A new creative project: Steampunk Art

This just came in the post today, yippee!

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It’s Dover’s Steampunk Sourcebook, which I bought from The Book Depository (a great online bookseller, especially if you live in far flung places, as all their items come with Free Delivery as standard). This book comes with a CD-ROM, so I can load all the images therein onto my computer, for future reference. I’m already a fan of Dover Pictura, the division of Dover that specialises in selling royalty-free images for online download.

I’ve already amassed a collection of copyright free Steampunk images from the British Library’s archives. Add this to my arsenal, and a few other images from my collection of scrapbooking papers, and I should have the makings of a Steampunk Lenormand cards deck. Or even a Steampunk Oracle cards deck. Hmmm, I might even create some t-shirt designs or canvas art using these images. How exciting!

Here are a few photos showing the contents of the book, to whet your appetite.

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Westmoore Fine Gifts & Homewares Part I

Today’s post is about one of my favourite shops in Rockingham, Western Australia. It’s called Westmoore, and it’s on the Rockingham foreshore, nestled amongst some boutiques, a real estate agent and a Baskin Robbins ice cream parlour.

Westmoore does not have a website presence, unfortunately, however you can find them on Facebook. And here’s some information about their opening hours, location, phone number etc.

http://infoplaces.net/info/Westmoore-Fine-Gifts-and-Homeware-in-Rockingham

I like to cycle to the foreshore with The Kid. For the exercise, of course…but more for a jaunt to Westmoore to treat my eyes with visions of their fabulous wares. And for ice cream, but of course ;).

So, without further ado, here’s that eye candy I promised you all. This is window shopping at its finest. (You may wonder why I don’t just buy some of these delectable items for my own home. The reason is I don’t have much money, and also, I figure why spend money on just 1 or 2 pretty things, for them to clutter up my house and gather dust, when I could have them ALL sitting pretty at Westmoore, for me and others to enjoy any time we want. For free. Clever, huh ;)).

(Okay, I’m doing this in 2 parts as there are soooo many delicious photos I want to share with you all, and it takes ages to upload them!)

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My Brush with Fame (or rather, Infamy)!

Every kid and kidult loves Lego, right? Me too. Until I discovered just how litigious they are as a company.

Nearly 5 years ago, when I first started out in my mobile photography art career, I put up my images for sale on Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle, RedBubble, Fine Art America, Society 6 and deviantArt. Over the years, many of those sites fell by the wayside, and today I’m only active on Society 6, and even that has slowed to a trickle as I explore other areas to showcase my creative output.

With RedBubble, I had not posted up anything new for over 3 years now. Imagine my surprise today when out of the blue, I received this email from them:

We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

the relevant content is specifically named;

the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and

they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by the content owner, its agent or the law.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;

a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;

your address, telephone number, and email address;

a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, San Francisco County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;

a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and User Agreement can be found here:

https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195

http://www.redbubble.com/agreement

Regards,

Redbubble Content Team

Because the image “Lego the Octopus” had been posted to RedBubble such a long while ago, at first I scratched my head trying to figure out WHY indeed I had named my artwork “Lego the Octopus”. I certainly would not have called it that to mislead anyone, or to gain any pecuniary advantage. I couldn’t just click on the link RedBubble had sent, as they had already removed the image from their site.

Then I remembered a family outing to Bunbury Dolphin Centre in 2011, and I also remembered their aquarium displays of fish, seahorses, starfish. And their fortune-telling octopus. WHO WAS NAMED “LEGO”. The Centre claimed that their Lego The Octopus could predict sports and talent competition outcomes as accurately as the famous Paul The Octopus with FIFA matches.

So, here is my response to RedBubble by email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to your email informing me that my image “Lego the Octopus” has been removed from RedBubble as a consequence of Lego the Company making a complaint.

Excerpt follows, for your own ease of reference:

“We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus

My response:

While I fully understand Lego the Company’s rights and desire to defend the use of its name, in my own defense, the image is of an octopus actually named “Lego”, and said octopus resides in Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, Western Australia.

So, if Lego the Company wish to take this further, they should really be speaking to the good folks at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. As all I did was photograph their octopus that they had named “Lego”, and call it exactly what it is, “Lego the Octopus”. There was no malice or ill intent on my part, or any attempt to deceive or gain monetary benefit from it.

Here’s a link to where you and Lego the Company can find the real life “Lego the Octopus”. (I don’t know if that octopus is still alive and predicting soccer results, it’s been 4 years since I was at Bunbury).

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/lego-octopus-predict-australia%E2%80%99s-got-talent-winner-radio-west

I anticipate your response in due course.

Sincerely,

AlyZen Moonshadow
Mobile Photography Artist

Then I sat back and waited for a response. I received a standard acknowledgement from RedBubble within 15 minutes of sending my email.

An hour later, I received this email response from RedBubble:

Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 19, 16:51

Thank-you for contacting Redbubble.

As you have been made aware, Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our [IP/Publicity Rights Policy[(https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195-Redbubble-IP-Publicity-Rights-Policy), as it was specifically named in a valid Notice and Takedown report received from Lego System A/S.

We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe intellectual property or publicity rights, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

Unfortunately, we are not always privy to the reasons that complainants’ submit notice and takedown reports or the specific reasons that they find each of the specified works a violation of their rights, nor can we presume to speak on their behalf. Please understand that Redbubble is not making any judgement on the work and as we are sure you are aware, this is why the counter notice provision exists in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy. Filing a counter notice is the most effective way to contact a complainant regarding their notice and takedown report.

You can do so by following the instructions in our initial email to you, or in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Regards,
Redbubble Content Team

I’ve fired my shot. I’ve told them where I got the inspiration for the title “Lego the Octopus” from. And you know what?

I don’t care if the image has been removed from RedBubble permanently. I’m not wasting my time or energy going up against a multi-billion dollar company, for the sake of getting one image put back on a site that I don’t even frequent anymore. I won’t be filing that Counter Notice RedBubble so helpfully keeps suggesting to me. Life’s too short, and I could be spending my time better making more Art, so I will.

Some battles are won by simply not engaging in them.

Here is my last email to RedBubble:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your standard reply. I shall not be filing a Counter Notice, because I have better things to do with my time than waste it going up against the brutal might of a multi-billion dollar corporation, only to win back the right to have an image of mine on your site. Especially when I no longer frequent your site as I used to 3-4 years ago.

That is not to say that RedBubble is not a good Print On Demand site, or to question the integrity of your policies. I simply mean that I have found other sites that better suit the requirements of my creative output, and that is where I am concentrating my efforts on. Should RedBubble offer items that are not found on competing sites, I will of course use your services again.

Yours sincerely,
AlyZen Moonshadow

Meanwhile, here are 2 more images of my (in)famous “Lego The Octopus”, that I managed to find online. These are from Fine Art America, another site that I don’t use anymore. Notice the artwork isn’t even entitled “Lego the Octopus”, but if I remember correctly, the tags would’ve contained those words. I wonder how long it will be before the mighty LEGO Corporation come after those images too…

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Atelophobia

Here’s something new I learnt today…the word “Atelophobia”.

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Most, if not all of us, have at some point or other, suffered from the feeling of inadequacy. Why? Because some people like to put others down. And why do they do that? Because deep down, they hate their lives and think that by putting others down, they can feel better about themselves. That may be generalising things a little, obviously there are other underlying psychological factors behind the reasons why people make others feel inadequate, and some are affected more than others.

Well, guess what? Whatever the reason, whatever your personal story is, today is the day you stop letting them do that to you.

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, JUST AS YOU ARE.

But don’t let me be the one to tell you that. There are many others out there who, like you and me, have discovered or are discovering this secret for themselves. And have picked themselves up from off the floor, dusted themselves off, and now stand up stronger and taller than ever.

I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, or a Nobel Peace prizewinner, I am not “gainfully employed” in the traditional sense, I’m not a size zero, I’m not a Pulitzer prize winning writer, I’m not rich or famous. We can’t be all that, it’s just not possible. But guess what, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m okay with that. I’m good enough for me.

Here are some motivational posters I’ve curated from Google Images, to reinforce this Life Lesson:

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Teacups and China

I have a fascination for colourful teacups and china. I don’t quite know why, but today I’m going to try to sum it up.

(The following photos are curated from my Pinterest board “Teacups & China”).

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Here’s why I think a stack of teacups, especially vintage ones, is so appealing:

1) it’s the mix of patterns and colours
2) it’s the shapes and their juxtaposition against each other
3) it’s eye candy and appealing on a childish, nostalgic level
4) I especially love teacups with curly, ornate handles
5) if they have gilded handles, all the more sex appeal!
6) gilt around the edges of teacups imparts a sense of luxury
7) the photography has to be just right, and capture the light and ambience
8) a tower of teacups says “Yes, let’s live dangerously and take risks, for once!”
9) they don’t even have to be stacked, to look gorgeous
10) cracked or chipped china imparts character, saying “I’m a survivor”
11) a medley of teacups from different makers and eras is like a time capsule
12) they liven up any setting and provide a topic of conversation
13) mix-n-match teacups and saucers looks bohemian and arty
14) it’s not sacrilegious in the least to place expensive, vintage teacups with cheap, funky modern ones, china isn’t picky
15) everyone should have beauty in their lives, and for me it’s wonderful to be able to choose a cup and sip from it. I’m irreverent and use mine to drink coffee from, not tea.

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I don’t stop at just teacups. I love teapots, plates, platters, soup tureens, bowls, spoons, modern, traditional, kitschy, novelty, blue and white etc. The more higgledy piggledy the arrangement, the more insouciant and exhilarating it is.

Why can’t people be like this? All different, yet complementing each other.

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Australian Aboriginal Artists : Tarisse and Sarrita King

Tarisse and Sarrita King are sisters, Tarisse was born in 1986, Sarrita in 1988. Their father was a prominent Aboriginal artist himself, William King Jungala(1966-2007).

On Tarisse King: (from Kate Owen‘s Gallery site):

Tarisse is a daughter of well-known artist, William King Jungala. An urban Aboriginal artist, she was born on September 4th 1986 in Adelaide. She moved to Darwin to live with her mother at the age of nine, but returned to Adelaide in 2003 to pursue a career in hospitality. However, living with her father she was exposed to art and her engagement with it grew. She began painting her father’s stories including his five elements, earth images and other designs, which she learned and inherited from William, and as her involvement grew she began experimenting with her own techniques and designs.

Following her father’s passing in 2007, she continues to spend much of her time in the studio, alongside her sister Sarrita, who is also an emerging artist carrying their father’s legacy.

I found Sarrita King’s Facebook page, where she provides details about her life, what inspires her to create Aboriginal Art, and a list of exhibitions. Here’s an excerpt from her profile page:

Sarrita King was born in Adelaide, South Australia on the 5th March 1988. She is the younger sister to fellow artist, Tarisse King and daughter to the late highly regarded artist, William King Jungala (1966 – 2007).

Sarrita inherits her Australian Aboriginality from her father who was part of the Gurindji tribe from the Northern Territory. The Gurindji tribe came to public attention during the 1960s and 1970s when members employed by the Wave Hill cattle station led a landmark case which became the first successful land rights claim in Australia. It is this same strong sense of self and pride that Sarrita embodies and it fuels her drive to paint her totemic landscape.

Sarrita spent most of her youth growing up in Darwin in the Northern Territory. Not far from where her ancestors inhabited, it is here that her connection to her Aboriginality and subsequently the land was able to grow. Her exposure to the imperious weather and extreme landscape has provided the theme for her works of art, since she began painting at age 16. Rolling sand hills, cracking lightning and thunderstorms, torrential rain, fire, desert and tangled bush are all scathing environmental factors that shaped her forefather’s lives and also her own. Depicting these elements in her paintings, Sarrita provides a visual articulation of the earth’s language.

Stylistically, Sarrita utilises traditional Aboriginal techniques such as ‘dotting’ but also incorporates unorthodox techniques inherited from her late father, as well as self-developed practices. Her art is a fusion of the past, present and future and represents the next generation of artists who have been influenced by both their indigenous history, and current Western upbringing. Sarrita creates frenetic energy on the canvas with her Lightning series and searing heat with her Fire series. Her aesthetic has a universal appeal and provides an entry point for people to experience the power and uniqueness of the Australian landscape and its harsh climate. On a world scale, her depictions couldn’t be more seasonable and well-timed.

Sarrita now paints in Adelaide in a shared studio with her sister. She has been included in over 20 exhibitions, is represented in galleries in every Australian state, included in many high profile Australian and international art collections and been auctioned several times successfully through Paris’ Art Curial Auction house.
Sarrita is currently taking a hiatus from her Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia to pursue her interest in digital media, specifically documentary making and focus on her art. Only at the age of 22, Sarrita King has many personal achievements but it is her desire to visually communicate her inspiration, the land, which keeps her ancestral narrative alive and provides a new way of looking back while looking forward.

I believe the information on both sisters may be out of date. Tarisse’s Facebook page indicates she is currently living in New Zealand. Whatever the case may be, the King sisters continue to collaborate on projects, as well as painting in their own distinctive styles.

Here are some examples of Tarisse King’s work: (Google Images)

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Here are some examples of Sarrita King’s work: (Google Images)

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Into The Woods

Recently, The Kid and I went to watch “Into The Woods”. (Spoiler alert, stop reading now if that sort of thing bothers you). We knew it had Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp in it, and also Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick. We also knew Emily Blunt played the role of the Baker’s Wife. We had an idea it was a big screen adaptation of a Musical by Stephen Sondheim.

We had no idea it would be so twisted, tongue in cheek and morbidly fun. And that it would not stop after the requisite fairytale ending, but carry on literally into the woods, where it became darker and more sinister than before.

Essentially the story revolves around the Baker and his Wife, who are childless. Then there are also not one but two Prince Charmings, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, a Grandmother, a Single Mother, Jack and a couple of giant beanstalks and Giants. Throw in the Witch, who really isn’t that wicked but just would really, really like her youth and beauty restored. And a list of 4 simple items which the Baker and his Wife must procure in order for them to have a baby. Such items being:

1) A Cow as white as milk
2) A Cape as red as blood
3) Hair the colour of corn
4) A shoe as yellow as gold

Of which of course Jack of the beanstalk fame would provide the first, Red Riding Hood the second, Rapunzel the third (or maybe not), and Cinderella the fourth. And the poor cow, who had been dead and miraculously resurrected by the Witch, would have to then eat all 4 items. I bet that would’ve killed it again, poor thing.

But anyway, at the end of the first half of the movie, the Witch was beautiful and young again, the Baker and his Wife had an instant and rather large bun in the oven, ready to pop soon, the Giant was dead, Rapunzel had her Prince, and Cinderella hers…though this Cinderella was in two minds about whether she should go or stay with her Prince Charming. I think she knew there could be bigger and better things for her if she didn’t just stop at the first Prince to kiss her. Good girl.

But then the Giant’s Wife comes down a giant beanstalk, that had grown from a bean that had been carelessly cast into the ground by Cinderella when the Baker’s Wife had tried to trade it for one of her golden shoes earlier. (Yes, it was one of Those parties). The Giantess naturally wanted revenge on wee Jack, who had slain her husband.

Meanwhile, while all sorts of things were going on in the woods, the Baker’s Wife encounters Cinderella’s Prince Charming, who seduces her. When she asks how he could do such a thing, as he’s newly married to Cinderella, he shrugs and says “I was raised to be charming, not sincere”. And seduces the Baker’s Wife even more.

After Prince Charming’s ridden off into the sunset, the Baker’s Wife has a soliloquy, pondering what had just happened.

There are vows, there are ties
There are needs, there are standards,
There are shouldn’ts and shoulds.
Why not both instead?
There’s the answer, if you’re clever:
Have a child for warmth,
And a baker for bread,
And a prince for whatever —
Never!
It’s these woods.

Just remembering you’ve had an “and”
When you’re back to “or”
Makes the “or” mean more
Than it did before.
Now I understand —
And it’s time to leave the woods.

Upon which suddenly the Giantess appears, causing the ground to shake. The Baker’s Wife runs for cover, and we see her hover against a backdrop of cliffs…then zoot! She’s gone.

I want to know why the writers decided that the Baker’s Wife had to die because she committed adultery, while Prince Charming gets away scot free…and especially when it was He who seduced Her. He won’t even have to get a divorce from Cinderella, as theirs was a marriage presumably unconsummated, due to the chaos caused by the Giantess so soon after their wedding.

Cinderella, who may have gotten clean away from Prince Charming and gone on to count the latest as a lucky escape, ends up holding the baby, literally, and even volunteers to help look after the Baker’s now 3 children, and cook and clean for him. Back to square one for that missy, then. Oh yes, the Baker, who had previously had no children, now finds himself saddled with a wee bairn, and Red and Jack, who are now both motherless and have no other family.

Hmmm…something’s not quite right in that twisted tale. The only “happily ever after” that I can see could have been that of Rapunzel and Her Prince Charming, last seen galloping away together on horseback. Rapunzel might have discovered that her Prince Charming has a fetish for long hair and since she no longer has that, he might turn to eating corn on the cob and hoarding the silk, and she might have grown fat after discovering all the sweet and delicious pastries and cakes that the Witch had neglected to supply her with while stuck in the Tower.

We’ll never know for sure. Maybe
there is no such thing as “Happily Ever After”. There is no Mr Right, just Mr Right Now. Adulterers get away with adultery. Some even become serial adulterers, when they’re not being stomped on by Giantesses or falling off cliffs. Or when they have mighty steeds upon which to gallop away on. Cinderellas might find being single and carefree preferable to being tied down to a vapid, vain Lothario. Witches might find it more convenient to a abandon their vegetable patches and grow magic mushrooms underground instead, thus avoiding having to curse a neighbour and his family with infertility and start the whole sorry story snowballing.

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(Image source: Google Images)

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:

https://m.facebook.com/HTCTW.book

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.

Namasté.
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You Had One Job (Or, Why I Could Never Work In Retail)

The Kid taught me something today. And I taught him something too. He taught me that there was an entire world of fun to be found online, that was devoted to what I’d have simply called Spelling Blunders or Grammatical Mistakes. It’s called “You Had One Job”.

“You Had One Job” relates to blunders by people that ultimately lead to FAIL signs on website images. Sometimes it’s known by its longer title, “You had One Job, ONE JOB!”, to be read in a stern and escalating tone of voice.

So that was what The Kid showed me today. And for my part, I showed him the “Secret Door” to Pinterest. The poor guy had been taking Pinterest at face value, simply looking at images and pinning them to his own boards. When I showed him how, by simply clicking on a Pinterest image, he could be swept away into the vortex of another website containing more images and information, you could hear the cogwheels in his brain go KA-CHUNK!! Mind Blown. Welcome to the real world of Pinterest, Kiddo!

For today’s post, I’ve put together a few of my favourites, from the retail world. This is one of the reasons I could never work in Retail. I’d be either dying from laughter, or else I’d take it upon myself to be the Grammar Police, and waste all my time running around correcting these blunders.

(All images here were found on Pinterest).

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