Farewell and Welcome

I say farewell to 2014 a tad reluctantly – it has been such a lovely year, with so many wonderful events and meetings and good changes and opportunities to learn more about myself, about the world and about other friends.  But it just flew by in a flash – was it the same for you?

My friend Alys over at Gardening Nirvana chooses a word for herself every year.  Her latest post reviews the word for 2014 and reveals her new word for 2015.  This all made me aware that, without knowing it I had a word for 2014……….

‘Settle’ it turned out, was my word of the year.

2014 was the year I decided to settle where I was.  This was quite a momentous internal shift for me to make and it was certainly a new and quite liberating experience.  It was also something that grew and deepened as the year progressed until I find myself now, on the last day of the year quite astounded by the changes it has wrought both within me and around me.

For starters it meant giving up on my dream of a cottage by the sea and of owning my own home again. It meant giving up on being dissatisfied with the way things are and existing in a camping situation.  It meant I freed myself of waiting for a mythical future to arrive and allowed me to begin living in the present moment.   It also meant I stopped all blaming, hurting, wanting and regretting.  I gave up on the lot.  And in a flash of blessed intuition decided [that is a very important word!] decided to become truly contented.

This all happened very early in the year and I pretty much spent the rest of it turning my very small home into a place that not only worked for me as a house, but one that also felt like the one I would create by the sea.  If the sea-side cottage wouldn’t come to me, I would live as if it had anyway.

Literally and figuratively I gave away everything that I was holding on to. I was happy to think that the miscellaneous items that had been stuffed into boxes, bags and cupboards would find new homes with others who needed it now, would love it now and use it now.   It’s a win-win situation!  I discovered that by ridding myself of unused stuff my home grew bigger.  I kid you not – my home has turned from a small, over filled packed nest into a cute, airy space that makes people smile.  As my home grew bigger, I grew lighter.  Not physically so much [alas!] but certainly within myself – a new lightness of being slowly unfurled and a new level of contentment deep within myself was born.

The last two months were dedicated to making my art space really work for me – I was tired of trying to work in a space that often ended up being about 30 sq centimetres surrounded by piles of supplies.  I was constantly losing bits I had made, bits I needed for something I was making and tools.  Now I have three work benches, most of which is space available to work on.  Fabulousness!!

Bench space

The alert viewer may even have a glimpse of something finally being created here and bound eventually for Tasmania ….But folks – lookit all the creative space and the pretty tiny garden gets to peek in too.

bench space2

Everything in my home is current.  It is here because it is beautiful and useful.  There are a few ‘just because’ items that have been gifted, mostly from my dear blogging friends.  But they too are beautiful and bring me much happiness.

In May I adopted a puppy and in September I retired.  Both events are memories that make me smile and laugh!  Siddy is the happiest pup in the entire world – you can’t help but smile when you see him.  He goes about constantly with his big puppy smile on, looking up at you, dancing in time with your steps, keen and eager to be there, to do the good thing and if possible a treat or two would be absolutely wonderful………. maybe, just maybe, might you agree?


Retirement is something old folks do.  My pal Robin just wrote about Rod Stewart and Tom Selleck turning 70.  I don’t see age when I look at these two men.  I see wit and humour mixed with maturity which makes them really appealing.  I think we Boomers are playing a huge trick on the world – we don’t know how to become ‘old’.  I think we know how to wisen up a bit, slow down a tad and we are learning to enjoy every day.

It’s true that age is just a state of mind.

Orlando and I ‘settled’.  We made a home, we opened it up to a new friend and we all [learned to] live together happily ever after….. We even made a very small garden.

I companion planted and my tomatoes and peas have zero bugs.  My broccoli alas did not make it, but an abundance of herbs and salad greens have been happily eaten on a daily basis.  I am picking sweet scented sweet peas every day.

SweetPea25 12

The work of settling is now done.  So maybe, it now occurs to me, maybe it is the exact right time to say goodbye to 2014.  Funny how things work out 🙂

2015 will be the year of ‘Create’ and ‘Breathe’.

‘Create’ because back in August I decided to sign up for ‘Life Book 2015‘ and dedicate the year to learning more about my chosen path of mixed media.  It starts tomorrow!

‘Breathe’ because that is my word when I feel myself wanting to control situations.  I want to go with the flow – see what happens, be okay with whatever happens.  Live in the moment and strive always to see the bigger picture.

And, as always my New Year Blessing remains

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

The rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand

                                                                          ~From an Ancient Celtic Blessing

Thanks for coming by today and throughout the past year.  I hope you will continue to visit and chat next year.  I love that you do!

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


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!  🙂