Wednesday, December 19, 2012



The other day one of my handmade cards that I sell on Etsy was featured in a Treasury.

Christmas Card with Victorian Couple Strolling in the SnowThe name of the treasury is "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Hmmm..interesting that my card ended up in a treasury with the word "nightmare" in it...It's  an a art deco image inspired by the Victorian era.

While sifting through my Mom's scrapbooks from the 1930's, looking for vintage cards to scan and embellish, I found a number of cards that used bold color palettes. The most popular seem to be black and red:

There was another item in the treasury list that caught my eye - a scherenschnitte, which in german translates as "scissor cuts."
Retro Paper Cut Christmas Village with Santa Sleigh Reindeer Laughing Moon Wall Art
It's a German/Swiss folk art that originated in the 1500's. The craft was brought to Colonial America by Germans immigrants in the 18th century, many of whom settled in Pennsylvania.
The intricate, painstaking piece was done by a woman named Polly, who is a retired RN from Oregon. Her Etsy shop is Sugarplum Silhouettes.
When you realize that her ornate designs consist of one intact piece of paper, you'll see how immensely talented she is!
Here are some other pieces from her shop:
Retro Christmas Decor Santa Cat Deer Papercut Silhouette Wall Art

Nursery Wall Art  Dog Cat  Personalized PapercutVintage Style Christmas Decor Santa Church Squirrel Silhouette Wall Art PRINT
Tea Light Holder Luminary Butterfly Flowers Wedding Decor Centerpiece
Her pieces are unique - beautiful - evocative. Check them out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Real and fake smiles

A smile does indeed have great power and great social rewards. However, it has been proven that an authentic smile[citation needed] is much more effective than a counterfeit smile. A smile is an outward sign of perceived self-confidence and internal satisfaction. It seems to have a favorable influence upon others and makes one likeable and more approachable.[12]

Duchenne smiling

Duchenne smiling
A Duchenne smile engages the muscles around the mouth and eyes.
Although many different types of smiles have been identified and studied, researchers (e.g. Freitas-Magalhães) have devoted particular attention to an anatomical distinction first recognized by French physician Guillaume Duchenne. While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, Duchenne identified two distinct types of smiles. A Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes). A non-Duchenne smile involves only the zygomatic major muscle.[13] “Research with adults initially indicated that joy was indexed by generic smiling, any smiling involving the raising of the lip corners by the zygomatic major…. More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.”[14]

Pan-Am smileThe Pan-Am smile, also known as the "Botox smile", is the name given to a "fake smile", in which only the zygomatic major muscle is voluntarily contracted to show politeness. It is named after the airline Pan American World Airways, whose flight attendants would always flash every jet-setter the same perfunctory smile.[15]

Guess I'd better watch how I smile....or how can I perfect my duchenne smile???

ponder this...