Inspired by Nature… Created by Hand

Hi Friends!

Happy Autumn! (Happy Spring!) I hope you are feeling well and are safe from all of the wild weather as the seasons change. Our weather suddenly changed from hot and humid to delightfully cool just in time for the equinox!

My Midwest cottage garden is flourishing again after several rainy days. The perennials are showing off their white, yellow, pink, and purple blossoms. The herbs seem to have doubled in size overnight!

For the past week, however, I have only been able to hobble through the garden a few, short times. I fractured a bone in my left foot and will be spending the coming weeks wearing an orthopedic shoe while the broken bone heals. My foot definitely lets me know whenever I have taken a few too many steps! Ouch!😢

Time in the garden has always filled me with creative inspiration while healing my heart and soul. No wonder that the garden is my favorite place to be! Nature’s colors, patterns, and shapes inspire my use of inks, papers, stamps, dies, watercolors, and more…

Bunnies are always welcome to nibble the clover, Creeping Charlie, and wild violets from our ‘meadow’ lawn. Recently, a few bunnies have been visiting my little Paper Garden studio downstairs, too.

Gratitude + Tag dies (Papertrey Ink)
Bunny stamp + die (Colorado Craft Company)
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ attracts so many pollinators! I refill the nearby bee bath daily to encourage the busy pollinators to linger in the garden.

The pollinators have been so busy in the garden all Summer long. They have been making an appearance on my handmade cards recently, too.

Honey Bees dies + Honeycomb Corners die (The Greetery)
Sentiment stamp (Papertrey Ink)

What could be sweeter than using a dried ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea blossom, in place of a bow, on a gift for a dear gardening friend?💕

Oh, how the bees love the blossoms of Obedient Plant and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’

Our ‘Hidcote’ Lavender in bloom inspired me to add Lavender stems to handmade cards. I even tucked a few paper stems inside each card!

BotanCuts Lavender + Garden Gear: Gloves dies (The Greetery)
Seed Catalog background stamp (The Greetery)

Do you wear garden gloves? I always wear them while I play in the garden and somehow, I still get muddy hands.😉

These lovely Hollyhocks are blooming along my neighbor’s fence. We look forward to sharing our Hollyhock seeds with one another soon!
BotaniCuts Hollyhocks dies (The Greetery)

I’m really looking forward to harvesting herbs in the coming weeks. I’m going to experiment with an easy, very clever way to dry a few of the herbs. (I’ll report back soon.😊) Herbal inspiration is already on its way to my Paper Garden studio!

Just the other day, as I hobbled past our ‘Autumn Blaze’ Red Maple tree, I spotted the first red leaf nestled in the grass. Very soon, there will be watercolored leaves in my sketchbook and miniature twig wreaths created with ink and paper in the studio. I’m also dreaming of tiny, paper, patchwork quilts! So cozy!

Nurturing my ‘inner second grader‘ helps my creative spirit to blossom!🌸

Last week, I began my fourth consecutive Creative Cluster book study for The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. Over the next twelve weeks, our large group of artists from all disciplines will continue to grow as we travel along our creative paths. It feels like such a blessing to nurture our creativity in community with so many talented artists seeking joy!

You might enjoy the Artists for Joy podcast, with Merideth Hite Estevez, our very talented facilitator/coach/musician/writer/friend! (You can find it wherever you listen to podcasts. Always inspiring!)

🌻Thank you so much for visiting today!

What excites you most with the change of season?

🌻Hope you will share with all of us in the Comments!

Perennially yours,

💗 Dawn


14 thoughts on “Inspired by Nature… Created by Hand

  1. Hi Dawn – I’m so sorry about your foot! Hope your healing is speedy. I love your cards – beautiful to the eye and heart. And I especially like the sentiment on the first one; “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” Lovely.

    I had 5 trees planted in May, and while I’m not trying to rush the season – really! – when the time is right, I’m looking forward to the fall color on the 2 maples and the birch. I’m not sure what the crabapple will do, besides, I hope, producing bright red fruit for the fall/winter. And the pine will be decorated after Thanksgiving with solar powered fairy lights; fingers crossed that they do well. I have solar powered fairy lights in mason jars at the foot of the front walk and in the back yard where we can see them from the kitchen windows at night, so I’m hoping for something equally magical come December. But, as I said, I’m not trying to rush the season; I’m enjoying this time so much – plenty of daylight still, and the zinnias are blooming like crazy. It’s so nice to have plenty of flowers in the garden to make flower arrangements without feeling like I’ve stripped the garden. Zinnias plus goldenrod, snakeroot, and asters make a beautiful bouquet.

    Take care, Dawn!


    • Such kind words, Ginnie! Heartfelt thanks! How wonderful to hear about your five new trees!💕You must keep us updated as the season progresses. (I’m not rushing the season either! Still hoping to finish a few more outdoor projects as soon as I am able.) Ginnie, your solar powered fairy lights in mason jars sound magical! What a wonderful idea! Such beautiful bouquet inspiration, my friend!
      Sending big hugs to you and your mom!💗

  2. Foot injury? Not good, but I hope the medical plan works and it heals quickly. You are so lucky to have two passions, and when one is not available you can show your skills in another area. Your cards always take my breath away with their beauty. 🎴I have been going through my beds looking for those plants that caused me grief with the heat and drought. I’ve always been a fan of Knockout Roses, and have two in one bed that are beautiful. I also had four in another bed that have issues every year and just take up space. I pitched them this fall. Yes, I dug them up and threw them away, and it was a freeing moment only you would understand. 🙂 I’ve never spent this much time and effort moving plants because of heat, wind, and drought, but I’m hoping I see a better survival rate next season. Take care of the foot but enjoy your inside creative outlet in the meantime.

    • Kindred spirits, Judy! I feel the story of your roses tugging on my heartstrings. So proud of you for making the hard decisions, my friend!😊You inspire me with the courage to make hard choices in our gardens. My mom had a beautiful rose garden when I was growing up. I watched her care for the roses each day and knew that I would never be a good rose gardener. When I bought my home, there were several rose bushes here. I dug them right up and gave them to my mom for her garden. I knew they would be much happier there!

      All of your time and effort moving plants will help your plants survive our changing climate conditions in the garden. I think it will prove to be time well spent!

      While I worked so hard in May, June, and July to dig up tree roots and shade plants after the Pine trees were removed, I decided that this was just phase one of the new Sunshine bed. I needed an instant splash of color along the tall, chain link construction fence to make my heart happy. Dividing perennials from other parts of the garden provided instant color! In my heart, I know that it would be better to fill this new garden bed with flowering shrubs for structure and color throughout the seasons. So, in the Spring, after the new neighbors build their tall fence, I will work to make this garden dream happen! It will become a special Memory Garden.

      Judy, we are both so blessed to have year-round creative passions! I’m sure you are already thinking about new quilting projects. I’m excited to create some tiny, paper quilts! I’m curious to play with some calico patterns in seasonal color palettes. I’m truly hoping🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 for the chance to get back to work on my garden projects. So, I am carefully following doctor’s orders. I will have new x-rays of my fracture in two weeks. Thankfully, I am able to drive, so I am heading off to help my dad today!
      Sending big hugs all the way to NH. 💗

  3. Hi Dawn, so sorry to hear about your foot. Sending good vibes for a quick healing. I’m looking forward to the fallish weather. Today is the first full day & its it. But here too, I feel my flowers are thankful for a bit of reprieve from the hot & humid, for they’re flourishing with the a big show of blooms & colors. And the hummers that are migrating are definitely enjoying it. This coming week I’ll be closing the pool, & start putting the veggie gardens to rest. Time to order some bulbs too! Always planning ahead! ☺️

    • Oh, thank you, Cynde! I’m taking good care of my foot while juggling family responsibilities. So grateful that I am able to drive! Two weeks ago, we took a nice, long walk along the Fox River. It was beautiful and so relaxing to walk and talk while enjoying the birdsong and the water birds. So grateful that we had that special day before my foot injury!

      Our cool weather arrived in perfect timing for the change of season, didn’t it? I just love sweater weather! We have seen lots of migrating hummingbirds in recent weeks, too. They are such beautiful, amazing, little wonders!

      As gardeners, we are always hopeful and believe in creating a beautiful tomorrow! Ordering your new bulbs is definitely proof of that. We love to dream our garden dreams! Cynde, what are your favorite hobbies after the garden season ends? This year, of course, being a grandma will be your #1 new hobby!
      Thank you for visiting today, Cynde! Take extra good care!💗

  4. So sorry to hear about your injury. It is humbling especially as we age! I so enjoy your garden updates. We are only allowed to water for 7 minutes twice a week before 9am. I have lost so many plants that I have put in a full drip system and will eliminate the remaining 1/3 of my lawn next week. It’s difficult to accept but, I fear, the beginnings of Climate Change impact here.
    Keep up the good work on behalf of us all. Love and quick recovery. Anne

    • Heartfelt thanks for your healing wishes, dear Anne! Yes, humbling is the perfect word! I am figuring out ways to be ‘creative’ in my caregiving during this time, as well. Please keep my family extra close to your heart during this time!

      It’s so heartbreaking to hear the ways that California has been impacted by Climate Change! You are very wise to make such difficult, but necessary, lifestyle changes, my friend. I hope that you will be able to help your garden adapt with drought tolerant plants and your full drip system. It’s frightening to read about the changes you are already experiencing, Anne.

      A few years ago, at a gardening workshop I attended, we were advised to think ahead when choosing to plant new trees. Rather than the USDA zone 5b here in our area, we were encouraged to consider zone 6b, more typical of the St. Louis climate. The impact of Climate Change will continue to change our lives without a real commitment by us all to do better! Thank you, Anne, for sharing your story with us all today.
      We think of you so often! Sending hugs across the miles!💗

  5. Dawn, I’m sorry to hear about your foot fracture. I’ve had foot surgeries in the past and they are NO fun. I’m relieved to know that you will heal with the aid of the boot.

    Your garden is always a breath of fresh air, and so are your cards. I’m so glad you got some rain. We had one day of rain last week and it was bliss. It has been dry for months upon months. I have many good associations with autumn. One is our wedding anniversary. Mike and I got married on September 23, 1995 which coincided with the equinox that year. We married outside on a warm day with the golden hills on the horizon. I love the smells that come with autumn, the changing angle of the sun, pumpkins, apple cider…I could go on and on. I’m so glad you are finding joy in your garden, your crafts, and with your artist community. Sending you a big hug and hopes for a speedy recovery. 🌺

    • Oh, thank you, Alys! I still remember your very long, challenging recovery from your last foot surgery. I’m very grateful that I can slowly navigate stairs and that I am able to drive safely. I really miss working in my garden and taking long walks as the seasons change. I will have more x-rays next week. I’m hoping for some encouraging news.

      Happy 27th wedding anniversary to you and Mike!!💕 I can just imagine your beautiful ceremony! I’m certain that each and every detail was magical on that perfect day. I know how much you love this time of year, Alys! Are you growing pumpkins this year? I hope Autumn 2022 will be filled with small moments of joy around every corner, dear heart!

      Your recent rainy day was such a blessing. Oh, how I hope there will be more rainy days in California very soon, Alys. I always enjoy seeing your inspiring, handmade cards. Artists love other artists! I think of you so often.
      Take extra good care, dear friend.💗

      • Dawn, I too hope you receive encouraging news. I missed the same things when I couldn’t walk: hiking, walking, and gardening.

        We’re finally seeing signs of fall, even though our temps remain in the eighties. I think people are looking forward the Halloween this year, as I’ve seen decorations up around the neighborhood in late September. I didn’t plant pumpkins this year, and the two that self-seeded just limped along. I had a few blossoms but they were otherwise weak plants.

        Thank you for your always-kind words, Dawn, and for your endless good cheer. Please let me know how the x-rays go. xo

      • Alys, I hope that you will make lots of special Autumn memories. I know how much you adore this time of year! Will you be creating amazing Halloween costumes again this year?
        Thank you for asking, dear friend. My x-rays showed the fracture is beginning to heal after three weeks. I return for more x-rays at the end of this month. So, I have been taking little walks around our yard, just enjoying the garden.
        Sending big hugs across the miles! 💗

      • That’s good news, Dawn! I’m so glad you won’t need surgery. I’m happy, too, that you’re getting around the garden while the weather holds.

        I love this time of year, and it’s good of you to remember. This is the first year in over a decade that we don’t have any parties to attend. It’s a bit of a let down, but so it goes in the days of Covid. I just finished assembling 20 craft kits and a “spooky” box to put alongside our Little Free Library. That was fun. I’ve also created half a dozen Halloween cards, also enjoyable as you well know! xo

      • This lovely time of year always makes me think of you, Alys! Hopefully, next October you will be busy creating unique costumes for a Halloween party! Perhaps this is the year to create little scrapbook or framed collage of photos of all of your costumes from those fun a Halloween parties of years past. That would definitely bring back happy memories!

        Alys, you know how much I adore your Little Free Library. 💕 I so admire all of the ways you add your own special touches ~ craft kits, bookmarks, and now a “spooky” box alongside your LFL.😊 I’m dreaming of having a Little Free Library for our neighborhood one day! There are so many popping up around town. Our fire station even has a LFL out front!

        Your handmade cards are treasures, Alys! I’m still inspired by your vintage botanicals. This weekend, I’ve been busy in my little Paper Garden blending Distress Oxide inks to create colorful Autumn leaves inspired by the trees in our neighborhood. Yesterday, while I happily played in the studio, listening to the Oldies radio station, they played an old favorite song about your city. So, of course, dear heart, you were on my mind!! Sending big hugs and many blessings across the miles! 💗

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.