Monday, September 8, 2014

Two Trees and a Tree House

In the two and a half years I have been blogging, I have only featured the homes of friends a few times, but each time, the response has been good.

Most people enjoyed seeing Lisa's house

and Leslie's beach house was a big hit.

Both my house and my life are topsy turvy at the moment - nothing bad, just lots of balls in the air - so I thought today would be a good time to feature another friend.

 Recently, I photographed Michelle's home and creative space.

I met Michelle over 20 years ago when our classrooms were next door to each other.

Nowadays, this is where I usually see Michelle, while we are both walking our dogs.

The front yard of Michelle's little beach cottage is welcoming, but she spends little time sitting there.

Every day when Michelle gets home from school, she goes right to her garage where she has carved out a place to create beautiful jewelry.

I love the story of how Two Trees Jewelry came into existence.

Michelle was going to New York to visit a good friend who had moved away and wanted Michelle to bring her something that would remind her of home.

Two Tree Hill - oil on canvas - Steve Cook 

Two Tree Hill is an iconic feature of Ventura so Michelle created a piece of jewelry for her friend depicting both the ocean and Two Trees- 

and she found herself with a second career- Two Trees Jewelry.

Michelle grew up in the same beach neighborhood where she now lives and says she has been collecting heart shaped rocks and bits of shells her entire life.

She turns those found pieces into unique pieces of jewelry.

She also combines silver with semi precious stones such as lapis lazuli to create beautiful pieces like her popular lotus flower.

In addition to the Lotus flower, Two Trees and a Peace sign are Michelle's top selling pieces.

Michelle found some driftwood on the beach and created a piece to hold her tools.

She is a woman with many talents - she made the TO BEACH sign for herself one Christmas and also for each family on her lane.

I had not planned to take any photos of the interior of Michelle's beach house, but after admiring the stepping stone mosaics she made, Michelle showed me the tiles she created for her kitchen island.

I peeked into the back yard where I found an amazing tree house .

Years ago, when Michelle's children were little, a neighboring family built the 3 story tree house and it still stands today.

I climbed to the top of the treehouse - very carefully - and was rewarded with

views of the the Ventura hills and the Pacific Ocean.

I was shooting right into the sun so this photo does not do Michelle's treetop view justice.

I hope you enjoyed peeking into Michelle's garden

and her creative space.

You can see more of Michelle's work at

If you are interested in purchasing anything, let Michelle know you read about her on my blog and she will give a discount.


  1. Good morning, CAROL!

    This is magic. I am able to read a story or look at photos and immediately, I'm there. I can almost hear the waves and smell the air as you share Michelle's lovely living and work space. How cool is this, to teach and then come home to craft another art? That lapis lazuli work is outstanding, and you can tell this woman has been doing this for a long time. The sea lives in her!

    I wish you success as you get your home together and ready for another tour of YOUR home, that I love so much.

    OK, now it's my turn to get to school! Back later, Anita

  2. Michelle's work is beautiful. Very creative. Thanks for sharing her space with us. I love the sign, too.

    That tree house and view are amazing too.

  3. Wow ~ so much talent. Michelle's jewelry is beautiful. That tree house is really amazing!

  4. What beautiful artistry! Thank you for sharing, Carol. I love sterling and lapis in combination, and her tile work is amazing too.
    What a tree house!
    I hope things settle for you. Good to hear from you, still.

  5. Thanks so much for introducing us to Michelle and her home. That treehouse is too cool. How neat that she started out a second career by doing something for a friend!

    I love her thing, and lapis is a particular favorite. Her designs are the neatest! I will be sure and drop by her place for a visit. I would love to see more of her work..

    Thanks, Carol, for I trouncing us to Michelle!


    Sheila :-)

  6. Not only do you live in a gorgeous place, you have neighbors that are beyond creative! What lovely jewelry and her home is very special also. The tree house is really quite amazing! Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Hello Carol! Your friend Michelle has a lovely space to create her jewelry and a beautiful garden for inspiration. How fun to have a treehouse in the back yard.

  8. I bet Michelle loves being able to make jewlrey like that for people. It's so pretty and reflects the area she lives in so well.

  9. I really like when you feature your friend's houses...I love peeking into different houses and gardens and hearing people's stories! And I'm officially "in love" with Michelle's jewelry. I love jewelry, especially unique, handmade pieces. I went to her web site and was looking through her gallery and I said out loud to myself, "Oh. My. God." I don't see any prices on things though. Is there a way we can find or get pricing? Thank you!

  10. Loved seeing Michelle's home and her pretty jewelry! How fun that she has a treehouse in her backyard.

  11. Michelle's work is beautiful. Thanks for sharing her home and creative space. I'd be spending lots of time at the top of that tree house if I lived there!

  12. Michelle is an artist, no doubt about it. Everything she touches is a lovely! That is a great tree house, but tall...yikes! Definitely worth the climb, as long as you don't look down! ;) Can you imagine being a kid with that clubhouse?

  13. Love the garden & home; love the jewelry...
    But that tree house is AMAZING!!!

    Off to look at more of her jewelry ~

  14. Seems the majority of teachers are so creative! Michelle certainly is...:) Loved touring her creative space and garden. Her pieces are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings, Vicky

  15. Michelle's jewelry is just gorgeous! What a talented woman! And that tree house is amazing!!!!
    Mary Alice

  16. Michelle's home is fascinating and her jewelry is beautiful. Very kind of her to offer a discount to your readers.

  17. Wow..just beautiful...the jewelry.. the tree...the tree house and the view.. I know the friendship is just as beautiful! Blessings!

  18. What a cool lady!!!! I just loved everything about her space and her style is fantastic!!!! LOVE her jewelry and will definitely be jumping over to check it out further! Thanks for sharing friend and I hope that all of your balls in the air go in the direction that you would like them to go....thinking about you! Nicole xo

  19. That treehouse! Fantastic! I love the jewelery too. Maybe I need some of that . . .

  20. Her jewelry is beautiful! And that tree house is just magical! Thanks for another amazing tour, Carol!

  21. What a lovely story and kudos to you for being brave enough to climb up in to the treehouse!

  22. I enjoyed reading about Michelle. She is a very talented artist and I love her surroundings. I'm so glad you climbed to the treehouse - what fun!

  23. WOW Carol very inspiring post. Michelle is a woman who listened to her inner creative voice and has embraced it with crafting beauty from her heart,
    Steve's oil painting is so captivating. Hope you have embarked on a fun project and can't wait to see your efforts,

  24. That was a great story! There's inspiration there for anyone starting something new.

  25. You have a wonderful way of sharing in word and photography.

    I love the view from the tree house and all the pictures are beautiful.

  26. Hi Carol, another lovely post. The more I see of the cottages along the beach, the more I want to see. I'm not into the big new homes, but the little cottages are gems along the sea . . . like finding a perfect sand dollar, one the birds or ocean haven't blemished. That tree house is amazing. I think that you were pretty darn brave to climb up there, especially knowing that it was built twenty years ago. I would have been afraid of old or rotten wood. It would certainly be a long fall. I don't mind climbing up ladders, but climbing back down has always been a little bit frightening. I'm very happy to know that you made it back down in one piece. Thanks again for allowing us to explore your incredible neighborhood.
    Connie :)

  27. Lovely post. Michele is such a talented person and her jewelry shows it! Loving the tree house too! Have a wonderful week.

  28. What a gorgeous area you live in...makes me want to move to California even more than I already do! Your friend is very talented....xo, Janet

  29. Always enjoy seeing homes in your area. Michelle is talented and seem like a lovely lady! I can't imagine waking up and taking a walk every day by the pictures are always so beautiful.

  30. Hi Carol, what an outstanding artist. Her work is fabulous and I so enjoyed seeing her work space and yard. How fun for you to be there in person. Your pics are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Carol, Michelle is so creative!! I loved reading all about how you two met and how she started her jewelry business. Loved all of her necklaces, thanks so much for sharing. The treehouse is awesome!! Beautiful view too!!

  32. She has an amazing garden! I love her workshop too. xoxo

  33. Wow, what an amazing story of how her jewelry business was named. Love the gorgeous piece she created for a friend. Love her very creative necklaces display too. Thanks for sharing Michelle's amazing talent and home with us.

  34. Such a talented friend you have! I have to say though my favorite thing about this post was the amazing tree house! would love to live in one! esp with an ocean view.

  35. How wonderful that she has created such a fun business. I'm sure it is also very rewarding! Thank you for sharing your friend/neighbor with us. Sometimes it good to get to know new friends! Blessings, Cindy

  36. How very neat you two are still friends! She has a lovely house and oh my, the tree house! xo Jen

  37. Hi Carol,
    What an amazing tree house and her jewelry is fabulous; love the heart shaped shells and rocks! Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful day.


  38. What a wonderful view, especially from the tree house!
    And your friend makes such unique pieces of jewelry.
    Thanks for the tour.

  39. Oh what a place full of charm. Lovely indeed!

  40. Very pretty! Oh my gosh she is very talented! Gorgeous jewelry!

  41. What an amazing friend Carol and an amazing garden - I did a post on tree houses a while back - wish I could have included hers - just brilliant!
    Her jewellery is beautiful.

  42. Lovely post! Michelle is so talented, her jewellery is beautiful. I loved seeing her home and the wonderful tree house :)
    Happy weekend!
    Helen xox

  43. Well I thought that seeing the jewelry was alot of fun, and then came the treehouse ! :) WOW! :) Glad you took us on the visit :)

  44. Love her jewelry! You live in a magical place! Mimi

  45. So I came over to get reacquainted with you...don't know how I lost you...and was surprised to find this post with such beauty all about someone else! I'm off to see more of her pretty jewelry and glad to "find" you again too! (Sorry you're juggling right now...anytime you have more than 2 balls in the air, it's stressful.)

  46. Michelle has such a beautiful home with gorgeous views. I bet her children really enjoyed the tree house when they were younger. Thanks for sharing your talented friend with us. She makes such pretty jewelry as well.

  47. Lovely Carol my friend,


    Thank you for lingering a bit at my post with the photos, the words, the music. All I need now myself is the sound of YOUR ocean breeze and I can only imagine what the muse would tell me!

    But we went out today to the lakes and the choppy water made me feel so alive and near my calling: the water.

    Enjoy a new week. I'm heading in early tomorrow to start a new unit for my French IV level students and I need to be creative! AH!


  48. She has a great place to create and I bet when she needs inspiration all she has to do is climb on top of the tree house to admire the ocean!

  49. What a lovely post Carol! I so enjoyed reading about your friends jewelry and how it came to be. She has a lovely home that looks so cozy and creative and made with love. The treehouse is something dreams are made of!

    I hope whatever balls are in the air for you settle soon and things get back to normal.


  50. Michelle's story is so interesting! And that treehouse view is amazing!!

  51. I enjoyed reading the story about Michelle's jewelry and how the whole enterprise came into being. What a neat tree house! Very fun post.

  52. What a fun post! Michelle has such talent and what an intriguing story!

    Beautiful pics, Carol; the things we bloggers do for that perfect shot!


  53. Gorgeous jewellery, I'm going to check out her website then go to bed and catch up with some more of your posts tomorrow.