No matter what they tell you, you don't have to stay within the lines. Adorable scrapbook style header by Ellen Leigh

My Life So Far

 

(in a nutshell, because I’ve been around the block a few times)

Once upon a time, way, way back before there were calculators and home computers, before there were smarty pants phones, Google glasses, Facebook and Twitter, when the internet hadn’t even been a twinkle in someone’s eye, I was born. Middle child. Life was good. Like everyone else in my generation, I grew up, played outside in the dirt, went to school, learned some stuff, and actually graduated from high school still using a rotary dial phone and doing long math (not my best subject).

Rotary dial phone, you can have any color you want, as long as it's black.
Rotary dial

 

 

Somewhere along the way, I found that the thing I loved most in the world was painting and creating art, so that’s what I studied in college- I even got a degree on the 5 year plan after switching to Interior Design so I could get ‘a real job’. We had pocket calculators by then, so that made the math easier. I learned to draft with a pencil, a straight edge and a triangle and I am still awesome at it.

 

Old typewriter.
I learned to type on one of these…

Fast forward through several years of mainly commercial interior design, countless hand drawn floor plans and spec drawings of medical and dental facilities, a marriage, home ownership (twice), and giving birth to a daughter on my 30th birthday and I found myself wondering if I could still paint. And I found that I could, and it was good.

 

 

I painted on canvas, I painted on walls, I painted on furniture, and I started carrying pictures of my art wherever I went. People began asking me to come to their homes to paint on their walls. After a few years, I was painting and creating full time and getting lots of referrals for murals and decorative painting. It didn’t matter to me that pencil and vellum drafting was being replaced with CAD and, being completely computer phobic illiterate, I was a dinosaur. I was OK with that, I could still draw and paint, take photos with 35 MM film and carry them around. There were huge desktop computers, dial up Prodigy on your phone line, and if you really needed one, you could have a mobile phone. In your car. It was the size of a man’s shoe. A pager vibrated or beeped in your pocket to tell you to call someone. I was having none of that.

The original mobile phone. big as a man's shoe
So proud

 

The TRS-80. 128 K, 12 Megabytes and 1 drive for $8494
The TRS-80. 128 K, 12 Megabytes and 1 drive for $8494

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confronted with the growing use of computers everywhere, I would freeze up and sometimes even cry (just ask my daughter) when having to deal with any form of technology. I finally had to throw myself off a cliff to force myself to join the 21st century 3 years in. I bought…. a computer. Sleek and shiny, flat-screened monitor, desktop. I didn’t even know how to turn it on.  I learned. E-mail, internet, computer games, chat rooms, forums and groups, art programs, printers and html website design- I jumped in with both feet and embraced it all, built my own web site, tore it down, built another and started this new thing called ‘a blog’. Fold up laptop computers were invented and cell phones that you could carry clipped to your jeans. Cameras became digital, and could be downloaded right to your computer to be edited and manipulated, saved and printed out in any size. OK, that I had to have, so I got one. 2 megapixels. woo-hoo.

While creating art was awesome and kept me sane, technology kept me in touch with the outside world. I found friends, all over the world, in all walks of life, all through the magic of the internet. At home though, life fell apart and I found myself divorced after over 25 years, daughter living away at college, and hastily moved into a rented home with 2 dogs and 2 geriatric cats, alone. Totally on my own. For the first time in my life.

Me and Al, starting our married life together
Mr. and Mrs.

So. I checked out Match.com. Winked at a few guys that looked interesting. I even messaged a couple of them. I winked at this guy ‘New Trails to Follow’ who said he could listen to frogs and toads croaking and tell what species they were. Definitely a nerd, he even said so. He still is, but then so am I. We both ditched our land lines and got cell phones when we moved in together after a year and half of dating. I learned to text. And, finally, Al and I got married April 13, 2013. We posted a selfy on Facebook from the reception and changed our relationship status. Life is good. New adventures are on the horizon, we bought a 2.36 acre property in Clinton Michigan that we dubbed 3/4 Pi Farm and Al retired in December 2015.

 

I’ve done tons of painting since starting this phase of my company in 1997 (est. 1990), and try to keep up with the design and art world, technology and the rapidly shifting whims of the internet. As things change, I strive to change too, and use these new technological tools. 6 megapixel digital camera? check. Laptop? check. Tablet computer? check. Smart phone? check. E-printer? check. Who knows what’s next?

I live in Southeast Michigan with my husband Al and am a loving mom to a very creative and successful daughter, now residing in Denver Colorado.  I adore our two Shetland Sheepdogs as well as gardening, knitting, quilting, cooking and a lot of other creative pursuits. Together, Al and I enjoy a great number of outdoor activities: hiking, birding, skiing and photography on our travels- inspiring more paintings in the studio.
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Visit these posts for more about our home and life together:

Newlyweds  

Special Request

Colorado Rocks

Taken for Granite

Powder Room Redo

The Man Cave

Ohio in the Fall

Let’s go Up North