Inky Doodle Note-Cards, the Winner

Thank you to all my friends who commented and did the poll thingy on the last post.  Of the fifteen who voted, fourteen went for option 1: no envelopes.  It was a low voter turn-out, but given the way voting has gone globally recently, who wants to vote any more?

Alys, in a private email, persuaded me to offer an ‘envelopes included’ option in my shop for those countries who have  a different measuring system to the one I use.  So that remains an option in the shop along with the no-envelope option.  They are up, you can see them here.

However, in my next post I shall show you how to make a custom fit envelope for those odd shaped cards we sometimes end up with and wish to send.  It’s easy and gives you the opportunity to make your card, or letter, or any odd thing you wish to send, entirely original and you maybe won’t have to purchase another envelope, ever!

So, I carefully wrote out all your names, cut them into neat little slices ……

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…….and threw them into my favourite coffee cup – emptied of coffee I hasten to assure you and newly washed and dried…..

The cup was shaken, vigorously, but not stirred and then I hooked one piece of paper and tried my best to photograph the action simultaneously

 

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Sometimes a third hand would be very – er – handy!!

Congrats to the inestimable author Geoff who blogs at TanGental.  A pack of note cards will be winging its way to you as soon as your preference is known and your address too please.  Also everyone else – do pop over and read his latest offering  You’ll be hooked!  😀

Here’s a pic of Siddy and his newest friend whispering secrets into his ear at the dog park

siddy-meets-spook-18-2-17

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

 

 

A Gift, A Shop and A Give-Away

I’m feeling particularly pleased with myself.  I made a new Light Catcher; my first one in hues of yellow.  It is so pretty, like a little ray of sunshine.  And it’s a gift and is just awaiting the final touches before being sent  away to the recipient.

(The yellow colour in the background is more accurate than the subdued colour in the circles – yellow is hard to photograph apparently.)

Click twice to biggify

Yellow

And, still on the subject of feeling particularly pleased with myself, I made a new page for my blog, it’s there sitting on the black bar beneath the heading picture, can you see it?

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It’s called ‘The Contented Crafter’s Gift Shop’ and it lists all my creative work in the various formats that are available for sale or on commission.  I know several of you have been asking and waiting and – well – here it is at last with apologies for the delay.

Logo Image

The shop page also has links to two other sites where some friends sell their particularly fine wares. Just in case you are looking and need inspiration…….   I had this idea of a global support network that may or may not have merit.  This is its small beginning.

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Now if you wouldn’t mind, and if you have the time [I know how busy you are!] I would so appreciate you taking a few moments to look and to comment with your feedback – particularly about layout, quality of photos etc; about ease of understanding the different headings or not, anything that needs fine tuning, anything that does or doesn’t appeal, make sense or offends or delights you I would really like to know about.  What do you think about linking to other sites?  Would you look?  Did you look?

As a thank you, your name will go in the draw* for a Single Strand Light-Catcher.  The winner can choose one of these:

Blue GiveawayPink Giveaway

The blue single strand light-catcher is made with large blue *chrysacolla rounds interspersed with graded blue glass square beads from which hangs a 40 mm AAA crystal sphere.  Smaller crystals and beads hang randomly from the silver chain along with a few charms.  Catcher measures approx 50 cm long.

*’Chrysacolla purifies the environment and can work to eliminate negativity within a person. It imparts an energy conducive to stabilising the environment and rebuilding relationships’.                     Love Is In The Earth~A Kaleidoscope of Crystals

The pink light-catcher is a 40 mm AAA faceted crystal sphere hanging from a run of acrylic heart beads and very pretty white ceramic beads painted with pink flowers.  A variety of clear and coloured beads,faceted crystals and charms makes up the remainder of the main and subsidiary chains.  This catcher measures  approx 60 cm long.

*the draw:  is conducted randomly with the aid of my favourite coffee cup, strips of paper with names written on them, a vigorous shaking procedure followed by a tipping motion and the randomly placed paw of one Orlando King, the worlds best marmalade cat.  [Siddy isn’t allowed to take part, in the practise run, he ate the pieces of paper.]

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The draw will take place New Zealand time:  5pm  Wednesday 12th August 2015

Any comments placed after that time will not be eligible for the giveaway.

In advance, let me thank you for your interest, for your support and for your feedback. it is as valued as you are!

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

 

 

Contented Crafter Organisers – Are You Ready For A Give-Away?

It has been more than ten days since my last post and STILL the organisers are not quite ready for the give-away………….  nearly, just not quite there yet.  However to whet your appetite [and to see if I can raise even a modicum of interest after all these months of delay and prevarication] and because there are a number of new readers popping in and I need to be a nice hostess and show something………. here is a wee look at where we are at.

I am making three different covers using postcard sized prints of these paintings:

BeAButterfly1

Smallest Things1a

 

A Gardener [c]

and there will also be a fourth featuring this painting, postcards are being made as I write this

Choose Joy Best

(And PS:- This large, original mixed media painting has just gone into my Etsy Shop – there will never be any prints available of this painting, just some postcards)

The organisers are entirely hand created by me using hardboard, grunge paper, notebooks, printed paper and paints, modelling paste and gel medium. They are finished with charms and beads and ribbon because I like a little bling in my life and these books are supposed to be useful, fun and pretty too!

Because they are hand made there are imperfections in every one and every organiser is unique.  They come with blank tags so you can label them however you wish and they are designed to be reusable.  When a section is used or no longer of use all you need to do is purchase another notebook from your local stationer, preferably at sale price 🙂 and slide it carefully into place under the elastic.  Personally I would remove the cover of the notebook, but you don’t have to.

Here’s a peek at where we are:

giveaway3

As Meatloaf should have sung, three out of four ain’t bad!

Please forgive the quality of the photos – winter has arrived with a stark bang these past two days and it is dark and gloomy and snowing and windy and sleety and we are not amused!

Luckily we have this to keep us warm, thanks to the remarkable Dani’s tutorial

Bavarian Rug

It is almost finished – just another three rounds to go I think – maybe four – it depends how the yarn holds out.  Here is Orlando at 8 am this morning

Snow2May14

“Whatcha doing Mumma?”

Snow1May14

But I digress – back to the  BIG GIVE-AWAY!!

To enter this is what you have to do:

*Follow on the Contented Crafter Facebook page

*Leave a comment here – every comment gets an entry.  Multiple comments=multiple entries

See how simple I make it?  I learnt this from Dani over at Teddy and Tottie   Every Facebook ‘follow’ [I know if you already do, so that gets you an automatic entry] and every comment here gets one entry into the coffee mug.  I should like my coffee mug to be full to the brim this time please.  This is what it looked like for the last giveaway:

Draw3

That’s a bit sad don’t you think?

The winner gets to choose which cover they would like from the four possibilities.

The giveaway will close on the 31st May at 8 pm my time – so go on chat away amongst yourselves in the comments section – or even to me if you like and don’t forget that facebook page – it doesn’t have many likes yet and I should like to get it up a bit…… Ooooh, a new idea: If you introduce a friend to fb or the blog, and they tell me you sent them you will both get another entry 🙂

Now, note to self, better get on and finish those organisers!   Next I might even get around to doing a new painting!

I’ll leave you with this wee gem taken just a week ago by the lovely YD:

Bubbles2 by DJK

Ah, memories!

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

Happy New Year Give-Away Winner

The coffee cup was emptied.  Washed.  Dried.  Refilled with names on paper strips.  And the winner of our latest giveaway – sponsored entirely by our Anonymous Lovely Person is

Alys over at Gardening Nirvana.

Congratulations Alys, at your leisure do have a scramble through the Etsy Store, make your choice and contact me [details on ‘Contact Me’ page]  🙂

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I just want to take a moment to reflect on being the recipient of unexpected gifts.

I think that life gives us gifts all the time, but often it is not really appreciated – I know for me this is absolutely true.  It has taken me a life time to move to a place where I am aware, am open, am accepting and choose to practise acceptance of what is on a daily basis.  To see life as a gift rather than a chore……  and to realise that what I want may not be actually on the list of things I need or can have.

I have some days when I say to myself, I’m not getting out of bed until I feel grateful for something – anything.  Some days I stay a longer time in bed than I should 😉

And I know each day is made up friendly asides, fortuitous events and serendipitous meetings.  I know there are countless occasions when disaster has been narrowly avoided and even more countless occasions when a smile or friendly word has made someones day better.

Yet when, out of the blue, someone does something genuinely kind, caring and generous for me I am utterly blown away – I feel a ‘yes’ move through me like a soft breeze of awakening, my heart opens and expands beyond my physical body, my lips curve in a smile, first of astonishment and then of joy.  I feel a sense of wonder and elation.  It settles and I feel a gentle ‘wow’ that fills my body.  I notice that the negative voice becomes still.

I have paid attention to my physical and emotional response to this gift.  I wonder if it is the same for you all?

I have always been the person who gave and this is the first time I have been given to – in this particular manner.  It has made me really aware of what an amazing thing it is to receive an unexpected gift.

My dear anonymous donor did far more for me than make this give-away possible – it has been a really lovely experience!  Thank you xoxo

Happy New Year and A Give-Away To Start Us Off!

January 1st 2014.

This cannot be – I think 1994 was just a couple of years back – who turned up the speed?

I finished yesterday with quiet introspection.

On a day to day basis it seems as if nothing much happens or changes and life just ticks along. If I want to get maudlin I could say none of my wishes have come to pass.  But when I took a moment to step out of the forest in order to see the trees I saw a quite different vista.

I see that all my daily needs are easily met.  I see that I have all I need and even some of what I want.  I see I can meet my expenses every month.  I see my friends and family. I see my neighbours.  I see I started blogging.  I see a community that has grown from that first unremembered step.  I see I started painting again.  I see I opened an Etsy Shop.  I see I wrote 100 posts.  I see I had a lot of fun.  I see new laughter lines.  I see that I love.  I see that I am loved.  

I see a vast landscape of serendipitous meetings, events and inspirations.  And I remember to trust that no matter what I think I want, my life is happening even – as John Lennon said – while I am busy making other plans.

I  see and I remember that I am a most fortunate person!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday

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125 10.5 x 14 cm super shiny postcard sized prints from the good guys over at Vistaprint.

I ordered sticky back labels and business cards from them early in December and they arrived the day before we went off on our jaunt through Central Otago to Queenstown.  [Click here for that post]  I was really happy with the quality and the price.  These postcards were an add on at a hugely reduced price and with free postage as a thank you for my order.  At the time I thought why not – may as well give it a go – and it is absolutely a WOW!

The postcard size cuts off a bit of the original painting, which was purchased by the sweet Alys over at Gardening Nirvana on the day I opened my Etsy Store – which kind of made my year really – but I think she still looks kind of neat  🙂

I’ll be sending some of these out as freebies with every order I think.  And I’ll get the others made up this way too – who knew my paintings could look so great?  Tra-lu, Tra-lay, Oh happy day!  🙂

[NB:- It appears I’m giving up modesty for 2014]

Now lets get on with the business at hand.

The first Give Away for 2014

is a signed print of your choice from my Etsy Shop.

Now should you be a person who ticks one or any or all of the following:

  1. A person who likes whimsical art
  2. A person in need of something to put on their wall
  3. A person who forgot to buy a gift for a female friend/relative recently
  4. A person with a gift needed for a female friend/relative soon
  5. A person who likes free stuff
  6. A person who supports my attempts to become an artist
  7. A person who has previously won a give-away before
  8. A bloke

………..then please feel free to enter into this New Year Giveaway – entirely sponsored by an anonymous, generous, kind, loving, thoughtful, patron of a would-be artist and

  • Hit the ‘Like’ button on the Contented Crafter Page on FaceBook
  • Hit the ‘Follow’ button on the Contented Crafter Blog
  • Hit the ‘Leave A Comment’ on this post and leave a comment

If you already ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ I know – and I love you for it, just leave a comment.

If you don’t ‘do’ FaceBook, I absolutely understand, just mention that fact in your comment.

If you have stumbled onto this post through my cunning ploy of naming and tagging ‘Give Away’ and ‘Free Stuff’ go check out my Etsy Shop The Contented Crafter for a full list of the prints you could choose from should your name be drawn.

That’s it folks.  You have until midnight on Twelfth Night – 6th January – and the draw will be made the following morning.  We shall continue the age old tradition of my coffee mug, having emptied it’s early morning contents of delicious hot coffee into my eager being, becoming the receptacle for your various names.  I’m hoping the coffee cup will be full and the ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’ will therefore be quadrupled………..Ah well , we must have a dream for it to come true 🙂

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

Double Celebrations and a Holiday Retrospective

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and magical and inspiring holiday!

I certainly am – not only did I have the first holiday break in four years with both my daughters at the same time, closely followed by being extremely spoiled on Christmas Day [hint: I’m writing on it now 🙂 ] but also something really amazingly generous and wonderful and quite magical has happened for me, my readers and The Contented Crafter Blog altogether!

A few days before Christmas I received a sale notification from my Etsy Store and a wee note which said in part  Pauline, please don’t send this to me; I want you to use it for a give-away in the New Year………

You may well imagine, I was totally overwhelmed.  If I hadn’t already been sitting I would have sat – splat!  The donor has asked to remain anonymous and I [reluctantly] respect that.  Here is what is written on the Contented Crafter FB Page 

‘I am donating one of Pauline’s inspiring prints for her to use as a give-away. I’m choosing to remain anonymous because this is about her and her lovely work, not about me. I rarely give money to large institutions, but like to use a wee part of my income to support a variety of efforts that come to my attention. I love supporting people who are artistic, alternative, creative and more. Anyone making a positive change in this world deserves support. I hope all her readers and followers will enter to win this lovely prize. Good luck, everyone!’

Isn’t this the most amazingly unexpected, wonderfully kind and generous and Christmassy Spirited thing?  It’s like we have our very own Christmas Fairy!!

paulinekingblog.wordpress.com

paulinekingblog.wordpress.com

So we get another give-away 🙂  Which makes me happy – and you too I hope and one lucky person will get to choose a print, and I hope they will be happy too!

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And – as I discovered as I began this post – this is my 100th post – so, double celebrations!!  I’ve been blogging for a full 10 months already and so much has happened – not least the amazing people I have stumbled upon, so many of whom have become new friends 🙂

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We went to Queenstown to celebrate YD’s mumbley-mumble birthday.  It has to be said she is now older than I think I am.  Perhaps the Time Lord has been zipping around in his Tardis and completely destroyed linear time in favour of concurrent and eternal time [?]

Any-hoo…. it was a chilly morning when we set off with me as official back seat driver and the two lovelies up front

OnTheRoad1

Our road trip took us through some pretty amazing scenery and some of New Zealand’s early history too.  If you travel this route you will soon become familiar with the beginnings of European Settlement in this country.  Rich with gold, the hills are high and rocky.  Schist is piled precariously atop schist and always makes me think of some wild and ancient god such as Thor, haphazardly throwing rocks about.  The scenery will remind you of Greece, of Tuscany, of England – all in the space of five minutes.  The lakes are huge, one is man-made and a village was drowned to make it – and the colour is spectacular –  aqua waters shine out against stark brown hills..

It’s wild, it’s barren, it’s breathtakingly beautiful!

First stop was at a great favourite of mine, Lawrence where the original gold rush took place in the early 1860’s. Gabriel’s Gully is on the outskirts of town, but it was a bit too cold to do the walk.

We stopped for lunch in a pub garden in Alexandra, then pushed on to Clyde.

Clyde is in the middle of nowhere, high up in the mountain plateau.  A stunningly beautiful, stark, rocky, brown landscape with an aqua lake, a hydro dam and little picturesque villages that  could come straight from the English Cotswalds.

I snapped ED standing and staring

Jo@ClydeDam

Jo@ClydeDam2

What she was entranced with, and you can’t smell is the wild thyme.  Those dead looking clumps in the background are wild thyme.  This part of the high country, where the topsoil is thin and the bedrock is on the surface, grows wild thyme.  It goes from the waters edge up the sides of rocky cliffs, along the road side and over the hills.  It is abundant, it is dried, it is redolent and

I picked me some 🙂

We drove on, past the drowned town of Cromwell, stopped at Roaring Meg for a few moments and on to Queenstown.

We arrived about 4 pm – just in time to see the last of the beautiful warm summer days they had been enjoying.  But we were not concerned.  We settled into our uber posh hotel and enjoyed the view

Hotelview2

Queenstown nestles itself on two sides of the beautiful Lake Wakatipu  It is small, it is hilly and it is entirely a tourist spot.  Sam Neill calls this place home, Shania Twain built a ranch house on several hundred acres on the outskirts and there is scarcely a Hollywood star who has not spent at least two nights nestled up in any of the twenty or more ultra luxurious, inordinately expensive, privacy guaranteed hotels.

We settled for a very nice 5 Star and had a thoroughly enjoyable time with our discount vouchers and savings coupons and lets not forget the trusty credit cards!

HotelView4

It has to be admitted up front that we spent the better part of the next two days eating and drinking.  We wanted to stick with the theme – so it was mostly an endless array of delicious and extraordinarily fresh seafood and fine Otago wines.

We did make the trek half way up the mountain to catch the gondola that took us all the way to the top – vertically!  YD and I are okay with being in tiny little orbs that look alarmingly like a storm troopers helmet that sway about in the breeze and travel in a series of jerks and rushes.  Not so much ED, who began to sing ‘Soft Kitty, warm kitty’ in a tremulous voice – which just made us laugh even more.

The view was worth it.  This is what you see immediately below the space age viewing deck

Gondola wildflowers

The wilding pines and wildflowers are found all over the mountain sides around Queenstown and were looking particularly pretty.  [Wilding pines are self seeded and unwanted invaders in National Parks.  There is a huge push to handle them properly so that the native forest can regenerate and the wildings be stopped in their tracks.  When I first came to Queenstown 28 years ago, there were few pines growing up the mountain sides – now they cover them.]

Gondola View2

This is a panoramic shot taken by one of the daughters clever phones. [ 🙂 ]

Gondola View1

The view is quite stunning and we repaired to a small wine bar to admire it some more.

We chose a spot where we could see the storm troopers whizzing past and I amused myself by trying to take an arty shot.  You had to be really quick!Gondola wine2

Eventually I got this one and had to be happy with it or I couldn’t enjoy my chardonnay!

gondola wine3

That evening we celebrated YD’s birthday at a very fine lakeside restaurant where we ate copious amounts of fish, drank not quite copious amounts of white wine and took silly photos with ED’s new iphone to the amusement of the servers and several other tables of diners.

D's birthday dinner w PD&P @ dinner

The next day, Christmas Eve, we reluctantly packed up and headed back across the thyme covered mountain plateau to a cold, wet and windy home city and readied ourselves for an exciting Christmas Day.

Meet Esmeralda, my new, silver, ultra sleek, super fast Personal Computer.

Esmerelda

She has just finished her first successful  and very happy blog post 🙂

Thanks for coming by today and taking the time to read – I’m so happy that you did!  🙂

Be A Butterfly

Hello my lovelies!

I have been quite busy this past week – I took a leap of faith and decided to go for the Etsy shop thing – sooner than I had originally thought I might.  This decision was in no small way brought about due to the ongoing encouragement and support from my blogging pals – none of whom I personally know, but all of whom I feel I really know!

I cannot say enough about those of you who consistently visit and leave comments and words of encouragement.  I work mostly in isolation and your feedback has been pivotal in keeping me on task and determined to grow as an artist [chuckle – it still makes me smile…]

So to those loving, caring, loyal, helpful, beautiful gals – big, big hugs, tons of love and an unspeakable amount of gratitude zipping out from here to you!!

To celebrate the opening of said shop ‘The Contented Crafter’ – of course, what else – I painted a small mixed media canvas featuring a faery girl and butterflies.  She will be the first original mixed media canvas in the shop:

BeAButterfly1

This is a smallish exhibition canvas – just under 20 cm square x 3.5 cm deep [8 x 8 x 11/2″]  Worked in acrylics with water and ink pens, stamps and glitter. [You’ve gotta have some bling!]

There will also be larger limited edition prints and blank all purpose greeting cards of this faery girl in my Etsy shop.

To celebrate the opening of my new creative venture I am giving away the first numbered and signed limited edition print of this canvas to a randomly chosen commentor on this post.  You have until the 13th to comment.

The draw will take place on the 14th November, which is also the same day The Contented Crafter Etsy shop will go live   🙂   [Ooooh, exciting!]

All commenters names will be written on slips of paper and placed in a randomly selected kitchen container and the winner’s name will then be selected by someone who is not me.

So dear readers, I hope you like her and want to take a punt.  🙂