Gardening Is Good

Gardening Is Good For You

Gardening comes in many forms – a huge plot of land, a small patch of ground in your yard, small containers on your patio, little pots around the house. No matter your design, there are many benefits, both mental and physical, for your health.

In addition to helping with reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, stress, mood disturbance, and BMI, gardening has been shown to increase quality of life, sense of community, physical activity levels, and cognitive function. Gardening helps your heart get stronger, and your self-esteem grows. Thanks to beneficial bacteria found in soil, gardening may improve your immune system, helping you get sick less and fight off infections easier.

Additionally, growing plants helps your brain. The mycobacterium found in soil can improve brain functions while boosting moods. It increases serotonin produced in the brain (also known as the “happy” chemical). So, by getting your hands dirty, you’re also making your brain happy! In addition to adding beauty to the world, gardens help local wildlife.

There are also some great lessons to learn from gardening. Here are a few we can glean from playing in the dirt:

  • Learning to look at things from a different perspective can save you a lot of heartache.
  • Optimism is important.
  • The most beautiful things in life are sandwiched between a rock and a hard place.
  • It’s okay to be alone sometimes.
  • Every good thing requires hard work.
  • Failure is the necessary stepping-stone to success.
  • The unexpected can often be beautiful and magnificent..

Now, with Colorful Creations By Cheryl, you can easily factor in adding some colorful art to your garden (see my blog Why Art Is Good For You). Do you want some fun markers to identify your upcoming vegetables?

Unique Gift Ideas

Do you want some fun critters to sneak a peek among your flowers or plants?

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Or how about a lovely memorial in your garden for a special loved one?

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   Here are some fun rocks that were turned in to their own design:

 

I’ve also taken some old, tired, and plain garden decorations that needed some revitalization – and given them some new life and color.

Do you have any yard art that could use some happiness?

To see some more Before and After photos, check out the About page at Colorful Creations By Cheryl.com

 

For more information, visit colorfulcreationsbycheryl.com.  Can I turn something into beautiful yard art for you?  Can I paint a customized rock as a memorial for a loved one (a person or a pet)? Do you want a unique gift but don’t know exactly what to get? Reach out to me at colorfulcreations@att.net and I’ll be happy to personalize something for you.  Let’s come up with some great ideas together.

 

Being Grateful

Despite the overwhelmingly challenging year that was 2020, I think we can all agree that there is a lot for which we can be grateful as we move into 2021. As I watched my traditional and extensive variety of Christmas movies in December, the great lyrics of Bing Crosby’s Count Your Blessings in “White Christmas” really resonated with me this time.  Not only did I spend a lot of time thinking about the good things I had in 2020, I also spent a lot of time being grateful for all the bad things I didn’t have in 2020.  I bet, if you thought about it for a minute, you could come up with some good ones, too.

In an effort to give back and thank our military families for all of their sacrifices, Colorful Creations By Cheryl donated handmade baby booties to an organization called Soldiers’ Angels.   Their mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. We wanted to send something sweet (and colorful) to our United States military troops as they are often far away from their families and loved ones as they welcome new babies.

To all the military friends and families, thank you for your service!

Another amazing group to whom we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude is the healthcare workers. They have relentlessly worked around the clock to care for an overwhelming amount of patients (with and without COVID-19) during this pandemic. A longtime friend of mine is an Emergency Room doctor in Atlanta. As a holiday gift to thank his night shift nurses, he ordered an assortment of hand-painted rocks from Colorful Creations by Cheryl. They were thrilled.

To all the healthcare worker friends and families, thank you for all that you continue to do!

There are so many reasons to be hopeful for all of the great possibilities of 2021, however, it will take patience as we navigate through the changes and vigilance of staying healthy. Please wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distance. And be grateful!

For more information, visit colorfulcreationsbycheryl.com.  Can I turn something into beautiful yard art for you?  Can I paint a customized rock as a memorial for a loved one (a person or a pet)? Do you want a unique gift but don’t know exactly what to get? Reach out to me at colorfulcreations@att.net and I’ll be happy to personalize something for you.  Let’s come up with some great ideas together.

Why Dogs Are So Great

I was around 4 years old when my parents asked my big brother (age 6) and me if we would rather have a baby brother or baby sister. That was their way of letting us know that we were going to get one or the other.  Stephen and I had a brief discussion and proudly told our parents that we would rather have a dog. I mean, David was cute and all but we had to wait 2 more years before they got us the dog.  But it was well worth it – our lives (and those of my future family) were changed forever.

 

Blaze was a 2-year-old retired show dog whose owner, a colleague of my Dad’s, was looking to give him a nice family home. This beautiful Collie became my very own Lassie! (Fun fact: while the Lassie we saw on TV and in the movies was cast as a female dog, all 9 dogs who portrayed her were actually male.) Blaze was sweet and smart and cuddly and a great listener. He taught me about unconditional love, friendship, responsibility, empathy, and enjoying the simple things in life. Thankfully, since that time, I have never Not had a dog in my life. And that love has been happily passed not only to my husband (who didn’t have a dog growing up), but also to my 3 kids and their significant others. We currently have 5 dogs and a cat-puppy between us.

[This portrait of Blaze was actually painted by my Uncle Marshall, not by me; but I’m proud I got those artistic genes.]

While I’ve always known that dogs are great for so many reasons, there has been a lot of research over the years to substantiate why owning a dog is good for you. Here are a few:

  • Dogs get you to exercise more and spend time outside.
  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those who don’t have pets.
  • Dogs are great protection. Even if they might not attack, bad guys tend to stay away from homes with dogs.
  • Dogs improve your social life. Walking a dog automatically gives you a commonality with other dog walkers and makes you more likely to strike up conversations.
  • Dogs provide excellent companionship, to keep you from being lonely and alleviate your worries just by listening.
  • Dogs are very entertaining and often make you laugh.
  • Dogs are good for your health, according to Psychology Today, helping lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
  • Dogs give you unconditional love – no matter what, they always love you.

As you can see from some of my recent artwork (check out my website, Instagram, and Facebook pages), I enjoy capturing the essence of dogs and turning them into keepsakes, for fellow dog lovers.  If you’d like me to paint a pet for you or anyone you know who appreciates the finer glories of pets, email me at colorfulcreations@att.net and I’ll be happy to personalize something for you.

Why Is Art Good For You?

Art, no matter what form, can have a strong effect on the human brain. The cultural and intellectual benefits of art can have a powerful effect on your personal journey to fulfillment. It can take you to faraway places or evoke distant memories, conjuring up strong emotions and deep thoughts. While everyone’s reaction to art differs, its ability to impact us is certain.

You don’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of artwork (that’s a different topic altogether). Viewing and analyzing art stimulates the brain in substantial and long-lasting ways. While a painting of a person or a tree is not actually a person or a tree, the brain is able to immediately recognize the paint, the lines, the shapes, and the shading as a representative of a human being or a tree. Why, you might ask? The brain is remarkably capable of discerning the familiarity and meaning in patterns, constantly working to make sense of the visual information it receives. No matter the subject, looking at art stimulates the brain and organizes patterns to make sense of the shapes and colors, thereby putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The brain actually changes a bit each time you look at an art piece. Blood flow to the brain increases by as much as 10% – the equivalent of looking at someone you love. When a person views art they consider to be beautiful, it triggers an immediate release of dopamine into the brain – a chemical related to feelings of love, pleasure, and desire.

According to WestParkGallery.com, simply viewing art leads to increased rates of good health, satisfaction with one’s life, and lower rates of anxiety and depression in both men and women.

Having a piece of art that “speaks” to you enables you to have that connection to something that elicits joy, a memory,or simply something pleasant for your eyes to see.

Let me create a customized work of art for you or someone to whom you want to send something special. Send an art message to someone far away as a reminder that you’re thinking about them.

For more information, visit colorfulcreationsbycheryl.com.  Can I turn something into beautiful yard art for you?  Can I paint a customized rock as a memorial for a loved one (a person or a pet)? Do you want a unique gift but don’t know exactly what to get? Reach out to me and let’s come up with some great ideas together.

How Did I Create My Painting Business?

Over the past several months, people have asked me why I started this business.  There are many reasons so I figured that would be a good way to start my blog.

It’s my passion.  It’s my therapy.  It is fun.  It is creative.  It is never the same.  It is colorful.  It makes people smile.  It fills my heart.  And I can share it with others and make them smile, too.

While between jobs and contract marketing gigs, I started painting again to fill up my time and to make me feel less crappy about not having a job. Then the pandemic hit. So I kept painting.  I had a box of inherited silver-plated pieces (trays, bowls, platters, etc.) that were tarnished beyond repair and had been sitting in storage boxes for decades. Several pieces were set aside for family members, but the pieces that had no intrinsic or sentimental value were waiting to be donated to thrift stores. In my garage. For months. One day I felt inspired and painted a large flower on one of the trays, sprayed it with a clear, protective coating, and then hung it on the fence in my back yard.  Voila!  Yard Art!  Then I came across an oversized, heavy tray that had belonged to my grandmother. After collecting dust for years on my china buffet, I decided to box up the matching tea service for a while and make a little change to my home décor. Trying to polish the tray before wrapping it, it just wouldn’t come clean. So I decided to paint that, too. My grandmother would be so proud of the creativity (her husband, son, and grandson – my grandfather, uncle, and brother – also loved to paint, but more about them in a future blog).  That tray is now attached to my fence as well.

I posted my creations on Facebook and my family shared the post for more exposure. A friend of my husband requested a butterfly-painted rock as a memorial gift for a friend who recently lost her cat. That friend really appreciated the personalized, hand-painted stone that brought her a long-distance smile. My daughter also requested a painted bird on a rock for her bird-enthusiast friend.  That friend loves it and said it has been her best birthday present ever, with its unique and personal touch.

Then the business started taking off. Requests were coming in every week, with flourishing new ideas.

And I continue to grow. I’ve expanded with a website, a social media presence, some consignment items in a gift shop, and now a blog.  Thanks for sharing my journey.  Stay tuned for more tales as I continue to evolve.  And paint.

For more information, visit colorfulcreationsbycheryl.comCan I turn something into beautiful yard art for you?  Can I paint a customized rock as a memorial for a loved one? Do you want a unique gift but don’t know exactly what to get? Let’s come up with some great ideas together.

 

New Blog Coming Soon!

Welcome to my new Blog page! I’m very excited to share some behind-the-scenes information about my art and Colorful Creations By Cheryl.

If you want to hear about any particular topic related to my art and my business, please send me a message through the Contact Us page. Stay tuned…