Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. ----- Ernest Hemingway

Roses, Friends and Valentines Day


Welcome. I am so happy that you stopped by. My garden gate is always open for you to come in and sit and relax with a cup of tea while I share with you the inspirations for my art. I do not normally ramble in my blog, but this one is a little different. For me Valentines Day is about the warmth and love of my family and friends and sharing the joys of my art, my garden and my life.

Sandra's Eden roses

I eceived an e-mail yesterday from a blogging friend named Sandra asking me if I was going to post about Valentines Day. Sandra was a stranger to me who left a very heartfelt comment on Fabulous Fifi's blog in 2008 (www.fabulousfifi.typepad.com). She was going through treatment for breast cancer and her comment to Fifi was about how much her beautiful blog brought peace and comfort to her during her chemo therapy treatments. At the time I was a very lucky 7 year breast cancer survivor and Sandra's comment really touched my heart as I had been there and done that. I knew that I wanted to get in touch with her to let her know that I wanted to be there for her and could relate to what she was going through.

Please have another cup of tea as this is a rather long post.

I sent Sandra an e-mail and we soon became fast friends with much in common beside breast cancer. . . we were both gardeners and loved our cottage gardens . . . loved roses . . Sandra especially loved pink roses . . . we both grew up with romantic Grandmothers . . Sandra's Grandmother, Josefina, was from Spain and made the lace that she used to sew lace wedding dresses (how romantic can you get) and my Grandmother, Pearl, was from Ireland and was an avid rose gardener and dried rose petals to make potpourri so her home always smelled like roses. We both loved Fifi's blog and the wonderful thrifty and beautiful projects she taught her readers and aspired to start our own blogs. My sister and I are very close and we both prayed and corresponded with Sandra. As we got to know her we were so touched by Sandra's courage and beautiful spirit that we wanted to send her a little gift. I painted her pink Eden roses from one of the photographs she sent me and my sister, Leslie, made her a soft pink pillow to lay her head on when she was not feeling well.

At the same time I painted a cottage roses sign to hang in my garden from Sandra's photographs of her pink Eden roses.

The above photo was taken in my garden by photographer Mark
Lohman of an old wash stand with the cottage roses sign.

When I started my blog Sandra was a big supporter and encouraged and cheered me on to learn to post every week. Her goal was to start her own blog when she was well. We learned so much from each other - learned that a true friend cheers you on and shares joy as well as comforts in life's challenging moments.

My sister and I encouraged Sandra through her treatments and she looked forward to doing the same thing that we did for her for other women ( we both understand that women who have had breast cancer seem to have a bond and are just naturally supportive of each other).

I am very happy to report that Sandra is now well and started her own blog and posts on Facebook and is supporting other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. You can visit Sandra at (www.verandahousesandra.blogspot.com )and find her on Facebook under
Sandra Dias.

When I asked her if I could share our friendship story and love of roses on my Valentines Day blog she said yes and sent me some photographs of her home and garden decorated for her favorite day - Valentines day.

Sandra's beautiful and romantic home and decorations . . . .

After seeing Sandra's lovely home and garden - especially the decorated garden bed I knew that it was time for me to paint her a sign with Eden roses for her garden for Valentines - after all it is her favorite day of the year. By the way we have never met in person and plan to do so one day as she lives in Northern California and I live in Southern California.

Bentley, my Studio Assistant, and I went into my garden to look for inspiration. Keep in mind that I do not have any roses blooming - I have pink Tulips and red roses purchased at the market but no blooming roses as they have been cut back for the winter. Sometime I put my rose art in the garden to brighten it up when no roses are blooming.

Looks like Bentley found the little cottage roses sign that hangs in my garden.

After much consideration and thought I decided not to paint a new sign , but to gift my Cottage Roses sign to Sandra for her garden. I painted the sign at the same time I painted the roses for Sandra in 2008 and used a photo of her Eden roses from her garden as the inspiration. I named it "Sandra's Roses" and always think of her when I see the sign. The sign is very special and the photograph shown at the beginning of my post taken by Mark Lohman of the wash stand is currently in the fabulous new magazine "FLEA MARKET GARDENS". I feel it is now time for the special sign to go live in Sandra's garden among her Eden Roses.

"Sandra's Roses"

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118.24

Wishing you and your Loved Ones a very Happy Valentines Day.

Thank you for stopping by. I love hearing from you and sincerely appreciate your visits, comments and those who are following my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special.

Have a lovely week. Hugs and Blessings and Happy Valentines Day. Erin

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