To My Beautiful Kindred Spirits

Well, ladies, it’s been awhile! I don’t want to come back on here and say, “hey we all should force ourselves to make time to write in this blog again,” because I know we all lead different lives and this was created as a space for us to get away from the craziness, not to add to it. I wish I could say I have come here often for a breath of fresh air, but I haven’t. However, I wanted to come back on here to remind myself of the memories we have made and to give you some encouragement. So, I hope this post reminds us all to be okay with not always forcing ourselves to create for the pressure of our check-lists, but to create simply for the joy of it.

I finally reached a point in this slow-but-still-so-busy season of my life to find joy in writing letters again. I was dealing with a lot of emotional pain for various reasons and it was hard to reach out to anyone more than I had to, even to simply just write a sweet “hello” letter. One of my good friends who lives several states away from me got my first letter this year, and boy oh boy did I want to burn it! She is the sort of friend you write your whole life out to and know she will do the same. It was pages long and definitely not my most creative letter, but it needed to be done. It was therapy for me. I have been feeling so much better — writing gives me perspective. Although I write in a journal, writing a letter that would land in safe hands was very much needed.

Thankfully, I am not writing the same letter to you gals! Hahaha I am just writing a page or a few, simply thanking you for the inspiration you all have given me over the years. This week I was able to breathe and actually enjoy writing you girls (I still have a couple more to write). I tried forcing myself to write you months ago but you and I both know sometimes forced creativity just to look like you are being creative is never our best. In fact, it’s horrible. Yes, there are many times we need to push and challenge ourselves! Yet, when we throw out authenticity and vulnerability just to check off the check-list, well…. Well, we really are doing no one a favor, especially ourselves. Sometimes we need to heal, renew, start over, get a new perspective, throw away the junk, and/or be still. It is from here we grow the most and our creativity shines out the clearer.

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Watching Melanie’s video while creating some of your ladies’ letters!

Anyway, today, I watched Melanie’s first YouTube video with her friend as I put together some of your letters! Wow, so inspiring and refreshing, but also challenged my thinking. I strive to capture beauty as well as demonstrate it, but sometimes I get carried away with focusing on what others believe is “perfect” beauty instead of what truly is beautiful. I was really encouraged to focus on God’s truth that speaks about who I truly am, including an elevated perspective about the world around me, rather than all the varying opinions thrown at me. Thank you, Melanie, for stepping out and doing something different! Keep up the good work.

It has been so wonderful seeing all of you ladies grow in your creativity. I know we all go through dry spells or frustrating challenges, but, seriously, you all have developed so beautifully in your own way! Sarah, you are an imaginative author and astounding artist that puts smiles on children’s faces! Nikki, you have such a brilliant eye for design and heart-felt art that oozes a love for life! Bekah, you have an impeccable taste for style and your search for loveliness in the every day reflects your rare beauty! Nat, your delightful perspective for vintage treasures and nature shines from your heart to across the world! Melanie, your refreshing and tender contemplative thoughts are truly reflected in your every photo and every word! Lauren, your brilliant fondness for style reminds us that every day is a day to follow our dreams! Jackie, you are truly a creative and it represents the love you have for your family and life! Naoma, your inspiring words and positive perspective constantly produce beauty inside and out!

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Once again, thank you kindred spirits for all you do! You truly are treasures from another world.

~ Christiana


Afternoon Tea

Melanie recently posted a gorgeous styled tea shoot & she reminded me how much I love to photograph my tea…

Since this special tea bag came from Christiana, one of the other lovely authors on this blog, I knew it was the perfect one to style.

The letter just happened to arrive on the right week & the books are antiques~ one is from 1902 & the other is from 1903!









I hope you have enjoyed my mini styled shoot.

The tea was delicious, C, thank you SO much! ♥

Tea Time

Recently on IG, Bekah (@miss_mouse_middleton) mentioned that a styled shoot should include teacups, ribbons and vintage books. This stuck in my head and so it came to be!

IMG_8460Bekah TEAIMG_8464Bekah TEAEarl Grey Tea, a Vintage Gardening Book and a fresh baked Chocolate Chip Cookie (thanks to my daughter and hubby!)

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Tea Time on a late Sunday afternoon with the last of the sunny light streaming through the dining room window…

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This January I have been resting a lot, dreaming a little bit and hoping to feel more energy soon!

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Looking at this vintage gardening book reminds me that the world will bloom again…

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For the Love of Anne…

8B3C1121-732E-4AD5-8BAF-20956DCDF605(Above) “For the Love of Anne” is currently featured in the Somerset Life Magazine Winter 2016 Issue. I was blessed to have 3 amazing ladies to be “Anne(s)” in this ‘Inspired by Anne of Green Gables’ Styled shoot! In my neck of the woods, the magazine can be found at Barnes n Noble and maybe Costco. For more information or to order a copy, go here:

I know many of you ladies have seen most of the photos on my blog or on IG (@melaniebeilner) but I decided to share more of the “out-takes” here today (they are still good!)

These 3 (now) 16 year olds are busy young ladies with school and jobs but someday I hope to get them back together again for another shoot. They all were so cute and sweet together! Josie, Emilie and Brielle.


The Abandoned Field

Hello dearest Kindred Spirits!
I’m doing this post in honor of Melanie, who encouraged me to do a post about my morning walks in my quaint and rugged town.

I found this abandoned field (it’s not fully just a field, but that’s what I call it) not too far from my house about a year ago, near the elementary school that is in the middle of Devore, my hometown. I walked there yesterday morning with the family dog, Champ. He is my main focus when I take pictures with my iPhone on our walks — he is the absolutely best model! I don’t consider myself a photographer (maybe some day I’ll pursue it), but rather an iPhone shutterbug. And some of you know, I do use the hashtag #withalicemyiphone on my Instagram page for all my somewhat efforts in artistic capturing. This field has been a big inspiration for me! It does not yet have a name and maybe after you ladies grab some tea and soak in this beauty of creation, you could give some ideas on what I should call it?

Yesterday morning started off later than I had wished, but I decided to tell Champ that we were going for a walk and he could have cared less what time of the day it was, he was just so excited to even go. It has been awhile since I’ve last seen the abandoned field.

The shooting in San Bernardino has been in small moments a lot for me to take in, especially since I had been only ten minutes away in a library when the scene occurred. It can be so easy to let such terrible tragedy cast dark shadows on one’s spirit, but I’m learning to remind myself that God already has my days numbered and being anxious is not going to help me any, that He has a whole beautiful world ready for me still to see and enjoy no matter how crazy the world has become. So I made a choice to do just that.

I have been so sick over this summer and part of the fall, as I explained in my last post — read here. Thankfully, I’m feeling so much better and stronger. However, the setback didn’t allow me to do my walks with Champ because where we live there is huge steep hills and windy roads, plus high altitude. It’s at the most three miles to the abandoned field, but it can take a lot out of you especially if you have been sick like me for so long. It was way overdue that I gave it a visit and I have been building my strength slowly to get to this morning.

This street winds around until it takes me to the field. I love this barn on the hill — I always imagine that on Christmas baby Jesus is born here.

It was quite a windy day but it seemed to carry with it reassuring peace and encouragement, as it carried away my anxiety that I didn’t even know strongly existed. I was so rejuvenated to be out amongst my town’s trees, fences, houses and barns, dogs barking hello, and the street that always leads me without fail to my favorite field.

Getting closer to the abandoned field!

What is so wonderful about this field that when I come to visit it always keeps its purity of newness — I always see, find, and learn something new about it every time! And it’s not big at all, just a couple of acres. As we got to the field across the street, Champ was already pulling at the leash to cross. He knew exactly where we were going.

Once we got there, it felt like home. I let Champ off his leash and he trotted around happy. After breathing it all in, I got my iPhone out to capture it — part of my way in enjoying the details that I don’t always pay attention to with the naked eye. Champ always gets dragged into posing for me for a few minutes, but he’s is so good at it that I just can’t let him not do it.

Champ with a sour face, waiting for my que to model for the capture. Modeling is hard work.

The results — moments like these captured just makes me all giddy. Isn’t Champ a pro or what?

I feel like Pocahontus with Grandmotherwillow with these gorgeous trees.

 The real field part of the abandoned field is near its neighbors who grow and sell live Christmas trees. They also have a field behind it, which is the part that shares a fence with the abandoned field, that holds a pair of extremely friendly donkeys and a rude llama and alpaca.

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 This was taken the day I first met these cuties. Those ears, eyes, and soft nose… Ahhhh! They melt my heart.

There are many other lovely creatures neighboring by. Since I take care of some of the town’s animals when people go on vacation, I get to meet some cuties. Just last week I took care of this lovely girl, Blueberry.

Last month I took care of this beautiful mare. I have been giving care to her and the other barn full of horses she lives with for some years. When I use to have my own horse, I use to ride over during the days I was assigned. I really enjoy this side work.

One of my favorite things is how the abandoned field always looks different! This was taken a year ago and look how orange the surroundings are! This year the colors are more a bright yellow.

So this is where I love to walk to, my lovely abandoned field. Yet, it really isn’t abandoned since I come visit and hope to do a lot more of it. On the way back, I was sure I would be exhausted. I reached home a little tired but not even close to exhaustion! It was a great feeling. Sharing with you this beautiful place and a small part of my life encourages me to take none of it for granted. I cannot wait to visit soon, with Champ excitedly by me.

~ Christiana


Let’s Chat About Adult Coloring

I have been promising this post forever & I have actually had the photos taken & edited for well over a month now…

So here at last to share about this topic because it is a huge creative trend right now, sweeping through the paper crafters world.

Almost everyone I know is jumping on the bandwagon & so many awesome coloring books are being printed, not to mention the artists are putting free printables online! Makes me wish I had a printer at home!

I was sent a gorgeous coloring book called “Victoriana” & several friends have sent me pages. I have printed a few off at the library as well.

I hope you will enjoy seeing some of the pages I have done & also the Smashbook page I did about this new hobby.

I normally use pencil crayons as they last a lot longer than makers, but for the pages with a lot of fine detail, I have started using markers just recently.










Pointing out that these adorable bunnie & birdie drawings were done by our very own Sarah from Hazelwood Forest!

When she sent free printables, I made sure to print off a couple copies & they will be making it into my smashbook one day!


One of the newspapers had a coloring contest which I did just for the fun of it…. thought I might as well include that here too.


Here is the Smashbook page I did around coloring. The pages came from my penpals & turned out so colorful & bright I wanted to tuck them into the book. Also coloring has become a big part of my year & since this particular smashbook is detailing 2015, I figured, coloring should be included. *smiles*



These cat pages (part of the Smashbook page above) had so much detail I ended up doing them in marker… I took a close up photo so that you could see just how many little areas there were. Took me hours & hours to do each one! So much fun!



Well I hope you have enjoyed seeing my coloring experience & I would love to see the rest of you ladies share your’s, if you are getting into this whole coloring trend as well!

In Honour Of Our Dear Maud

Happy 141th birthday to Lucy Maud Montgomery, the beloved author who wrote “Anne of Green Gables” & has been our inspiration for The Kindred Spirits Club.

I wasn’t sure if any of the other ladies would be posting here today, so I thought I would, and that I would do a little reminiscing of my time spent on Prince Edward Island.

As y’all know, I toured around the whole island & visited all of the spots Maud was known to frequent. Here are a few snaps from all of those places…

Let’s start off with the White Sands, presently known as the Dalvay By The Sea. But to those of us who watch Road To Avonlea, it will forever remain the White Sands.


Then onto the next most iconic place connected with Maud.

Green Gables.


Wandering down through the Haunted Woods & over to where a tiny cabin used to stand…


On this foundation, stood the home Maud was living in when she wrote Anne of Green Gables. If I recall right, the window was over near the right & she would sit at her little desk & write.


A short little stroll from this location, sits the Green Gables Post Office, where Maud would go to post off her letters & stories.


Just a block away, is where Maud & her husband now rest.

This is her grave & as you can see, it is not fancy, but shows that a very important lady rests there.



Quite a long drive away is the Bidefield Parsonage, which is where Maud lived while teaching school just down that street.

It is a charming house & the ladies who look after it now do an excellent job.


Upstairs in the parsonage, you will find Maud’s charming room…


And also her desk, where she would sit & write.

The view out the window is lovely!


In still another tiny hamlet, is this little house of great importance, because Maud was born here!


And this is the tiny upstairs room in which she was born.


Along the Green Gables Shoreline, sits this big old farmhouse.

Maud spent many happy days at this home, with her cousins/family.

Also of great importance, this is the home she & the Reverend M were married in!


Upstairs, you will find a large room, the one that Maud stayed in while visiting her family.


This is the parlor, where I got to stand on the very spot Maud said her wedding vows… right in front of the fireplace.


Just a short walk away from the old farmhouse, is this beautiful view & where Maud loved to take her strolls.

What a view!


Well I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of all Maud’s haunts!

Happy Birthday to such a wonderful author! ♥