Author Archives: Pennie McCracken

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New Lenormand Deck – Silhouette Design

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This is my newest Lenormand style deck, created in a Silhouette Design. It gives it a clean modern look with the predominant colours being black and white of course. However I have used other colours in the images to give it more interest.

If you are reader and are interested in this deck you can find more information including a gallery of all the cards here.

 

 

 

 


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New Harmonious Tarot Deck

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For anyone who is interested in the Tarot, I have just created four more decks, one of which is the Harmonious Tarot shown above. This deck is based on the illustrations by Walter Crane, who was better known for his innovative illustrations in children’s book in the Victorian era. The images in this deck are based on nature and were modified slighly later on by Ernest Fitzpatrick to better fit the structure of the Tarot.

I created this deck in a ‘Muted-Vintage’ style for two reasons, firstly to give it an new distinctive look and secondly as acknowledgement of the age of the original design c.1870. However, I may do a more vibrant version at a later date. I created a back cover that I felt was complimentary to the design, but you are welcome to select a custom back cover of your choice from a selection of designs that I offer.

You can see all my Tarot, Lenormand, Minchiate Fiorentine and Oracle decks on my website here.


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Poppy Field

Poppies …in remembrance

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As we all know poppies are the symbol of remembrance of the First World War. In 1921 artificial poppies were first sold in Britain to raise funds for ex-servicemen and the families of those who had died serving their country. It became so popular that in 1922 the British Legion founded a factory to make it’s own poppies, staffed by disabled ex-servicemen, which it still continues to do to this day.

The poppy factory, based in Richmond, London, England produces 6 million poppies a year, all made by hand. Why is the poppy worm to commemorate the sacrifices of the armed forces? Because once the war was over, after all the destruction to the land, the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.

Available as a Sherpa Fleece Blanket 50″ x 60″ or 60″ x 80″

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Carol Singing – A Lost Tradition

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Carol singing is definitely not as popular today as it used to be. In the way that it used to be done that is, singing in the street, collecting money for a good cause. If you are lucky to experience it today, it is usually an organized event on a grander scale.

It became popular in the 19th century when people would go door-to-door singing carols for either food or money. Some say it was done to celebrate the joy of the season, others say it was way for the poor to sing for food, “singing for your supper” as the saying goes. Either way, it is a tradition that I remember fondly as a little girl when I lived in England. We always heard carol singers out in the street, usually on Christmas Eve.

I wonder why it is not as popular now? Is it because it’s too cold, or because there are quicker and easier ways to raise money, or because there are so many mixed religious beliefs in our communities. Or perhaps people see it more as disturbing the peace, instead of a way of celebrating this festive time of year. Whatever the reason, I guess carol singing is one of those traditions that just belonged in a simpler time

.Art Prints


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The Wonders of Nature

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It’s funny how nature can come together to create interesting images. This tree, which was already leaning over the water, after a storm with high winds, ended up splitting and falling in, creating a beautiful bridge for the local wildlife.

Photography Prints

 

 

 

 


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Punting In Oxford, UK

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The Head of the River is a very popular Inn in St. Aldgate’s, Oxford in England. Beside the Inn you can hire a punt, for up to 6 people and enjoy a trip down the river Thames for £22 an hour. If you would rather have someone do the ‘punting’ for you, it’s £60 an hour. It’s a great seasonal business, run by the local students and provides summer fun for many tourists and Brits alike. In the background you can see the Folly Bridge, which is listed as a Grade II historical building. If you appreciate historical architecture that’s another good reason to visit the Old Blighty as well! Photography Prints

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David Bowie – British Icon

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David Bowie will always be remembered. He is a British Icon, whom I grew up listening to and idolizing as a teenager. His passing, is a definite loss to the music industry, and he is missed by adoring fans of all ages.

His birthday was January 8, mine is January 10 and he released his 25th and last studio album, Blackstar on his last birthday January 8, 2016…..and sadly he died on mine. Not the greatest birthday present.

Sell Art Online


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Neuschwanstein Castle

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Sell Art OnlineNeuschwanstein Castle (“New Swanstone Castle” in English), was built by Ludwig II, but he only got to spend 11 nights in the castle before he died. Built in Hohenschwangau, Germany, construction started in September, 1869 and it was finally completed in 1886. Today the Castle receives over 1.3 million tourists every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in not only Germany, but the whole of Europe. This iconic Castle is definitely a work of architectural art.

 

 

 

 


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The Tank

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Art PrintsIn Britain, William Foster & Co created the first prototype of the British Mark 1 tank, in the Fall of 1915, nicknamed Little Willie. Initially the tanks were going to be called Landships, but they were called tanks to help keep the project a secret. The word ‘Tank’ was chosen as the factory workers at William Foster referred to it as “the tank” because of its resemblance to a steel water tank.

Even though the British were the first to create the ‘tank’, the French were quick to follow introducing their tanks in 1917; they produced more thanks than the other countries at war, combined.

The Germans started to produce their tanks only as a response to the allied tanks on the battlefield. Several thousand tanks were manufactured during the world, but the Germans only deployed twenty of their own!

This image is not of Little Willie it is a semi-abstract painting of latter-day model tank!

(Source: Tanks in World War 1 – wikipedia)

 


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Jumbo – The Sad Story

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Sell Art OnlineJumbo the Elephant (1860 – 1885) was exported from Sudan, where he was born, to a zoo in Paris and then in 1865 transferred to the London Zoo in England. He was dearly loved, especially by the children who had the joy of riding on him, but in 1882, under great protest, he was sold to P.T. Barnum who took him back to his Circus in the USA. Over 100,000 children wrote to Queen Victoria pleading with her not to sell Jumbo, but legally the deal could not be stopped and Barnum refused to sell him back.

Barnum exhibited Jumbo in Madison Square Gardens and made enough money in 3 weeks to recoup the £2,000 he had spent to purchase him. He made £1.7M in the 31-week season due to his main attraction, this wonderful elephant.

Jumbo died in a train accident, right here in St. Thomas, Ontario where I live. In those days Barnum’s circus traveled North America via train and many rail lines converged in St. Thomas. After their performance here that night, they were being led to their box car and another train came speeding down the track. On that fateful night of September 15, 1885 Jumbo was hit and he died within minutes.

Such a sad story.

 


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Prolific – Locks of Love

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Sell Art OnlineThese heart shape grids can be found at the side of the lake Traunsee at Castle Ort in Gmunden, Austria. Decorated with padlocks, put there by couples as a commitment of their love.

This image came to mind for me today for the Weekly Photo Challenge, prolific. This tradition was also practiced by lovers in Paris who would scratch their initials onto a padlock and attach it to the Pont des Arts, the footbridge that crosses the Seine, and then throw away the key. It was so prolific that the Pont des Arts bridge had to be closed in 2014 as one of its metal grills collapsed under the weight of the locks. All padlocks have since been removed from the city, 45 tonnes in total, and panels were installed to prevent people from fixing new ones.

 


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Hey Diddle Diddle, Scandalous History

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Photography PrintsThis is my re-creation of a children’s book PD image by Randolph Caldecott, who was an illustrator and artist from the 19th century. He was a well-known children’s book illustrator and typically his books cost a shilling a piece. The image is based on the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, which I assume most people know. It is called “And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon,” and was produced by George Routledge and Sons in 1882.

My version is modified from the original version, you can see the original version here which also includes the scandalous story behind the nursery rhyme. You should check it out.

Many of the old, well-loved, nursery rhymes were based on historic events. Mary Mary Quite Contrary was actually about the homicidal nature of Queen Mary I of England a.k.a. Bloody Mary. It’s quite fascinating actually and I often wonder if the children knew exactly what they were singing about. Interesting thought!

 


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