Catching Up in September

Well hello there – it’s been a while hasn’t it.  Two months since my last post and I’m amazed that there are still new folk following and liking and even reading – thank you so much and welcome, I’m very happy you are all here  πŸ™‚

So, please bear with and I’ll give you a quick catch-up and then it’s done and we won’t refer to it ever again.Β  And if you just want to see what I’ve been making, just scroll down past all these many words to the photos – I won’t mind at all.

Because I have to admit this past winter has been a tough one for me – you know we have times when it’s not all roses and lollipops even though there seems to be no particular reason for it being that way.Β  So it was this winter.Β  It’s not that it was particularly cold – it wasn’t. July was the warmest on record and while I don’t know yet about August, the icy Antarctic winds that hit were pretty chilly, so maybe that lowered temps overall.Β  It wasn’t particularly wet either, no flooding so far this year.Β  But it was grey, endlessly grey and I don’t do well without blue skies and sunlight.Β  I simply felt extremely tired and unmotivated.

And it was a shock when my dearest and oldest friend, an active and robustly healthy woman, was abruptly diagnosed with breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy.Β  (So far so good, she has radiation treatment beginning soon, we feel positive!)

And then there was the personal issues going on.Β  I have a heart issue, it’s nothing new I’ve had it for over twenty years and I manage it very well usually. But it gave me some problems in the lead up to my significant birthday earlier this month and for a while I doubted I was going to make it – but then I did.Β  So that was good!Β  πŸ™‚ I have an excellent homeopath and she helped me get to the root cause and cleared the path to recovery with well prescribed therapies and I got on and did my own personal therapy.Β  I had lost my last surviving sibling, my next youngest brother abruptly, five days after my last birthday.Β  I found I was still mourning him and mourning all that we had, all five of us, gone through together.Β  I was/am literally, the last one standing to bear witness.Β  I had to let it all go, it was time. So, that’s my work and I’m doing it.

On top of all this I was having ongoing issues with being online – such a first world problem!! it was I thought initially, an issue with my wireless keyboard.Β  So aged and well used the letters had all disappeared from the keys and typing was done by guesswork alone.Β  It’s connection was erratic and odd things happened when I was online so a new keyboard was purchased.Β  But the issue got worse.Β  I announced to whoever was listening in at the time that Google Chrome was about to be replaced by a more reliable search engine – and voila!Β  An announcement that an urgent update and reboot was imminent was delivered on-screen within minutes and all has been well ever since.Β  You can’t tell me there isn’t a little man living in there listening to my every wordΒ  πŸ™‚

I celebrated my seventieth birthday quietly, in the company of my delightful daughters and with welcome interactions with friends both nearby and far away.Β  It was a lovely way to spend a few days and I was quietly pleased that I had broken another immediate inherited taboo – that of living past the age of 69.Β  Onwards and upwards!

So, that’s the catch up.Β  Everything is fine and better than fine and spring is here.Β  Despite all the challenges and the lack of painting, I have sometimes mucked about with inks and pencils and stamps and dies and made some bits and bobs.Β  I even did some card designing and worked away with greater and lesser success at some Christmas cards.Β  If you have a favourite do let me know….

(PS I don’t know why I always have a shadow at the bottom of the photos – clearly I’m doing something wrong, but can’t figure out what – so once again apologies for the less than stellar photography level and if you have a tip I’d be grateful if you wanted to share it)

I started with some luggage tags.Β  I like these, they are fun and make great gifts.

I had purchased some dies and played around with them. The idea is to use my own papers as backings, only one is in use in this trial collection

Next it was time to start designing this years Christmas card. I started with not a lot of a clue – but thought the one on the left which uses a die of Santa and his favourite reindeer had potential

This came next

Swiftly followed by

Then I threw in a bit of Siddy with offerings

And finally, a couple of days ago I thought I’d better get Santa up off his butt and into the air

It’s a bit meh! but you never know where it will lead. And I have some more to show you too – but it’s been a long catch-up. So I’ll save my favourites for next time. If you stuck with me, thank you. Now, how about you, how are you? How’s things at your place, do share – and if I’ve missed anything, I hope to be popping in soon to catch up.

Oh, and just in case you need a bit of cute – here’s Siddy and his favourite reindeer wondering if anybody mentioned ‘elevenses’ ………………

And as always, thanks so much for coming by, I love that you did!

115 thoughts on “Catching Up in September

  1. Pauline dear, like others do, I checked in today to see if there’s a new post. I saw a whole lot of recent comments so writing again to reconnect with you. Why? Because I find that connecting with you gives me energy and a feeling of calmness at the same time. Coincidentally it was on the 16th of September that I’d written and now on the 16th of October.

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    • Hello dear Shubha! You were in my thoughts yesterday – I was thinking it has been a long time since you sent me something to read – and here you are anyway πŸ™‚ I am being terribly unmotivated about posting. It seems life is so busy that writing about it has become momentarily redundant. I’m sure I will get my act together soon though as my art room overhaul is almost complete and I have been wanting to get something sorted in there for months. I am so glad you stopped in to connect again, it motivates me too. I hope life goes well for you at home and work. xoxo

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  2. Popping in for your delightful catch-up. Well, as you said, it hasn’t all been lollies and I’m sorry September was a mess. My gosh, that was a frightening health scare Pauline !! I forget that you’re 70 because you seem and look so much younger to me. Our family also has heart worries and 70 is quite elusive. I hope we’ll both be around for a good while. The talent and effort you put into each card shines through. Are the stars around the moon hand drawn or texture paste through a stencil ? They’re so bright and pretty! Finally, I’m blowing a virtual kiss to rather adorable Mr Siddy. I’m so happy you and he have each other. Big Hugs Pauline xoxo k

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    • Hello again Kelly πŸ™‚ I don’t feel 70 – it’s ludicrous to even try and get my head around the thought. We keep moving the goal posts on age I think. I remember when 40 was the new 30 and so on – now I think 70 is the new 50……. and even 50 is pushing it a bit far. The stars are a die I found on Ali-Express and thought I’d try. I really don’t like dies and don’t know why I keep playing with them. I prefer either sketching or stamping – but they do give me ideas……..

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  3. So lovely to hear from you, Pauline. Sorry to hear about the hard times recently. Sometimes things just happen and good on your for staying strong. A break from the online world is good too…sometimes you just have to focus on life around you. The Christmas cards you made look so lovely. Here in Melbourne it has been a long winter. It’s still quite cold at the moment but here’s to hoping for warmer weather soon. Take care πŸ™‚

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  4. Regardless of reasons (on no reasons) we all need to break a break sometime. Hope all is well and stays well for some time for you. Simply love the top riotously colorful luggage tags. They are awesome!

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  5. Hello my dear! So happy to know you’ve made it through the rough bit with your health. That would have been very scary I should think ! I’m delighted by your Siddy cards. It really looks just like him! How amazing to find that stamp πŸ˜€
    Honestly, our summer whizzed by. I’ve been busy with work ever since Alys left. One gal left, others on summer holiday, so there were a few extra days for me. Then the projects for Paige have kept me in the craftroom too!
    How’s O ? Siddy looks adorable as always. It’s really cooled here and our leaves are getting very golden. Soon there’ll be lots of raking to do. Never a dull moment :D”
    Be well Pauline, thinking of you all with love xox K

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  6. Hi-ho, Pauline! I’ve missed you and welcome back. Your last two month’s recap is both chilling and heartwarming. So hard to let things go, how we need to keep cheering on those we love, living with the times in our life when grey is the only color going, all that and more, but then, you, resurrected and brandishing the results of some gorgeous color therapy in your wonderful cards and things, and again, all is right with the world. Thank you for making my world a brighter place. xox

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  7. I kept checking in Pauline, and now you’re back for a while – hurray! With so much going on in so many areas of your life, blogging and even creating can come last sometimes, but its good that you’ve shared these troubles in this post and you can see how appreciated this is! Plus some great crafts. I find creating can be so therapeutic and once it’s in one’s life there is no holding it back!

    I’ll stick to one thing that stood out for me and that is you being the last in your family left ‘knowing’ the past and that can be both good and bad memories. This is something I’ve been realising for myself in the last few weeks as my mother has had some health issues going on. Though she is fine for now, it suddenly occured to me that since my sister is three years younger than me and doesn’t remember my mum’s parents at all, or my mum’s lovely sister who died when she was 49, then when its mum’s time to pass, I will be the only one left remembering. There is no one else left living. And it is a strange feeling. Of course, I may well draw upon these real life characters in my writing, and have already done so in the case of my auntie, but it is a stark fact that so much time has passed…and so many ‘characters’ have moved on, it is daunting feeling, but at the same time a liberating one.

    I’ll end with wishing you a belated, but very happy birthday. Words fail me, Pauline, so I’ll leave it there, exept to say here’s to some sunshine to brighten spirits with light and life.
    All the best to you!

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    • Ah, thank you for this Lynne, I see you ‘get’ the feeling I think I described simply as ‘odd’ about being the last one standing. Daunting is a good word, also lonely in this case. I felt a great wave of anger surge through me when my last sibling passed. I’m not a person who experiences waves of anger any more so it took me by surprise. Our childhood was a troubled one and in our last conversation my brother observed that none of the five except me had gotten out alive literally or figuratively. He had a point – and the only reason I ‘got out alive’ I believe, was due to an NDE I had as a very young child. And so it goes. This is by way of explanation for my remark about knowing the past. I’m the only one now who really knows why my siblings were the way they were, why their lives were as they were and what they endured. Clearly I’m not ready to let that go yet. However, I am in myself well and back in balance and am grateful for that. The days are warmer and brighter and the light lasts longer and that is wonderful. Thank you for coming by and leaving your thoughtful comment Lynne and I hope you get many opportunities to celebrate the lives of your passed relatives in your writing.

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      • Thank you for explaining further, Pauline. This is complex stuff indeed, I can’t begin to understand or relate, so I won’t try. But you are a wonderful person and that at least has come through in your survival and a family of your own I’m sure you are very proud of. Blessings to you and your family (and I hardly ever say something like this, so not said lighty)
        XX

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        • Thank you Lynne, I so appreciate your thoughtful words again. πŸ™‚ I probably blurted too much – the past is the past and while I prefer to leave it there but it has been in mind of late. Having said that I’ll also say I am incredibly grateful for this odd journey and all the gifts I have received as a consequence of it. It’s certainly been an interesting ride πŸ™‚

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  8. Pauline, thank you for sharing your reflections on life, death, family and the importance of connections. You’ve created such a wonderful family of your own. How I wish you could have been raised with that same love and kindness. I can’t imagine how strange it must be to outlive all of one’s siblings. My heart goes to you. You are such a kind soul. I’m happy you’re in my life.

    I’m sorry about your heat, both physically and emotionally. It’s been a lot to carry. I’m glad you’ve weathered your long winter and can now breathe in the early days of spring, longer days, and the light that comes with spring and summer and for you, Christmas.

    I feel lucky to have had an early preview of your cards. I find them all unique and beautiful For me design is often closely tied to color. That said, I love the blues and purples, simply because they speak to me.

    Your luggage tags are a delight and get this, I have the same bird collection on my desk! I used one or two for bookmarks awhile back. They’re charming and uplifting.

    I love seeing Siddy reflected in your art and your photos and I’m always enamored by your green sheer drape.

    Sending love to you and to your dear friend. xo

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    • Isn’t that a fun collection of quirky birds Alys – I love to work with them as they make anything they go on look cheerful. I have a plan to put some on this next
      upcoming round of book marks. Siddy likes that sheer curtain too – he is often to be found wrapped in it – perhaps he thinks he looks becoming in green πŸ™‚ I popped the last of the previous load of book marks into a package for your library and sent it off yesterday, it should make it by the time your significant birthday rolls round πŸ™‚ Thanks for your gentle reflections on this post. they are always so much appreciated. xoxo

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  9. I’m awfully happy to see you back–we worry, don’t you know, when you’re not here in your supportive, calm, and loving way! It does sound like quite the rough patch you’ve been through and I’m glad you shared it–it reminds the rest of us that it’s okay not to always stick to the public persona we have established in our blogs. Turning toward your artwork must’ve been a relief and looking ahead to the holidays is a good way to lift spirits, too. I think the cards are wonderful and I, for one, like the cat! Tell sweet Siddy to give his mama some extra love, on the behalf of all of us!

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    • Ha, well, I didn’t mention it because, you know – this was all about me – that both Siddy and O were very lovely the whole time I was off with my health. They watched over me like a pair of slightly myopic mama ducks. O did a lot of cuddling or sitting beside and holding onto me and purring to help bring me back into balance and Siddy – who being a pup isn’t that good at actual cuddling – did a lot of leaning and smiling encouragingly. He also kept me entertained with many games of fetch and exhibitions of his great hunting and bringing down of wayward soft toys skills. Everyday had at least a chuckle! πŸ™‚

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  10. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Pauline, and doing the important work of staying healthy, emotionally and physically. This year has been a challenge for me too, for different reasons but I’m glad it’s coming to an end. My heart is with you, my friend. Keep up the good work. And keep up the artwork – I love the Santa and Reindeer cards.

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  11. A very happy birthday dearest Pauline…..I’ll only say this…should you ever wish to come across the Tasman, we would be thrilled….our street is one of the prettiest in the suburb and my cooking is the best, even if I say so myself!! Wait there’s more….Peanut the Groodle would love to play with you…All my love to you

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  12. I am so happy to see you here, Pauline. I know what you are talking about. The heart condition on its own can cause the malaise but then you add the dreary winter to it and being solar-powered, I’m surprised you’ve done as much as you have. I fought that malaise for months during the summer. I could barely move about. Love the photo of Siddy with his reindeer! He is adorable as is the rendering of him with presents. I love the one with green package and yellow pot. You did a great job of drawing his likeness. Every time I think you have completely outdone yourself, You do it again. Santa on his but with Rudolf enjoying the celestial view is priceless. You should sell a million of them. I also love those with lace. I’m a lacey kinda girl. I’m thinking the energy in and around our world has affected us all in unique ways. I’m glad you chose to have another birthday. Now you can catch up with me. πŸ™‚ Getting old is only for the brave. I know you are up to the challenge, Losing the last of your family is so hard but your mindset is different and so here you still are. I hope we do it many more years. Sending love and hugs, my friend.

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    • Hello dear Marlene, lovely to hear from you. ‘Getting old is only for the brave’ made me chuckle. I wonder when do we feel old? It seems to me I feel beyond age – ageless perhaps. The body changes and alters and ages, but the spirit seems indomitable and just grows – neither older or younger – just grows. Such an odd thing. I think I quite like being considered ‘old’ and am giving serious thought to becoming one of those dotty old ladies who hit the hoods of cars with their handbags whilst declaring “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” I may as well have a good time while I’m growing ancient. I hope we’ll both keep going until we don’t want to any more. All we know is there is less ahead than there is behind, so we may as well enjoy as much of it as possible. I hope you will feel revived with the cooler autumnal weather coming and find something in every day to make you laugh that special belly shaking laugh that revives us all. xoxo

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      • You always supply a good belly laugh, Pauline. Smacking car hoods and yelling at drivers!! I never thought of that one, πŸ˜‰ I do find something to laugh about every day.My son is always good for a side splitter, often at his expense. It’s the rule of life, if you can’t laugh at it, your done. I’m in no hurry to transition and plan to milk every day for all its worth. We have had rain all day so I get to sit here and travel the world. Cheap tickets. πŸ™‚ I am so ready for the cool. Heat drains me like someone pulled the plug and let out all my juice. Now it’s the temperature I would have liked to set my AC on all summer but could not afford to pay the electric bill. I know exactly what you are talking about. The body grows old but not the essence of who we are. We just expand. Perfect description. Sending love and hugs.

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  13. Hugs to you, Pauline, and Happy Birthday. Thank you for the beautiful post, and I am glad you are feeling sunnier.

    Bad anniversaries are tough – they sneak up on you just as you think you have got the better of the situation. And a friend like you will certainly feel the pain of another’s scary diagnosis. I am glad your own health issues have settled.And it all came in dreary winter! No wonder your creative fire dimmed.

    I didn’t read any card preferences so I wouldn’t be influenced, so forgive me if i repeat what others have said. The luggage tags are perfection – every one of them. I thought the cat Christmas card would have been cool if she was looking up at Santa and his reindeers in the sky. I liked the last santa/reindeer card the best (the purple -sparkly one) and maybe would have liked it even better if “Believe in the magic of Christmas” was at the bottom instead of the grass. Siddy and the presents – also both perfection. And that last card is, indeed, showing the potential of magic.

    Siddy pictures always make me smile, as do posts by Pauline. ❀

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    • You are a generous friend of this blog Jodie ❀ I appreciate your thoughtful feedback on the work displayed and really want to carry out your final suggestion re the last Christmas card – I'll have a go tomorrow πŸ™‚ The luggage tags are such fun to make and one of my favourite activities when I'm warming up in the craft room. Thanks for coming by and for your lovely comments xoxo

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      • Oh, yay! So glad you liked that card suggestion. Interesting that your luggage tags are a “warming up” exercise. I have thought about creativity a great deal & many disciplines benefit from a “warming up.” Some writers read poetry before beginning to write. I will usually do my ironing before I begin to sew on a quilt or other creative project. It’s a mystery where the muse comes from, and I guess we all have our little ways to encourage him.

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  14. Happy birthday, Pauline, and welcome back. I’m sorry you’ve had a rough go of it over the winter. Thank you for sharing that. It’s not all happy and bright, is it? Your cards are so lovely. And magical. πŸ™‚

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  15. So glad to hear from you. So sorry about your illness and difficult times. Hopefully you have a long road in front of you filled with only good things. The Christmas cards are delightful. I especially like Santa and his favorite reindeer. I also adore the Christmas presents with the doggie (Siddy perhaps?) peeking around the corner. Congratulations on you birthday. The picture of Siddy with his favorite reindeer is, as always, down right adorable. I too have ben missing from the blog world due to rotten circumstances beyond my control. But I need to get back to it before Yarn Rascal takes over the blogging task. Heaven only knows what he’d write.

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    • Sometimes I wonder why we disappear when the going gets tough. Sometimes sharing even a little buoys us up and helps us get on I think – that’s been my experience any way. We are never alone in our trials! Hope your circumstances are easing enough to allow you a wee post or two soon. And also hoping your own health is stable and your parents are doing okay…….i know it’s been a hard time for you xo

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  16. Catching up onWordpress in the airport and read your post again. I’m glad you said what you did. We all try to be cheerful for our readers, but we can speak honestly about the bad stuff as well. I’m glad you are back in balance.we will talk soon

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  17. Hello. When I saw you;’d posted, I went and got a cuppa to share with you. So sorry to hear you’ve had such a difficult time of late and hoping too that this winter is passed and your ‘picking up continues. Sending much love and healing vibrations your way.
    Thank you – as always – for sharing your art. Your luggage tags are fab. I also love the cat card that you didn’t choose to progress – although I agree, not right for Christmas. Look forward to seeing your favourites.
    Always great to see Siddy, of course. Give him a big hug from me and a manly paw shake from Harry.
    Belated Happy Birthday too! xx

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    • Gee, I’m sorry my news wasn’t more upbeat then – but I’m tickled that you got the cuppa going. Harry has progressed to manly paw shakes instead of wild exuberant bounding already? Siddy nearly got run over a couple of days ago because he saw somebody he thought he ought to get to know walking on the other side of the street and without a pause button in his tiny brain off he went…. Luckily it was an alert taxi driver who had correctly read the situation before I got my head out of the letter box and stood on his brakes. Siddy greeted the man, turned around and ran straight back again – all road rules completely forgotten.
      He needs a manly paw shake now and again!

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      • Don’t be sorry, when you have a cuppa with a friend it’s about listening to what they have to say upbeat or not. Actually appreciate you sharing, I tend to hide when things are wrong then just get vague – not that I don’t want to share, I just often don’t have the energy because by then I’ve moved on and don’t want to go back there, which I think is a bit the way you felt too.
        Don’t panic, Harry still has plenty of wild moments. So glad Siddy didn’t get squished – they certainly know how to worry us. Certainly sounds like he needs a shake of some sort πŸ˜‰ But just a gentle one xx

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        • You are exactly right about the moving on. I’m one of those folk who pick myself up, shake myself off and walk on. Not always the best life trait to have, but when it’s personal angst it really is healthy πŸ™‚ Siddy is well into his sixth year and I am beginning to think he will never overcome the impulse to greet people. I can get him to stop as long as I catch him before the movement impulse has started. This means I have a split second from ears up, head forward and GO! If his GO and my STOP coincide he is deaf. It’s only a problem when I am collecting the mail and there is someone walking on the other side of the street. Perhaps I should just be more vigilant – or he may have to be left back behind the gate!

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  18. I am so sorry about your health problems. And your friend, but glad things are turning around for her. It makes me sad to think of all you are going through. Sending healing vibes from my hands to your heart.
    The images are all so beautiful. My favorites are the luggage tags and, of course, sweet Siddy! XOXO

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    • Please don’t be sad. It’s all part of living isn’t it – and the only alternative is that we aren’t……. I am completely back in balance already, and, as I just explained to Cheryl in the previous comment, I had contemplated not saying anything but felt so connected to you all that an explanation for my absence felt necessary. Crazy huh!! Now I do want to say to you that I simply LOVE your new avatar – it makes me smile!! I want to think of you living every day in so much joy just like that instant caught on camera. I’d like to think of me living that way too πŸ˜€ I also very much appreciate the hand vibes for my heart – that was how my ‘natural bypass’ happened twenty years ago. Now that’s a story!! xoxo

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  19. First first first FIRST: Happy Birthday!! Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate to me. I am so happy to catch up with you, Pauline. It’s been a long minute. I will say I feel and understand everything that you wrote: the health issues, the grey skies, grieving a loss, and supporting a friend. Life is so filled with a variety of good and bad and (sometimes) neutral things. I guess that’s all part of being human. And it’s not always easy–rarely is easy. I hope you are feeling better. My favorite card is Santa flying through the skies–MAGIC. It’s getting to be that time again. And I am ready for cooler temperatures. Siddy is adorable as always. May you be happy and healthy, friend. x

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    • Ah, dear Cheryl ❀ Perfectly said. thank you. I am feeling better – I hesitated to write this post as I was already feeling so much better and had experienced myself as moving on from all the old oi vay feelings…. But sometimes there is also a need to explain one's absence and settle back in for another round of blogging perhaps. It's odd this feeling of connection with folk we have never met isn't it. This is our street corner, or back fence, where we catch up. I often begin work on my Christmas cards at this time of year – it takes me a while to find my way into the season and find the right images I want to play with and develop, The process usually ends up with a pile of cards and bookmarks that can be given as gifts in three more months πŸ™‚ No paper wasted in this craft room πŸ™‚

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  20. Pauline, it’s great to hear from you and to learn that you’ve survived the tsunami that swept you off your feet. Congrats on pushing through the storm into your seventies!

    From what you say, your tough days are not yet over as your dearest and oldest friend must now battle with cancer. Radiation treatment is brutal to our bodies. Know that I’ll be praying for you both during this challenging time.

    Your art work is always refreshing. Take care, my friend ❀

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    • Thank you Rosaliene! I was personally pleased that my friend decided to forego the chemo and radiation being more localised, is somewhat less brutal overall…… But yes, it will be a trying time for her and all of us, she has a strong community standing vigil with her and your prayers will add in to that. Thank you!

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  21. I hope spring brings you the needed sunshine to all aspects of your life, Pauline. What a joy/relief to defy heredity and make your 70th birthday. And the universe listening to your keyboard requirements, too! I think these are all good and welcome signs for the next chapter of your life adventure. Onward!

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  22. Belated Happy Birthday! Glad to know you are feeling much better. It has been a very meh winter. I was just starting to recover from it. Then last week I went down with another cold. Grrrr. I love the luggage labels and, of course, Siddy’s Christmas cards stole my heart. Sending you lots of healing and good feelings, and maybe some sunshine if I can find any (another wet weekend starting here).

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    • Thank you dear Gallivanta. Blue skies have returned here – mostly. The rain has also been kinder in the last couple of weeks, coming mostly at night and clearing during the day. Immediately the blue returns and the sun shines into my home again I feel better – it is purely a grey sky malady I suffer with and I know I can wait it out. I don’t get colds or flu either and I’m sorry you are plagued with a series of colds – I see how it affects some of my friends and it just adds to the misery of winter doesn’t it. Thank heavens the daffodils and spring blossom are out now, it won’t be long and we’ll be complaining about the heat πŸ˜€

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  23. Thank you so much for this, Pauline. With all that you have been through I am even more grateful for your continuing perceptive comments on my posts. As you know I enjoy your cards.
    As for the shadows – do you mean at the bottom of your photos on your draft? If so, I have the same issue, but they disappear from the published post – as yours have done. XX

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  24. So good to see you back Pauline, I’ve missed your smiley face 😊 not to mention that little furry guy 🐢
    My Mum was the eldest of five siblings and she had been the last one standing for the last twelve years of her life which must have seemed very strange indeed especially as the youngest, her sister, was ten years younger than her.
    My favourite Santa card is the one in the large photo – I just love those colours and the Siddy on the right is my favourite as I prefer his eyes in that one. The gift tags are really good too.

    Regarding your ‘keyboard experience’, I just read a friend’s post on FB yesterday (on one of my rare visits there) saying her daughter asked her husband whether he was using his telescope. It was a private conversation – no internet searches going on or anything – but five minutes later her daughter got an advert on her phone for telescopes. 😱
    I’m so sorry to hear you have had such a hideous time of it this year but am pleased you have come out of the other side of the tunnel and you have passed your personal age milestone and have your lovely daughters – and SIddy of course – to cheer you up and encourage you.
    x❀x

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    • Ha-ha! Yes, re those listening ears – it has happened to me too often to be coincidence – though I did read an article claiming these offers were based purely on our personal algorithms of searches and interests and so on – but when it’s something you are just idly chatting about and have never actually looked for? I do rather like the idea of becoming a raving conspiracy theorist πŸ˜€ I kind of feel free to go for the ‘old and dotty’ label now. Thank you for your encouragement, it is appreciated. Blue skies have returned in the past week or two and I am back in balance again.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Nice to see you back again, Pauline. I’m sorry you’ve had a bit of a stoney old winter. Hopefully, things will improve now spring has come. You’ve had a few things to contend with — your own health and that of your friend. I wish you both better days ahead. Congratulations on starting the family trend of making it past 69. That’s good news for your daughters too. It must be very lonely being the last one standing, though. It’s difficult to lose siblings.
    As always, I love your artwork. The luggage tags are delightful and would look fantastic on leather. I can’t believe it’s time to get ready for Christmas. This year just seems to be slipping out from under me. I like all your cards, but perhaps the more colourful one with “Believe in the magic of Christmas” on the side, just a little more. The ones with Siddy are very cute. I prefer the lighter of the two but if I saw them separately, I’d say they are both wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful artwork — always a sight for sore eyes. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Norah, I so appreciate your thoughtful comments on your preferences – I find that quite inspirational! I’m now trialling an idea of a silhouette of Siddy and Orlando sitting side by side ala the Santa and Rudolf card – we’ll see if that goes anywhere ….. πŸ˜€ You are perspicacious! You picked up on one of my main reasons for wanting to break the old pattern – it gives my daughters full permission to envisage a long and healthy life for themselves too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like the idea of Siddy and Orlando silhouettes. I think that would be very cute, and very personalised to you.
        Yes, your daughters are lucky to have you and your promise of a longer healthier life. Cheers and good health to all of you!

        Liked by 1 person

  26. I am glad you have turned a corner with the turning of the year. I feel for you and the loss of your brother, and understand how that will have knocked you sideways. I lost my brother in June, he was only 63 and younger than me, so I have lost Mum and him within 6 months of each other and I feel rather adrift, being the last one standing.
    It’s great that Christmas card making has got you going again. I love the images of Father Christmas and his reindeer.
    Happy Birthday, good that you have daughters to celebrate with.
    Onwards and upwards. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I understand how life gets knocked awry at times. I am sorry that it has been such a difficult winter for you, but as you know the sun will shine and the skies will be blue! Your birthday celebrations sound perfect, and I am sure your brothers and sisters were there with you too. 😘
    The last few month in my life have also gone in unexpected directions, but I am gradually getting my creative time back. Your luggage tags made me smile, and the Siddy cards are a delight.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Sometimes you just need some down time, or there’s nothing much to talk about, or you’re simply in the middle of things. We’ve stuck with you because it’s worth it! Personally, it’s the lack of deadline projects which has sparked a new wave of feeling creative for me, and I have a stack of pretty fabric on my cutting table, waiting for the latest quilt to be done so I can dive in!

    Liked by 1 person

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