Last February when I first shared this sketch of Cinderella’s castle, I made the connection with Michelle Santiago of Neva Michelle Photography. I was so blessed that she wanted to photograph a whole suite built around this sketch! Needless to say, I was thrilled with the result, and a year later, this is still my favorite photoshoot!
A bit more about the process: I wanted a vintage look for the invite. No fonts, but all handwritten! Each piece of handmade paper was painted with a blue and gray watercolor wash to age the paper and the cherry on top was a pink and silver wax seal of a crown. Even the postage stamps were on theme and I am still so in love!
I love crafting wedding invitations, layering in textures and colors and small nods of personality!
Last spring, I created this Disney inspired Sleeping Beauty invitation suite. I wanted to design a suite that perhaps Aurora would have chosen from her princess wedding, a wedding dripping in garden florals with hints of gold! And of course I went with pink, but threw in accents of blue so all the fairies would be happy!
I really adore making these review posts… to be able to see all the work I created each month all in one place amazes me… God has blessed me so abundantly with so many awesome projects and clients. I’m so thankful for Him who gave me these talents that I can share with the world. I hope you love reviewing these summer months as much as I did making everything!
Earlier in 2018, I designed a suite for a July elopement in Switzerland! Planned and styled by Loukia Arapian, photographed by Gabriela Oswald.
The month also started with an email from Tiffany Greenleaf, an incredibly talented florist in Newport Beach, who contracted me for placecards and a ton of a acrylic goodness! Side note: this was the first full wedding that I got to make the watercolor tags for! Photos by Jack Randall Photography.
I was also blessed this year by the talents of Carmen Soares of Beyond the Gates Photography. She had reached out wanting to shoot some flatlays and I sent her a TON of items to play with including these fabric menus and I just ADORE all the work she did for me! If you’re in Oregon, look her up!
In the middle of the month, I made a divine connection with Caitlin Houser just in time for her styled shoot in Washington! She was able to use some items I had made earlier in the year for a shoot that I never received photos from. I’m still so over the moon from this shoot!
The month also included getting to make these placecards for Memorial table! What a sweet sentiment to the parents and gradparents! Photo by Vitae Weddings.
Toward the end of the month, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland animated film celebrated its anniversary! The year prior, I painted a similar piece which launched my Floral Letters line. After a year of painting practice, I recreated this piece and am so in love with the added depth.
Another set of placecards made for a wedding with a custom mix of blue green paint. I’m still so amazed at how successful these little tags have been!
And more watercolor tags for these baby shower gifts! I was just salivating when Erica showed me these photos! See more of her sweet treats on her site: http://winkbyerica.com
I just adored getting to work on these welcome stickers for this September bride! The watercolor florals were painted to match the lace of her wedding dress!! How cool is that?! I loved when Marina presented the idea to me
This invitation was created for my besties stepmother! Such a fun celebration was in the works and I was honored to get to create not only the Save the Dates but also the invitation.
For another September bride, watercolor spot calligraphy for her invitation designer: Happily Ever After Invitations. See the final stationery pieces below, photographed by Katelyn Turner.
The month ended with celebrating at one of my forever friend’s baby shower!! I was honored to design the invitation for the shower and I also handpainted a globe for the nursery!
As July concluded and August began, I was working with a bride on her Tahoe wedding! I absolutely adored the work we created together and even better, I received all of these amazing photos from her photographer, Torrey Fox Photography!
Around here, school starts mid-August and in honor of this big day, I created an alphabet print of my Floral Letters! This is currently hanging in my office but I do hope to make a print of it to make it available for all of you!
Did you notice those table numbers above in the Tahoe wedding?? After I finished those acrylic table numbers in July, I created a watercolor version and listed them in my shop and started selling them right away! Along with the table numbers, I also listed bridesmaid proposal cards! I have been selling those for years but as embossed cards! Adding these to my shop was a BIG update and they have been highly favored by brides. It was super exciting to see them going out into the world! Available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.
Another twist on one of my current listing of banner tags was the creation of these watercolor dipped tags for an Aruba wedding!
And so many more watercolor tags were made… I am so happy with how much people are loving this new addition to my shop! The below photo is from Allison Williams Photography in Chicago.
Back in the beginning of the month, this lovely mama-to-be contacted me to create some signage and keepsakes for her baby shower. After which she left me such a sweet review!
Sam created two beautiful watercolor calligraphy pieces for my baby shower which became artwork after the shower and will, no doubt, become a treasured family heirlooms… I really enjoyed working with Sam, appreciate her prompt communication and speedy turn around. I look forward to working with her again!
After doing logos for years in the corporate world, it still amazes me that I now get to handdraw logos using my pens and paint brushes! This logo was for Plant Powered LulaRoe.
It wouldn’t be the month of August without working on a birthday invitation for one of my little “nieces.” Turning 5 is a BIG deal and I love the mermaid invitation we created! Along with turning 5, Miss Molly also started TK so I painted her up a sign to hold on her first day of school!
After working on Lindsey’s globe, I finally felt comfortable painting in acrylic so next up was painting this piggy bank for another one of my sweet “nieces,” Emma!!
I took the last week of August off as I joined my hubby on a road trip for his BBQ competition team… but before I left I got a start on the Watercolor Summit courses!! Will update with photos soon!
The month started with celebrating my mama’s birthday! So of course I had to paint her up a watercolor portrait!
Another painting was made for a September birthday… I love how this aunt chose special lyrics for her niece and even had me add the birthday girl’s name right into the lyrics. Such a special present!
Always love when I get wedding photos of displays such as this showing off my escort card display! Antique keys, oh my!! Photo by Dawn Derbyshire Photography
Mid September, Andy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary! Wedding vow artwork created by me, photographed by Beyond the Gates.
And finished the other winner of my watercolor portrait giveaway from the month prior. First maternity portrait and I love it!
Oh and speaking of maternity photos… love this shot by Melissa Fe Chapman of one of my fabric banners!
First comes maternity kids, then comes tattoos of your kids names! How’s that for a transition… loved making this tattoo design for Chelsea. We left the last name a little short rather than extending that last letter to allow room for a third name, Lord willing! Loved that idea!
More watercolor tags… these were used for a rehearsal dinner to be tied to bottles of hot sauce! It was a crab boil in North Carolina! I love spicy food and wish I could have gone!
Remember that Mermaid invite above for Miss Molly’s birthday? Well when I forgot to get her a card, I painted her up a gift bag. So in love.
And finally, the month ended with a styled shoot planned by Jessica Schmuckle for Styled Sheets Across America! Love how they used my handlettered fabric hanging as a table runner! Photo by Trudy Moylan.
If you got this far, I want to say thank you for reading and sharing in my work! Have any questions, drop me an email or leave a comment below! Thanks for your support! Will be posting Part 4 soon, it’s a big one!
I was absolutely blessed to be able to be a part of this gorgeous photo shoot, planned and photographed by Christine Pegany! She has so much talent and such an eye for details. Plus you know, horses!!
Regarding my stationery: I loved the theme of Peaches & Cream too… and used a peach blossom as inspiration for the suite by painting a branch for the envelope liner. Each page of handmade paper was painted with a watercolor wash before printing the calligraphy. These flatlays Christine shot are just divine.
Keep scrolling to see all the beauty the team made that day and see the bottom of this post for a full list of the vendors!
Rapunzel is my favorite Disney princess so I was ecstatic to be chosen to participate in a Tangled themed photo shoot! You will definitely be seeing more of this shoot with a full blog post soon! Photos by Jess Palatucci
While crafting an adoption party invite for one of my besties… I tried my hand at making a watercolor portrait of their growing family. It was just the perfect touch to commemorate such a joyous occasion!
At this time, I created these navy watercolor tags and cards for a custom Etsy order—without knowing at the time what an impact these would have on my shop! Prior to this, I hadn’t made much of my watercolor work easily available to purchase but after sharing these watercolor tags and bridesmaid thank you cards later in the year, they became a big seller and kept me pretty busy in the fall!
Oh my, when this bride wrote me about needing day of stationery for her elopement in Greece, the answer was a BIG YES! And I’m so glad we got to work together because these photos from her photographer, Allen Tsai Photography, are such a dream!
And then a past bride wrote me about needing place cards for her child’s first birthday! I just LOVE when my brides turn to moms and come back for more. It’s just about my favorite thing EVER!
What comes to your mind with the month of May?! First up for me is Mother’s Day!! Here’s a couple pieces made for some amazing mothers!
The month of May also includes the anniversary of Pixar’s movie Up! This is such a favorite of mine so I had to paint up a little something to commemorate!
Remember that watercolor family portrait I just mentioned in the April section? Well I never had a shortage of friends who are willing guinea pigs for my new products? Thanks friends for helping me build my portfolio for your adorable families! Watercolor Portraits available for sale here.
Another past customer of mine reached out as well but this time for a calligraphy tattoo!! Oh yes, please!! And I just adore the photos that Kacie Deale captured of the beauty!
This was a favorite project of mine, AND BIG!! These Rascal Flatts song lyrics were painted for an old friend to commemorate his mother’s passing , are so near and dear to my heart because of my own little boy! Due to a small mistake, I ended up redoing the whole canvas for them and kept the original in my office! So now I get to look at it everyday!
To start this month, we celebrated my baby boy’s 2nd birthday with some fun on the farm!
And then a couple days later, I made the drive down to Ramona to bring my handlettered goods for Janita Mestre’s styled shoot at Milagro Winery! This is another one that really needs a full blog post to share all the lovely vendors! But for now, here’s a small peek!
Next up, a twist on a previous suite I made to have a “Twilight” theme for KSS Photography. This shoot was so amazing and I feel so lucky to have a small part in it… and a short time later it was published in Contemporary Weddings!
The month also included creating the placecards for this absolutely breathtaking wedding in Yosemite! Annie and Corey also had me write out the Irish Blessing on handmade paper to be read during the ceremony. Wedding tablescape photos by Kyro Digital.
How cute is this escort tag display?! Each table was named after a different Maine lighthouse and then little buouys attached! Photo by Sharyn Peavey Photography.
And then to close the month of June and this post, I worked with one of my favorite returning customers, Karianna, on her wedding invitations!
First step was creating a digital mockup of the invitation and then painting the pieces at a larger scale. These larger paintings are then scanned into Photoshop and composited for the final invitation!
And then the amazing photographer, Jessy Herman, professionally photographed the suite! Love!
Thanks for reading through! Hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into my creative life!
As I thought over my One Little Word for 2019, I kept thinking of my word for last year which was FOCUS. I’m tempted to just rephrase that with having my word be REFOCUS as I don’t think I fully focused in on the year as much as I wanted. I still feel rather scattered and split… am I a wedding calligrapher or painter of personalized wall decor? And why can’t I be both?
So while I wrestled with this… I saw the word “refine” and being drawn to it, I had to look up its exact meaning:
remove impurities or unwanted elements
to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions
And when I read that, it resonated me with on a few levels. One of which is my spiritual life which has had a great awakening these past few months as my family and I got back into going to church and LOVING it. My soul was so thirsty for the Word for so long, for years even, so I love how refined can be defined by the action of making something pure or improved by pruning.
But then on the business level, all this past year I struggled with letting go of avenues of design that just didn’t fit me anymore. Or that have run their course. For example, one of my first big product booms of my shop were my embossed cards. Each one was handwritten with a special kind of ink and then dusted with powder and then heat embossed. I went from selling hundreds a month to less than a hundred a year. To sell one at a time, was just a pain to pull out all the supplies so I made the decision to just remove them completely from my shop. And it felt GREAT. It is time to move on.
In an aim to not make this post too lengthy, my point is this: I plan to work similarly to last year, focused in, but continue to make refinements along the way. Some changes will be subtle while others may be larger in nature.
I have always given the reins of my work to God and just tended to the work I have been given with the talents God has blessed me with. So I am excited to see where He takes me this year.
Do you choose a word for each year?! I would love to know, tell me all about it in the comments!
The year also started with the creation of a housewarming party invite for a good friend of mine here in California! I created the art for the invite in such a way that I could frame the original painting as the housewarming gift! Win!
Once those January shoots were done, I went right on to work with Abbe Foreman on her blush pink and gold shoot…
And went on to work with Emily Sallach on this boho shoot at L.A’s Frogtown Magical Cabin, photos by Jenn Spain
Along with this handpainted gold and emerald suite for a flat lay conference on the east coast.
And I also celebrated my shop’s 5 year anniversary!! This was such a big celebration as it coincided with my 10,000 Etsy sale!!
February is also a big month for Disney animation anniversaries! And of course I had to celebrate!! First up is my favorite: Peter Pan! And then keep scrolling to see the Cinderella inspired piece that went on to spark a whole invitation suite…
And to finish off the month, some envelope addressing!
These Disney inspired pieces were created for the AMAZING Michelle Santiago to photograph. It was magical collaborating with another Disney nerd to create these suites! Will be posting more about these soon!
Another style shoot, this one photographed by Danielle Unger… love that fabric hanging and the fabric menus! Oh my! Held at the Woodshed in Vista, California.
When I saw Christine Pegany post about needing a calligrapher for her upcoming shoot, I jumped at the chance! She’s such a talented photographer and stylist! In a few weeks, I’ll be sharing more on this gorgeous shoot!
And to end this first quarter review, a REAL wedding suite created for Kate Vennergrund (photo by Carmen Soares). More to come on this as well…
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and for making it this far! I enjoyed going back over these projects that seemed to have taken place so long ago but as if they were yesterday!
Amongst other Southern California summer weddings, like this one (images by Vacay Photo):
And then finally, without knowing what was to come, I painted this fanart for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland’s anniversary… the painting that planted the seed for many more watercolor floral letters.
August continued with even more paintings! Not only were individual letters created, I also created a brand new theme using evergreen branches for a last name sign, celebrating my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary!
And another new theme was created for a unique commission, celebrating a couple who got married in Key West, Florida!
And then my first—of many—floral family name signs! Eeek!
And to close the month, one more floral painting!
September was one very busy month! It started with painting up a bridal shower invitation and envelopes…
In the middle of September, Andy and I celebrated our TEN year wedding anniversary. So of course I had to paint out our own personal vows before we left for a short weekend getaway.
Not only did I paint my own vows, but I also worked on this giant pair of 16×20 wedding vows that have now made their home in Ireland!
And not only did these large paintings of vows cross the Atlantic but so did this last name sign!
More watercolor floral letters were made too of course, this is one of my all time favorites!
Also included this month, to celebrate my friend’s new home, we worked on this handpainted family sign! Congrats Jess!
The month ended with the biggest, loudest and craziest party ever!
The month started with this GORGEOUS wedding in northern California. I loved getting to create these tags for each guest with gold watercolor paint! See more of this beautiful wedding here, photographed by Kirsten Wiemer.
A HUGE highlight of the year was getting to work on my first styled wedding shoot! The creativity was surging throughout the Estate on Second venue in Santa Ana, California! I am only posting this one single sneak peek, taken by Harper and Grace Photography, but please checkout the full shoot here.
Before going to the shoot though, I finally created business cards for myself!
The month also started with some day of details created for a Charleston wedding which I also got to create the lettering for their letterpress invitations. It was my first time seeing my work printed with letterpress and I was SUPER excited to receive their invite in the mail! photos by Kaitlin Scott Photography
We ended the month going on a trip for my hubby’s BBQ competition team to Tennessee, but before we left… I painted #allthethings! Take a peek at some below:
The cacti bridal shower (see invite below) also took place at the end of the month for which I painted all these handpainted floral table runners!
This month was just pure and utter CRAZINESS! The month started off with some agate Thanksgiving placecards!
November also included the launch of my watercolor lyrics and vows on Etsy! To celebrate, I hosted a series of giveaways… here are some of the results:
At the end of the month, over the Black Friday weekend, I hosted some BIG sales. One of which was for my handdrawn papercut silhouettes. These made the perfect Christmas gifts, I just love all their sweet little faces!
And one last note, the month included the launch of my Facebook page! It’s a bit neglected but it’s finally up and LIVE! Take a look!!
The month of December meant the finishing up and sending of all these Christmas cards!
The month also started with this painting of Psalms 23 full of bright yellow sunflowers!
And of course, the month also included lots and lots of tags made for Christmas dinner and Christmas gifting!
Speaking of Christmas gifts! Several paintings were made to be given as gifts from me and commissioned by others for gifting too!
Another Christmas gift I got to help with was the painting of these reclaimed wood signs! They have such a lovely backstory too… this family just moved out of their home that they had for almost 30 years. They used the wood from a shed in the backyard to make each of their daughter’s a sign with and had me paint a cute family saying of theirs! I just love getting to make art such as this, so close to the heart!
Lastly, what is Christmas without ornaments! This year I just couldn’t decide between these two ideas so I just went with a few of each! Plus finishing up the ornaments made from my son’s first Christmas tree in 2016!
2017 was quite a busy year! I was a horrible blogger all year too so please pardon me as I post a giant update on what I was working on the first half of last year! As you’ll soon find out, this was the year I broke into the watercolor floral game and had a lot of fun doing it too!
To start the year off, I worked on some sweet little first birthday invites for some close friends.
The month started with first birthday prep for my bestie’s little girl. Even though this was well over a year ago, I still plan to share a more in depth blog on it because it was so darling!!
I was also working on another batch of designs to be presented to retail stores like Hobby Lobby! They were really my favorites and was so happy to see them in stores later in the year.
February is also the month Disney released some of the most epic of their original animated films and I love to create some fan art in honor of their anniversaries!
The month also included a few more custom pieces including this adorable woodcut sign!
And lastly!! Handpainted Where the Wild Things Are invitations! Looooove how these came out!!
It’s always fun to work on a different canvas, and in this case, literally canvas! I painted navy blue on this black canvas and then used a watered down white paint for the lettering. It’s still a favorite of mine!
The month ended with a beautiful beginning… the start of my friend Lauren’s baby shower planning! And what’s the first thing you tackle for any event? Sending the invitations! I painted my first ever flower for Lauren’s invites, having no idea how the year would continue filled to the brim with watercolor florals!
While continuing work on Lauren’s shower, this month also brought my friend Kara’s wedding to the front of my focus, starting with getting her wedding invitations addressed. I adore white on gray, just love it!
To close the month, and just in time for Lauren’s shower, I got to photograph some sweet maternity portraits! You can view more on my blog here.
The month of May started with Lauren’s baby shower! It was such a joyous day which you can view in full here, but here’s some of my favorite parts:
After the shower, Mother’s Day arrived within a blink. My little guy helped me create some fun projects for the grandmas!
And of course there were miscellaneous Etsy orders completed throughout the month, like writing out these tags for a baby shower! Love when my customers send me photos!
The start of June was filled with celebrations of my little guy’s first birthday! I did a full blog post on the party here, but here’s some peeks for you!
With the leftover sea glass from the party, I created these adorable mini placecards!
And then I ended the month painting this hot air balloon piece for a soon to be born baby girl! I think it barely arrived in time for the birth!
Stay tuned for another post to come for the rest of the work created in 2017! It was such an amazing year!
The owner of Events by the Cea and I first met when I snuck behind the scenes at Kara’s wedding (link) to photograph some of the pieces I worked on. Shortly thereafter I emailed her asking if she had any styled wedding shoots in the works that I could collaborate on and luckily she was just starting to plan one for that fall!
I was so thankful for my first opportunity to work on a styled shoot (a mock-wedding photoshoot for wedding vendors to collaborate on to showcase their talents). And because it was local to me, I was able to attend the shoot too! The creative energy at the shoot was tangible! I soaked it all up and learned so much watching Christina and her team work their magic on decorating tablescapes, interiors, and floral installations.