Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Watercolor Grape Hyacinths

One of my smallest paintings ever.............

Original Watercolor Painting of Purple Grape Hyacinth Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Painting of Purple Grape Hyacinth Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Painting of Purple Grape Hyacinth Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Painting of Purple Grape Hyacinth Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative

....but also one of my prettiest.  This one got snatched up only a few days after listing it in my shop!  I love it when that happens!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Photos of the Week

Some of the small things that made me happy last week......

Purple Lilac Blossoms:  Grow Creative

....... all except the dandelions.  I can't say I'm happy about those pernicious little weeds all over my lawn.  Oh well.  I'm doing my best to focus on better things than dandelions and migraines, even though I can't get rid of either completely.  I find it's better to look for the good stuff.  The lilacs and kids playing cars in the grass.  The signs that life is not all that bad.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week


Hi Friends!  I just learned that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week and wanted to share a few things I have learned about infertility.

I haven't actually been diagnosed as "infertile" for very long, but I have waited for four years now to be able to have another child.  It's much tougher than I imagined it could be.  The thing I have longed for most in this journey is understanding.  Not judgement.  So I've come up with a few suggestions to help out those in your life who may be struggling with the disease of infertility.

  • Show them you care.  Give them a hug.  Listen.  Ask questions in a thoughtful and sensitive way.  Even if you don't know what infertility is like, acknowledge that it is really hard and painful.  Don't belittle their suffering.
  • Be informed.  Before I knew that I had  Severe Endometriosis and would have a hard time having more children, I really didn't understand the struggles and facts about infertility.  Like all trials in life, you don't really know what infertility is like until you experience it.  I realize now that I should have been more sensitive with others, but I just didn't know.  So the more informed you are, the better of a support you can be.
  • Never ask a woman if she is pregnant, especially in public. Woman with infertility often struggle with feelings of self-worth as it is, so don't make them feel even more insecure, even if you are just curious. 
  • Don't complain about your kids or pregnancies no matter how difficult they may be.
  • If you are pregnant, let them know in a private and thoughtful way.  I had a friend who wrote me a nice little email and it was perfect.  It allowed me to deal with my frustration in private and I really appreciated that she told me that way.
  • Don't tell them what to do or what not to do.  Women with infertility already blame themselves enough for not being able to have children.  Believe me, in most cases they are already doing everything they can.  They just want people to understand.

Infertility is such a sensitive issue, so I hope this has helped.  If you just don't know what to say to someone, just ask them what they need.  Ask them what helps them.  They will tell you.  

Any thoughts or suggestions?  What has helped you or someone you know deal with infertility?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Look at my Sketchbook

Having some fun with markers, pens, and crayons.........

Maker and Pen Paper Bookmarks: Grow Creative
Maker and Pen Paper Bookmarks: Grow Creative
Blue and Green Mandala Design in Marker:  Grow Creative
Maker and Pen Paper Bookmarks: Grow Creative
Trees Sketched in Ink: Grow Creative

I used more watercolor paper scraps to make some crazy marker bookmarks.  I don't know what else to do with those scraps.  I've already made like a bajillion bookmarks and I mostly read on my Kindle now anyway.....oh well!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Photos of the Week

Spring Blossom Photography: Grow Creative
Spring Blossom Photography: Grow Creative

This was the week that everything bloomed.  So pretty! This time of year always fills me with hope and I can't help but smile, no matter what's going on in my life.  Knowing that there are beautiful sunny days ahead does that to me.  What's your favorite part of spring?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Because of Him



Happy Easter!  Here's a video to help you remember the real reason we have this holiday!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

90's Dress Refashion

I don't sew very often.  And when I do, my projects usually fail, but once in a while it works out.  Like this time when I transformed an old thrift-store dress into a shirt.  Not too hard.  I mostly just had to shorten it.

Thrifted Dress Make-Over- Floral Shirt with a Crochet Collar

Here's what it looked like before.  Too long for a shirt, too short for a dress.

Thrifted Dress Make-Over- Floral Shirt with a Crochet Collar

After hemming it up I attached the crochet collar I made last year.  It goes so well with this!  I'm excited!

Thrifted Dress Make-Over- Floral Shirt with a Crochet Collar
Thrifted Dress Make-Over- Floral Shirt with a Crochet Collar
Thrifted Dress Make-Over- Floral Shirt with a Crochet Collar

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Decorating Eggs with Markers

This year we ditched the usual vinegar egg dye and decorated Easter eggs with permanent markers instead.  It's fun to switch it up once in a while :)

Hand Drawn Marker Easter Egg Designs: Grow Creative
Hand Drawn Marker Easter Egg Designs: Grow Creative
Hand Drawn Marker Easter Egg Designs: Grow Creative

Monday, April 14, 2014

Photos of the Week

We're back from a trip to Southern Utah. Man, I am missing that gorgeous weather!


We hadn't been on a real vacation in almost a year and that is too long for us.  This one was a short one, but so necessary! We'd go insane without some fun breaks.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our New Parking Strip Design


This post is dedicated to my hard-working husband.  (He totally wants me to write a post about his big yard project so I'll humor him..... he deserves it!)

 When we moved into our home the yard was a total disaster.  The parking strip in front of our house was full of weeds and ugly trashy trees.    After two years of cutting down trees, pulling out stumps, digging out rocks, sifting dirt, laying cement, and laying down some weed block, drought tolerant plants, rocks, and wood chips....... our parking strip is complete! 


We planted some Seaside Daisy, Basket of Gold, and Blueberry Ruffles Lavender.  So pretty!

I am so glad we decided to do this instead of the typical grass parking strip that requires lots of water- half of which ends up in the gutter.... wasted.  Yep, drought tolerant plants like these are the way to go here in Utah.  


What do you have planted in your parking strip?  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Watercolor Header Designs

Notice the new header?
I was playing around with my watercolors and decided to use them for a colorful header for spring! I think I may actually use all of these for a header at some point.  I love them all :)

Watercolor Blog Header Designs, floral, stripes: Grow Creative
Colorful Watercolor Stripes Painting Design
Watercolor Blog Header Designs, floral, stripes: Grow Creative
Watercolor Blog Header Designs, floral, stripes: Grow Creative

Monday, April 7, 2014

Photos of the Week

Pink Blossoms
Salt Lake Temple with Spring Blossoms Photograph:  Grow Creative
Salt Lake Temple with Spring Blossoms Photograph:  Grow Creative
Spring Blossoms Photograph:  Grow Creative

Last week my son and I spent some time at Temple Square taking photos of the beautiful grounds of the temple I was married in over 7 years ago.  I absolutely love this place!  I'm so grateful to be a part of a church that values beauty, goodness, virtue, and sacred marriages and families that can last forever.

We also listened to General Conference over the weekend, which is basically two days full of talks from our church leaders who give us messages inspired by the Lord that help us to become better people.  No matter what I am going through at the time conference comes around, there is always a line or a message that seems like was given just for me. I love that! I know the Lord speaks to us! Many times it is through other people.

One message that struck me this time was about family.  A leader from my church said, "If you let Him [the Lord] be the leader of your family, things will work out."  Such a simple and true message.  All this time that I have been struggling with the painful symptoms of Endometriosis and not continuing the hormonal treatments that my doctor recommended have been for a reason.  It doesn't feel right. I don't feel good about any of the options my doctor has presented.  So I'm not doing them.  I'm doing my best to let the Lord guide me and my family, trusting that He knows what is best for us.  Trusting that it will work out in His way and time.




Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Love with Citrus


I've been so inspired with colors lately.  Maybe it's because of spring and I'm so excited to finally see some color outdoors again!  

So here are some fun citrus-colored watercolors .... plus a little purple and pink.

Original Watercolor Citrus Painting: Elise Engh- Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Citrus Paintings: Elise Engh- Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Citrus Painting: Elise Engh- Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Citrus, leaf, and elephant Paintings: Elise Engh- Grow Creative