Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mixed Media Couple's Drawing - Wedding Shower Gift

If you've been following me on instagram, you probably have seen that recently I took part in hosting a wedding shower.  Well...sort of a wedding shower.  It was really more like a mixture between a wedding shower and an engagement party...we placed less emphasis on the gifts (since in Chinese culture wedding showers aren't common) and more emphasis on the party.

We became roommates by chance - we both were in the right place, at the right time, and had the same needs.  Someone to split rent with.  While our initial purposes for living together were purely out of circumstance, I really have a hard time thinking that our situations couldn't have been lined up more perfectly.  It was her first semester to live in the United States.  I'd been learning Chinese for one semester, and planned to study abroad in China in a year.  Our roommate situation quickly moved from sharing about one another's culture and offering linguistic advice, to becoming great friends.

After our first year of living together, I studied in China for one semester and moved back in with her upon my return. One semester later, her boyfriend (who she was dating long distance for the first two years I knew her) applied and was accepted to study at OU with us.  Before we knew it, the four of us were hanging out and talking at the apartment all the time!  Her guy had visited before, but now he was here to stay.  Although we've really only been around Wei just a year and a half now, it feels like we've known him a lifetime.  We heard him over the phone with Sherry for two years, saw him on Skype, and got to meet him when he came to visit her the first year we roomed together.

Wei looks really excited about throwing Tyler in the pond at our wedding!

Just like Sherry and I became such good friends after being roommates, Wei and Tyler became good friends quickly as well.  At OU, we have an organization called "OU Cousins" that pairs an international and American student up for the year to be buddies...or "cousins".  The goal of the organization is to help the international community become more connected with the local students, and to help American students get to know other cultures.  All four of us went to sign up for an OU Cousin, and had decided ahead of time that we wouldn't choose each other.  None of us could attend the pairing event, which would mean we had to wait for the organization to pair us with whoever was left at random.  A few weeks later, I came home to my apartment and Wei was there saying he had gotten an email saying his OU cousin was "Tyler Smith."  I remember saying, "Well, Tyler Smith is a common name.  It's probably someone else."  But sure enough, even though extreme odds, they had been paired together!  About a year later, Sherry and Wei were right there with us on our wedding day!

Needless to say, we love this couple, and consider them family!  They got engaged this year, and are planning to get married really soon!  We wanted to have an event for all their friends here in America to attend, which you'll see move of in the upcoming weeks.  So this project really started as a shower decoration, but as my projects tend to do, it turned into something more.


My inspiration to do this drawing was a mixture of things.  I wanted to make them something personal that embodied who they are, as well as something kind of surreal, with a design twist in it.  I found the above picture on Pinterest, and decided it was the perfect starting point.  I loved the designs that made up the different flowers, and the use of colors.  The scroll shape frames the focal point well...and in the original almost gives an yin yang feel.

The rest of my inspiration came from my head.  I have a distinct memory from the morning before our wedding.  My wedding party had stayed the night in the lodge and the morning of the wedding we woke up and we were about to leave for breakfast.  I walked outside and saw the two of them sitting on the dock - Wei was fishing and Sherry was just sitting beside him.  Most of the time they are playfully nit-picking at each other, so seeing them cuddle and be sweet to each other is a rare opportunity!

I also wanted to incorporate a few aspects of Chinese culture.  I have them sitting on an intricately carved bridge, and lanterns that together make six.

I wasn't liking my root I watercolored over them.   

A paisley moon... 

I used more of the same design than I really meant to from the original artist.  I'm kind of new to this type of art, and I just really loved their design for this tree.  Since the picture is solely for personal use, I don't think it is a problem.

I really had a lot of fun working on this piece.  This style of art is completely new to me, but it was really really fun.  I hope they liked it!  I'll post more pictures of their actual celebration party soon, keep your eyes open!


  1. that is so so pretty! you are super talented! :)

  2. Beautiful!! You are so talented!! I think personalized gifts like that are the most special!

    1. Thanks Rachel! I always love personalized things people have made for me. They are so special!

  3. <3 That picture is absolutely beautiful! You are so talented! I loved reading about your friendship with this precious couple

  4. What a beautiful gift & such a special friendship. Thank you for sharing your story & art with us all :) Visiting from Time Travel Thurs. this morning :)


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