Cold Hands, Warm Hearts!

Hi Friends!

“Snow makes whiteness where it falls,

The bushes look like popcorn balls.

Snow-covered evergreens

The places where I always play,

Snowy scallops on the white picket fence

Look like somewhere else today!”

(Credit:”First Snow” by Mary Louise Allen)

My ‘History Garden’ casts shadows in winter.

We woke up on Monday to blue skies and sunshine… finally! Early in the morning, I bundled up and went for a long-awaited walk through my Winter garden. Very slowly, I trudged through the deep, glittery snow, several inches higher than my warm boots.

We had measurable snowfall every day for nine consecutive days, from February 3rd through the 11th. It truly looked like we were living in a snow globe! πŸ™‚Β  Each day as I peeked through our lace curtains, while sipping tea from a favorite antique teacup, the snowflakes danced over my garden like Winter’s butterflies. Many times, I reached into my special ‘Basket of Sunshine’ for an extra dose of coziness during our long stretch of snowy days.

Glittery snowflakes falling in a shaker card

Shoveling snow became my daily ‘workouts,’ often shoveling two or three times a day. Traditionally, my husband prefers the ease of a snowblower, while I prefer the peaceful sounds of a shoveling meditation. As I slowly scoop the snow from the sidewalks, I always take time to quietly enjoy our Wintertime shadow garden. Every year, I intentionally leave the tall stems and dried flower heads of my perennials standing, providing seeds and nesting materials for our feathered friends throughout the Winter months. Seeing these dried souvenirs in my flower beds always fills my heart with warm, sunny memories of happy days in the garden last Summer.

Winter snowfalls also provide nice visits with our neighbors, a quick wave or a brief chat, as we shiver together. Neighbors helping neighbors has always been an important part of the quiet street where we live. As a young homeowner when I moved here thirty-one years ago, I loved being the secret “snow angel” often helping my older neighbors. Years passed, and now we have become the grateful recipients of help with our snow.Β  We are so thankful for our neighbor, Ralf, who loves to help out with his enormous snowblower! Ours is tiny by comparison. During this snowy stretch, we also had a “secret snowman” who cleared our sidewalks and long driveway on two different days to surprise us! Such kindness is truly heartwarming and always so appreciated! πŸ™‚

While the snowflakes tumbled down outside, it was the perfect time for some creative hours inside. I enjoyed playing with tiny Art Impressions Watercolor stamps and watercolor markers to practice some watercolor vignettes. At first, it was fun to create snowy scenes. However, as the snowflakes fell outside day after day, my my heart yearned to create tiny, sunny gardens.

Although it is very chilly in my little Paper Garden studio during the Winter months, I still bundle up and carry hot tea downstairs to make one or two cards at a time. This week, I have been creating floral cards to warm hearts of family and friends. Doing a bit of ‘gardening’ with paper and ink definitely warms my heart, too!

A lifelong letter writer, I have also been warming my heart by putting pen to paper. In quiet celebration of International Correspondence Writing Month (#InCoWriMo2018), I am enjoying writing long letters to dear friends. What a pleasure to decide who to write to, choose some pretty stationery from my desk drawer, and to fill a page or two with the breathings of my heart! I have also chosen a few names and addresses from the long list of international letter writers on the InCoWriMo 2018 website. I’m planning to write a few surprise letters! I chose someone who lives in my favorite little town in Wisconsin, someone in Ireland (a place I dream of visiting), someone in Paris (J’adore Paris!), and someone who has been such an inspiration for my journal writing.

All of my letters sent within the United States will carry a very special postage stamp. The Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp helps to raise awareness of this heartbreaking disease. Each Alzheimer’s stamp costs 65 cents and will help raise funds for the work that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing to help those suffering with this disease. This cause is very near and dear to my heart and it would mean so much to me if the friends of our blog would purchase the Alzheimer’s stamps at their local post offices. This new semipostal stamp will be available for two years. All of those small donations will make a difference in so many lives!

All of the special people who gather here

to read each post

and share their thoughts

definitely warm my heart!

This little Valentine

is especially for you!

Thanks so much for stopping to visit today! β™₯

Warmest hugs,

β™‘ Dawn

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18 thoughts on “Cold Hands, Warm Hearts!

  1. How lovely this is, Dawn. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.
    What marvelous moments you have had in this long, snowy winter, both productive and reflective. Good for you.
    I did not know that there was an International Correspondence Writing Month. Wow! Just the prompt I need to send my dear friend in Ireland a bit of news – andI will look to purchasing some Alzheimer’s stamps.
    Stay warm, dear Dawn.

    • Happy Valentine’s Day, Penny! I’ll bet your wooded yard looks so pretty dressed in sparkling snow! Have you had many deer visiting this month?
      The InCoWriMo 2018 website has lots of nice information about letter writing. It’s a nice reminder to write good, old-fashioned letters to warm our cold Winter days! It will be so lovely to write a long letter to your friend in Ireland. Letters mingle souls. Your letter will make both you and your friend feel happy! Heartfelt thanks for using Alzheimer’s stamps on your special letters, dear Penny! Warm hugs! β™‘

    • Many thanks, Brenda! It really does look pretty. Our snow is melting already. It’s nice to know that Spring is getting closer day-by-day. I’ve been thinking about my garden… and ‘growing’ flowers with paper and ink. It just makes my heart happy! πŸƒπŸŒΈπŸƒπŸŒΈπŸƒ What crafty things are making you happy while your garden sleeps? Thanks so much for stopping to visit and chat today, Brenda!πŸ’—

      • Brenda, the other day I was thinking about your helpful advice for collecting seeds. I must make note to do that this year! It must be fun to organize your seeds and dream of Springtime. Only 31 more days!!😊 Thanks for being here, Brenda!

  2. Beautiful, beautiful cards, but, really, they are works of art. πŸ™‚ Your snow shots are lovely, and the fact that you live in a community that houses people who care about their neighbors is beyond wonderful. It’s sad to say, but there’s not a lot of community feeling out there right now, so you are lucky. Thank you for the info on the stamps, I will gladly ask for them. πŸ™‚

    • Warm hugs, Judy! Just walking through my snowy garden in the sunshine that day filled my heart with joy. Pure, sparkling, white bliss! Perhaps living in an older, established neighborhood has helped us to build a strong community spirit. When I moved here (as a young, single homeowner) my elderly neighbors on both sides welcomed me in so many warm ways. They were so helpful as I was learning how to take care of a home on my own! I always tried to help them and they always helped me with advice or a helping hand. Over the years, I have welcomed each new neighbor with gifts of kindness, helped their children with schoolwork, shared plants from my garden, or whatever they needed. I love putting my handmade cards into their mailboxes to brighten their days! Good neighbors are worth more than gold!!!! When we are out of town, our neighbors are so good about taking care of everything here for us. It gives us the freedom to travel. We count our blessings for our kind neighbors! Thank you so much for buying Alzheimer’s stamps, Judy! Your friendship truly warms my heart!! πŸ’—

  3. So sweet ! Creating helps to get us through the long cold winter. Although this year in UT we have had none. Very unusual! Have not had that snow shovel out once. It’s alot colder today and a storm is rolling in. We may finally see some of that white stuff.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • It truly does, Jann! Nesting and creating seem to go hand in hand. While our gardens are sleeping, we both pursue our other creative passions. It’s so hard to believe that you haven’t had a snowy winter in Utah! Wishing you a dusting of snow that melts quickly! We had a beautiful three hour snow fall yesterday and today it melted. So pretty and so easy! We just returned from a long winter walk in the bright sunshine. 😊Thank you so much for stopping to visit today, Jann! Have a wonderful week ahead! πŸ’—

  4. Hello! This is by far out of the blue, but I’m an artist living in Chicago and I was wondering if I could purchase any petals from your saguaro flowers? I am making paper with the flower petals of native plants and then printing on top photos of invasive plant species. I hope to show the relationship these two plant classifications. The cover up of the native by the invasive.

    Please let me know if you could do my request, I’d pay more than the shipping if need be!

    Thank you,

    Ross Brimberry

    • Hi Ross! We also live in the Midwest, but enjoy visiting our family in the desert Southwest. So, all of my saguaro photos are from our vacations. I do have some suggestions to share with you. Perhaps if you contact a botanic garden or desert park, they will be able to direct you to a garden club or garden center that might be helpful. I believe that the Saguaro is a protected plant in Arizona. So the flower petals would probably have to come from a private grower. The people at Usery Mountain Regional Park are very knowledgeable and friendly. You might contact them. The Desert Botanical Garden, in Phoenix, might be of help. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, in Superior, hosts plant sales so they may have helpful connections. Tohono
      Chul Park, in Tucson, is an amazing botanic garden with strong ties to artists and artwork throughout the gardens. Perhaps they might also have some ideas to help you. Your artwork sounds wonderful, Ross! You are producing beautiful paper that holds an important message. I hope you will let us know if your search for Saguaro blossom petals is successful. Wishing you continued success in your artwork! 🌡

  5. Oh my goodness! That looks like a winter wonderland. We got a very little bit of snow yesterday and last night but nothing like what you have. We mostly just get rain. Haven’t been to the post office to buy stamps in quite a while so I’ll have to make a trip this week. Maybe they will have some still. We are such a small town but who knows. I love your cards especially the snow globes. I think everyone is ready for a touch of spring. It will be here soon.

    • It was definitely a Winter Wonderland, Marlene! We are enjoying two nice, warm, rainy days at the moment. This morning, all of the snow has melted! I’m heading out in a few moments for a long walk in between the rain showers. Last night, we took a long walk in the rain. Spring is on the way… I can feel it! I’m glad that you had a touch of snow, too. Maybe it was your one-day Winter season in Oregon! Heartfelt thanks for checking out the Alzheimer’s postage stamps, Marlene. You are such a dear! Wishing you a happy week! β™‘

  6. Dawn, what gorgeous cards, as always. I’m thinking of you with all that snow, venturing down into your chilly paper garden and emerging with paper signs of spring and summer. Good for you for getting out there and shoveling the snow, too. It is good exercise, I’m sure, but a lot of work. Three times a day seems incredible. I love that neighbors help each other and that the tradition continues to be handed down.

    Beautiful cards, beautiful photos, beautiful heart = you!

    • Such sweet things to say, dear Alys! Yes… sometimes we have to create our own Springtime (even when we are wearing a Winter jacket and sipping hot tea for warmth in the studio πŸ™‚ )! I’ve noticed that flowers are definitely trending on my most recent card creations. I truly hope they bring a bit of Springtime to family and friends each time they open their ‘happy mail.’ Thanks again, for your very kind words, Alys! I can’t wait to hear all about your recent travels… and your big trip coming next! Warmest hugs! β™‘

    • Oh, thank you, Greta! It was such fun to play along with all of the Papertrey Ink Challenges for their Anniversary celebration! I couldn’t wait to try out a few new ink colors, stamps and dies the moment they arrived. The Blog Hop card was my first try with the Forest Floor: Spring stamp set. I can tell that I’ll be using this stamp set again and again!😊 Thank you for hopping by to visit… and for your very kind words, Greta!πŸ’—

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