{original photo: warren dunes, michigan}

i came across a lovely saying by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge a while back and i knew immediately that i wanted to use it for one of my inspirational pieces.
it simply says,
"Friendship is a sheltering tree"

{tweaked photo: where i remove the people, beach "stuff",
add a beautiful & refreshing sky and
soften the focus a bit to make it more dreamy}

{final art: sepia version}

now, this saying struck my heart immediately, as i deeply cherish the friendships in my life. and, you know how they are all unique? well, i love that too. i've got the life long friends who have known me since childhood, whom i think of quite often and yet am terrible about keeping in touch. i've got the college friends who saw me grow and change so much into the woman i am now, and who also witnessed me falling in love with my hubby. i've got the mommy friends who i can meet at the park and ask each other for practical advice and just play with our kids. i've got the artist friends with whom we have an instant bond and connection based on our passion for creativity. i love all of the different connections i have experienced with my friends.

{final art: black & white version}
ok, now back to the dunes  where we went about a month ago. have you been on the beach when it is so hot, your feet are literally burning in the sand?! well, since i am a midwesterner, i had not. but, that day it was so hot my sunshine girl was crying and i did not blame her. but, the really amazing thing was when you went under the shade of this tree, the sand was instantly cool to your feet.

life can be difficult. we all know that. but, thank God for good, solid friends who are that sheltering tree for us, providing for us refreshment and rest in our time of need (heck, anytime at all!) a true friend loves, protects, and shelters our hearts, providing life and nourishment to our souls.

again, i am so thankful to have those friends!

so, who is YOUR sheltering tree? and, would you like to show them your thanks by giving them this art?!

this week, i will be giving away to ONE lucky winner*
1 5x7 framed "friendship is a sheltering tree" piece AND
1 5x7 framed piece for you to keep for yourself!

to gain one entry: go to my facebook page, "like me", and leave a post on my wall telling me the name of your friend you would like to give the art to. (you will find the link to my facebook page in the left hand column of this blog...the big blue button)

to gain two entries: follow the above, then post this giveaway on your facebook or twitter, and tell me that you have on my facebook wall

to gain three entries: go to my facebook page, leave a post, then if you purchase anything from my shop you will earn another entry & go add that to my facebook page

BONUS FOR THE WEEK: you can enjoy FREE shipping on any purchase in my shop by entering the coupon code: 08FREESHIP

go spread the word and show a little love to your friends!

*offer good for domestic purchases and prizes only. i will choose a winner 08.20.11

grace & peace,

Copyright 2011 Julie Chen