Tag: art about wedding

Visual Journal Page 53: Weddings, Babies, and Folley Beach


I love it when things just fall into place and seem meant to be. In this moment, sitting here, finally updating my blog, I pull up the next visual journal page I need to write about, and realize it is meant to be. It is so appropriate that this page is on this week’s to do list, after all it is all about my wonderful sister-in-law, a beautiful wedding, and an incredible announcement. How appropriate since I just spent a nice long weekend with her, her husband, and my two adorable nieces in Kentucky. I love that I get to reminisce after so recently reminiscing with her last weekend…

This page began November 2010, really it began in the spring of that year, perhaps I should start there.

Randi was about to become my sister-in-law, I couldn’t wait to tag “Panetta” to the end of my name, the wedding date was set, Nick and I were walking down the aisle July 10, 2010. As the spring rolled around, I was up to my eyeballs in wedding planning, when suddenly we got some exciting and surprising news. Randi and her boyfriend David planned to elope in Jamaica before David was deployed on his next air force mission.

Here I was spending every waking minute of my life thinking about, planning, and trying to put together a wedding, and here was Randi running off to Jamaica on a romantic getaway, getting engaged after us, married before us, and without all the typical wedding stresses. There were moments when I envied her.

We were excited when the happy couple finally tied the knot, however a little disappointed we weren’t there to share their big day. However, they later made up for their private wedding by planning a renewal of their vows and reception, once David returned from his deployment in the Fall. The date was set for November in Folley Beach, just outside of Charleston, SC.

We anxiously awaited their second big day and enjoyed a Panetta sibling road trip from Atlanta to Charleston the weekend of the event. We all piled into a beautiful house on the beach, where the ceremony and reception would take place. The morning of, the house had a hushed buzz as everyone scrambled around getting dressed, putting on make up, and doing their hair downstairs, as the already married-bride-to-already-be got ready upstairs. As the afternoon approached guests filed out onto the sandy beach, found a suitable seat, and waited for the beautiful bride to make her appearance.

I remember Cam beautifully singing and strumming her guitar, a hum of whispering voices, an intimate setting with only family and best friends, the sound of the ocean, the sense of anticipation hanging in the air, and the freezing, biting gusts of beach wind blanketing my arms, never allowing my goosebumps a break. Nick and I were practically on top of each other trying to keep warm, and the two bridesmaids, Andi and Stacey were hugging and shivering up front. 

Randi makes a beautiful bride. I wasn’t surprised at how radiant and happy she looked as she walked towards her husband-groom-to-already-be, they were meant to be and you could tell just by the way they were looking at each other. David’s brother-in-law re-wed them, they re-exchanged their vows, and the happy couple kissed and made their way back to the welcoming beach mansion with the well-insulated and heated interior, we were all looking forward to.

The guests quickly jumped from their seats, followed the happy couple to the house, and eagerly made their way to the doors, bodies begging for some warmth. I have to admit I was slightly perturbed when Randi and David stopped at the doors and said before we went inside they wanted to pass out a little gift to everyone as a thank you for sharing their special day. Small boxes were handed to each guest, and my freezing body began taking over my mind, begging the wedding attendants to pass them out quicker, questioning why we couldn’t do this later, mentally urging us to get this over with and go inside.

It was a moment worth waiting for, a moment that made you feel warm and fuzzy despite chilly temperatures, without the aid of a heater.

We were forced to wait until everyone had a little box before we could open them. Finally the time came and I popped open the lid, having no clue what to expect. Inside I found pink and blue jellybeans. Are you kidding me? I waited in the freezing cold for a candy snack? I didn’t understand the need for all of the waiting for this. Gasps began to rise up around me, people began cheering, I didn’t understand why they were so excited about a sugary treat. That is until I looked at the bottom of the lid, where I found the message “boy or girl?”.

I felt a little dense at the time, but it all came together. The first Panetta grand-baby, niece or nephew was on it’s way. Tears were shed, hugs, kisses, and congratulations were exchanged. It was a joyous event at the end of a joyous event, it couldn’t have been better timing.

And at the end of this long story comes the purpose of this page, the Folley Beach house, a re-wedding, and a baby surprise. Around 6-7 months later we celebrated a baby shower in honor of mommy-to-be Randi. As a gift for she and David I decided to paint a picture of that oh-so-important Folley Beach house, after all it stood for so much.

Come baby shower day the painting was complete, ready to give, and will hopefully serve as a reminder to them of that important day of commitment on multiple levels. I hope when the now two girls are older they will ask about the house in the painting and Randi and David can recount the beginnings of their happy life together.

Folley Beach Painting


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Hot glue
  • Picture print out
  • Dried paint on wax paper palate


This page is one of those visual journal pages that places the importance on the story behind it rather than the art marking process to reflect it. This page is a true journal page, meant to remind me of a special day, the day I found out I would be an aunt for the first time. It wasn’t about trying new techniques or creating an overly complicated page. It needed to be simple, straightforward, and reminiscent.

To create the page all I did was take the printed picture I reference to create the painting and glued it down to the bottom right corner of the page using rubber cement. I then tore off the wax paper layer from my reusable palate with the dried oil paint I used to paint the painting. I ripped it up into sections, overlapped them, and glued them down using hot glue.

Later on I began having issues with the paint leaving oil spots, marking up the page, and generally making it look messy. I then decided to glue down a clear transparency sheet between the two pages to prevent the paint blobs from marking up my page. To attach the transparency I put medium hot, hot glue on the four corners and glued them on top of the right side page. If you put your hot glue gun on high and attempt to glue plastic based products it well cause it to melt, so be careful!


Let go a little and rather than focus on the end product of your page focus on the purpose of the page. What are you remembering, what are you trying to memorialize? In the end I believe the message is more important than the success of the art!

Thanks for taking the time to read today’s post and check out my blog! Help me spread the word about visual journaling and the importance of art in everyday life by sharing with others. I can’t do it without you! Thanks for stopping by!


Paperhouse Production Giveaway: Scrapbook Paper and Stickers (closed)

Paperhouse Product Sticker and Paper Giveaway

This week I have two amazing giveaways to offer! The first is a multi-winner giveaway, one lucky big winner will get a 6″x6″ pack of art inspired scrapbook paper and two packs of hydrangea and leaf stickers. 6 additional winners will receive one strip of hydrangea and one strip of leaf stickers. On Thursday I will post my second giveaway of the week, an adorable tote from Etsy shop: eilquinn.

Scrapbook paper detailPaperhouse Productions is an online shop that specialized in most things paper and some things mangets, stickers, and home decor. Over the summer I was approached by them to try out some of their products, I readily agreed on one condition, they would send me enough items for me to giveaway to my readers. I awaited my box of goodies and was shocked at the size of it when it finally arrived. I opened it to find piles of products, enough for me to try and giveaway to a number of my readers.

I went for the art paper immediatly, flipping through quickly at first, then taking my time, admiring the patterns and designs the second time through. I love the abstract pages, with colors softly bleeding into each other as if watercolor was recently applied to a damp sheet of paper. In addition to these pages are more obviously art inspired pages, with images of paint blobs, messy palettes, and coated paint brushes printed on the pages.

As a collager, scrapbooker, and visual journaler I prefer to use more simply patterned paper in my pages, but I know these image printed pages are perfect for my students. I can imagine them flipping to these pages, instantly inspired by the paint covered paper, cutting it up, and incorporating it into their next visual journal page.

In other words, the vibrance and variety of pages in this paper pack will appeal to a variety of people and tastes.

Next out of the box were the leaf and hydrangea stickers. I picked these patterns because a: I like trees and often use them in my visual journal pages and b: my bridesmaids carried blue hydrangeas in my wedding, and they automatically appealed to me.

I love the realistic quality the stickers have, and the bright colors I was sure were Hydrangea Sticker Detailonly enhanced via photo and web editing. I was very pleased to find they looked just as good in person as they did on my computer screen. I opened my first pack, and peeled off a green leaf sticker and was instantly pleased with this product.

Rather than having a very sticker like white edge around the image, ruining a perfectly pretty leaf, this sticker has a clear edge. This lovely change makes it look even more realistic, and allows you to layer the stickers without having an unattractive white edge distracting you from the overall look. I picture these stickers as your not run of the mill two year old forehead sticker or middle schooler locker stickers. These stickers are meant for more artistic uses, such as scrapbooking and visual journaling. I will be sure to post a picture of my first creation using these amazing products!

Overall I am very pleased with Paperhouse Productions. They have quality products and a very easy to navigate website. In order to enter this giveaway all you have to do is either tweet about this giveaway or share it on facebook and like Paperhouse Productions on facebook here. Comment on this post with a link to your tweet or facebook share. In one week, on Monday 9/9, I will randomly select the winners from the comments using the plugin, And the Winner Is… The first winner selected will receive the scrapbook paper pack and the hydrangea and leaf sticker packs. The next 6 winners will receive one strip of hydrangea and one strip of leaf stickers.

Thanks for visiting my blog and entering this weeks giveaway! Help me spread the word about my blog by liking, tweeting, and sharing with others! Thanks for stopping by!


Visual Journal Page 33: My Sweet Tooth


It is no secret I have a sweet tooth, and apparently this wasn’t missed by my students either.

I love anything 100% pure sugar, flavored, and dyed. I like skittles, starburst, the kind of candy that guarantees cavities and to pull out your old fillings. My sweet tooth is a thing I struggle with as an adult. I try to eat healthy, not take in too much sugar, and at this point in my life I feel I should be over these types of treats. To the very best of my ability I try to push these sweets out of my mind, and keep them out of my belly.

It is a constant struggle at the grocery store. The carefully placed displays and rows of candy in the check out aisle taunts small children, and full grown Mes. As my healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables are being scanned and placed in bags, my eyes scan the candy trays, looking for my vice.

Over the years I do feel my sweet tooth has slowly begun to subside. If I can stay off skittles for a couple of weeks, the cravings appear less and less. However, it is hard to not consume these tasty treats when they are waiting for you at every corner. I try to keep them out of my grocery list, car, and house, but at school they appear, as if from thin air, to tempt me.

At some point in the three years I spent at my last school my students picked up on my sweet tooth. It began towards the end of my first year when one student would periodically leave skittles on my desk (read about that story here). I suppose I threw such a fit over it, my other students decided they also wanted to be showered with thanks yous, and your are too sweets. Suddenly, every couple of weeks a new sweet would appear on my desk, just as my body finally began to cleanse itself from my last sugar binge, airheads, skittles, and gummies would appear out of nowhere.

In between my surprise treats I was continuously tempted with sugar as my students begged me to buy yet another pack of skittles from them to raise money for the band, soccer, or who knows what. My  guilt would make me consider just a second too long, and before the word no could be uttered my sweet tooth would stop it, and start my tummy grumbling, asking for just a few morsels of sugar.

Despite the fact that my students have made it difficult to overcome the sugar addiction I continue to battle, their little surprise would make my day. I felt like it was their coy way of saying thank you, at least that was how I justified always accepting their gifts. For those moments of appreciation I guess I am okay with people knowing I have a small sweet tooth.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scissors
  • Candy wrappers
  • Watercolor
  • White paper
  • Paint brush
  • Masking Tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Skinny sharpie


This page was very easy to make using two techniques I continuously use in my book: whole sheet patterns and wood grain. I love the look of cut out characters, as if they were cut from patterned paper with no shading, highlights, or three dimensionality. I love the look even more when it is paired with objects that look more realistic. After I saved a few gift candy wrappers I decided to incorporate them into a page, and play with the flat/realistic method.

I started by painting a large sheet of white paper with browns, yellows, whites, and oranges. I wanted a variety of color, but I wanted them to flow into each other to create an interesting texture. I loaded up my watercolors with water, to make them flow more easily, and got to painting. Once I was satisfied with the colors I allowed it to dry before I added the grain texture. I used a thin sharpie to draw the lines of the fake wood grain, being sure to stay loose, after all there are no straight lines in nature (except snowflakes). To read more tips about recreating wood grain visit my skittles page here.

Once I was satisfied with my wood grain I cut it smaller to cover 3/4 of my two pages. I carefully glued it down with rubber cement, and used a credit card to force the paper into the seam of the book. I then glued the wrappers with hot glue, rubber cement isn’t strong enough to glue down the plasticky wrappers, and added a piece of masking tape on top. I then added the repeating yummys and words around the wrappers with sharpie.


Create a page about your vice.

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Visual Journal Page 11: You Are My Everything

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how thankful I am to be with a husband as loving and caring as mine.

Growing up my Mom always told me I needed to marry a guy who worshiped the ground I walked on, and treated me like a princess.  Perhaps having that expectation in my head made me a bit picky as I hit my dating years. I would go out on one, maybe two dates with someone, before moving on. I always had the ability to pin point my suitors downfalls before we even hit date number three. Even as a teen I figured there was no point in wasting my time with someone if I didn’t feel it was going anywhere. My longest relationship before I meet Nick was maybe two months, which had been a big deal.

I first met Nick at a friend’s birthday party my sophomore year of college, 2005. I walked out on the back patio, and there he was, lounging in a chair. As soon as I laid eyes on him I thought to myself, “that boy is very cute, I’m going to hang out with him later tonight”. I stepped back inside, and began devising a plan to lure him inside. After striking a few ideas I came up the perfect plan, start a group game. I grabbed a deck of cards, stuck my head back out, and announced that a card game would be starting shortly, and any interested parties should make their way inside.

It worked like a charm. Nick made his way inside, sat on the sofa, and I made sure I snagged the spot right next to him. We spent the remainder of the night chatting, laughing, and getting to know each other. My roommates and I already had a party in the works for a weekend coming up, and I urged him to come by. Everything was going perfect, we spent the entire night together, and there was an event in the future I could use as an excuse to see him again. I knew that at the end of the night he would whip out his phone, and ask for my number. My instincts were right all night, but apparently I missed the mark when it came to the close of the party. He said goodbye, and walked away without getting a single digit.

I was a little put out, I spent a lot of energy winning him over all night (or so I thought) and he just walked away. I left the party thinking I would have to find a way to hang out with the party host again, just so I could run into Nick. Two weeks went by, I fell into my regular routine, classes, studying, writing papers, and hanging out with friends. Our first house party was approaching, we were already consumed with planning for it, and slowly but surely Nick began to fall off my radar.

That weekend Theresa and I decided to have a night out on the town, or at least the approximate 3 x 5 blocks that create Athens downtown. We made our way to the first stop of the night, a very stereotypical freshman hangout, Bourbon Street. Just as I thought Nick had fallen off the edge of the Earth in my brain, he hurtled right back in. As soon as I stepped foot in the bar, there was Nick. He was sitting in a booth with a large group, made up mostly of females, which was slightly intimidating. All of the reasoning I came up with to forget about him went down the drain. The “he really wasn’t that cute, or funny, or charming, or anything I am really looking for” justifications, were gone. He was that cute, funny, charming, and I really did want to hang out with him. As soon as he met my eyes, he waved us over. Before I even got to him, he had his phone out, ready to get my number.

He immediately made up for faltering at the party.

We parted ways soon after with promises to see each other at our house party, and another week of waiting ensued. My excitement grew as the big day approached, my belly did somersaults every time I imagined him walking through the door. The night came, I politely talked with everyone, made my rounds, but always kept one eye on the door. He never did make it through the door that night, but he did make it over the balcony and through the patio door to make an entrance. From the minute he arrived, I abandoned my hostess duties, and put all my attention on him. We spent the night hanging out, and the next weekend, and the next, until we quickly found ourselves seeing each other daily. We hit the ground running, and we kept running, until five years later he got down on one knee, and asked me to continue running with him, for the rest of our lives.

My longest relationship of two months was quickly overlapped by my now over seven years with Nick. After just a couple of months I knew he was going to be my husband. It felt right, comfortable, in my soul I knew that this is what I had been waiting for. I fulfilled my Mom’s hopes of marrying someone who treated me like a princess. Nick goes above and beyond to make me happy on a daily basis. He surprises me with gifts, makes me breakfast, takes me out on spontaneous dates, comes to school events (complain free), gives me massages while we watch TV, hides love letters around the house, and above all he loves me with all his heart and he makes sure that I know it. I have never doubted our relationship because he would never do anything to hurt me. I never wonder what he is doing when I’m not around, because I know how much he loves me. He makes me feel as if I am the center of his universe, and I believe it. Perhaps that makes me conceited, but I can only blame that on him. I know he is 100% mine, I know he will be mine forever, because he has put a lot of effort into convincing me of that. He is my everything, and my only hope is that I do as good of a job convincing him as he does for me.

Seven years later I want to go back to the night the nineteen-year-old me poked my head out the back door and first laid eyes on him. I want to tap myself on the should and whisper in my ear, that is your future husband.


  • Visual journal
  • Scissors
  • Laser printed image
  • Mod Podge
  • Colored pencils
  • Paint brush
  • Water


Before I made this page I knew exactly what I wanted to do for it. This image is one of our engagement pictures, and is one of my favorites. I had to include it in my journal. I knew I wanted to do some type of image transfer, because I love the way it creates a semi-transparent look so you can see the words in the book. I decided a Mod Podge transfer would be perfect, and I got to work. When I first did Mod Podge transfers I didn’t do them 100% correct. I would paint one layer on the image, place it face down on the page, and before it fully dried I would try to peel the back off. As you can see in this page, that didn’t always work. Areas would tear, spots wouldn’t stick, believe it or not this was the best transfer I did out of more than I care to remember I attempted.

To do a proper Mod Podge transfer you take a laser printed image (because there is a higher density of ink) paint one coat of Mod Podge on top, and let it dry. Once dry, you paint another coat, and let it dry. Once the second coat dries you paint a third, and while it is still wet place it face down on the page, and burnish it with something wide and flat, such as a spoon or scissor handles. To burnish all you do is rub the object on the back of the image in order to make sure every part of it is pressed firmly to the page. After the final coat dries, wet the back and using a sponge or your fingers rub the paper off. The end result should be the color ink from the image stuck to the paper, with no white paper on the back. It creates a semitransparent look, with words showing through the lighter areas. REMEMBER: Mod Podge transfers create a mirror image, words will be backwards unless you reverse them!

Once I had a successful Mod Podge transfer I decided I wanted to somehow break out of the rectangular shape the original photograph was in. In the end I decided to use color pencils and scribble around the image, carefully matching the colors to the best of my ability, to make it look like the picture was bleeding out onto the book page. To finish it off I used a two ripped pieces of book pages and a not so successful transfer to create a space to write my words along. I used sharpie to write the words.


Use an image in your journal, but find a creative way to break out of the typical rectangular photo shape. Rip it, cut it, create a transfer, color on it. Think outside of the box, literally.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you did, share the love by tweeting, liking, sharing, subscribing, or some other fun way. Feel free to comment and/or ask questions! Happy journaling!



Visual Journal Page 6: New Inspiration from Old Places

I was thrilled when I finished my first visual journal cover to cover, and I couldn’t wait to start my new book. When I first found my second book I was in love, as I flipped through the pages I could visualize all of the things I was going to create. But just four pages in, I hit my wall.

Inspiration block can come out of nowhere and prevent you from moving forward with your projects. I had ideas to get me started in my journal, but once I had a few pages complete I felt stuck. I didn’t know where to go from there. Whenever I picked up my book I found myself overwhelmed. Rather than visualizing future pages I became sucked into the emptiness of all of the blank pages in the book, and the amount of work required to fill them up.

There is nothing worse than feeling a sense of obligation when trying to create work for yourself. The purpose of a journal is not for it to be a chore, it is meant to be a place to vent, reminisce, and store memories. I knew when I hit this point it was time to take a break. With another school year starting, and all of the stress and busyness that comes with that, it was the perfect time to put my book away for awhile.

For a couple of weeks I didn’t make anything in my book; however even though my book was out of sight, it wasn’t out of mind. Anytime something happened I wrote it down on my to-be-created journal list; or anytime I stumbled on an image that struck me, I ripped it out and saved it. Slowly, as things began to slow down at school I decided it was time to revisit my journal.

I started by going down my list of things I wanted to make pages for, but still nothing inspired me. Next step was to explore my overflowing visual journal folder. I flipped through the pieces of paper, random pictures, and leftovers from past journal pages, everything I saved since I began my first journal. Suddenly, stuck in the back, I found the easel I traced around to create the cover of my first journal. It made me smile, and a page began to form in my mind.

When you are stuck and have no idea where to go looking forward can be difficult. In these situations, when the future is daunting, there is nothing better than to look to the past. Remind yourself what inspired you before, and use that to get you moving again. Find new inspiration in old places… (click here to see the book cover that inspired this page).


  • Visual journal
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement
  • Book pages
  • Watercolor
  • Sharpie


To create this visual journal page I started with the easel cut out I traced around to create the pattern on my first visual journal cover. I decided to use it as a basis for the page, and I took a square piece of paper, and traced around the easel to create the circular, snow flake shape once again. I played around with placement on the page, and decided to put the tracing on the left side page, and glue the easel cut out on the right side page. However, before I glued them down I thought about the background, and decided to rip up pages and glue them down to add texture.

I ripped up book pages from the book I was currently working in and used rubber cement to tack them down. As I got close to covering the entire right side page, I decided to do something different, leave a space, and then finish covering the page. Once everything was glued on the right I stepped back, and thought about the left page. I didn’t want to do the same thing to the left side, but I wanted them to tie together. I finally settled on placing ripped up book pages around the square with the easels, but leave the rest of the page blank.

I began placing the other pieces and quickly realized I needed color. Since I had a somewhat opposite look going with the way I glued down the book pages, I decided to take it a step further. I left the ripped up paper white on the left side, and painted the rest of the page with red, orange, and yellow watercolors. On the right side I painted the book pages with the same color watercolors, but left the right corner white. In order to contrast the white pages I then painted the background of the drawn easels and the actual easel cut out with watercolor, and then glued them down.

However, I still wasn’t happy. Suddenly the easel shapes were blending in and the book pages weren’t popping against the watercolor, so I went to my go-to-supply when nothing seems to be working, a sharpie. I decided to make some of the drawn easels break out of the square, and continue onto the page, and I finished by tracing every other easel. I then traced around the white book pages with sharpie to create enough contrast to make it pop and added my words on the right side corner. After one last look I decided to take a color sharpie and scribble the space between the white book pages and painted book pages to make it pop, and I mirrored the color on the left page by coloring in one of the easels.

Although this page is simple compared to many of my pages it was a challenge from start to finish. I couldn’t come up with an idea, I couldn’t decide how to layout the page, and nothing seemed to be working together. However, despite this, I kept going and in the end I am very satisfied with the outcome. Sometimes the uphill battle makes the end result even better.

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