Weird little abstract Texas desert sunset painting. Acrylic on wood panel. 9x12”
I went to a free drawing class at the Portland Art Museum a few weeks ago and just got to sit and draw for two hours. It was basically heaven. We got five colored pencils and this piece of paper and were instructed to go forth into the museum, pick a piece, draw it, and then reconvene to discuss. It was so cool to see what everyone else chose- pieces I’d never stop to look at, sculptural pieces, really abstract paintings- as a reminder that we are all inspired by different subjects and colors and feelings. It was just as fascinating to see how the other participants hide to visually interpret and represent what they saw. • I sat down in front of Karl Hofer’s painting “Frühe Stunde (Early Hour)” because I liked the dog.
It’s fall so I’m forcing Halloween stuff into formal wedding invitations. Normal. Here’s the second cutest bat in the world (the first cutest is a tie between every bat eating a banana on YouTube). • I’m finally getting comfortable drawing with colored pencils and I just bought an electric sharpener so... prepare yourself for many videos of the most satisfying thing a person can do: perfectly sharpen pencilssss!!!!
*quietly cancels plans to retreat into binging on both pizza and Castle Rock all weekend* 59 days til midterm elections...
3 years today ||| We haven’t been partners “in crime” or “adventure” this year— more like partners in quiet domesticity. In working diligently to build a home and a family, with all of the minute frustrations and joys and little blessings that come with that. In the pain and connection that comes from, oh, I don’t know, getting hit by a car together. From curling up in a hospital bed to watch a show together. We spend weekends in the yard or the hardware store or at the chiropractor, evenings on the couch, mornings at the dog park. We spend the weekdays orbiting one another while we both work-from-home and crossing paths in the kitchen to share lunches, stolen spoons of midday ice cream. We snuggle on the dog more than each other most days and ask “did you close the garage door?” like some kind of marriage mantra. Our third year of wedded bliss has not been... boring? Or slow? Or predictable? But it hasn’t been glamorous or easy. That’s ok. It’s been real, and that’s what we signed up for. We celebrated committing to a life of that realness on 9.5.15 and continue to try to celebrate it daily. Thanks for rooting us on and being part of our team, guys. Love you forever @mastrella7! #astrellabration
Sometimes you gotta make sure you’ve still got it. I’m a little shaky -but like to revisit the basics before diving into a new lettering project.
Happy 2nd birthday Ella Bella Mozzarella!! You’re welcome for being suckers and letting you take over our bed/ice cream/lives. I honestly don’t know whose angelic soul slipped into your soft little body but we’re grateful for it, and your morning smooches, every day! #mozzarellaastrella
I don’t unpack right away after a vacation and I don’t clean up fully after a party. I think I prefer to prolong the magic ✨ (read also: I am lazy). I celebrated the completion of 32 sun rotations this weekend and have a lot of messy feelings about it so I threw myself a party - a move I highly recommend (same goes for baking your own cake because if I’ve learned anything in my 32 years it’s that you have to tell the universe what you want and then do everything in your power to make it happen- and if a strawberry sprinkle cake is What You Want then go forth and bake it, babe).
These are the contents of an envelope that our darling five year old neighbor ding-dong-ditched on our front porch yesterday: A letter to the dog, a treat for her, a sprig of lavender. 😩💜 It’s bleak out there, folks - but pure goodness exists and finds a way. • It’s been over a year since we moved to Portland and we were recently lamenting our inability to have made new friends in the neighborhood. Then over the weekend, we befriended two awesome couples - we realized we just hadn’t been very open or intentional about it up til now, and these connections are out there just waiting to be made if we’re ready for them. Sometimes it takes a kid and a dog but usually, just an open heart.
All of my design timelines collapsed on themselves this summer. Additional revision rounds, monkey wrenches, car accidents, travel, last minute clients and poor time management on my part has conspired so that I’ve been working on six wedding invitation orders concurrently. It’s been challenging but I’m still learning, after doing this for 4 1/2 years. • This picture represents what it looks like when I can earn a client’s trust. A blind deboss (an impression made into paper without any ink) is a hard thing to sell via email but I was just so sure it was going to be the perfect detail. I’m almost as thrilled with the result as I am with the fact that this client said, “whatever you think is best” and meant it. • Trying to celebrate the little things, all the time in all ways, and what littler thing to celebrate than a perfect little hand-drawn cacti pressed into cotton paper, in a patch of August sunshine?