Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blog Break

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well and enjoying the summer.

It's time for me to talk about what has been keeping me so busy this Spring and Summer.   As you know sometimes things happen in life that changes what we thought would be our path.    As a result of past events we found it necessary to sell our home in the country to downsize (or right size as some have pointed out) to a home on a small property in town.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with living simply with less upkeep, it's been an emotional roller coaster ride and a ton of work the past few months.  We've put our heart into our home & property and it makes us sad to leave our mature trees, gardens and nature.  However we feel positive about living closer to conveniences, a new adventure in a different lifestyle and making new memories. 

We have massive gardens where we currently live and the new owners cannot look after so many.  Therefore we helped them by removing a large 2,000 square foot garden.   There are still many left for them to enjoy along with the 80 trees that we planted.    Sadly the garden that is now 'gone' is the one that you see on my current blog header.    I dug up at minimum 500 clumps of plants for family, friends and friends of friends.   My husband spent 12 hours cutting down rose shrubs and other friends took away the fence & arbor materials.     I have potted & nurtured 40 large containers of plants to bring with us.  We will create new much smaller gardens at the new home.   Fortunately I enjoy designing gardens and have a 'blank canvas' to work with. 

The new house is 1/2 the size so we've had the huge job of purging 'stuff' that we've accumulated over the years along with trying to keep up with the yard work, downsizing the gardens, working on minor home repairs, cleaning nooks & crannies and of course all the packing.   The emotional stress has been draining and at times I've been fatigued and haven't been in a creative mood but some days it gave me a stress release.

My craft 'studio' will be packed up very soon so I will not be able to create or blog for a while.  However I do have scheduled blog posts in August.   I will have even less time than I've had lately to visit blogs as we pack, move, unpack, create new gardens, prepare a new craft room etc..  Also we are having trouble with our current Internet service, it's been very slow and at times I cannot open blogs.  I'm sorry that I haven't been around much to see my fellow bloggers beautiful designs.   Hopefully our service at the new home will be much faster.

I also find it necessary to take a break from the Chocolate Baroque & Designs by Ryn Design Teams.   I'm lucky that both Glenda (of CB) and Ryn are kind and understanding in giving me the time.   I'm already missing 'working' with my kind and talented  'teamies' and look forward to being back with them in the Fall. I've also missed joining into the challenges over at Art Journal Journey for the past several months.

Here is the garden as it was:

And here it is during the work with the backhoe.  It was not fun to have huge equipment around the property but it was necessary, we could not physically do it ourselves.  Sadly a lot of plants were taken away but hundreds found happy new homes :)  Why did we do this for the new owners?  Partly because we already needed to have heavy equipment in for a minor repair (minor repairs can be major work) and also part of the agreement was to move out a huge pile of sod and plants that accumulated in the back corner over the years.  We knew they were going to take out this garden so we helped by giving tons of plants away and keeping some for ourselves.    

Take good care everyone, enjoy the rest of your summer and your artwork.   As I mentioned I will have scheduled posts over the few weeks and then it will be quiet here :(



  1. Hi Shirley. This has obviously been a difficult time for you one way and another and you will need time to move and settle in to your new life. I'm sure we will all miss you but will look forward to your scheduled posts, but in the meantime take care and I hope your move goes well and your new life gives you everything you wish for. x

  2. How sad Shirley. All of those beautiful gardens an grounds. I certainly hope the new home is as picturesque when you are done.


  3. Good that so many of your loved plants have find good homes and that you can take so many with you. It is sad to leave a place whit so many memories, a good thing that memories are allways going with you... Wish you energy with all the work and fun new memories in the new house and gardens! Hugs, Gerrina

  4. Oh Shirley how sad to see your beloved gardens in the last picture:( I'm glad they have found new homes and your able to take some with you to start again. I know how it feels to change direction we had to downside when my hubby took seriously ill and could no longer climb upstairs but we have slowly pulled around and you take your memories with you. Take care and see you soon xxxxxxxxxxxxx huggles Sue xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. I applaud you, Shirley, for your upbeat attitude during a time which is not only stressful, but tiring. Your one garden may be gone, but I can feel your connection to the new one already. 'See' you in the fall. Hugs, Win

  6. Sending all good wishes to you and yours dear Shirley in this time of transition...
    When the dust settles I bet it will be a wonderful new beginning...
    I will miss you and I will be thinking of you...
    Take care and don't work too hard...if that is possible

  7. Oh yes, I can understand that you've had a difficult time. I wish you all the best for the forthcoming time and a good start at your new home.

  8. I wish you a very happy future in your new invirement dear Shirley, I think once you have sattled,it will be oké, but of course now it's really bussy, take a time out and injoy what you are doing we will wait for you!!!Good luck!!


  9. HOpe that that your new home will bring you lots of joy. It must be sad leaving your home and garden. Sending lots of hugs to you and the kitties.

  10. Thank you for sharing, Shirley. Looking at the work and love that you put into your home and gardens, I feel certain that you will make your new home and yard look just as magnificent, only on a smaller scale! Plus you will always have memories and photos and your blog to remind you of this property that you loved.

    I wish you all the best with the move and getting settled in. I'm sure you will make it an exciting adventure for you both! Come visit when you can/need a break. We will all be here when you come back to us!! Big hugs, Darnell

  11. My lovely friend, what a sad journey and I feel for you where your garden and home are concerned...I can relate to that but keep on the bright side as things happen for a reason...keep in touch if you can.xx
    ♥aNNie The Journey is the Start

  12. Always sad to leave somewhere that is loved, but a new beginning can be exciting. I'll miss your vibrant coloured pieces. Wish you all happiness in your new surroundings.

  13. Such a sad time for you Shirley but I am sure you will bounce back and have a wonderful future when all is sorted out.

    Thinking of you

    Love Chrissie x

  14. Whilst reading I could hear how sad you are Shirley but also I got the feeling about how positive you are about the new path you are taking. Good luck with everything sweets.

    I can also relate to your news as we live on a 2 acre property in a five bedroom bungalow. Sometime in the future we are going to have to leave and go back to the UK to live.

    Looking forward to more news about the new garden and home. Chin Up sweets and keep smiling as all things in life happen for a reason.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

  15. It must be sad for you to leave your wonderful garden, but I am sure you will create another place of beauty where you can feel well. Take care of yourself and good luck with the move and settling into the new house! Hugs, Valerie

  16. Oh, this is really a hard time for you! To leave such a wonderful garden and house! But I hope you´ll created another wonderful garden and home. Good luck for the next coming days!
    Best wishes and hugs, LonettA

  17. Hello Shirley
    Sorry that life has gotten in the way.... but the new house will soon be the one you love!
    Looking at your gardens its amazing you had time to craft with all that work!
    Enjoy your break, and making the new house a home!
    Take care
    Love Marg

  18. There's a lot going on in your lives and hearts Shirley...How difficult it wil be to say goodbye to your home and gardens after so many years...I do hope you can rebuild memories in the new house and make it a home too...
    Good luck with all the work ánd the emotions!
    See ya...Alie :-)

  19. Wishing you all the very best with your move Shirley! We will miss seeing your beautiful work while you move, but I'm looking forward to seeing what you create in your new craft room! Good luck teamie! Big hug xxxxx

  20. Wow Shirley, big news from you and big changes in your life. I know this has been in your mind for some time. Leaving your beloved garden will be hard and I can understand why you have dismantled the garden area for the new owners as it has meant you can cherry pick plants to build your new garden and rehome plants to loving homes, rather than feel they could be discarded. We are starting a major sort out and it is daunting. I wish you the best of everything in your new home. I am sure there will be sad moments when you leave, it is hard when your heart doesn't quite match what your head tells you that you need to do. I look forward to hearing you are settled and happy in your new place. Take care and don't forget to take time out to enjoy yourself in the midst of all the moving work. Elaine xx

  21. Shirley,

    My heart is pounding, as a garden lover myself but unable to do much I clearly understand your pain, but then you have the excitement of your new garden and premises. I wish all the luck in the world and let the heavens shine of you. I am please to hear you re-located many of the plants your garden was stunningly beautiful. Don't stress much, try and be at peace with yourself and husband.

    Love and hugs
    Eliza & Yoda

  22. My goodness Shirley ...I am surprised that you have been able to maintain your crafting and DT work with so much going on. What a positive way to approach the planned loss of part of your beautiful garden and plants too. Sharing plants that you have nurtured is lovely and we have many plants in our garden gifted from family and friends and they are pretty special.
    I hope the move goes well and I look forward to hearing from you in the fall.

    Best wishes
    Annie x

  23. Hi Shirley
    How sad to see all plants and harbor went away. I wish you get again such a nice garden but smaller Take good care both you and Jim. And I hope your break will be long enough to feel good about all this. Thinking of you.!!!XXX. Saakje.

  24. Wow, what a post. It is sad to see your gardens go, but I'm sure you will be happy at your new place. All the very best of luck.

  25. Hi Shirley, what an emotional time for you, change is never easy but somehow it does seem to make us stronger in the end. I have loved looking at your garden photos at the top of your blog. Someone with your talents will surely rise to the challenge of the smaller garden and I look forward to seeing the results in future posts!!! you are an inspiration with your card designs so please don't be away too long! all the best Shirley M

  26. Shirley I have really enjoyed your lovely cards and also your pictures of your beautiful garden in its different seasons. I'm sure you'll have lots of happy memories of your time there and I hope you'll soon feel at home in your new place, designing another beautiful garden on a new canvas! :)

  27. All the best with this Shirley - similar things happening here but we're selling everything & I'm rehoming the larger part of my craft room & will have to start again with many supplies as anything we keep will have to go into storage - the Chocolate Baroque collection is being kept!!
    Take good care of yourself.
    Paula (PEP)

  28. Shirley I can understand your feelings about leaving this beautiful place. I hope the move goes well and take care!
    Groetjes Karin x

  29. Hello Shirley, sounds as if you are in for some exciting times. Hope the move goes well, and that you enjoy the new house and garden. Just think how easier a smaller garden will be (said feelingly at the moment).
    I can't imagine how you have also managed to keep up with your blog and your art and also prepared posts for August, that takes some doing.
    We'll be here when you come back and I look forward to "seeing" you again.

  30. How very sad Shirley - I wish you all the best with your move and in your new home.
    Sandy xx

  31. Hi Shirley! Ah there is a lot going on in your life right now! Well, aa they say "where one door closes, another one opens" ;) Wishing you lots of energy on moving day, wishing you the very best in your new life, and wishing you lots of happy new memories in your new home and garden! Looking forward to seeing your beautiful creations again when you are back! ;) Warm greetings, Marlene ;)

  32. Wow--what a lot to deal with, Shirley. I can only imagine all the stress you've been under. Hubby would like to move & I can't bear to think of what would be involved. I took out the backyard roses this year, so I experienced a little bit of the feelings you went through. Wishing you much joy when this is all settled & I look forward to your return in the Fall! Take care, Greta

  33. Shirley... love and very best wishes to you. A stressful time but a wonderful future awaits you both x
    A whole new world for you .
    E xxx


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