Public Domain Poem for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: My Love by M. Hedderwick Browne


A Victorian poem titled "Mu Love," written by M. (Marie) Hedderwick Browne, and published in 1893. Here, the author compares the hardy personality of her love to various flowers and finds them wanting until she comes to the resilient and low-maintenance heather which she holds in high esteem. Here is how the poem goes:

I
My love is not like the rose,
Nor the languid lady-lily,
Nor the pansy, pensive-faced,
Nor the drooping "daffy-dilly."

II
She's not like the pale snowdrop,
Fears of frailty in us waking,
Nor the shrinking violet,
For the shade the sun forsaking.

III
I can only liken her
To the brave and bonnie heather --
Hardy, wholesome, and not made
For a hothouse or fine weather.

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Vintage Nature Poem for Crafts, Art Making, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Winter by Louise Bryant

A little-known, early 20th century poem written by journalist, activist and feminist Louise Bryant, entitled simply "Winter." Here is how it goes:

As inevitably
As the leaves fall,
So must the old
To bleak oblivion
Pass.

Shed no tear
For the dying year
Or that sublime decay
Which marks
The ignominious end
Of kings
And worn-out things.

Make way for spring!

While these look to be simple verses about nature on the surface, the words are also reflective of Bryant's socialist beliefs and Bolshevik sympathies. It is a beautifully illustrated poem, however, and would look lovely on a card. You are welcome to download the free high-res 6" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for your next craft, mixed media, scrapbooking or graphic design project here.

Portrait of Louise Bryant in 1913 by John Henry Trullinger (1870 - 1960)

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Free Vintage Clipart for Crafts, Scrapooking or Card Making: Charming Castle by a Lake Surrounded by Wreath of Roses


Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.
Elinor Glyn

A vintage graphic from an early 20th century postcard in my collection. This one shows a pen and ink drawing of a fairytale castle by a lake, enclosed within a wreath of roses. Isn't it such a marvelously romantic picture for a wedding or engagement card? You can download this free illustration as a 6” x 6” @ 300 ppi JPEG (without a watermark) for crafts, scrapbooking and other graphic design projects here.

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Inspiration from Vintage Nature: Robins on Icy Branches with a Rose in Full Bloom Amid Winter Snow


When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

At the end of the day it's about how much you can bear, how much you can endure.
Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.
Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.
William Barclay

Free Antique Clipart for Collage, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Distressed Red & Gold Rose w/ Worn Border (Digital Ephemera, Instant Download)


"There is no pretending," Jace said with absolute clarity.
"I love you, and I will love you until I die,
and if there is life after that, I'll love you then.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

“I heard what you said. I’m not the silly romantic you think.
I don’t want the heavens or the shooting stars. I don’t want gemstones or gold.
I have those things already. I want…a steady hand. A kind soul.
I want to fall asleep, and wake, knowing my heart is safe. I want to love, and be loved.”
Shana Abe

Illustration of a red and gold rose from a 1909 vintage postcard. I have left most of the distressed paper elements intact on this one as I feel it gives the image an aged quality perfect for vintage-style crafts, scrapbooking or graphic design projects. To download the high-res 6" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here.

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Free Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)


Third and last colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows Lonicera xylosteum, also known as the fly honeysuckle. You can download this high-res printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design projects here. Below is a sample journal cover I made with the illustration. If you would like to use the cover, you can find the high-res JPEG here.


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Free Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Common Hazel (Corylus avellana)


Our world is falling apart quietly. Human civilization has reduced the plant,
a four-million-year-old life form, into three things: food, medicine, and wood...”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

Second colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows Corylus avellana, the common hazel, a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia. To download this high-res printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design projects, please click here.

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Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Cornish Oak (Quercus sessiliflora)


Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed,
and a giant oak in an acorn.
William Arthur Ward

A colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows the Quercus sessiliflora, the sessile oak, also known as the Cornish oak or Durmast oak. You are welcome to download this free printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for any craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design project here.

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Antique Victorian Poem for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: The Song of the Bee by Nancy Nelson Pendleton


A whimsical poem about a garden friend, the helpful little bee. This is called "The Song of the Bee" and was written by Nancy Nelson Pendleton (1848 - 1902). It was originally published in the September 1897 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. Here is how it goes:

Buzz, buzz, buzz
This is the song of the bee.
His legs are of yellow,
A jolly good fellow,
And yet a good worker is he.

In days that are sunny,
He's getting his honey;
In days that are cloudy,
He's hoarding his wax;
On pinks and on lilacs,
And gay daffodillies,
And columbine blossoms
He levies a tax.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!
The sweet-smelling clover
He humming hangs over;
The scent of the roses
Makes fragrant his wings;
He never gets lazy,
From thistle and daisy
And weeds of the meadow
Some treasure he brings.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!
From morning's first gray light
Till fading of day light,
He's singing and toiling
The summer day through,
Oh! we may get weary,
And think work is dreary;
'Tis harder by far
To have nothing to do.

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Art Appreciation: Celebrating Fall Colour with Franz Bischoff

"Autumn Moods" by Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864 - 1929)

Franz Bischoff was born in Austria but immigrated to the United States in 1882. Trained in ceramic decoration as a boy, he continued to further his career in porcelain painting in his new homeland. He became well-known as a leading teacher of the craft, founding the Bischoff School of Ceramic Art in Detroit and in New York City, and as a master ceramicist who manufactured many of his own glazes.

Vase decorated by Bischoff (acclaimed as "King of the Rose Painters")

He decided to settle in California in 1906, ultimately building and completing a landmark studio home at 320 Pasadena Avenue in 1908. A description of the home says: "The building was poured of solid concrete and was one-and-a half stories high. It was designed in the Renaissance style, with an imposing entry through massive oak doors with stained glass panels. The doorway was set beneath a classical pedimented portico, supported by two columns. The interior was divided between a large gallery, a studio and a complete ceramic workshop in the basement.

The gallery measured 36 feet by 40 feet. It had high, concave ceilings lighted by several half-circle skylights. The floors were of solid oak covered by old Turkish rugs and polar bear skins. All interior doors and paneling were of natural redwood in the Gothic style. The furniture was of massive oak in the Mission style. At the west end of the gallery was a huge tile-covered fireplace. The wall space throughout was covered with paintings of flowers and landscapes, and in one corner were several oak display cases containing examples of Bischoff's painted ceramics.

The painting studio had a large picture window that overlooked the Arroyo Seco, with a wide vista of the distant mountains. The studio furniture consisted of an easel, several easy chairs and low divans, all of Flemish oak."

"The Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, c1918" by Franz Bischoff
- a possible view from his studio window?

In 1912, Bischoff went on an extended tour of Europe where he studied the works of the Old Masters and the Impressionists. On his return to California, Bischoff turned to landscape painting and gradually abandoned porcelain decoration (Source: The Irvine Museum).

Although I've categorized Bischoff's works under Impressionism, I think they more accurately fall somewhere in between Impressionism and Fauvism, particularly his later works (c1920s) which show very strong, vivid colours. His background in design comes through his compositions - look how his landscapes follow clearly the rules of linear perspective, and he seems to have retained quite a bit of art nouveau graphical influence in his stylized renderings of landscape elements such as trees, rocks and mountains. This unique treatment, in addition to his use of jewel-like colour blocks, makes me feel like I'm looking st a Tiffany stained glass window.

Autumn landscape window from Tiffany Studios (1902 - 1932),
design attributed to Agnes F. Northrop (1857 - 1953) (Source: The Met)

Finally, I am closing the post with two Bischoff paintings of fall's most popular flowers - the quintessential chrysanthemums!

"Chrysanthemums" by Franz Bischoff

"Spider Mums" by Franz Bischoff

Aren't these warm colours lovely? I hope you have the opportunity of using these golden hues in your fall decorating to stave off the encroaching cooler temperatures. Pretty soon, possibly after Halloween, I'll be filling up the house and front yard with more blue-greens and reds as we head into the Christmas season but it is really nice to savour the yellows, oranges, and golds while summer is still fresh in our minds.

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Antique Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Collage, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Flowering Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens)

“May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends,
And many books, both true.”
Abraham Cowley

A botanical illustration from Henderson's Handbook of Plants that shows a small flowering tree growing in a landscaped, walled garden. The tree is actually semi-woody shrub called Brugmansia suaveolens, also commonly known as angel trumpet or angel's tears. The remarkably beautiful flowers (usually white but can be yellow or pink) are sweetly fragrant in the evenings so they can attract pollinating moths but hang half-closed during the day. A lovely graphic to embellish a greeting card, mixed media or scrapbook project. You can download the high-resolution 6” x 7.5” @ 300 ppi JPEG here.

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Victorian Calling Cards for Journaling, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Flowers for Friendship - Set 1 (Digital Ephemera, Instant Download)


My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.
Henry Ford


Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
Khalil Gibran

Two cards with illustrations that show a lady's hand extending flowers (the first is offering a clutch of pansies, the second a posy of daisies) to the recipient. These were originally used as personal calling cards in Victorian times but you can use them as gift tags, as greeting cards to reach out to someone in love and friendship or as embellishments in journaling and scrapbooking projects. You can download the high-res 4" x 6" @ 300 ppi JPEGs without watermarks here and here.

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Antique Nature Illustration for Inspiration: Caged Canary Longing to be Free


The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

Public Domain Poem for Gardeners: A Very Wild Flower by Mildred Howells


A public domain Victorian children's poem written by Mildred Howells and originally published in 1896. The poem is called "A Very Wild Flower" and this is how it goes:

Within a garden once there grew
A flower that seemed the very pattern
Of all propriety; none knew
She was at heart a wandering slattern.

The gardener old, with care and pain,
Had trained her up as she should grow,
Nor dreamed amid his labor vain
That rank rebellion lurked below.

A name sufficiently high-sounding
He diligently sought for her,
Until he thought that "Rebounding
Elizabeth" he should prefer.

But when grown up the flower began
To show the tastes within her hidden;
At every chance quite wild she ran,
In spite of being sternly chidden.

They told her beds for flowers were best;
But daily greater grew her failings;
Up to the fence she boldly pressed,
And stuck her head between the palings.

Then to the street she struggled through,
Tearing to rags her silken attire,
And all along the road she grew,
Regardless quite of dust and mire.

You'll find her now by country ways,
A tattered tramp, though comely yet,
With rosy cheek and saucy gaze,
And known to all as "Bouncing Bet."

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Art for Inspiration: She Loves Butter by Arthur Drummond

“She Loves Butter, 1895”
by Arthur Drummond (1871 - 1957)

“My world was very limited in size and experience. Small things took on extra importance, at least to a child.”
― Dan Groat, An Enigmatic Escape: A Trilogy

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Art for Inspiration: Marché aux Fleurs by Jane C. Peterson

“Marché aux Fleurs, 1908”
by Jane C. Peterson (1876 - 1965)

“Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.”
― Karl Lagerfeld

“On every shopping trip, there is one indulgence.”
― Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied

“Flowers have the greatest talent in converting an ordinary place into a magical palace!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Art for Inspiration: A Stroll in the Park by William James Glackens

“A Stroll in the Park, c1915” by
William James Glackens (1870-1938)

“I dressed and went for a walk - determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.”
― Raymond Carver, This Morning

“If you seek creative ideas go walking.
Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
― Raymond I. Myers

“[Walking] is the perfect way of moving if you want to see into the life of things. It is the one way of freedom. If you go to a place on anything but your own feet you are taken there too fast, and miss a thousand delicate joys that were waiting for you by the wayside.”
― Elizabeth von Arnim, The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen

Digital Ephemera for Crafts, Collage, Scrapbooking or Card Making: The Snake and the Hummingbird (Natural History, Instant Download)


Perhaps it takes courage to raise children..
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Behind all your stories is always your mother's story. Because hers is where yours begin.
Mitch Albom, For One More Day

Antique engraving originally published in December 1878. This illustration shows a mother hummingbird fiercely defending her nest against a snake who is hoping to feast on her helpless baby. Can this battle end happily for the avian family? You can download this free high-res 8" x 8" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for crafts, collage, scrapbooking or graphic design projects here.

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Vintage Natural History Background for Art Making, Scrapbooking or Graphic Design: Botanical Forms 1


“Sometimes I wish I could photosynthesize so that just by being,
just by shimmering at the meadow's edge or floating lazily on a pond,
I could be doing the work of the world while standing silent in the sun.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom,
Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Botanical illustrations from an antique encyclopedia. Among the plants shown are Philadelphus coronarius (sweet mock-orange or English dogwood), a stonecrop, sickle-shaped Mesembryanthemum and a New Holland pitcher plant. You could team the entire sheet with an old paper texture (or overlay several textures for an even more interesting effect) and frame as DIY wall art, or use each flower graphic separately to accent scrapbooking or graphic design projects. You can download the high-res 10" x 10.5" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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Inspiration from the Vintage Garden: Victorian Girl in a Moment of Rest


It's a good idea always to do something relaxing
prior to making an important decision in your life.
Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

I'm simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I'm saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes.

It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process.

It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher.

And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.

That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.
Osho

Victorian Clipart for Collage, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Melancholy Young Girl Picking Wildflowers 1 (Digital Ephemera, Instant Download)


The word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
Carl Jung

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
Washington Irving

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A black and white illustration from the September 7, 1873 issue of La Mode Illustrée. This image shows a melancholy-looking young Victorian girl of about 9 years old bundled up in a warm jacket for the fall weather. She is out for a walk in the woods and has stopped to gaze pensively at a small bunch of wildflowers clutched in her hand. You can download the 8" x 10" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for crafts, collage, scrapbooking or other graphic design projects here.

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Shabby Chic Garden Graphic for Art Making, Crafts or Scrapbooking: A Branch of Yellow Roses


“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

“True love is like little roses,
sweet, fragrant in small doses.”
Ana Claudia Antunes, Pierrot & Columbine

A branch of yellow Victorian tea roses from an 1880s trade card. To download the high-res 3" x 4.75" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here. Great as a gift tag or card for sending to friends and loved one but can also be used in scrapbooking as well as other graphic design projects.

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Art for Inspiration: The Garden Parasol by Frederick Carl Frieseke

"The Garden Parasol, c1910"
by Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874 - 1939)

The Garden Parasol evokes the serene pleasure of a summer in the French countryside. The setting is the garden of the Friesekes' house at Giverny, close to the home and gardens of the venerable impressionist painter Claude Monet. The seated woman is the artist's wife, Sadie, and the garden was her special creation. Frieseke depicts her as a cultivated woman of leisure whose reading is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor-or visitors, for it is our approach that distracts Sadie from her book and prompts her to fix us with a questioning stare. Whatever small drama might arise from so genteel an encounter is fully upstaged by the vibrancy of the garden, and especially by the Japanese parasol that spices the scene with swirling colors. [Source: artnc.]

Vintage Illustration for Art Making, Scrapbooking ot Graphic Design: A Family Outing in Summertime (1911)


Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
John Lubbock

A vintage scenic postcard postmarked May 11, 1911 that shows a family picking wildflowers in a meadow by the sea on a sunny summer day. You can download the 4" x 6" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for crafts, collage, scrapbooking or other graphic design projects here.

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Art for Inspiration: Summer Landscape by Alexander Kiselev

"Summer Landscape, 1895" by
Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev (1838 - 1911)

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams


Vintage Natural History Background for Art Making, Scrapbooking or Graphic Design: Dandelion Forms Digital Paper from 1901


Dandelions, like all things in nature are beautiful
when you take the time to pay attention to them.
June Stoyer

Botanical illustration of dandelion forms from a 1901 textbook on textile designing. I have digitally combined it with an old paper texture for a vintage-style composition that you can print and frame for DIY wall art, use as a background in scrapbooking or as part of a graphic design project. You can download the high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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