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Lately Around Here: Celebrations

Lately Around here

It’s been a while since I’ve given a personal update so here are a few things that have been happening lately!  It’s Spring!  And there’s so much going on around here, I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just start with the most obvious celebration: I’m getting married this weekend! Three days from today, hopefully it will be sunny and crisp outside, Chris and I will be tying the knot.  Whoa.

And here are a few of the generous women that helped me celebrate at my wedding shower.  What a day–it was dreamy, with a harp playing and everything!  I KNOW!

The lovely ladies of my bridal party:

bridal party

My Maid of Honor (and sister) who knocked it out of the park, Olivia:

me + liv

My future Mother In Law, Susan:

me + susan

My dreamy cake (cannoli filling and chocolate mousse!):

cake

There were so many of my dear and close friends there, it felt so, so special to have them all gather for me.  It was an absolutely perfect day.

The next celebration we had was my dad’s 80th; we couldn’t let this monumental birthday go by without properly recognizing it, so my siblings and I threw him a surprise party.  We invited his sisters from hours away and his closest friends–he was shocked, to say the least!  I think he spent the first 10 minutes in the corner collecting himself, so we clearly did a good job of keeping it a secret. He he

It was a special moment to be able to celebrate this exciting day with him and his friends.  The older I get, the more I realize having my dad around as I create my own family is such an amazing gift.    It’s like life coming full circle.

Surprise!

Some of the nosh before the dinner:

Party Food

Cake, cake cake!  You can’t see very clearly, but the invitation had a picture of my dad as a kid on a pony.  It’s adorable!

Cake

Even though it’s been a fun time of celebrations, I still appreciate the gentle winks I get from the universe that everything is good.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of everyday life that I can forget what I’m actually doing–I can forget to have fun and embrace the moment.  It’s important not to sweat the small stuff.  So when I get these little reminders, it kind of snaps me back into reality. 

Here are two I got this week–a heart at the bottom of my salad dressing (is that you saying hi, mom?) and a feather on my pants when I was working out (ignore the lint), maybe it was from a guardian angel?

salad heart
feather

On the art front, I finished another girl named Olivia (that’s my sister’s name), called “Love Who You Are”.  This sentiment is something we always talk about–loving who we are, warts and all.  It’s a journey for sure, because we all have that inner critic that is never satisfied; but we need to remember daily to love who we are.  Because we’re fabulous as is.  (Prints available here)

Love Who You Are

 

And here’s a peek of another girl in the works (almost done with her!)

In progress

So that’s a little of what’s going on in my world right now.  I’ve slowed down a bit on the art front, but I know that will pick up after the wedding.  There’s only so much a girl can do, and I’m ok with that.  From taking a breather, I have a few new ideas brewing and I’m also working on a big project that I’ll announce in a couple of weeks!

Stay tuned,

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Lately Around Here: Celebrations2018-03-29T20:23:10-04:00

Art In Progress: Love Who You Are

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

I started the background of this piece a while back and had it hanging around my studio until I was inspired to finish it.  That happens a lot–I get on a tear of making a bunch of different backgrounds and then have to circle back and finish each one with the sentiment and character I want.

Sometimes it’s a matter of thinking of just the right saying, other times I find some collage pieces that would be a perfect fit for the colors I used for the background.  I try not to rush it and just go with the flow when inspiration strikes.  That’s why I’m always working on a few pieces at a time!

Here is the first two layers:

Love Who You Are 2

The next layer includes some more colors, filling in some empty areas and adding stamps and accents.  I love the blank space in the middle left, it gives the eyes somewhere to temporarily rest.

Love Who You Are 2

When I was happy with the background vibe, I was ready to create the girl.  I apply a layer of gesso on top of the background so that the colors don’t show through in the face.  If I just paint a face on top, sometimes you can see tones of the background color underneath.

Love Who You Are 3

Next I painted her hair and found her dress.  I like to contrast the colors + styles when I’m collaging; it’s fun to put things together that wouldn’t normally go.

Love Who You Are 4
Here’s a close up of the stamps I use and some of her face details.  *swoon*  I’m falling in love with her.  (That happens a lot.)

Love Who You Are 5
Love Who You Are 6

And here she is all done!   I named her Olivia, which is my sister’s name, because I thought about her a lot when I was painting this one.

Love Who You Are

This print available in my shop here.

We’re all a work in progress, so no matter where you are in your life, love who you are.

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Art In Progress: Love Who You Are2018-03-29T20:23:11-04:00
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