Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Art Of Gratitude

And here we are, halfway through the month of January. How are those resolutions coming along? Did you make any? What kind? I tend to toggle back and forth between very specific to-dos (makeover the blog) and recommitting to attitudes and practices that can always be improved. Like living in gratitude.


To me, gratitude is linked to noticing life. Slowing things down, finding joy in simple moments. One of my favorite things about January is sitting down to do thank you notes. It's like opening the Christmas gifts all over again. Hand-painting my thank yous gives me time to reflect on the amazing people in my life, how grateful I am for them, how much I appreciate the gifts they chose. Like the Beauty At Home book I received from my gorgeous friend Dana, recognized with a little watercolor of Aerin Lauder's dressing room. Or Paris, An Inspiring Tour, from my Francophile friend, Liane, which inspired a painting of pink Parisian doors to say "merci".


Elizabeth from Pretty Pink Tulips recently wrote a terrific post on why handwritten thank you notes matter and tips for making the task a fun, learning opportunity for kids. I have to say I am forever grateful to my mother for insisting on the importance of a personalized note, even when I complained and dragged my feet. As with pretty much all things, she was right. Thanks mom.

Speaking of gratitude, thanks so much for all your kind comments about the new look over here. Glad you like it! 

So, what are you grateful for today?

PS: If you are looking for an extra special way to express your gratitude to someone, I'd be happy to talk to you about a custom created and personalized little piece of art. Just email me at jeannemckay@yahoo.com

18 comments:

  1. Jeanne,
    Thank-you. I really do try to live with an "attitude of gratitude." I do find that it is often challenged or taken granted of but then again, it does give me great pleasure to give and to give thanks. I just get a little cranky when others do not see the value of the art of a hand written gesture. It "seals the deal" for me. Lovely to know that you are open for custom thank-you notes. Love your work. Love AERIN. I was on her site for hours.....so many great ideas and pretty things to love.
    pve

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    1. Hi Patricia, Thank you so much for the kind words - they mean a lot because, as you know, I very much admire your talent and the grace with which you live your life. I love AERIN, too. So much inspiration to be found on her site - and her Pinterest boards, too.

      Have a lovely day! XOXO

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  2. You are so talented!! I love your new picture btw, it makes me happy:) I do not make more than one or two resolutions and its never "I am going to" its " I am going to try to be more", I have to be realistic!! I am working on a few things and realize many of those journeys require baby steps to get there. I am grateful for being alive, healthy and having a family blessed with the same. If anyone needs to know what they have to be grateful for..just turn on the news. Sad but true. Enjoy your day Jeanne!

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    1. Thanks Tina, you are so sweet and I always appreciate your enthusiasm. I think being realistic is always a good things, otherwise it's so easy to get discouraged. As you say, baby steps are key to being successful on a long journey.
      Hope today is beautiful for you, with much to be grateful for! XOXO

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  3. Jeanne,

    Good morning, over there on the other coast! I LOVE your new look and think it's always fun to freshen things up. Thank you so much for your kind mention! :)

    I'm so grateful for my health, my family, the opportunity to connect with like-minded people in blog land, and so many other things! I think we need to "chat" artwork. I love it for gifts....but I might have to start with something for me!

    Enjoy your day and the countdown to Paris!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Sometimes I almost enjoy the countdown as much as the travel itself. I would love nothing more than to chat artwork with you - you have such lovely taste, any kind of collaboration would be inspiring and fun!
      Have a lovely day! XOXO

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  4. What a lovely post,, I think many things are taken for granted these days.. we have lost that sensibility to be grateful and show it! I am grateful most for having 3 healthy, safe and just really "good" daughters!!I dont know how I managed that but I am blessed!

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    1. Karolyn - I'm sure they are very grateful to have such a wonderful mom! XO

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  5. As the recipient of one of the gorgeous thank you cards above, I may end up writing our dear Jeanne a thank you for the thank you!! :) Receiving a note in the mail from Jeanne is truly a gift unto itself, because you know she put time, effort, love and her endless creativity into its creation. My little piece of art is currently propped on my desk making me smile today, and will ultimately move into a frame when I find the perfect one. Merci sweet Jeanne! xo

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    1. Thanks, sweet friend! Glad I could bring a smile to your desk top today. XOXO

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  6. We just caught a glimpse of your new look and love it! We're so happy to be back and blogging and are grateful for blogs like yours that make our days brighter. Hope you're having a great week!
    xxoo
    C + C

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    1. Thanks, ladies! So glad to have you back and blogging. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in Atlanta! XOXO

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  7. actually doing well with my resolution to visit the gym much more. i'm swimming and doing tai chi and exploring new territory including meeting with a personal trainer tomorrow. your paintings are so charming, and i know you will find as much work as you desire! since you asked, i am grateful for my health.

    hugs.

    michele

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  8. I love your hand painted notes...they are beautiful!!! The Paris book is one of my favorites...I know it must be inspiring you in getting ready for your upcoming trip. As far as gratefulness, I am so thankful for my wonderful family and also, the pleasure my adventures in blogging and my new business has brought to my life!

    Have a lovely night, Jeanne!! xoxo

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  9. thanks for stopping by--it's so great to reconnect! wishing you a fab 2014! (no big resolutions--I ususally break them :)

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  10. Love Erin's new book! The cosmetic case I had on my blog is from her line.. the colors are so pretty. Your hand painted notes are lovely! I am grateful for my family and good health:) and I'm not one to make a list of resolutions. I try to change .. roll with life and make small, attainable goals/changes along the way.

    Hope your week is going well! xxleslie

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  11. Jeanne-
    This is such a beautiful post! Your illustrations are gorgeous, and I am certain that the recipients of these thank you notes will feel very special.
    I love your new look! You really are so talented.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  12. Jeanne - the cards are so beautiful, I still have the one that you shared with me, these are truly special. I adore the new look and that wonderful quote from Winnie the Pooh on your previous post. I think one of the best things I did with my kids was to have them write thank you notes from the very beginning, I made is easy and fun. Now, they have no idea that it's even an option to not express gratitude when they receive a gift or a kindness. Hopping over to see PPT's version.

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