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Free Texture Set: Donner

Free Texture Set: Donner

The title of today’s post, ‘donner’, probably got you wondering, right? But since it is time for letter ‘D’ in our Alphabet I thought I’d go with donner, because in German Donnerstag means Thursday.

Have you ever wondered where the names of our days come from? You know, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? I did. And apparently the origin goes back to the ancient times, when days of the week were named after planets and their Roman or Germanic gods.

Thunder CloudsThunder Clouds

For example Thursday: This was the day of Jupiter. In Roman empire’s Latin ‘Jovis dies’. While it doesn’t resemble much of today’s English name, take a look at the French and Italian ones, jeudi and giovedì. Pretty similar, right? The Germanic peoples back then put their god Donar or Thor on the same level with Jupiter. Hence they changed their weekday’s name to resemble Donar. Which over time changed from donares to donarstac to Donnerstag today. Or further north in English from Þūnresdæg to Thor’s day or Thursday. All these go back to ‘The Day of Thunder’. Therefore I selected a photo of some pretty thunder clouds to go with this little article.

20120805-076lightest 20120805-076mediium20120805-076dramatic

Textures on light photoThe second meaning on my mind for ‘donner’, I am sure there are quite a few more, is the French verb of ‘giving’. Which I thought is right for this time of year. Hey, Christmas is only two weeks away and Hanukkah is already here! As you may have seen, I have been working a little with textures lately. Yesterday I started on this post and thought it might be nice to give something, as in ‘donner quelque chose’, to you my readers. So I came up with these three similar, but also quite different textures. They are a little grungy and will add a kind of cracked paper or old leather feel to your picture. Click on the original cloud picture and the smaller pictures underneath where I applied the set. There is also an example on how they could look on a much lighter photo than my ‘donner’ clouds. Still, like with every texture they won’t work on every photo. But if you play a little with blending modes, opacity and a little bit of this and that… you’ll get the picture.

If you want it | here it is  ***** click here to download the zip file. (zip) ***** Oh, and since it is Christmas I added two color versions in – correct! – red and green 🙂

Envious in Green Dramatic in Red

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Jenny MatlockThis is my contribution today to round 6 of Alphabe- Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock. If you have a moment please visit her website and check out other ‘student’s’ work and her ‘terrific tangents’.


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  • Erin Golding

    Today you’ve taught me about the origins of the word thursday – thank you! I like to learn new things. Love the pictures too! 🙂

    • Claudia Willison

      You’re welcome, Erin. It IS fun to get to the bottom of things 🙂

  • Debbi Decker

    When you mentioned Donner, I was looking for reindeer….. Thanks for the download!

    • Claudia Willison

      Reindeer + Donner…? That must be something American I don’t know about – LOL. You’re welcome, show me a pic you applied it to.

      • twistedpixelstudio

        Claudia, Donner is the name of one of Santa’s reindeer! Have you ever read “The Night Before Christmas”? Its an old story but has all of the reindeer names in it! 🙂

        • Claudia Willison

          You know, Debbi, I don’t think I have ever read it. Something I will have to do…

  • Cindy Breninger

    When I saw Donner, I thought of the Donner party. I am trying to learn German, so now when I heard Donnerstag, I will know what they are saying. 🙂

    • Claudia Willison

      Hmm, Donner party, something else I’ve never heard about… Maybe I can give you a long distance German lesson 🙂

  • Amanda Jo (amandajocrafts)

    Thanks so much for the word origin–I love learning something new!

    And may I say, your photos are always just FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Julie Maloney (

    I love history, I can’t get enough of it. Beautiful pictures, a true pleasure to enjoy!

  • Jamie "ChatterBlossom"

    Very cool! Love language origin studies! And the cracked 3rd photo is my fav! So neat to see something that represents moisture and dryness in the same photo.

    • Claudia Willison

      The origin of some things are truly amazing! Thank you for your vote on that picture, Jamie.

  • Cathy Kennedy

    I definitely feel like I’ve been in the classroom learning the etymology of donner and texturing styles in art class. By the way, your cloud photos are beautiful and WOW when you add the texture. How do you do this? I downloaded your zipfile. Is this something you use with Photoshop by layering or something? I’m totally ignorant on how to do that sort of thing, but your photos take on such an artistic appeal. Thanks for sharing your ‘D’ post!

    • Claudia Willison

      Hahaha – I hope it was a good lesson 🙂 If you want to I can write a little tutorial about the textures some time. But, yes, you have to use them as layers in photoshop or pse or gimp or….

  • Daniblu

    Happy Donnerstag! I love thursdays and now I will never forget it in German. Beautiful pictures! thanks : )

    • Claudia Willison

      And to you, too, Dani! Happy to spread around a bit of German 🙂

  • Cindy Breninger

    Donner is one of the Reindeer from “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” From Google: In common parlance, Santa Claus’ sleigh is led by nine reindeer:
    Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid
    Donner (variously spelled Dunder and Donder)
    Blitzen (variously spelled Blixem and Blixen)
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    The names of Donner and Blitzen derive from Germanic words for thunder and lightning, respectively.

    As for the Donner party, well, here is what Google had to say: The Donner Party was a group of 87 American pioneers who in 1846 set off from Missouri in a wagon train headed west for California, only to find themselves trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada. The subsequent casualties resulting from starvation, exposure, disease, and trauma were extremely high, and many of the survivors resorted to cannibalism.

    Most of us in northern california know their story.

    My son and I are trying to learn German. Ich bin Cindy. Wer bist du? Wie gehts? We are still at the very beginning. 🙂

    • Claudia Willison

      Sweet, Cindy! Now I learned something new, too, actually two things – woohoo! Oh, and to answer your lesson: Hallo Cindy, ich bin Claudia und mir geht es sehr gut. Ausgezeichnet, denn es ist Wochenende 🙂

  • Jenny Matlock

    What a delightful and informative link to the letter D.

    Combining those divine photographs with fascinating history just made this into a perfect post!

    Thank you for linking!

    Loved this today.


    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you, Jenny. I was happy to find out something about the origin of weekdays myself.

  • Joyce

    I love having the ability to google the meaning of all sorts of things rather than just wondering where the phrases came from.


    • Claudia Willison

      I know exactly how you feel, Joyce – was there a life before google?! LOL

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