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TEXT & TONIC - Y and Z July 07 2020, 0 Comments

The last two letters in my Text & Tonic design series are interesting because they represent nothingness, singularity and duality.

 

 Say yes and you'll figure it out afterward. Tina Fey

 

   

Galactic Yin Yang                          Tina

Yin and Yang is the concept of dualism, of cosmic duality, and the pattern I've created here using the symbol is a reminder that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites.

Tina Fey's quotation suggests that we should respond spontaneously to the situation at hand. Later we can guide the results of our actions in a logical way. Two very different processes...same brain. Some might call it reckless but there's an undeniable strength and truth to it.

 

 

Zero is supposed to be nothing, but works wonders if on the right side. Anonymous

 

   

Zaha Hadid architecture                     Frankenstein  
The eye-catching zig zag pattern always gets attention. When used as an architectural style element, it's exciting; on roads it focuses attention; on furniture it adds modernity, in hair styles it speaks of confidence. This is a lively pattern.

 

The author of the quotation for the Z pattern is Anonymous. There's a long list of writers with that name, from ancient Mesopotamian works to present day. Anonymity is used when content is political, controversial or when privacy is required. But words must be said. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein was created when she was a teenager and published anonymously in 1818 when she was twenty years old. How many people would have taken a twenty year old author seriously? Her name appeared on the book cover in the 1821 edition.

 

 

It's a wrap! I hope you've enjoyed reading about the history of patterns in my Text & Tonic design series. All of the wonderful women quoted in this series are strong, intelligent, often funny. They've inspired me to be creative. I enjoyed doing the research. You can see them all in the Text & Tonic collections.

My next design series concerns matters of the heart. I'll keep you informed.

Until then.....

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEXT & TONIC - V W X June 30 2020, 0 Comments

The three letters V, W and X have a geometric design component. But there's nothing geometric about the three women in this blog who pursued freedom of expression, each in their own way.

 

   

 Vodka is  kind of hobby.  Betty White

 

 
Parrotfish                                                                   Betty White pin-up girl

 

The Latin origin of the word vermicular means little worm, but I found the vermicular pattern on a fish, on ancient Roman mosaics, Parisian architecture and on bird feathers. And I found a rare bird. 

Everbody loves Betty White.  She embodies adaptability, change and courage. Freeedom is the key to Betty's personality. She is a multi-talented actress, animal rights activist, author, and television personality. I look to Betty when I need creative inspiration and encouragement in uncertain times.

 

 

   

You were wild once. Don't let them tame you.  Isadora Duncan

 

   

 Nepture's Horses                                                Isadora Duncan

The wave pattern expresses itself in many ways. There's always a sense of movement, freedom, beauty, and the beyond. The wave pattern is everywhere, seen and unseen: sound waves, wave motifs, finger waves, even square waves.

Isadora Duncan was an American dance pioneer whose influence shaped modern dance: free dance form. She rejected the social norms of the 19th and 20th century and the restrictive views placed on womanhood. A free spirit and a traveller, Isadora is one if the most enduring influences on contemporary culture. A brave and exciting individual who danced ahead of the pageant.

  

 

There is no such thing as expecting too much.  Susan Cheever

 

  

No go                                                      Drinking in America 

The symbol X has a fascinating history. Depending on context, the meaning of the letter X symbolizes good or evil, genetics, sex, spirituality, size, and algerbra.

Susan Cheever began her career as a journalist and later turned to fiction and biography. Her novels explore the moral dilemmas of contemporary women, the effects of alcohol on American history, and her complicated family dynamics. When her writing changed focus from journalism to self explorations, her expectations changed, and she continues to meet them.

 

I've created items in my Text & Tonic collections with interesting quotations on interesting patterns. They remind me that there are fabulous and unique women who offer their wisdom to those who will listen. Take a look.

   

 

I have one last blog in my Text & Tonic design series. Hope you'll take a look next week. Until then.....

Hasta luego amigos,

Val


TEXT & TONIC - G H I May 28 2020, 0 Comments

I enjoy blogging about my design series because I’m learning about the lives of some fascinating women. And I've found that many of the textile patterns that we live with today were created in ancient times.

 

"Instant gratification is not soon enough." Meryl Streep

The worldwide popularity of the gingham pattern was originally developed in India and Indonesia, exported to Europe and into the American colonies in early 17th century. Now we find gingham everywhere; we wear it, sit on it, eat on it. It's on cars, on Easter eggs, and on statues. It's not just for cowgirls. 

 

 

 Dior car                                                           vintage gingham                             Into The Woods 
Meryl Streep, actor extraordinaire, has played many characters including a prime minister, a holocaust survivor, and a whistle blower. Her talents have been acknowledged by fans and peers alike, and she's seen as one of the best actors of her generation. With this kind of adoration, I think I can learn a lot from Meryl when I sit down with a bag of popcorn and explore her creativity in the world of cinema.

 

 

"If there's no chocolate in heaven, I'm not going."  Jane Seabrook

The use of the herringbone pattern dates back to the Roman Empire where it was used in roadway construction. Filippo Brunellechi's creation of the breathtaking cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore was made possible by using the herringbone brick pattern. 

   
Roman Road                                          Santa Maria del Fiore                      Furry Logic

Jane Seabrook is an illustrator and designer known for her detailed paintings of wildlife. Her watercolours of animals, which she pairs with quotes, speak to the human condition. We are encouraged to laugh and feel good, and get on with it.

 

 

"Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting."  Gertrude Stein

The Ikat pattern employs the resist dyeing technique. Ikat textiles are created in many traditional textiles centres around the world. The characteristic fuzzy patterning is prized by many textile collectors.

   
Woven ikat fabric                               Gertrude Stein 1980 Andy Warhol          Checkerboard 1915 Juan Gris

Gertrude Stein was a modernist literary pioneer and an enthusiastic patron of avant-garde art. She was a leading figure of the pre-World War I art circles in Paris. Along with many others, the Cubist artist Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso, frequented Gertrude's Parisienne salon.

 

               

Here are a few of the many fun items now available on my website. I think you'll find something there to brighten your home.

 

I'm looking forward to sharing more about some fascinating women with you in the next blog: Text & Tonic J  K  L.

Until then.

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 

 

 


TEXT & TONIC - A to Z May 07 2020, 0 Comments

It’s time celebrate Mother Earth’s gift of Spring: life’s eternal pattern of change and regeneration.

 

In the spirit of change, I’ve been inspired to create a colourful design series, using three features: pattern, the alphabet, and quotations.

I’ve chosen 26 patterns, starting with argyle ending with zigzag. The origins of these patterns are fascinating and I'm happy to share their story with you in my upcoming blog  series.

With each new design, a single letter is the visual focus. I've been inspired by artists who have used the alphabet in unique, creative ways. Illustrator Edward Gorey applied his style to a very enjoyable alphabet book called The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

 

Quotations are the third feature of this design project. I'll introduce you to some remarkable women who offer us their words of wisdom--some sincere, some hilarious. When Amelia Earhart in her quote tells us that "There's more to life than just being a passenger", we know she's telling us that we can be brave and we can fly on our own. I'm looking up, Amelia.

I'm looking forward to sharing my new designs with you beginning next Tuesday, May 12th. Until then....


Hasta luego,
Val


I'M BACK AT THE MOVIES December 18 2018, 0 Comments

After last week's post, I just can't stop with these movie quotes. Here are three more of my favourites. They're available on Society6.


I LOST AND FOUND MYSELF AT THE MOVIES December 11 2018, 0 Comments

   

Casablanca

The movies offer many creative ways to occupy time: escapism, complexity, humour, mystery, connection, inspiration. Great movies transport us to a different time and place.

Why should I care what happens to fictional characters? Because I identify with them, I see the characters as versions of myself, their fates matter to me, and I get wrapped in their stories.

    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_of_the_Jedi 

When I want the luxury of escapism, the right movie can transport me to a time and place I've never been--like Alice going through the looking glass into a fantastical world.

The theme of cinematic voyerism appeals to my curious nature, and in the movies, I experience voyerism from the comfort of my armchair. How I interpret what I see is up to me. And I'm inspired to try new things.

  

Some Like It Hot

Great movies comfort me and make me laugh. The world is knowable, and I feel safe. Especially when I'm viewing Some Like it Hot, for the twentieth time. It's a great movie, and it stands the test of time: all great movies do. I believe that there are movie fans somewhere out there like me, who laugh like me. I'm connected to strangers. 

  

Toy Story


Great movies create a powerful sense of emotion and engagement. I'm inspired to become a bigger better version of myself.

Great movies inspire memorable quotations. Just a word or two or three and we know the movie source, and memories begin. A few words can instantly transport us to Casablanca or Paris, to Infinity and Beyond with the toys, singe our funny bones with Some Like It Hot, and know the power of a little furball.

I've created some home decor items which display quotations from the movies. They're available on Society 6.

ESCAPISM amigos, is ultimately why I started going to the movies. Discovering somethings about myself is why I'll always return.

Hasta luego,

Val

 


A Message To My Readers September 20 2017, 0 Comments

 

 Welcome to my corner of the internet. I've been designing cards for a few years and look forward to sharing regular new creations with you, whether you are someone looking for a card for a special occasion, another card designer, or someone looking to sell my cards in your shop. I hope you'll find something here for you, or someone you love and care about.

Future posts will include updates on card offerings, some behind the scenes peaks at my process and what influences me.  I will share inspiring quotes and thoughtful words of great minds of poets, writers, musicians, philosophers, and artists. But there's more…

I'm going to offer you, my reader, regular tips on writing meaningful messages for celebration, condolence, and appreciation. We all love to buy and give cards, but sometimes we lack the words to say, ' I love you', 'I appreciate you', or 'I am sorry'.  I will help you with that. 

I always welcome reader feedback, so if you have something to share on a topic, a question, or want to suggest a future post or card, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section or send me an email.

Hasta luego!

Val