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Lately Around Here: Winter + Art

Lately Around here

We’re in a deep freeze here lately in the northeast–It’s been cold, cold, cold here for weeks.  I’m a pretty up beat person, but this crazy weather can wear anyone down!    We did have a tease on Sunday though–40 degrees and it felt like a Spring day, but now we’re back to the frigid teens.  Boo hoo.

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. -Albert Camus

Well played, Albert.  This too, shall pass and the warmth of summer will be back.


With the cold winter comes some beautiful views too.  I mean, really?  Sometimes I feel like Snow White in my own enchanted forest when I look out the back window and see this:


This isn’t a great picture, but I feel like this duo-selfie captured the moment perfectly–me and my Valentine went out for a romantic dinner together on the 14th.  We had such a great time checking out the Biergarten for a pre-dinner drink and then heading to Moonstruck for an amazing feast.  Swoon.

My Valentine

On the art front, this is another girl coming to life.  I love watching the process progress through pictures, it gives me a different perspective on the whole thing.

Beginnings progress

And here’s a peek inside my tweaking process with the color of the prints.  Since I have my own fine art printer, I needed to figure out the process so I can create a print I’m proud of.  I also wanted to make sure I was consistent, too, because there are so many different ways to create a print.

Along my journey, I’ve realized I just have to figure out the combination that I like best.  Have the printer control the color?  Have Photoshop control color?  There are a lot of combinations that can change how the print looks and it took me awhile to figure out which to use.  And even though the whole color management process can make me ca-razy with all of the adjustments, I’ve learned a ton along the way and I’m happy for my pages + pages of mistakes.

Tweaking colors

Here’s the final result of my tweaking.  I gave this sweet girl away for my Valentine’s giveaway.  Congratulations Felicia!

Valentine's Giveaway

And, oh yeah–I’m also in the middle of planning my wedding.  Holy moley, it feels like it’s taking over my life right now!  And it is, but that’s ok.  I dodged a major invitation debacle this weekend (the time was printed wrong!)  so I feel like I got my one bad thing out of the way.  Smooth sailing from now on…

Invitation graveyard





PS: Don’t ask for permission to take care of yourself

Lately Around Here: Winter + Art2018-03-29T20:23:12-04:00

You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

Did you know that you're absolutely magical? You can manifest whatever you want, you just have to decide what it is! Click through to read--You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

Did you know that you're absolutely magical? You can manifest whatever you want, you just have to decide what it is! Click through to read--You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

I love the whole process of creating.  Even better, I love hearing about the process of how other people create because we’re all magicians in our own way + I love learning new tricks.

And whether we realize it or not, everyone is always creating.  It can be for a change in life circumstances, a new job or making new habits; it all falls under the umbrella of manifesting what we want.

The act of creation is the ultimate expression of getting what’s on the inside to show up on the outside.

Every change starts with a feeling. I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction + the power of thoughts, and I have experienced first hand that the best way to create what you want is to stay positive.  What you focus on will grow.

Because your feelings are your compass.  And your primary focus with those feelings should be to always feel good. When you focus on feeling good, specifically about what you want, you’re sending a signal out that will attract back to you the material equivalent. You don’t want to attract back your bad mood, right?

Your feelings are like a smoke signal to the universe.

So how do we actually use this idea of creating what we want and have it actually work? It’s pretty simple, but most people make it waaaayyyy more complicated than it needs to be.  Here’s the trick on how to create: act as though the object of your desire is already present in your life.  Think about it like it is already here, and watch it magically appear.

I know this all sounds hippie-dippie, but trust me, it works.

Here’s an example: want to lose weight? Start thinking about how your body will move differently once the weight is off and practice moving like a skinnier person.  Go shopping and check out some clothes that will fit you at your new weight.  Visualize yourself doing an activity easily that may be a bit of a struggle right now.  Act as if.  Be intentional about the feelings you’re putting out there.

Here are some ways that I maintain an environment of feeling good so I can create what I want:

  • I keep a list of feeling/pictures/phrases/memories that bring me to a good space.  When I am feeling down or needing a moment of inspiration, I refer to these lists/images for a boost.  It immediately gives me a lift and brings me back to the place of feeling light and happy. Creating from that place is much easier.
  • I wear clothes that allow me to move, breathe and be comfortable.  I feel like the more restricted my clothes are, the more restricted my feelings get.  My litmus test?  I want to be able to sit indian style at any given moment without feeling I’m going to split my pants/skirt.
  • I schedule time each week to be creative.  Even if it feels a little too contrived at the time and I’m not in the mood, I just get my body and mind there in the space;  eventually I get inspired and explore ways to express my creativity.  This set time keeps me moving forward in my creative path so I’m ready when inspiration strikes, kind of like building a habit.  Right now my blocks of time each week is my abstract painting class and Friday morning painting–anything other than those times is a bonus.
  • I try to stay open to inspiring moments throughout the day.  A beautifully colored leaf or tinker of laughter can ignite my heart at any moment.  I try not to wait for that lightning bolt of inspiration, but  try to be thrilled by everyday life so I stay in the flow.
  • I seek out others who are on the same path.  Birds of a feather, right?  Social media makes it so easy to check out what others are doing and get inspired; the different communities I chime in on give me courage to keep creating and help me appreciate the process rather than constantly sprinting to the finish line.

You are a glorious magician. What will you create today?





P.S. What is calling you? and How are you stoking your creative fire?

You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

How Are You Stoking Your Creative Fire? {Feelings Are The Fuel.}

We're all artists creating our life. Click through to read about the key to creating more of what you want--it's a lot easier than you think.

As I sat down to paint this weekend, a mixture of calm and excitement washed over me.  I had been chomping at the bit all week for time to relax alone with my canvas and supplies;  I just love my painting sessions because it gives me space to wander and dream in my own artistic haven.  My everyday job requires me to be analytical and practical so I cherish my no-rules-let-it-roll-creative time to stoke my creative fire.

I would love to say that because I enjoy painting, it’s easy; that the movement of my brush comes readily and ideas come fast, but the reality is there are a lot of times it just doesn’t flow.  And forcing progress only results in squelching my creative fire;  I have to periodically remind myself to trust the process and see how it unfolds.   It’s only during these times of frustration that I realize I’m getting stuck because I’m not being clear about the feelings I’m trying to convey.

Through my painting, I’ve come to learn that creativity is about expressing a feeling; being creative is a process of getting what’s on the inside to show up on the outside, no matter what the medium.

The same goes with life–we’re all artists in our own way.  

The process of painting is a lot like how we create in our everyday lives: each day we start with a new canvas and our emotions that create our thoughts are the paint.  Those thoughts create actions that get strung together to look like a unique work of art, which happens to be our life.

But sometimes we forget that we’re actually creating.

We get bogged down by everyday tasks and we don’t tap into our unique process; we forget that we have the ability to change course +create what we really want in our lives.   The more intentional we are about our feelings, the stronger they will work for us to create what we want. Identifying the what will help create it faster.  

When I want to create (in life OR art), I try to think more about what excites me and gives me butterflies, rather than what gives me belly aches.   For example: when I paint, I think about color combinations, symbols to include and themes I like because that gets me into the abundant, fun flow of my painting process; It lightens me up and makes me giddy.

And in everyday life, I keep an eye on my moods + outlook because they are the foundation for kicking me into action.  I am careful about keeping my inner talk positive and hopeful; those small shifts of awareness help get me to where I want to go.

The feelings we foster are directly connected to what shows up in our life.  Those feelings dictate what we put energy towards, and as a result, what we bring into our reality.  And there are unlimited ways to be expressive!  We all have our own method, do you know yours?

Be bold and make mistakes as you follow your feelings; imperfections let the light through.

Nurturing and honoring those feelings will make your inner fire burn strong, and it will always light your way.






How Are You Stoking Your Creative Fire? {Feelings Are The Fuel.}2018-03-29T20:23:20-04:00

What are you creating in your life? Why making a vision board can seem like magic.


how to create a vision board and manifest what you want.

I wanted to share with you an oldie but a goodie I use to get my creative ju-ju flowing that also incorporates mapping out desires: a vision board.  I’ve created them periodically throughout my life–in times of despair when I wanted to drum up a much needed change, and also in times of happiness when I wanted to multiply flow that was already running through everything.

It looks like a poster board of pictures (it is) but it’s also a board where you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.  A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on your life goals or dreams.

Vision Boarding is like incorporating a little hocus pocus with art, topped off with a dose of letting go.  Sound a little interesting?

It’s also about focusing on how you want to feel while achieving your deep desires.  I think that’s the really important part because without being clear about the feeling, you won’t be able to create what you really want.

Everything you possess of skill, and wealth, and handicraft, wasn’t it first merely a thought and a quest? –Rumi

I was recently looking at at my own vision board that was a couple of years old.  I was fascinated that so many things had come true. It was like magic because I didn’t even remember everything that I put on there!  It wasn’t totally spot on, but for the most part I was pretty impressed with the outcome.  That’s when I knew it was time to do another one.

Here are 3 tips to get you started on your own vision board process:

1) It’s important to really dig in when you start creating a vision board.  Anyone can slap a picture up of a gorgeous house, an Adonis of a husband, perfect looking babies and a check for a million dollars.  But that’s not using your unique desires and imagination.  Tap into what YOU really want, not what you think you SHOULD want.

Don’t cheat yourself by falling into the cookie cutter trap.

You have to dig in deeper and closer to the source of why you want those things.

2.) Pay attention to the really deep part of your longing that emerges at very inopportune moments.  Like when you’re relaxed and you have that split second of yearning for something.  That’s the subconscious speaking to you and most of the time it doesn’t come in words.

Those split second desires can often come in the form of pictures, feelings, sounds and even textures.  When it happens, notice the things that give you that visceral reaction–a heart thump, a caught breath, a sudden burst of feeling.  THAT’s the reaction you want about items you slap on your board.

Those feelings will help you attract what you’re really seeking.

3) Once you create the board, put it in a place where you’ll see it just once in a while.  If you put it in the obvious in-your-face-everyday spot, you’ll begin to feel like you’re pushing things to happen (or failing at making them happen at all) and that’s counter-productive.

Set things into action with the creation of your board and then let it go.


Part of doing the vision board is having faith.  It’s about feeling something, creating a physical representation of it and then letting it go.  The faith part is knowing that the seed was planted in you so that it would, at some point, grow.

It’s time to create your very own vision board of happiness.


P.S. That picture above is the beginning of my new board.  I would love to see yours!  Tag me #stephaniemartel on social media to show me!

What are you creating in your life? Why making a vision board can seem like magic.2018-03-29T20:23:27-04:00
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