Friday, December 18, 2009

Confidence Color?

Do you wear a lot of colors? Are there colors you won't wear? Some topics I'm going to explore in the book Courageous Beauty now since I began playing in color a few weeks ago.

I began asking myself these kind of questions lately as I remodeled a bedroom to become my new office. As a writer, speaker, and the new president of Full Spirit Magazine, I had to have a place to work.

I chose to use the color purple because of the amethyst glass Swedish pitcher and tumbler set I inherited. If it were green or blue or brown, I would have used that palette. I'm even planning a fiction story with this heirloom as the focal point in the future. (Scroll down to see the heirloom set after the story.)

But in the meantime... the office.

Purple is bold, confident, and ... scary when you think about painting it on walls and window sills. It's one thing to wear it and another to swipe it on brilliant white walls. (Some people won't wear deep, vibrant colors in order to avoid attention.) I pulled the colors of purple, blue, and white out of the pitcher set and went to town with my daughter on the creative painting.

Oh my goodness! It's vibrant and I love it! I walk into this stunning room and feel cheerful, creative, and inspired. Here's a few photos of the transformed bedroom to office.

                                         From this:

To this:

The L shaped counter is a light gray and speckled with blue that matches the toll painted flowers laced on the pitcher and tumbler. (Right now the filing is the next project for the new office.)

The closet is a study in artistic opposite relief to the accent wall...

The closet is now a resource book case too. So handy and helpful. I need to add a few more wire racks. (Mariah and I had no idea how to sponge paint prior to this. I found it took me tremendous courage, but like anything I've ever truly wanted, the desire outweighed the fear.)

But wait! There's more:
                                        From this:

To this midpoint with new windows and white as a base color paint:

To this final version with purple window trim and a quilted hanging made for me by my step-mom several years ago that accidentally and perfectly matches the Swedish heirloom:

Then notice the beginnings of a reading nook for book reviewing:

I'm looking for the perfect tea table for that corner too :-) But that's not all. My daughter, Mariah, helped me sponge paint 4 colors over the white base. Here's our fun-loving artists signature:

We spent 2 days working on the creative space for me and we felt that we needed to commemorate it, beyond the music and dancing in the middle of the room to old style Sinatra sung by Buble'. We then used a chopstick to write our names and the date of our artwork with a confidence color.

I found it incredibly bonding, unique, and something I can use to remember our very unusual project together for years to come. I actually show it off to everyone! We put it behind the door (you can see the size and placement in the 3rd picture in this post.) My daughter is 20 and I am 45 yet this is a masterpiece in creative cooperation and memories. It HAD to be signed and dated as far as  we were concerned, lol.

Though there are touches yet to be added, my office is a wonderful, happy place for me to work long hours on computer and conference calls. It's, as my family says, me. Very much me!

Here's the Swedish pitcher/tumbler set that inspired it all and will soon be on display opposite the quilt hanging, nearest the accent wall. It'll be above the reading nook, mounted in a glass case. I tracked it back with the help of a glass museum curator to the 1850's. It's a common household piece for Sweden at that time. In fact, the value is only about $150 US according to my Swedish source because everyone had them back then. But to me, it came from Amalia to Maybelle to Eva to me and connects me to my family history.  Priceless.

The actual gifting to my grandmother, Maybelle, happened when she was 16 from her aunt she called Mama Peterson. She was told it was her family inheritance and that she had to go make her way in the world. Imagine that at 16! This heirloom represents confidence earned by having to make a way in the world in 1920 as a Swedish American (whose first language was Swedish) teen-aged woman. There were 13 children in a very complex situation. At 16, Maybelle had to find the courage to strike out on her own and learn to support herself. Do you know she became a nurse? How many teens get sent out into the world and do that? Where would she get such confidence as a 16 year old homeless girl to become a nurse in the 1920's? My Swedish grandma inspires me with the courage and confidence she had to learn FAST!

So the question is: Would you wear these vibrant colors?
Would you paint them?

OR EVEN: Would you go all out and sponge paint without every having done it before with colors this intense?

Would you sign your work?

Would you dare to dip your hands in paint and smush them on the wall?

What room do you want to transform with $100 in paint?

Please visit for jewelry that supports the Sanctuary of Hope orphan homes. Thank you for considering these beautiful pieces of jewelry as gifts or for yourself to build personal growth or simply wear for the significance in a child's life.
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