It’s January & It’s Summer!

It’s January, it’s hot, it’s Summer!  We didn’t have one last year.  She must have unilaterally decided to give my part of the country a miss, I believe it wasn’t personal, she just had other places she would rather be.  So there has been unbounded joy in this little corner of the world – long hot days followed by long warm dusks.  It is just now getting dark about 9.30 pm, light by 5.30 am.  And my word, you should see my garden!  It’s a jungle out there folks, no room to sit and sizzle in the hot sun, it’s been taken over by tomatoes and salady stuff and petunias and lobelia and sweet-peas – let’s not forget the sweet-peas!

sweetpeas2

I was getting worried about the lack of fruit on the tomatoes when voila, up these popped overnight.  If you can’t see them, biggify the photo – they are there I promise.  So proud!  🙂

babytomatoes2

Siddy and I water every evening, well I water and Siddy bustles and bumbles about through the undergrowth, rather reminiscent of a rare black and white wombat –  eventually popping up all muddy and wet and happy and puppy-ish again.  [This one’s especially for Jill.]

Siddylaughs

 

This is his ‘Whaddya want mumma?’ face, because I whistled him and he stopped what he was busily bumbling about with and rushed up to me.

As a complete aside, a few days ago we celebrated Siddy’s ninth month birthday.  He has stopped visibly growing, thank heavens.  He is much calmer now, he loves his mumma very much, adores Orlando and his aunty YD is his most favourite person in the whole world – but should he meet you, you would immediately become his next favourite person in the whole world.  Siddy’s joy and enthusiasm for life and people remains unabated.  It is just tempered with slightly better manners these days.

Getting a scenic shot in my small garden is impossible – so here is a little montage

pizap

This tiny garden, organic and companion planted, growing mostly in buckets and tubs is in good looking condition – but something has been eating my peas!

whosbeeneatingmypeas

I’m picking them this evening, ready or not!

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My ‘rhythm of life’ – that thing some of you refer to as routine – has suddenly disengaged.  It erupted!  I knew it would.  I signed on for a year long art course last October.  I’d been waiting since mid-May for the signing date to arrive because I knew I needed and wanted to focus on developing myself as an artist.  I don’t usually refer to myself as ‘an artist’ – I say I ‘muck abart with mixed media’ or ‘I paint’.  Some folks have thought that means I’m a house painter – [which makes me smile because I spent years decorating my homes with paint, now I do it with mostly fabric] and start to ask me which paint is best for this or that problem – or even offer me a job!

Anyway – having taken that little meander off subject, let us return …… the art course has started.  It started for me on January 2nd, with a bang I might add.  Immediately I fell behind as I had, coincidentally, been asked to act as an honorary ‘colour advisory consultant person’  and I was a bit caught up in that process.

But I got my act together and set about creating this

Beacon of Light - Pauline King

Beacon of Light – Pauline King

If you follow my progress with mixed media you will see a huge improvement in the way the paint has been applied especially to the face – I learned so much in just the first lesson!

In case I have piqued your interest, the course is called Life Book 2015 and clicking on that will take you there.  You’re welcome!  🙂

I was so pleased with the result of this first exercise that I set myself the task of doing an older more Contented Crafter version – here she is underway, but with a LOT of work still to be done.  What do you think?

Lighthouse1

 and the eyes, with which I am particularly pleased

Lighthouse2

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If you have noticed me missing from your blog, or missing with my usual long and opinionated ramblings in your comment section all the above is the reason why. Suddenly there is not enough hours in the day.  I wasn’t so busy when I was still a working girl!  [Ooow, did that sound wrong?]  I’m still doing my best to read everyone’s posts – I always feel that if you took the time to write and proof-read and insert photos and anything else you do on each of your wonderful posts, the least I can do is participate fully!   I just can’t fit it all in at the moment –  But, like Arnie, I will be back!

And I nearly forgot – there’s also these, that sometime get a look in during the long warm evenings – but progress is slow

stevienicks1

stevienicks2

Jo'sbavarian

Life is warm, it is busy, it is very happy.  Life is good!  I hope you are enjoying all your busy moments too.

This is my 150th post and I just recently went past 350 followers.  Most don’t read, but to those who do, who come by regularly and leave your endearing messages of support and cheer, thank you, thank you, thank you.  You warm my heart, encourage me in all kinds of crazy directions and inspire me daily.

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

 

 

 

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123 thoughts on “It’s January & It’s Summer!

  1. I think we stay here for a little longer Pauline. We’re in Winter over here, but besides all the beautiful greenery in your garden, you brightened up our day with all your colourful flowers and paintings and crockery. That’s a reason to come out of hibernation 🙂 Pawkisses for a sunny day 🙂 ❤

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  2. Pauline, you have energy to spare! Summer weather suits you.

    Your garden looks smashing. Such vibrant colors, healthy greens and nice little peaks at the planting tubs there all in. I love your montage. It shows off the color and variety beautifully.

    I hope you’ve had a decent harvest of peas before they were noshed completely. Did you ever discover the culprit? I’m glad you have Siddy along for good company. Delighted, too, to hear that he retains all the wonderful puppy qualities, but with manners. Score, Pauline, and Orlando. I wish you could tuck him in your bags and bring him along. Sweetie pie.

    Pauline, your art is magnificent. I adore your work as you already know and have always thought of you as an artist. I’m intrigued that you think of this as a new moniker. I hope you’ll continue to wear it proudly. I keep scrolling back up to gaze at Beacon of Light. She’s beautiful, and perfectly named. The eyes have it for sure. One of the hardest things to paint or draw. Congratulations on two wonderful pieces. The ‘older’ Contented Crafter has such character in her face: the full lips, the cheek bones, the eyelashes, all wonderfully bring her alive. Clearly you’re enjoying your class, the artistic process, and the long, warm, light days in which to enjoy all three: gardening, crocheting and painting.

    The aqua circles are beautifully stitched. Are you making place mats? There are many wonderful comments here, so you may have already covered this, but I didn’t see one.

    What a joyful post. Party on!!! xoxoxox

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    • As you read in order Alys, I am responding in order too – isn’t it lovely for us to be so organised! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to pop in for two quick posts – I was on fire briefly 🙂

      I think it was snails eating my peas – I think that as they are the only critters I have found in the garden. They had actually only eaten holes in the pods and the peas were untouched so I harvested enough for a good serving of peas cooked in mint along with some new potatoes and a salad and then I sprinkled raw peas into salads for the next couple of days. There is another wee crop ripening now. Not bad for six plants, and half of them mostly smothered by the front three that hogged all the sun!

      There’s a lot of purple in my garden isn’t there – I think it’s because my colour choices are so often influenced by the word ‘blue’. If I could get ‘blue’ nasturtiums I’m pretty sure the orange and yellow splashes of colour would also be purple!

      The Beacon of Light is essentially my take on someone else’s work [Tamara Laporte’s] – so I can’t claim it as an original in any sense! It was our first lesson and it fired me up so much, just due to the learning curve and sense of accomplishment I got from faithfully following the steps in the lesson [which I always think is the best way to learn] and all the time I was making it the second painting was hovering in the background waving and smiling at me. She was pretty much formed from the word go and there was no [0] prevarication in her creation! I just hope I haven’t peaked too soon!

      Nope, you are the first to inquire. The aqua crochet is the beginning of something called ‘The Stevie Nicks vest’*** a pattern I saw, fell in love with and purchased on-line a while ago. or a mandala for the wall that I promised Twisted at The Twisted Yarn I would make months and months ago. It all depends how I feel s it gets bigger and bigger. You are looking at the centre of the pattern. It is virtually a huge circle, with holes made for the arms and folded over at the top to sit like a huge collar. It will probably touch the floor on me as I am so vertically challenged in which case it will become a mandala hung on the wall 🙂

      *** I adore the way Stevie Nicks used to dress and her style now is still attractive to me. I just never had the opportunity when I was working to ever be more than slightly quirky in my garb.

      I have a lot to be joyful about these days – so it is pretty easy! 🙂

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  3. Your garden is absolutely beautiful Pauline and I love the photos of darling Siddy…bet Jill was thrilled 🙂 He is such a cutie, but then you don’t need me to tell you that! It sounds as if the new year has started off well for you, I’m so happy for you. And having seen the finished painting (reading your posts backwards, perhaps not the best idea!) I would add yes, I adore how you painted her eyes and you should be proud. They shine with a most beautiful light. And I adore sweet peas, they are one of my favourites, I always grow them. But we are a long way off from spring…very, very cold wintery day here in jolly old England at the moment. Snow in parts. Brrr…. enjoy your glorious summer Pauline 🙂

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    • Hello again Sherri 🙂 Yes, it is a lovely summer – the first one in ages really so much appreciated by everyone. And yes, 2015 appears to have started with a bang for me – I have a unique and most wonderful and exciting time coming up and these opportunities to extend my painting repertoire and knowledge and experience are inspiring me left right and centre as they say. I’m so happy! I hope you are too – and that your daughter is well and happy. xo

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      • And I am so happy for you dear Pauline. It is so good for you to grab these moments and opportunities as they arise. Thank you so much for asking after my daughter – and me! We are getting there…determined to make this year a really good one 🙂 xoxo

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  4. Oh my goodness Pauline! What beauty you have been busy creating. Your paintings are wonderful and the eyes so expressive. I am happy i can live vicariously through you with your description of the lovely summer and your colorful gardening. Keep going my artful friend!

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  5. I am so happy for you, Pauline! Your garden is so pretty and your dog looks like he is smiling at all of us, the little imp!
    You have a really impressive talent in capturing lovely images in your artwork. I think this one is adorable and maybe you should keep her, after checking out how she went, I could see the second one being the beacon of light and this one representing sunshine and glowing hope. I know you wished to ‘evolve’ her and redefine her, but this one speaks to me, too! I love her sunny look, Pauline. You could do a series… smiles!

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    • I’m glad you like them Robin! I love how you always have a suggestion for what I could do with my art and my photos and so on – it is most encouraging – and amusing because I’m pretty sure I won’t. 🙂 But never say never!

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      • I am so glad you don’t mind my thoughts and input, Pauline. I can see how it may be annoying, so really happy it is not taken as criticism. Instead you take it as constructive suggestions, Pauline! i am one who reads books to children (grandies) and someday, I would love to illustrate a children’s book.
        My drawings are not so refined or detailed as yours. I have written and sent out my four books often, just when I mention it to you, I hope to have you as my guiding light, shining on whatever publisher is choosing new artists… meanwhile I am like you, make a lot of art for friends and family! hugs and smiles sent your way

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  6. A workikng girl and a painter, you lead an interesting life. 🙂 I don’t know about a painter but you are most definitely an artist! You have no idea how jealous I am of you right now. My yard is frozen solid, I am bundled up to stay warm (because I refuse to turn up the heat) and I so want to be busy as I can only be when it’s summer. How wonderful that Mother nature didn’t forget your corner of the world a second year in a row for summer. Let’s hope she doesn’t forget mine this year as she was sorely lacking last summer.

    Enjoy your art course and don’t worry about keeping up around blog land, I know I’ll still be here when your world slows down and I am sure many others will be too.

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    • Thank you Lois – I am still visiting you, but not commenting at the moment. [I always like those boot cuff things and think it would be fun to make some ……. ]

      We are having such a lovely summer it is definitely atoning for lack of appearance last year – so maybe she will be doing the same for you in six months. Let’s assume she will! xo

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  7. My gosh, there are a lot of nice visiting going on here. I had to scroll and scroll and scroll just to get down here. Congratulations on your following Pauline.

    Your compact oasis really does look like a jungle. How cool is it too that you’ve done a good bit of it in tubs and pots. That’s quite amazing. It’s all a site for sore eye’s for us northerners. We’ve just come out of almost two full weeks of really cold weather. This week we’re to enjoy temperate 0C or even 2C. It will feel like a heat wave.

    You’ve been very creative as of lately, painting, gardening, crocheting and redoing your art room too. I’ve been such a slowpoke. I like the background on your first piece of art. That’s rather unique from some of your other work. The round crochet project is the most beautiful yarn. It’s great how is variates between soft aqua shading. Just like a nice pool of water. Is it to be a doily? Or an afghan maybe? Looks like a lot of work. Such a talented girl you are. I can’t imagine using the wee needle to make an afghan. Glad to hear your summer has been fulfilling and warm, it all looks fantastic xo K

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    • I made a long reply to your comment last night and I see it has disappeared – maybe I didn’t push post or something – maybe I spammed myself 🙂

      I do have a bit of a party when I post, it’s really fun and I love that so many people come by and join in! Sometimes it stops me from doing anything else though – a wee challenge I have to find my way though or round . Everything is going well Boomdee and I am feeling so blessed I can’t tell you! I need to get the next post written and shared I think!

      I’m hoping it wars up to above C rather than below for you very soon and that it all starts to ease back. I can’t believe how quickly our light is changing – it’s not really light now until nearly 6 am and yet only a couple of weeks ago it was light at 4.30. I’m turning on the light at night about 9 when I could head off to bed at 10.30 and still not need a lamp except to read by.

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  8. Oh my-can’t keep up with posts lately, I am always behind!:-) I try to get other things done now,too + not linger on the comptuer for hours reading-LOL. To much stuff to do. Light out at 9:30, AMAZING! we are dark by 5pm and the days are getting longer-yipee, we have turned the corner and spring is up ahead:-)…use to be dark at 430…so it is not too far off!
    wow, summer looks amazing in your garden! Just beautiful.
    You eyes, nose + mouths are emerging with more “intricate” details…The flecks of light in the eyes reflect + capture my attention-what I love best about their faces. They just linger and stare back at me as if they can see right through me! + they look so content + truly happy! ….funny, but they remind me of you:-)

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    • Ha Robbie – thank you for your close observation and kind feedback. I am happy because I see improvement and am learning new styles. By the end of the year I may have found my way forward again. I have stopped leaving comments on every post I read now – sometimes there is just not enough time and too many other things needing attention. Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do! xoxo

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      • I know + I find I miss posts for I am not at my computer as much these days. When it warms up I am finding myself being pulled away in the direction of more projects…but they involve my plants + people!!!…I do enjoy stopping by and seeing what you are creating. I love the color! Your girls are like flowers in my garden:-) they make me smile:-) Keep Painting and Growing!

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  9. There’s so much summery beauty in this post, that I hardly know where to begin in my response. First, please give Siddy a big, over-enthusiastic cuddle from me right now, because he doesn’t strike me as someone who wants to wait for anything. And then please pass on my respectful bow to Orlando, which I assume he will accept as his due.
    Your little garden has so much more green than my fractionally-less-little garden had all last summer: I’m in awe of your green fingers.
    And as for the art course, you should be teaching it not taking it.

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    • You are much kinder to me Twisted than I am to you 🙂 It must be your good English upbringing by those sterling Senior Twisteds!

      Siddy would waggle his rear half until it touched his nose he would be so delighted at any thought of a cuddle with you. Orlando I am sure, would open half of one eye, twitch an ear and fall back to sleep as you respectfully backed away.

      As to the course – man you should see the talent there! I’m in the lower ranks for sure! But so inspired – you have no idea! I just put another post up with the second painting finished, that’s how inspired I am!

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  10. Good heavens, Pauline, you are incredibly busy! But it must be wonderfully satisfying to have remarkable tangle results from your efforts. I adore Beacon of Light. Wow. Just wow.
    I wish you months of beautiful weather where your garden will be as abundantly prolific as you are, and if there’s even one soul of your followers who aren’t taking the couple of minutes to read and gaze at your art then they are missing out on seeing true joy on the page.
    Soldier on!

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    • Soldiering on Shelley! Second painting finished today – I’m marching! Another post up. I’m firing on all guns!! Started work on the third project this afternoon – I’m on fire!! I’m also feeling ever so slightly manic. Might be time to take a quiet time out 🙂 Thank you for your glorious enthusiasm, it so lifts me up.

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  11. The garden looks wonderful, no doubt in part due to Siddy’s efforts in the undergrowth. I liked your pictured very much, first glance at the second one and I thought it was Liz Taylor.
    Enjoy your Super Summer while I sit here waiting to see if the forecast for snow is right.
    xxx Massive Hugs Pauline xxx

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    • Siddy waddles through the undergrowth in a determined and busy kind of a way – so I am sure you are right.

      I am so glad you like the paintings – the gentlemen who read my blog posts so loyally are usually noncommittal on my art work 🙂 And my second version – Maybe I’m channeling Liz – Ha now there’s a thought!

      Thank you for tweeting out my posts David, that is very kind of you. I have a twitter account but never use it.
      I do so enjoy a massive hug! Thank you 🙂

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  12. Your paintings are evolving Pauline. I love the eyes as well ;). LOVE the garden (or should I say tropical jungle) if Siddy disappears make sure to check for monkey prints! I have tomatoes too so am very happy about that also. I don’t like summer very much but if it floats your boat I am willing to send wafting heat to you long after yours packs up and goes off for the duration as ours goes on…and on…and ON… (sigh). I love that people think that you are a house painter ;). gorgeous hooky and lots of projects on the go equals one happy Pauline 🙂

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    • Although I am most comfortable in the other three seasons of the year, I’m really enjoying this summer because we haven’t had a decent one for years and didn’t have one at all last year. It was cancelled apparently. Today it is raining for the first time in weeks, so the respite from the heat is welcome. I’ve eaten my peas – they were so delicious! I really need to plant more lettuces and suchlike as most are now finishing and the other stuff is seeding. I’m hoping the tomatoes come to something. I planed three or four and can’t sort anything from anything now they are all so big and inter-mingled. I maybe need to plant less next year 🙂 The sweet-peas are going bonkers. I pick and give way and pick some more.

      Has your bunting arrived yet? If it hasn’t they must be swimming them across these days! I’m very excited to see the next few parcels you get 🙂

      Did you get a cool-mat for Earl? They are just the greatest thing in the heat – you could get one for yourself too 🙂 I pinch puppy’s and stick my feet on it when I get really hot, let them cool down a bit and then put them back on 🙂

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      • My bunting hasn’t arrived yet (most probably they ARE swimming it across 😉 ). I adore sweet peas and might plant some in my mums honour next year as she adored them as well. There is nothing like the scent of sweet peas :). I haven’t looked for a cool mat yet but will get Steve to check them out when he next does the shop. Hopefully Earl would respect the delicious coolness that came from it’s inner core and not gut it to chew on it’s electrical wires (most likely scenario 😦 ). We are up to 26C today so it is warming up again. I wouldn’t mind if we skipped summer to be honest. I prefer it cooler. Maybe I might have to move to Dunedin. I follow another blog there as well and it looks like a most glorious place to live 😉

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        • No electrical wires Narfie – it’s all pure magic! Siddy usually chews on things too, but he doesn’t try to eat this – he just spreads himself out on it and goes to sleep 🙂 Who is your other blogger from here, I haven’t yet found anyone else……. It is a beautiful part of the country – not the bit where I live – but everywhere else is. 🙂

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            • Ha! Goes to show what a small place this is – I buy my DE from him and he delivers it to the door. Funny chap and I didn’t know he kept a blog. I’m following him now [quietly] The cooler pads at Bunnings were $15 for a medium size one. Given the wonderful cooling effects and the sharing of it that goes on – I’d say a steal!

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              • What are “DE’s” when they are at home? His blog has a lot of very interesting and useful information about farming practices, making cheeses etc. I think that is a steal for a cooling pad and we will be hunting to see if our local Bunnings has one when we next hit the city :).

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                • Diatamaceous Earth – it is good for pest control in the garden – internal parasites in your doggies [Itsp a day mixed into their food] Internal parasites in you 🙂 Grows strong fingernails and hair and helps keep the gut clean. He has some pretty pictures of the crystals on his blog – but it comes in powder form. It’s also good for pest control in your chookies. I sprinkled some into my compost bucket and it keeps the odour down – a magical miracle substance. Just make sure you use ‘food grade’ not the other stuff that is used for cleaning swimming pools!

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  13. What to refer to yourself as….hmm…I can so relate to this, Pauline. I’ve been processing similar identity issues since I moved to Hawaii 9 months ago (Siddy was born in early April, it seems…:) I’m having to introduce myself all the time these days, and I’m stumbling over myself, wondering what to lead with. Writer? Baker? Which has lead to pondering what roles I have played, who I really am, what parts I created to make my life work over these 58 years. My socially and emotionally brilliant older daughter said, “I remember when I didn’t have to tell about Ryan.” Ryan, the lovely gay man she dated for 3 years, until he realized his inclination and broke up with her to hook up with Matt. “When is this not going to be my story anymore?” she wondered. “It’s not what I lead with anymore.”

    I don’t have to tell about published books anymore. That was decades ago now. It was a CAREER that had the potential to let me stay home and raise kids and make money and have prestige and it worked. So why, 30 years later with all the books out of print and me not involved anymore with that world, is this identity still in place? In the 90s, I was a social worker and I downplayed my children’s book writing past, not talking about it. I was a social worker who could write. Then I was an activist (for Dennis Kucinich) and a farmer. Now I’m retired. I’m making a home off-grid in Hawaii, I say. I bake lots. Writing is for pleasure and recreation. It’s to process life and play with Keith. I was a bit confused about what I created, the interest in writing (in order to impress) or the career. Writing is an interest and an ability I’ve been attracted to all my life. I didn’t create that interest, but I’ve used it successfully.

    I know you’ve been a teacher and you’re a mother and who knows what other fascinating jobs and roles you’ve played. Your lovely paintings and crochet work are current and you are nurturing the world with them. I say call yourself an artist. In fact, lead with it. 🙂

    Hugs and much aloha as we sort out our long lives, Christi xo

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    • This is a blog post in itself Christi! Don’t we spend so much time trying to figure out who and what we are! I had a really interesting experience back in ’92. I had returned home from the UK, deathly ill and in serious emotional difficulty. I had left my girls, young women then, in the UK and that had broken my heart. I had no home, no job and was being cared for by friends. At some point I had to fill out paper work for financial assistance and the answer to everything was no – I had nothing. I was nobody. I wasn’t a wife, I wasn’t a mother, I wasn’t a teacher, I wasn’t a home owner or even a home renter. I was a nobody. I had no label to hang myself on. It precipitated a deeper crisis that eventually led to the healing experiences that led me to here. Since then I am reluctant to use labels that make me be exclusively one thing for I, like everybody, am many layered. I hate when I go to social gatherings and the first thing I’m asked is ‘So what do you do?’

      As you pointed out, since that event I have had labels again – I have enjoyed them, but am not defined by them. I do quite like the idea of being ‘an artist’ however because in my mind an artist wears a beret and lives in an attic and paints at an easel and is terribly bohemian. I quite fancy the bohemian bit 🙂

      I think you should write a post about this thing – it would be such an interesting discussion!

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments! Arohanui xoxo

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      • Thank YOU, Pauline, for your thoughtful response. You have a gift for response, offering your own experience as well as truly “hearing” the writer. 🙂 Mahalo. We are many layered, as you say. I love the poem “The Layers”, as you know, and still recite it to myself weekly. I, too, have reacted to the question “what do you do?” which means there’s something there for me to learn, eh? It’s interesting the image of artist you conjure for yourself. The bohemian beret in an attic at an easel. What is your image of a writer? Mine isn’t so positive — narcissistic, ineffectual, poor posture. Methinks I need to work on this. 🙂 As for a blog post, we’ll see. I’ve put in a request for the narrative line to the writing goddess.
        xo aloha

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  14. Love those drawings Pauline! Siddy is adorable (I whispered that because Snoopy is at my feet and would be most offended should he think I’m calling another pup adorable…). Your garden looks a treat. I’m missing my little garden at my home in Norseman. The garden in my house/home in Perth is giving me something to smile about, with beautiful Fragipanis flowering and passionfruit for my husband. We have a lot of birds here too and listening to them in the morning is a delight. Love the crochet too. I left mine home (in Norseman) so I am making little koala mittens for the poor koalas who have been burnt in our fires.
    Anyway thanks for another wonderful read 🙂 Take care x

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    • The knitting of koala mittens is something that makes my heart beam, even while I regret the cause. I imagine they are very small! Now from this comment I take it you have two homes? I shall have to get my Australian atlas out and sort out where Norseman is – I know where Perth is 🙂 I love frangipanis and passionfruit – I grew both when the girls were young and we lived in Hawkes Bay for 12 years.

      Have a great holiday Kym – [I’m assuming you are on holiday]. Glad you enjoyed the post xo

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      • Yes we have our house in Perth which is our family home and we rent a house in Norseman as that is where my husband has a job. Norseman is at the end of the Nullarbor. It’s actually a lovely spot and only 2 hrs away from Esperance, which is a beautiful spot with amazing beaches. The water is freezing though, brrr.
        I love frangipanis too they come in all sorts of colours, very pretty, and easy to create more. I’m not a fan of passionfruit, but my hubby is. I like the look of the vine and flowers though.
        We are on holidays, school holidays 🙂 as we work at the school. We have been renovating two of the bedrooms and getting the laundry ready to be revamped with a makeover so not too much slouching around this break. I have been sprucing up the garden as well. We are going home to Norseman for a break lol.

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  15. Oh my gosh Pauline! You are such a marvelous artist. Since I am relatively new to your blog I had no idea!! I love your creativity ( and you should be proud of those eyes- they are fabulous!) What a lovely post. I did spy the veggies. I do look forward to spring and planting our veggie garden. So strange to realize that you are half a world away enjoying warm weather while we are in the middle of winter here. The world is so much smaller with friends from around the world that keep us in touch. I love it! It does broaden the bubble I live in!! 😊 Love your garden photos. You are a woman of many talents.

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    • I’m working on it Jan, I think it might take me a while yet! Thank you for those words of encouragement – every time I read a comment I get a little more hopeful 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful how we shrink and unite our world through blogging – I love to see the hits from non-English speaking countries too. I think it is wonderful that someone who maybe can’t read the words, looks at the photos and gets a feeling of unity too!

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  16. I love your paintings, I love your garden, I love your creativity. 🙂 It looks like wisdom in those eyes (the close-up). It’s so wonderful to hear about and see summer on this freezing cold day here at the ranch. I’ll be dreaming of summer flowers and fresh vegetables tonight.

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    • Robin – thank you for that enthusiastic response! Isn’t it lovely to know somewhere in the world is the opposite of what we are experiencing. I hope you have a wonderful, restorative sleep!

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  17. Pauline your paintings are simply stunning! They are so ethereal and dreamy, and I love the way you combine text with your painting. Do you have an Etsy shop or somewhere where you sell the prints?

    It’s great to see your gardening blossoming too, you (and your little helper) have done wonders with the space. I love the photo of Siddy – he is absolutely adorable!

    Great work with the crochet too, I particularly like the green colours together!

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    • I’m happy you like my paintings Jem – and I really appreciate the feedback. I do have an Etsy store 🙂 It is languishing a bit from under use, but it’s there. You can find a link to it at the top of my blog under the banner. It has a few originals, prints and postcards.

      Isn’t Siddy just the bee knees! I love him to bits! I love those greens in the crochet throw also – it is going to fit a king size bed in the end so will be pretty huge! It is also nicer in person than in the photo.

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  18. Oh! Pauline. Your paintings are so beautiful. You are indeed an artist and must buy a t-shirt which says so loud and proud! The eyes on both the subjects are stunning. Then – I got to your crochet – so, so lovely. The colours in the Bavarian are striking and the round piece has a wonderful beachy feel to it. I love them both. You have been so busy. And your garden and Siddy are the icing on the cake of this gorgeous post. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it and didn’t want it to end. All the very best with your art course. xoxoxoxox

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    • Ha-ha Dani – a t-shirt! What a great idea 🙂 The Bavarian is going to fit a king bed and is for my eldest daughter – it has such a long way to go! The round blue thing is a wonderful pattern for a ‘Stevie Nicks vest’ which I am adapting for a rounder older person 🙂 If it doesn’t work out satisfactorily it will probably end it’s days as a mandala stretched over a canvas board and hung on a wall somewhere.

      Thank you for your positivity about my ability – I so appreciate it 🙂 xoxo

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  19. How lovely to wake up and read this post, Pauline! To read the words of a woman who has found great contentment in life bring a smile to my face.
    Your life is full of creativity, both in the garden and on the canvas (I adore the older version).
    Siddy is a reflection of your contentment and i’m sure the two of you bring smiles to the faces of all who are around you.
    I’m so very proud of you for taking the class and for immediately using what you’re learning; for planting and caring for the garden; but mostly for growing in contentment! Love it!

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    • I was walking around the dog park yesterday morning, watching Siddy bound enthusiastically after low flying birds and musing on the art of living joyfully. I am astounded at how very easy it is once you arrive, but how very long it took me to get here – and how aware you must be to guard it and keep it alive. I am so aware that the more content I become with what is the more ‘what is’ gives me to be content about. This is the secret of the Law of Attraction. Who knew!! 🙂

      I like that you are proud of me – that is very nice!! xoxo

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  20. Wow, I love all the beauty that you have created and the sense of joy in your post! Sweet peas are gorgeous, aren’t they? I’ve just grown my first sweet peas and I’m about to harvest the seeds for planting again in a couple of months 🙂 That’s a good tip about the petunias, I hadn’t heard that before. I’ve just planted seeds for marigolds, thyme and chives to set up a herb planter soon and will see how it all goes 🙂 Congrats on the 150!

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    • Hello, and welcome! Thank you for popping in to my tiny urban garden. There is nothing like sweet-peas to gladden the spirits! The more you pick, the more they flower so you can give them away to everyone – and the scent is delicious! Good luck with your seeds.

      One of my favourite bloggers, Robbie told me about the petunias and it has worked a treat – there is nothing on those tomatoes! You might be interested in her garden blog – she is amazing! http://palmraeurbanpotager.com/

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      • Thank you! I found you via the World Organic News and it’s great to see so many people bringing ecology back into the human world 🙂 I’m always happy to find new resources and hear wisdom 🙂

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  21. Pauline – you are such a busy bee – i am astonished at your creative output and not a little envious! Your garden as always, amazes – and we only know how tiny it is from previous descriptions but your pictures make it seem beautifully full and rambling – and those sweet peas – i love those!
    Dropping in on you is always a joy, I’ve discovered – always something lovely to see that you have created. And yes, the eyes have it. The colours in that picture are great together. Happy crafting, Pauline!

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    • Thank you Jenny:-) It’s just the perks of being retired you know. I have waited patiently for this opportunity to slow down and live each day doing things that make me happy. I am delighted that you enjoy dropping in and seeing what we have been up to. It’s the icing on the cake!

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  22. Oh Pauline you are sooooo talented! LOVE your art. Your garden is wonderful (I am overly find of sweet peas) and if it is possible Siddy is looking more and more adorable with each passing month 🙂

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    • I to adore sweet-peas. It was doubted by many that I would be able to grow them successfully in my tiny space – but they are in a tub in a corner and in a hanging basket on the fence and are flowering prolifically. Siddy is absolutely becoming more adorable every day! He’s quite special!

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      • So glad your sweet-peas are thriving 🙂 My maternal gran used to grow them in a thin streak of soil outside the kitchen window and there was always a profusion of them. I seem to recall they just wanted plenty of sunlight.

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  23. It takes as much time out of the day to answer all these comments as to write the posts. 🙂 Such a horror to have so many people that care about you don’t you think. I just posted #149 today as I only write maybe once a week. Like you, I have so much else going on and know others have other things to do than read my little blog. What bugs me is so many followers that have never read one word I have written. They follow to get you to read theirs. I write, like you for the loyal friends I have made, be they one or one dozen.

    You keep up the work on your art! Let nothing get in the way or you will regret it. A few less posts won’t hurt us. We can be patient as we see the fine results. That is some wonderful work you have done. The crochet is inspiring as well. I may have to give it a go again sometime if I ever catch up with all the other things that are on my list to do. I remember saying often “how did I find time for a job?” I feel so sorry for people that retire and don’t know what to do with themselves. That will never happen to us.

    Siddy as more handsome than ever. What a face.I’m so glad you are enjoying the warm weather. I’ll take the cold anytime but know we need to to grow beautiful gardens. Yours looks happy. As for blue hair, well, it could be fun, funky and artsy but to me it just spells maintenance. I don’t have time for my hair either. It’s getting long and I won’t spend the money on cuts or perms, which I need both of. I just plop on a purple hat and call it good. You don’t need to respond to this. Save the time and keep painting. Just click like and I know you’ve read then off you go to the good stuff.

    P.S. You ARE an artist, like it or not. Hugs

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    • Marlene, for heavens sake – you are the good stuff! If you take the time to read and comment I will never not respond – well not unless something dreadful has happened – I think it is like greeting someone, if they ignore you, that’s just plain bad manners.

      I don’t think I’ll get the blue hair either – I just like the thought that I could! I sometimes forget that I’m a mature person! Perhaps I should start gathering in some funky hats instead – Now there’s a thought!

      Siddy is a fine fellow – he is such fun! And Orlando is pretty nice also. I think I am most fortunate with my pets – I got really nice ones. I guess that makes up for the poor husband department 😀

      I have been working on the second Beacon painting today and it is almost finished – and I have to say I am really happy with it. I haven’t ever been this happy before so I’m guessing something has shifted. I think this course is really timely for me!

      Marlene I recommend crocheting. It is easy to learn, there are so many fun and inspiring blogs written by crocheters and you can make such cute things. It’s the perfect craft for a winter person!

      Hope all is going well at home and that your health is soon returned to you. Is your son with you yet? xoxo

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      • Thanks kiddo, I know you are not rude, ever. I started wearing hats when I got the Bells to keep the pain at bay on my head. My daughter thinks it’s cute but the good ones that fit well and do the trick are hard to come by. I’v almost worn out my purple hat.
        I did crochet for many years. Other creative endeavors pushed it to the back burner. I still do hand needlework but writing, reading, quilting, embroidery and so many other things have edged it out. Maybe once I’m settled I can think about it. Gave all my supplies to my grandniece. I’m at the pass it on stage.

        Your artwork is Stunning and I like where it’s going. You are a very lucky mum but I’d bet money your girls are as wonderful as your boys. No apple falls far from the tree. If you can raise good kids, you raise good pets.

        My Schatzie, Blossom and Buffy were the very best and everyone loved them, just like they loved my kids. And yes, our reward for the lousy husband department. I had 2 so I know. 🙂 Hugs my friend.

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  24. Thanks soooooo much for your garden pictures. It’s beautiful and looks to be fruitful and your Siddy is quite the cutie. A week or so ago, I was hoping you’d post on your garden (it snowed here on Tuesday and is still a beautiful world, but alas, I am a summer person). I also love your older, joyful craftsperson. She makes me smile and radiates a sense of peace and happiness. Good on ya and keep it up.

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    • I know what you mean – as beautiful as winter weather can be, summer is quite special – especially when you haven’t had one for a couple of years or more. I’m sorry I’m a bit late with the garden photos, it’s kind of cute to think of you waiting for them – you should have shot me an email! 🙂 I’ve been working more on that painting today and she is now quite different – but better I think. I’ll show her in a day or two. [Teaser 🙂 ]

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      • Ah, show your garden whenever you like! I am puzzled at the length of time it takes for tomatoes, but know nothing about your particular growing conditions. From the water barrel description (and the recent call I read for mittens for singed koalas), I’m thinking dry. They like warm nights and when its arid, the nights are cooler, but I speculate. Looking forward to seeing more paintings, garden, and creativity in general!

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  25. Pauline, even before you said that you were pleased with eyes, I kept saying to myself, “those eyes are gorgeous, Pauline is so talented”. You are an artist, please embrace this title fully. I love all the photos of your garden. I agree that you ought to pick the peas even if they are not quite ready! Sweet update on Siddy. He looks adorable in the pic posted especially for Jill. I haven’t written any posts for 2015 as yet, so you’ve got one less to read. Do enjoy your long summer days!

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    • Elaine – are you being firm with me? 😀 I just love all the support you offer to me with every post, you make me smile! Truly, you are so appreciated!

      I have indeed noticed your absence so far this year – I put it down to a very busy and demanding job and family and holidays and possibly training for another marathon…… Whatever you are doing I hope it is enjoyable and that you are appreciated for your kind and caring self! xoxo

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      • Hahahahaha! I am smiling from ear to ear here about me being firm with you😄 Generally, we tend to brush off our strengths, it’s time to embrace what we are good at doing! You are a top notch artist, my friend. Have a great weekend! I hope to attend to my blog soon.

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  26. Pingback: In Search of What I’ve Gained | insearchofitall

    • I’m not a great photographer and our official one is working at her proper job so I do what I can. I’m the same with the crochet, hence the reason it is slow growing presently. But I do like to keep my hands busy, so I’m going to make some crochet cotton dish cloths!

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  27. I love your Contented Crafter with blue hair. Please dont disapoint me now and tell me you don’t have blue hair. Because honestly if you don’t, you really should have! Gorgeous crochet and Siddy is the cutest thing ever!

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  28. Love, love, love this post. The garden pic is great. Right now I’m shoveling snow in freezing weather. The Siddy pic is adorable. Such a happy little guy! Your art work is WOW! I love it. So much artistic talent.

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    • You just made me smile too! It’s so amazing to think of you shovelling snow and snuggling beneath that huge duvet with the cat and blowing your nose because of the cat allergy while I swan about in my summer garden and sit with my feet on the puppy’s cooling mat in the evening……….

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  29. “I was so pleased with the result of this first exercise that I set myself the task of doing an older more Contented Crafter version – here she is underway, but with a LOT of work still to be done. What do you think?”

    Yes!!! You should die your hair blue! 😛

    Levity aside, your garden looks prolific, your art seems full of life, and Siddy seems happy. In sum, your 2015 seems to be off to a GRAND start. With summer temps to boot!

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  30. Beacon of Light is beauuuuuutiful Pauline, I wish I could paint half as good as you. I know how it is when other goals take priority even when you don’t intend it to, but I wish you all the best with the different things you have going on, and for the New Year. Much Love hunni, glad to hear from you 🙂 and I’m looking forward to more of your paintings, and Siddy, and that beautiful garden.

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  31. Sitting in a very cold and wet Wales your post was indeed a ray of much needed sunshine. Love the paintings good luck Anne

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  32. Pauline haven’t you been a very busy lady, all that glorious sunny weather must be working a treat ! Your garden is just bursting with colour and as for Siddy….Well Isn’t that puppy face just adorable and a tad mischievious? Your art is stunning and you should be very pleased with the eyes on your paintings as they are just so sparkling, expressive and soulful ! Have a great week xx

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    • Thank you Karen – it is a most enjoyable summer this year and it is definitely having a knock-on effect. You tagged little Siddy right – just a tad mischievious indeed! Always up for the next adventure and very keen to do the right thing too. The perfect companion! So glad to hear you like what is coming off the paint brush! 🙂

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  33. Oh Pauline…thank you, thank you! You’ve made my day, not only with your beautiful paintings and lovely garden photos, but Siddy!!!!! I might have to print that picture and frame it. That face! He is just the sweetest!
    I’m so impressed by your progress, Pauline. Of course your work was magnificent before, but you’re obviously learning so much and in such a short period of time. Keep it up!
    Enjoy the hot weather…I’m jealous! It was 8 degrees yesterday morning as I walked from the parking garage to my building.
    Thank you again for my Siddy fix! xoxo

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  34. It is absolutely thrilling to read this post and hear how incredibly happy you sound! I could respond to lots of the things you wrote (the garden!, that dog’s face!) but, really, the best part is that you’re taking the art course and doing that for YOU! I have to admit that I’ve loved your long comments on my posts and have noticed that you did the same for others, in your generous way, but I’ve really, truly wondered what that was taking away from our own work. I’m glad you’re taking some of your time back and using it to do what you love!

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    • I get up at five in order to give myself a couple of hours trundling through blogs and emails Kerry. I enjoy being able to take my time reading and interacting with my favourite blogs – but now I have to be on the road with puppy for our walk by 8 and back home and ready to work by 10 at the latest – and everything else has to get squeezed in between those activities too……. Such pressure! [Insert back of hand to brow and wilted appearance here]. It will pass and life will become more temperate again soon – a bit like you with your chocolate making time 🙂

      I feel so zingy with all this art going on – it’s great!

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  35. Well. Pauline, it’s winter here but you wouldn’t know it. Maybe we will get a summer as good as yours. Well done with the various strands of your creativity, including the writing

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    • Thank you Derrick – yes I saw in your latest post that you were walking in a snow free environment. It’s been a while since we enjoyed a good summer and it is wonderful to see how it invigorates everybody! I hadn’t thought of the writing as part of my creative rush 🙂 Thanks for pointing that out 😀

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  36. Pauline, your garden is superb. Will it make it into a painting, with gorgeous, plump, ripe tomatoes being the central feature? Hats temporarily off (and back on quickly to guard against summer sun) to you for starting a new learning project. And I would be very happy to be Siddy’s latest best friend if we ever meet. 🙂

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    • It’s good to be learning something new isn’t it – never too late and all that! Isn’t the weather spectacular! It has been eons since I enjoyed such a summer – well ten years at least! As to the painting – who knows! Anything could happen this year!

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  37. Busy is always better 🙂 I’m still working on filling my days (I don’t think that I’m doing very much, but suddenly the day is over so something is going wrong!) Love those crochet projects

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  38. I just squealed a secret “Squee!” danced a mental dance, sang and clapped my hands….she’s painting again!!! And they are so cute, just the cutest lol. Good on you, I am soooo pleased, it’s been missing 🙂 🙂 🙂 AND your garden is looking very lovely, you will enjoy those vegetables (ALL our tomatoes died this year!) and dear little Siddy is looking as handsome as ever! I am so delighted to see those cute little painted faces, I really am 🙂
    I know what you mean about not enough hours, when you are not working don’t you spend alot of time wondering how you ever managed to fit in a job?!

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    • You just made me smile 🙂 Thank you ❤ ❤ ❤ There might even eventually be some more postcards 🙂

      I haven't been this busy since I gave up teaching! I have found it amazing what happens when you have nothing but time. Suddenly my world is full of new activities and new people as well as all the old and well known things and folk! And blogging keeps us all so busy too!

      I really thought my tomatoes weren't going to fruit. I was reading about the guy who grows his around the outside of a big drum filled with water – I'm sure he said it was five weeks from planting to fruiting. I planted mine back in October, so it's been four months and now I'm wondering if they will ripen before the sun leaves my courtyard in late March. Why did yours all die?

      I'm loving painting in my new space – so much room and such a lovely, colourful space to be in – maybe that is helping the quality too!

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      • Well, I look forward to seeing what comes out of your newly redecorated space if that’s how it starts 🙂 🙂

        It’s great you have been able to fill up your days with Pauline stuff, just doing what you like.

        I saw a photo of the guy with the tomatoes around a drum but didn’t read it. Yours should be fine, we plant ours in Oct and generally don’t start picking till late Jan/early Feb. I have a little idea why they died but Roger looks at me very innocently (you know the too innocent look?) when I say anything. We have problems with pyscilid (sp) bug here and he was panicking a bit about them…I have a feeling he secretly sprayed them and went overboard. He knows I don’t like sprays so won’t admit to it!

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        • Tell Roger to plant petunias under his tomatoes next year – zero bugs! [A tip Robbie gave me!] I thought I saw a dusting of white fly briefly in late Nov or early Dec but they all disappeared really quickly and haven’t returned. My toms are so small I don’t think they will be edible for ages yet – but I might be panicking now!

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  39. I love your garden, it’s lovely! We are in winter now and it’s below freezing tonight. Still have a couple more months before Spring, but the temp is supposed to get warmer late next week. I’m happy to see photos of flowers and tomatoes, will be late May before I have those planted.

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