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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Color Purple

I've been into decorating interior spaces since I was 15. My sister, Barb, and I shared a room during our teen years. Barb was pretty cool about giving me creative control not only of our room, but our clothes as well. I designed a chart designating who would wear what on which day so we would not fight over our clothes. This probably kept us from killing each other.

The colors I used in our bedroom was blue and orange. These are contrasting colors that look great together. At first my family thought I was nuts for selecting such an odd combo but after seeing a table lamp I painted in those colors, they quickly came on board. My Mom ended up sewing curtains and bedspreads that matched.

For my new studio
I picked the Glorious color scheme
from the Olympic Paint Audubon Collection.

Click on picture to see larger image & paint names.

I used Blackberry Jam B41-5 for the bookcase wall, Brown Clay B24-5 for the studio walls and Apple Cider B18-4 for the ceiling.

Why I didn't stick with lighter colors?
Simply because

I wanted a color
I promised myself
I'd use one day
on my walls.

The Color Purple

One of my long time, dear friends, Penny, had the coolest house in the early 70's I've never forgotten. Her husband was an artist, and she was an extremely creative woman, and the mayor of Meiner's Oaks, CA, a small burb in the Ojai Valley. Penny owned a plant shop in town that also doubled as the mayor's chambers. In the middle of the large room filled with lush green plants from ceiling to floor was a group of cozy chairs holding court on an old Oriental rug. The coffee was always hot, and guests helped themselves to a mug and a seat on the rug. Many a world problem was solved in the mayor's office including some of mine. Penny always made time to shed some light on my darkest hours with words of wisdom.

Penny, and Mrs. Briggs, her Benji type dog, rode to "her office" on a Moped. Mrs. Briggs sat happily in a basket on the front wearing a scarf around her fuzzy neck that flew behind her like a kite tail. Everyone in town waved or honked at them as they flew by. I can't help but smile at the memories of Penny's long legs straddling the motorized bicycle with her back straighter than an arrow, and her curly, short hair never looking worse for the ride.

Penny's home has remained my creative influence to this day as a model of freedom, ingenious hospitality and living outside of the box. She painted her walls in rich colors that not only made Bob's art literally POP off the walls but also transported me to a mystical place whenever I gazed at them. She introduced me to Peter Max and drinking wine out of Mason jars. I guess you could say her style was an eclectic, hippie, yet cultured blend. I always felt at home in her house and was amused and awestruck by the funky things she used to decorate with. Penny was cool long before anyone on HGTV ever thought of marketing the "re-purposed, shabby chic" style so many are claiming as their own ideas-invention. We hippies birthed that movement out of necessity and good herbs...

There was one room and hallway that was painted in this deep plum color. I'd never seen anyone use any color like this on a wall in my entire life. Purple? On a wall?? I can still close my eyes to this very day and feel the yummy way the color made me feel when I looked at it. I vowed to myself I'd paint some walls purple in my home one day... Hence, my choice for using Blackberry Jam for the focal point in my studio.

I wanted a color that would accent the dark wood of the built-in shelves and cupboards. I wanted a color that would make my paintings POP off the wall like I'd seen in her home some 40 years ago. I wanted one of my favorite memories to come to life again. Plus, I want to make some new, fabulous memories for others to take with them on their journeys in life as they soak up a piece of my world today.

a sneak peak of the studio...

After surviving a near-death experience.... Why wouldn't I want to paint some walls purple?

Add some color to your world.
You can always repaint it white,
or black,
or tangerine,
or blueberry...
or anything you want to.
It's just paint....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My New Studio

The Inspector stopped by recently to survey my new studio. He was very careful to check out every corner, every square inch, every single tile.


Look at the determination and dedication in his face.

He has a job to do.

Many are called but few are chosen.

As he rounds the final corner I hold my breath.
Will he approve or disapprove
of Woodstock Lily's new art studio???

Stayed tuned...
Inspector Opie Taylor
Always has a colorful tail...
Errrr... I mean TALE

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Booby Traps

One night when I was about 3 years old I woke up to find my bed full of snakes. In the moonlight I could distinctly see slithering bodies crawling all over my bed. I screamed like Macaulay Culkin in the movie 'Home Alone' which of course woke the dead, and everyone in my house.

"Arggghhhhhhh!!!!! There's sneaks in my bed!!! There's sneaks in my bed!!" I cried.

My dad ran into the room and flipped the light on. He found me sitting up pointing to the covers at the bottom of my bed. It didn't take him long to figure out I thought the wrinkles in the bed were snakes except I couldn't say snakes so I called them sneaks. My dad smoothed out the wrinkles to show me they were just wrinkles--not snakes. Soon, I saw he was right. There were no sneaks in my bed--none at all. My imagination had grown some monsters in the dark and until the light fell on them, I couldn't see what was really there.

I thought of this story a few weeks ago when I was waiting to see the doctor about the lump I found in my breast. It was nearly as big as my thumb and on the right side of my breast. My imagination started to run wild with thoughts of "what if it's cancer???" Fear put me in a choke-hold. But even if I wanted to... I couldn't pull the covers over my eyes in an attempt to deny this sneaks existence. It was real and I had to face it--head on.

I had a woman radiologist the day I had my mammogram & ultra sound. She came in after both procedures to let me know what the lump was. My lump is a cyst. Tears fell down my cheeks as fast as heavy weights falling to the floor. I cried because of the huge relief I felt. I cried for joy because I didn't have to wait another week to get the results. It's in times like this we can become ill with worry waiting for news.

And much to my embarrassment, I also cried because I had not had a mammogram in over 10 years. I'd been foolish for waiting so long. I winced at all the times I'd scheduled mammograms then canceled them a few days before my appointment. Let's face it, it's not comfortable to have your boobies pressed into a pancake or wafer. I could always come up with an excuse why it was OK to wait. I told myself I'd make another appointment but I never did. The truth of the matter is that taking care of myself in every area should be a priority... not an option. Then I cried because I had put my health last as many women do. Yes, I was a slippery snot bucket by the time I left the hospital. I could have been rented out as a slime machine for a kid's party.

Fear can sneak up on you and plant some deadly seeds. I've done this with PTSD and my fear of driving or being in a car, too. I heard a saying once that said it best about fear.

'Fear is the darkroom
where negatives are developed.'

So if you haven't had your check up in awhile...please do. You are worth it and your boobs will get over the squish job. Don't give the sneaks in life a place to grow into monsters. Shed some light on your thoughts so they don't become negatives.

'Pink Lady'
Watercolor and Ink by Lille Diane

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm Marrying Superman

Yes... It's true. I'm marrying Superman. On September 25. How could I say no to someone who has loved me as deeply, as sincerely, as sweetly, and as completely has he has loved me? I cannot. My family and friends will agree I'm making a wonderful choice. He is a Super Hero to all who meet him.

In preparation for the BiG event we've been doing some remodeling at The Fortress. (Superman's abode) The first thing we did was to redo his beautiful sun room and turn it into my studio. I'm sitting here now watching the sun's last wisps of warmth settle into the west through some gigantic windows. The view is relaxing, lush, private and serene. This is a dream come true in every way. [before and after pics coming soon]

I have Wonder Dog sleeping at my feet and Opie Taylor (errrrr I meant to say Opie Wan Kenobe) is watching the last few birds eating from the Fortress bird feeder. With that sweet note... I'll say, "Goodnight, dear ones..."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Here's To Survivors

We are all survivors of something; illness, accidents, adventures into the unknown, climbing trees, childhood, being a teenager, marriage, divorce, parenthood, first loves, break-ups, bankruptcy, storms, cancer.... the list could go on and on. This post is to celebrate Survivors everywhere.

Today is the 2 year anniversary of the auto accident that changed my life forever. As I look back, even at the really difficult times I thought would never end, I can see a journey that's taken me to places I may never have experienced had I not been in that van that fateful day on May 4, 2008. All four of us in the van, and witnesses, know without a doubt our lives were not supposed to end that day. Our missions here on Earth were not finished. And I think I can speak for all four of us when I say it gave each of us the desire to make the most of everyday and appreciate each breath we can still take. Every second is precious. Our hearts embrace the ways we can make a difference in our own small corners of the world. Every sunrise and sunset is a gift.

If you are a survivor, leave a comment to celebrate with the four of us in the van 2 years ago; Dylan, Stacey, Colleen, and I. Celebrate the spiritual awakenings you've had, the second chances, the new beginnings, or the ability to hug a loved one because you survived a near miss or a direct hit. Celebrate the fears you conquered. Celebrate the nights you couldn't sleep for worrying, and in the end, things weren't as bad as you thought they were. Celebrate your eyesight and ability to read or write. Celebrate new friends that come into your life just when you need them. Celebrate another day to be able to laugh right out loud, and behave as goofy as you want to. If you snort when you laugh that's another reason to celebrate.

I'm officially back from my blogging break. So much has happened I cannot wait to share it with you all. But for today let's just celebrate life with all its mysterious, wondrous twists and turns.

For my new readers you can read more about the accident that officially started this blog if you Please take a minute to post a comment about what you are celebrating surviving. I'm so glad you are here with me. Or should I say how happy I am to "still" be here with all of you~


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