Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Since I last posted: another painting, another birthday.  Yup, I've been busy.  First, the painting.  Told you I was obsessed with ranunculus lately.  And to think just a few months ago I couldn't even spell the word.  Photos are dark due to our May Gray/June Gloom.

I know I've said it before, but I sure do enjoy getting back into painting on a regular basis.  Anticipating what I want to do next, but absolutely must get some long overdue projects completed.  We have torn out the disgusting carpet on the first floor and installed hardwood in several areas.  Oh, what a wonderful change.  This place is beginning to feel like ours.  My studio is completely torn up though and I am in the middle of painting the living room, entry and hallway before I can get to the studio.  So I'm back to painting where I shouldn't be and we are back to eating at the coffee table.

Then I had me another one of them there birthdays.  I guess that's better than the alternative.  I was in the midst of wallowing in a vat of sadness leading up to that day because moving here hasn't always been easy for me.  Here's the story about why I was in such a terrible funk leading up to my birthday.  Fair warning: if you don't want to hear my sob story just skip to the last paragraph.  This is my journal and it includes all things Paula; the good, the bad and everything in between.

Okay, so remember the garage door I posted about here?   Here's a closeup reminder of the before for the visual drama.  Promise.  That is exactly what it looked like before.  No joke.

ACCEPTABLE old paint color(s)

So, guess what?  We have to repaint.  Yup.  Not just the garage door but we had been scraping and painting ALL the trim because it was as bad as the above photo.  Unfortunate for us, we asked the only neighbors we knew on either side of us if there were color palettes to choose from for the neighborhood.  We were told no, which is a true statement.  However, we failed to ask enough questions to know we were required to submit our color choices for approval by the HOA.  The day we got "the letter" we also went to a small gathering, excited to finally meet some new neighbors.  Just about everyone we introduced ourselves to said, "So you are the people with the garage door".  One lady referred to it as "unique".  I told her I wasn't sure how to take that, as unique isn't always meant as a compliment, and I sensed she didn't intend for it to be taken as such.  She didn't change her attitude and restated that it was indeed unique.  Turns out they live two doors away and her husband is on the board, as were many of the others at that small gathering.  Scratching my head after that little event I googled the title on the header of the letter and found the rules on their website.  That prompted us to dig deeper and finally found the rules buried within 164 pages we received upon closing on this place.  We went through the required hoops but as I suspected, the decision had already been made. 

Apparently, the old color was much less offensive, or at least that's what I heard in my deeply rejected state of mind.  I took this very hard.  My life revolves around color.  I thank God constantly for color and I'm not exaggerating either!  I hold high mass over my color choices because I believe our personal colors reflect who we are.  So to reject my color choice is the same as rejecting me.  I immediately found myself wandering around in the Land of Looney.  All those years of being an interior designer, all the awards, the national publications featuring my designs, sitting on the board of directors for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) in Indiana; all flushed down the toilet.  Not really, but that's what happens when I go to that forbidden place.  I thought the old paint was hideous, but my color choice was worse!  Sob. In reality I do get the point, just wish there had been a more neighborly way to go about it.  Thank goodness Tim never visits the Land of Looney with me and was just happy they weren't making us remove the new garage door, which they could have done.  In the meantime I AM working on the Love Thy Neighbor thing.  I'm dragging my feet, but I'll get there.

UNACCEPTABLE  new paint color

Now, back to my birthday.  I received several phone calls and emails from friends and grandkids back in Indiana and Tennessee from morning till night.  It was just glorious to laugh and chat with the people in my life that really know me, accept me and can instantly pull me out of that nasty place.   

Look at this flower cake I received from a dear friend back in Indiana...because she knows I love flowers even more than cake.  I am welling up just thinking about it.  She even wanted the lime slices on the top because I love lemons and limes.  I had a day filled with friends, family, love, a little color and perfect timing.  


  1. We had major battles in our neighborhood about paint colors, too! We were supposed to keep the original color schemes, which was a very 1980 scheme with dark trims, which would fade under the Hawaii sun within a year! After about the 5th home defiantly painted a white or lite trim, the HOA finally got it! The neighborhood looks so much better now!
    And I loved the color you chose!

  2. OMG! Don't get me started on HOAs! My normally calm and collected DH nearly put a coffee cup through the newly hung drywall after learning the HOA had counted our bricks and determined we didn't have enough! I am dead serious! Good Lord! These people really need to get a life that doesn't involve mine. To threaten a lawsuit because we didn't have enough bricks on a home that we spent a year designing, agonizing over every detail. And the plan is an award-winning design by a prominent Atlanta architect we chose based on it's ability to say "HOME" to us. Grrr. It's been over eight years and I still don't make eye contact with my neighbors. Loving them is still more than I can comprehend. Someday.

    They couldn't have hurt me more if they ripped out my heart and stomped on it. I totally know exactly how you feel but when it comes down to it, there's still no place like home. Our sanctuary, our haven, our refuge from the crazy.

  3. Well I thought your new garage door color was lovely and much better then before. Where did they get their color sense. I would be hard put to live where I was told what color I could paint. They can't say anything about inside can they. LOL Happy Birthday late. Blessings Sandra

  4. Okay, clearly these people are from the Land of Looney and NOT you. Those HOA's are a bunch of egotistical maniacs who think they know more about what your house should look like....true craziness! Hang in there, isn't you, it's them!

  5. HOAs make me crazy! I bought a condo many years ago and about drove my realtor to the loony bin. She was kept very busy digging up all the rules and regs for each and every condo I looked at. I read so many of those darn lists my head was swimming. But I bought a condo in a community with rules I could live with. Thank goodness!

    Now your garage door doesn't look offensive at all! What are the colors they prefer it to be? Fushia?

  6. Stories like these always make me happy that we don't live with an HOA. I would want to rebel just to make them mad and that's not normally the type of person I am. I think your garage door is a beautiful color. You should submit a bright purple or something. Maybe they would approve it. haha

    Glad you were able to leave the dark place. It is much more fun in the light which is why your painting makes me feel so happy!

  7. Oh and btw - this is Lisa. Someone told me I was a trouble maker and I changed my name to Trouble and just haven't changed it back yet. I'm enjoying the comments I get from people asking me why I changed it. ;)

  8. That silly HOA is lucky to have you in their neighborhood! You bring so much joy to this world with your lovely designs and brilliant colors!

  9. I simply don't understand how a neutral paint color like yours doesn't get approved. That says a lot about your HOA and yes, it is going to be tough to love them. Phil 3:14; you have a cloud of witnesses rooting you on!

  10. It is truly hard to imagine why they wouldn't be happy with you color choice. I love your paintings and fabric, the bright happy colors make me smile.

  11. I'm sorry.. are you KIDDING me? Don't they know who you ARE??!! Your choice is 1000 times better. :)

  12. Happy Belated Birthday, and don't feel bad, I've been living in the land of looney for a while too, though I just had a baby, and I think mine has a far less funny term attached to it. Anyways...I did have a point and I am not completely looney as I am sure you aren't you ever sell prints of your artwork? Those flowers in the Ball jar are TO DIE FOR beautiful! Seriously you are so talented!

  13. Thought I'd answer a couple of your questions and comments here:

    The HOA apparantly wants to continue with the 80's look, only beige or tan shades is my guess. Many of these "bored" members have lived here since these were built and maybe are not fond of change..or people that like to make changes.

    Marci Girl, interesting that you would ask. Giclee canvas art is in the works through one of my licensing contracts. More on that later.

    Love you all and it helps to know I might just run into some of you sometime in the Land of Looney.

  14. PAULA! SWEETIE! I have discovered your revenge!

    The HOA only specifies color palette, correct? If that is so, here's your inspiration!

  15. Paula,
    I am so sorry! THEY are the land of Looney, not you! I LOVE your garage door! It looks amazing! So sorry for what you've gone through! Don't let that ruin your day! Happy birthday!

  16. I thought the new design and color of your garage door was very beautiful. You're also a fantastic artist with a great color sense--so what does the HOA know? Not much apparently. Please don't let those turkeys get you down!

    Happy belated birthday too.

  17. Happy Belated Birthday! What could possibly be wrong with your garage door color?! Honestly, some people...
    The paintings are just lovely, so clearly you escaped Looney. Been there myself. One of the reasons I visit your blog is because you tell your story, so thank you!

  18. Hello Paula, What a special treat to have had you visit and leave a comment on my blog. Like having a celebrity stop by unexpectedly. I'm glad you did, your paintings are spectacular and I'm glad you share them for us to see! I agree, the fields are an amazing sight. When I first moved there it was a sleepy town that closed up at 5pm. If you are ever in Leucadia (Encinitas) and are craving a delicious cup of coffee, I recommend the Pannikin on Coast Hwy in an old yellow train depo. Caution, don't go there on a diet, the scones and cakes are irresistible. It's a bit funky, but what the area was like when I moved there. They also have a huge selection of their own amazing tea.

    Sorry to hear about your struggles with the HOA. I avoid them like the plague, take cover, and run!

  19. I am in awe of your color choices. If they didn't like the garage door color, you should have threatened them with the green of your dining room instead (love that color!!!). Small minds ruling their small kingdom. I think the best revenge is to join the board, get on the architectural committee (use your extensive resume), then mess with the little pea brains. Sorry, I couldn't resist. What asses to treat you like that! They should be kissing your feet for the neighborhood improvement you'll be creating while you work on your home. The 80's are over. Deal with it.

  20. Those poor clueless people would have a heart attack if they could see our home. We live on a boat in a marina so seeing laundry hanging to dry on lines strung between shrouds, tarps draped over booms to provide shade for the cockpit, and even composting toilets air drying after a cleaning sitting on the dock are normal sights on any given day. And I guess our pit bull doing his business on his 'potty patch' on the stern would positively give them the vapors!
    I can't believe they had no problem with your old door but found your new one to be unique (snotty bi*ch!) and unacceptable. I can't help but think they might be a little jealous of your talents.



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