Hello! My name is Ariel Shay. I'm a 20 year old painter, drawer, model, fashion designer, craft master, & all around artistic visionary. I went to school for business & art with so I could fulfill my dream of opening up my own boutique, Toast & the Teaspoon Factory! I'll be selling all sorts of lovely clothes (vintage & designed by myself), art (also some by me), music, home decor, & music. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to start a blog in the mean time to share my experiences through my process of opening up my shop, share my art & fashion tastes, share my favorite crafts, & all the other wonderful things in my world that I would love for you all to see! 
   My life constantly has something amazing & exciting happening. Everyday is a new fun & exciting adventure. I figured since I can't have my own reality show to share with everyone, why not a blog! Haha.
   For a bit of background on myself, I grew up in Mission Viejo, California. It's an absolutely beautiful city close to the beach. From my early years in elementary school I always enjoyed art & clothes. I probably had more dress up clothes than any other girl around me & would constantly be putting together outfits & would put on little fashion shows with my friends. In school I always had a hard time focusing. Class for me was more about having free doodle time than it was to actually learn. I could never take the pencil off the paper, I always had to be drawing & creating.
   I was very fortunate that my mum would take me out shopping once every week or so & let me pick out a couple things I liked (she also taught me how to shop for good deals! Haha). As a teenager I had just about a million articles of clothing & accessories galore. I was always experimenting different looks. I guess you could say my clothing style always portrayed my artsy fartsyness. Picking out an interesting outfit was like an art in itself to me.

   When I was 7th grade I took my first actual art class. It was just a basic class for drawing, but just learning those few basic tools & techniques got my mind racing & I would spend hours a day at home drawing. When I was in my sophomore year of high school I took my first painting class. Prior to this class I had never painted before. My painting class changed my life, I completely fell in love with it. Now I can't put down the paint brush! 
   My experiences with sewing started when my grandmother passed away. She was an amazing seamstress & owned her own fabric store. When she passed away she left me all of her fabrics, sewing machine, sewing table, cutting board, & everything in between that anyone would need to make clothes. I had no idea how to sew, so one day I picked out one of my favorite vests & looked how it was stitched, cut out some fabric that was similar to the shape of my vest, & figured it out bit by bit. The next thing I knew I had an awesome vest that I had made! & I still wear it today! I took that as a sign that I needed to start making designing clothes.
The first dress I ever made back in 2008
   I guess what I'm trying to get at here is that literally my entire life, since the day I learned how to use a crayon, has revolved around art. My father always told me that you wont ever have to work a day in your life in you choose a career that you love. I believe that completely  & that's exactly what I'm doing.
   A little bit of a side note, I've been battling drug addicted & bulimia since I was 11. I went into rehab for the first time when I was 16 for mainly meth & heroin. It changed my life getting sober, & on top of it changing my life I got the chance to help other people change theirs. February 14th, 2011 I got 4 years sober. One week after that I relapsed on heroin. Once again is took everything for me & I was living out of my car, lost my job, had overdosed multiple times, & was facing time in jail. I decided to go into rehab on April 22nd, 2011 & I am very proud to say that I've been sober ever since. I've gained back everything I lost & more. Being able to see the ugly side of life to the deepest extent has made me appreciate every little thing in life so much more. It's a blessing to have what I have today.

   My blog is here to hopefully share my love of all things art & help inspire you as well. Enjoy!

xo. Ariel Shay