365 Days – January

Didn’t the first month of 2014 go quickly?

I completed the first mile-stone in my year long project [whew!] it was a challenge at times, but I’m getting more and more into the swing of it.  What I have found especially interesting is to see where my attention goes in any given day – there is definitely a theme for the month.

I showed you the first 14 days here if you want to have another peek – and here is the rest of January’s cards – read them as you would a book and double click for enlarged views:

Jan 1

The second card with the sun celebrates the second sunny day of the year – the back has a note ‘two out of fourteen ain’t bad!’ a wry nod to Meatloaf.  The inception of my ‘Choose Joy’ painting is noted, and my brother and other siblings carry the last three.

Jan2

These next six begin with a reminder to keep my thoughts clear, continue with the painting and past memories and end with the gypsy making her entrance into my consciousness.

Jan3

I kept peace for my brother, birthed the gypsy and created a new garden as January ended.

Jan complete

Just one month complete and I begin to wonder how big is this project going to get?

Here are some thoughts from looking at these cards this morning.

My brother’s health is ‘stable’ and I continue to hold him in my thoughts.  It is such a wonderful thing to see that when we deal with our human mortality our instinct is to balance this with life.  Over the years I have lost many loved ones and been at many funerals and noticed that the conversation often turns to birth – stories of birthing and new-borns for example – and have come to see that this is part of our grieving process, for life and death are so beautifully entwined.  And here in January I see I have done the same thing, entwined as the month is with memories of siblings and aunts who were loved and lost, and who I felt draw near from time to time, while I grieved for lives cut short and unfulfilled potential, I birthed my own inner Gypsy [Narf7 gets full credit for her midwifery skills!] and ended by creating a new garden.  🙂

Life and death, life and death – being and becoming, experiencing and letting go, living and dying.  We experience it every day in a hundred different ways yet only become fully conscious when it is our own mortality we are faced with.  Personally I remain convinced it is just another door way we walk through, which unfortunately, once closed cannot be reopened for us to have another shot at this particular life.  Which is why I also think it is really important to learn the lessons we are here to learn and to love one another.  All the rest is rather unimportant and simply the means by which we learn [or do not learn] our lessons.

Right, down off my soap-box, things to do, lessons to be learnt and another day card to be created……

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

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52 thoughts on “365 Days – January

  1. These are turning out beautifully. I love the concept and the dedication it takes to stick with it. It’s fun seeing them all bundled together too. I’m not sure why I find that so appealing, but I do.

    Your colors are rich and vibrant…just like my beautiful art piece which I picked up from the framer this week. It looks amazing! I’ve narrowed it down to one or two walls. Can’t wait to share it.

    Will you collect these together in a basket over the course of the year? Each day is a treasure.

    I’m pleased to hear that your brother is stable. Holding good thoughts for you both. xox

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    • I’m excited to see your print framed – I’m wondering about doing one for myself even 🙂

      I’m keeping them on a ring in sequence at the moment – I am as fascinated by the process as everyone else is – I have kept a diary before, but never challenged myself to encapsulate each day with a word or phrase and something vaguely arty – it makes me really conscious about how I’m feeling and where I’m putting my attention! It is also making me aware of how many times I have a song for a day – do you do that? Today’s song apparently is ‘Easy, like Sunday morning….. mmmm and it’s ee-easy..’ are you singing yet?

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      • Oh yes…I love to sing and do so often. I can picture you singing that song.

        I definitely recommend framing a piece. It’s not cheap, but I generally find different sales. We sometimes have buy one, get one for a penny so 50%. Sometimes the size is standard, so you can buy pre-cut mats and a ready made frame.

        Your daily art reminds me of mindfulness based mediation. You’re really examining each and every day.

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        • Yes, it’s really like that – except I find it easier to sink into it because of the art aspect. When I start work all I have is a word or a feeling and as I paint it clarifies, sometimes the word has changed, or a song comes……. so its a half hour of really sinking into the focus of the day. I’m curious to know what will happen when I have bad day 🙂

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  2. I don’t know why, but January always seems to go quick every year.

    I’m glad that your brother is stable.

    Enjoy Blogging,
    Tom

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  3. Hi hon, catching up on your beautiful posts while I enjoy the day. I’m probably reading out of order but please forgive. You’ve really bit off a giant challenge, but somehow I’m not surprised 😀 We’ve only just begun to know each other but my impression is you’ve been conquering big challenges with might and mind since forever.
    It would be hard to pick a favourite, I gravitate to so many, but I really love the Inner Gypsy and Peace art works. I’m so happy to know your brothers health has stabilized now. The time we have here is such a gift.
    I can’t wait to get back into the craft room and mess around, I really am itching. You’re always so inspiring, thank you my dear. I don’t think about death too often, I guess I just tuck it away in the file. It’s not something I fear since my dad passed away. This will sound really silly but I have thought how rotten it’d be for all my projects to just be turfed, but then again, I won’t be here to worry about it 😀 Lets hang out then too if we can, I’ll bring one of my vintage suitcases along and you can fill it with some paints and brushes, that would be fun.

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    • Thank you for all those thoughtful thoughts – it made for lovely reading on this sunny and warm morning.

      I didn’t think your remark about your projects being turfed in the least bit silly – I think that all the time! I kind of measure the ‘worth’ of my creations by imagining if anyone would want to keep that or if it goes in the ‘donate’ or ‘chuck’ pile 🙂 Keeps it real! And also stops me hoarding 🙂

      I can just see you coming through the door with your beautiful vintage suitcase firmly in hand – I’ll be the one surrounded by rainbows of colour waiting quietly, paintbrush at the ready ….

      I’m looking forward to see what wonderful creation comes out of your room after your holiday xoxo

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  4. I am having a woo-woo moment. I read a post on caring for the terminally ill and have been doing a lot of soul searching regarding death and life etc. I, like you, see death as just a doorway to someplace else. No-one ever came back to tell me about it so I guess I am just going to have to “suck it and see” like my old granny would have said. I love that you got your first month completed. I have been at a loose end (aside from streaming out behind Earl and watering the veggie garden) lately and have returned to my first love, reading. I went to my daughters for the weekend and now I am wading through my RSS Feed Reader that is crammed to the back gills with new posts. Looks like everyone posted over the weekend…twice! ;). Here’s to February and a bright new month full of sunshine and possibilities 🙂

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    • I love that I got my first month completed too 🙂 it so easily could have been a different story! I have almost finished work on your cards – won’t be long now – you might want to pop your address across the old email……

      I think reading is a very good option in the weather conditions you are having – a blanket under a shady tree wouldn’t go amiss either …. though your lovely verandah may be even better…… I’m sorry we all posted twice while you were away – I did actually think of you when I was doing it and thought that might be challenging for the commenting stakes 🙂

      I’ve just added making Boho bracelets to my repertoire of useless things to do – seemed like a good idea at the time, but my hands are getting sore from plaiting miles of embroidery thread. Should have stuck with painting!

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      • Are you going to sell them in your Etsy store? I would love to see a couple of photos of them :). Snail mail winging it to you via email (can I have yours as well for your Serendipitous spoon?)

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          • If they are sale worthy SELL AWAY MA’AM! 🙂 I recon people love seeing Etsy stores that don’t specialise in only 1 thing…toss in all of your various crafts etc. and let the people choose. If they don’t sell, you can always remove them if you like. Does it cost much to list additional things in your store?

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            • Mmmm…. I was making them just for me, because I like ’em, now you raise a very good point! My store gets very little traffic as yet – there are a gazillion Etsy stores apparently. [The Australia/NZ collection of items available came through yesterday and I found the first item of mine tucked away near the bottom of page 62 – who’s going to look that far into a catalogue?]

              It costs 25c per listing for three months – which is affordable – but quickly adds up – as things come up for renewing next month I shall rethink how I am listing – any suggestions you care to make will be listened to with the utmost respect 🙂

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              • I figure, if you want to get bumped up the list and you want to “spread the crafty love” around, it might benefit you to list a few more of your delightful crafts. People love bracelets. They sell like hotcakes and you just never know what will be a great sales item sometimes 🙂

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  5. Hi Pauline, I am very happy your brother is stable and that you are choosing to take it so gracefully. Choosing Joy seems hard at times…

    On regards to your work, congratulations for accomplishing so much! Those cards are beautiful and convey great messages. 😀

    have a wonderful week! and thanks for sharing!

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  6. This is such a beautiful project Pauline. I am amazed at how much you have achieved in the first month. The cards look gorgeous together and remind me of a vintage-remake set of fortune-telling cards I was once given. I also love your ‘cycle of life’ dialogue – your feelings on death mirror my own. Big hugs and many blessings to you and your beautiful Orlando. : ))xox

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    • Thanks so much Anne, and I’m happy to hear we share something else too – the world of blogging brings so many like minded souls together I have found – I just love it! The hugs and blessings are returned a thousand fold to you, Monty and your family! xoxo

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  7. Pauline what an inspiration you are with your thoughts and your art! I love your daily cards, January looks awesome and I can’t wait to see how this project progresses. I am sorry this is not an easy time for you but I am full of admiration for you and your thought processes. I’m sending hugs to you {{{Pauline}}} Big love from me.

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    • Thank you AJ – I am finding this daily activity challenging, liberating and exciting – all at the same time!! It’s so interesting to look back over the month and see where my attention went – and the rhythms that are there too. I think a whole year will be really fascinating to study! 🙂
      Thank you for the hugs. xoxo

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  8. I just went to etsy to check on your cards, so I could bookmark them when I want to send some to my daughter in England. I could not find it. Could you post the link, so I will be able to find it-:-) robbie

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  9. I LOVE the way you use color in all your pieces!!! You captured your “texture” in the above photo so well-amazing!!! I love the inner gypsy you had on a card- I even noticed it before I read your blog…should be my goal this year!
    Your brother continues to be in my prayers:-) It is tough to go through what he is facing…you are so wise and right when you say we only get one chance at this life, + then the door closes…yep, there are no “do-overs” when our journey ends, but sometimes those of us that have health issues ( which I know you do) learn a valuable lesson that we are not in control.When we learn that lesson which in my opinion is the number one, then we are free to live life the way we should…in the moment.
    keep on creating, your work is inspiring + beautiful:-)

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  10. Love the cards, Pauline! Amazing what gets done when you do a bit every day. Mine are very behind, but I’m hoping to catch up. Glad to hear your brother’s stable, too.
    I agree with you on birth and death; to me, it’s just a door we come through; when we’re done here, we go back. There has been a rash of birthing in my extended family as that generation puts down roots. So good to see. BTW, I love your inner Gypsy, too. It will be interesting to see where she leads you . . . ~ Linne

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    • Hi there Linne, glad to see you back with us 🙂 I’m loving this gypsy aspect – there is a great freedom in her and a connection to the earth and the magical and mysterious – all quite liberating!

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  11. Embracing the inner gypsy….what a beautiful thought. Lovely post, gorgeous cards! What a great way to journal and reflect on each day we are given.

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  12. Yes, it’s so good to hear your brother is stable, Pauline. I, too, was wondering how everything was going – and keeping you both in my thoughts. Is he as amazingly artistic as you? Your cards are beautiful. It takes a lot of discipline to sit down each day and work on a project such as this, but I read an interview with a writer somewhere and they said something along the lines of “Take time to write (be creative) every single day and that’s when the magic happens!” Gosh, yes, January has gone so quickly, but you have such an enchanting record of the first month of 2014. xoxoxoxoxoxox

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  13. Pauline, I am glad to hear that your brother’s health is stable at this time.
    I am in awe of your creativity and all that you have created and accomplished in the first month of the year. Your post is a gentle reminder for me to stop and take stock of what I have done over the past 31 days.

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  14. A lovely post Pauline and your cards are beautiful, I so love that idea. I am pleased to here your brother is stable, I have been thinking of you and wondering how things were.

    I have not had the time to do any art whatsoever 😦 but something has been forming in my mind which is unlike anything I have ever done but I have become obsessed with the idea, imagination is running wild and thoughts being noted in a book for ….soon?! That’s how far as I have got, I have no idea where this month has gone.

    Take care.

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    • I know you are busy with your preserving activities Wendy, so how wonderful to hear that the creative juices are quietly flowing…….. I can spend weeks thinking about something before starting – then when I start it very often magically appears. Preparation time is vitally important!

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