Joy in packages (big and small)

Hello! Have you be celebrating Joy since we last met here? My Joy book is getting full. Truthfully, it was hard to get started. I was a little scared to write in it. I didn't want to mess it up, make it messy. I'd taken care to make a lovely book and I wanted the inside to be "worthy" of it. But life is messy and I don't have enough time for perfectionism. Now my little Joy book is a bit messy. I've been scribbling down my thoughts, not worrying about penmanship or vocabulary. Sometimes the combination of words is almost poetic, sometimes awkward. Sometimes I've written a simple list. Paging through and reading what I've written makes me grateful for overcoming my fears and for remembering to spend a minute or two each day scribbling with my pen in my notebook. It makes me Joyful all over again. Here are a few to give you an idea of what I mean:

"coming home from the library with a heavy bag full of good books"
"eating muffins and drinking coffee out on the deck"
"Good food./ Coffee./ Beer./ Bed."
"standing half in shadow on the driveway... and feeling the sun on my legs"
"dog hugs"
"cutting salad"
"painting -- watching the image form as the paint colors the paper"
"the best sticky buns ever"

Joy comes in small packages. I'd hate to overlook a single one. I think I'll make another book to use in July. Won't you join me?

But, really, that's not the kind of "packages" I wanted to write about today. I wanted to write about brown paper packages tied up with string. Ok, none had string. Or brown paper. But getting packages in the mail is one of my favorite things. And I've gotten some goodies these last few days!

The first I like to call my tiny strawberry.

An enamel and pewter strawberry charm from this Etsy shop! I have been wanting a tiny strawberry necklace for years and now I finally have one! I absolutely love it! Kristen has lots of sweet charms in her shop. I also bought a tiny silver bee and because I didn't need chains for my charms so she created a custom order with the two charms and they arrived a week later.

The other package that day was a big box of art supplies from Dick Blick. I'm going to be experimenting with some new media these coming days and I also stocked up on watercolor paper, some new colors of paint and a set of acrylic brushes that I hope will help with my acrylic frustrations. 

The third package came the next day. It was a surprise from my blogging friend Judy. She's one of the very first bloggers I met back in 2010 when I participated in Art Every Day Month. Judy is a talented artist who likes to create with paper and fabric and paint. She's also been super encouraging and kind on my artistic adventure. A few weeks back she wrote about plans to go to a library book sale (something I love doing, too!). Yesterday a package arrived on my doorstep, a book she'd found that made her think of me.

So sweet! Judy and the book. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences during my blogging adventure. What a Joy it's been. Inspiration, encouragement, friendship. I am so grateful. To all of you.

Today is the first day of my vacation! I should be busy with laundry and other preparations. I'd much rather be doing this, though:

Or outside in the garden taking photos.

I'll be away from my blog and the Internet probably until July. 

Wishing you much Joy in the meantime! 


  1. Oh my goodness, your flower painting made me gasp, Anne. There again is that delicate watercolor work that you are so good at!
    That sticky bun made me hungry!
    Have a lovely vacation and blogging break. And thank you for your kind words. xo

  2. Dearest sweet Anne, your beautiful post brings me such joy! I was smiling when i read that your job book is filling up really fast! :) Oh and receiving packages are the best....that book your blogger friend sent you looks so interesting and i totally agree with her that it made me think of you too when i look at the cover page. Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!!

  3. Books, coffee, sun ... bliss! :)
    Delicious looking sticky bun and lovely plants both in painting and in photographing.
    Enjoy your time off!

  4. Sounds like life is bringing you many reasons for joy these days. And your postings bring joy to all who read them.
    Any plans for your vacation?
    Happy anniversary tomorrow. Happy life, happy future to you both.

  5. A gorgeous enamel strawberry! A generous and lovely gift from Judy! A delicious looking bun! It is no wonder you are joyful! I still write in my joy everyday book even when joy is hard to find! Have a lovely vacation. I will re-read your older posts if I am feeling a little lonely!

  6. Have a great break enjoying all your favourite past-times. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful about the small stuff :) See you when you're back :)

  7. I love that strawberry necklace - so perfect as a joy symbol for you and your blog :) Your photos and lists always prompt me to look closely at the small pleasures in my life because joy is truly in the details. Enjoy your break!

  8. Hi Anne!!
    I like your strawberry necklace!!
    Your drawings are always more beautiful! You're improving so much!!
    Enjoy your holidays!!

  9. Hi Anne - hope you're enjoying your vacation! Pretty strawberry necklace. My daughter loves strawberries & would love this; I shall have to check out the etsy shop. Yummy sticky bun & great arty photo of it :-)

    Its great that your joy book is getting full. I thought you'd like to know that last week, inspired by you, I started a joy book of my own. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Kat Xx

  10. Oh and how sweet of Judy to send you that book. Like we've often discussed the blogging community has been so giving & inspirational & a place where valuable friendships are formed.
    Kat Xx


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