Choose Joy

Today was a trying day for me.  My brother is very ill and in the final stages of cancer and for the past couple of days as I go about my daily doings, my thoughts are mostly with him.  For those of you who read the first installment of my memoir and know some of my history, he is the one I call the memory keeper and I hold him sacred in my heart.

And, more mundanely, despite the fact that the whole world and his dog believes we are in the middle of summer, it was cold and it had rained overnight.  The wind was howling and roaring over head in wild gusts.   I didn’t sleep well and got up at 4 am to finish the latest painting.

Five hours later the last flower was in place, the last leaf embellished and the mantra written.

I’m in love with this painting!  There is something quite magical about it and I am excited to share it.

So off I went to the photocopy shop with it.  I get my mixed media paintings scanned and prints can then be made for my Etsy Shop.  But today I was told “No!”

Whaddaya mean “No!” ??

Turns out that I have missed a vital piece of information and my painting is too big and too inflexible to be put through any of the copy machines.  If it is bigger than an A3, it has to be on paper to go through the flat bed scanner…. Don’t ask, I don’t know why, or how they work.  That appears to be the truth of the matter – I got the same answer in two different places so that is that.

No cards, no prints, no post-cards, no options, just the original.

Battling the cold howling wind and with no sleep to sustain me, I got a little tetchy with the world!

I came home and took some photographs, I propped her up in the corner and there she sits dancing happily urging me to ‘Choose Joy’.

Bah, Humbug! I said to her in my best Ebeneezer Scrooge voice.

I opened my email and ran my eye down the list, there was a post from the lovely Alys over at Gardening Nirvana.

I thought, that will be a nice wee visit to help cheer me up, and opened the link.  Imagine my surprise to see one of my paintings looking back at me – and then I read her words ….. You can follow the link to see what I read.

All my grouchiness vanished in the twinkling of an eye. Wouldn’t yours?  Who would elect to remain grouchy when it is so much more pleasant to feel that actually everything is just fine – it will all work out one way or another – it always does!

Thank you Alys for that beautiful testimonial – in one of those wonderful serendipitous moments that we both love so much, you turned the sun in my direction at the very time I needed it most .  That does indeed make you a true friend!

So here is the latest whimsy girl.  She is mixed media on a rigid canvas board measuring 35 x 46 cm. You can double click for an enlarged view.

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And here she is again propped up in  corner of the bookshelf


The wind has died down the sky is clearing and we just might get our fifth fine day for January tomorrow 🙂

There are more options, tomorrow I shall call some printing places and see if they can help me out – there will be a solution!

Thanks for coming by today, you know that I love that you did!  🙂

47 thoughts on “Choose Joy

  1. Hi Pauline, I am sorry to hear about your brother. As you think of your brother, we, your blogging friends are thinking of you.
    I know you will find a way to make those copies- you are a resourceful woman.
    I am glad that Alys brought a smile to your heart with her post.
    Thank you for the reminder to choose joy.

    I’m sending you my hugs across the miles. Be brave. Be strong.


  2. First of all, I am so sorry about your brother and my thoughts will be with you both during the very hard days ahead.
    How lovely that Alys was able to give you such validation and support on a difficult day! Good luck finding the solution!
    Take Care, Pauline.


  3. Do you know why you can’t run her through the modern day equivalent of a gestetner (too bad if I spelt it wrong as no-one remembers them anyway! 😉 )? Because she is a perfect meld of nordic blonde loveliness and gypsy. She was meant for “YOU”. I love that you found a hug in Aly’s post. That’s what is so magnificent in this blogging lark. You can be feeling alone, brittle and like life’s quicksand is slowly ingesting you when suddenly someone gives you a hug from out of the blue from the other side of the world and your own troubles are put into perspective “someone cares!” Yes they do. We form a confraturnity of care when we blog and we start to engage with our dear constant readers. We form relationships that are no less important albeit minus the cup of tea around the table and the physical hugs. We humans find our comfort where we can and this online malarky has a lot of benefits :). Please consider yourself most emphatically hugged. Losing someone so very close to you is like going in for a swim and coming back minus a leg. It’s part of you and you can’t hide away from it. I hope your brother and the keeper of your memories is comfortable and at peace within himself. Huge hugs from Serendipity Farm and I think your nordic gypsy girl might just need to be mounted in a prominent place where you can see her to remind yourself to “Choose Joy”. Sometimes we create what we need to get us through lifes trying times. Your painting seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered :).


    • You have it all exactly right Fran, I have been thinking the same things myself – and she is sitting up nicely on the book shelf as we speak! I enjoyed that emphatic hug very much, thank you! 🙂


      • You are welcome and here comes another one :). She is your own little “Joie de vivre” and you pulled her from deep inside you to remind you that just getting out of bed can be delicious if you do it right :). I am trying to send you some of this gorgeous sunshine but it won’t stay in the envelope :(. No matter HOW hard I stuff it in, it keeps leaking out…Maybe I need to try painting it for you? The trouble is, my ability doesn’t match my zeal when it comes to painting and what I want to portray and what I end up with are so far apart I think I have one of my dreaded middle men directing traffic inside me :(. There is a spark about Ms Joy. She is special 🙂 Here’s to Joy! (and if that doesn’t work, champagne…that ALWAYS works 🙂 )


        • 🙂 I’m enjoying these emphatic Narf-like hugs. Most uplifting!! You did manage to get a bit of sunshine across – this morning was quite pleasant. And the forecast is looking nice with lots of pictures of that round yellow ball, except for tomorrow when there will be lots of thunderstorms and high humidity – but after that, we may be sailing into a sunny February!! 🙂

          I’m working on those word cards, for both of us. I was a little behind on my daily ones, am now caught up and will do one for me and one for you over the next few days. There is also another painting brewing ….. So I can be contemplative and introspective and retrospective for the next few days and quietly do what needs to be done for my brother and myself – and still be productive.

          I am glad my blogging family is out there. Hugs back xoxo


  4. Hi Pauline, I am sorry I seemed to miss this yesterday in my reader, I went back to find it after seeing this beautiful painting on Facebook. I love this, she is truly gorgeous!! I hope you can manage to find a way to get it printed but it looks like some good advice here.

    I am so sorry to read of your brother’s illness, I can only imagine how you are feeling. Know I am thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs, it will be such a difficult time for you. Are either of your parents still alive ?

    Nice to see your lovely print on someone else’s blog, what a buzz for you! We have had beautiful weather here but maybe yours is on it’s way!


    • I’m glad you like her Wendy, and yes, tons of helpful advice, much to consider and research…….. I’ll be a busy girl for a bit.

      And thank you for your kind thoughts. No, we have no parents. I am now the eldest.

      It was lovely to see my print unexpectedly – and more especially to read Alys’ lovely words 🙂 Today became more summery as the hours ticked by – and the forecast is beginning to look up – I’m hopeful!


  5. Pauline, I’m so sorry to hear of your brother’s failing health. I’m sad, too, for what this means to you. It’s very difficult not to feel the loss that comes with the slipping away of someone you love so deeply. I’m sure you feel it at every level of your being.

    I’m so glad you have your artistic outlet and that you continue to seek joy. You’re an inspiration. I love my print (and Elizabeth loves her original). We’re both smiling that we have the same piece of art (one print, one original) in our homes.

    I’m glad my post ‘turned the sun in your direction’ as you beautifully put it. Sending you love and understanding and tender hugs. xox


  6. I, too, am sorry your brother’s not well. We can’t change the path others walk on, but we can walk beside them. He’s lucky to have you in his life.

    As to the print; I’d try calling places that make street banners and the like, also where they make giclee prints of artwork. My younger son worked for years doing promotions for a skateboard/snowboard clothing & accessories wholesaler and they had a scanner / printer that did both. If you see a large banner, try asking where it was printed.

    Hope that works for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, too, along with your family. Big warm hugs to you. ~ Linne


  7. Pauline, I can’t even image how you feel at this time. I am sorry for your brother. I am sure your love ease up his pain. On the other hand, it is amazing and inspiring that you choose joy, even in difficult situations like this one.

    This piece is a wonderful addition to your collection. It is whimsical!!

    By the way, regarding making copies of your art… well, you still can. Take a good picture of your work. Tweak it a bit with MS Office picture manager (it comes with windows systems). Once it is done, save it on a disk or memory stick. Then you may print it anywhere 😀

    I send you many blessing, a big hug and much Love!


    • Dear Pati!! You can be relied upon to come with clear instructions that remove obstacles! Extraordinarily talented and technologically wise – what a combination!! I think I’d like to be you when I grow up !! 🙂 Much love dear friend xoxo


  8. Thinking of you, Pauline. And I love this post. Your gals are magical, I can attest to that! You sent me an original and my life hasn’t been the same since!


  9. Sorry to hear about your brother, Pauline. I lost a younger brother to a long fight with cancer and it is tough. Many hugs.
    Your painting is wonderful and I love the message it brings forth…both in the girl and the words written on it…..choosing the positive!


  10. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother, Pauline. Cancer likes to go after the special people and I’m sure your brother is at the top of your list. My prayers are with him and your family.

    Your talent is amazing! What a beautiful painting to hang in a young girl’s room.


  11. Dear Pauline, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. His battle is rough, I will keep him + you in my prayers. It is so special when you have someone remind you how special you really are:-) I will head over there later today to read the post, she deserves a cyber hug! II have to go out in this horrible weather here at 6am:-), ready to move some where warm after this winter:-) Hope you get your prints made soon, she is so lovely:-) p.s. I found a ladybug in my kitchen it must of been in one of my soil mixes, how in the world would it survive in this weather…it came to visit…a lady bug! Things will get better when a lady bug visits!


    • You just saw your miracle of the day Robbie! A lady bug – I love lady bugs!! I think they are special at any time, but in the middle of your winter – well, that’s a ‘wow’ moment! I’m looking forward to hearing how things get better for you 🙂

      I’m with you on the moving thing – I’d like to head to anywhere there is a summer right now! The sun was up before me this morning and the wind had died away over night…….. and now at 8.45 am, the sky has become overcast, the temperature has just dropped and the wind is picking up again. However, for the first two hours of my day I enjoyed a delightful summer morning!


  12. I’m so very, very sorry to hear your brother is unwell, Pauline. What an extremely emotional and difficult time for you. I’m so pleased you have a creative outlet during this time – your painting is sooooo beautiful. I find throwing myself into something creative helps calm my mind in tough times, but your printing issues have probably put paid to that! And enter the gorgeous Alys – I, too, had read her post before yours and loved how she “turned the sun in your direction”. Your two posts remind me of everything I love about blogging! Take care and know you and your brother are being thought of every day. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


    • Dani, thank you for your supportive words and thoughts! I have already let go of the ‘printing issues’ – I am so far behind with a couple of projects that I am relieved to be able to concentrate on them for the next couple of days. I shall happily play catch-up and get some balance back in my life!

      This blogging community never ceases to amaze me – so much love and support pours in ….. I think everyone should blog like we do and then the world would very quickly become a place of mutual support and trust and love. What a great place that would be!


  13. I’m so sorry about your brother, Pauline. I know where you’re going through, I’ve lost my girlfriend, mom,and grandfather on cancer 😦
    I thought the same as Boomdeeadda, maybe it’s possible to make a picture of the painting, when nothing else is possible. I love the way you stay in the possitive vibe…I think that’s what the picture (= you) represents too..The post of Gardening Nirvana was very uplifting 🙂
    Take care! Pawkiss 🙂


    • Thanks Hon! The copy thing will work out somehow, I’ve finished being upset about it 🙂 And you are right, Alys’ post was so uplifting – I loved it! Thank you for your kind and loving thoughts xoxo


  14. Oh my package from you arrived and I am so pleased! I have one more leg to go on your surprise critter and off it goes to you. Choose Joy! Wise words. 🙂
    I am sorry your dear brother is so unwell.


  15. I’m sure sorry to hear your brother is suffering so terribly Pauline. It’s a tragic thing to feel helpless and unable to change a loved ones circumstances. Hang in there, my thoughts are with you both.

    In regard to your gorgeous new artwork, it’s it possible to take a digital picture of you artwork for reproduction purposes? I’m certain that’s what they do with prints anyways. I might try that anyways. I read Alys’s post already too and in typical Alys fashion, she’s made the sun shine! Isn’t that just like her? I knew it’d make you day.

    Hope you sun comes out soon. xoK


    • Thank you for your words of support Boomdee, it’s a new day and many thoughts are buzzing … it will work out. Dear Alys! She has such a golden heart. It did indeed make my day! 🙂


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