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!

365 Words – A Beginning

My personal challenge this year is to make a small art piece every day and to record a word or short phrase that encapsulates some aspect of each day.

I didn’t actually decide to do this until 3 or 4 days into the New Year, so I started on the back foot.  Which is a fairly typical place for me to start anything really.

I settled into work one afternoon and began by preparing a load of old defunct business cards.  I taped two together, then another two, then another two, until I had about a months worth of daily cards.

365Days1 1

I adhered some torn book pages to a few of the cards and then happily sploshed some paint around and got something happening colour-wise:

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Here is what I had produced at the end of the first seven days of January:

365Days1 3These are the second 7 days:

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I journal a bit more detail on the backs of the cards because I know that in six months time I will have no idea where my mojo had got to or why I was urging myself to ‘slow down’ ……..  And why am I surprised that it is virtually impossible for me to stick to one word every day?  If you’ve been tagging along for a while you will be well aware I am a woman of many words – how can I use just one or two words when sixteen or twenty give a more in depth and juicy image?  🙂

Here are a few individual days cards.  This first one refers to how I felt the day after I had remembered to take the long view and see just what had been achieved and how I had been blessed in 2013……

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Surely you know what this one refers to:

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This one celebrates the life and memory of someone very dear to me still:

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This was a happy day – the sun actually shone and we reveled in it – the next day it had gone again!

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This is the latest one.  One of my oldest friends blew into town  – [I’m god-mother to their youngest daughter]. He turns up three or four times a year and we sometimes miss each other as he never thinks to actually give me prior warning.  But this time it all worked out and he took me out for a meal.  We teased the Italian waiter for leaving Sardinia to come to a place that Summer had deserted, ate probably the best fettucine and calamari I have ever tasted, drank good Otago chardonnay and finished with real Italian dessert – I had Tiramisu which had a party in my mouth and he had Chocolate Torte….. We watched the waves thundering and crashing against the sea wall and had a wonderful three hour long conversation that served our souls well.

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So there we are – the first two weeks of January are gone already.  In retrospect I realise I spent it dealing with technology issues, pining for my lost summer and being saved by charming men!  🙂  Happy Dance!!

Thank you for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did  🙂