I am so excited to show you these amazing photographs of Jeremy and Rachel's wedding taken by Shane and Lauren Photography.
Earlier this year I met Rachel. She and my childhood friend Crystal started an online boutique called Boutique Dernier Cri. It has romantic and whimsical fashion with vintage flair--basically it looks like clothes for a modern fairytale character. After I helped create their mermaid logo, Rachel asked me if I could paint a fairytale woodland scene for her wedding invitations. I was honored and it sounded like so much fun! I love to look at fairytale illustrations but to create my own scene made my imagination run wild.
Rachel is a big Snow White fan (aren't we all?) and had a beautiful vision for her fairytale wedding with her real life prince. I must admit this was my first time working on anything wedding invitation related (I didn't even plan my own wedding- we eloped! It was a no-stress, tropical wedding on Maui).
Anyway, she was so sweet and told me her idea of having it be the forest scene with a castle in the background. She invited me to look at her private Pinterest board where she had been collecting all of her inspirations. I think this is such a great way to work with clients! I was really able to get a feel for her aesthetic and the colors she was using (dark greens, deep shades of purple). I really appreciate how she trusted me and gave me the freedom to create. But this really would not have happened with out Rachel's vision.
I love that this painting is not just an illustration of a "woodland scene with fairytale castle" but a symbol of the sweet life that these two lovebirds will have together. I love that the scene begins in the forest surrounded by enchanting plants and creatures. The way the castle is off in the distance is a good reminder to remain hopeful and a promise of the future, but even in the forest there is beauty in the present.
This really was a joy to paint. You can buy a print of it in my shop and you can even buy a photography backdrop of it here.
Here are a few snapshots of their Snow White themed engagement photos. SO ADORABLE! You can see more here!
And now I must share a few of the shots from this enchanting, magical, and romantic wedding!
You can see more pictures of the handsome groom, the stunning bride, and the breathtaking wedding here. Thank you Shane and Lauren for the amazing photos you captured!
Don't hate me.
I'm just helping you get prepared for the holiday season! I promise!
I always want to give someone a thoughtful gift. Because isn't receiving one such a wonderful feeling?
So I might not be able to tell you what your husband would like for Christmas, his birthday, or Father's Day (because Heaven knows I don't know what to get mine!! I am stumped every year! I keep on giving him FOOD because that's the only thing I know he likes and that I know I can afford...)...
But I CAN tell you what that book-loving, feminine girl might want.
I would now like to introduce you to...
THE Official Gift Guide for the Smart Girl:
2. An old edition of one of their favorite books on Etsy.
3. A personal Library Kit. I kid you not. AMAZING.
4. A Jane Austen greeting card set. Because all smart girls read Austen. Duh.
5. A calligraphy set. It is all the rage right now. Pretty lettering and getting to pretend that you are Austen, but with a lot more access to showers and Bath&Body Works.
6. My art! Ha! No, really. Smart girls are PROUD that they verge on nerd. But we tend to think of ourselves in a much more romantic sense.
Exhibit A: (above) In our imagination we are not typing on our irreplaceable laptops but on cute colored typewriters. Elegant and poised, we are in a pretty outfit with our makeup done and stacks of color coordinated books surrounding us.
Pipe dreams, I know.
Exhibit B: We read glamorously amongst flowers. There are no bugs and the temperature is perfect.
Exhibit C: Our typewriter includes script fonts. Whaaaat.
Exhibit D: Ideal weather and floral conditions. Always.
Exhibit E: We wear heels while shopping for books. So we can reach the top shelf, of course.
Exhibit F: Books are our BEST FRIENDS. Sorry BFFs. But realistically, our best friends read books too, so they get it.
These are all available in my shop.
So, I hope that helped you out if you were stumped on what to buy the book lover girl, woman, mother, sister, friend in you life. If none of these are available or will ship in time, remember that a girl ALWAYS appreciates flowers and chocolate.
And if you are a Smart Girl reading this, I hope you think that Library Kit is as enchanting as I think it is!!
I have to tell you about my new clothing crush!! I am a lover and admirer of online clothing stores like Ruche Clothing and ModCloth. This new online store is called Avenle (as in Avonlea, the fictional town from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery--my all time favorite books).
There are so many things to love about this store (and I am not getting paid to say this--it is all my personal opinion and infatuation):
-It was founded by two best friends, kindred spirits to be exact. Andrea and Elizabeth are the Avenle Duo and the epitome of best friends. They even have matching anchor tattoos on one of their fingers. The totally grown up version of the BFF heart necklaces.
-They have cute clothes that no one else has. There are four distinct "Avenle Girls" but you can mix and match between Edgy, Boho, Classic, and Chic.
-Their packaging is done with great care. I feel like a friend sent me a package, not a business.
-They have impeccable taste. Avenle even works with Indie designers around the world and features their work in their carefully curated shop.
-There are faces behind the name. I know a company is supposed to appeal to general public, but I love that this company is personal. I love that I know who these fabulous girls are and feel like I am somehow in a community.
-Their tagline is "Avenle: For the Modern Girl with the Vintage Soul" which I kid you not was one of my personal taglines for my art, though I have not publicized that.
Here are a few images from their Lookbook:
I bought one of their dresses and fell in love! So not only do I identify with their aesthetic, I was also impressed with their product. I bought this hummingbird dress and was pleased with the quality and the cuteness!
Lily Beth Dress | Isabella Dress | Floral Sun Hat
Iceland Poppy Clutch | Aqua Erinite Earrings | Juliet Lace Skirt
Last week I was featured in April Heather Duvall Davulcu's post about artists that inspire her. It all starts with Ginger Deverell tagging Stephanie Ryan, then Stephanie tagging Heather, and then me.
First, I must tell you what an honor it is that Heather thought of me. We met in the Smart Creative Style Course a few months ago, but to be honest--I knew about her work even before! She has the cutest, happiest, sweetest character illustrations! This year she challenged herself to draw every day and has gained a lot of Instagram followers because of the cuteness explosion over there. You MUST see her work--it will make you so happy!
Here are some questions that I get to answer:
What are you working/writing on?
I have the habit of working on a custom order and then a painting for the mere pleasure of it. I like to mix it up and keep things fun!
I am finishing up some fabric work for the talented and chic Chrissi Shields. I recently collaborated with the talented stylist Vanessa Colyer Tay in her Great.ly shop. My newest watercolor print will be sold exclusively with her this coming week! I have also been collaborating with Hazy Skies Designs to create photography backdrops.
Between custom orders and all the above I have been working on new lines for my Etsy shop.
How does my work/writing differ from others work in my genre?
I am working mainly in watercolors right now. I am pretty sure I was born in the wrong era. I love old homes, long dresses with puffed sleeves, Doris Day, antiquities, and books from long ago. I love heroines that are confident, spirited, and kind.
I read so much growing up that I see the world through different eyes--ones that imagine first. Thus, my paintings are usually colorful, romantic, sweet, whimsical, and tender.
Why do I write/create what I do?
Because I have learned that there is no one else like me! I used to think there was no point in painting because it has all been done before, but it hasn't! Mostly because I love to do it and have found that it also makes others happy. How wonderful is that?!
How does my writing/creative process work?
There isn't much to it. When I sketch to figure out what I am doing I hate to put a lot of effort into it. I am not a rough draft girl. If I'm going to spend time on it, I might as well dive in head first. In college I would just sketch a quick bubble outline, write my essay, proof it, and ta-da!
My paintings take a similar route.
This is what my sketches look like. So sad.
So then I draw it out on my paper and start painting! This is obviously a work in progress.
And that sums it up for me!
Now to the meat of this post!!
let me introduce you to Michelle Schneider from The Art of Michelle.
She is so sweet! I met her via the SCS course and thought her illustrations were just adorable! She paints with a storybook flair with bright, pretty colors. She is a children's book enthusiast and loves to tell a story with her paintings. I am sure it won't be long till we see her beautiful work gracing children's book covers and nestled in between.
Right now she has a waiting list for custom house portraits in her Etsy shop. They are so cute. She really puts personality into each portrait for her clients. You can also purchase her art prints of lovely things like flowers, birds, butterflies, rainclouds, and so on.
It is so much fun to look through her shop! Go check it out, but for now here are some samplings.
Her storybook custom house illustrations:
Her adorable floral and rain cloud series with a modern twist:
And here are some recent character illustrations:
Another great artist I must tell you about is Tori Higa. Tori is so genuine and you can tell she has a heart of gold. She lives near me (which we found out by accident!) in Southern California with her husband and two cutie-pie kids.
Tori has collaborated and worked with Amy Lau Design, Anthropologie, Cardstore, Keka Case, Ink Garden, iSanctuary, & Schiffer Publishing. She started her art path off as an assistant graphic designer, then a textile designer for Milliken Carpet, started her own greeting card company, and then within her card company partnered with an amazing non profit organization called International Sanctuary,advocates for survivors of human trafficking. Now she is freelancing, selling in her Etsy shop, and illustrating three children's books that she has written. Monica Lee even wrote about her over at her site--you can check out that post here.
How awesome that she started a company that ended up helping so many people? Amazing! And she continues to collaborate and create. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!
I hope that you were inspired by these terrific women that are creating happy and meaningful art. I had so much fun doing this that I think I will be doing more features in the future!
Monica didn’t mean to change my life.
But she did.
I was browsing Pinterest and came across a cute illustration. I followed the link and it led me to Smart Creative Women. MIND BLOWN.
I perused. I bookmarked. I came back the next day. And the next. And soon it became an addiction.
I cleaned dishes, folded laundry, and painted while I listened to Monica interview some of the most awesome and creative women.
After I finished listening to all the interviews I wanted to hear more about her. So I listened to her pep talks and read the blog posts.
In this blog post she encouraged her readers to try a technique she was using in her Smart Creative Style course. You make a Pinterest board and pin only the images that speak to your heart, the ones you must always be able to find because they are so special. And when you are all done you take a step back, minimize your screen, and analyze.
So I tried this exercise and discovered that I like light blue the most, not turquoise. I loved the images of feminine and sweet 20s girls, not the 50s girls. How could this be? My house has turquoise everywhere! I loved it before it was cool. I love Doris Day and her fashion in her movies. But this is what I pinned, and this is what I felt was part of me.
This SIMPLE exercise was enlightening. So then Monica announced that the next round of Smart Creative Style Course was enrolling…and that there would be two opportunities to win a scholarship. I knew I MUST take this course!! I didn’t know how it would happen, but I felt like I belonged in this class. I prayed. And I hoped.
And I lost.
Sarah Jane Studios (the cutest and sweetest children’s illustrator) gave away the first scholarship and I lost. But alas, there was one more!
Jeanean Morrison, the darling, friendly, fabulous fabric designer and artist, was giving away a scholarship. So I entered.
AND I WON!!!!!
Holy moly, it was amazing. I received a notification on my phone that an email just came in. The title said “You Won!” I knew exactly what it was! I screamed, I danced with my 3 year old daughter for ten minutes around our house, I called my husband with a voice that sounded as if we had won the lottery.
But really, I had.
Because this was the catalyst for change.
I still don’t even know what is going to happen because of this opportunity, but I know deep down in my soul that God blessed me with this with His perfect timing. After YEARS of thinking I was mediocre with nothing new to bring to the world (so why bother trying?) I was beginning to see that what I loved and what I could put on paper had not been done before.
And then we began the class.
Monica sent each of us the cutest journal that she had made especially for us. I filled every single page.
I have taken one other online course and that was in college for Educational Technology. Now THAT was a snoozefest. But Monica’s intro video had music, a dance, and sparkles (I am NOT kidding---she wore sequins, which made me love her even more)!
There was a video from Monica for each lesson (two times a week). In addition, she had amazing, knowledgeable, and famous guest teachers, links to relevant articles, PDF downloads, and knowledge that took her years of acquiring summed up and shared with us in ONE course.
So I first off, I learned.
I was such a good student. I read everything and did all the assignments.
But what makes Monica a talented teacher is how she posed questions and really made us reflect on our answers. Oh and this gal has a way with words! We would make Pinterest boards on a particular topic (i.e., nature, art, fashion, etc) and then post a link on the private Facebook page. Everyone would click through, look at it, and then comment on the things they saw and felt. While most of us would come up with a line or two of analysis, she would see things that no one else saw and relay it in such an encouraging and in depth manner. I would always have to go look at the board again so I could recognize what she had pointed out.
Because we were encouraged to comment and post questions, there were even friendships that were formed. The Facebook group that is created for each class remains open forever so that any time we feel like posting something there are our classmates ready to respond.
So now the class is over. The dust is finally settling. I had a crazy breakthrough. I was in the shower and I realized my perspective was heavily influenced on my LOVE of literature. Dare I say obsession? A child that plays Librarian? That was me.
This is what I realized was true for me: we are all heroines in our story.
My view of the world is skewed and is seen through the eyes of written words where time doesn’t exist. You can spend pages describing ten seconds. The heroines are your friends, yet they are also you. You can go wherever within the confines of your bed or backyard.
This is ONE aspect of the many things I learned about myself.
I could go on and on.
But most importantly, I learned that there is no one else like me. Yet, there are so many others that feel the same. And maybe, just maybe, my art will speak to them. Maybe I don’t create exact replicas of still life setups (and I could if I worked hard at it—but do I find it enjoyable? No.). But I do paint things from that corner of my mind.
That place where imaginary is real.
I like that I KNOW what I like and I know WHY I like it. I can see new images, feel excited by them, and I can also trace it back linearly to the reason.
For example, looking at pins of brides in nature in their white dresses enchants me. Why? Because I like femininityàromanceà1910sàsimplicityàthe solitude before change.
But MY thinking will not match ANYONE else’s. We might be similar, but yours is going to come from a completely different place, thus a different order, and a few different words that completely change the outcome.
Monica has given me the tools to discover what I love (and I can do this continually!). She is the ultimate cheerleader, the mentor, and the friend. I have never met her, nor have I even spoken to her on the phone, but I know that I adore her. She is completely transparent, honest, and authentic. I know that who she is in her videos is who she is while at Target, cooking dinner, and at a party. She creates an online classroom that is full of love, encouragement, and self-discovery.
This class is truly priceless.
I don’t care who you are, you need to take this class. Even if you think you completely know yourself (which I thought I did!!) you will walk away surprised and left thinking about it for months, but touched forever. The addition of all the practical and helpful business advice blends in beautifully and will enhance any creative person and business.
And so I close with a heartfelt thank you to Jenean Morrison for being my fairy godmother. Your generosity has changed me and inspired me. And thank you to Monica Lee for blessing people with your talents as a teacher and artist.
Thank you will never be enough.
Life has gotten busy!! I just thought I would share with you a few of my recent instagram photos. I am working on a fresh Summer line that sports brighter and warmer colors plus hints of gold!
It has been so much fun to paint with gold. It is the Martha Stewart Metallic Acrylic Gold paint. It is perfect!! I love how it shines at a slant in the sun. It shows up beautifully on my watercolor paper.
I am inspired this summer by lovely images of red, coral, pink, yellow, and orange flowers. I am painting a lot of beautiful white dresses, geometric shapes, and the sweetness of friendship. These images are some finished pieces and works in progress.
In my personal life I have been busy finishing up the school year. I substitute teach (mostly kindergarten) and was lucky enough to get to sub in my son's class this year while his darling and smart teacher wrote the curriculum for our district's Common Core program. We went to the Kinder awards ceremony this morning and it was so cute. I am so proud of my sweet little boy. He completed his first year of school, conquered a broken leg, and grew up a lot.
Here he is with the robot he built with his tablemates. He was very proud! I heard the teachers had *lots* of fun spray painting these beasts. His teacher allowed each table to create a robot using odds and ends (cereal boxes, party hats, foam spheres) as closure to their 2D and 3D shapes unit. They were adorable. I thought the gold spray paint looked the best. If I get the chance on Monday I will take more pictures of the different robots (5 total).
I am already starting a Summer pinterest board. I always say I am going to accomplish a lot during the time off, but that doesn't always happen... I love all those "schedules" and weekly planners. I need a plan...because if there isn't one then I will just paint and laze about. There are only so many Summers left with my little ones actually wanting to spend time with me!
I hope all of you have a great Summer ahead of you!
Though it may be hot, there WILL be fun!
Mother's Day is right around the corner! I thought I would make up a free printable for you! (Note: click the link for the full resolution file).
This mother's day card can be printed on standard 8.5x11 " cardstock. It is saved with 300 DPI resolution, so it will print beautifully. It will print two cards on your one sheet. All you have to do is cut it in half and then fold it!
If you are looking for something else to give a special mom in your life, perhaps an art print from my shop would be perfect. All of my paintings are feminine and I can even have it sent directly to that special person.
Also, I will be sending out a special coupon soon to my newsletter subscribers! If you would like in on the secret coupon you can subscribe here. Thank you!
Have a wonderful day!
*This free printable is Copyright © 2014 Heatherlee Chan. This may not be used for resale and may only be used for personal printing use. Thank you for respecting my art :)
Happy Spring! Ours was looking so wonderful this past month. The fields were green, buds grew on trees, flowers swayed, and butterflies hatched.
Then came the 90 degree weather.
It started yesterday. I am praying it goes away! It gets really hot where we are at and once that sun starts beating it kills everything.
Soooo, anyway....let's keep our spirits bright and celebrate with a sale! April 8th-16th you can use the coupon code SPRING30 at checkout for 30% off your entire purchase in my shop.
Easter is coming up, lots of birthdays, and Mother's Day will be here before you know it. In my family we give female a little present. I always loved that growing up :)
This weekend my husband took the kids and me out to get some Jack in the Box. We took it to a nearby grassy area and had fun exploring.
And to keep things real I will include this picture.
My husband was making fun of me because I didn't want to sit on the ground. There were ants! No, there were GIANT ants.
So he claimed I couldn't handle nature, but perhaps it is just that I can't handle bugs. Particularly ones that BITE.
This coming weekend will be busy because a friend of ours is having her wedding. I will be taking pictures and my husband will be playing the guitar during the ceremony. She is such a sweetie, so this will be fun :)
I have known about Polyvore for some time and how you could put together adorable little collections from clothing articles, but I never played with it till now. I am having so much fun putting together fashion boards based on paintings I have made. This is my Spring Reader painting paired with a matching outfit and accessories.
This is like playing paper dolls for grown ups!
How to use Polyvore for your business:
You can easily do this with your own artwork or products. I have read articles wherein artists were upset that their work was being used on this site, but I think it is just another avenue to expose people to your work.
All you need to do create an account, download the "clip to polyvore" button for your browser (just like Pinterest!), go to your site and start "clipping" your products.
If you are clipping it yourself you will know that it will link back to YOUR site, thus getting you exposure, and you are given credit and not some random Tumblr page. Another bonus is that if you "clip" something and someone uses it, Polyvore will let you know. You can actually keep tabs on it and see the beautiful sets that other people create using your items!
After you have clipped you can "create" a collection designed around your piece. You can pin it to Pinterest, share on your blog, share what OTHERS have created using your works....I am sure the list is endless. I am still new to this, but this is what I have learned and thought about it so far!
Comment on other people's collections! Push the like button! Engage with other users. Push "Follow" when people "Follow" you! You can learn a lot by looking at how others put together their collages. The more I play with it, the more I believe putting a collage together is its own art form!
This is my Friends and Umbrellas painting and collection.
I am sure I will be adding more collections to my Polyvore page. If you have one I would love to follow you!
It's a Good Day Typewriter painting paired with an adorable LC Lauren Conrad dress (I own the black sleeveless version. LOVE!)
A set to go with the feel of my Tropical Flowers painting.
So what are you doing with Polyvore? I saw you can make room collections, but I have a feeling the options are endless.
Do you want to build a snowman?
Or....do you want to take some easy Frozen themed pictures of your kids?
We would love to build a snowman, but we live in a very sunny valley of Southern California! These pictures were completely spur of the moment, but they turned out so cute! No elaborate costumes or props needed.
My mom bought the Frozen DVD and the kids insisted on borrowing it.
And watching it over. And over.
My niece was visiting during her college Spring Break and we were so blessed that she wanted to come spend it with us instead of seeing her off to a week in Cabo, ha ha! Cora has been a subject for my mom's and my photography since she was a baby, so she doesn't think twice when we pull out a camera!
The kiddos wanted to dress up as Anna and Kristoff, so all we needed were some braids and a dress for Clara (we got lucky that she already had red hair!) and then a hat for Calvin. Cora, my niece, was wearing a blue shirt and had the cutest headband that we tucked her hair into Elsa-style.
Calvin brought along a reindeer puppet to be Sven and then we just walked around our neighborhood and snapped some photos. It was so much fun!
I love these easy kind of photoshoots because there is NO STRESS. We didn't put a lot of time into getting ready for it. We didn't even travel far. We just took a walk! Stopped and snapped!
You could easily do this with your kids too and have the sweetest pictures. Beautiful and cute pictures don't have to cost hundreds of dollars.
Also, if you had not noticed--this is my FIRST post on my new blog for my website! My old blog has the RSS feed on the side if you want to see more photo shoot ideas, tutorials (such as DIY Bachelorette Basket, Clothespin Dollhouse, DIY Solar System Mobile, parties (like my legendary GLITTER Party!) and tips (like my secret potty training tip), or just behind the scene posts on my artwork.
Thank you for visiting!
I am a watercolor artist located in Southern California.
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