Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Marvelous Marble 2: ATC Backgrounds

Continuing the theme from yesterday, here is Set No. 2.

This time, I chose to use a mid range blue, highlighted by a brassy golden color.

ATCs or Artist Trading Cards have a unique history worldwide. They arose as a form of exchange at the instigation of Swiss artist, 
M. Vänçi Stirnemann. This was in 1997, making the art of ATCs very nearly 20 years old today. The artist called it a "Collaborative Cultural Performance." I call it fun!

For more on the unique and fascinating history of Artist Trading Cards, you may follow the link HERE.

For many, it is an enjoyable hobby, as nobody sells anything and all is freely traded, tiny artwork for tiny artwork. I've traded ATCs myself on and off over the years, and found it a fascinating way to see the work of my fellow artisans. Fun!
:)

Below is a unique set of 6 slightly varying ATC backgrounds. They aren't intended to be traded as they are, but rather built upon using various media. Have fun, but please remember the ATC heritage of trading without selling. These are free. Let's keep them that way. Thank you.

Happy Creative trading!

PPSATC™ Six Pack: marvelous Marble No. 2

Download HERE

Display version

(lower quality than the download)


Digital Brush Credit:
Mask by hilla MS at www.brusheezy.com


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ATC Background Freebies: Marvelous Marble No. 1

I take my inspiration from antique hand marbled paper for my new ATC sets. 

Below is the first set, done all in bronze, ochre, taupe and coffee brown. Others will soon appear here, but in different color ways and slightly different in design.

ATCs or Artist Trading Cards have a unique history worldwide. They arose as a form of exchange at the instigation of Swiss artist, 
M. Vänçi Stirnemann. This was in 1997. The artist called it a "Collaborative Cultural Performance."

For more on the unique and fascinating history of Artist Trading Cards, you may follow the link HERE.

For many, it is an enjoyable hobby, as nobody sells anything and all is freely traded, tiny artwork for tiny artwork. I've traded ATCs myself on and off over the years, and found it a fascinating way to see the work of my fellow artisans. Fun!
:)

Below is a unique set of 6 slightly varying ATC backgrounds. they aren't intended to be traded as they are, but rather built upon using various media. Have fun, but please remember the ATC heritage of trading without selling. These are free. Let's keep them that way. Thank you.

Happy Creative trading!

PPSATC™ Six Pack: marvelous Marble No. 1

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)


Digital Brush Credits:
Mask by hillaMS at www.brusheezy.com



Monday, November 14, 2016

Victoria's Very Own Bedroom

At last! - It's ready to be played with!

And in two colors, too. The first one shown below is in shell pink with soft green and taupe accents. The second of the two is in blue with blue violet and light aqua accents.

This has taken a great deal of work to complete. In fact, I needed to set it aside more than once, as the details were making my head swim. Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines listed at the foot of this post. Thank you.

The original image of the room was a genuine mess when I first found it. For one thing, it has much lower resolution than I generally prefer to use. Despite that problem, the way in which it would fit the doll in terms of inches really made this a worthwhile project.

The next thing that it required was a major overhaul. The original color (ochre goldish greenish) was neither pretty nor feminine. I experimented with several different options, finally settling on the two you see here.

Then there were problems with the view from the windows. That was very poor quality, indeed, and offered the wrong kind of view. This is meant to be Victoria's real room when at home at her grandmother's house in an upscale (although not aristocratic) neighborhood in London. I saw that she needed her very own room early on, of course, but I had never been able to find anything close to what might fit the story. Therefore, I removed the original view and replaced it with the one you see here. The house is on a square near a park, and has its own fine view overlooking a nice walled back garden.

The room's decor and furnishings are all in keeping with the era. If some of it appears to have a touch of an Arts and Crafts or Art Nouveau Movement look to it, that's to be expected. In the latter half of the 1890's there had already been more than one revolution in home decor and overall architectural design. Grandmother Lacey's parlor may be more traditional in stye, but her lovely young granddaughter has more modern taste. Notice the decorative wallpaper meant to mimic draped fabric, and how this matches the ceiling. The wallpaper border underneath the wood trim at the tops of the walls has a hint of a Victorian William Morris style to it, hasn't it?
:)

Below, each color choice will be offered with its Display version first, followed then by the 4 separate downloads comprising each one. For the Pink one, I have posed the doll wearing her Garnet colored Dressing Gown. for the Blue one, I have posed her wearing her Violet Dressing Gown.

Instructions for first time  Paper Doll Room assemblers may be found by following the following link HERE.

Happy Playtime Creativity!

PPSPlaytime™: Victoria's Own Bedroom 
in Choice of Two Colors

Display of Pink:



Download UL HERE

Download UR HERE

Download LR HERE

Download LL HERE

Display of Blue:



Download UL HERE

Download UR HERE

Download LR HERE

Download LL HERE


You are free to:
Play with, give or trade
either of these Paper Doll bedrooms.
You are not free to:
ever sell either of them in any form
or for any reason.
Thank you
fro helping me to
keep free things free!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Trio of Horse Pictures

Any one of these would make a fun coloring project. 

I especially like the first of the three, the one of a stable scene. The dog has chased a cat up onto a window ledge. The cat is pretty feisty. The horses are wondering what all the fuss is about. I think it's fun.

Next up is a lady riding sidesaddle over a fence. She sits so confidently. I have to wonder about her posture in the picture and that jump she's taking atop her very pretty, bright eyed horse. I'm accustomed to seeing riders that are at least a little bit bent at the waist. Maybe it's about her corset?
:)

Lastly, there is a plainer picture that is an illustration from an old magazine. This one gives a brief look into the various ways that some horses are trained to move. The gait being shown is called a "canter." I will include a short video (8 minutes long) that offers three strides for a horse. The first, of course, is a simple walk. The second is a trot, and the third is a real canter. A canter is a gentle, flowing style of running gait, kind of halfway between a trot and a full blown gallop. Sometimes, it is called a "lope" or "loping gait." It looks really comfortable if done well enough. I see it as beautiful. It takes a strong canter in order for most horses to be able to take most jumps safely.

A second video is about the importance of balance in maintaining your seat during a canter.

Have fun "horsing around" 
with today's coloring fun!


PPSColorMe™ Horse Trio

Download #1 HERE
Display version
(lower quality than the download)



Download #2 HERE
Display version
(lower quality than the download)



Download #3 HERE
Display version
(lower quality than the download)


Video about the Canter



(I like the way he says, "Apply your calves.")

Balance is very important when riding into a canter.



Imagine doing this using a sidesaddle!


You are free to:
use these graphics
in any way you please.
Free and in the Public Domain
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!





Tuesday, November 8, 2016

For Veterans/Armistice Day (11/11/16)

The International observance, known in the U.S. as Veterans Day, began in 1918 with a different name.

Back then, it was known as Armistice Day. According to Wikipedia, "Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the 'eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month' of 1918. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, and coincides with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, public holidays."
(To read more about Armistice Day, please follow the link HERE)

In the U.S. the same holiday was given a new name in 1954, that being our Veterans Day (see more HERE), but this is still an International day of observance, regardless of our nation's name change for the same date and time. 

A number of my family members fought for the Allies in WWII. Some barely made it out alive. I like to honor all of our service members, both men and women, along with all medics, nurses, and doctors etc. who've either supported troops or who've been in the thick of combat, whether still living or now lost to us. No matter where in the world this day is being observed, let it be a sign to us as to war's cost in human lives. Let's likewise give some thought to the numerous conscientious objectors who drove ambulances and worked as medics or support staff. Even they risked their lives so that as many people as possible could return home to their families. They, too, even though they didn't choose to do battle, were an essential part of the world's times of war. 

" The World War I draft law recognized the peace churches [the Quakers, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren and Seventh Day Adventists] but prosecuted anyone else who objected on the basis of their own beliefs. Five hundred objectors were court-martialed – 17 received death sentences for refusing to fight. Although none of the death sentences was carried out, almost 150 objectors were jailed for life, and others were harassed and beaten.
Finally, in World War II, the draft law exempted from military service those who "by reason of religious training and belief" opposed war. The objectors still served. They were assigned to "work of national importance." This service fell into two types:
First, about 25,000 objectors served in the military in "noncombatant" roles. They were medics who were in the Army but didn't carry a gun.
Second, those who objected to being in the military served on the home front. About 20,000 objectors fought forest fires, built conservation projects in rural areas, or took care of the mentally ill in hospitals.
There were objectors who refused to even register for the draft, believing that the draft itself was supporting the killing. About 6,000 of these men went to jail."
From an online article at
http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/life_05.html

Let's take the time to honor our veterans of all ages this coming Friday, November 11th. Additionally, in the UK or for those of us elsewhere who are religious, this coming Sunday is known as Remembrance Sunday. (the Sunday closest to the 11th)

The old song title says, "Are We Downhearted? No! No! No!" This was a fairly popular song for some of the troops of WWI. 

According to a Wikipedia article, "Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic.[1] The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces. After a relatively slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict." 


 
IN FLANDERS FIELDS POEM
The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium
(found at http://www.flandersfieldsmusic.com/thepoem.html)

Below the Display version, I will add 3 YouTube videos of antique recordings plus one of a very short overview of the history of this very important day.

Let's Honor all our Veterans, including those among our allies this November 11th!


Veterans Day 
WWI Sheet Music Cover

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)



YouTube Video about Red Poppies
(British, from 2014)




Song: Are We Downhearted?




In Flanders Fields (song with slideshow)





Amazing Grace


From the album, Whales and Nightingales
which may be found at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Whales-Nightingales-Judy-Collins/dp/B000002I2K




Friday, November 4, 2016

Tea and Company with Mercy

A new room + two new outfits and the latest news about Mercy!

Victoria's cousin Mercy and her husband, Tom, are staying for a few months with his family while their new home is being made ready for them. Their time with family has been very pleasant, although recently some family members have gone traveling for a while. To make up for the loss, Victoria has been come to stay a while in the rambling old fashioned house near Grosvenor Square.

Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines located at the foot of this post. Thank you so much.

Mercy's cousin and best friend, Victoria has been invited to stay for three weeks while Tom is away on business. Tom's parents, meanwhile, are at the country estate belonging to some friends. This means that our two young cousins may do whatever they like for three whole weeks.

What shall they do with their free time today? I am glad that you've asked. They are about to entertain a few guests for late afternoon tea! This will not be what the northern parts of Great Britain considered then to be "high tea," as that was more for artisan workers, and after a long day's work. However, this relatively casual gathering will offer something more wholesome than simply tea and sweets or digestive biscuits.

Both fashionable young ladies are wearing the very latest in tea gowns. A tea gown was a part of a fashion and health movement during Victorian times known as "the Rational Dress" movement. Women could relax in looser clothing (such as a tea gown) and with no corsets on for hours at a time, thus allowing their insides to be as healthy as possible.

For Victoria, this will be her very first fancy tea gown ever. You'll notice how parts of this gown's design and cut are a bit like that of her peignoir. The one main difference between the two styles maybe seen at the waistline, as well as in the length of the skirt at the back.

As you may have already noticed, Mercy's special gown accommodates two now. She and Tom are expecting their first child sometime before spring. She seems both comfortable and elegant in her new purple velvet gown trimmed with rich feathers (yes - feathers!). Her cousin is wearing a pretty blue gown patterned with flowers that is adorned with flounces and ruffles of lace. Both carry fans. This was a common fashion accessory in the wearing of formal but friendly tea attire. Mercy's is a hand painted one made with guards and sticks of mother of pearl.

Their guests are not likely to wear such loose clothing as tea gowns. After all, nobody would dare to travel or be out in public wearing such attire. The fashion was intended more for time spent among one's family and closer friends.

Mercy and Victoria have been busy laying the table. Soon, the pretty room full of antique furniture will shine with some of Tom's mother's china and silverware. Hot water for tea will be sent upstairs from the kitchen in the basement to the first floor (which was never the ground floor, but the one above it). From there, a maid will fetch it from a sort of a small elevator made especially for dishes and food that is called a "dumbwaiter." Next, she will deliver it to be poured.

The little party will start more as a light supper or late luncheon with soup, a salad, and some little finger sandwiches. This was not customary, but in informal settings, one could always choose one's menu to suit everybody's taste. The dessert part of the menu will offer the guests a number of delightful choices. -Not forgetting, of course, plenty of tea and good conversation.

Perhaps one day you, too, will give your own tea party for your closest friends or family. Tea time recipes for just such a repast may be found at a variety of sites online, among them this one HERE and also this one HERE.

Happy Teatime Creativity!


PPSPlaytime™: Teatime with Mercy
(in 4 sections, some assembly required)

Display 




Download UL HERE
Download UR HERE
Download LR HERE
Download LL HERE

PPSPlaytime™: Mercy's Velvet Tea Gown

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)



PPSPlaytime™: Victoria's New Tea Gown

Download HERE
Display version
(lower quality than the download)


You are free to:
play with or give or to trade
the room and outfits
included in this post.
You are not free to:
ever sell any of these items
in any way
or for any reason.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!






Monday, October 31, 2016

Regency Paper Doll Room No. 2

This one is called a "morning room," as time was spent in such rooms for the sake of better light.

Imagine a world of candles and lanterns, with gaslights only in larger towns or cities, and then certainly not in most homes. Daylight was a precious resource in the times prior to gas and (later on) electric lighting.

Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines at the foot of this post. Thank you.

This project began using a charming antique watercolor painting. It really needed to be updated and refreshed, so I used Photoshop processes in order to change its appearance. The scale was not quite right at first, and that made the doll look gigantic! This also was changed for a better fit. At that moment, I simply fell in love with the details in this painting. It almost seems to tell us a story, doesn't it?

The room is cosy and full of color. There is mid morning light shining abundantly through a pretty window that has a lively swag atop  a set of semi sheer curtains. The lady who is seated by the fireplace is busy sewing by the light from that window. It looks like she will be there yet a while, as her mending basket is very full. Everything had to be sewn by hand using a needle and thread during the Regency times, as sewing machines would not be invented until Victoria's reign. The lady's feet rest upon a colorful hearth rug. Perhaps she has made that rug with her own two hands?

The comfortable looking sofa has thick cushions in a very bold and sunny color, doesn't it? I like the cute embroidered footstool.There are a number of paintings adorning the wood paneled walls of this cheery room. Notice the very large mirror above the mantlepiece. Such an item would have been afforded only by people with very good incomes during Regency times. It would have reflected light from any windows as well as from any possible candles. In front of the mirror there are three bell jars with very precious things displayed inside each of them. At the center is a very fine clock, while on either side sit matching vases that look quite fancy indeed.

There is more going on in this lively room, however. A (possibly naughty) little dog is playing with someone's slipper! 

As per usual, all 4 downloads are included, one for each portion of this antique watercolor picture that is the newest room. You'll note that I have labeled them with "UL" for Upper left, and so forth. The assembly is fairly straightforward. There are hints and instructions to be found at this link HERE

I hope to be able to add to my Regency Paper Doll collection in time for Jane Austen's birthday (in December).

Happy Playtime Creativity!


PPSPlaytime™: Regency Paper Doll Room No. 2

Display version with a doll



Download UL HERE
Download UR HERE
Download LR HERE
Download LL HERE

You are free to:
play with or give or trade
this paper doll room.
You are not free to:
ever sell it in any form
or for any reason.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

His and Hers Bookplates

These might make a fun gift or party favor.

These two separate sets are based upon an old bookplate that was designed by someone else. I have chosen to take the idea and to run with it, so to speak. Originally, this bookplate was only a "His" bookplate, and with a man's name above the cat and its book.

Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines at the foot of this post. Thank you.

Several changes had to be made to the original. I took apart the man's name (that very handily allowed me to use the required "E" and "R" for "HER") and reassembled a few bits. I've also had to make some repairs to both cat and book. I then shifted direction by making the whole thing look like new without (hopefully) losing some of the antique charm provided.

Happy Reading and Book Arts Creativity!


PPSBookArts™: His and Hers Bookplates

Download "Hers" HERE

Download "His" HERE

Display version of Hers
(lower quality than the download)



Display version of HIs
(lower quality than the download)


You are free to:
give or use or share
these bookplates.
You are not free to:
ever sell them in any way
for any reason.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Victoria's Autumn Sunday Best

Her style has become more grownup as she has gained a little more maturity, hasn't it?
:)

Today's outfit is to be worn mainly for church services but also for special occasions. Victoria's grandmother has had this pretty fall dress tailor made for her granddaughter. To complete this new ensemble, Grandmother Lacey has ordered a very fashionable and grownup style of hat. This gift of new clothes has been presented to Victoria on a Saturday, so that she might wear it the very next day.

Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines at the foot of this post. Thank you.

Now back at home following a few weeks at her very first tutoring position, Victoria's mind is turning towards her home life once again. She won't have to attend classes until after the turn of the new year. Despite this, she will practice her conversational French daily with her Grandmother as her teacher and also continue her reading schedule.

Soon, she will be able once again to enjoy the company of her cousin, Mercy, who (unbeknownst to Victoria) has a few surprises waiting for her. The two are due to have what we might call a "sleepover" or a "slumber party," just the two of them, as best friends often like to. But there has also been proposed a small tea party of a quieter sort. To this Mercy plans to invite only a few guests, mainly family members and a few very close friends. But we'll save that for another day.

Happy Autumn Playtime!

PPSPlaytime™: Victoria's Autumn 
Sunday Best

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)


You are free to:
play with or share or trade
this paper  doll outfit.
You are not free to:
ever sell it in any form 
and for any reason.
Thank you 
for helping me to
keep free things free!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Playtime Accessory: Horseback Riding Action Figure

Victoria is enjoying her autumn times off from her new tutoring job!

This is a card stock project.

With her newest adventure in growing up has come this wonderful surprise of being allowed to wake up nearly every morning and go out riding. The name of the horse she has been leant is Star, for the pretty white marking on his forehead. The family who have leant her this sweet horse are friends of her family's, and whose daughter needs to be helped with her studies for a while until a new governess can do the job. This will supply Victoria with some fine references to go along with both her excellent test cores and her experiences of foreign languages abroad over the summer.

Please respect all copyrights, including the ones in red that are listed at the foot of this post. Thank you.

Riding out freely in the fresh country air is a special privilege, as it is an expensive venture to keep a horse, especially if one is living in a large town or city in Victoria's era. She intends to spend every precious moment out galloping over the green grass and fallen leaves of the family's estate. On her arrival home again, she is generally greeted by a healthy breakfast with some warming tea in her friends' Breakfast Room - a cheerful room which faces east in order to catch the morning sun.

Her evenings may be spent with her own studies.these must be kept up with, for her next term will require more of her than ever before. The head of her academy is quite confidant in allowing Victoria to skip one term in favor of finishing her sojourn abroad along with this rare opportunity to teach before graduating. Come springtime, she will be preparing to take a number of tests, as well as for life as a newly graduated young scholar.

The Action Figure has its own custom standard. Simply follow the instructions printed clearly on its middle, and you should have complete success with this project. The one tricky part would have to be the cutting out of the Figure itself. I recommend smaller scissors, used with care, for the trickier parts. As already mentioned, this is a card stock project. To use paper would only lead to disappointment almost immediately.

This Figure has had to be redone several different ways. After all, the paper doll itself is much too short to accommodate the height of a horse to match in scale, and so I had to decide for the Figure rather than an outfit with a horse involved. Please see the separate Paper Doll Riding Costume by following this link HERE

This Action Figure could not be a very high quality image - certainly not as high in quality as most of the Paper Doll collection here at PPS. All the same, I think that it will be a fun addition for anybody's paper doll set!

In any case, Happy Playtime Creativity!

PPSPlaytime™: Victoria as Horseback Action Figure

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)


You are free to:
play with, trade or give away
this new Action Figure and Standard.
You are not free to:
ever sell either for any reason.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!

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