Winter’s White

Till the summer comes again. Today, I signed up to receive seed catalogs and already, I have my eye on many little gems. I will watch my mailbox, waiting for them to arrive. It’s like planting a seed for summer to grow.

Today, we are covered with a quilt. The snow has kissed the trees, every limb is frozen and glistening beautifully in the sunlight. Winter’s White is pure and new. It’s time to rest as the trees and flowers will have hard work ahead of them.

For now, the appreciation for the season will be the warmth and comfort of cable knits and fleece, healthy food, and the darkness before spring’s light. See the beauty of the season.

Dream of spring with this beauty. It is great for art, cardmaking, and crafts. Right click on the image to save to your device. This image has been restored and background removed.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful start to the New Year.

Much love,



She Who Dares

She Who Dares…Wins, indeed. 2018 overall was a year of growth for me mostly due to Word Press. Of course, every year has its struggles, hardships, and losses, I had mine. I tried and was mostly successful to stay out of the darkness. I am fortunate for the friends I made and the creative outlets. I am not one who likes to dwell on the past, except for traditions.

For 2019, I want to dare myself. I like this saying instead of resolution because frankly, I’m not good at keeping my resolutions much past January. I dare myself to push the envelope, explore creativity, expand my writing, and share more of what I love even if I fail miserably at it. I am looking forward to continuing the creative journey that myself, Darren the Arty Plantsman and Dominique from 3CStyle are on with When Fashion and Nature Collide.

In 2019, you will see more posts from me. I will share what brings me inspiration and of course free graphics for crafts. I am constantly taking pictures and creating graphics that find themselves hidden away in some file that never sees the light of day.

All photographs were taken by me. Some I have shared on IG. Here is hoping to more shares in 2019! Besides art, nature and decorating makes my heart happy.

I wish all of you a happy and safe New Years! What are you going to dare yourself to do?

Much love & big New Year’s hugs,



Mem Weekend Chives 2

The perennials have decided to show their beautiful blooms this weekend. The perennials are the backbone of my gardens because of the zone. I need hardy plants that withstand subzero temps in the winter. Planting roses on top of the septic tank was suggested by several when I moved here, my sideways look of ‘what’ has turned into ‘it works’.

Soon, it should be safe to plant the annuals, but I plant minimal. I try to find unique perennial bloomers to add to my existing garden of Shasta Daisies, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Lilly, Herbs, Echinacea, Hydrangea, Black Eyed Susan, Phlox, Hibiscus, Iris, Missouri Primrose, and roses. It’s a nice blend of color that I can count on year after year.

I was gifted a bird house over a year ago for Christmas, I rearranged the front garden this year, and finally picked a spot, putting the posthole digger to work. My next purchase will be a clematis vine. It has full sun, but enough shade from the other plantings to keep the feet cool.

Mem Weekend Bird House

Here are a few more shots of plants and blooms that made their debut.

Mem Weekend ChivesMem Weekend Closeup IrisMem Weekend Iris PurpleMem Weekend Iris Yellow and PurpleMem Weekend LilleyMem Weekend Lily of the ValleyMem Weekend PhloxMem Weekend Purple Iris FGMem Weekend Rhod budsMem Weekend Rhoed BloomMem Weekend Rhoed Full BloomMem Weekend Spiderwort

Happy gardening!

With much love,



There is nothing like spending time at home. Spring cleaning was on the agenda this weekend. It becomes an inspiring environment when everything is sparkling clean. Just a few shots around home. Now I need to get outside and finish up those gardens. Living in the woods has it challenges. Here are a few shots around home.

BathBirchBird soapIn the WoodsLake with Pink skyLaundryLilac BloomOld BooksTea cups and CrownsTower

With much love,


To Cultivate

Rock Flowerbed

I am still mulching my gardens in an attempt to freshen up the look. Pulling weeds, prepping the ground, and shoveling mulch…lots and lots of mulch. Cultivating provides a sense of contentment. There is definitely a feeling of satisfaction when you stand back and take in your work, especially when you power through an invasion of black flies. As I shoveled, I thought about cultivating more areas of my life: relationships, finances, work, writing, and art. There are many I need to freshen up. To take it to the next level, to really be satisfied with my journey. There will always be bumps and bruises along the way, but we are so lucky to wake up each and every day. You never know what might boom next. Here is what is blooming in my yard. Still waiting for those lilacs to open. I cannot wait to breathe in the heavenly scent of divine happiness!

Spring LillyMaple budsLake 2Full bloomChivesBlossom pink

Happy cultivating!!

With much love,



Spring Blooms



It finally stopped raining long enough for a walk through the gardens. I enjoy discovering the tender blooms of the wildflowers and flowering trees. One thing missing from my garden are the spring bulbs stretching out after the long winter slumber to create a fantastic symphony of color. I am envious of the tulip theatres I have viewed in neighboring yards and online. I am planning for next year. I have selected bulbs that will make next spring a spectacular sight. Until then, I have captured some blooms of my own while enjoying the splendor that northern Michigan has to offer. I am especially excited for the lilacs to open. I hope you have the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air and relish the beauty of spring!

leaf-tree-green-floraLake afternoonlilacLakefern-green-plant-spring-56852branchbloomblossomblue flowers

With much love,



Meadowbrook Hall


I remember distinctly my first visit to Meadowbrook Hall. I was just shy of twelve years old when my parents told me we were going on a tour of a mansion about thirty minutes away. I remember thinking it couldn’t be that bad, and I was quite sure, we would be stopping by Dairy Queen on the way home. Home at the time was my maternal grandmothers house, which was filled with an endless amount of books, but that’s another story 🙂 We were waiting to move into our home a few towns over.

It was a long driveway with a few twists. As my dad navigated us towards the mansion, I remember the anticipation I felt. I had my nose plastered against the backseat, side passenger window. We passed what was Matilda Dodge Wilson and her husband, Alfred’s smaller home where they lived a short period of time during the Great Depression and Alfred’s later years. Finally, we came to an opening just before the parking lot, my dad stopped briefly and we all took in the view.


I knew from this moment, I would come back to visit as often as possible for the rest of my life.

We parked, walked from the lot into the courtyard where the extensive garages are. It only made sense, Matilda was automotive aristocracy. I can only imagine what it felt like to have your pick of the greatest cars in the 1920’s.

Meadow Brook Hall Garage

To give you a little history on this magical place, trust me I could go on and on. Meadow Brook Farms property was originally used as a country home and weekend getaway for John and Matilda Dodge and their children, Frances, Danny, and Anna Margaret. Matilda was heavily involved in arts and culture in and around the Detroit area, active in public service and philanthropy, including what would become a lifelong involvement with the Salvation Army and the Presbyterian Church.  John and his brother Horace were successfully building up Dodge Motor Car Company. After 13 years of marriage, John Dodge passed away during the influenza epidemic along with his brother Horace, and not long after, Anna Margaret passed. Matilda was age 37.

John Dodge House

After John passed, Matilda continued her charity work.  It was at church where Matilda met Alfred Wilson and in June of 1925, the two were married. In 1925, Matilda and Anna Dodge, widow of Horace Dodge, sold their holdings in the Dodge Motor Car Company for $146 million, becoming heirs to one of the largest fortunes in the U.S. This fortune not only built one of America’s finest residences and country estates, it also supported numerous Detroit charities and organizations, and made possible the founding of Oakland University. (Some excerpts taken from *Blueprint and Driveway view of Hall, picture 1 and 2*)

Meadow Brook Hall (88,00 square feet, 110-room ) was built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson, who was a lumber broker. Matilda and Alfred adopted two children, Richard and Barbara Wilson. This expansive property was a working farm that Alfred and Matilda were actively working. In 1957, Matilda and Alfred donated their 1,500 estate, including Meadow Brook Hall, and $2 million dollar endowment to Michigan State University to form a branch campus in Oakland County, a branch that would become Oakland University in 1963. The Wilsons continued to live at Meadow Brook Hall and their smaller home on the property until both passed away; Alfred in 1962 and Matilda in 1967.

Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall Mom Dad Ent

As an adult, the visits are still magical. It is something that several generations of my family have enjoyed. A few of my paper creations remind me of Meadowbrook Hall, and makes my heart happy. My husband and I visited one Christmas, it is still one of the fondest memories. It was lightly snowing, the beautifully lit trees lined the courtyard, and the Charlie Brown song, Christmas Time is Here was broadcast at the entrance. It was perfection. He won major Christmas brownie points for that. The neatest thing about this property is the rich history and the happenings surrounding it.  So many stories of the coming out parties, a young Frank Sinatra performing in the ballroom (swoon). The family’s original furniture has been preserved. It feels like you are truly experiencing life in their home as they did. It mimics the Downton Abbey feel.  One of my neighbors grew up about a mile away from Meadowbrook Hall and was friends with the young Richard. Hearing his stories about being a boy playing with the horses and on the farm equipment was amazing. Once he sat in the breakfast nook having a snack. Unfortunately, Wesley passed away a few years ago. Like I said I could go on and on. You can visit the site here – there are stories, pictures of the interior, and a deeper history surrounding the family and property. I just scraped the surface.

Here are a few more pictures of the beautiful architecture and gardens. I plan on going back this summer to explore all the nooks and crannies.

Meadow Brook Side yardMeadow Brook touretMeadow Brook Hall Back Alfreds StudyMeadow Brook Hall BackMeadow Brook Hall Mom Dad EntMeadow Brook Back Matilda office bedroom sideMeadow Brook CottageMeadow Brook Entrance over BridgeMeadow Brook Side 2Meadow Brook side to garageMeadow Brook Pegasus FountaineMeadow Brook Pegasus Fountaine 2Meadow Brook Hall Garden ArtMeadow Brook Hall Garden EntMeadow Brook Garedens 3Meadow Brook Garden Rock WallMeadow Brook Gardens 2Meadow Brook Gardens 4Meadow Brook Garden 1Meadow Brook Garden EndMeadow Brook Garden End 1ArchitecureMeadow Brook Dining Ent from Garden

And we did get the Dairy Queen on the way home!

With much love,