Welcome December

I love to welcome December each year. This starts the winter months, a holiday season and a time for inner reflection for me. In December I start to think of beyond the first of the year. My garden lay dormant and I start to think of the colors to come. I start cooking comfort foods such as tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, baked chickens and baking, always baking deserts for the soul. And then there is the nesting, being reacquainted with my knitting projects and spending time in the art room.

Winter snow in the forest during the December Dawn.
Winter snow in the forest during the December dawn.

But of course before the calm comes the storm of the winter holiday season. I’ll be working on more holiday designs (they are in my head now hollering to be created) to share here. Also in the works fun gift ideas including custom mugs with matching hot chocolate combos. Or foiled photo cards you can personalize with your own photos and custom text and much more.

In the meantime I hope you find a little peace in the craziness.

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September Thoughts

As I sit and wonder where summer has snuck off to my mind happily glides towards September thoughts. I so much enjoy the Autumn months and September blends its’ warm days and cool nights together gently. The garden is still giving late tomatoes, the sedum is alive with desperate bees. It is not unusual to see a shock of yellow leaves from the beech trees.

The squirrels have decimated the acorn and beech nuts leaving the nut husks to cover the back lawn. Hummingbirds used to be at my feeder all summer long. They have left but the feeder remains for those late comers flying south for winter.

Some of the best seasonal poetry is for Autumn. Like my post entitled October I often think of poems when painting or designing. One such poem caught my eye as I was reading poetry written by Emily Bronte. Here it is entitled Fall, leaves, fall

Fall, leaves fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

I love this poem, stark and embracing the change to come. The lines “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” stands on their own. I have paired the phrase with one of my autumn leaf pictures (also featured on my Colorful Birch Leaf). I hope you like it.

Colorful autumn leaf photograph with a line from Emily Bronte's poem.
Emily Bronte’s Fall, leaves fall poem was inspirational.

I hope you enjoy your autumn season too. The winter is not very far away now. When spring finally arrives we can have our autumn dreams too look forward to. For now I enjoy sharing with you my September thoughts.

If you enjoy my picture above, it may be of interest you to know you can purchase blank cards and postcards.

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Inspiration In A Beautiful Day

This summer the weather has been either beautiful. To find inspiration in a beautiful day you have to expect the unexpected. You have to be willing to take whatever comes and to be spontaneous. Most times you don’t even have to look for it.

And so it started

I’d like to tell you about a beautiful day that had endless solid blue skies and big clouds with definitions. That day was filled with activities I enjoy most. It started with early morning coffee on the deck. I’m not talking 7 a.m. but 5:00 a.m., a half an hour after the morning sky starts to turn from black to tired gray. A bird was calling in the wood that I’d never heard before. The call was so clear the cliche “cut through the air” came to mind. I sat there for a long time before going inside.

After breakfast

The garden is looking great this summer. We have had a fair amount of rain in the evenings. My Lenten roses have had two blooming cycles! The variety of lilies are extra tall and the hydrangea is loaded with blooms. Whilst finding the hidden weeds to pull I was delighted to see my first blue dasher dragonfly of the season. He was beautiful and enjoying a sit down in the early morning sun on a phlox stalk.

Early afternoon

Sitting in the Adirondack chair with my big floppy hat reading a great book. I try to read once a day when events will let me. Reading, like gardening feeds my soul. Up until that time the sun was relentlessly beaming down making the woods smell heavenly. A shadow cast down and for a moment my eyes on the page sighed a sigh of relief. Looking up I saw clouds, big burly clouds of white with gradients of gray. They were handsome so I decided to try and take a picture. Below is the result.

A photograph of big billowing clouds with a very blue sky.
Dramatic and inspirational.

The evening

Dinner table conversations with my family sometimes gives me inspiration for my work. I have two nearly adult children home for the summer. Though I see how much they have matured, I realized my job as a parent is to keep encouraging them to follow their passions. Reaching goals or having dreams doesn’t stop at a certain age. In fact, if you think about it, aspirations and goals never stops in a human life.

We all need a little reaffirming of our dreams so I decided to do something with the picture of clouds I had taken earlier. The results are the canvas print and tote bag shown below.

May you be inspired to rise above.

Photograph of a blue sky with clouds and inspirational quote.
Canvas prints in various options
Tote bag with photograph of a blue sky with clouds and inspirational quote.
This tote is available in two sizes and two styles.

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Found Treasure From The Sea

I can’t believe summer has come and gone. Because of our lack of rain September slipped by masking itself in the unusual warm weather. As I sit and look out the window I see a few maple trees already have put on their red leaves. Some trees have lost many leaves while others are still a summer green.

Last weekend I started to clean the garden. Collecting seeds for spring, trimming dead branches and even planting a few new plants. I started by digging a hole for my newly purchased Japanese Anemone. This variety of Anemone caught my eye not only because of the delicate pink flowers but that this plant also blooms in September. With our recent warm weather this Autumn the flowers are still blooming.

Japanese Anemone variety "September Charm"
Japanese Anemone variety “September Charm”.

Creating holes and moving dirt give me a sense of accomplishment. I believe it is the same feeling when painting or any other creative process. The work is more physical than what I do in the art room but has that same lasting vibe of a job well done.

Digging on this property sometimes yields treasure. I’ve dug up colored bottles, kids toys and less exciting objects too. Occasionally I find bits of clam shells or beads. This day I found a rare treat. Three preserved seashells fully intact filled with dirt and buried almost 12 inches deep. Upon washing them I found their brittle shells had worn quite thin. I tried to clean their insides but found the dirt is keeping their shape together.

Three seashells on a post.
Found treasure from the sea

These three seashells stayed on this deck post for several days. One morning I found a squirrel was investigating them. He picked up the two on each end and threw them on the ground. The shell in the middle he took, with difficulty, and hopped away into the woods. I guess he had found his treasure from the sea.

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Happy 4th of July

I remember when I didn’t sit in the house on the 4th of July and listen to the explosions in near by towns. Packing the car with children, bug spray, blankets and chairs to navigate through towns for the best views of the fireworks. I watched others, faces turned upwards with light from the pyrotechnics  display lighting their faces making them look like human fireflies. The symphony of collective “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” as the sky would pop and sizzle with light would end with wild applause after the night’s canvas was filled with smoke and burning retina sparks of color. I think tonight I will venture out to see what magic the night holds.

Have a safe holiday everyone!

A girl holding a sparkler with a 4th of July message.

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Something Delicate In The Garden

Today’s simple post is something delicate in the garden. Someone once asked me why I spent so much time planning and working in a flower garden. Truth be told my body is having a hard time dealing with the physical labor of this hobby. But I do love seeing plants grow and watching flower buds mature into blossoms. I also enjoy deriving inspiration for art projects or simple sketching of flowers.

I also enjoy the instant gratification of capturing flowers by taking pictures of them with the camera. This is my way of remembering their names or identifying species of wildflowers I find while walking or hiking in the wood.

Today’s picture is of the new Geum Rivale plant I purchased a few days ago. This delicate beauty’s name is Flames of Passion. The flowers remind me of an English garden and their old fashion style is right up my alley for taste. They inspire me to pull out my watercolors and try to capture their coloring. Who knows where they’ll bring my imagination.

Geum Rivale, Flames of Passion
A delicate addition to the garden, Geum Rivale reminds my of mini poppies.

 

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Colors Of May

The colors of May are varied and numerous. Delicate white, soft pink and bold orange are just a few of the colors of May in our yard. From wildflowers to domestic nursery plants these flowering plants on this post are popping up all around me. Here is a small sample of the colors of May I am sharing with you today.

The first offering are the fragrant white and pink apple blossoms. This apple tree produces lovely flowers each spring though we never seem to have apples to show for it.

Pink and white apple blossoms.
Pink and white apple blossoms are very fragrant.

Blue eyed grass is quite ordinary looking until their small five petaled lavender colored flowers appear. Often found in ditches and along woodland edges, I find them just as lovely as nursery plants in bloom.

Blue eyed grass flowers
Blue eyed grass blossoms provide lovely color in a small way.

This flower of the Mock Olive bush is one of my personal favorites. These small but fragrant blossoms are hard to spot but worth the look. Growing beside the driveway it appears to get larger each year.

Mock olive blossoms
Hung like little white fairy bells the mock olive flowers are so pretty.

The columbine varieties always are prolific in the spring. Below I’ve captured a delicate pink and a large collection of the common purple varieties.

Pale pink columbine.
Delicate pale pink columbine is a spring treat.

Every fall I sprinkle the columbine seed pods all over a stone patio we rarely use. Each spring we see a huge number of these hardy columbine spring into color.

Purple Columbine And  Cedar Shingles
Columbine are easily planted by seed each fall.

This bold orange spike of flowers are called Siberian Wallflowers. I had never seen them until I planted a wildflower mix on a hill I didn’t want to mow any longer. What a surprise to see such colors in May!

Orange Siberian Wallflower
The Siberian Wallflower is anything but quiet.

These two wildflowers are wonderful companions on the wildflower hill. The Baby Blue Eyed and the Thyme-leaved Speedwell grow close to the ground. The thyme-leaved speedwell is found where ever green things grow. Not to be mixed up with its’ cousin the common speedwell, these tiny white lobed flowers are hard to see.

Baby Blue Eyed and Thyme-leaved Speedwell
Creeping along the ground are the baby blue eyed and thyme-leaved speedwell.

This simple yellow flower is called a Fringed Loosestrife. In May, a large variety of yellow flowers all very seemingly the same blossom along roads, on lawns and in the forest. When you look closely you will find these yellow five petaled flowers are not all the same.

Yellow Fringed Loosestrife
This sweet little yellow flower was found by my driveway.

I hope you have enjoyed my post Colors of May. I’m sure you have seen blossoming colors this month whether it was in the dirt beside the road or in your own gardens. Because I enjoy putting names to flowers I find, I try to observe more nature than time allows. May every day be filled with the colors of nature for you.

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