Pauline King: Artist and Beloved Friend

Pauline King

Many of us know Pauline King through her blog, the Contented Crafter. I’m one of the lucky ones that got to take that a step further, not once but twice.

Pauline flew to the East Coast of the United States for a gathering of blogging friends. We dubbed ourselves the “Blogging Babes,” and my goodness did we have fun.

Two years later, we met again in New Zealand for the most extraordinary few weeks of my life. Pauline’s daughters joined us for that second gathering, along with Pauline’s beloved, four-legged companion, Siddy.

Pauline died peacefully this week from complications of a stroke. She passed on her 71st birthday, September 5, 2020.

Pauline’s blog “containing random thoughts, bits of life, creations from my art room, and tales of a cat named Orlando and a puppy named Siddy” attracted readers from around the world.

We learned about her artistic process and got to share in the final results, and when lucky, we were treated to amusing tales of a dog named Sid. What I’ll remember most about Pauline’s online presence was her poignant, funny, and insightful comments left with a generous heart on so many blogs.

In-person, she was a dear friend, a bright light, a good listener, and a kind and kindred soul. I am bereft.

You can click on individual photos to read captions or to enlarge:

Please share your memories of Pauline in the comments below.

She is survived by her two daughters, Danella and Jo, two women who would make any mum proud.

91 thoughts on “Pauline King: Artist and Beloved Friend

  1. I am very sorry to read of the death of your friend. I never met her but feel I knew her a little through her comments on your blog and her own blog. She was very talented. I know many of her friends and her family will be very sad. God bless you all.

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  2. Oh no. It’s half past midnight here and i was just about to go to bed when I read this. I’m so shocked. I know Pauline mentioned some health problems recently and hadn’t been blogging but I had no idea. I just can’t process the news at the moment and will come back tomorrow with a clearer head and some memories i have of her through our online friendship. Thank you for letting us know Alys. xx

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    • I spent some time this morning looking through all the comments Pauline left on my blog. Her warmth, sense of humour and love of life always shone through. Obviously we shared a love of dogs and I thought I’d just copy here one comment she left about her beloved Siddy after I’d complained about the bad behaviour of one of my dogs that day.

      “Siddy is such a VERY good boy – and he would tell you so himself except he has gone off to bed right now – that he is quite possibly the very best dog in all the world – ever!! I whisper this in his ear all the time and he gazes straight ahead and is very still, listening intently. When I stop whispering he gazes intently back into my eyes, gives me a quick lick on the very tip of my nose and goes to sit in front of his treat drawer. He seems to be saying “Now prove it!’ ”

      Rest peacefully dear Pauline, you will be terribly missed by your lovely daughters and by those who knew you personally but also those of us who felt we knew you through your writing and your lovely art work. x

      Liked by 3 people

      • Lynn, you’ve captured the essence of Pauline: warmth, humour, and a love of life. We’ve lost a treasure in our blogging world, and the world at large.

        Thank you so much for sharing that delightful comment from Pauline. I’ve seen her wonderful interactins with Siddy, so I can easily picture this. What a delight.

        Best of luck with all you are going through. Love to you. xo

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  3. I can’t click the like button. You know how I’m feeling. I’ve been waiting for news from you but making it just one note for all is the least painful way to put it out there. I’ve been looking all day and had a feeling she might go on her birthday. My heart aches for her girls, her furry family and certainly those of you who met and loved her. A huge chunk is missing from my heart. What can I do for the girls? She lifted my spirits more than once and set me straight when I wandered off course. I could go on and on as you know. Thank you for letting the rest of us know even though it was very hard to do. Sending you love and hugs because I know how difficult this was to write.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marlene, it’s been so hard to know how to reach everyone in a kind way. I know you have family visiting for your birthday. I hated to intrude on that. Pauline’s birthday was also Laurie’s wedding day. Laurie didn’t want anyone to withhold the news, but I didn’t have it in me to interrupt her wedding day with this sad, sad news. A birthday, a death, and a wedding, all on September 5th. Laurie knows now. We’ll all process with time. Pauline is beloved by many. My love to you. I’m glad you are with family.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Alys,

        I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I’ve watched your blogging friends group and have thought what a group of rich and wonderful friendships. Arms surrounding you, Pauline’s friends and family at this time.

        Love and Peace,
        Teddi

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for your kind words, Teddi. Starting my blog several years ago led to extraordinary friendships and experiences I never dreamed of. It’s been such a gift to know these women. This is a heartbreaking loss for her daughters and for all who loved her. xo

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This was so kind of you hon. So many lives touched by beautiful Pauline. Visitors to your post will be shocked and sad, but as they’ve mentioned, thankful that they hear of her passing from you. You’ve written a beautiful tribute and my favourite photo is the two of you on our motorbike ride. Everytime I walk into my ensuite this weekend, I tear up because I have her art framed and my charmed, crystal hanger there. My day has always begun and ended seeing her creativity and often remembering the fun we enjoyed together. Now they’re bringing new emotions, but in time, the tears will ease and be replaced by gratitude. Gratitude that I got to be part of her tribe, to know her, love her and her family. xK

    Liked by 4 people

    • What a time we had on the motorbike, eh? It was thrilling to ride in such a thing, and then to see the beautiful city wiz by. I wanted to slow down time, to savor it all, but life is meant to be lived. What a treat from all three of our New Zealand hosts! We are lucky to have some of Pauline’s beautiful art in our homes. I have a dream-catcher painting next to my bed, two paintings, and several light catchers: the one she gifted us in Virginia and the clever Halloween ones for one of my birthdays. What treasures! I agree that it is an honor to be part of her tribe. xo

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  5. I am the proud owner of the Pauline original “The Wise Woman “ a just because gift from a woman who’d never met me.

    Interesting that she knew me so well having only a shared connection with my sister Alys.

    The piece contains my well known love of purple, halloween and black cats.

    I was both touched and honored to receive such an unexpected gift.

    I will treasure it always.

    Pauline was loved and will be missed by all; even those of us who weren’t lucky enough to meet her in person.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sharon, Pauline always asked about you and had a real concern for your well being and affection by osmosis. I remember your happy tears when you first saw your light catcher. It was fun sharing that little video with Pauline as I knew she would delight in your response. I was admiring your purple witch mixed media just last week. You also did a great job honoring that piece with your Halloween costume. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry to hear of Pauline’s passing Alys. Although I never met Pauline in person I felt that I knew her forever through our blogging connection. She always struck me as a person that was very giving and had a great sense of humor. Terry and I want to express our deepest condolences to her family and all of her connected friends in the blogging world.

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  7. Oh! This is so hard! Pauline sent me one of her originals “A Gardener Grows Tomorrow’s Joys” back in December, 2013. I love it and treasure it. How can she be gone? Thank you, Alys, for this beautiful notice to the blogging friends.

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  8. https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/6155/ Dear Alys, I am so sad and sorry to hear this news. I was wondering about Pauline just the other day. She was a wonderful friend and “encourager” of many people, and her friendship with you and the Blogging Babes was something special. I am so glad that she lived her life to its fullest, determined to bring happiness to herself and others. My condolences to you, her special Blogging Babes, to her family and to dear Siddy. We will miss her.

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    • Thank you, Mary Elizabeth. My heart is heavy with grief and my body is weary and tired. Pauline would want us all to carry on and of course, we will, but for now, I must feel the loss and mourn my friend, while being a friend to her daughters. The three of them were incredibly close. This is a heavy blow to their hearts. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, so sad. Alys, thank you for taking on the task of letting her many blogging friends know gently and compassionately that we’ve lost her. Pauline was the essence of sweetness, a beautiful spirit, always positive, kind, generous and full of praise. I’m glad it was peaceful. I had been wondering when we’d next see something from her, and now I know why she’d gone quiet. So many of us will have great memories of her. Not gone. Just gone ahead.
    This is the second death of a friend I’ve heard today. No more, it’s enough.

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  10. What a shock! Thank you for letting us know Alys. I never had the privilege of meeting her (although I always fancied meeting up in New Zealand some time). However, her online presence was such a joy to so many of us. I always read her comments on others’ blogs, because I knew she would be positive, supportive and show wonderful insights. She touched us all and I will miss her.
    My thoughts and hugs go out to her daughters, and to you too, Alys. The world is a poorer place without her in it. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Heartfelt sympathy and faraway hugs to all of Pauline’s family and friends. What a beautiful tribute to your kind, talented, dear friend, Alys. Over the years I have enjoyed your stories about Pauline, her beautiful artwork, and all of her lovely comments here on your blog. Hold tight to all of the special memories and cherished adventures you and Pauline shared over the years, dear heart. They are truly golden. Sending my love and comforting hugs. 💗

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  12. I only met her recently during this time, when we started clicking through friends’ blogs to other peoples’ blogs –

    – and Pauline (who I don’t personally know, although I also live in NZ but at the other end of the country, in Auckland) inspired me with what might have been one of her last posts about using alcohol inks in a different way. I went and bought some other colours to try and get similar tones to Pauline. Of course, I got different tones but that’s okay.

    I was just looking at someone’s blog roll recently and there she was smiling and I thought “I’ve not seen anything from her recently, I hope she is well…” appears not, rather she was coming apart at the seams…

    Virtual hugs to those who have known her longer than I… and those who have personally met her…sounds like she was a wonderful friendly person.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience with Pauline. I’m glad to hear she inspired you to work with alchohol inks. She really took to that medium. I love that Pauline was always trying new things. I hope you’ll stick with your artwork as well.

      We spent a few days in Auckland at the end of our visit with Pauline and friends. You live in an amazing country. Virtual hug back to you, too. xo

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  13. Alys, I’m so sorry to read of the passing of your beloved friend Pauline. I recall seeing her comments on your blog. It’s so great after being blog friends you took the time to meet each other. I remember your and Mike’s trip to New Zealand and how wonderful that was. I’ll be thinking of you as you grieve this loss. From your friendship with her daughters and so many others, your great stories in the days and weeks to come and staying connected will keep her spirit alive. So great too that so many have art work from her. Take care. ♥️, Maria

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    • Thank you, Maria, for this lovely message. I’m glad you have memories of Pauline as well. Our New Zealand trip was specatacular. I will cherish those memories for a lifetime. I’ve loved my Zoom chats with Pauline as well, and I will dearly miss them. I think we all thought we would go back for another visit. Now the entire world feels like its upside down. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for the love, Maria. xo

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  14. Oh no, I am so sad to read this post. She was a wonderful blogger, full of creativity, joy and encouragement to lots of people, myself included. I shall miss her gorgeous art, her humour, her ideas and the lovely Siddy.

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    • Thank you for sharing your memories of Pauline in the blogging world. She touched so many lives, all for the better. Siddy is in good hands with his beloved D. I’m so happy about that, poor little fella. He adored Pauline. xo

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  15. Jackie and I had been concerned about Pauline for some time now. On the day she died I sent her a message saying that I doubted she would have received her birthday card yet. Although we would never meet we counted each other among our very best friends. I will e-mail Danella. Thank you so much for ensuring that we learned the devastating news – the more dreadfully sad because she had seemed to be recovering. I well remember your visits to each other. Yours is a lovely tribute. We share the loss. XX

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  16. Dear Alys, so sorry to hear of the death of your friend. I recall all the posts you wrote about meetings with her and about her artwork too. Remember all the happy moments you shared. Hugs. xxx

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  17. Dear Alys and Kelly
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. I remember listening to your stories of your lovely adventures down under and the warmth and generous-heartedness with which you were received by Pauline. I am glad you have those happy and joyful memories of your dear friend.
    xo

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  18. Dear Alys,

    Thank you for letting us know, and thank you for the lovely tribute. I only knew Pauline through blogging, but I am sure she was a treasured friend. Her comments, especially, endeared her to me. She had beautiful, generous soul.

    I’m so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you, her beloved girls and Siddy and Orlando.

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    • Thank you, Jodie. for stopping by and sahring your thoughts. “Endeared” beautifully conveys what Pauline meant to so many. Her comments were a gift, always thoughtful, carefully written, and heartfelt. I miss her every day. xo

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  19. Pingback: Pauline the Wise and Wonderful | Life on the Bike and other Fab Things

  20. The whole planet catches less light without Pauline. I never met her, but chatted with her via our blogs for years, and found her always to be full of positivity even when things were hard. When her own life presented challenges, that was set aside when she was concerned with someone else. And Pauline was always looking after someone else. Like so many of you, I have some of her artwork in my home. She gave to others for the sheer joy of it. I have an old email of Pauline’s in my inbox still, just because it’s lovely to read. I hate it that she is gone. We needed her. I am grateful I had the chance to know what little of her that I did. Thank you so much, Alys, for asking people to share. I have read through every single comment, and it has helped a little. I am so, so sorry that you lost your friend. Hugs. ~Crystal

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    • Crystal, yes: “She gave to others for the sheer joy of it.” Thank you for sharing your special memories of Pauline. I’m pleased to know that you, too have Pauline’s art in your home. I smile inwardly thinking of her paintings, cards, and bookmarks traveling the world. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m glad that you’ve saved Pauline’s special email. She would be touched. Thank you for your tender hug, Crystal. xo

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  21. Oh, Alys, I just saw the fb post by Laurie Ann Buchwald. Was so hoping it wasn’t true and came here to confirm. I feel so sad for Danella and Joanna, but also for Siddy and Orlando; they won’t know what’s going on . . .

    And for you and the rest of her many close friends. Words can never be enough.

    I was fortunate to meet Pauline through blogging, as so many did. I bought a few of her photo cards (Remember that faded chair? Something about it just spoke to me . . .). Some time later she gave me a small journal she’d made for me. On the cover was her “Choose Joy” print, which I love. I’ve had a few challenges and those words helped carry me through. All those things are in my storage for now, but I look forward to one dayhaving them out where I can see and rejoice in them.

    But the most wonderful thing she did was once, when we were talking on Skype. My mother knew about Pauline and asked to speak to her. They had a lovely conversation and it made the day, even the month, for Mum, who, then in her 90s, had few friends of her own left. Mum was a bit hard of hearing and the Kiwi accent took some time for her to process, but Pauline was happy to repeat words until there was understanding. I have always remembered Pauline’s kindness and patience and am still grateful for that call.

    I haven’t been posting for some time, but am just getting back to it now. That world, my beloved Virtual Village, will seem smaller now, with Pauline’s sparkle and brightness, her creativity and loving heart, now gone on the next part of her journey. She was one of the influences that encouraged my own very recent return to art. I still aspire to trying her alcohol inks. Her recounting of her early life and her overcoming of challenges that might have broken others will always give me strength and courage on my own path.

    Most of you were much closer to Pauline than I was and my heart goes out to each of you. Those who were fortunate to meet her face to face were very blessed. I followed the stories of those two trips with interest and enthusiasm.

    Pauline was so special, in her own right, but also to each of you in her own inimitable fashion. To me, the deep grief you are experiencing is hard, but also valuable; it’s ghe token of deep and lasting connections that may be strained but will never be broken. And so I count you all as blessed in having known this amazing woman and artist so well.

    Danella and Joanna, I lost my own Mum just over four years ago, so I feel for you. No words really help, but I send love to you both. It is always too soon, no matter how old someone is, but way too soon for your Mum. She loved you so much and was so proud of you . . . in time it will get easier to bear and the joyful memories will come to overlight the sadness. Take care of each other (I know you will) and of yourselves, too.

    Alys and all Pauline’s beloved friends, my heart goes out to you, too, as does my love.

    And, Alys, I second what others have said here; thank you for your gentle, loving post in honour of Pauline. And thanks, too, for the chance to comment. Pauline was exceptional in so many ways. Although our connection was lighter than that of most of you, it was still a huge influence for me. I, too, shall miss her and all she gave so freely to the world via her blog. Take care of yourselves.

    Love to each of you. ~ Linne

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    • Linne, thank you for sharing your caring thoughts and lovely memories of Pauline. I can easily picture Pauline chatting with your Mum. That is such an endearing story. Pauline touched many lives. I’ve enjoyed the chance to read other wonderful experiences and joyful memories here. Thank you for adding yours. Pauline’s love radiated outward. xo

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  22. Reading through all of these comments is just a reminder of our virtual village as Linne called it. We are fortunate to have made friends the world over, and even though I have not been blogging as much, I still feel those connections.
    Thank you for letting me reblog your post while I am away from home. Greg has been so good to listen to me talk of Pauline and read snippets and comments from others. I loved that our wedding was shared with Pauline’s birthday and told her so in a card that I’m sure she never saw. Sigh …

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    • Laurie, I’m sorry Pauline wasn’t able to read your card. As a receiver of your wonderful notes, I’m sure it was beautiful and heartfelt. Pauline knew how much we loved her. I find myself sad about a small project I put off due to time, that I meant to send to Pauline. It’s that sense of life, interupted, that is so disquieting. While we all know, intellectually anyway, that we will die, it’s hard not to believe that it won’t happen to those we hold so dear.

      Also, once a blogger, always a blogger. I’m sorry Pauline passed on your special day, but she was born on your special day, too. She was happy for you, such a beautiful gift in itself.

      Thank *you* for sharing my blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed your honeymoon and some time away. xo

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  23. Pingback: A Deep Breath | insearchofitall

  24. My heart is breaking over the passing of Pauline. She was indeed a bright light. Her smile and energy was loved by so many. I remember looking forward to each blog post documenting her trip to the East Coast. Her smile was a telling sign of the fun she was having with her blogging buddies.She will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with her daughters, Siddy and Orlando.

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  25. I was so saddened and surprised to hear the news about Pauline today. She was indeed such a special woman. Although my blogging days have long been over, she was one of the few bloggers that I tried to keep up with. She was so warm and dear and she will certainly be missed. Certainly her legacy will live on through her beautiful daughters and her art. Thank you for sharing your pictures and writing such a beautiful and touching post.

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    • How lovely that you continued to keep up with Pauline’s posts. They were always a delight to read, and a feast for the eyes as well. Her legacy lives on through her daughters, her blog, and all the beautiful art she’s shared with the world. xo

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  26. I’m in tears again reading this. Pauline meant so much to me, and I never even had the chance to meet her in person as you did. She was such a wise woman and a sweet soul. It’s sure dark down here without Pauline. I hope her daughters are taking Siddy and Orlando? xo

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  27. I met Pauline through my blog. One day she appeared in my comments and several years later she remains my top commentator. I was devastated to hear of her passing. How can it be? The blogging world, as least my neck of the blogging world, will be a little dimmer for the foreseeable future. She touched so many lives. We communicated through email, too. Late July was our last email correspondence. I shared something very private and painful with her. And like always she wrote back with wisdom, understanding, and love. My gracious. I’m still so sad. I pray all of us find some kind of light to pass onto the world through our words and actions. We all need to step up now that Pauline is no longer with us. Thanks for sharing this.

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    • Cheryl, it’s really hard, isn’t it? I’m sad, too. Different things make me cry, and other’s make me smile. I can hear her voice in my mind and her warm laugh. I can picture her talking to Siddy and I have fond memories of intimate conversations during our time in Wanaka, NZ. We also joked that we “slept together the night we met” as we shared a bed in our friend’s basement on our visit to Virginia and DC. That always made me laugh. Pauline raised two amazing daughters. She left the world with some beautiful art and crafts and lovely pieces of writing, but things are a little less light without her. I miss her. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so funny! And I bet you shared other funny times together. You are so fortunate to have met her in person. It’s amazing that she took up so much room in so many people’s hearts. The world needs more Paulines. But I think there will always be only one true Contented Crafter. 💚

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