ireland to Australia. Whilst job-hunting in Australia, I decided to experiment with photo editing on my iPhone. I started out with some Apps for Lomographic effects, then got into textures and grunge, and the whole thing snowballed from there. I practised a lot in the early days, averaging between 5-10 manipulated images a day.  The more I practised, the better I got, and also the more selective about effects and filters. In 2012 I discovered some graphic design-type Apps, and for a while I was really into Swiss-style graphics. I even designed some mock CD album covers using these, and some t-shirts. In the same year, I switched from the iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S3, and discovered Android Apps. These days I use my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad 2 for my photo manipulations, so I really have the best of both worlds.  

KIH:  Your pieces are very colorful and use unique color pallettes.  How do you find color effects your art pieces and how do you develop color choices while making a new composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I usually start by uploading a photo to an image editing App on my Samsung Galaxy S4, then just playing around with various filters and effects. When I find one that appeals to me, or that I think merits further processing, I then move on to the next step, which is finding other elements to add to the image. Sometimes if I’m not satisfied with the colour scheme, I will edit it again to change the hue or saturation, until I’m happy with the result. I went through a brief phase early on in 2011 when I tried faded, vintage, old postcard styles, but found I’m more drawn towards bright, vibrant colours. This may come from my love of flowers in natural surroundings. If I have a favourite colour, it would be turquoise. Whenever I find a filter that gives me the colour turquoise, I try my best to keep it in the final edit. I like colours that are translucent rather than matte, so whenever possible I try to create my pieces with a sense of depth in them. I also like an element of randomness in my work. I have a folder of colourfield backgrounds that I created using photos and a very simple Android App called “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, which gives me the colours I need. It’s perfect for giving me 2 things – a sense of depth and translucency, and the element of randomness when blended with other images.

KIH:  Your latest collection of art pieces showcase stacked teacups as an homage to Alice in Wonderland.  Where did your interest in this subject spark?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I’ve always been fond of Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl, and I got the idea of stacked teacups from surfing Pinterest online. I had a couple of teacups and saucers lying around, and some real and silk flowers, and I posed them together and edited a number of images. The flowers soon fell by the wayside, as I decided the teacups and saucers made very interesting subjects in themselves. I went through a phase buying vintage teacups and saucers on Etsy, then stacking them up higgledy piggledy for staged photoshoots. I had the idea of creating my own Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (I spell my series The Madhatter’s Teaparty), so an entire series of 100 images was born in 2012.

KIH:  What is your favorite piece (on KESS)? How did you develop the composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: It would have to be images from my Madhatter’s Teaparty. For the photo manipulations, I used predominantly Photoshop Touch, especially the “Difference” filter to bring out the colours and to introduce an element of serendipity, as I was never sure what the results would be using that filter. Before Kess InHouse found me and my Madhatter’s Teaparty, I’d printed 35 of the images onto stretched A3 canvasses, varnished and all…in case I ever held an Art exhibition. I like to think that Alice herself would’ve been proud of my teacups!

KIH:  Your artistic process generally starts from your mobile phone.  What do you enjoy the most about utilizing cell phone cameras and applications when creating your artwork.

AlyZen Moonshadow: I think the best part is the portability of it all. I have my entire Studio in the palm of my hand, literally. No expensive paints or equipment to buy, no messy paintbrushes, no splatters on the carpet, no clearing or cleaning up to do. If I make a mistake, or if I don’t like an effect, there’s the handy Undo button, or even in extreme cases, the Delete button. I can transfer my work between my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad2, or even to my desktop Mac for resizing. I can work almost anywhere, anytime – on the bus, on the train, while waiting for my coffee to percolate. Every now and then I download an App and test it out; if it adds anything to my creative process, I keep it and use it. If not, I uninstall it. Some of my fellow mobile photographers like the idea of having thousands of Apps to utilise, and bemoan the fact that the Android platform does not have half as many Apps as Apple iOS. However, my personal view is that in reality, you only need a dozen or so decent Apps to be able to create a wide variety of effects. The magic is in finding the right combination of effects. Sometimes less really is more.

KIH: Many of your pieces have abstract textures and psychedelic imagry to build up the subjects of the piece.  Where did you pick up this artistic style and what other artists made an impact on your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: Colour is important to me, followed closely by depth and texture. I like to introduce an element of the surreal into some of my pieces. An early series that I created in 2011 is titled “Dalienutopia” and is based around photos of the Baigup Wetlands near where I used to live in Perth, Western Australia. The title is a combination of my homage to the artist Dali, and the words Alien and Utopia…and the images are surreal and weird. Another series titled “Surrealism” in 2012 came from when I was experimenting with strange objects and juxtapositions. I learnt about Dali and his contemporaries funnily enough in Music History when I was a student at college, and the ideas just stayed with me. Another artist that inspire me is Georgia O’Keeffe, you can see her influence in my photo manipulations of flowers. When I was creating my flower photographs, some friends told me my images reminded them of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings.

KIH:  Where do you do most of your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: My trusty workhorse, the Samsung Galaxy S4, is rarely out of my hands, and it is also my portable Studio. So basically, I can and do work almost anywhere. For printing purposes, I have my printers (an ink-guzzling Epson Artisan 1430 and a mellow Canon Pixma MX870) in the spareroom/storeroom, which during the summer months is shared with an ongoing succession of baby Japanese Quails, that I incubate, breed and sell. The room is too small for a proper worktable, so I simply spread butcher paper over the carpet on the floor, lay out my prints on that, and do any gluing, varnishing, etc right there. It’s easy enough to tidy away again afterwards. Someday I hope to have a traditional gypsy caravan installed in my front garden, where things can be more permanent.

Couple in Love(This is my “Couple in Love” image, available on Kess inHouse here)

Free eBook : How To Change The World

No, I did not write this book, but I sure wish I did. I’m sharing it here with you now because it is a book that everyone in the process of waking up needs to read and then share with their circles. Spread the truth about how our world REALLY works, who REALLY controls us and tells us how to think, what to read, what the wear, what to eat, how to behave in society etc. Read for yourself the facts about how we are being manipulated, day in day out, to conform to what “Society” tells us is “normal”. How we must all live a life of consumerism and capitalism, because, as the saying goes, “Money makes the world go round”.

Then do what it takes to change the world. We’ve lost our way in the past, now this eBook will help guide us back to the true purpose of our lives (no, it’s not so we can pay bills and then die), and if we ALL paused to see the truth of what’s happening around us today, we CAN and WILL make a change for the better. We all need to BE the Change we want to see.

Here’s the link to the Facebook page, where you can find more information and download the free eBook:

Here’s what the author, Elina St.Onge says about her book: (excerpt taken from the link above)

When we take an observer perspective, we do not look at the world and think to ourselves “that’s just the way it is.” We instead ask, “why is it this way?” This is the approach taken throughout this book. It depicts in an easy-to-read, clear and simple way, the most basic concepts that make up our human society all while examining whether or not we can do things differently. In the final chapters, dots are connected between mind-bending scientific discoveries which altogether shed light on our true nature and purpose on this planet. If you want to understand why our human society is the way it is, if you want to know what other possibilities exist outside of our current system and if you often wonder about who we are and what we are here for – yet are not satisfied with conventional belief systems – you will enjoy the perspectives shared in this book. Its aim is to assist humanity in seeing the world with a fresh pair of eyes, which will greatly help open our minds enough to create meaningful change in our world.

Elina also has a web presence, via this link. You can also download her eBook there, and why not make a donation too, she’s done such a pretty darn good job collecting her facts and presenting them to you.


Artist Inspiration : Larry Carlson

Unless you’ve been living under a coconut shell, chances are you would have at some time come across the psychedelic work of Larry Carlson. Yes…THAT artist who makes your brain go all trippy. Oh, and have you heard his music? Surreal is an understatement. Collages done the traditional, good old-fashioned way? Check! Digital photographic art? Check! Larry is a veritable powerhouse of creativity, as you will find out.

Here’s what Larry says about his art on his own site:

G4Tech TV called him “The Salvador Dali of the Next Century”, and High Times magazine labeled him an “Artistic Mastermind”. Larry Carlson is a legendary visionary  artist who utilizes a vast range of mediums to create mind boggling art that will make you think twice about how you see the world. He is a modern day renaissance man with revolutionary work that pushes the possibilities for consciousness exploration within contemporary art. Few artists can rival him in terms of innovation, vision, talent, and high-yield experimentation.
His work spans a variety of forms including photography, film making, web-art, collage painting, digital art, animation, video-art, text-art, and sound design. What ever art form he’s working in Carlson’s greatest strength is in artfully depicting the mystical dimensions of consciousness, coaxing us into sweet spiritualized epiphanies one moment then plunging us into completely bizarre surreal frenzies the next. His artwork fuses together aspects of mysticism, surrealism, psychedelia and the technological resulting in sublime juxtapositions that can totally bend one’s perception.
A pioneer in experimental multimedia web-art, he first started exhibiting his artwork online in 1997. In 2000 Carlson published the legendary art web sites Virtual OM and which featured his original full screen psychotropic entertainment.
Larry Carlson has been featured in magazines like Vice, Juxtapoz, High Times, Cracked, NY Arts, Beautiful/Decay, and US weekly. International newspapers like Montreal’s Mirror, Istanbul’s Vatan News, and London’s Guardian, have done features on his unique awe-inspiring art.
He has exhibited his collage artwork, digital photo artwork, and video art in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Sweden, Brazil, France, the U.K.,  India, and Germany. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City exhibited some of his handmade collage art books in the show Book/Shelf. His movies have been screened at  The Paço das Artes Museum in San Palo, Brazil, the Brattle Theater in Boston, Alex Grey’s COSM gallery in New York City,  A.T.A. in San Francisco, and other galleries and theaters around the world.
Larry Carlson creates his own original music and soundtracks and so far has released eight albums. In 2008, Portland, Oregon’s KBOO 90.7 fm hosted two Larry Carlson music specials featuring his surreal soundtracks.
Larry Carlson graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where he studied painting and video-art. He currently lives and works in his studio in the green mountains of Vermont.

It’s worth checking out Larry’s site, which is very comprehensive and contains a plethora of examples of his work, all neatly categorised. Here are just a few of my favourite ones:












What interests me most about Any Artist’s work is their process, techniques and workflow, and also what goes on inside their heads. Luckily for us all, Larry is very forthcoming in this regard, and his site even has a Frequently Asked Questions section, which I quote verbatim here for your convenience:


(taken verbatim from

What is your process for making the images?

Sometimes I see a clear vision in my mind’s eye of the image I want to make and then I set out and take the photos and do the  computer effects to make it happen. Most of the time I just experiment and have fun with combinations of filters, images, and 3-D rendering. I do a lot of the work with the image editing program Photoshop. I also use 3-D rendering programs to make computer generated objects and settings to use in my work.

I always have a lot of unfinished works on my hard drive that I work on for a while and then put away until the inspiration hits me to work on it again. So most of my finished pieces are the result of months of on and off work. I follow my own vision and try to make something new everyday. Even if I dont feel like working, I still work on my art daily, because it helps me stay focused and continue to make new fresh work.

I am mostly left-handed and use an electronic pen on a tablet to actually draw and paint on my digital images. Sometimes I also use a mouse with my right hand at the same time.

As well as using computers to make images I also make old fashion cut and paste collages. This really influences the style of my digital work, as it helps me use Photoshop in a “real hands on” way, and not be dependent on digital effects only. I strive to have my work describe life as positive, elusive, and rich with wonder and possibility.

What inspires your work?

I let intuition and improvisation be the main guiding forces in the creation of my art. Many of the ideas for my art come to me in dreams and visions, so i spend a lot of time cultivating a mystical state of mind. I often go out in nature, hiking, camping and taking photos, being a part of the mother nature system has a deep influence on my work.

Do you take your own photos?

Yes. I take photos with a digital camera that I use in my work. Sometimes I do shoots in a studio, other times I take shots outdoors. I retouch, fix up, composite, and alter the photos in Photoshop. In the city or up in the mountains, its always an adventure getting new shots to use in my work.

How do you create your collage artwork?

With glue and scissors, I take a tiny little bit of something from a piece and put it together with a lot of other pieces and make a distinct whole. The result is a juxtaposition of the familiar and the fantastical. I hunt for old books and magazines for material to use and I print out images from the computer. I cut and splice these samples into new formations that reconstruct culturally constructed meaning of the original samples, opening up the images to a multiplicity of interpretations. I am inspired by the infinite permutations of visual images which parallel the infinite nature of the imagination.

How do you make the soundtracks?

Like my visual artwork it’s a collage process. I make my soundtracks by mixing and processing sound samples on the computer. I use several different sound programs to put the tracks together. I collage samples from everywhere and anywhere, the TV, the web, radio, phone messages, you-tube videos, turntables and musical instruments. Sometimes I use programs to generate sounds to mix in the work. I also play around with the KORG MS2000, a really cool Pink Floydish sounding synthesizer.I even like to mix in sounds I get from an ol’ school ATARI 2600 console. All my soundtracks are available as a free mp3 downloads. And I have a SoundCloud music page and an iLike music fan page.

Where do you exhibit your work?

I show different forms of art, like interactive web sites art, video installations, large high quality prints of digital art, collage paintings and handmade collage books. Recently my movies were presented at Alex Grey’s COSM gallery, and were publicly displayed on a pair of outdoor video screens at Harvard. Last year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City showed some collage art books I collaborated on in the show Book/Shelf. In 2002, The Paço das Artes Museum in San Palo Brazil exhibited a version of my web site LARRYCARLSON.COM projected on a wall in a gallery where visitors could interact with it. In Stockholm, Sweden, Galleri Loyal has exhibited my collage paintings. My movies have been screened in festivals around the world in places like New York City, Austin,Texas, France, Canada and Germany. And I have had many exhibitions of my digital images at festivals and shows around the world.

How do you do your live VJ shows?

Basically I mix a collage of videos and animations in much the same way that DJs mix records. The techniques and equipment are different then a DJ, but the basic principles are the same (eg selecting, cross fading, scratching, cutting, sampling to the rhythm). I burn my own custom made DVDs and much of my VJing now is me mixing content on several DVD players through a video mixer device to the rhythm of the music. As well as the DVD players I also use a VJ software program to mix and manipulate digital video clips. In the past I have played live on tour with musical groups like The Kottonmouth Kings, and at major electronic music events.

How and when did you get into computers?

My early experiences with computers begin when I was a kid, messing with the old Commodore 64 home computer. Later on in college I did a big experimental video collage piece with the Amiga video editing system as well as experiments with Adobe Premiere. I spent a lot of time creating digital images with Photoshop. During this time i started making music with the computer and more then any thing I wanted people too see this cool stuff, so publishing on the net became a must. I quickly learned how to make web pages and my early web sites were online galleries of my digital images. So by the time Flash came out , I was ready to really rock the system! After having spent years of exploring so many different fields of computer art, now its all kind of melting together into one “multimedia” experience.

Did you go to school to learn how to do this?

I  graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where I studied painting and video-art. A lot of the artwork I do now, I learned on my own. I love learning new programs and experimenting with them to make something new.

How can people stay updated on what your doing?

I am active on TumblrFacebook and Twitter and post new work there often. Connect, add your feedback, and stay updated on new work that is posted daily.


Posted from WordPress for Android.

Summer/Winter Solstice

Today, the 21st of December, is traditionally the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere (Winter Solstice) and the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere (Summer Solstice). Because we use the Gregorian calendar, the actual day can vary, from 21-23 December each year. This year, the 2014 Summer Solstice for Perth, Western Australia is 22nd December. Today (or, if you’re pedantic, tomorrow), people near the North Pole will see hardly any sun at all, while people near the South Pole will experience nearly 24 hours of daylight.

Here’s some information on the Solstice, if you’re interested:


And here’s what Wikipedia says about the Solstice:

The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the sun is 23° 26′. This happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole.

The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer. This is the northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the southern hemisphere.

Small wonder then, that so many religious holidays and rituals are celebrated around this time of year. Past civilizations revered Mother Nature and her wonders, and celebrated birth and fertility based around this natural twice-yearly phenomenon.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland for the Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere), as in right now, head to Newgrange in Co.Meath, where you can witness the light of the Sun travelling up the passageway to the inner chamber of the mound.


To join in the Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) celebrations at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom, you’ll have to wait til June next year. *

For us folks living in the Land Down Under, sorry, there are no monuments celebrating the Solstices. Christmas is perhaps the closest thing to it. And it’s not so much a case of Ho Ho Ho, as Hot Hot Hot!

* Addendum: Apparently at Stonehenge you can now join in the Winter Solstice celebrations, as well as the Summer Solstice in June. It’s rapidly gaining popularity over its longer-established Summer Solstice celebrations. Check out this link.

Looking for public domain images? Try these.

In the course of my own inner Lenormand revolution or evolution, I’ve been scouring the internet for images that I can utilise for my divination card decks. I’m terrible at drawing. Having said that, I’m good at using photo editing Apps to change the way my photos look, so not being good at drawing isn’t quite a disadvantage.

Just very recently I learnt that the British Library has released a MILLION images into the public domain, via its Flickr account.
Also, have done the exact same thing.

What this means is that if you are searching for images to use in your artistic endeavours, whether as clipart or to print out and use in scrapbooking, etc…then before you buy images from other people, you should consider these 2 FREE sources first. Save yourself some money!

And guess what, there are many more organisations and museums out there that have recently jumped on the bandwagon and made their treasury of artwork, photographs, illustrations etc available online for everyone. It really is a revolution, albeit a quiet and peaceful one. This brings accessibility to a whole new world of Art and Photography like never before. I for one intend to make good use of this manna from heaven.


Here’s the link to the British Library Flickr site:

Here’s the link to the Flickr site:

Definition of Public Domain:
the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, especially through not being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions.