Cleopatra Capriccio

Did you ever want to go back in time?

Well, we can with Art Gowns and imagination. I choose the 1920’s! What a decade of influences to inspire an Art Gown! King Tut’s Tomb was discovered. Art Deco was the movement. Chanel and Vionnet eschewed the corset, flattening the chest and dropping the waistline.

In 1920 women’s right to vote was ratified in the U.S.A. – Cafe Society lead to the Jazz  Age, and the Fitzgeralds were all the rage. Flappers were making their mark, and Zelda Fitzgerald was the most famous flapper of them all.

Cleopatra Capriccio is dedicated to Elizabeth Gracen, a 21st century Flapper. Twenty some years ago, she was the star, and I was her designer. We have remained good friends, since.

As a matter of fact, she gave me the Mini-Me I dress up to go with the Art Gowns.

It began with the gift of a sequin fabric, a leftover from a TV series.

I paired the sequin fabric with a table runner I’d hung onto since my teen years, and yardage of: a soft grey, heavy weight, acetate satin curtain lining, purchased at a liquidation sale for $0.75/yd (120 ” wide).

The dark blue Dupioni silk table runner is embroidered with actual silver metal thread. It was already a vintage piece back when I was gifted it. I cut the diamond shapes and zig-zag bordeur out of the runner.

 Finally, some dark royal blue silk that had been stored for 25 years in musty storage, also gifted, rounded out the fabrics. I harvested sequins off of the scraps, and sewed them onto the silk.

OUTTAKES

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I pinned CleopatraCapriccio up, but she still wasn’t as short as a Flapper dress. Still, the sequins did a fun bit.

Elizabeth Gracen
Elizabeth Gracen arrived in NYC from a small town in Arkansas a year after traveling the world as Miss America 1982. She used her scholarship prize money to study acting at HB Studios and photography at the New School. She later moved to Los Angeles where she has worked as an actress for over twenty years, most notably as ‘Amanda’ on the long-running HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES and HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN.

In 2012, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER FILMS, a production company devoted to developing inspiring, informational content for multi-generational men and women. Her films have met with great success on the international film festival circuit and on streaming media platforms.

In 2016, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER PRESS and published her first YA novel, Shalilly.

Visit Flapper Press

Cleopatra Capriccio designed by and © Resa McConaghy – 2020

Photos © Resa McConaghy – August, 2020

Jazz Age Cover of VOGUE Magazine – July, 1926

Artist: Benito

Dateline: Chicklets’ & Art Gowns’ Host Gala Fundraiser

Art Gowns and Chicklets pooled their talents for a fundraiser, and show of support  for all victims of rape, sexual abuse and crimes of violence.

Headlining the evening at Toronto’s Uptown nightclub, Coopa Cabana, was internationally renown Torch Singer, Rene Rosso.

In a stunning Art Gown designed by Couturier Chicklet, Milly, Ms. Rosso opened with her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last”.

The Chicklet of Ceremonies, Pearl, introduced the entertainers, and speakers.

Key speaker, Georgiann, gave a mind blowing talk. It was filled with statistics and real life accounts. One statistic  from RAINN says, “Every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted; and every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.”

Marina Kanavaki and Chicklet Poppy performed a Ballet Nouveau, to the happy ending of La Fille mal gardée. It is a tale of a girl who is being forced to marry someone she does not love. In the end she weds her love.

 Rebecca Budd, Creative Director, worked closely with Marina and Poppy to choreograph this classic ballet fused with modern jazz movements.

Prominent philanthropists, Sophia, Queen of the Coop, and

Queen Isabella were noted luminaries in the audience.

La Esencia de Titania literally  flew  in with her Fairy Apprentice,  Daisy.

Daisy and Titania had been enjoying the flowers, poetry & Friendly Fairy Tales in Brenda’s garden when Brenda told them about the fundraiser.

In closing the event, Chicklet Diana joined Ms. Rosso in a duet.

They chose “The Very Thought of You”.  It’s their way of saying to all victims that they are loved.

All performers, speakers and behind the sceners donated their time and talents for the evening’s endeavours.

Rene Rosso character © Resa McConaghy (w/Holly Rene Hunter) 2019

Chicklets © Georgiann Carlson

The Art Gowns are very glamorous. The Chicklets are cute as buttons. However, there is nothing  cute or glamorous about sexual abuse, rape and other crimes of violence. There are many ways to help. Find out how by:

CLICKING ON THE LOGOS BELOW TO VISIT  SUPPORT AND HOTLINE SITES

RAINN is the nations largest anti-sexual violence organization

Mariska Hargitay, Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims’ Unit, started JOYFUL  HEART,  in response to the thousands of letters & emails from survivors disclosing their stories of abuse.

CHATELAINE , a Canadian Magazine has a page listing Canadian Help Sites

Georgiann Carlson – Rethinking Life

Holly – House of Heart

Marina Kanavaki – Art Towards a Happy Day

Brenda Davis Harsham – Friendly Fairy Tales

Rebecca Budd – Chasing Art

If you have a Support Organization in your country, leave the link in a comment. I will add it to the list.

Art Gowns Art Cards

🌹Thank you🌹to Georgiann Carlson.  She made 10 “Art of Glamorous Fantasy” business cards for me. I chose the one below.

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“Not so fast! As one of  your very first Art Gowns, first to get to 175 likes, dedicated to your niece, Sherrie,  and first post after the Art Gowns were evicted from Queen’s end,”

Flora Blanca

“I think I, Flora Blanca,  am entitled to a say in this! I’ve picked out the card below, as I see it embraces us, the Art Gowns, and Resa.”

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“Don’t be absurd Flora Blanca! Resa would never run around naked, not since that incident when she was 22. She makes the Art Gowns, and we are all very elegant.”

Mystic Lake

“Something sophisticated, like the Fitzgerald’s “Romantic Egoists” is in more order. The card below is the way to go. I’m sure Zelda would approve!”

“Mystic lake, I adore you and Flora Blanca, but really, the two of you are so pretentious! As the Empress d’Amore, I am highly educated, and qualified to be royally opinionated.”

Empress d’Amore

“Resa’s card should express the fact that we, the Art Gowns, are a collection. That she makes us from scratch, by herself. She is, after all, classically trained.”

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“I treasure the Empress’ opinion. Her taste in fantasy business cards is impeccable.”

O Royal Treasure

“All due respect Empress D and O Royal T, you may both be royalty, but you are not from Fairy! Magic only happens in Fairy.”

La Esencia de Titania

“Resa’s card should express the coming of glyphs, a name askew & the bottom line. Simple, fun and to the point of magic is the way to go. As a 5 thousand year resident of Fairy, I say this card delivers that message!”

Hello! I might be standing in the dark over here, but I can see you all clearly in the moonlight. However, I just don’t see your logic.”

Artemis by Moonlight

“The card should enforce the fact that Resa’s work is original, unique and glamorous! Voilà

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“I expected this cacophony from all of you Art Gowns, especially Artemis. You are always over analyzing the situation.”

Goddess Mnemosyne

“Simply put, the card should be of contemporary street art style and pointed at the brand. May I present the only obvious option!”

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“I’m sorry Mnenosyne, I just don’t see the brilliance in that. Where’s the gleam and glow of the Art Gowns?”

Ballroom Lux

“I have no choice but to insist on the card below. It’s simple, yet emphasizes Resa’s ability, which results in us, the Art Gowns.”

“Wow! That is just not sexy enough. Lady Anne and I discussed this last night, and believe we have the perfect selection. Lady Anne!”

Cecilia Lionheart

“Thank you, Cecilia Lionheart!”

Lady Anne

“We now introduce, to all of you, the perfect card!”

Rubber stamp art by: Georgiann Carlson

“Look, you’re all right, and all wrong. Why can’t she just use the one she wants? Why can’t we all just get along, instead of bickering about the minutia of Resa’s life?”

Atlantis Mermaid Love-in

Hey! How did all of you gowns get out here? I thought I locked the door to the back yard?

Resa wears Tenesa

“You left your keys laying around one day. I found them and sent Mini-Me out to have copies made for all of  us.”

Autumn Orchid

“Having explained that, I’d like to put my two cents in! This card is a modern classic, and really the one for Resa.”

Photo © Sherrie Yager

As you can see, Georgiann, I’m being bossed around by a bunch of Art Gowns.

Well, they are my girls, so I love them. AND I adore you! How fabulous & generous you are  to have made these cards for me. Thank you x all the cats and flowers in the world!

All Art Gowns & Art Gowns stories © Resa McConaghy

All photos of Art Gowns © Resa McConaghy

All Art Gowns Art Cards designed and made by © Georgiann Carlson

Mini-Me in the Nine of Pentacles

“Don’t look a me! All I did was run out and get a few keys cut. By the way, has anyone seen my set? I seem to have misplaced them.”

 

⭐️ Athena ⭐️ Graffiti Goddess

Ever felt a fire to design an Art Gown for Goddess Athena, & cover it in Tarot graffiti?

If you have, I understand. We share a fascination for gowns, graffiti style street art, Tarot cards, and Greek Mythology.

It’s like 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.  Art Gowns + Mythology + Tarot = ⭐️ Athena ⭐️ Graffiti Goddess.

Aquileana from “La Audacia de Aquiles”, (where I’ve learned a lot about mythology) and myself are Scorpio and Leo. Including both symbols was a must. Yes, they are Astrology symbols. Tarot incorporates them all.

On 120 ” wide silver satin, intended for curtains, I painted ATHENA  in graffiti writing style.  Acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium was used, and heat set.

Then, the symbols were painted: Venus/Woman, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Pisces, Third Eye, The Queens of Wands and Swords, an Owl,  Infinity, The Star & stars and Nine Pentacles on Mini-me.

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To find out how all of these symbols relate to Athena, you’ll want to read Aquileana’s next post in her series on Tarot, which will be out in the near future.

 The entire gown is stitched together by hand.

The paint had made the satin extra heavy, altering the drape.

A petticoat was in order. It added a mere 3 weeks onto the project.

The next point of construction interest was the blue spandex  bodice.

Athena is oft depicted in armor, as she is a warrior.

I basted pleats into a strip of the satin. An ancient Greek motif was painted on it.

When done, I picked out the basting and opened the motif. I draped her armor over the spandex, then did a final press.

Even without her petticoat and back lit, she is marvelous!

Scorpio & Leo, a Third Eye lurks between.

OUTTAKES

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 Athena ponders the menu for her first dinner party.

Mini-me advises Athena not to hold back on the courses. After all, Resa will be doing the shopping, cooking and dishes.

 Athena  contemplates the possibility of a sommelier for the event.

Art Gown “⭐️ Athena ⭐️ Graffiti Goddess” © Resa McConaghy

Designed & made by Resa, December 2017 – May 2018

Photos © Resa McConaghy – Toronto, Canada, May, 2018

Check out La Audacia de Aquiles, a very popular, and highly informative blog. Aquileana’s articles on Greek Mythology are impressive, and her current series on Tarot is fascinating.

VISIT:

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/%e2%96%ba-athena-goddess-of-knowledge-athena-art-gown-by-resa-mcconaghy-%f0%9f%a6%89/

You can also follow her on TWITTER (@aquileana) by clicking on her photo.

Mini-me demanded her own close-up in this post!

Jennifer in La Esencia deTitania – Classique

Climb into the crystals of one hundred chandeliers,

Spread a wing

Think of love

The light it brings

Then your heart’s

Strings sing.

Art Gown “La Esencia de Titania” © Resa McConaghy

Photos © Resa McConaghy – November 28, 2017

Even fairies can wear lipstick.

My heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Choy for modeling“La Esencia de Titania”

Jennifer is an upcoming Costume Designer in Canada, who I am mentoring. You can check out her work on Jennifer’s Website or  Jennifer on Instagram

YES, she can really play the cello!

O Royal Treasure

Were you ever impassioned to make an Art Gown from 150 O’s?

Yes! Then you probably know this year is Canada’s 150th birthday.

In 1967, Canada was 100 years old. Our national anthem is “O Canada”. In celebration, Joyce Wieland created a famous lithograph of O’s formed by her red painted lips.

Yet, this is the Art Gown dedicated to Ralph from Bluefish Way, and Ralph lives in Spain. Ah, but he lives in Cañada del Real Tesoro, Spain. Canada/Cañada – it was a thrilling discovery.

According to Mini-Me, Ralph, and what Belen Soto told me, it means Path to the Royal Treasure.

Turned out the path to O Royal Treasure was a 4 month trek.

150 flowers were created. Using a dinner plate, and 2 different sized saucers. I cut out 150 circles, gathered the edges, & drew them  into flowers. I painted my lips red, formed an O, and implanted an O on each of the flowers.

The bodice was hell to shape, as it is made from a bargain bin stretch poplin.

To sew on the skirt, I removed the bodice from Judy. When I put it back on Judy, the poplin had grown a size bigger. More shaping was required.

A giant bow was stuffed with net. Perfect for sewing on 22  flowers!

O Royal Treasure outtakes.

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There’s a final twist!

Ralph is engaged! Click n the banner below to read the post!

⭐ An Art Gowns Heritage Moment ⭐

Mini-Me educates O Royal Treasure on how to fit in with Art Gowns. “Never do dishes, vacuum or any housework. Make sure to plan a dinner party for all of the girls, as soon as possible!”

In a a dream-like state, O Royal Treasure heads to the dining room to plan her first dinner.

 © O Royal Treasure designed & made by Resa McConaghy – 2017

Photos © Resa McConaghy – August 4, 5 & 6, 2017

500 Meters of thread were used in the making of O Royal Treasure.

Never, never, never buy stretch poplin!

If you’re an Art Gown, always listen to Mini-Me’s advice. She’s been living in the Art Gowns’ room since before Strawberry Kisses, my very first girl.

Tenesa – Honorary Art Gown

Were you ever challenged to model an Honorary Art Gown?

No, well then maybe you don’t know Georgian Carlson from Rethinking Life?

You see, I did a post on my Graffiti blog about how an artist named Tensoe spray painted a gown for me. Georgian said you should model it! I said I was too, old to do that.

I expressed how bad I felt about aging, and didn’t want my picture taken, anymore.

One thing lead to another, and now I am challenging my own perception. It is an idea that has been marketed to me my entire life, and brainwashed me to believe.

I didn’t think I could go through with it, but I’m glad I did. I thought about Photoshop airbrushing, but decided to be honest, and just pick the best photos.

⭐ ⭐ Presenting: Tenesa – Honorary Art Gown ⭐ ⭐

Although she’s my idea, I did not make Tenesa. I’ve made all of the other Art Gowns by hand, sewing, painting decorating, but not Tenesa. Yet, Tenesa is so marvelous, I say she’s an “Honorary Art Gown”.

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However, Tenesa wasn’t always this beautiful. She started out as an ordinary custom made De$igner wedding gown who found her way into the alley, one day.

Here she met Tensoe, an artist with many cans of spray paint. He fell in love with her, and spent all of his paint on her.

Artist: Tensoe

Go Tensoe! I love you forever for doing this!

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I was breath taken when I saw her. We named her Tenesa, and I took her home to live with the Art Gowns.

I figured, as she was an alley rescue, she wouldn’t be as spoiled as the other gowns and pull her weight around the apartment. Not… she’s already swooping around with the other gowns, planning her first dinner party, not cooking, not doing dishes nor vacuuming.

It’s amazing how fast Art Gowns catch on.

Anyway, I decked up in Tenesa, checked in the mirror and head out to the fire escape.

Resa Outtakes

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© Pics taken by Resa McConaghy – April 16, 21 & 27, 2017

© Pics of Resa taken by Norman Orenstein – June 1, 2017

Toronto, Canada

Gown Artist: Tensoe ⭐ ❤ ⭐

Want to see more of Tenesa in the alley with graffiti? Click on the pic below and fly to “Redemption Wall Fairy”

Thank you, Georgiann!

Ashlie in Artemis by Moonlight

Could you recreate a goddess on a mortal?

Well, I can on Ashlie. She’s my great niece, and my Sherrie’s daughter.

She is not a model, but embraced the Goddess Artemis when she put on the “Artemis by Moonlight” Art Gown.

Stephanie, our official Art Gowns photographer, is away on assignment. As Ashlie was only here a few days, I took the pics. Mini-me was thrilled with the outcome!

I am thrilled! What a beauty.

Art Gown “Artemis by Moonlight” designed, made & © by Resa McConaghy – November 2016 – February 2017

Young Goddesses just wanna have fun!

PHOTO OP: Ashlie congratulates Belén Soto’s Black Drake on his upcoming wedding.

Pics taken & © by Resa McConaghy – April 15, 2017

The above shot was in contention for the opener. Blow it up & see my dilemma. All the small pics blow up.

Artemis by Moonlight

Were you ever inspired to make an Art Gown by moonlight?

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Yes! Then you were enraptured by Artemis, Greek goddess of hunting and goddess of the moon.

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Artemis, the Art Gown, is dedicated to Aquileana from La Audacia de Aquiles, and Oloriel Moonshadow from Colour Me in Cyanide and Cherry. The three of us have joined our mystic forces to create a fabulous three part post tribute to this prodigious goddess.

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Oloriel has posted a most evocative poem with beautiful artwork, “Invoking the Huntress” It is a wonderful part 2 of our 3 part collaboration. Aquileana has posted a marvelous essay, “Artemis’ Dual Achetype”. In this article, Aquileana smartly brings all 3 posts together.

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Months ago, when brainstorming ideas, Aquileana suggested animal prints. Artemis is, after all, goddess of hunting. The veggie-head in me decided I would create an abstract animal print of my own. This way no animal print fabrics would be harmed.

In the end, some people thought the fabric looked more like tree bark. Oloriel said she though it was  the moon dripping it’s light on the gown.

artm51artm50As I’d used up all of  my fabric stash, I hit the bargain bin fabric shop on Queen Street.

I got a deal on a stretch, crushed and burnt out velvet. It had a brown stain from the cardboard roll running through it.artm3

artm2 Not a problem, as I was painting the fabric with an iridescent metallic paint.

The paint was mixed with a fabric medium, and voila, after a month of painting, the goods were ready.

I chose a copper satin for the tails.

artm5artm4They almost paid me to take the satin off their hands. It is flawed with dark streaks woven in here and there.

I needed some type of rope to  adorn her. So, I made tubes from the satin, & braided them with tubes I made from the wrong side of a cheesy sparkly disco material.

It took 5 hours to make 2 yards of braid. In the end I made 10 yards.

The copper satin tail was made rounded, to mimic a copper moon. A moon shaped copper amulet was dressed around her neck.

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 From above, the moon watches over Artemis.

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Although she wanted to go hunting, Artemis was stuck in the Art Gown Room, in the city of Toronto. Also, she had only one virgin nymph with her.

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I jokingly told her she could go hunting in my house plants, whereupon she fluffed her tail at me. As you can see from the slideshow, she has a lot of tail attitude.

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Artemis waits, as the sun sets and the moon rises.

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The end of “Magic Hour”

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Once the moon had risen, Art Gown Artemis requested a ride in her chariot.

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I told her there was no chariot, because parking was too, expensive in downtown Toronto. She just stood there staring at me until the next day.

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Art Gown “Artemis by Moonlight” designed & made by Resa – November 2016 – February 2017

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Photos © Resa McConaghy  2017

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I keep thinking about how my Artemis collaboration partners, and myself make a magic triangle: Aquileana in Buenos Aires, Argentina.. Oloriel in Belgrade, Serbia ..Resa in Toronto, Canada.

amalia_aquileana01aquiAquileana is smart as a whip. I always have to read her posts 2 or 3 times.

This is because I want to completely absorb all she has taken much time to share with us. I have learned most about what I know of Greek Mythology from reading her blog.

Click on the girls’ faces, and go to their blogs’ Home Pages. Click on the sketch or book cover, and go to each of their Artemis posts.

07fb8ac9026557c4308de6d9d4ae2103cyanide-cherries-poetry-bookOloriel’s poetry runs the gamut from  sweetly intense to piquing, and her artwork is pleasing and intriguing.

She wrote a book, “Colour Me In Cyanide & Cherries. Go to her blog, and discover all she has to offer, and how you can buy a copy of her book!

Me, I’m busy pressing Artemis’ tail. The rest of the Art Gowns are lined up in the hallway, waiting to have their tails pressed. You haven’t lived until you get to press Art Gowns’ tales.

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Artemis pines for the forest.

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All writing © Resa McConaghy

☆☆ Happy New Year ☆☆

Did you ever feel like dreams can and do come true?

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Photo © Stephanie Tudin – Art Gown © Resa McConaghy

Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I met Stephanie Tudin.

SWAN

Photo © Stephanie Tudin - Art Gown © Resa McConaghy
Photo © Stephanie Tudin – Art Gown © Resa McConaghy

Stephanie is a young, talented & passionate photographer who said “I love your Art Gowns, and would love to collaborate on an Art Gowns/Photo Fantasy project. I had just begun Mystic Lake, so she became the first. Stephanie chose Lake Ontario for the location.

Photo © Stephanie Tudin - Art Gown © Resa McConaghy
Photo © Stephanie Tudin – Art Gown © Resa McConaghy

Mystic Lake was based on ducks, swans & pigeons. Once our model, Paige Marie Anderson, began floating along the lake shore, she became Stephanie’s SWAN. She became my SWAN.

Photo © Stephanie Tudin - Art Gown © Resa McConaghy
Photo © Stephanie Tudin – Art Gown © Resa McConaghy

The first post of any new Art Gown will be on Judy, as I have always done. As usual, there will be dedication(s) and/or creative tie-ins with other bloggers. After that, it will be dressed on a live model, and become part of Stephanie’s & my collaboration. The hope is for it to all end up as a gallery show.

Photo © Stephanie Tudin - Art Gown © Resa McConaghy
Photo © Stephanie Tudin – Art Gown © Resa McConaghy

A very special thank you to Paige Marie Anderson, who braved the cruel cold, while Stephanie and I were cozy in our parkas.

Please visit Stephanie’s Website

 Stephanie Tudin on FaceBook – Stephanie Tudin on LinkedIn Stephanie Tudin on Instagram

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Thank you, Stephanie! You are like dreams coming true. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐