Artist Feature: Melissa of Sweet Water Decor

Apr 16, 2015

Spring is finally blooming here and I am so excited! There's buds on the trees, flowers are starting to bloom & the cold days of winter seem to finally be over. Today's artist feature is full of florals & whimsical design - a perfect compliment to this time of year :)

Melissa reached out to me about her shop, Sweet Water Decor, and I knew it was a perfect fit the moment I opened her shop. It is full of my favourite fonts, happy prints & cheeky mugs. She was even sweet enough to offer a discount that you can find at the bottom of the post, so read on!


What inspired you to open your shop?
I got engaged in September and was going through all of my stuff and actually decided to open my shop to sell my acrylic paintings. From there I started adding art prints, save the dates, wedding invitations, mugs + stamps! Searching for my own save-the-dates on Etsy, I started looking around and thought, I could definitely design these myself! I took photoshop classes in high school and have a natural talent for art. When I was younger I wanted to be a designer. I combined that with my merchandising background - being a buyer for a major retailer, and voila! My shop was born. I imagine brides like me shopping at my shop. The girls that love a little bit of glamour mixed with shabby chic with a modern twist. I love getting inspiration and use my fashion background to come up with some of my ideas for the shop. I just opened my second Etsy stop - Stamps Lux - where I sell stamps exclusively.

Mr & Mrs Mugs
What is the process of creation like?
I first get inspiration, either while walking in my beautiful small town, Starbucks coffee in hand... to washing dishes...ideas come to me. I even have these little notebooks that I carry with me or are by my bedside that I jot design ideas as I get them before I go to bed. From my idea I create it in photoshop and bring it to live. I love it when I see my own designs on paper or on my mugs instead of just in a picture. We print all of our mugs, and it's so exciting to see a final product!

Ashleigh Suite - Printable Wedding Invitations
Your work features some gorgeous typefaces, do you have any favourites currently?
I use a lot of Carolyna Pro - it's perfect for weddings! But I've fallen in love with Jacques & Gilles and even used them for my own invitations! Emily Lime creates such beautiful fonts - I'm pretty sure she's my best friend I never met.

Strong Beautiful Brave Mug
also available as a print!
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints or other products?
My strong, brave, beautiful, courageous mug and print is one of my absolute favorites. It came to me while washing dishes honestly! I pictured in my mind the woman my mom raised me to be - strong, brave, beautiful & courageous. I added an arrow as well to top it off! Each word has a different font, really bringing out what I hope to inspire other women to be. It was so great to hear from one of my customers, she bought this mug for herself and one for her friend. She wanted to thank me as she was going through fertility treatments and her friend was going through cancer. I hope to touch all of my customers and it really makes me know that God has put me where he wants me - designing & making beautiful works to share with & inspire others.

Hello Sunshine Print
What is your favourite item in your store?
I have so many, but if I had to pick...
My favorite mug is our Mr. & Mrs. mugs. My favorite print is my Hello Sunshine print.

Be Still & Know Print
********

Melissa was sweet enough to offer you all 20% off her mugs with the code 'MUG20'. She has some seriously cute mugs - I was tempted by more than a few haha

You can find Sweet Water Decor on Facebook & Instagram.

xo

Weekend Reading

Mar 20, 2015


From Instagram this week...
It's officially the first day of spring!!! Oh to know that winter is coming to an end; it happens every year I know, but every year feels new when you've been buried by snow for far too long. I can't wait to see little buds on the trees, smell fresh cut grass, plant my herb garden & delight in those long summer days. Until then, some reading to keep us distracted while the snow melts :)



"What if we saw attention in the same way that we saw air or water, as a valuable resource that we hold in common? Perhaps, if we could envision an “attentional commons,” then we could figure out how to protect it." - The Cost of Paying Attention

"But where is the line between just the right amount of beauty and inspiration and what we deem as too much or too showy? ... what is “too” much? And who decides what’s “normal”? Here’s what I think: There is no normal and there is no perfect." - Negativity Online

"In art, this is very important. Art is where associations are made. Art is where we form the narratives of our identity." - Lighten Up

"After working through my utter shame over being a totally judgmental zit up in my head, I ran headlong into relationship with them and kept coming back, week after week." - What to Do When Women Seem Scary

"Because no one is providing me with a list of priorities, a number of hours, or a pay rate, I have to embark on that road of trial and error." - Resources for Freelancers

"...time is power. As trite as it sounds, but the way we live our days, what we do at 10 am, at 3 pm, how the evening flows, like habits, it really is the way we live our lives." - The Way We Live Our Days



xo

Nailed It: Lucky Clover

Mar 17, 2015


I shared a little sneak peek of these on Instagram last week, and while my clovers looked a little more floral, I still loved the colour combo of these festive nails :)

I used Julep Briana & Kam, Sally Hansen Green with Envy, & Essie Rock at the Top. I also used the Julep Plie Wand & dotting tool to help with the dots!


For the clovers, I created 4 sets of 2 dots around an imaginary 'square' shape on my nails, and then put a little more polish in the middle of the dots to join them together. Hopefully the photo below will help illustrate a bit better!


And my not so clover-like clovers ;) haha

Hope you had a lucky day!

xo

Buying & Curating Art

Mar 12, 2015

A few weeks ago, I posted the 'story' of my gallery wall. This wall has grown quite a bit since it started, and my philosophy is to always buy art that I love. If something doesn't 'speak' to me, it doesn't make the cut - otherwise I'd have enough art to fill this wall 10 times over ;)

I also love supporting creatives & small businesses, so that's where pretty much all of my art has come from. These shops are full of SO much talent - too much talent to keep hidden - so I'm sharing where all my art has come from over the years. Some pieces are no longer available, but maybe you'll find something you love even more!

hover over the photo to see the corresponding numbers
1. '31 Rue Chanel' - Leigh Viner
2. my own photo
Keys - Michael's
3. 'Be Brave' - Charm & Gumption
4. 'Dans Mon Reve de Paris' - Eye Poetry Photography
5. my own photo
6. 'The Royal Mile' - artquirk
7. 'Twilight Blue' - Leigh Viner
8. 'Weeping Cherry' - Sunny Lee Studio
10. my own painting
11. my own painting
12. 'Silence & Noise' - Leigh Viner
13. 'Paolo Roversi Series 1' - Leigh Viner
14. 'Rivoli' - Leigh Viner
15. 'I left my heart in Paris' - Eye Poetry Photography
Metal 'B' - Anthropologie
16. photo from an old calendar
17. my own photo
Mirror - vintage
18. my own painting
19. letter from a friend
20. 'Three Keys' - Renee Ann
21. 'It's All Messy' - Top Knot Weddings
22. 'God is Good' - SS Print Shop
23. my own photo
24. 'Paris Street Shop 1' - Minted

Most of these stores have really reasonable prices, but if you just don't have much to invest in art yet, I would suggest looking for a bulk discount (like BOGO) or waiting for a sale. Most shops will also offer some sort of first time purchase discount or a code when you sign up for their newsletter.

If you've never purchased on Etsy before, use this link to get $5 off your first purchase. I love & recommend all the shops listed above, but if you're in need of more inspiration: Pinegate Road, ohmydeer, The Paris Print Shop, Emily McDowell, & all the shops I've interviewed are great places to start your art search.

Minted is currently running a spring promo for 15% off sitewide (including all their artwork!) until the 16th. If you need some ideas: there's a few other Paris street scenes that are so sweet; I have this guy hanging on my other wall (see him here); waiting to find a frame for this one and this one too. And I always love a good floral! This watercolour one, this painted one, and this one of lily of the valley are all on my favourites list.

What are your favourite places to buy art? I'm always on the lookout for gorgeous new pieces to add :)

xo
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