Challenge of Travel Blog Hop
Erin of Tesori Trovati is hosting her 2nd Challenge of Travel Blog Hop today. Erin challenged us to have a Staycation and find something inspiring to share about our town.
Welcome to South Haven, Michigan - a tiny tourist town on the shores of Lake Michigan. We are famous for our beautiful sandy beaches and amazing sunsets scheduled every night! You can walk our entire downtown in less than 10 minutes, although the cute shops may have you stopping to linger over their goods. In the heart of downtown from April until October is the Farmer's Market and that is the start of today's Staycation Inspiration for me.
While our town caters to visitors year round, we really shine from Memorial Day to Labor Day when our population swells with city-weary souls looking for some quite time, hints of yesteryear and a place to breathe.
As a new resident of this place and a bone-a-fide country girl now I've taken notice this year of our under appreciated farmers. I've watched as empty fields came to life this spring, as markets filled up with goodies and upick farms filled with tourists and locals alike. I've been inspired by a book called the Feast Nearby about a woman who lived in a Southwest Michigan community and her quest to eat local all year round. I have been so enjoying the harvest of our local farms, as summer ends I find myself wanted to capture all of it to savor over the fall and winter seasons This has led me to explore freezing produce, making jam and very curious about learning to can my own food. And also discovering the joy of taking part in harvesting our own food at local upick farms. We picked blueberries last week and peaches and apples are up next.
So my inspiration are those farms and more specific - blueberry farms. South Haven is the self-proclaimed Blueberry Capital and hosts the National Blueberry Festival every August - actually during my birthday - so of course I'm going to love it. For my jewelry inspired by the farms of my home town, I first went with the color palette of blueberries - the rich blues, purples, greens and brown that you see in the fields. And then I mixed in feathered friends - or maybe more like enemies to the farmers - bits of sparkly ribbon are tied in the bushes to keep the birds away.
My first necklace features a Green Girl Studio pendant, on the back it reads, "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." While farming and gardening is dirty, hard work there is a beauty to it's rustic simplicity and it must be a love for those who work the land. I included a 'dream' bead by Diane Hawkey because living here is a dream come true for me. I pined for 10 long years for my sweet hometown here in Michigan. This necklace has a ceramic nugget also from Diane and one of my copper branch disk beads. Tiny glass beads in the navy hues of fresh blueberries dot the gunmetal jump rings and chain.
These earrings grab hold of that abundant feeling of fields of berries.
Wherever there are berries, birds are not far! For this necklace I have a pendant filled with art beads from top to bottom: Green Girl Studio, Earthenwood Studios, Sharon Pribble, Thornburg Studio and a Humblebead Leaf. Diane Hawkey, Earthenwood Studio and Sharon Pribble are also all Michigan girls. Shop local!
I love these flowers from Vintage Meadow. Blueberries turn the loveliest shades of purple when cooked down and stirred in yogurt. I paired them with a collection of bead caps and glass..
Living in an area where there is a farm in every direction I can attest to one thing - farms are peaceful! But breathing and farms are even more practical - all that vegetation clean and purify the air we breathe. Hence the term - fresh country air. Of course that doesn't apply to when fertilizer comes into the picture - but we won't dwell on that fresh country air. I added an owl to this necklace to represent that down home wisdom that farmers pass from generation to generation. The beads: Green Girl Studio, Humblebeads, Golem Designs and Tesori Trovati.
Similar theme but for me, adding in the crow symbolizes how we will always have challenges to face - much like those farmers who must contend with birds. There is one farm that has a cannon like noise that goes off every 10 minutes or so to scare the birds out of his peach trees! So when those little rascals known as life's problems start pestering you, just breath and come up with a plan to stay productive and keep them at bay!
Beads: Humblebeads and Diane Hawkey.
I think this is my favorite of the bunch - the back of the pendant reads: "Love feathers the nest." I created a wire nest to rest above the bird. So sweet and adorable, the little bird pendant from Tesori Trovati mixed in the Vintage Meadow, Humbleabeads and Thornburg Studio.
And lastly, a pair of simple earrings carrying the same color palette of those blueberries fields that are almost bare by now!
Visit Erin's blog to see what other designers created inspired by their hometowns!
If you'd like to join me in South Haven this fall to see what all the fuss is about join me for my annual Inspired by Nature Retreat.