My Thoughts On: My life


Thoughts on being brave.

This summer Maggie and I have been talking a lot about being brave. She was nervous about learning to swim, but now that she knows, she tells me over and over how brave she is. This constant talk of being brave has made me want to be brave in my own life- so I did it! For years I have wanted to switch from “fifth and hazel” to my own name. When I started my company, I wanted to do stationery, but it has since grown into other endeavors (which are better for me) I have been fearful of changing to Melanie Burk because I worried people wouldn’t like the switch, or wouldn’t know who I was. But I am going to be brave!

I am still here guys, just now as me: melanie burk.

Art Hero: Ashmae

One of my most favorite things is getting to know other artists. I am constantly inspired by others, and awed by others talents. It makes me want to be better, to create better, and fills my life with beauty and joy. I have decided to start a weekly series called “art hero.” I will post about another artist that inspires me, so hopefully you can get to know our artists community a little bit better. Enjoy!

Today I want you to meet Ashley Mae Christiansen, or “Birds of Ashmae” as she calls her shop. Her artwork is exquisite. And for years now, we have owned lots of her pieces. Just check out Maggie’s room at our last house, it’s pretty much full of ashmae. (almost all of those paintings are hers. Isn’t that octopus to die for? )

preview of house

I love how each piece is so beautifully sketched and the watercolors just melt me.. so full of whimsy. Perfect for a child’s room.

We have loved her pieces for years, and so I was over the moon when I found out Ashmae was launching a children’s book. Here are some of the beautiful paintings:

bird foxes

This is what she said about the book in her own words: “…before I fall asleep at night, I close my eyes and imagine myself on a book tour to elementary school classrooms all over the country.  In the vision I am wearing a red dress with a rounded collar and there are scrubby little faces looking up eagerly at me as I read my children’s book to them.  When I am done reading, we all have a conversation about  writing and making and working hard, and then we do just that in a little workshop.  We read and write and make.  I am not under the impression that a children’s book can change the world, but I am under the impression that we need to start somewhere, and with what we know how to do best. “

Isn’t that just beautiful? I am so excited about her book! You can back  The Lost Party right here, and with just $10, you can help this book become a reality. I am so excited to hold this book in my hands, and read it to my daughters. I know they will love the artwork, and get lost in its pages.

preview of deer

Check out her blog right here.






Caravan is up!!

I am so excited to announce that I am combining my shop with Alma & Mike Loveland of Ollibird into a new shop called Caravan. We have other designers joining us soon there too, and it will be your stop to digital downloads.

We are ecstatic about our new products and projects, such as my large chalk prints, and their nativity puzzle, and we are super excited about our lineup coming up for Thanksiving and Christmas. I love designing new logos, and websites, especially for myself. And this Caravan Shoppe was a blast to put together. Be sure to check out the confetti button! Check it out here.

Preview of party hat




Friends- you know how much I love being involved in the community, so you won’t want to miss this event next tuesday in Provo:


♥ sponsored by ♥

soel * see jane blog * milkglass and honey * armelle * gatehouse no.1 * fifth and hazel * freshly picked * cotton & curls *modern palm * {collected} * sycamore street press * Gygi * mer mag * the Alison show * Ashley Thalman Photography * Justin Hackworth Photography * Third Floor Design Studio * Pink Moss * I Still Love You *Pepper Lou * One More Mushroom* Fleur de Bee * Diamond Rental *Square Native * Cactus and Tropicals * Sunriver GardensKaboo * Zupas * Heirloom Restaurant Group * Sweet Tooth Fairy * Cafe Rio* Mom’s Best * Living Notes from NYC * People Water * Studio 5

The Impossible Game

Lately things have been a little nuts around here. Ok scratch that, make that the past 3 years things have been a little nuts. I feel like after I had kids, my life went spinning out of control. I am in no ways complaining, I love my kids- and they are what make life fun and wonderful. And also crazy.

Do you ever fill like that? Like your life is crammed with so many good things, and you wonder how on earth you can get it all done. How can I take my daughter to that awesome art class, squeeze in that eye exam for myself, throw dinner in the crock pot since I know things will be crazy later in the day, and call that client who is not happy with that 4th round of logo design? I find myself thinking, someday I will be able to get this all done… when I am all organized; when I get through this list of clients; when my kids get older.. when, when, when.

And this my friends, is called the Impossible game.

I was introduced to this concept a few weeks ago by the amazing Mindy Gledhill (who spoke at last week’s creative collaborative) She said that we often tell ourselves that we need to do it all, and that we can do it all. And this is the impossible game. Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to do EVERYTHING. I cannot now, or ever, do everything I would like to.

So, its all about priorities right? I love to make lists, and lately I have been trying a new technique. I use to make a list of everything I need/want to do, and then trying madly to do it all (and then having a breakdown about how I am overwhelmed/insufficient, etc)

So now, I make a list of everything (I am taking baby steps), and then I pick just 3 things that I will do the next day. It’s all about changing expectations. Most of the time I am finding, I just get these 3 things done- and that is a reason to celebrate! Sometimes I can get a little bit more, but most of the time– I get less done than I want. It is hard work changing your expectations, and what you really can accomplish in a day.

So friends- I have to improve on this. So I designed this poster to put on my desk- to remind me to not play the impossible game. I think this quote sums it up pretty well.. Please print it out and put it wherever will help you to remember to not play that impossible game!

 (note: green border not in download) for personal use only, please do not distribute without permission.

Weekend Going-Ons

Phew. What a week! So much good stuff going on that I am bursting at the seems. too many secrets. too many.

But here is one thing that I CAN tell you:

Come buy my wrapping paper at Bijou for just $6! You won’t want to miss all of the fabulous vendors that will be there.



I am ready for Spring!

Happy Friday! I am having the hardest time getting myself to do anything but the essentials these days, but can you blame me? I having too much fun taking care of these two little burklings:

Aren’t these photos beautiful? Bri of Collected took them for us, and I will show more of them next week- because I am in LOVE with these photos.

Anyways, like I was saying- I am ready for spring! I think this new little life in my home is making me ready for the newness and feeling of life that spring brings. Anyone else? I am ready for taking these girls out on warm walks and not fighting with Maggie to put on pants (she always wants to wear dresses- what a girl!) So, let’s pretend its spring yes? Print out this free wildflower pink card and hope for a quick spring coming wherever you! Happy Friday!

(fyi- these cards are available in other colors for purchase here)

Meet N’ Greet

I am so excited to be sponsoring this event next week! I hope any of you who are in Utah will go.. it looks like it is going to be tons of fun!

♥ sponsored by ♥
becky kimball * soel * see jane blog * milkglass and honey *
elsa bags * armelle * freshly picked * cotton & curls
modern palm * annily green * fifth and hazel * sycamore street press
zupas * {collected} * gatehouse no.1 * heirloom restaurant group
mer mag * the Alison show * the house of Smith’s * Studio 5

Burkling #2 is Here!

Friends- have you wondered where I have been? After finishing up Alt Summit, I never did get time to catch up. I had a few days to catch up on sleep, but just one week after Alt, our second daughter, Adeline Eve was born. (January 26th at 3:17 am, 7 pounds 1 oz, 19.5″)

I won’t share my birth here… it was beautiful, wonderful.. and just a holy experience for my husband and I. We are ecstatic that she is here, and our home will never be the same.

 For the most part, Maggie has loved her little sister.

A real Post on Reality

I have been wanting to do this post for awhile now … but yesterday I was completely inspired by my dear friend Yan– who posted about the reality of her situation.

Why don’t we post our reality very often online? On our blogs, facebook and twitter? Now don’t get me wrong, I adore all of the pretty things we can find on pinterest, twitter, facebook and design blogs. Let it be known, I LOVE PRETTY THINGS. I love finding inspiration and getting ideas on how to design, decorate my house, what to cook for dinner, etc.


However, I think that sometimes we forget to post about REALITY.

So here is to you- Reality. I think that there is a place for beautiful things, and there is a place for the beauty of reality.


Want to know what some of my reality is? Oh let me tell you…

I didn’t shower half of this week, or put on makeup. This is NOT an unusual week. My studiomate Alma can attest to how often I show up to work in my pjs, workout clothes… or looking frazzled.

I gained 20 pounds in one month this pregnancy. Yep. Not even kidding.

I haven’t worked out in 4-5 months. I haven’t had time, or the energy. (and if you know me, you will know that I worked out RELIGIOUSLY before this time.. so this is very strange) In fact, I am not really sure when the last time I worked out was…

I cooked dinner once this week   . . . and it wasn’t organic or pretty looking. And I may or may not have had fast food several times this week. Yum.

I live in small apartment…not a big house. But I adore it! Half of my apartment has nothing on the walls. Nothing. I have empty frames sitting on the floors, with good intentions of starting the decorating process… for THE PAST YEAR.

When I started my business, things were really hard. I didn’t sleep enough because I was always up working and worrying about how my family would survive. I wondered where my next client would come from, how I could keep working so hard and still juggle motherhood, being a good wife, friend, and business woman. I wish I could say that with hard work, these problems went away overnight. But really, sometimes things are still hard. I have learned that businesses grow organically with work, sweat, tears, and belief in yourself, and the support of others. Thankfully after years of hard work, I don’t worry as much about finances. However, I still struggle and worry about juggling motherhood and family responsibilities with my business. It’s hard. But I have learned to be grateful for hard days as well as the good… because they give me perspective, vision, and ultimately make me who I am.

And I have to say I have learned to love the craziness. I love my messy house, my laundry that hasn’t been done this week, the food that is going bad in my fridge, and the long lists of to do that never seem to get done . . .


So why am I saying all of this? I want you dear readers- to come here, and expect lovely things. But I hope that these lovely things will only inspire you in your own life. I hope that you will know that behind this is a real person, who is far from organized, on time, and just a little bit crazy.


But most of all, I hope that you will believe in yourself, and believe that we are all doing better than we think we are. 


So I give you a free download, a little print to print out, put on your fridge, and remind yourself how awesome you are. Embrace the beauty of your own reality- whatever your challenges may be.