I don’t think I painted one thing in April. But then May…

A floodgate of creativity and inspiration opened! Below are a few new pieces.

The buffalo was a request from my daughter in New Mexico. It’s en route as I type.

buffalo The flamingos will probably stay with me. Most of the time when I paint it is with the thought of selling in mind but I’m just not sure I can part with these salmony-pink birds. When I finished this one, it reminded me of a vintage Florida postcard. I’ve actually thought about lettering, “Visit Sunny Florida” on it. What do you think? florida flamingos

This little nest has been sold. It’s on a 6 x 6 canvas with 1 1/2″ sides so it can stand upright or hang on the wall. I like this size for a gallery wall or displaying on a ledge or shelf.

nest and blue eggs

The rooster is also on a 6 x 6 and I had such fun painting him! I posted his picture on facebook and a rooster lover scooped him up before he could even crow about it!

rooster 6 x 6

Pink roses and snapdragons are on an 11 x 14 canvas that I’ve framed. I don’t sell my canvases framed but I often display them for marketing purposes in a frame. Many of the canvases that I keep for my own home are framed. ($35 + shipping)roses and snapdragons

Not only do I enjoy my backyard rose garden and the flowers that grow in pots on my front porch, I’m often drawn to painting flowers. This canvas has a lot of texture and I like the dark background.  ($35 + shipping)

roses in white vase

Below is another nest full of eggs. This is a 16 x 20 and if I don’t sell it soon, I may not sell it at all! It looks great in my dining room. {$45 + shipping)

big nest

I’m fortunate to have a spot in my home to make art, sew, crochet and write. It’s a bit of a shared space however as my husband’s very large desk is also in this room. I have lots of storage yet never enough. Or perhaps it’s not organized well or not the right type of storage for the things I need to store! The bottom line is I’ve finally gotten enough motivation to clean it and organize it. It will be much easier to flow in the creativity when things are in place. I’m one of those people, though, who needs to see her stuff or else forget I have the stuff. I prefer open shelving to closed doors. I want to lay my hand on something quickly, not open a cabinet door to retrieve it.

So, I’m working on my art studio this weekend. My space is a room that the original owners of our home converted from an enclosed patio to an interior room. Lots of windows overlook our backyard. I love that! Lots of windows let in heat! Not loving that so much as it gets pretaaaay hot in “the tropics of Clearwater, Florida.” Lots of windows means beautiful light. I love that! Lots of windows means a lot of glare. I don’t love that. When I need to take pictures of my artwork I can never use this room for lack of wall space and the glare.

Still, there’s plenty I can do back here to make it a fun, fresh space to create more efficiently. No before pictures but when it’s in better shape, I’ll share a few afters.

What about you? Do you like things put away and out of sight or are you like me and need to see it to use it?

If you are interested in any of the art work I’ve posted, let me know. I can answer questions and list it on “reserve” for you in my Etsy Shop. 

Print Friendly

A Little Fall in My Florida Home

It’s the first day of October and it’s hot. But I’ve decided to ignore our tropical temps and bring a little change of the seasons into our home. Click on the pics to enlarge.

I primed a board and for good measure also added a coat of gesso. Then I used my acrylic paints to add a few Florida fall leaves to a goldish container. The gold highlights are from a Gold Leafing paint pen. I propped it on this thrift store sconce I got a couple of years ago and gave a makeover with chalk paint. This is on the narrow wall by my front door.

acrylic painted leaves on board Last week I stopped by my neighborhood thrift shop and spied this 60″ x 84″ tablecloth. I thought the colors and pattern were just lovely! I often stop by thrift stores to find a yard or two of fabric. So cheap! Today I cut the cloth lengthwise, sewed the edges and a channel for the rod then decided to add a burlap border.

panels with burlap border

With the border the panels puddle a bit which is okay but I may raise the rods. We’ll see. Sewing a simple border is a great way to add length to purchased panels that aren’t quite long enough. kw panel

Here’s a closer look at the border. I think the colors are perfect for fall and the bit of aqua (my favorite color) allows it to work perfectly with my existing decor. I have a lot of aqua touches in my home.

kw panel border


My simple fall wreath is a grapevine wreath with a vine of fall leaves, a scarecrow and some scrappy burlap for a bow. I may make something else later but this suits me for now.

fall wreath with scarecrow

This is my chalkboard I made from a framed picture. The chalkboard paint went right over the glass. :) I also painted the frame changing it from brown to this beachy distressed style. Where did I get the owl picture? Well, thank you for asking. :) That’s a print of my original watercolor. I printed it on a vintage hymn book page and framed it. Hoooo wouldn’t like that?!

chalkboard vignette

In my dining room -

I painted the 11 x 14 pumpkin canvas and it’s for sale in my Etsy Shop. The “M” initial is also a watercolor I framed.

dining room fall sideboard

On my kitchen table – Under the cloche is a little burlap pumpkin I fashioned with scrap burlap, twine, hot glue and a wine cork for the stem.

kitchen table cloche with burlap pumpkin

This little lady sits atop my piano. I added a pine cone to my shells. I figure our beach shells are just as fallish as acorns and pine cones. Since we live so near the beach, the shells are always in season and not limited to summer decor.

fall on the piano


One corner of my entertainment center -


The other corner of the entertainment center – pears and pine cones and my watercolor of pear tree leaves -

watercolor leaves

 With the advent of the fall season, I’ve sold some of my fall note cards in my Etsy Shop. I’ve sold the Pumpkin Patch cards as well as the Hello, Pumpkin cards. Yay! I’m glad to see there is a need for cards to continue the art of snail mail card sending.

Friends, to celebrate the first day of fall, here’s a recipe I used last fall and again just last week. It’s very similar to many other pumpkin muffin recipes but I always tweak recipes a bit based on what I have in the pantry. If you don’t bake with self-rising flour, you will need to adjust the recipe to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. And you can use cinnamon if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice and you can use canola or vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil although the coconut oil added a mild coconut flavor which my family enjoyed. Another thing, next time I’l cut the sugar to 2 cups. I added a few chopped pecans to mine. We love pecans but you can also add walnuts. They were moist and delicious and made us feel like fall was right around the corner even though for us living in the “tropics of Florida” that’s a streeeeeetch.

pumpkin muffins

How are you adding fall to your home?

Pin It
Print Friendly

Find Me On Etsy


Last week I opened my Etsy Shop.  After a year of selling my BellaMella Canvases and two months after selling my watercolor prints and Flower Power Pins, I decided to open shop. Currently I am not listing my BellaMella Canvases but you can still find those here.

How can you connect with me and see my listings, get coupon codes, gifts with purchase and other special deals?

  • “Like” my facebook page Melanie Dorsey Designs. You can do this from my sidebar.
  • “Follow” my Etsy Shop board on Pinterest. You’ll see that in my sidebar as well.
  • “Re-Pin” from my Etsy Shop board. This helps others see my pins and directs them to my Etsy Shop.
  • Order something! :)  When you order from my Etsy Shop today 9/10 – Friday 9/12, let me know in the “Note To Seller” that you were referred from my blog and I’ll include a GIFT WITH PURCHASE.

Here are a few things you’ll find in my Etsy Shop.

Burlap Tote Owl Watercolor Print Canary Note Card

peacock notecard

Note Card, Dolphin Note Card, Goldfish, Fedora, Twine Note Card, Sea TurtleChristmas Card Cardinal fb collage Magnolia Bloom Leather Pin

Linen Flower Pin $20 includes s/h

Magnolia Bloom Pin – Linen

Thank you so much for your continued support and all of the encouragement I’ve felt these past few years. This particular time of the year brings its own set of painful memories as it’s the 4 month season in which we got the devastating news of our son Andrew’s brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent passing ten days before Christmas. Besides running and spending time at the beach, being creative is one of my coping methods and it is a joy to this mother’s heart that I am able to use some of Andrew’s own art supplies in my process.

Thank you, in advance, for checking out my Etsy Shop and any other way you choose to show your support of my new venture.

sunburst etsy badge

Pin It
Print Friendly

Vintage Owl Lamp Make Over

I picked up this lamp at a yard sale a few days ago. After checking online, I found out that it was produced by the Atlantic Mold Company in the 70′s. Similar vintage owl lamps are priced at $70 and up. This owl measures about 21″. With the shade, this is one statement piece! I painted it and covered the lampshade with a fabric from HGTV called, “Like Lace.” I gave this one a makeover in order to sell it. Until then, I’ll enjoy it myself!

Here’s the before and after pictures. What do you think?

owl lamp before pic

Vintage Owl Lamp

Vintage Owl Lamp

Print Friendly

Burlap and Button Down Shirt Pillow

I’ve been making things lately. A lot of things.

burlap biz shirt collage

I stopped at a yard sale this afternoon and bought this chair. I had intended to use it in my backyard but once I got it home, I realized it would be perfect for my Creative Studio. Studio sounds like such a fancy word for the enclosed Florida room where I write, paint, sew, crochet and do my Bible study.

  1. 1.
    a room where an artist, photographer, sculptor, etc., works.

However since Google defined it thusly and “etc” leaves the studio door wide open to interpretation...and there’s quite a lot of creating that happens in this space, Creative Studio it is!

It really is a comfortable chair but it needed something to add color, texture, comfort and style. A pillow! A burlap pillow! A burlap pillow with fabric on the backside – yep, that’s what I envisioned. I went through my box of discarded clothing and pulled out one of my husband’s old button down business shirts. I cut the backside of his shirt, leaving the tail. I cut the burlap to size, pinned and sewed. I kept the pillow case open to change out the pillow. I prefer down pillows but I didn’t have one that fit, so I used some fiberfill I found in some of my mom’s things. Thanks, Mother!

Notice the band around the pillow Can you guess what part of the shirt it’s from? :) The finishing touch was one of my burlap flowers. I may have hollered for joy when this was complete. It’s so cute and it’s my design from start to finish. And that just thrills my heart.

I’m a big believer in using what I have on hand. I enjoy the challenge of creating something new from something old. And for some reason I gain more inspiration from a limitation. What about you? What inspires you?


Pin It
Print Friendly

colors for june – watercolors & prints

Last week I painted this peacock using watercolors.



About three weeks ago I picked up some watercolor paints and painted my first watercolor. I am smitten! Smitten, I tell you. Dipping the brush in the water and swirling it in the little pan of paint, I remembered something I have not thought of in a long time. Over the years my mother shared with me a regret. When she had the opportunity to take classes in watercolor painting, she did not do it. Mother was in her early forties when she had the chance to take a watercolor course. A couple of women from her church were registering for it and invited her along.

Over the years, she confided in me that it was one of the things she regretted not doing. She felt she could not take time to do something that was only for herself. I suppose she may have believed if it was not for her home, her family or her church, that it did not merit her time away from home, family or church.

Let’s pause for a collective sigh right here…

I finished that first watercolor.

colors for june - hydrangeas in blue jar

And about half-way through the next one, I remembered what my mother shared.

Bee Yourself

At that moment, I was inspired to give my watercolors a name and “colors for june” was born.

June Williams Clark 6/28/38 - 5/9/13

June Williams Clark
6/28/38 – 4/9/13

I know Mother would be happy about that.

I’m now producing note cards with prints of my watercolors. Click on the fish below to see my designs and order “colors for june.”

Be sure to check out Elaine’s blog at Peace for the Journey because she’s generously hosting a give away for 5 of my cards. My friend, Elaine, has always been supportive of my creative endeavors and I appreciate her friendship and encouragement. You’ll love her writing and be sure to click on the link within her post on “solving the problem of pain.” Wow! Did that resonate with me!


Print Friendly

Go With It and You’ll Grow With It

When my son greets me in the morning like this, “You look like you haven’t slept in days,” and then points out which eye is puffier, I know it’s been a week of creating. Here are a few things I’ve been working on lately. :)

sunflower acrylic on canvasAs a soloist, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” is a song I’ve sung in many places for many years. This painting is called “Sparrow” and is founded on the passage in Matthew 10:31 where Jesus begins teaching with these words, “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light…” He sums up this passage with, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
You will see two sparrows depicted here – one on the ground and one perched on the woman’s shoulder. The bodice of her dress has an overlay of sheet music and, of course, the song is, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow.”  {Sold}

Acrylics, hymn page, sparrow and girl on canvas

Le Poulet – “chicken” in French is soooo cute! I displayed her in a wire basket hanging on the side of my kitchen cabinet. I like out of the ordinary ways to display art and decor. {Sold}

Chicken art, Chicken in wire basket, Le Poulet


This verse is from the book of Psalms and is painted on a metal piece (11 x 27 x 1 – $49)

Ocean typography on metal

I’m thinking about using this sketch and others for a special project I have in mind. This is just a preliminary, rough sketch but gives you the idea. The necklace reads, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.The heart of her husband safely trusts her.”

Proverbs 31 Woman I’ve got my fingers in a lot of pies lately: my BellaMella Canvas, sketch ideas for journal covers, typography (working on new {to me} materials – metal, wood, a contract job to organize an office, personalizing an existing fabric tote bag, and working on new music (learning lyrics, etc.). Perhaps I’ll share the bag make-over next week.

I almost forgot to show you the bird I painted on my kitchen wall this weekend. We’re planning to paint the walls in “Nurture” by Behr. It’s a pale blue/green with a gray tone. My kitchen gets a lot of light from a huge East facing window so I’m hoping this color works well in here. I’ll paint around the bird!

painted bird on wall

The “Today” canvas was a commissioned piece that should be arriving on it’s recipient’s doorstep in a few days. I’m doing another one – also commissioned – except with sunflowers. I enjoy the Mason jar additions to BellaMella Canvas.

Mason Jar Art, Typography, BellaMella Canvas“Faith, Hope, Love” is available for purchase – 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas – $45 includes shipping/handling.

Three Things Ball Jars

There are days, weeks even, when I don’t have the creative urge so when it hits, I have to go with it. Those are the times I get a lot of projects done and then I kind of burn out and crash for a while. The crash is usually when I cook more! So, there has not been a whole lot of cooking going on around here. I admit, when I’m in my creative zone, I lose track of time and forget about dinner until one of my men opens the fridge door and the pantry door then humbly says, “I’m hungry.”

Oops. Is it that time again? Didn’t we just eat breakfast?

I want to leave you with this. Are there days that you cry from frustration over lack? Lack of money, time, skill, talent, resources? I’ve had my tears over all of those, too. But here’s the thing, if there’s something you really want to do…I mean it’s in your heart to do it and you keep thinking about it…start with what you have. Start with the means, ability, resources you do have. Commit to learning all you can. Go forward with what you DO have and be patient in the growing stage.

Go with it! Grow with it! Amen? Amen.

Pin It
Print Friendly

Unedited But Not Unplugged

Hi, today I’m writing unedited. What does that mean? I’m not really sure except to say, I’m just gonna write like I’m catching up with a friend. Not gonna stick to one topic. Not gonna think it through too much…just a little unedited chit chat.

This skirt! It’s what I’m wearing today. Marshall’s – $7.99 Brand – Quicksilver – Check it out online! It’s called the Reef Point Maxi – can you believe the price on that website?

maxi skirt blueI‘ll let you in on a little secret. I’m working on losing a few pounds –  10 to be exact but 8 will do. So…I’m taming my appetite for a few things. Namely, chips. I could eat tortilla chips all day long! These help. I still get that crunch and desire for a chip but they’re not so addicting. Very good but not addicting. Only 3 ingredients: sweet potatoes, oil and salt -

sweet pot

My latest creative project is adding graphics to flour sack kitchen towels! Soooo cute. I’ve analyzed why I’m loving this right now: what’s NOT to love about fresh, white cotton towels, birds & bees & wreaths – yes!, easy project once you have all of the components. I’m just hoping the image does not blur or fade once washed. It’s not supposed to but…

flour sack towels

A local friend purchased one of my latest canvases. I really like this one and I’m glad a good friend liked it enough to say, “Hey, I want that one!” or words to that effect. :)

I originally called it, “the fragrance of love” but now that my friend Regina is getting it, I’ve changed the name to “Regina’s Roses.”

reginas roses framed

You know how you overdo one particular meal and then you don’t fix it for a long time because you got kind of tired of it? That’s my Mexican Chicken Soup. But I made it for dinner today for the first time in several months and it’s so delicioso. Whenever we want chicken, I bake a whole bird and use it for 2 – 3 meals. I also save that wonderful stock, strain it and use it as needed. If I don’t plan to use it, I freeze it. It’s so much more flavorful than chicken broth off the shelf.

My Mexican Chicken Soup is an old Southern Living recipe. The main ingredients are cooked, shredded chicken, stock, Rotel tomatoes, beans and whatever else you want to saute and add: onions, celery, peppers. Add chili powder, cumin and salt/pepper to your taste. I add a lot. Today I topped mine with cilantro and diced avocado. You can make it on the stove or in a Crock Pot. It’s very satisfying even without adding my beloved tortilla chips.

We had a couple pieces of Key Lime Pie left from the weekend. Normally that would be unheard of as it’s my favorite dessert but Sunday I determined no more sugar, chips, and a few other things that trigger my appetite to cross over to gluttony. Yep! That’s what an out of control appetite becomes – gluttony. So, I asked my husband and son to finish it up today so I don’t have to see the pie every time I open the refrigerator. Here’s one I made last year. I know. It’s beautiful. ;)

key lime pie


And on that note, I’m off to walk a few miles! I’ll probably add in some running too but here’s another thing. I’m in the middle of a blog series called, “Work It Out” and I’m re-assessing my workouts. Sometimes I feel my workout of the day overshadows everything else and I don’t fully plug in and enjoy my day until I’ve gotten my run in or my resistance workout done. And I’m not happy with that. I’m looking for a better approach that still calls for discipline in exercising my body but doesn’t feel like a burden on a lot of days. I don’t want to give more than an hour a day to official exercise yet I also don’t want to let it go more than a day or three. So, I’m thinking it all through and trying to figure out what will be a good plan for me in this season. In the fall I may change it all up again, but for now I need to do something different. I’m not even talking about different types of exercise although it may include that. I just want and need a different approach.

Hey, I’m outta here for now – off to Work It Out!

What are you up to lately? Any new recipes? Creative endeavors? Do tell.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly