Blog Name

Why is my blog called "Creative Smiles"? My designs are the result of covering up mistakes. My fumble fingers drop whatever they are holding - repeatedly. Hence, the giggles and smiles of creative patience all throughout my crafting process. xx

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Blog Candy and Six Weeks Later

Welcome to my newest followers, Tammy and Jennifer, and a hearty hello to all my favorite blogland friends.

On May 1, I shared some photos of blooming plants. It has been 6 weeks, and maybe you will enjoy seeing what Mother Nature does in such a short period of time here in central Florida. We have gone from "mild and enjoyable" to "hot and humid" in a short period of time.

No new card share because still not sitting up for long periods, but I do have June's Blog Candy and a few before-and-after photos to share!

(below is the "before" photo, taken May 1)

The caladiums were just beginning to pop up. We do not dig our caladiums up during the winter. It's so fun watching the ground come to life with these colorfully leafy plants. It's the closest thing Florida can offer to crocuses and tulips.

Notice (above) the Chinese Fringe Flower bush to the far left is no longer blooming, but the leaves are turning a bright burgundy. They will stay that way all summer, and bloom periodically, too.

Here is the before photo just 6 weeks ago:

The geraniums are already in disstress from the heat and sun. The large caladium leaves provide a little shade during the summer. When Autumn comes, the geraniums will be happy again, and the caladiums will be gone.

Here's my WHINE (do you have any cheese to go with my whine?) Still not able to sit up much, and definitely finding it difficult to make cards, but that won't stop me from June's Blog Candy share. Thank you for sharing the lanai portion of my back yard.

These "after photos" were taken at noon - the sun was brilliant in a clear blue sky.

Awwww, you have been so patient. My June blog candy is intended for friends and visitors who truly share themselves on my blog. I cannot thank you enough for your dear friendship. Welcome to any new visitors if this is your first visit. You don't have to be a follower to qualify for my blog candy, and as long as I can find your e-mail address in blogger, or if you e-mail it to me, I can notify you if my husband pulls your name out of the basket. The blog candy is just for fun to share with others. If you are reading this from an e-mail, just click on the title at the top of your e-mail and it will bring you to my blog post.

The Candy this month is a brand new - never used - watercolor floral Stampin' Up! hostess set of 7 stamps called "Two Step Stampin' Botanical Blooms", with the sentiment:

"to thine own self be kind"

To qualify for the set, please leave a comment about the sentiment. It is all about inner strength. Has there been a time in your life when you were not particularly kind to yourself? Or have you always done what is in your best interests, regardless of the cost. Share anything that comes to mind regarding the quote. It will be so inspiring reading your comments. Thank you in advance for caring enough to share that part of your heart with me, and all my other blog visitors. The drawing will be on July 1.

My self-unkindness is that I often strive to do too much, or I might allow others to take advantage of me or inflict guilt upon me when I should not allow it. So the word "no" is coming into play more often. Also I am being as honest as possible with people in the most gracious manner possible, by choosing my words carefully and not taking things personally, remembering that if my actions displease others, it may not have anything to do with me, but it simply is not what others want from me for whatever reason. Carefully, I try not to assume that I understand what others are going through, or what they are thinking. That is liberating. And finally, I do my best, and my best may vary from hour to hour. These are the kindnesses to myself (and others) that I am working on daily and makes for a strong soul.

Submitted to the following inspiring challenge blog:
Path of Positivity - #3 Strength (last paragraph of my post)

Grateful hugs for you,


Desire Fourie said...

Oh wow, nature is amazing. your planters are so cheerful with the beautiful flowers. I am so pleased you also joined Lisa's wonderful Path of Positivity challenge.
{I would love you to take part in my 600 Follower Give-away. Thank you so much if you have already entered and good luck.} Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

Unknown said...

"To thine own self be kind" - I must admit to never knowing how to do that Donna. I was diagnosed with PPMS 4 years ago and my independence was totally shot to pieces. I could not accept other peoples help as that was totally alien to me. I was more used to being kind to other people, they always came first in my life. Over time and many tears, I realised that I would have to allow myself to accept help whenever I could. So, with great difficulty I started to admit that I couldn't cope myself and let other people in. I came to realise that I had limitations so although I never used the sentiment, I have just realised that this is one that definately comes to mind with me now and not only "To thine own self be kind, but to be true" also. If I can admit to how I am, I can allow myself to be kind to myself and can allow myself to be true to me also. This has been such a hard thing to do, but I am getting there - very slowly. I do hope that you are feeling a bit better than you were and you are taking each day as it comes and as a blessing. Your cardmaking is truly wonderful. Hugs, Jen :-) x
Krafty Keepsakes

KarinsArtScrap said...

O what great and gorgeous plants and flowers Donna.

I know what you main by saying No.
That is what I'm doing not enough.
I think alsways you must help each other.
But by doing that I'm sitting home for almost 10 years.
And that I have 15 years migraine.
For me it's very difficult to say no but I'm learning.

greetings karin

Karen said...

Donna your plants are awesome and I am a lot jealous of your plants, your lanai and especially your pool. I really hope you get over what is ailing you very soon - I've missed seeing your beautiful cards.
It has taken me a long to accept and be kind to myself about my carding/stamping artistry. I like, at times love, what I make - and I try to remind myself of that every day.
I'm trying to bring that positive thinking into the rest of my life too.
Keep well and heal soon Karen x

Jean Bullock said...

The plants look beautiful. I enjoy looking at them. It has been years since I was able to have a garden. One of my favorite plants were geraniums. There are so many beautiful variations of them.

I already follow you through Bloglovin. user name giveawayjean

Although I became acquainted with you on a hop, I followed your blog because you do beautiful work. Just wanted to let you know that. Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

Lynne in NI said...

Wow, your garden looks fabulous :)

Stampsnob. said...

So beautiful de Thank you for sharing , I was not able to get out 6 weeks ago ( or now) but my yard is very green and lots of herbs but not many flowers I truly enjoyed seeing yours....Lis

Verna Angerhofer said...

That is an awesome sentiment and one which many of us are guilty of not applying. I, am trying to learn to say "no" more often now, and especially since I am not as able bodied as I used to be. I guess it is an "aging" thing. But if I can do something, I find it will help me in the long run to feel useful and to know I am still needed.

And, your flowers are beautiful! It has been a cold spring here and we are having a tough time to get things to germinate and grow. But finally we are starting to get temps in the upper 70's and 80's which is more like it should be for almost summer. We have adequate moisture too now.

Debi said...

Gorgeous flowers! The before/after shots really are something!
As to your sentiment ... ever since my Dad died almost 3 years ago I've been trying to convince my Mother to be good to herself. She has spent her whole life ministering to others and it has been difficult for her to switch roles and ask for help instead. But she is getting there and finding some new and very good friends in the process, a young lady who picks her up for church each week and sits and has a cup of coffee with her before they leave, a new friend who picks her up for Bible Study once a month, and she and her sister are now going to book club and the hairdresser together.
And in another instance, today my 8 yr old grandson stood at the plate with bases loaded and very bravely took a ball to the helmet, getting a walk to 1st base and walking in the boy on 3rd to score a run. He "took one for the team" and was so proud. A huge hurdle for a kid who's been afraid of the ball. He said it didn't even hurt. What a boost to his self confidence! (Next at bat he got a double.)
Take care of yourself Donna. And tell your DH to pick my name this month!!!!

Shea said...

Oh my, your garden is FABULOUS!! How kind of you to give us the "afters" - I always love seeing befores and afters and yours are fantastic! I do hope you start feeling better again soon. You have way to much to offer to be down for the count - we miss you! Thank you for the lovely words on my blog - it's always a pleasure to see your name pop up in my comments section. As for the quote, I'm my own worst enemy but am working on being more of a friend to myself. Don't count my comment in the blog candy contest, I'm just visiting and saying hi and wishing you a lovely day! :)

Karenladd said...

Wow, your yard and pool area is so beautiful. What a joy that must be to sit out by the pool and enjoy all the greenery and flowers. My husband is the gardener here..I don't do much at all but enjoy it!
Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better and hope that you continue to improve. I have to say that there have been times in my life when I felt trapped and overwhelmed, but these days I find that life is kind to me and that it's easy to be kind to myself. Thank you for this peek at your garden and this reminder to be true to ourselves.

creativearts said...

Your plants are beautiful, De! Get plenty of rest!

carrie said...

Your pots of plants and flowers are beautiful! They must love all the humidity and sun.

That sentiment is often so very difficult to follow; it is more often easier to say yes, or not face the truth that one needs to say no to some things or think of oneself first sometimes.

maria's knutselplezier said...

What a gorgeous garden you have, I really love your beautifull plants, here in Belgium we don't have such beauty's . I was olways kind to my first husband, and he was never satisfite, I really didn't think anymore at myself and was always bussy for him and the children, they were spoild and I was very unhappy, and my life went worse because he didn't have any respect for me, the day that he became really agressive, something in me said, enough!! and I took my children and left home, from that day on I became more healty , more happy, and stronger!! And I will be much quicker to say no, now, but I think, girls are told to be nice and kind, and lovely and think at others, but to much thinking at others is forgetting yourself, the problem is when your are used giving , and you say no, nobody excepts it at first they are not used to get a no!!

I hope you understand my bad english , and I wish you all the best!!! Injoy your beautifull nature, and get well soon!!


Shona Erlenborn said...

Isn't Mother Nature the best, Donna? Your photos are gorgeous. I'd love to be splishing around in your lanai. Still can't get outside in the yard here because the Cicadas are now swarming and the noise is deafening! We are known as the Cicada hub with our friends and neighbors! I'm hanging in there 'though. Hoping that we are near the end of captivity! Keep healing dear friend!

Abfabdesigns said...

Your plants are Beautifull you must give them such TLC .
I said after i lost my mum 2 and a half years ago i would say no more often,but i find it so hard and i'm still running away ,but one day ,soon i hope i will be able to be kinder to my self and stop running .
You take care my friend ,remember that glass of wine sitting in your garden is calling out to us
Big Big Hugs XXXX

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Hi Donna, Your flowers, scenery & photography are beautiful. I love thought provoking quotes and this is a great one. It's wonderful how you & others have shared part of themselves here.

I became kinder to myself when I said "No More" to a successful career that was sucking my life and health away. It was very scary to walk away from a busy career that defined who I was. I realize now that it wasn't really who I am and I've been enjoying life so much more with less.

Why do we have trouble saying no ? But I'm learning :) Life is much too short.

Have a wonderful day, I hope you continue to feel better. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Shirleyx

Becky said...

Your lanai is absolutely gorgeous. I have a black thumb, so I'm always appreciative of anyone who can grow their own plants. My mother had the greenest thumb and I swear could plant a stick in the yard and it would grow.

As for your sentiment, "to thine own self be kind" I tend to be most critical of myself, and I also have a hard time saying no. I actually had a boss one time send me to assertiveness training class because everyone at work dumped stuff on me and I wouldn't say no. Imagine his surprise the first time I told him "no, I don't have time to do your reports." :-) But it's not easy.

Also I am tenderhearted to a fault, and get my feelings hurt very easily. I am trying to "toughen up", but it's not easy.

Anne Temple said...

You have such a green thumb! All your plants look amazing. I wish you'd come to my house and work your magic on my yard :-).

Sue said...

Good to see you posting, and those gorgeous pictures, WOW. Your flowers in the pool area look awesome. And your yard is lovely.
I am sorry you are not feeling well enough to stamp, and hope that that changes soon. Take care of yourself. Your such a sweet and generous person, thanks for sharing your pictures.


Leslie Miller said...

Hello, Donna! It makes my heart happy to see your beautiful garden plants today. Caladium only grows as an annual here, but I've never had any luck. I thought they liked shade, but yours are thriving in the heat and sun. Perhaps I'll try again, in the sun this time. You have such a lovely bit of paradise there!

Regarding the sentiment, "To thine own self be kind", I had a difficult childhood, parents in a loveless marriage which turned quite ugly at times. I mean, really ugly and frightening. It tore our family apart, separated my brother and I at times when we were little. He did not come out unscathed, but it turned me into a dreamer. That's how I got through it. When I was old enough to leave home I made my dreams come true. There is nothing but love, caring, and kindness in my marriage. Our son was raised in a happy home. I appreciate all life's simple pleasures, and turn away from people who add stress, strife, and upset whenever possible. I had enough of that when I was growing up. So... in that sense I'm being kind to myself. Now, if only I could apply that resolve to certain other areas... Got the really important stuff covered, though. I'm enjoying the answers from folks. Very encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for asking and for sharing yourself, as well.

Berni Cuttino said...

Hi DE, hoping each day is better than yesterday. Now your garden is so beautiful and relaxing, just love to see creation and the beauty that our Lord has given us to share.
Take care, my friend.

Sandy (Cheesy) said...

My dear Miss D,
I hope that your flowers are bringing you lots of cheer and happiness. I am sorry to hear that you are still not up to par, but will keep you in my thoughts for some steady improvement.
Those caladiums are looking especially healthy and lovely.
Love you.

NanaConnie said...

Donna, Those are such magnificent photos of your lanai area! You have a true photographer's touch. I wouldn't enjoy the humidity you have there in Florida, but I certainly would love pool and plants. :-D
Sentiment about treating oneself kindly -- hmmmm, I'd love to say that I never am unkind to myself or anyone else. The trust is that I am probably less kind to myself, forgetting that I need to take care of myself if I am to have anything to give to another. A very wise mentor of mine once told me that emotional well-being was like a bank account. If you didn't deposit rest and relaxation (substitute 'creativity' if you like) then you would have nothing to withdraw and give to others when they were in need of something from you. Without the deposits, the reservoir is empty. Hugs

SHartl said...

Thank you for these gorgeous photos of your pool and yard. I am so envious! For now we settle for my toddler's blow up pool in the backyard but if I lay back in the water and close my eyes i can pretend I'm surrounded by flowers and cool blue tile...ha ha! I tend to take good care of myself and pace myself well but there are times that I take on too much and can't say no to friends. Each time I kick myself mentally and pledge not to do it again, but then I get sucked in. The older I get though, the more able I am to chose the things that are most important and not get caught up in those that are not.

pam said...

amazing photos Donna, your pool and garden is so beautiful, have to agree with what your visitors say, not much I can add
take care lol pam

Sue from Oregon said...

Would you bring your green thumb to my house? No time to garden during harvest, but I did manage to buy a few flowers to plop in the ground yesterday-about a month late but trying to make an effort!

Loved reading all the thoughts on your sentiment!

Wendy H said...

The garden is beautiful Donna. This is so much not a back yard- not what we would call a back yard here in England anyway!! I've just shown the piccies to my hubby. Hopefully it will inspire him!!
You know my feelings about the sentiment. We have shared many e mails on the subject. My feelings are similar to yours and I echo what you have shared. Hope your health improves soon and that you are able to sit up for longer periods. Take care. Wendy xx

Wendy H said...

The garden is beautiful Donna. This is so much not a back yard- not what we would call a back yard here in England anyway!! I've just shown the piccies to my hubby. Hopefully it will inspire him!!
You know my feelings about the sentiment. We have shared many e mails on the subject. My feelings are similar to yours and I echo what you have shared. Hope your health improves soon and that you are able to sit up for longer periods. Take care. Wendy xx

Wendy H said...

The garden is beautiful Donna. This is so much not a back yard- not what we would call a back yard here in England anyway!! I've just shown the piccies to my hubby. Hopefully it will inspire him!!
You know my feelings about the sentiment. We have shared many e mails on the subject. My feelings are similar to yours and I echo what you have shared. Hope your health improves soon and that you are able to sit up for longer periods. Take care. Wendy xx

brenda said...

Your garden looks a delight Donna and your photography compliments every one of them.

I am more than a little envious of the pool, we have one but it's not even been filled this year as the weather has been soooooooo cold.

And what a very thought provoking quote, I am another who really draws inspiration from them in my artwork.

I do hope you will soon be feeling more yourself.

B x

Dawn said...

Hi Donna,

Your lanai is gorgeous; the greenery has really filled in since the last photos and looks very lush.

I'm sorry to hear you are still in pain; I really hope you are feeling better everyday and continue to send prayers your way.

I have been sitting here thinking about how I am kind and unkind to myself. I was born a perfectionist and have very high expectations of myself. When I don't meet my own standards, I can be very hard on myself. I also tend to dwell on negative experiences and have a really hard time letting them go. I have tried to change these things about myself, but I obviously have no clue how. I am pretty good about not letting others be unkind to me - I'm good enough at it on my own :) But probably, the way in which I have learned to be kindest to myself is to take time to do things that I enjoy instead of trying to please others all the time by doing what they want me to do. That is how my blog was born and why the dishes and laundry are not always caught up. At first, I felt really guilty about it, but once I overcame that guilt, I turned into a much happier person.

Thanks for sharing Donna, and I hope you are feeling better soon.

Big hugs, Dawn

cotnob said...

Your plants are beautiful Donna, and your pool looks rather inviting as well.
I'm so sorry to hear that you are still unable to sit for any amount of time, I do hope you soon see some improvement.
Take care of yourself.

Kat W said...

Oh wow, your plants are so beautiful and something that can give you so much pleasure to look at :-) I love to just look at my garden (in the UK) and enjoy whatever is blooming...although it does require some work now and then to keep it looking good!
And you know what, maybe that is the key with your sentiment quote - to remember to take time to enjoy the little things and not worry about anything or be hard on yourself.
Sending you lots of happy thoughts and hugs, Kat xx

Sharon said...

Donna, your garden is so beautiful. The flowers are just fabulous and how I would love to have a pool in my garden but with English weather!!! I will say no more.
We should all try to be kind to our own self. If we can't be kind to ourselves can we be as kind as we should to others. I agree, it is so hard to say no but with age I am slowly learning.
I really hope you continue to feel better Donna. It certainly takes its toll with you when your are constantly in pain. I know this from a back injury. Thankfully I had surgery and have been fine since.
Sending hugs your way.
Sharon. xxx

Path of Positivity said...

My goodness Donna, those plants along with your backyard are just so beautiful! I would imagine having a pool in Florida would be an absolute necessity to try and escape from the oppressive heat that you get.

You could serve as a poster girl for what I am trying to achieve over on the Path of Positivity. There are so many times in our lives where we forget to draw on the inner strength reserves within us. Even when we are holding on by a thread, if we dig just a bit deeper we should be able to connect with something that helps us to climb back up and continue.

Finding the strength to be kind to ourselves is no different. There have often been times when I have self-bashed myself. In fact, it still happens on occasion. Most everyone does it, at least occasionally. However, it is how we react to that negative self-talk that matters. Do we let the internal dialogue continue its bashing or do we have the strength to stop it in its tracks and counteract the negative statements with positive ones.

Thank you once again for joining us this month over on the Path of Positivity challenge. I hope that you continue to find the strength to be kind to yourself.


Andrea R said...

Your lanai and all your beautiful plants are gorgeous, de. I have one geranium that I had saved from last year's was sad and ragged, but it just didn't want to give up, so I put it out on the sheltered area of the patio all winter. It was still (somehow!) alive in the spring, so I repotted it and moved it back into the sun. Now it is the most magnificent of all my plants, and it just makes my heart glad to see it out there.
I find it easier to be kind to others than to myself. Fortunately, I have a small but loving group of friends who nudge me when I need to be reminded that I am worthy, too.
Love you, girlfriend.

Andrea R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon White said...

Wow!! Your Plants look Amazing Miss Donna! You definitely have a Superior Green thumb! My Mom had that Wonderful ability, where I am kind of hit and miss, lol Though I Love to Garden when I have the time, lol And hopefully as my summer DT schedule mellows out some I will have just that, time to go play i the dirt! (One of my other Favorite pass times! ;-)...)
Thanks for the inspiration my Sweet friend! 8-)


Berni Cuttino said...

Hi DE, passing by and sending you hugs and smiles. Have a fabUlous day.

Carol Hurlock said...

Your backyard looks like a tranquil oasis of relaxation and beauty. Do you mind if I sit a spell and sip my ice tea and enjoy the view-maybe I will also take a refreshing dip in that It is hot and humid here in Georgia too. "to thine own self be kind"-Well let's see it took me most of my life to be kind to As I age I get more insight-I used to beat myself up all the time. An unkind word would cut me to the core and I would think what is wrong with me that someone would say such a thing to me. I finally learned it isn't me. My love flows ever boundless to those around me-but sometimes someone will abuse that love (sibling) so much that you finally find peace by only feeling indifference to that person and it sets you free. The best part is I granted that kindness to myself, that it was OK not to love that person and the hurting stopped immediately. Even kindness to myself that I can express the indifference without guilt. If the story were told, you'd ask me why it took me so
Bear Hugs,

Silvis Kreativstube said...

Hallo liebe Donna,
ich bin total begeistert von deinen wundervollen Bildern. Die Pflanzen haben sich so prächtig entwickelt. Das ist die gute Pflege die sie bei dir und deinem Mann bekommen. Sie werden gehegt und gepflegt und zeigen sich in ihrer volle Pracht.
Ich hoffe sehr, dass es dir bald besser gehen wird und du wieder gut sitzen kannst.
Sei gut zu dir selbst und nimm dir Zeit um trotz aller Beschwerden, jeden Tag etwas glückliches zu erleben. Es sind die kleinen Gesten oder ein flüchtiger Kuss, ein Lächeln huscht über dein Gesicht und du fühlst das Glück.
Ich war jahrelang gut zu anderen und habe mich selbst vergessen. Erst als ich dadurch sehr krank geworden bin, ist mir das bewußt geworden. Nein sagen fällt mir immer wieder schwer, aber ich musste es lernen, denn sonst wäre ich vielleicht nicht mehr hier.
Meine Seele hat durch die Überbelastung und die negativen Erlebnisse in der Kindheit, großen Schaden genommen. Heute versuche ich mich mit den schönen Dingen des Lebens zu beschäftigen. Solche wundervollen Bilder wie die aus deinem Garten und die vielen wundervollen Bastelwerke erfreuen einfach mein Herz. Ich wünsche dir alles erdenklich Gute und möge der liebe Gott dich beschützen.
Ganz herzliche Grüße Hugs und Bussi Silvi

Crafting Vicky said...

So sorry to read that you are not well. Your flowers/plants are totally fabulous. What a great setting to be in. Here it's pretty cold this year for this time of the year. Of course in Canada it doesn't usually get as hot and humid as over in your area.

That quote as made me think on how I'm usually much kinder and gentler with others than with myself... If I fail at something I'm usually pretty critical of my stuff... and even if I succeed... it never seems to be enough... oh well... should really try to keep this quote in mind. Thank you for sharing it!


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