Here's a pretty little Sunday package for you: a new background group I've called Saving Grace. You may be able to tell that I like this set by the fact that it appears I've made way too many of them. Yes, it's true. What I love about these patterns is that they have a very comforting "English countryside subdued-chintz wallpaper-and-upholstery" sort of feeling, but when you begin combining them, they can become wonderfully "kimono-combo". Here's an example square that sort of shows this idea, I think.
I'm so far behind on posting any of my bookmarks, but let me just grab a couple that I've visited recently: The Medieval Bestiary and a timeline of Flemish manuscript painting, then, exiting our time machine for a bit, the wonderful Picture Mechanics, a site featuring some of the best known contemporary illustrators. What's great here is that you get links to everybody's personal sites, so if you find someone you are crazy about, you can go see more. Calef Brown is one of my favorites, and so is Cathie Bleck.
Where does the time go? It would probably take me at least a couple of weeks of posting every day to catch up on all my backlog - and that's just the patterns... The fun bookmarks are whole 'nother story. Yet, still I continue to make more - and I love this new one so much I just had to go ahead and trot it out: my slightly eerie Sunday Garden, with an example layout .gif here, and a deliciously smoky, ashy version, Dark Sunday (and the .gif example).
And to dig into that feast of bookmarks just a bit, snack on these yummy collage-style images by Darryl Baird at the fantastic Photo-Eye photographer showcase - a site that you can really sink your pointy little teeth into, you ravenous, raving linkmonster you.
I'm falling behind with my patterns - not the making of, but the posting of. Ah, well. Here are a couple I adore: Chrysanthemum Storm and Mandarin.; the beginning point for one was a bit of fabric with a chrysanthemum design from a kimono, and the other started with a photo of an actual chrysanthemum. Are you getting the smallest clue that I've been googling for chrysanthemums lately? If so, you would be right, and just look what I found - an adorable little Chrysanthemum leucanthemum just crying out to decorate somebody's web page... I could so design a blog around this image... Also see the great Mum stencil at Stencils with Style, and this great Hockney-esque "chrysanthemum packet" (by the same person who made these very cool handmade postcards).
There's also a fun vintage sheet music cover for Scott Joplin's "The Chrysanthemum - an Afro-Intermezzo" at the very nice covers page of the Repertoireliste Ragtime Society (fifth image on the first row). Plus, a lovely, dreamy mum image among the gorgeous flowers of Rob Allen, and chrysanthemums as seen by Chagall, Mondrian and Degas (mid-page) at the very wonderful "when Art imitates Life" site by the Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Also, some graceful mums among these Chinese ink drawings of the "four gracious plants" by Han Myoung-Hee, a variety of chrysanthemums scattered among the delicious botanical art of Cheyne Walk Limited and big beautiful images from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library’s rare book collection, an amazing fold-out origami chrysanthemum on this page about Origamic Architecture (bottom of page), a chrysanthemum mandala among this collection of "Earth Mandalas". And then there's William Morris's chrysanthemum patterns, of course. And don't even get me started on chrysanthemum fireworks. No. just don't. And so... To conclude this rather obsessive post, let me just leave you with one last poignantly eloquent image. The end.
Hey, look at this great-looking blog that is using one of my favorite background tiles! Very nice - bravo, Blue Pencil!
Today I have something just a little bit different for you that started with this very interesting site about iconography that I'm having a good time exploring. Most of the images here are from illuminated manuscripts, which I love, and so I decided to borrow a portion of an illustrated border I found here to create a repeating design. Although they will tiles both horizontally and vertically, these patterns are really meant to be used as border tiles. I've made these 120 pixels wide, but they will look great in any border space from 85 to 180 pixels wide (you can go narrower or wider - I just don't like how they look as much). Now, let me explain the tiles that you see on the download page: the first one basically keeps the the original colors of the original manuscript, including background color, the second is an intensity-inverted version, and I gave the third one a typical web-page-white background.
The next two, however, are horses of a different color, which is to say that they these are examples showing how you can key one of the basic tiles to fit in with whatever color you are using on your site. For example, for these last two tiles I imagined that I had a site that was using #336699 as a main color, so, in PhotoShop, I began with the black-background tile, and with my first color on the toolbar set at #336699, I used Image: Adjust: Hue/Saturation, and clicked on the "Colorize" box, then I went to Edit: Fade Colorize, and faded the effect to 54%. Then I did exactly the same thing with the white-background tile. Of course you will need to change the mode of the .gif image first (under "Image") to RGB.
By the way, you may have trouble opening images in the site I linked to using Mozilla - I had to switch to IE to get the nice little drop-down image box (which you can enlarge).
Dropping in quickly here to deliver a new tile couple, "Alberto's Defence'" - tiny, art deco-ish, nesting patterns (I saved in 256 colors, you can resave in 16 for really bitty file sizes), with an example square on this page.
I also just wanted to mention that I ran across a really interesting web collection of portraits of the Big Bee, Ludwig Van Beethoven, with pages and pages of images under the categories "drawings and engravings", "ex libris", "modern", "postcards", "sculptures", and "music". This is really quite fascinating to peruse; check out number 43 under "ex libris", for example - a fairly bizarre combo portrait of Lenin and LvB. And, I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't even know that there are portraits of Beethoven by Andy Warhol and Gustav Klimt, among others...