Stephanie Ryan - Small Sweet Steps

Small Sweet Steps

July 24, 2014

Life ~ Art ~ Exploration

I am really trying to take time for myself this summer. I have been working non-stop for years and think I deserve it. Well, most of the time I feel like that, then there are those moments where I start thinking to myself “are you crazy!!! you have so much you should be doing!!!!!” I’m trying my best to shut that down, but it’s hard. As part of my summer of self-care I have been exploring some new art… I know what you are thinking, isn’t that work? My answer is yes, and no. It is art that I have had in my head for a while now and it always gets put in the background because I need to focus on my watercolors for my business. It feels good to work on it, even though the process of birthing something new is quite painful. I don’t feel like I have found exactly what has been gently nudging me but the creative process of allowing this new expression emerge has been a source of growth for me that is much needed right now.

I have also been spending time on my health. Living on my own has been a freeing experience for me and I find it much easier to take care of myself and make better decisions. There is this new energy within me that is fueling everything I do these days and I find myself wanting to make better choices and really care for myself in so many different ways. It’s pretty amazing. I have been walking and eating better and it is starting to show, this I am so grateful for. I don’t want to talk about it too much, just soft smiles on my face when I get on the scale and hope in my heart that it will continue and that my body will get as light as my spirit feels these days.

Here are some photos of my art exploration. It is mixed media, something I haven’t really played with. I don’t like messy and to be good at mixed media you really need to learn to let go. So, letting go has been a mantra going through my head these past few weeks. Let it go, be free, get messy, fly, fly, fly!

First, a new entry in my art journal about letting go.

Next, just playing. I naturally went to my florals. It was an easy place for me to start.

My new challenge is to NOT paint flowers! That is realllllly hard for me. But, a great exercise.

Fear not my watercolor fans! They flow from me so naturally, I will never stop painting them! They are a part of me. I am just searching these days. For what? I have no idea!!!!

I had a little visitor stay with me for a couple of days. Sweet little Winston was a joy to have as a guest but, no! I am not ready for another doggie any time soon. It’s just me, myself and I these days and I am cool with that!

Have a great weekend!

I am adding this note to my post… I must really be taking it easy because I just realized that I already shared some of my mixed media pieces in my last post! hmmmm… lol!!!!! Taking it easy or losing my mind, I can’t decide which!!!!

Ginger Deverell of Red Pear Creative reached out to me and asked if I would join her for a blog hop. Ginger is a subscriber of my Small Sweet Steps and a supporter of my journey,  I was thrilled and honored that she thought of me for this blog hop!

I was provided questions to share with you! Here we go.

What are you working/writing on?

I just completed several new collections for my licensing business and have a little bit of time for myself right now. I am trying to take advantage of this free space to look inward and really think about my life, my art and where I want them to take me. With my life being in transition these days, there really isn’t anything I can do, but sit tight and see where things land. This makes it the perfect time for me to experiment with my art. I have decided to spread my wings a bit and try some new things. Last week I played with mixed media and loved it! I am also working on an art journal for the first time. My main focus with the journal is to let my writing drive the art. Usually, I paint first then add words. I want this experience to be more about words and emotions creating the art on the pages. I am also spending time writing my Small Sweet Steps and have an idea for a book that I would love to start creating over the remainder of the summer.

New collections Stephanie Ryan

Some of my new collections.

   Stephanie Ryan

 Stephanie Ryan

New mixed media art

Stephanie Ryan

My first art journal entry

How does my work/writing differ from others work in my genre?

My watercolors come from a magical place within me. They appear on the page without any forethought. I never have a plan, they just flow from an intuitive well that always seems to be full. I feel very connected when I am painting. My writing doesn’t flow quite as easy. It comes from a deeper place –a place of stillness, compassion and empathy. When you combine my art and words they fill you with a sense of happiness and comfort at the same time.

Stephanie Ryan

Why do I write/create what I do?

Honestly, I have absolutely no choice in the matter. I have been on a lifetime search to create and share the art that is in my heart. It is my mission to inspire others through my soul-fueled art and writing. To lift people up and show them that their dreams are possible even when the road ahead is full of challenges. To show by example that we can rise above our challenges and touch the glistening stars that are lighting our way. Life is full of magic, we just need to open ourselves up to see it and believe that we can create our own place in paradise. That is why I do what I do.

Stephanie RyanHow does my writing/creative process work?

Hmmmmm!? I am in my head a lot! Thinking and imagining and thinking some more. I am always trying to grasp onto this vague whisper of an idea floating around in my head that I can never seem to grab. That is usually when I let go of my need to control things and grab my brushes. When I start painting all of that mind chatter goes away and things pour out. When I paint my flowers, I don’t draw anything first. The shapes are created by the brush strokes. I find that when I try to draw the flowers first, they always look too stiff. After I am done painting, I scan my art and continue to create in the computer. Sometimes the art remains the same and other times I like to add textures, colored backgrounds, other elements and words to the final piece. After my main piece of art is created I like to build a collection around it for licensing purposes. I will try to create supporting art and patterns that round out the idea and look sweet together. Once I have the collection completed, I then send it off to my agent. I have been pretty blessed these last two years. Here is a sampling of my art on products.



Example of a collection.

Now, onto the fun stuff! As part of the blog hop, I was asked to share with you women that inspire me.  I am so honored to call these ladies my friends and love how their creativity flows from them in such beautiful and different ways.

Ginger Deverell was so sweet to ask me to participate in this blog hop and feature my work. Check out her blog hop post here.

Ginger Deverell

Ginger Deverell

Ginger is a mixed-media artist and designer who paints for beauty and healing. She feels there is such power in beauty, in growing, in being and knowing yourself. Creating is her way of processing her experience in this world, a journey of self-discovery. She expresses this in her art with the hope that others will use it as a mirror to see and celebrate their own beauty and truths. Ginger is also the talented creator of Red Pear Creative, a boutique art and design company producing exquisitely simple designs coupled with eclectic and colourful art.

 Ginger Deverell

Ginger Deverell

Ginger Deverell

Ginger Deverell

I love Ginger’s inspirational art. Her use of color calls to me and her emotion driven art and simple meaningful words make me so happy.

To find out more about Ginger’s creative journey and art, visit her blog, her website, her Etsy shop or connect with her on her Facebook page!


Heather April ArtHeather Davulcu

Heather’s art is about bringing out the sweet, whimsical nature of life, whether it be through illustrations for products (such as embroidery, textiles, wrapping paper, packaging, stationery, and greeting cards) or for custom, book, and editorial illustrations .  Each project takes on a  deep, personal meaning for Heather and her clients – bringing it to life is a labor of love that Heather embraces.

Heather April Art


Heather April Art

Heather April Art

Heather April Art

One of Heather’s new licensing collections with Pink Light Studio!

Heather April Art

Heather also has a successful line of embroidery patterns. This one was featured in Molly Makes!

Heather April Art

April Heather Art

Daily Drawings on Instagram

Heather’s work has been featured in Mollie Makes Magazine twice as well as other publications, she has a thriving Etsy Shop and has been featured on Smart Creative Women with Monica Lee. She is quite prolific and loves to share her daily drawings on her very popular Instagram feed. She has over 4k followers! Wow! This has been a very exciting year for Heather, she recently signed with a top agent and is now licensing her work. Get ready to be seeing a lot of her beautiful creations!

Heather’s Website  Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest,


Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velásquez, a Brooklyn original, who now enjoys the creative life in the wooded hills of New England with her husband and two sons.

Her inspiration comes from walks on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, the streets of Paris and New York, the simple beauty of nature found her back garden, and the primitive innocence of her sons scribbles.  She is an artist-designer and blogger who creates paintings, prints, ceramics, cards, textiles and mobiles.

She loves the mix of design, words, art and craft. Deborah’s work is modern, sophisticated, graphic and bold with a unique color sense and it reflects her love for the simplicity of line.

She works in both digital and traditional methods. Her traditional work shows her love of gouache, watercolor and printmaking.

She has said “When I am making art, I know this is what I should be doing. I want my work to be,”Where Art and Beauty Meet Lifestyle”©

Deborah Velazquez


Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velazquez

Deborah Velazquez


Deborah is on fire these days winning 7 competitions on Minted (thats a big deal!)and Carpetvista. Deborah is also licensing her prints with great success and exhibiting her work in galleries.  Her work is so full of life and bold it breathes life into me every time I see it.

Deborah’s Blog,


Moyo Directory

Deborah and Heather will be posting for the blog hop next Saturday the 19th! Be sure to follow the blog hop and see who inspires them.






July 6, 2014

Art Journal?

I bought this watercolor journal in an effort to play with mixing art and words more. I usually add words to my art afterwards on the computer because I am afraid of messing up my painting. I am hoping this will loosen me up a bit. As far as art journals are concerned, mine will be pretty tame. I have trouble getting messy! I will try to push myself with some mixed media, but can’t make too many promises…lol. I know that beauty is found in the messiness… I still struggle with letting go! Well, it’s a start, right!?

July 2, 2014

It’s all Good

Yes, it’s all good! This is my new motto and I really believe that it is true and I also believe it is a positive thing to put out into the universe for manifesting. I used to say (okay still slip every once and while) that life is hard. I am trying to break that habit and replace it with this. Truth is, that even the hard things are good, they are our lessons to learn in life so that we can advance our souls and grow. We have a choice in life to get lost in negativity and despair or look to the light and try our best to find the good in the bad. I know that when you are neck deep in the hard stuff it is difficult to look for that light, but it is there waiting for you to find it and make the best of it. Even when my life was so hard I didn’t want to get out of bed and face it all, I kept believing that everything was going to work out and was very aware of the fact that things were unfolding in my life the way they were for a reason. I kept pushing myself to find the good in my situation and grow from it. I don’t think I would be here writing to you in this way if it weren’t for my life/health challenges. Nope, I was a different person then and would not have traveled down this road with the compassion and empathy that now lives in my heart because of my struggles. When I say it’s all good, it isn’t coming from a super perky, cheery, always positive (let’s face it, kinda annoying) person. It’s coming from someone that has been there and gets it and still strives to keep her head up when forces are trying to weigh it down. Yes, my friends. it’s all good!

June 30, 2014

Playing with Fabric

I joined a local quilting group at my LQS, Sew Smart Fabrics in Doylestown, PA and it has been really good for me. We meet once a month to share our projects and it is always a delight to hang with the ladies and see their beautiful creations, plus it gets me sewing! I still consider myself a newbie to sewing and quilting and am teaching myself as I go. I am not the super polished fabric designer like so many of my peers. I’m just a girl playing with fabric and other fun things like embroidery and having fun while I experiment. I am also learning a lot about myself as a fabric crafter like, I love mixing textures, and love neutral tones with pops of color and mixing in ribbons and stitches whenever I can. I do have a bit of a dream in my head about where I would love to take my projects and I started working on that this week. It’s not exactly what I had in mind but, I needed to see if I could do it first and so, I created this bird and flower panel. My vision is to translate my art into fabric projects and tell a story while I am doing it with inspirational messaging. I need to work on my stitching skills a bit, my “Life is Sweet” is a bit hard to read. My friend suggested that I reduce the amount of thread so it isn’t so chunky. Agreed! For the piecing in the flower and bird, I did some improvisational sewing which was fun for me and not so precise. I really struggle with making blocks, it takes me all day to sew just one so, I am kind of rebelling against it. I am a perfectionist and I am trying to let go of my need to control things so much, improv sewing is perfect for that! No plan, just creating! One of the things I love about our “Bring Chocolate” sewing group besides the chocolate that is at every meeting is Sew Smart’s owner,  Kathleen’s pin that she wears. It says “No Quilting Bullies”. I love that. My work is not perfect and I’m okay with that. I actually am trying to push myself away from the perfection. It is quite liberating!

Fabric from my Fleurologie and Modern Roses Collections.

It’s time to share some inspiration from Pinterest! These pins can be found on my Pinterest Quilt & Sew Board. I am loving these feather quilts blocks! I especially like the neutral grounds they are on, they are calming and the perfect backdrop for the pops of color in the feathers.

Quilts by Emily Elephant Stitches

Gertrude Made






Sweet friend, thank you so much for spending time with me.


All personal designs, images and written words are copyrighted © 2009-2014 Stephanie Ryan.
All rights reserved unless otherwise credited. Please do not copy my original art or written words
without my permission. If you are a fellow blogger please note its origins on your post. Thank You.