Valentine’s Day Color – Follow Your Heart

Follow your heart wherever it takes you.

I was in Texas in December for holiday with my family. Every December when I’m there I find a few days to spend some time “in the yards”:  the boat yards.

I love being in the yards.  Next to being on the beach, it’s my favorite place to be.

There is something about being surrounded by boats that inspires me.

The tall masts and imposing presence.  The feeling I get that the boats aren’t where they want to be.  Out of water, out of their element.  A bit lonely and neglected.


But a new purpose arises when I meet them with my camera.  They are no longer just boats.  They don’t just belong in the water.  They become storytellers.  Art makers.  A canvas for dreams.

Today in my melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email I celebrated Valentine’s Day.  I shared love from a boat yard.

Water Colors Follow Your Heart

A new image I took in December.  I found the heart lurking on the bottom of a boat in a boatyard on Lake Lewisville.  I worked on getting it right.  I took a lot of pictures of it.  I didn’t get the one I wanted.  It didn’t turn out. It’s not easy to take pictures of the bottoms of boats.  There’s lots of crawling underneath.  Shooting upwards.  Trying to prevent camera shake with arms that are twisted and tired…not to mention bugs, the “no snake” prayer, and dry grass stabbing through your clothing.

And you thought photography was magical and romantic?

I saw the heart right away when I was with the boat, but I didn’t realize until today what else is there.  A path.  A curving, wandering path that the heart seems to be floating along.   Just like the path our heart follows every day.  The twists, turns, ups and downs of love, life, and decisions from the heart.

Who knew you could find such a story on the bottom of a boat.

Photography:  it IS magical and romantic (even with the bugs).

Follow your heart wherever it takes you.

Creative Color Journals

Everyone, no matter how busy or how old, is creative…

I was reading about  the 1000 Journals Project the other day.  The project was started by Brian Singer, a San Francisco designer, 10 years ago  with the goal of having journals travel around the world for people to write thoughts, discuss feelings, and share artwork.

I just love this idea given that I’ve started adding art to my daily journal.  It’s such a fun way to express how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, or some days to actually discover something I didn’t know was going on in my head or heart.

The spirit of the project is to reach into people’s creativity and connect to one another through the journals.

The program works by sharing journals filled with creativity and stories of people all over the world, each sharing their thoughts and passing it along to a friend or a stranger. The goal of the project was to provide people a place to be creative while interacting with others around the world.

Twelve of the original journals are now on exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in LA.  The Skirball hopes visitors will understand that “everyone, no matter how busy or how old, is a creative individual and has something to express to the world”.  What better reason for an exhibit I say!

Not in LA?  No problem!  You can see some of the journals on the “next generation” 1001 Journals website.

Do you have an “art journal”?  While you’re over at the website, you can upload pictures of your journal pages to share with the project at 1001 Journals.

Want to get a journal  in your hands and get inspired by the words and art?  You can buy the 1001 Journals Book at

“The important thing is to keep creativity alive in our lives, and we hope people become inspired to start their own journals,” Porter said.

I have a few groups and friends that I’d love to start a journal with!  Who’s in??

An Ideal Ideal Day…Comes To Life!

I’m fascinated by the brain.  Sometimes I forget how amazing it is and I think it gets annoyed so it finds some way to show off and remind me.  I got a reminder recently while working through the Artists Way.

The Best Task EVER

Week 8, Task #7

YIPEE!!! I get to dream, envision, WRITE my Ideal Ideal Day. Bells were ringing, angels were singing and I was IN! I turned on my iTunes, selected a Sarah Brightman mix and settled in with my notebook and favorite pen to write my PERFECT day.

I had a four page beautiful day. It involved photography, painting, eating, nature, play and music. It was, of course, ideally perfect. I didn’t write specifically where this day took place, I didn’t have to. I saw that in my mind as I wrote. It was like I was there. I could see the color, smell the breeze and feel the passion. I was on Martha’s Vineyard, of course. My ideal, ideal, perfect, perfect, dreamy, dreamy place to be.

Feeling positively warm, mushy, and glowing from Task 7, I moved on to Task 8.

Week 8, Task #8

Allow yourself to live one aspect of your Ideal Ideal Day.

It’s Winter, the worst Winter EVER mind you, in NYC. It was early evening, dark and that “worst winter ever” situation has me hibernating like a bear!  No photography. I’d never actually painted anything and didn’t have any supplies. So, I warmly, mushy, glowingly just went about my night. “I’ll do something tomorrow”.

My Brain Shows Off

For weeks I had been thinking about laying putting some of my favorite rocks on a picture ledge but just hadn’t done it. As I was digging through my “rock vase” for my favorite treasures from around the world and placing them on the ledge I stopped. Caught in a moment of realization…

I’m LIVING part of my Ideal Ideal Day! Right here. Right now. In Brooklyn, NY. Every warm, mushy, glowing part of me!

The Subconscious Took Over

I didn’t write about it. It wasn’t specific. It was completely subconscious.

My favorite spot on Martha’s Vineyard is Aquinnah.

Last Summer I finally made it past the overlook down to the beach. It was even BETTER than I expected. Along the cliff line are these magical rock sculptures. Created by regular beach goers like you and me. Here are some shots I took while hanging out there with friends just before sunset.

This one looks like a guardian angel of the sea.

This is my friend Nancy’s rock sculpture. She’s very creative!

A Little MV in the BK

When I stopped at that moment I realized that I was creating my own little piece of Aquinnah right in my living room!

{Art: Water Colors Amethyst }

The rocks on my ledge were becoming little sculptures of their own.

{Art: Water Colors Elegance}

My Ideal Ideal Day in My Ideal Ideal Place Came Home

My brain was sending me a little gift. A reminder of the place I love. Creating a little of the artistic sparkle I feel when I’m on the Vineyard. Surrounding me with the incredible creativity that exists everywhere, especially on the beach on an Ideal Ideal Day.

Thank you brain! You’re so, well, IDEAL!

Creative Color – Lighting and A Little Drama

A big thanks to everyone who read the blog yesterday and sent me messages of encouragement and validation.  I LOVE that some of you even committed to getting a little more “foolish” with creative color in your own lives.  My color mission is on track!

I’m back today to “color out loud”.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my love of color with others.  I truly believe that color has immense power and I know it can change my attitude or give me hope on a tough day.  For me, color is like food.  I must have it to thrive.  When it’s absent, I can feel the effects and I crave it.  I am learning to appreciate my connection with color and my ability to see it in ways others don’t.  I share color here in hopes of inspiring others, making a difference, changing the way people see things around them…or just making someone smile!

Some days it’s just that simple.  Color = smile.

Today I received color smiles and design inspiration  in the form of some beautiful, colorful lighting!

Did you have the same reaction I did?  I had to catch my breath!  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this piece of lighting and I reacted the same way on our first encounter.  I could potentially write a dissertation on this there’s so much here to love!  I would never STOP smiling if it was in my home.  I’d probably blog about it every day.  You’d get really sick of hearing about it…we’d have a blog breakup…drama would ensue.  Yes, it’s THAT special!   This came to me again today in an email from my friend Diane who sent me the link and these words “I think I just died and went to Heaven !!!”  I get it!

You can find this charmer, Catalonia Chandelier, at Shine by S. H. O.  Make sure you have a few extra minutes when you’re there because you *might* want to look around a little.  For instance…

The Sugalite Pendant is like Cinderella dressed up for the ball!  It’s elegant and dreamy!  I already have a vision for the room this baby would hang in and it involves these chairs I saw on Color Sizzle.

This next light, from Satelight, is really inspiring for me personally.  I have a vision of my melissaAnne COLORS abstracts printed on silk and linen fabrics covering lampshades.  Pendant lamps and table lamps with beautiful blown glass bases in unique colors pulled from natural shades in my images.  I tested a DIY lampshade to give to someone as a gift last year.  The fabric worked fine, the DIY…well, I’m not Martha Stewart.

My final color smile came from something that is near and dear to my heart.  Hidden color palettes!  I’ve talked about this before.  It’s kinda an obsession with me.  Colorful designs outside of clear view that when seen feel like you’re sneaking into a present you weren’t meant to see.  A little danger.  A little intrigue.   A little forbidden color.

Meet lighting from Satelight with a hidden color palette.

I hope you enjoyed today’s color and something here inspired you to do something fun with color or just made you smile.  If you see some fun color if your life today let us know in the comments here on the blog or share it with us at melissaAnne COLORS on Facebook.

In a Pit, But Climbing Out With Color

Oh no, it’s one of those “full disclosure on the blog” moments.  The kind that make my heart race, my palms sweaty, and leaves my stomach cartwheeling around my body.

I read a great book last night.  The entire book.  I started looking through it to find a quote and next thing I new it was 12:30 a.m. and I was reading the last page.  The pages are covered with turquoise underlines and words as prevalent as snow on the sidewalks of NYC.  It’s like a turquoise ink blizzard hit the book.

The book is In a Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day (I can’t seem to get away from “snow” these days) by Mark Batterson.

The tagline on the book is “How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars”.  It takes a story from the Scripture and provides current day empowerment for following your dreams, living an authentic life, and the best part – an encouragement to look foolish.

“Something invaluable and irreplaceable is lost when we cave in to conformity.  We lose our personality.  We lose our originality.  And at some point we lose our soul.  Instead of becoming the one-of-a-kind original we were destined to be, we settle for a carbon copy of someone else…you have to be willing to look foolish in the world’s eyes.”

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, this book is a powerful reminder that we all have gifts.  That fear-based inaction leads to regret.  That taking risks, looking foolish to some, means living as our authentic self.

These were good reminders for me.

I’ve been struggling with all of them.  I left corporate America a little over 8 months ago.  Before I left I had BIG , colorful textile dreams, a clear vision for melissaAnne COLORS and I was in BIG action.  Since I left, well, I’ve had spurts of action but mostly I feel a constant battle with fear and self-consciousness. I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough.  I’m not ready yet.  I don’t have the money to…

I don’t know where or when it happened really.  How I went from “I can do anything” to feeling like “I can’t do anything”.   How the clearest vision of my authentic purpose that launched me out of bed every day and was a beacon lighting my path became a hidden question I am afraid to focus on.  How I went from being so certain I knew my purpose to having no idea what my purpose is.

“Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life.”

So there I sat last night absorbing every word in this book.  Answering questions that the book asked…and some it didn’t.  Remembering the feeling of having that dream and that vision and not a single doubt or question in my head that I would reach it.

Change isn’t easy.  Fears aren’t immediately dissolved by reading a book and making notes with your favorite color pen.  But, awareness opens the door.  Courage moves us forward and supportive friends are the life-line of any dream;  both those who don’t think you look foolish and those who do but accept you anyway because it allows them to dream about a  little foolishness too.

I’m in my pit.  I’m fighting my lion.  I’m fighting for my dream and for what my vision can bring to others.

“…our greatest gifts and passions are often the byproduct of our worst tragedies and failures.  Trials have a way of helping us rediscover our purpose in life.”

I’m fighting with a little more strength and commitment than I had yesterday.  I’m refocusing on what got me through a year-long struggle before this:  Color.  Color is my passion, my purpose, and my “foolish” gift. It feels good to live in my “foolishness”.

Be a little foolish today and allow someone else to be foolish around you.

I believe that foolishness is an amazing gift to receive and to give others.

Thanks for reading my “moment”.  Tomorrow we’ll get back to being foolish and coloring our dreams.

Special thanks to Ann Cline for being a beautiful and supportive friend and encouraging my dream and supporting me with the gift of “In A Pit…” and to Zan Packard for the discussion of my new “tagline“:  Color Out Loud part of my motivation for “loudy” sharing my moment today.
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