Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vacation Inspiration: Loving the Western Shore of My Home State

My husband and I finally, finally got the chance to go away together for the weekend. This is our first vacation as a couple since we got married (umm, five and a half years ago . . .), so it was long overdue. On our first night, we drove westward across the Mitten to Holland, Michigan. We did the quintessential tourist activity in the town: toured the DeZwaan windmill and the gardens on Windmill Island. DeZwaan was the last historic windmill exported from the Netherlands, and although it is 250 years old, it is still in operation as a grain mill.

I love artisan crafts, and rarely pay much attention to anything else when I visit historic sites, but I found myself drawn to the Windmill Island Conservatory. I am a sucker for succulents, and I loved this birdcage with Burro's Tail growing through the bars.

The grounds are dotted with plants that produce enormous umbrella leaves. The veining on the leaves was beautiful--it reminded me immediately of marbled paper. I've read a few tutorials lately about marbling with nail polish, and these leaves might have inspired me to give it a try.

Although I am usually pretty conservative with color (in other words, I heart black), I could totally envision the vivid colors of these orchids in a headscarf, set of bracelets, or a fun coin purse.

After our first night and day in Holland, the hubs and I continued north along the coast of Lake Michigan. We spent the rest of our weekend in Ludington, Michigan. We found a great hotel right near the beach, and we were within easy walking distance to both the water and the downtown shops and restaurants. Perfect! Lounging on the beach did give me the time to do a little knitting.

Perusing the small boutiques reminded me how much I love the casual, easy fashion sensibilities along the shore. Light fabrics, fun prints, romantic-but-not-fussy. *Happy sigh.* My next project has to be a lightweight summer scarf. No question. I feel so rejuvenated after this trip. It gave me so many new crafty ideas. Wherever your travels may take you as summer winds down, I hope you'll find yourself inspired. Be creative and enjoy!

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