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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sketching my yesterday's became this time tomorrow

I have always drawn, painted, and sketched pictures of women from as far back as I can remember. When I was about 10 years old, I discovered I could create lovely paper dolls--the kind that made my sisters, and the neighborhood girls, drool. I knew I was onto something when they began begging me to make them sets of their very own paper dolls. I'd ask my mother, and grandmother, to save the white cardboard that their nylons were wrapped around inside the packaging. Paper like this was a scarce commodity. White gold. One side was glossy; the other side matte.

On this precious sheet of cardboard I'd carefully draw a voluptuous, bathing suit clad, vixen. Granted I didn't know, or understand, the term "vixen"... I just drew curvy girls with perfect lips, and perfect hips--perfect clones of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Jane Mansfield. Those were the role models women from my mother's generation wanted to look like. And I could draw them quite well. I wanted to become one of "those" beautiful ladies when I grew up.

After I finished drawing and coloring the cardboard beauty, I'd carefully cut her out. I'd put a piece of lined-notebook paper over the top of the cut out version or template to trace over. We didn't have access to plain, white typing paper at this time--no one did unless you were a secretary or a teacher. I'd draw 3-4 outfits on each sheet... followed by coloring each one as though I were a famous clothing designer. Soon business was booming, and I needed help manufacturing more. Plus, I got bored with the "finish" work of coloring and cutting--I much preferred to design and create. So I employed my sisters to help me.... or should I say bartered a completed set in exchange for their services. In no time at all I started an assembly line in our bedroom, and soon barked out orders to my sisters of which colors I wanted the outfits to be... and "Be careful cutting that gown out...."

Capri sets, evening wear, glamorous night gowns (lingerie... but again I didn't know the correct terminology for said articles of clothing) delicious dresses, fur coats... The paper flew around the room like colored confetti as I created literally countless sheets of "fancy sh'mancy" outfits. Complete, "I must add", with strategically positioned tabs that folded over the doll's shoulders, and sides, so the clothing would stay on.

For many years I wanted to be a fashion designer. I sewed dresses by hand from patterns I cut out... and I do mean hand stitched each, and every, seam. I'd stay up all night putting a zipper on a dress by hand. I saved up babysitting money for my first sewing machine at age 15. I am still a "fabri-holic". Some of you know exactly what I mean by that... I didn't grow up to be a fashion designer. I pursued a different dream; to become a singer-songwriter, which I did for over 25 years. I made my own stage clothes and wore the vintage clothing I collected for many, many years.

I'm still drawing sketches of women, photographing pictures of women, and painting portraits of women. The painting above is my newest piece. I suppose I could say it's a self-portrait. I used an old photo of me from my early singing-modeling days. I'm wearing a vintage dress circa 1930 and a 1940's black cape. Below is the photograph I used. And below that is an old band shot. Yep.... I'm wearing vintage clothes in that pic, too.

I realized today I'm still that girl hunkered over a box of crayons, and notebook paper...
over a sewing machine and a box of buttons...
with a guitar and a sheet of music...
digging through a drawer full of paints,
reaching for the perfect paint brush...
and living my life from a sketchbook full of dreams...

Yes, I'm still sketching her, and still creating who she's yet to become.


  1. Awesome! You are as beautiful as your art! You have lived the life of my dreams. One day I will have an original Lille Diane hanging in my home and will treasure it!

  2. You are very talented! I love the newest picture and what a nice story today. Thank you.
    Did you sing or write any songs I might know?

    Sasha says hi to Opie Taylor


  3. Even before my son was able to speak propaly, he began to draw. Painting with his crayons many times what I couldn't have done.
    Seems as if painting is a kind of instinkt, expressing what is beautiful of life.
    Surely you have reached a level of ability to paint both with pens and words, that many are still struggeling to obtain.
    Very grateful to have found your time tomorrow.

  4. Love the painting...even more than the're on memory lane retrospective you regret not becoming a dress designer...your painting is beautifully intense. I like how the woman (you)looks so directly into the viewers (me!:-) face.<3

  5. I loved this-the way you shared yourself. The story is wonderful and your art work is fantastic. I remember paper dolls and all the fuss over the right outfits. You helped me relive a few childhood memories today. Thank you.

  6. You have so much talent in various areas. I do love the bottom picture of "you". I love the texture of the picturing or feathering what ever you professionals call it. You have so much to give to the world and I think you give far more than you realize. Just your entry gave me happiness. Thank You Lillie Diane.

  7. Being visible is posting comments everywhere. Looking for what? Form a homogeneous grouppe, clan? Did you claim to have found a center of interest that belongs to you? "Be a little more open to the world, the world will reward you." Bookmanie.

  8. Wonderful drawing! I can see that you are a very talented woman. All the best from Indonesia :)

  9. ***MzzLily...

    Awwww.... I'll have to paint you a lily. Do you collect lilies??? If you do I am happy to be one of them... (smiling as I type this...) And if you sing maybe one day we could karaoke together... LOL that would be fun!

    Thank you very much much much....

    I wrote many songs on my own CD's. I sang lots of cover songs when I worked with bands on the road. Superman and I are working on a few songs together, and are working toward adding some to my play list so you all can listen. I will of course have to post an audio of my version of Over the Rainbow. :-)
    I hope it won't make Sasha

    Opie Taylor loves puppies. He sends a meoooowerzzzz...

    Music and art are the two things that can reach kids no matter what their challenges are and even if they don't have any and music has its own universal language. Art is also used as therapy. I believe it should be available every where, for everyone. Many US schools are eliminating art and music programs. Tragic!

    I'm so pleased your son has you, and has drawing and coloring to express himself. When a gift is nurtured it will grow.

    Thank you for visiting today, and making my day a little brighter by such kindness. :-)

    Thank you, Cynthia! No, I have no regrets about my career path. Singing-music was (and is) my first love. My Daddy sang with Hank Snow, Hank Williams SR and Johnny Horton... country music stars of the 50's. He met my mom when she did some studio work, background vocals. It was in my blood. My son is a 3rd generation musician, and probably more talented than my dad & I combined!

    I so appreciate your lovely comments about my new piece. Painting is healing me in ways I never expected. It is good to look back but it is also better to use it as a graph to see where you want to go. ;-)

    What a lovely compliment coming from you. You are such a talented writer. Thank you! I find myself taking very nice trips when I read your blog, too. I don't know if little girls play with paper dolls as much in today's world. I guess we had a very special past time growing up didn't we, Rae. And so many great memories using our imaginations.

    You are a ray of sunshine. I can feel your hug all the way up here in the tree house! I'll come over to see what's happening in your lovely piece of the world later tonight. :-) Thank you, Lucy.

    How wonderful to have a visitor from India. Hello and welcome! I hope you'll stop back again. Thank you for taking time to comment, and sending me such a wonderful compliment.

  10. Hi LD, After a horrifically busy week at work, am finally getting back out here this Sunday morning to catch up on reading some of the wonderful blogs out there that I've slowly been discovering over the past few weeks and months... like yours ...

    Just was reading a little farther back into your "older posts", and am enjoying, and empathizing. Love your trip to the zoo. Did you ever see Garry Winogrand's zoo pictures ? If not, some are out there on the net I think, he was a fabulous photographer. Love your full moon photos, and your account of the thunderstorm and mooning around on the lake !

    And I wish you strength in those moments when the car memories come back. I used to have bouts of serious anger when people did dumb things while driving, linked to past incidents, but that has pretty much gone away with time. Maybe I'm just getting older and a little more philosophical/stoic, but there is hope... ( or maybe it's just my brain is atrophying, and those memory locations are just disappearing ?!? :-D )

    Still haven't gotten around to recognizing the kind award you passed on to me, (I will...) but now I just noticed the text you've added to your comment box saying "no more awards", and admit I am leaning toward agreeing with you there. When I first got into blogging last year, I saw blogs that had a ton of awards on them, and was thinking, wow, really impressive, but now, months later, understanding the sort of chain letter quality they mostly seem to have, indeed, they do eat up time. I saw one blog that had a notice at the top with a picture of a cow saying : I chew up and spit out awards...

    If you could possibly tell me how you added that text above the comment box, I'm really curious, I haven't found it in the HTML settings.

    And all the cats in a three recent posts at my place say "meow" to Opie. Funny your cat is called Opie, my initials are O.P., and lots of people used to calle me Opie...

    Happy Sunday !

  11. thoroughly enjoyed this post! I, too, used to make paper dolls, but definitely not on the same scale as you. Actually, a friend and I used to make them during class in elementary school (and cut them out with a compass!).

  12. Well, aren't you amazing! I'm so full of compliments about your writing, your drawing, your description of having a "boyfriend in a catsuit" (how I do understand that kind of affair...I had a 16-year-long one with an orange-and-white boy named Bleecker...), how you designed your header with the crux of what this blog is all about.....all these compliments are swirling around excitedly pushing one another out of the way to be first. Then on came Loreena McKennitt and I knew you are a special "stumble" indeed. I had Loreena's Dante's Prayer as the featured music at my mother's memorial service in 2000, one week after we'd scattered her ashes at sea.

  13. A great post, we all get to know each other a little more each day in this little universe.

    Paint away, the first one I posted is already a painting in my mind's eye. All I ask is to see them side by side.

  14. I loved this post. You're so talented. I remember when I first started modelling at 16. I designed and sewed my own dresses (by hand,as I had no way of getting hold of a sewing machine). This post reminded me of those days.

    YOu have such lovely music on your blog. How does one get music on a blog?

  15. That's my gal! :)
    You are so beautiful. Your paintings are a reflection of you! I love the paper doll memory, how cool!!! Great post Lille and I love Loreena McKennitt!

  16. ***bookmanie...
    Thank you for the visit, and for joining as a fan/follower. I appreciate what you are working to do on your blog. I added the French translator so i can read your posts. Thank you featuring my blog on your site.

    We do need to reach out to more people outside of our own interests to see the diversity, learn more about our world, and keep our minds fresh--awake to new friendships & learning.

    Thank you, Bookman.

    ***Splendid little stars...
    So nice to see you again! Thank you for warming up the night skies here at the tree house with your splendid little stars shining so sweetly. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I thank you for sparkling on my comment page.

    Oh thank you so much for stopping in and hanging your lovely picture on my walls at the tree house! I welcome you with a huge smile, and a cup of java if you could grab the cup through the internet connection...

    Thank you for all the sweet, glowing reviews... I am indeed honored hearing it from you. I'll be back over soon to visit. Stumbling upon a nice blog like yours is a windfall.

    Hang in there. Keep writing, and flowing, and sharing with the world.

    ***Judy SQ...
    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!! I love your new flower pix! Thank you for telling me i could paint them. I will happily post them side by side when I start this project.

    Please keep your camera clicking and soaking up all the beauty you see behind Squirrel Eyes...
    Big Hugzzzzzz!


    First allow me to roll out the red carpet to welcome you to the tree house!!! Welcome!!! I hope people go over to your place to see what you are creating, and working on. Wonderful!!!

    Thank you for the feed back, and sharing how you, too, sewed by hand, designed your clothes, and well... I suppose you were blessed (born with) so much talent you've probably had a hard time figuring out what to do first with your wonderful life. I have a feeling you will do it all, girlfriend!

    You can just click on the player to add it to your blog. ;-)

    ***Sista Rain...
    My beautiful friend! Thank you so much! You have some great pix and footage of that sweet lil deer on your page!!!! I can't wait to see what you will do on your new camera!!! I sent out an SOS to Superman with the info you sent me on the 2 cameras... He's on it! ;-)

    You always make me feel like a million bucks, Rain. Thank you for sending me such positive energy. You are one in a million, and I'm so blessed to have to as a friend.

  17. ***Owen... (OP)
    You made my day by stopping by and eased my fears of alienating people by not being able to keep up with passing all the lovely awards onto other people. I, too, am honored beyond words that people have found some joy, sparkle or inspiration here on my blog. But the time commitment to pass them along to sometimes up to 15 people is overwhelming for me. I type with 2-3 fingers... so you can imagine how long it takes me to post... add passing on the awards, and I'm filled with anxiety. I think it may have a little to do with the PTSD here as well.

    Plus my whole point for having a blog is the interaction of thoughts, ideas, and learning from other people I meet here. I have met so many fabulous people here I could take a full day visiting everyone and get swept up, Happily, doing so.

    My hope is no one will feel rejected by my choosing not to participate in passing awards on. I will instead work to link the world with the wonderful, talented, awe inspiring people I meet on here in my posts.

    Thank you for you kind words, and well wishes for my PTSD. I hope to be where you are one day with it. I don't think I've fully embraced the angry stage yet. I think I may try some screaming at other drivers just to blow off some pent up fear, anger, and I assume a wee bit of road rage.... hehehe

    I'll have to call you OP from now on... Your blog is a place i come park to see the world through your eyes and your travels.

    Thank you, for your input on my photos, and writing, OP. It means a lot!

  18. Thanks LILLE DIANE, congratulations for all you make. I try to writte in English now without Google traduction, (don't laugh). I addict another article with your photo (profil). I had to do it. Thanks for Browse profiles. We 'll see all together, the impact of the IDEA of Bookmanie means. Bookmanie.

  19. Wow thats a great picture of you and the one you painted yourself wow. Wanna paint my portrait? I love hearing about your doll business when you were young. That so could have been me, the part where you said you were barking orders. haha I do that everyday.


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