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  1. Kelly,
    Your work is exquisite. How big are these? I've been using a lot of seed beads and my fingers are getting numb!
    I'm from Michigan. Born and raised in Detroit. Married and moved to Grand Haven for 23 years. We live in Coeur d'Alene, Id. Spent many years vacationing in Northern Mi. Thank you for the pictures of your work. If I knew how to get my pictures on my blog I'd post them myself. But I have to wait for help!

  2. Dear Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing so many amazing photos and posts about Mackinac! Especially because of your recent post about Silver Birches, I thought you and your audience might be interested in a case of life imitating art.

    When author Cynthia Lee Cartier visited Mackinac some years ago, she fell in love with the Island; it became her “favorite place on earth”. She also fell in love with Silver Birches and wanted to move to Mackinac and restore the lodge and run it. As the author has said, “Since owning the lodge wasn’t in my future, writing a story about restoring it and living there was the next best thing.” Her dream inspired Cynthia to write "My Way Home," the first book in the St. Gabriel Series.

    Being inspired by the place she loved, as so many authors are, such as Jan Karon who was inspired by the North Carolina town she loved and lived in to create Mitford, Cynthia created the fictional island of St. Gabriel where most of the story takes place. St. Gabriel Island has its own landmarks, traditions and characters that don’t exist on Mackinac, but readers have visited Mackinac after reading "My Way Home" and found it was like being in the world the author took them to in her novel.

    Volume II in the St. Gabriel series, "Sweet Gabriel," has just been released and most of it again takes place on St. Gabriel Island at the Lake Lodge (the fictionalized version of Silver Birches). The release has been even more exciting for Cynthia as Silver Birches is about to make its debut as well.

    After learning about the real-life purchase and restoration of Silver Birches, reader Mary Lou O'Shea put Cynthia in touch with new owner, Liz Ware, and the two have struck up a correspondence. The author plans to make a trip to visit Silver Birches' new owner next season and says, “I’m so excited for Liz. She's living my dream and I can't wait to see the lodge when it's finished. It’s like watching my story come to life!”

    As the St. Gabriel Series gains popularity, and as Silver Birches re-opens for business, Mackinac will be getting more attention and tourism. Since you are so dedicated to the island, I thought you'd want to hear and perhaps share the news of life imitating art.

    If you haven't already read Volume I or II in the St. Gabriel Series, I hope you get the opportunity. Cynthia loves hearing from readers, especially those who adore Mackinac as much as she does, and would love to hear from you. You can contact her through her website:

    Thank you for your time and please let me know if you have any questions or would like to arrange for an interview with or a guest blog post by the author.

    Mandy Kalish
    Story Creek Books