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!


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