Unexpected Gifts

‘What day is it?” asked Winnie-the-Pooh

“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet.

“My favourite day!” said Pooh.

I popped out for just a short time late yesterday afternoon and when I returned home a box was sitting at my door.

Not being a slacker when it comes to opening packages I had it opened and emptied in a flash, then I took a moment to check the address [an ever-so-slight tinge of concern had raised its head: was it actually meant for me?] and my eyes fell on a name I know well, so I continued ………

I pulled out the packaging and found two tiny envelopes


and inside, two tiny cards:


Beautifully hand made with care and attention to detail:


After reading the beautiful messages and with tears in my eyes, I began unwrapping the parcel, and immediately knew what was in it.

You know sometimes in life you just have those moments when the thoughtfulness and caring and generosity of spirit shown by another rips your heart wide open – this was one of those moments.

In December last year I read and commented on a post published by the lovely Alys over at Gardening Nirvana. Β Alys had just made her first mixed media banner and I was inspired by it, but eventually ran out of time to create something similar – we had a bit of a conversation around it – if you really want you can read it here:


The creative work of Alys Milner from her very first mixed media class now lay spread out on my table


Orlando popped up for a look-see and I moved it out of his way and we had a small, quieter version of our happy dance before I, in a soft and thoughtful mood, began preparing my evening meal.

Soon I turned around to see this:

“Whaddya mean I can’t sit on it?”


“I can’t see you so you can’t see me!”


Only thing for it – hang it up somewhere – I have just the place!

[But please, ignore the mess – there are several projects in varying stages of completion at the moment – it’s hell in here!]


Isn’t it just perfect?


And there it shall stay until there is a need for it somewhere else πŸ™‚

Now, at the risk of sounding maudlin or soppy I will finish with these thoughts: Β I have long been a fan of and participator in many Random Acts of Kindness. Β It has only been in recent months that I have been the recipient of so many RAKs from so many people whom I have never actually looked into the eyes of or actually touched – yet feel I know quite well.

I am left almost, but not entirely, speechless by the kindness, the generosity and the creativity of our blogging community – Β Yes, I have been the recipient of so many wonderful gifts recently – yet the greatest of these gifts is the wide flung arms that give virtual hugs on a daily basis and the friends who uphold and meet my spirit with theirs in complete openness and acceptance.

It surely is a wonderful thing!

Blessings to Alys and all my lovely Bloggie friends!! Β πŸ™‚

61 thoughts on “Unexpected Gifts

  1. May you experience many more random acts of kindness – so totally deserved. On top of happiness, you clearly also cultivate beautiful friendships in your garden. : )))xox


  2. I LOVE IT! Oh Alys you are a sweetie πŸ™‚ Your home is SO much tidier than mine (and has a whole lot less dog hair that thinks it is tumbleweeds trundling across the wooden floor πŸ˜‰ ). We all know better than to expect syrup from you Pauline, more like fizzy “feel-good” that Bernard from Black Books requests after too much wine. You are a really wonderful commenter Pauline, Empathetic, beautifully verbose and in charge of the vernacular and you nail it, time and again. I treasure that you have decided to follow my blog and no doubt everyone else here does to. You deserve SO much more than the humble trinkets that we are all sending to you for your constant uplifting heartfelt unconditional support (even when we are biting our own feet to unintentionally insult you πŸ˜‰ ) but like so many of your followers I just want to give you a hug from afar…a little something to remind you that we might be faceless (some of us crazy) commenters but behind this stiff curtain of distance and timeframes we are all “real” just like you and we do understand our common condition. Most of us are “women of a certain age” and are right there with you when it comes to how fast a pace this world is starting to keep…anyone else out there know how to play computer games? I thought not! ;). I prefer to see your syrup as being gingerbread spiced and most delicious and to be used to add to a glass of vodka or swirled deliciously into some fizzy Prosecco.

    (By the way…sorry I took so long to comment on this post…you are a “T” in my RSS Feed Reader alphabetical order and I had a HUGE amount of back posts after returning from my daughters πŸ˜‰ )


    • Oh Narfie7, I was just over at your place lambasting you for squealing to Linne – now I shall have to take it all back πŸ™‚ Thank you for those lovely thoughts, I have loved you a while now, I think since I first stumbled into you in the comments section on a Farmlet post – God Bless Christi!! I’m sorry for being a ‘T’ in your reader – I should have thought this through and called my blog ‘A Contented Crafter’ Oh well – live and learn….


      • I am going to have to hang about your blog on a regular basis with my notebook and pencil (ready licked) at the ready in order to write down all of the new words and look them up. I think Linne has beaten us with that (can’t spell it… it isn’t here for me to reference! πŸ˜‰ ) word that started with a “P” but we do, indeed, live and learn πŸ™‚


  3. I love it! You create so much joy for others, Pauline. Your writing comes straight from the heart and it is a joy to read. I’m sending you another virtual hug…my daughter recently told me that a hug needs to be at least 20 seconds- count up to 20, Pauline!


  4. Oh, how beautiful Pauline…how very special πŸ™‚ And how very pretty. I love that Orlando maybe sensed how much you loved it and that he should too πŸ™‚ Doesn’t it make your heart just sing to have developed such friendships here, there and everywhere with lovely people we would never have known otherwise..through shared interests and likemindedness. What a lovely post πŸ™‚


  5. I completely understand about the gifts and virtual hugs!!! Love your post Pauline. You write with so much passion. And the banner is, like you say, just perfect… It complements it with your previous banner… “CREATE joy” Just perfect!!! πŸ˜€ xoxo


  6. You did the same for me, Pauline, when you sent me the orange Hawaiian girl — A Gardener Grows Tomorrow’s Joys. Which has definitely impacted my life! πŸ™‚ Thank you again. I loved this post; I can’t get over how much Orlando and Garfield look alike. And act alike. All cats are truly One. lol


    • Oh, I’m really happy to hear that Christi – and she’s become your Hawaiian girl πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ How cool is that!! Maybe I should give all the originals away and make good stuff happen in people’s lives………. or is that tking it a bit too far? πŸ™‚

      I’ve always thought that Garfield and Orlando looked similar too. ‘All cats are truly One’ – love that!!

      I see there’s a post from you in my email – I’ll be over a bit later for a visit πŸ™‚


  7. “Create Joy”…what a great message! We have to create the joy in our lives, but sometimes we’re lucky to have creative friends like, Alys who deliver joy in an unexpected gifts. Thank you for delivering some joy with this post, Pauline!


  8. This is a really great post in an otherwise stress-filled week. The suspense is breathtaking (was the package even yours? who is it from?). The cute quotient skyrocketed when Orlando entered the picture and got a little cheeky. And the “Oh! My Goodness! That is gorgeous” registered 10 on the shriek-o-meter when I saw your craft room and your beautiful cards and gift from the talented and kind Alys. Gee! Boomdee’s got a perfectly gorgeous Boom Room, you’ve got a heavenly “Create Joy” room – it’s time to down tools in The Oasis and spruce up my craft room act! Thanks for spreading the joy! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox


  9. “not being a slacker” . . . really!! . . . and whatever happened to ‘waiting 10 minutes to practise Anticipation? I ask you!! You are TOO funny, my friend! I laughed out loud when you opened it without even being sure it was for you . . . Still, it obviously WAS for you and what a lovely gift. The cards are amazing and that banner! I can see why Orlando loves it, too . . . but I think it’s found its perfect place; now your wall says “Create . . . JOY”
    Perfection!! because that’s what you do. πŸ™‚

    Alys makes amazing stuff, doesn’t she? I’m glad to have found her through you. I just popped over to see her site again and it’s still delightful!

    I love your studio and could not find any mess, in spite of your saying there was some. Creative stuff, yeah, but no messes. And it’s great to see it, anyway, because now we can picture you there, creating away . . .

    I think that having your heart ripped open lets the love out to bless the world . . . especially when it’s this sort of ripping open. You deserve all the blessings you are receiving, Pauline, every one!

    RAK on, I say! Virtual (and warm) hugs from the igloo . . . ~ Linne


    • I know, I hang my head in shame – absolutely zero control around parcels! The next one I will try ten minutes, that’s what I said right? I’ll try!
      My family used not to give me anything before my birthday or Christmas because I would just have to have a peek………I blame it on my poor upbringing! I’m getting better – I had a parcel here for five days before last Christmas and it arrived at Christmas morning completely untouched πŸ™‚ [The fact that I was away for three of the five days is, of course, irrelevant.]

      And yes, ‘Create Joy’ it is perfect! A visual reminder for me every day!

      You are an important person in my global hug fest group! Keep on creating πŸ™‚


    • Linne, you have a way with words. You always make me smile.

      Thanks for popping over to my blog.

      And yes, Pauline deserves all the blessings she receives. She gives them back ten-fold.


  10. Awwwwww, what a beautiful day you’ve had. “Create Joy” seems like the perfect message for your cute craft room and the art of friendship too. You’ve summed it up so perfectly really Pauline. Non-bloggers might think it’s really odd how close you get to friends you’ve yet to hug or share a cup of tea with. I might even be sceptical myself if not for you and Alys and a handful of other beautiful people I’ve gotten to love thru blogging. It’s so like Alys to brighten your day, it’s just something she does so naturally it seems. She’s just the dearest gal, I love her so much.

    Her fantastic banner will be right at home in New Zealand and what a cool card too. Must be that fancy new Cameo Cutter she showed me. I was so happy to see darling Orlando putting the paw of approval on all the excitement too. What a happy post, loved it! Cheers my dear and Bravo sweet Alys! xoxoK


    • I think he now thinks all things that come out of packages with much coo-ing and aww-ing are specifically for him! He really likes his mini me and can often be found hunkered down beside it… so funny!! πŸ™‚


  11. That was a beautiful post! You are a very blessed person because you are a blessing to others:-) What beautiful art you recieved! It looks like Orlando thinks it is pretty nice ,too.
    Your studio looks amazing + it looks just like a stuido you would find in Stampinton Magazine-Where women create! I Think the banner looks perfect right under your CREATE!
    It truly is an amazing world when people are kind:-) You had a perfect day:-)


    • I did have a perfect day Robbie – and thank you once again for your lovely kind words – they warm my heart and are part of my big virtual daily hug πŸ™‚

      I like that you think my play room is good enough for a magazine – that’s good enough for me! xoxo


      • remember us creative types make messes, how do we create! I thought your room was neat for the mixed media you do:-) I use to teach an art class at an art center for children and their parents and I can remember I had to teach them- “kids are messy”…lol…I guess I have never grown up + my kids never had a problem being messy:-)


        • The bit that nobody has picked up – maybe the camera doesn’t reveal it – is that there is not a centrimetre of available bench space for me to actually work on. The tables are loaded with half completed projects and the supplies for those projects are scattered about in random fashion ….. I am a terribly organised soul and to me this is a nightmare – I find it hard to get creative in a mess. I always tidy up between projects, everything gets sorted and put back where it lives and then I start again. I don’t mind the mess while I’m working because it is all for a purpose, it is the after affects of too many projects scattered all about and no sense of space any more that leaves me discombobulated!!

          Does that make sense to you?


          • Yes it does! discombobulated…perfect word for this condition-lol. I totally get. I love to be creative, but I can’t stand to have the mess in my living space. My studio ( my middle daugthers old bedroom) is a mess right now, and since my son moved out I have an extra room to split my projects up in which makes it helpful. I have a growing room for all my plants now. I’ve been working on it this winter, but I am so busy with plant I start from seeds for people.
            The “art studio/creative room” is a mess right now since I am still clearing it out-not done yet! I like things to be a bit more neat than I have them right now-so I get it! It makes me a bit confused when I try to work in the clutter:-)
            My problem is I have too many projects going on all at once , so I am half finihshed with many projects!


  12. ((((Pauline))))
    My heart is going pitter-pat, pitter-pat, pitter-pat. I’m so glad the banner and cards arrived in good shape and that you were moved. I love that you did a happy dance, and I’m equally delighted to see the handsome and clever Orlando behaving like a cat: always at the center of attention and in the middle of where the action is.

    Your craft room is adorable, with the pretty fabric panels and soft pink curtains. How wonderful to have an entire room for your crafting. It’s lovely. The banner works so well on that wall: create joy. Serendipity!

    And yes, a thousand times yes to this : “yet the greatest of these gifts is the wide flung arms that give virtual hugs on a daily basis and the friends who uphold and meet my spirit with theirs in complete openness and acceptance.” I couldn’t agree more.



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