Monday, May 10, 2010

I have a very special guest poster here today!

photo by me

Hello everyone!
I just wanted to say thank you for all of you Happy Mother's Day wishes.
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Well today I have a really special guest poster for you.
Melanie is a very talented girl. I was blown away when I first found her blog. Not only am I inspired by her talent, but I am inspired by Melanie as a person.

I have to tell you a few stories that my friend, Melanie, has shared with me.
I think she has a great eye, when I told her that,
she humbly told me a story about how she was hired
by an Ethan Allen Furniture store, as a designer, because they thought she had a great eye. How did they discover she had a great eye? Well she was purchasing furniture for her home, and they liked what she was picking out. So they asked her to be part of their design team. I wish I could have that happen to me.
Then she told me about when she had spotted a desk in an antique store. It was $600.00, she really wanted to purchase it, but her husband wasn't excited about the price. She said that antique store was right next to her shop. She would always go in and admire it. One day she saw two men who had just visited her shop, come out with it. She went running out to let them know that was her desk. They told her that this desk was worth a lot of money. They even got the owner of the shop to come down. She said later she saw those same two men, with the desk, on the antique road show. The desk was appraised for over $100,000. She said that her husband now trusts her judgement. I want her to go shopping with me!
I wanted to share these stories because I think you will all agree that she has a great eye after you see her guest post!

photo by me

These two pictures are pictures I took of Melanie's painting she sent me.
She is such an artist and paints beautiful paintings.

She recently opened an etsy shop, called Melanie M Originals, where she sells her beautiful art.
Thank you Melanie for sending a piece of your beautiful work!

It all started with this door. This is how I met Maria. She loved my door. A few months ago she so generously posted about my blog and commented about how much she loved my ten dollar door that rests above my bed. Our friendship bloomed immediately.

I should introduce myself. My name is Melanie and my dear friend, Maria asked me to do a guest post here on her lovely blog. Thank you for having me, Maria! You are an inspiration to us all!

This is my first ever guest post so I apologize in advance if I have broken any rules.

I blog for many reasons. I began blogging a few years ago as a creative outlet while raising our two little girly girls. A way to connect with similar souls in this gigantic-sometimes crazy -world. When my dad became ill two years ago it became more of a way for my family to stay updated on his condition. After he passed away last year, I began blogging as a way of healing my heart. I have eventually made my way back to blogging as a way of releasing some creative energy!

Anyway... I live in Michigan. "The Great Lakes State." Most of my design inspiration comes from my everyday life. I live in the country... the middle of farm fields to be exact. So naturally, I am inspired by nature. I love the idea of a single birch branch being recycled into a drapery rod. Or trimming my fruit tree branches and popping them in an urn. They are just as interesting after the blossoms are gone. Seashells. Sand. Grasses. Stones. You will find all of these things throughout my home. The beauty of it is that they are free. All I have to do is step out my front door or take a walk on a beach and I have found a new treasure.

Most days I am running around, chasing after my daughters, breaking up arguments over lipstick and purses. { did I mention that they are 4 and 5?} Once in a while I get the opportunity to indulge in a favorite hobby of mine. Painting. Most days my daughters are painting right along side of me.

As with the rest of my home... my paintings are mostly inspired by nature. Cherry blossoms, Apple Orchards, Beaches and Farms are among my favorite scenes to paint.. I am terrible at painting people. This is one of the reasons I stick to nature. A tree never yells at you if you do not get the color of its eyes right.

Although I am a lover of all things white, I have a bit of color in my home. Mostly blues and greens, otherwise known as Nature's Neutrals. My feeling is if you get the shade right, both colors go with just about anything. The combination of the two together brings me a sense of peace. Even when all is not quiet.

Our master bedroom is the place I go to relax and rejuvenate. The hallway leading to our bedroom is filled with family photos and keepsakes along with vintage letters that represent each of our family's first initial. I never tire of taking this walk. It reminds me that first and foremost, love is my home's foundation.

My bedroom is all about comfort. I chose to paint my walls a soft blue to remind me of a summer sky, a day at the lake, or as my niece once said... " A white-washed Tiffany box."

I have sheets over my sofa cushions {inspired by Maria, of coarse}, an uncovered slip covered chair, buttons sewn on simple white pillows , photos of our favorite places and easy, breezy draperies. Nothing is fussy. Our family does not do well with fussy. Especially in our bedroom. Somehow, this has become the place where our family hangs out most. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I cannot say the same for my bathroom. I am a little selfish when it comes to my tub. I lovingly share everything else in my home. Not my tub. I only wish I had more time to use it.
{ Sigh.}Someday.

Most importantly, My home is filled with people I love and memories I cherish. Many of the things that fill my home are here for a reason. There is a story behind most of them. My grandmother's glassware in our kitchen. Barnwood frames in our dining room holding pages from her composition books where she composed some of the most inspirational songs ever written. A piece of birch bark from my Dad's favorite spot in the woods. My husband's grandmother's quilt. The 150 year old roses that grace our front walkway given to us from his Great grandmother's garden. All of the things that make our house HOME. The beauty of it is that all of these things were free. Now they are priceless.

There you have it. A little about me and the place I call home. Thank you all so much for allowing me to share a bit of my life with you. I hope you enjoyed your visit. I certainly did!

Be Blessed!

Thank you Melanie!
Isn't her home amazing?
I love it!
You can visit her over at
I also wanted to tell you the M pillow you see in her guest post was made by Melanie.
Melanie also hand paints the monograms on her pillows.
She has a separate etsy shop for her pillows.

I have a few updates for all of you as well.
I am so excited because guess what?
The ceiling is finished.
My husband completed it for me for Mother's Day.
He is a real sweetheart.
We are now caulking, priming, and painting.
So next week I will have my bedroom in order,
and will be able to show all of you the finished product.
I can't wait.
Hope you all are having a great Monday!
Take Care,


Melanie said...

Oh My Goodness...Thank you so much for having me!!! Your friendship is so special to me, Maria! I am so happy to have found you through this blog world but even without blogging, something tells me that we would have found one another somehow!;-)

I hope you are not passed out somewhere from the paint fumes. When you come to, you will have a gorgeous tin ceiling to look at!;)

Much love to you, my friend!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

So glad you had Melanie over! Now I'm off to check out her blog. Looks like she is one talented mama!

Shades of pale said...

She has the prettiest .. warmest home. Thanks for the great post.
Jenny :)

Erin {House of Turquoise} said...

Thank you so much for the introduction to Melanie and her beautiful home and blog! Her home is incredible!! Loved the story too!

Anonymous said...

what a great post! and the guest post was a lovely idea! it was a pleasure to 'read/meet' melanie..and I'll pop on over there now as well

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Loui♥ said...

Maria.. thanks ever for introducing us to Melanie!!!

Love your easy breezy style ..
of speaking..
of decorating..
of painting..
of making your home so delightfully..
warm and inviting!
I will be back..
for more!!
Now to visit your blog..
warmest hugs..

Little Emma English Home said...

Melanie is really a brilliant lady and a kind person. I like how she described her life, there's so much love and sweetness on her words. I like her. there's always plenty of faboulous people in your blog, I like to come here because I can meet special persons like you!!! A kiss for you, my friend xx

Farmgirl Paints said...

Hi Melanie,
I learned so much more about you:) Ethan! Your home is just beautiful and your paintings are lovely...just like you. Great job!!

Can't wait to see your bedroom Maria.

Angela said...

It's all so gorgeous!! and that bathroom...

Blondie's Journal said...

I so enjoyed the guest post by Melanie. She has just found herself another follower. I adore her style and decorating philosophy. Thanks so much for featuring her, Maria!


Debbie said...

Wonderful post Maria!! I started following Melanie after you told me about her a couple of weeks ago. LUV her blog!!
You are both a couple of sweeties!!

carolina @ patagonia gifts said...

oh such a great post! beautiful, so beautiful home!

Life,Styled said...

Maria - thanks for introducing Melanie, can't wait to check out her blog. I just love visiting you just makes me happy! Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day.


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Maria, this is such a beautiful post. I'm off to check out her blog. Thanks so much for sharing and have a great rest of the day, T

Anonymous said...

Hi Girl's!
A friend of Maria's is a friend of mine...I cant wait to hop on over to meet you. Your house look's so beautiful and we share a love for painting!
Maria! yeah for you and your ceiling...I cant wait to see it. What a wonderful Mother's Day gift~ xoxox to both of you, Susie

Rie said...

I too love Melanie's blog (which I think I originally found through you). She has such talent. Great post.

Hope you had a great mother's day Maria!

Leslie said...

Love seeing Mel do what she does best! Her home is so beautiful and yes we really do hang out in the bedroom "living room" when the guys are out in the other room watching sports! Mel and I (and all of our girls) will be chatting and laughing and looking through decorating books. So proud of my little sister!

Anne Lorys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Lorys said...

I just recently discovered Melanie and I too fell in love with her gorgeous blog and effortless style.

Thank you, Maria!


butiksofie said...

Wow!!!Your blog is excellent, I just stepped into it! I love your images! Have a nice evening, best regards from Germany Anja

Beach House Living said...

Melanie's blog is one that I look forward to reading. She writes so well and of course the photos are lovely too.

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

Melanie !!!Bravo girl!
Great job...the interview was great!
I'm headed to the linencloset to put sheets on my chairs!
Usually only when the Grands come do I do that!
I'm thinking it's a 24/7 thing from now on!
Thanks Marie for Mel's interview.
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Morningas...

Kathysue said...

Maria and Melanie what a great post!! I can see why you found eachother it was meant to be. Cyber buddies, it is an amazing process when that takes place isn't it? I have several ladies that became wonderful friends through cyber-space. Enjoy your families, homes and friendship,it is pretty precious, Kathysue

Sandy said...

Such a lovely post.. now let me go visit Melanies blog...

Kerri - Driftwood Interiors said...

What a lovely philosophy Melanie has, I really love how she says that the things that were once free are the ones that are now priceless. And her art is gorgeous - I'm an artist too and always find the work of others really inspiring. Thanks Maria for featuring Melanie and her lovely blog, both yours and Melanie's are always on my go-to list every morning! K xx

Jean Franks Beck said...

OMG, Melanie's home, her photos, her paintings... they are all simply stunning!! Can she come and do my house exactly like hers? I'd be forever grateful :). Thanks so much for sharing!

Alison Gibbs said...

Thanks for having Melanie as a guest on your blog Maria.
What a beautiful home Maria has created for her sweet family.

Unknown said...

Hi Maria! You have shared another wonderfully talented blogger with us! I just recently discovered Melaine's blog and knew right away she was super talented!!! Her style and look is beautiful! I must go check out her etsy shop as I remember admiring one of the pillows I saw on her blog a few weeks ago!

Happy new week to both of you ~

:) T

layers of memory said...

Maria you always bring to our attention the most beautiful blogs and such creative people......and as for that bedroom i can't wait......

Lovely Little Nest said...

Love the first pic! I think I would have killed my husband if that happened to me :p

Gorgeous spaces by your guest blogger ~ love love love the aqua/white combo!

Tina said...

Hi Maria & Melanie. Such a lovely post by one of the sweetest and most talented women. I love Melanie, and her home and paintings are just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing more of your lovely home with us Melanie. Wishing you both a lovely week as always ~ Tina xx

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

So glad to be introduced to Melanie's blog. It's obvious that you two would relate. Another beautiful post. Thanks ladies!

Cottage Dreamers said...

Wonderful! Melanie is one of the sweetest bloggers out there and her style is beautiful!
Maria, I can't wait to see your Mother's day gift. I bet it looks great!
☺ Celeste

Urban Farmgirl said...

LOVE this post...mostly because I love Melanie. But I admit, I covet her home just a teeny tiny little bit, too! ;o)

Thanks for inviting her over!


Sarah B said...

Gee wizz, what a gorgeous home!!! Thanks for the guest post - it was reat to read!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a sweetie Melanie is! Great post, thanks so much for having her over. xo Lidy

CoopDeVilla said...

Hi Maria and thank you so much for a wonderful post/guest blogger. I am on my way over to see Melanie's blog. Another soul sister to add to my list. Thanks again and I too can't wait to see the ceiling.

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

Fabulous Post ~ I am heading over to Melanie's Blog as soon I as finish this ~ Love her Style, Love her Home.....

Melissa Lester said...

I have enjoyed getting to know Melanie through her blog, but I'm sure she never would have told us the stories you shared, so I was interested to hear those interesting tidbits.

I'm glad she introduced me to your blog as well. You both have a beautiful sense of style that seems effortless.

mimi charmante said...

miss melanie~ your style is so welcoming and pretty. I found your blog a while ago and love your choices of colors - in your paintings and on your walls! as I don't have a bathtub (don't ask...) - would it be alright if I dropped by and borrowed yours occasionally? it looks heavenly!
fabulous guest post my friend!

Tricia said...

YAY- I adore Melanie's blog and her home, thanks so much for featuring her Maria so we can get to know her a bit more.

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Loved your guest post!! I read both of you gals blogs, so it was fun to see your post. I can see how you gals hit if off as friends. You both have such great taste. Love & blessings from NC!

Sternberg Werke said...

she has really a lovely home, and talent for color. I am looking forward to her blog.

paige said...

i'm not suprised that you guys are such good friends because i love each of your blogs. definately 2 of my top fave for sure. both of your homes are amazingly gorgeous!
melanie, your home is so fresh, warm & inviting. i love the windowtreatmentless windows that allow nature to just walk right in. i lovelovelove your
your paintings are gorgeous, especially the large ones!!
great post xo

Anne Marie said...

Hi Maria...thanks for the link to her! her place looks so inspiring and lovely....

great first pict. btw.....

The Flying Bee said...

Hi Maria!

I can't wait to go and check out Melanie's blog! I love her style! I can't wait to see your ceiling, too!

Have a wonderful day!


Gaia said...

Maria you have always fantastic guest!
I have visited her blkog that is amazing!
I love her bedroom...i didn't realize it was a bedroom ...Amazing!
come to visit me...I'm having a blog giveaway!

LuLu said...

Just gorgeous! What a delightful new blog for me to read.... the inspiration is endless! What a joy that brings to my heart,

Lara said...

I just adore Melanie's blog. She has a style vision I definitely can relate to! Ohh, that photo of the breeze blowing through the window.. wonderful! Lovely post!
:) Lara

Megandvd@Beauty in the Attempt said...

Melanie has been a favorite of mine for quite some time....I am SMITTEN with her master bedroom....from the immense space -- to the abundand light --- to the subdues palette....did I mention the furniture? Oh my....

Lovely words...lovely world...Lovely life Miss Melanie. :)


Deb said...

Thanks Maria, Melanie's home is just beautiful! Can't wait to see your "already so gorgeous" bedroom makeover! Enjoy the day, Deb

Emil und die großen Schwestern said...

Lovely post! Beutiful home and blog!
Sweet childrens! I love your style!
Éva - Germany

Alli - Cottage Inspiration said...

What a warm, relaxing, and loving home! Thank you for sharing!

Do you find your vintage grain sacks primarily on ebay? Just curious! Thanks, Maria!

Ness Lockyer said...

What a great blog Maria. Thanks for the introduction. I will be heading over there straight away.
I hope you are well sweet flower and that the ceiling is all you hoped it would be. Your cowboy is so sweet to get it done for you before Mothers Day.
Ness xx

Lara Harris said...

Her paintings are beautiful!

Christina said...

wow, such a pretty space and i LOVE the bed set up. amazing.

Kimberly said...

Melanie, your home is absolutely beautiful (as is Maria's). I'm a newlywed just starting out with a new (undecorated) home, and both of your blogs are a big inspiration to me! I was wondering - what is the paint color you used in your bedroom?

sara@augustfields said...

maria...i have been so crazy busy that i am just catching up on blogs and seeing this!

love you and melanie so this was an awesome read :) thank you!

i can personally attest to the beautiful work melanie does as i recently purchased a painting....gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. it is on an easel in my foyer and every guest stops to admire......what a talented woman! :)

thanks for opening up your blog maria to share the lives of others to enjoy and inspire. :)