Thursday, April 25, 2013


While playing beach bum for a couple weeks last month 
and enjoying this view every single day.....

I also met a celebrity.

A sweet celebrity.

Have you heard of Melinda Graham

She owns a charming shop on the island where I was vacationing.

"Melinda first opened Surroundings on Sanibel as an Interior Design consulting firm in 1994 shortly after graduating from West Virginia University. The business quickly evolved into a retail shop featuring the “marketable version” of her every day life. The shop is filled with all of the lovely things that Melinda has cultivated into her own signature style…casual opulence."   
-Sanibel/Captiva Daily

I first heard about Melinda in Romantic Homes sometime last year.
She is an extremely talented interior designer and lifestyle expert who has starred
on The Today Show, shared a series with Willard Scott, been on the Discovery Channel and HGTV, featured in numerous newspapers and magazines like Woman's Day, Budget Decorating Ideas, and Where Women Create, is a contributor to Romantic Homes magazine, 
met and worked with Fifi O'Neill, created a wedding gown made from seashells that was featured in multiple media venues, and continues to consult with her interior design business as well as keeping up her blog and online shop.

I vowed that this spring I would make the effort to locate her shop while we were on vacation
to see the beautiful treasures she had there,
and hoping to possibly meet her.

I was beyond excited as we drove into the driveway one afternoon, wondering how receptive she would be....being so famous and all.  :)

My husband and I walked up to her charming shop located on the first floor of her home.

Is this not the neatest island beach house?

The entrance to her shop is on the right where the yellow French doors are on the first landing.

We walked through the doors into Melinda's world of glittery seashells, soft, handmade tee-shirt dresses, found and repurposed treasures, paper parasols, and easy elegance.
Dulcimer music played softly in the background.

She was standing at the counter tagging some items and when I introduced myself saying, 
"Hi, Melinda?  I'm Laurie....."
She said, "....from Heaven's Walk, right?"

I just about fainted.

"You know me?"
Smiling, she said, "Well, I don't have a whole lot of followers on my blog yet,
but I do know each and every one of them!"

I loved her personality from the get-go.

Melinda is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister,
a man who still voluntarily pastors a tiny church in the foothills of West Virginia
where Melinda spent her childhood.
He is Melinda's webmaster.
Her mother loves helping her with her design business.

Experiencing a scare with possible breast cancer
which turned out to be non-cancerous invasive stromal cell tumors ~
she is a true warrior through and through.
The Susan B. Komen Foundation was with her every step of the way.

Between sharing our life stories, beliefs, and loves, 
she waited on various customers while I wandered around taking photos
while the husbands chatted in the garden.

This is what you see upon entering Melinda's shop.

I loved the paper parasols hanging from the ceiling.

These little clam coin purses were only $6, I think.

Charming hand made hat pedestals were created by an elderly friend of Melinda's.
He rescues the wood from rivers and streams.

Lacy paper lanterns were tucked under hydrangea blooms.

Starfish snuggled with balls of angora yarn.

We chatted and chatted and chatted like we had known each other for years.

I am humbled to consider her a new friend,
blessed to call her a sister-in-Christ,
and can hardly wait to see her again next spring.

Take a few moments to visit her beautiful blog and online shop.
You'll find them places of serene grace and eloquent design.
And be sure to like her on Facebooktoo.
She would love to hear from you!

~  Blessings  ~

Linking to the linky parties on the lower right of my sidebar.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Prairie Girl"

Although the calendar indicates that spring officially arrived last month,
Old Man Winter was slow to give up his grip here in Michigan,
and when he did,
Mother Nature continues to bless us with an abundance of rain.

Great for greening things up around here,
but not so great for working in the garden.
Great for getting projects completed indoors, though,
like the sweet pink shutters I'm still giddy about.  :)

[You can read about them here.]

So, given another cold, cloudy, rainy day,
I spent it creating a new twist on my shabby, romantic dream catchers.

Inspired by the beautiful fabric garlands that 
Sherry at ShantyGirl
have been making,
I wanted a rustic, whimsical, bohemian look.

When the sun made a very brief appearance during the afternoon,
I gathered apple and cherry twigs from the woods surrounding this old house,
spread out piles of fabrics on my prairie table...

and the
"Prairie Girl" 
dream catcher was born.

Colorful streamers cascade next to 
dangling seashells collected from the beach,
sparkling glass beads,
shimmering metallic threads,
soft strands of lavender leather,
fuzzy pom pom yarn,
and white, silky feathers.

The soft pastels look pretty next to the beautiful vintage millinery floral garland
hanging on the barn door handle.
The garland was made for me by sweet friend, Rachel at Shabby French for Me.

Prairie Girl is sweet, rustic, bohemian and whimsical.

Each Prairie Girl dream catcher I create is one of a kind.
Each is wrapped in her own quirky, unique, personality.
Each is full of color, sparkle, and captivates with an ethereal, gypsy-like feeling.

Although "Prairie Girl" takes a bit longer to dream into being
because of her thick waterfall of fabric streamers
and multitude of unique, assorted beads,
I love making them and look forward to designing more to sell.

This one, however, just may make her home
catching the morning breezes by my front porch swing ~
where the fabric will flutter in the breeze
and the beads will gently clack together...  :)

But if you know me at all,
I couldn't stop with just one.

A second Prairie Girl dream catcher was adorned with a passion for purple.

Deep purple mingles with turquoise, pink, blue, and aqua with bright gypsy beads.

And a third is embellished with grass green, bright teal, and a touch of rich purple.

So full of happy color,
 I can't help but smile as my hands busily string and tie each one.

Well, a stack of sticks and some pretty, ornate boho beads wait patiently for me on the prairie table,
and a pile of streamers are whispering my name...

Time to create.

~  Sweet Prairie Blessings  ~

PS  These will be for sale in my booth at Doster Emporium
(which is now OPEN!) ~
and I'll be taking them to Allegan Antique Market on May 26, too.
Or if you see one you love, email me!

Linking to the linky parties on the lower right of my sidebar!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pink Inspiration


noun\ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\

1.  a divine influence or action on a person 
2.  the act of drawing in; specifically the drawing of air into the lungs
3.  the quality or state of being inspired

This old farmhouse wouldn't be what it is today without it.
It's what makes my heart beat faster.
It's what sends my mind into a whirling dervish. 
It's what makes me draw fresh, creative air into my lungs.
I can't seem to make it through a week without it.

You bloggers.
You creative sisters out there.

You inspire  me.

When we first moved into this tousled, old farmhouse,
there was an old, grey window frame dressed with a piece of lace that covered the master bathroom window.
I removed it because I wanted to allow more light into this lovely room full of white bead board
reaching all the way up the ten foot walls.

Since then, the window has left been bare so I could watch the birds at the feeders outside 
while I was preparing for the day in the morning.

Recently, my friend, Tausha at Simply Me, inspired a change for this window.

She hung some large, pink shutters in a beautiful new room in her house
and me being me,
immediately fell head over heels for them.

I desperately wanted some in my house,
but was perplexed as to which room to put them in.
There was no window that would allow any shutters to open and close.



Except one.

My bathroom.

So, after presenting my ever-wary Husband with a photo of her shutters,
he created a small set for me from repurposed wood from our barn "stash" in about an hour's time.

I happily brought them to the basement for a light sanding and a slap of pink.

I had no pink paint.


I took a little leftover MMS Milk Paint in "Tricycle" that I had mixed up last week,
and channeled my inner scientist ~
adding in a dribble or two of ASCP in "Old White",
a few drops of "Graphite" to tone down the hue,
a squirt or two or three of pink acrylic,
and a beautiful dusky pink color emerged
that was very similar to the over dyed ruffled pillow you see here on my love seat.}


After letting them dry, I swished some more Old White to lighten them a bit more,
and distressed them with another light sanding.
The strap hinges were painted with a coat of black.
I painted each silver screw black with a tiny brush
and dry brushed the black hinges with some of the dusky pink and Old White to distress them.

Can you hear the angels singing.....?


I am seriously in love with these sweet pink shutters.




And yes....I have a feeling more shutters will be making their way into the house....

I want to hear those angels singing again...


~  Blessings  ~

Linking to the linky parties on the lower right of my sidebar!