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Backyard Garden & Chickens Part 2

Collecting the eggsContinuing from Part 1… I love how Lori uses her space so beautifully. She has an in-town backyard. It is not huge but she uses it to it’s full potential. I’m sure it did not become so amazing overnight. It probably took years to take shape and a lot of pulling weeds. They have a small chicken coop with not more than 10 chickens and various other pets. Part 2 is all about the “chickens”! (and the lovely Corlana took the amazing photos: Lana Jenae Photography)chickens photoshootAren’t these chickens adorable…I wish I could remember their names…I’ll re-post when I find out!eggs in apron

brown eggsI’ve wanted chickens for years but I’m waiting on God’s timing. There is a “season” for everything!

country girlIt is soooo creative to dream these “stories” up and come up with the location, the clothes, the props and the “shot” list. I found myself losing a lot of sleep this summer because there are so many details! Also, on the morning of this shoot, it was pouring buckets. I quickly changed the whole theme to a “rain” shoot with umbrellas and boots and then it stopped raining and we went back to our original plan. Whew!! but I still want to do that rain shoot sometime. Puddle jumping sounds so fun!

cute country chickensDon’t you just love this shot? It’s probably my favorite!! Gotta love those old-fashioned aprons!

chicken getting away

girls and chickensBackyard chickens, old-fashioned aprons and gardens…it’s truly a slice of heaven. Yes. There will have to be a part 3…stay tuned

Sweet Peas


Backyard Garden & Chickens Part 1

Potting BenchIn this post, “Backyard Garden & Chickens,” I share Lana Jenae Photography Styled by Melanie Beilner; that’s me! We were blessed to photograph a friend’s lovely backyard with beautiful raised Garden Beds and Chickens. 3 out of the 4 lovely daughters are in the shoot plus my daughter. In the above photo, Anna wears Rue 21 Overalls. We got to play with Grandiflora products in our shoot!

potting in the garden

Summer GardenAbby is wearing IZ Byer Cowgirl Dress from Kohl’s and a Croft & Barrow White Summer Hat.

Burlap Bag: "With God..."I like what the bag says, “With God All Things Are Possible.”

antique watering can

watering the garden

gathering vegetables in the gardenEliza is wearing Lush and collecting vegetables from the Garden. Garden Produce

garden carrots5 Loaves Farm provided extra produce and flowers for the shoot.

picking a floral bouquetKate wears Speechless and collects a floral bouquet in a uniquely crafted carrier.

floral carrier from Grandiflora

Garden flora and faunaStay tuned for Part 2 of more Garden Flora and Fauna!!


Blackberries and Bunting Photoshoot

Recently I had the great pleasure of doing my first official Styled Interior Photoshoot. It was also a first time collaboration with Fielding Piepereit as lead Photographer and we were assisted by Photographer and Stylist Annetta Bosakova. I was greatly inspired by Selina Lake’s Styling in her recent books: Outdoor Living and Homespun Style.

Blackberries and Bunting

Melanie Beilner StylistAs I mentioned in the previous post, my husband helped me carry out my vision for this white vanilla cake with blackberry layers. It turned out so beautifully and became the focus of the whole photoshoot. It sits on a pretty cake stand from TJ Maxx: Ceriart, S.A. (The apron and bunting is homemade by me!)

Blackberries and Bunting Photoshoot styled by Melanie BeilnerI love pulling furnishings and decor together from garage sales and even free finds. Many of the props I’ve used in all my photoshoots are re-purposed (check out my updated Portfolio). The white washed barn table was rescued by my husband (Dream Garden Woodworks) from an old barn. The chalkboard is made with reclaimed lumber. The corner hutch is repurposed from a free find off Craigslist. To see the before and after pics for the hutch, go here

Blackberries and Bunting Styled by Melanie BeilnerI believe 99% of the props you see here were picked up at yard sales.


yard sale finds

blackberries in a mason jar

Blackberry Cake

DSC_1768Pansies (orange and purple) decorate the bottom edge of the cake. Blackberries were handpicked by my daughter and I. I’m thinking: End of Summer Goodness.

Blackberry Cake GoodnessAlso shown here: light blue tea towel from TJ Maxx: Artistic Accents. Pumpkin Spice Yankee Candle from TJ Maxx.Blackberry Cake with Whip Cream Frosting

slice of blackberry cakeThis white vanilla cake has layers of blackberry jam and homemade whip cream with a whip cream frosting. It was very moist and oh so pretty! Fall is almost here but before the leaves all fall, pick a few blackberries and celebrate the end of summer! Bittersweet…


Prepping for an Interior Photoshoot; Homespun Style

Annetta BosakovaThe number 1 help in any photoshoot is people. For my first Interior Photoshoot (at my house), I asked Annetta Bosakova to assist in Photography and Styling. She was full of good advice and good ideas! Taking the lead on photography was my cousin Fielding:

Fielding Piepereit PhotographyPrepping for a photoshoot requires much planning and shopping. For several weeks I was collecting props mostly at garage sales and TJ Maxx.

pumpkins in basket


embroidery hoops and Grandma

Colander from TJ MaxxOn the day of the shoot my husband generously put together the cake I had envisioned:

Donny.cakeOn the day of the shoot, we foraged the neighborhood for flowers, removed all clutter (the stuff we really need! haha!), and arranged props and flowers:

Melanie Beilner StylistWe took a break here and there to Instagram our Phone Camera pics, eat pizza and talk about Styling and Photography.


CollaboratorsI was one happy girl to have these 2 very talented people by my side. Thanks guys for making this day great!!! I learned so much. And thanks to Selina Lake for her inspirational books such as Homespun Style and Outdoor Living which inspired me greatly to do this shoot.


I’m on Instagram…and it’s oh so fun!

PicMonkey Instagram Collage1Around here and there in the last week! Country Cottage Living. (above photos on Instagram; melaniebeilner)

Hello! I’ve been busy getting used to my new phone: a Samsung Galaxy S4. My husband surprised me one day with it!! at first I was overwhelmed and my phone number had to change too. Bummer. But then I discovered the camera and Instagram and all the cool effects. Then to top it off I discovered PicMonkey and made this Fab collage!!!! Can you feel my excitement?? So, I’ve been in the dark ages using a flip phone which is small and compact and little stress or anything to do on it. Now, I have this compact basically computer and can do anything on it! I’m a little over-the-top!