Simple Joys: Creativity and Gardening

Do you enjoy the simple things in life? I’ve realized lately that the simple things mean so much to me. Like my husband’s laugh, the sun on my skin, a hug of a friend, a good book, the feel of clean sheets, the smell of a freshly squeezed lemon. Two simple pleasures that I have indulged in lately are being creative and gardening. And I suppose you could say creative gardening. I have this garden stone near my front door. What a lovely reminder for me each day and it was only a dollar at the dollar store!DSC_7364 2

My garden has been a simple joy. My mom has always had a lovely garden. I thought I couldn’t grow anything. I had a black thumb rather than a green one like hers. But I was busy with three boys. I didn’t make the time to plant, weed and water while I homeschooled our sons. Now I have the time! Look at the loveliness God has blessed me with this year. DSC_7123 2

I had more daylily varieties than I knew were planted. That is one advantage to a poor memory: beautiful surprises in the garden!Daylilies Summer 2014

I found a special visitor on one of the blooms.DSC_7396 2

One of the plants that is new to me this year is bee balm given to me by my mom. The blooms are fascinating right before they open.DSC_7356 2

My garden has been such a blessing to me that I did a page in my art journal about it. I used a new technique for me that is really very old: a dip pen and ink. The ink is acrylic and when applied watered down, it resembles watercolor. Nice and vivid!DSC_7463 2

I decided there is no need to be constricted to gardening in the yard. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of plants that remind me of my years in Arizona. Succulents! And they really seem to be in vogue. My daughter-in-law, Karlin, came to visit me while Matt was in Honduras and Jeremy is away on deployment. We both fell in love with those dry weather plants. They look great planted in a grouping.DSC_7512 3

But also in several groups!DSC_7540 3

I’m glad I took those photos. They’ve already spread out a bit in their new homes. I wonder how soon I’ll have to separate them. So fun to watch them grow.

Karlin and I also had a blast painting something we both love. Butterflies!DSC_7529b 2

Finally, back to simple things. We really have to make time to enjoy them, don’t we? Recently, my niece, Tiffany,  a mom of four beautiful children and a missionary, admired my leather bracelets. I asked what word she would like on a bracelet. She wanted to give it some thought. After a couple weeks, I texted her. What word?! She said that her pursuit of just the right word was now a family joke. “What word is mommy going to pick for her bracelet?” She threw out three words: Smile, Savor and Breathe. My sweet Tiffany needed a reminder to enjoy the simple things.  She finally settled on Savor.

I loved thinking of this beautiful, hard working mom as I stamped the edges with a metal stamp that my dad, her grandfather, had made.DSC_7366 2

I couldn’t help myself. I had to include all three words!DSC_7375 2

And themes from my garden: flowers, butterflies.DSC_7373 2

The lovely colors she chose worked so well: earth tones.DSC_7372 2

Her smile made if worth it all!IMG956641 4

What simple things have you been enjoying?