It is the end of the year, and around this time I get really reflective about my life and my business(es). In the wedding world it is easy to get swept up in the beauty of it all, and there are groups of people in the world that actually hate on weddings (and styled shoots for that matter). They argue that it isn’t authentic or real. I’m very intuitive to these concerns and took a moment to reflect on why I’m attracted to the wedding industry, and why I think weddings are authentic and valuable. This is why I’m in the wedding industry…
I believe that weddings are a public display of a couple’s promise to love one another through the ups and downs of life. This is a big deal, and it is why a couple’s wedding is one of the most monumental days of their lives. It is also a joining of one’s closest friends and family members to support the partnership.
Every wedding is different because every couple is different. The things that attract them to each other and the way each person sees the world and has chosen to align with another person in a supportive relationship is unique. This is where my creative juices get flowing, because an artist can help bring these unique aspects of a wedding into a visual story.
Because every couple is different, they have the freedom to display their marriage promises in any way that suits them. They can do this with a handful of close family members and friends in their backyard or along a pier on a beautiful lake. Or they can choose to make it an elaborate affair and invite hundreds of people to celebrate with a multi-course meal in a grand space. There really are numerous options, but the important part is that this couple is choosing to make these promises public, and that friends and family are there to celebrate this courageous moment.
We live in a world with a lot of hate and fear, and I believe it is important to cherish ceremonies and public expressions of love, no matter what form they take place in. This is why I’m attracted to weddings, and why I feel I have something to contribute to them. I will not judge your ideas around your wedding—they are what makes you human and unique. I will encourage you to build your wedding with authenticity and love.
Blogging has been a little quiet for the last two weeks, and there is a very good reason for it. Behind the scenes I have been working on a very new, exciting project focused around one of my passions, yoga. I launched this new venture, Hand-Painted Yoga, at the beginning of November in front of holiday shopping, and have been working on setting up Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Hand-Painted Yoga is an online shop featuring abstract art inspired by yoga philosophy. While I have geared the artwork towards yoga, the messages resonate with all humans in a very real, raw way. This is a very personal project for me, because yoga has and continues to impact my life in a deep way.
You might be wondering why I chose to open up a yoga art business since I already have a wedding business, and what do the two have to do with each other. Well, the funny thing is that I was actually drawn to both yoga and weddings at the same time, 7 years ago. I started yoga while planning my own wedding as a stress relief as well as for physical posture reasons (frankly, I wanted to look good in my dress). While I was drawn to yoga for physical reasons, I have been fortunate enough to have teachers along the way that have instilled the philosophies of yoga alongside the physical sequences, and it is those spiritual connections, yoga philosophies that have kept me coming back and growing to a daily practice. More on what drew me to opening up a wedding business here.
In collaboration with my yoga teacher I created abstract watercolors to express visually the phrases my teacher uses throughout class that inspire me far beyond the mat. My wish is that these expressions will inspire others as much as they have inspired me. In this world of ambition and aggressive work ethics, these messages are a breath of fresh air, encouraging the reader to live with intention and naked awareness.
Go on over to the Hand-Painted Yoga website to learn more, and to shop for your loved ones this holiday season.
One of the most amazing things about having a partner is when you see glimpses of how he/she sees you. On Valentine’s Day my husband Carl graciously took some Hand-Painted Weddings behind the scenes photos for me. He is one of the few people who can capture my true essence on camera. It is remarkable when your partner sees you better than you see yourself sometimes.
I’ve wanted these photos for awhile so couples can see the person behind the paintbrush and behind each detailed email conversation. What shines through these photos is the excitement I have for Hand-Painted Weddings and couples’ ideas, as well as the zen, quiet moments I spend sketching and painting. I have realized recently that I adore these quiet moments and have really embraced some of my more introverted tendencies with my art.
Another thing you might notice in these behind the scenes photos is that I paint multiple designs on one sheet of watercolor paper. I have this tendency to being very detailed in how I paint but liking to work on a big sheet of paper. I think this little tendency also contributes to a greener production, which is aligned with my morals. Another subtle thing you may have picked up on is that I don’t work at a desk all day. I’m constantly moving around my home studio, the studio outside my home, as well as local coffee shops. I adore this flexibility of changing my environment throughout the day. I believe it promotes creativity.
I’m working on incorporating these photos into the Hand-Painted Weddings website, but I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! If you would like to see a close-up of the eucalyptus painting, check it out on Instagram here.
This year for our Christmas card for our close friends and family, I did a portraiture of my husband and I doing one of the most fun activities…yoga. This year has been an interesting one for me in terms of my health (broken leg, 13.5 weeks in crutches, then hardware removal surgery), but I still kept at one of my goals for the year, which is to accomplish a headstand. I will admit I am still working on headstand in the middle of the room—slight fear of falling—can’t imagine where I get that from. One of the most beautiful things about yoga is that there is always more to work towards. Anyways, I really wanted to do this portraiture, which is so personal, for our Christmas card. Portraitures are really tricky (especially faces), but I like the challenge!
Now, for the message inside….
May your holidays be turned upside down with fun!
Have a wonderful holiday everyone, and remember to have some fun!
Holiday card by Hand-Painted Weddings.
The air is crisp and cold; the leaves are floating off branches; winter is approaching. Fall always feels like the most fleeting season up here in Philadelphia. Maybe it is because all of the transformation in nature, which inspires transformation in people’s lives. It is easy to get wrapped up in life. I have found myself sighing and taking deep inhales of breath as I get wrapped up in life lately, so here is a little painting I did while at the vendor table at Wed Altered. It is just a little reminder to breathe. Have a beautiful day!
Commissioned watercolor painting by Hand-Painted Weddings.
As you may have noticed from Monday’s post, I have a beautiful vase of sunflowers on my desk. It is hard to come by a more cheerful flower than the sunflower!
So immediately after I was done painting the hot air balloon landscape, I found myself instantly drawn to painting my sunflower still life…. couldn’t help myself! Happy hump day!
Commissioned watercolors now available. Sunflower painting and photo by Hand-Painted Weddings.
Can you believe it is almost fall (I can’t!)? It has been such a lovely summer so far…I’m not quite ready for it to end yet! To keep the lovely summer vibe going, I thought I would paint this whimsical watercolor of hot air balloons flying above the plains.
There is something so magical to hot air balloons. I don’t often see these colorful hot air balloons flying overhead now that I live in the city….although, most days, I do see the Channel 6 Zooballoon above the Philadelphia Zoo!
This week is going to be a warm one in Philly, so I plan on soaking in the last bits of summer and then start embracing the next season, my favorite, Autumn!
Painting by Hand-Painted Weddings.
One thing I treasure the most about being an artist is being able to provide a custom invitation for a loved one. This particular invitation is for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. It is a surprise shower (shh, don’t tell) so I am working with my mother-in-law on the invitation. The invitation is based on the theme of the items she registered for. This is a totally appropriate theme for them, because my sister-in-law is quite the musician. She sang at our wedding, and it was such a beautiful addition to our ceremony.
She is expecting a baby boy, who will be named Jordan Tyler, at the end of September. I have had many friends who have had children lately but this is the first baby in my husband’s and my immediate family, so I am going to be an Aunt! Crazy!
If you are interested in working with me on custom baby shower invitations, please inquire here.
Musical Monkey Baby Shower Invitation by Hand-Painted Weddings.
Did you catch my sneak peak watercolor heart painting from Instagram yesterday? If not, simply follow me on Facebook or Instagram to stay abreast of all the goings on around Hand-Painted Weddings.
Today I’m excited to share this lovely artwork I designed featuring a modern watercolor heart combined with hand-painted calligraphy type. I am selling these items as well as prints at various sizes from 8″ x 8″ to 28″ x 29″, stretched canvases, and ipad and iphone skins and covers through my new Society6 shop. Society6 is a shop that thousands of artists around the world contribute to. They take the artwork and are able to produce it on these various mediums, such as the pillow above (my favorite) and sell them to the world. It is a great opportunity to get a super unique iphone case or stationery set…and the prices are very good!
The origin of this artwork was a birthday gift for a dear friend of mine who is smitten with hearts. Whether you are spiritual and take this message as you are loved by the universe or a power larger than you, or you send this message to a sweet friend, family member, or significant other, this message will spread great joy.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, click here to go to the Hand-Painted Weddings Society6 shop.
You Are Loved artwork by Hand-Painted Weddings on Society 6.
Lately I have been on a “Once Upon A Time” kick. You know…the ABC tv series about all the fairytales that succumb a curse and are sent to the real world. I am loving this show; watching a few episodes daily!
In the spirit of this show is this invitation I designed a few months ago in conjunction with a creative collaboration with a few other talented wedding vendors (more on that later in the week).
The hand-painted Cinderella Invitation would be perfect for the couple who adores this tv series or has a fondness for the timeless, whimsical fairytales of our childhoods.
Note: The Cinderella Invitation is available to order under the Shop Invitations section.
I have been loving practicing with my new calligraphy tools. Currently I have been using the Brause Steno nib (shown), which is also called “Blue Pumpkin” because it has a blue hue to it. (How cute is that?) And I have tried practicing with the Brause Extra Fine 66 nib. This is a very small, surprisingly flexible nib, but I am not as crazy over the smaller nib holder, so I haven’t been using it as much. I’m sure once I’m back on my feet and can start shopping fine art stores in person (rather than just online), I will find a nib holder that is a bit more comfortable for me, so I can get more use out of the EF66 nib.
I am practicing calligraphy by copying samples of some of my most admired calligraphers in order to grasp the idiosyncrasies of each letter and to practice different styles and techniques. Then once I’m “warmed up” I usually start my own lettering, which is where I came up with Hand-Painted Weddings in calligraphy (shown above). I am definitely flirting with the idea of changing my logo to use this new type treatment. I would definitely add a watercolor element to it, but what do you think? I fear changing my logo when I have only been using my current logo for less than a year, but feel that this hand-painted version may be more authentic to my brand.
I’d love your thoughts in the Comments section if you feel so obliged!
Paintings and Calligraphy by Hand-Painted Weddings.
This past Saturday I went to a new ice skating rink with my husband for a fun, little excursion. I’m pretty steady on my skates (no pro, mind you, but pretty steady). I remember having a conversation with Carl about not wanting to fall; to which he is like…if you fall just let yourself fall, and he continues to fall on the ice right in front of me to prove his point. That is my husband…spontaneous and fearless. Me? I had never fallen on the ice before.
Well, that was until this past Saturday. A five-year old girl and an older man were crossing paths perpendicular to the flow of skaters (one going to the center of the rink, the other leaving), neither seeing me. I try to flow between them, but loss my balance. I fall. My right foot released to the ice, my left foot stays still until “snap”. I do as all people who just take a plunge do, I try to remain calm and do a physical inventory. It wasn’t until my husband dropped on the ground and picked up my left foot in his hands that I noticed it…my left foot was completely floppy. I was a little freaked out to say the least! Thank goodness my husband saw the whole thing happen and he very assertively insisted for help, to call 911. I was so calm that I think people misunderstood how hurt I actually was. All I knew was that someone had to hold my foot upright and still because I couldn’t.
So, long story short, I broke my tibia and fibula bones right above my ankle and had surgery to put plates and pins in place. Now, my most prevalent position is lying on my back with my foot elevated. I get from spot to spot by crutches and I’m not leaving the house for who knows how long.
What I find unbelievable is that as crazy busy my life seemed to be Saturday morning before the fall, now it is completely quiet. Was it all an allusion? Were my priorities all wrong? Well, I believe that this is the opportunity of my current condition…to ask these questions.
While my bones grow back together, will I be in the same place I left them in before the fall?
Right before ice skating, we took a trip to my favorite store, Terrain at Styers. These are a few of my photos above.
Much of the Northeast experienced a blizzard this past weekend….but not Philadelphia. We got a mere flurry. It wasn’t so bad because I was able to attend two 2 hour yoga workshops and my first ever curling class (it was a blast!)
To make up for the lack of snow in Philadelphia this past weekend, I decided to paint this landscape of the snowy peaks in New Zealand. My husband’s Aunt was going through her photos from her Australia/New Zealand trip a few weeks back with me and I was stunned by her New Zealand country photos. This watercolor was based off of my favorite photo from her set.
More information on Commissioned watercolor gifts, click here.
Today’s baby gift painting is of an adorable white teddy bear. I bought this bear for my dear friend’s son, Sammy. When I was little, I adored my teddy bear, Bobby. These stuffed animals go everywhere with kids! They are like the kid’s best friend. It seemed fitting to characterize these stuffed animals (or dolls) in a child’s world of fantasy by having a painting of them and framing it for the child’s bedroom. I hope that these paintings can act as keepsakes for the child as he/she grows up, even after the stuffed animal or doll becomes worn or given up.
This adorable white bear watercolor is now available in the Hand-Painted Weddings Etsy store here. If you are interested in having your very own commissioned watercolor gift, please contact me for details. Pricing varies based on complexity.
I’m at this place in my life where it seems every woman I know is announcing that she is pregnant. So that means baby showers galore in 2013! In order to add a hand-painted, unique, personal touch to the wave of baby gifts I will be buying this year, I painted two illustrations of popular baby toys.
The first is the one above of the very popular Sofie the Giraffe teether. I know two moms that love this teether, so I figure it is a pretty safe bet as a good gift for expecting moms! I purchase the teether, print out the Sofie the Giraffe painting, frame it, and voila—a unique, hand-painted gift set! The beautiful thing is that this print isn’t gender-specific. Check back in tomorrow for the other baby illustration.
If you are interested in buying a print of Sofie the Giraffe, it is available in the Hand-Painted Weddings Etsy store here. If you are interested in having your very own commissioned watercolor gift, please contact me for details. Pricing varies based on complexity.
Watercolor print by Hand-Painted Weddings.
To finish up the week, I’d like to share with you Julia and Dan’s Hand-Painted Thank you cards. Here I brought the deck element from the invitations and added a personal touch by painting an illustration of Julia and Dan playfully lifting up their dress and pants to show off their shoes and socks! The casual style of hand-lettering continues onto the Thank you cards. If you are curious, the back of this folded card is a beautiful green wash with the Thank you text repeated on the bottom right corner.
Once again I’d like to thank the beautiful couple, Julia and Dan, for being awesome and letting me design their custom invitation package. I’d also like to thank Chrissy from Truly You Events for all of her help in creating a beautiful laid-back vibe for this wedding. I can’t wait to work on the reception pieces next!
The Bride and Groom thank you card is now available in the Hand-Painted Weddings Thank You Card shop.
Oftentimes I like to start with designing my custom invitation orders first and then working out to the other stationery pieces, such as the Save-the-Dates. That way elements can be pulled from the invitation and all the pieces coordinate.
In Julia and Dan’s Save-the-Date, I pulled the mason jar candles element from the invitation to be the highlight of this design. The casual hand-lettering beautifully continues through this piece as it did on the invitations.
Save-the-Date design by Hand-Painted Weddings.
I am delighted to present to you Julia and Dan’s Wedding custom invitation package! This project was a lot of fun to work on! Julia and Dan are having a backyard wedding this coming summer. The bride and groom wanted a very laid back feel to their invitation (and their wedding).
This invitation features a few design elements that will be incorporating into their wedding day such as string lights and mason jar candles. It also showcases the pier and pond that are unique features in the backyard they are getting married at (how cool is that!). This project turned me onto this casual style of calligraphy, which I have adored playing with alongside my watercolors.
I also had a lot of fun illustrating the “wedding particulars” card. For those of you who are not familiar with Philadelphia, Le Meridien hotel is right near the famous Philadelphia Love Statue, so I thought the Love Statue would be a fun illustration to have next to the hotel information.
I’m excited to continue working with the wonderful Chrissy from Truly You Events and Julia and Dan on the coordinating reception paper elements in the next few months!
The bouquet I put together for the Lovesick Expo on Sunday turned out so pretty! The colors worked beautifully with the Hand-Painted Weddings logo and the textures were stunning. In the studio today I am painting pieces of this lovely bouquet.
The flower I am painting in this photo is very unique; it almost looks like it was stripped of its petals. I am actually not even sure if it is a flower or foliage. I don’t mind either way…sometimes the foliage is more interesting than the flowers to paint.