365 Words – A Beginning

My personal challenge this year is to make a small art piece every day and to record a word or short phrase that encapsulates some aspect of each day.

I didn’t actually decide to do this until 3 or 4 days into the New Year, so I started on the back foot.  Which is a fairly typical place for me to start anything really.

I settled into work one afternoon and began by preparing a load of old defunct business cards.  I taped two together, then another two, then another two, until I had about a months worth of daily cards.

365Days1 1

I adhered some torn book pages to a few of the cards and then happily sploshed some paint around and got something happening colour-wise:

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Here is what I had produced at the end of the first seven days of January:

365Days1 3These are the second 7 days:

365Days1 7

I journal a bit more detail on the backs of the cards because I know that in six months time I will have no idea where my mojo had got to or why I was urging myself to ‘slow down’ ……..  And why am I surprised that it is virtually impossible for me to stick to one word every day?  If you’ve been tagging along for a while you will be well aware I am a woman of many words – how can I use just one or two words when sixteen or twenty give a more in depth and juicy image?  🙂

Here are a few individual days cards.  This first one refers to how I felt the day after I had remembered to take the long view and see just what had been achieved and how I had been blessed in 2013……

365Days1 6

Surely you know what this one refers to:

365Days1 5

This one celebrates the life and memory of someone very dear to me still:

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This was a happy day – the sun actually shone and we reveled in it – the next day it had gone again!

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This is the latest one.  One of my oldest friends blew into town  – [I’m god-mother to their youngest daughter]. He turns up three or four times a year and we sometimes miss each other as he never thinks to actually give me prior warning.  But this time it all worked out and he took me out for a meal.  We teased the Italian waiter for leaving Sardinia to come to a place that Summer had deserted, ate probably the best fettucine and calamari I have ever tasted, drank good Otago chardonnay and finished with real Italian dessert – I had Tiramisu which had a party in my mouth and he had Chocolate Torte….. We watched the waves thundering and crashing against the sea wall and had a wonderful three hour long conversation that served our souls well.

365Days1 9

So there we are – the first two weeks of January are gone already.  In retrospect I realise I spent it dealing with technology issues, pining for my lost summer and being saved by charming men!  🙂  Happy Dance!!

Thank you for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did  🙂

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70 thoughts on “365 Words – A Beginning

  1. Ahhhhh, finally I find the Genesis that is your wonderful daily project. How did I get so far behind so fast? I’m really impressed that you are going to do one a day, I’m am such a slouch. Of course the coffee cup is total eye candy (Or perhaps, yours is filled with tea).
    Your lovely visit with your friend made me realize I don’t have a single male friend that I would meet up with…or wait, yes, just one I guess. I have to say, all my best friends are gals. I suppose I just enjoy the company of women more because we’re better at sharing it seems. That being said, we do know and love many ‘couples’ but wouldn’t meet up with their hubbies on my own. Anywho, sounded like a good ol’ time and near the ocean too….I’d love that. You’re probably used to seeing it often, but living on the prairies makes arriving at the ocean something quite special and magical. Not unlike your writing, you do have a way with it xo Sigh…….love the ocean 😀 and friends like you xoK

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    • I did not realise you were so far behind either – what a slouch! 🙂 But such a lovable one!!

      I think I treat men and women exactly the same, and have always had men-friends alongside my women-friends. Having said that, there is nothing in the world to compare with close women friends! Though dear Julian comes close, he is that rare male who can look into his feelings and articulate them, we have always had wonderful conversations!

      In this country you are never that far away from the sea – If you live slap-bang in the highest central part of either Island [where you would probably see the ocean on a clear day] the longest it would take to reach the sea would be three hours – probably less

      I don’t think I have ever lived more than 20 minutes away from the sea in all my life – in this country.
      For me, living on a prairie would be a big adventure!

      I’m touched that you like my writing – thank you! I love having a friend like you too xoxo

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  2. Pingback: 365 Days – January | The Contented Crafter

  3. Pingback: mine is the cup that is always half full! | gentlestitches

  4. I love what you’ve done with your defunct business cards. I too love re-purposing paper, but couldn’t imagine creating what you’ve done here. Lovely! Your talents and creativity are bountiful. Creating a word a day is inspired…and as you say, a challenge too. What fun you’ll have looking back on these at year’s end, too.

    Like everyone else commenting on this post, I’m delighted by your clever writing, your generosity towards others, and your spirit.

    Tiramasu with a dear, old friend while the waves crashed nearby. Bliss!

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    • Thank you Alys, them are kind words! I’m just having fun remember. And yes, that meal on the Esplanade was wonderful. Being a non-sugar eater as a rule any time sugar gets into my mouth it is a taste explosion. [Julian actually inquired if i need to be left alone with my Tiramisu! ] The crashing waves, which are usually a winter sight, are courtesy of the rotten summer, which was blasting a cold southerly straight off the Antarctic that particular day. That day card holds many stories and memories!

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      • I’m sure it does. Nice.

        I’m working towards non-sugar eating myself. It’s been an addiction of mine, though I wasn’t really aware of that for awhile. I stopped drinking diet soda January 1. Never thought I could kick that but I did…and no longer want or crave it. I also stopped eating chocolate (one indulgence on the 6th) but have kicked that to the curb as well. Next up, simply removing what’s left, since the first two were my guilty pleasures, tied to going without in childhood (those were our big treats).

        How long have you been off of sugar?

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        • Almost a year. I thought I might write a post about it quite soon, to celebrate the occasion, as it has been life changing for me………… [teaser]

          I’m glad to hear you have given up the diet soda – that stuff has aspartame in it which is a killer! Soda full stop is a really bad thing!! Soda drinking is one of those things that the rest of the world looks at America and says ‘Really???’ about – it seems to be a national pastime that we don’t get. Though having said that I see that now many of our young ones have caught the disease – advertising works! Sigh!!

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          • Advertising does work. And the stuff is addictive. Once they hook you, you’re sunk. Knowing the American tendency towards obesity I can image you shaking your head.Junk food is everywhere. It’s easier to get junk then healthy food. Fast food places everywhere, crappy school lunch programs, full of fat, sodium, etc. I pack lunches for my boys which helps. We’re far from perfect, though.

            I’m sorry to hear the soda bug is spreading.

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            • There are many good things that come out of the US of A – fast foods and sodas are not two of them! I think it must be quite challenging to change something that is such an endemic part of the culture that no-one thinks about it…… But there is now a large movement in the opposite direction and information is easy to find thanks to www – if people want to look for it.

              I know for me, even though I had the information it was a very long time before I was willing to take that first step – it seemed just too much to ask – I never committed to anything, I did it on a day at a time basis to see how I would cope.

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              • I like the idea of day to day. It feels less overwhelming, doesn’t it. I’ve created so many good habits in my life over the years. Changing eating habits is among the most challenging because its emotional.

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  5. Holy crap you are a genius woman! Why didn’t I think of that? Sometimes I find it hard just to remember my own name after a few hours let alone the blessings that life hands you from day to day. I actually have a bit of paper shoved in between the house phone handset and it’s base that says “oven fries” as I need to remind Stevie-boy to pick up a bag while he is in town… Your gorgeously artistic soul post-it notes are unmittigated bliss ma’am I love them. Narf7 is officially UBER impressed :). By the way. It says “narf77” but I am really narf7. Some bollocks in the U.K. pinched my true moniker but down here in the Antipodes I can bloody well be whoever I like! “SO SUE ME NARF7! ;)” I am most probably going to think that I will shamelessly copy your gorgeous idea fecund with hope, joy, bliss and beauty but the truth of the matter is that narf7 is artistically challenged. I know, hard to believe that I can’t do absolutely positively EVERYTHING being the amazing human being that I am (shining light to all who survey me 😉 ) but I must worship at the feet of the artistically amazing (such as yourself) and claw sadly at their windows in passing…looking at their creative genius on show in their brightly lit windows when my own window contains a collection of sea glass in a half coconut, a glass of 50 percent algae and 50 percent rotting plant matter that I absolutely POSITIVELY meant to plant out when they took root (about 3 months ago…), lots of dust, a selection of defunct insects that my good friends the arachnids like to gift to me as part of our rental agreement and a never ending stream of blowflies buzzing in one open house oriface and zooming straight out the back door (took me YEARS to work that one out! 😉 ). The beauty and simplicity of your little memory/hope cards is both wonderful and poignant at the same time. I lust after creative genius like that. I bow to your repurposing, your recreation, your recycling and every other “re” that comes from your most creative mind and I don’t even think I will bother pulling that cereal box out of the recycling because aside from a serious lack of anything other than coloured pencils to decorate it with, one glimpse at that gorgeous kitty cat on the “Smug” card and I know when I am beat. I am slinking away with my creative (mangy) tail between my legs…I am just going to have to rely on my brain (and those bits of A4 folded creatively stuffed between the handset and the base…). Wish me luck. I am going to need it! 😉

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    • I laugh, I gurgle, I shake my head. I say ‘Awww’ a few times. I snort! And I am breathless by the end – as those sentences just got longer and longer!

      I can’t bear the thought of you peering through windows – nor clawing benightedly upon them …… And seeing the peerless individual that you are and totally agreeing with all the praise you heaped upon yourself, I am moved to say send me your address [look on the contact me page for my email] and I will get something to you. I’ll play around and see what I can make just for you.

      Remembering that good things take time, you will have to wait a few weeks, that’s all.

      Good luck! 🙂

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      • I wasn’t fishing for goodies ma’am, I was most rightfully praising you up for your incredible creativity. I mean that cat…THAT CAT! You managed to capture all of the buttery creamy smugness that a befurred feline could muster in one little red card and it was all uphill from there. My own creative endeavours leave me breathless… breathless with frustration. Steve and I once had a go at doing a cartoon for my blog. We both had to admit that we might be amazing humanoid specimen’s but that every dog has it’s day, and when they were handing out creative genius they must have been unable to see us for the blinding light shining out of us both and we got missed…oh well…as you so rightfully noted (and NOTHING to do with any prompting my “moi”…) our peerless and most sterling qualities precede us (;) )but under all of the bright permaculture coloured glowing twinkly bits…I must admit to being in awe of your creative genius (and jealous but I am trying to tame that emotion 😉 )

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        • I never thought you were fishing – if I had I wouldn’t have made my peerless offer. We are all aware that the sun shines out of your rear end – and Steve’s too I’m sure ……. I’m just not quite that well acquainted with his, as he is mostly quiet and referenced more often than seen. And don’t be so impressed – that cat you are so in love with is a stamp. I am in love with it too, which is why I trot it out from time to time – I couldn’t capture that degree of smugness!

          I did however draw the cup 🙂 [which I have noted did not get a mention] The offer stands – over to you 🙂

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          • Too busy being mesmerised by that stampy cat. I think he/she should be called “Stampy Cat” and be done with it :). The cup came a wonderful second to Stampy Cat but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉 Still impressed out the wazoo 🙂 “Peerless” shall be my word for the day. I am going to bandy it about like I thought it up myself. I will drop it like silver from my dulcet tongue when Stevie-boy gets in and he will be duly impressed by my incredible grasp of the English vernacular (or…more likely…he will ignore it and will ask “what’s for tea?”…sigh…) So we are both in love with Stampy Cat eh? What are we going to do?! At my age, I fear my scrapping days are over (if, indeed, they were ever present 😉 ) so I fear we are going to have to both adore him at the same time, like an harem or perhaps Mormon wives. I would love to caress some of your wonderful artwork but I have a stubborn streak inside me that says “you have to EARN your keep!” and that would have me constantly entering your give-aways in order to both win the prize AND beat others to the finish line. What an amazing result 🙂 I am off now to tell Earl that he is “Peerless” when it comes to chasing possums and to stroke Bezial and tell him that he has a “Peerless” coat. Can you tell I have buggery bollocks idea what “Peerless” actually means? Good…I thought not! 😉 (Phew… I hid that well… 😉 )

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  6. Beautiful and creative … so (as a newbee here) thanks for sharing! Life currently has me in the fast lane, so my blog visits have been limited … but wanted to stop by to say hello!

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  7. I certainly do know what the technology issues one refers to! Have you been experiencing any more problems with your computer or fridge freezer?

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    • Thank you for caring Tom! The fridge is fine, the computer has just one wee glitch – something called ‘sense’ snuck in and attached itself to my chrome extensions and keeps coming back even though I delete it and got the ‘Ad Block’ extension….. and my isp keeps dropping off, but we think that is a glitch in the connection – apparently I am a long way away from the home base and therefore a bit vulnerable.

      So, basically that’s it – way better than it was though!

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      • I’m glad that most of your problems have been solved. I get Chrome extensions finding their way onto my browser as well at least twice a month.

        If you can’t delete the extensions it’s worth un-installing and re-installing Chrome. That sometimes works for me.

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        • That makes me happy to hear Tom….. not that you get unwanted stuff – but that YOU too get unwanted stuff. If it happens to you, then I don’t need to feel such a techie clutz!

          Good job, you have just helped me out again! 🙂

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  8. I can not believe you just popped these out in no time and by “happily sploshing paint around”! The colors are wonderful, the words are perfect, and you are so clever!

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  9. Pauline, you amaze me! I would have never thought of using old business cards for art. Your creativity is inspiring and I beckoning some of it in my direction. One day, some day, I shall channel all my creative juices into something beautiful:-) I don’t know when that day will come though. Thanks for sharing your words and thoughts.

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    • Believe me Elaine, I never had either until somebody else led me there – I was stuck in ‘they must be good for something’ land for quite a while! You are so generous with your words, thank you! I hope your ‘someday’ comes soon – it’s a great thing to do and you don’t have to be clever to do it.

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  10. Your cards are beautiful!!! + what a great idea with old business cards! You made Art Cards, you should trade with other artists! So original and unique( you are) which I am learning as I get to know you…yes, you are a woman of many words, but such wise words.
    Oh my, “fettucine and calamari”, you are also an adventerous person:-)…never been brave enough to try that, but have tried frog ( not a good experience I was young!), and a few others, but now you have my interest peaked-lol

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    • Oh Robbie, you must try calamari – properly cooked – that is barely sauteed in a little butter and garlic it is simply superb! Easy to over cook though so be careful! I have never – would never – eat frog or snail – just not something that could be taken in…… I don’t know why an octopus is different, I suppose I equate it with fish……..

      I am going to trade one with Gentle Stitches [see her comment on this post] Which is really exciting – It never occurred to me that anyone would want one…… I have traded ATC’s with crafters before which was quite fun.

      And thank you for your enthusiastic praise – I am so happy you like them 🙂

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      • lol..it has A LOT of legs! I guess for me it has something to do with the multiple legs-tee hee, I’ll get brave. As for the frog, my father MANY years ago when I was about 17 and in high school told me , “Oh try it it tastes like chicken. Then they brought it to the table and the frog was laying on his back all sprawled out, and you could see legs, arms etc…NO WAY…lol. My father is an old country boy, so he ate it for dinner!
        I do enjoy your mixed media, I tried mixed media a few years ago, but I don’t blieve I had the knack for it since it takes a special talent + you have it!

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        • I couldn’t have dealt with that either. Isn’t it funny though how most of us can see a roasted chicken and be just fine with it – must be what we are raised with. As someone who is an almost vegetarian [I eat organic chickens, mostly as chicken broth, and locally caught fish] I have lots of yuck moments around unusual protein dishes…….

          I came to mixed media slowly – adding in different elements and gradually learning how it works – there is a lot to get your head around in the beginning. Now I just love it and really want to go somewhere else with it but aren’t yet sure where…. I just need to keep playing! Luckily for me our rotten summer means more hours indoors 🙂

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    • 🙂 I always say every one can do this – for some it is just believing they can and for others it is learning the steps. It is good to know which one springs out at you too – I need to remind myself of this quite often!

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  11. Another wonderful idea beautifully executed, Pauline, with recycled business cards, tonnes of colour and a record of each day. Really lovely! Your description of dinner with an old friend made me feel as though I was right there delighting in tiramisu too! Those sorts of catch ups are so important. Can’t wait to see more of your daily “words” and stunning art! xoxoxoxoxox

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    • I think you should give it a go – I think I can get it to under a half hour easily each day – Spend a bit of time once a month preparing your supply of cards with paint and book papers or whatever – just to give you the background starting point [which is easier than staring at a blank white bit of card]…….. and Bob’s your uncle! [Or Tom or Dick}

      I’m already finding it interesting to see what makes it to the top of the day’s impressions – and it is a good way to keep myself on track. If I miss a day, I write the word or phrase down and do two the next…..but I’m trying not to do that.

      It’s giving yourself permission to play for half an hour a day….. Did I convince you yet?

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  12. What a wonderful way to remember every precious day Pauline! Far more positive ones I see – revealing your true colours always. I can certainly relate to many of the memories you choose to keep too! I definitely don’t do it every day (small boys and active puppies tend to take precedence!) but when I have the time, I try to capture my ‘moments’ in verse. : )))xox

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    • …Which you do extremely well – the verse I mean:-)
      I’m hoping to keep these cards under a half hour yet still develop them artistically, which makes the project viable. Already its interesting to see what aspect, thought or meeting I choose from a day to put down…. It has potential to be a great way to keep myself on track!

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  13. What a wonderful project Pauline, by the end of the year you will have a beautiful record of your year. So happy you met up with your old friend and I really hope you are able to get your technological problems sorted out soon.

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    • Thanks AJ – I also hope to see the tiny art pieces become more creative too. The techie issues have all been sorted, I think you missed that ‘fess up post. I am on-line and unfrozen!! Happy days 🙂

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