Dreams In Color

After Boot Camp style cleaning and fresh make-up she is ready for company.

Dreaming in living color is something that comes natural to me. I am by way of profession a color consulant with decades of mixing paint in a paint department, studying color under my mothers wisdom as an artist, and generally being fully soaked in color. God has blessed me with being able to see color and know it the way some people taste food or smell perfume. I dream in color, I don’t care what experts say. I have awakened and gone into work and created a color I saw in my dream. I cannot put a brush to a canvas and create anything but abstract looking art when I am trying to make a portrait, I cannot shade a circle correctly, I cannot make a frame-worthy work of art to save my life, but I can mix you the color to use with relative ease in any situation. It is a gift I have crafted but that I do not work at, a natural extension of who my creator made me to be. I have honed the craft since Kindergarten. I could mix colors before I could write my own name.

When I found Thelma Lou she had been updated with a color slap-dash applied in all the wrong ways. It was a wrong color, a wrong application, a wrong look, a wrong feeling. I saw the mission to set the poor girl free with a make-over the moment I stepped through her doors. She birthed a dream since childhood in me, and I felt I could bring her cosmetically to the full potential she had and was worthy of. My husband downloaded an itunes song yesterday that has a lyric “I can move a mountain when a mountain moves in me.” When I met Thelma, a mouuntain stirred in me. She has been a process, a project, a vision, a comfort and a lot of elbow grease.

Thelma Lou Before Boot Camp and Make-Up.



Thelma Lou has been a work in progress for 13 months. She was pretty much cleaned up and ready to roll in about a week, but I have continued to adjust and tweak things that just seem more suited to what she needs. As we spend time together I have gone from putting all the fun ‘PRIVATE-GIRLS ONLY!’ necessities inside that make her comfy, to taking her to a more public use and less of my whims. I recently redid her bathroom. I am still awaiting changing her old “leaks like a sieve” blackwater tank to a new holding tank, so we can use the toilet fully functioning. Currently the toilet bowl is fitted with a chamber pot arrangement for night time, that gets emptied each morning. This last week I took her to a more prominent part of the inside. She got a custom paint job that in a small space photos don’t do her justice, but in life made all the difference. Her bathroom feels like that small second 1/2 bath off the kitchen now instead of the ugly closet. When you have a 15′ trailer, ALL the spaces need to look uniform in order for it to feel comfortable instead of like a musty crackerbox. Now, I remind you, that I am making these trailers road ready, not rebuilt. She had good bones. Bootcamp axle building 101, cleaning like there was no tomorrow from afternoon to daylight, sweating like a football team with daily doubles in August, and using more sandpaper than hardware store can hold, is the bootcamp of our past. Now we are just taking the good bones and applying paint, curtains, a bit of removable carpet, and some accents. The wobbles in the paneling damaged from storage and a few minor leaks are still there, the ancient vinyl contact like paper on the ceiling with wrinkles in the corners is still in place, just freshly painted. Somehow fresh paint and newly sewn and starched curtains takes the edge off her age and blems. She is 47 and I am 50 years old. We both have need for a little make up when company is coming. My make up looks a little different. It has foundation, mascara, blush, eye liner, lipstick. Her kit has paint, trim, carpet, curtains, and recovered cushions.


All the same, we have both weathered the years and come out of them with a few wrinkles and lots of character, a bit more charm for the miles, and become welcoming to those we love. Make up applied correctly gives both of us the illusion of having it more together than we really do, and you know, at the grandma stage of my life, I am perfectly fine with that.

*Song on iTunes by Danny Schmidt -Houses Sing

What color is determination?

What Color Is... D E T E R M I N A T I O N?

When my daughter who is now a mother herself was very young, she asked me in all seriousness:

“Mama, what sound does a mountain make?”

It is my second favorite question in my lifetime, the first being my husbands marriage proposal. I woke up this morning feeling achy and a bit fluish. Just over tired and under hydrated I think, but as I lay in the softness of the morning I had a thought travel through my head:

“What color is determination?”

Right out of the gate I need to explain I am very color oriented. Color is a language not just difference of light and prisms for me. I know that this thought regarding ‘what color is determination’ traveled through time in an immeasurable blink of an instant, but it lingered in my soul and made me take notice. It wasn’t just some new age moment of yoga like transcendental meditation; it was something that on this particular morning  when I was feeling everything but my oats, seemed like a tool to get to the next phase of the teardown on Roxy. Maybe it is because I am feeling a bit uncertain about this repair-rebuild phase of travel trailer re-roading and need a booster shot of confidence. If you knew how many hours I’d researched, ‘repairing  corners in a travel trailer’  you’d tell me to get a life. So before getting out of bed, I took the luxury of trying to determine what color determination is.

My mind has a quirky way of associating or translating color into experience. As a professional color consultant, one of the key questions I ask my clients as a focus goal is:

“What do you want this area or room to feel like when you are in here?”

It doesn’t matter to me what colors they want to use, as long as I know how they want it to feel. It’s my tool for using the color palette to their advantage. When I think about how I want Roxy to make you feel when you are inside her it is, ‘Edgy-Retro-Fun’ …Young, but grown-up, and maybe even old enough that you shouldn’t be carded, but are still flattered when you are. I want it to be a place anyone feels delightfully set apart from the grind of life and released to have fun, no matter if they are an edgy or nerdy single, fun couple, or young family. I think Roxy says that on her interior now. So, now I must  wrap the outside in stability so I can send the occupants down the road in a re-road ready AdventureMobile. As I think about what color safety, structure, reliable, strength, solid, fortress looks like, I keep coming back to one color.

Inspiration, wood rot, dry rot, rebuild,

Sonlight.                                                                                                                                         No that wasn’t a typo. Sonlight. To see the color of determination for me, I just have to keep my focus on where my inner strength comes from. The son of God. Jesus.           You might think I am getting sidetracked and that this is turning into a Sunday school lesson, but if that is true, you would probably think I practice Yoga and transcendental meditation when I asked you what you want a room to feel like. That’s okay. I know where my focus has to be, and that my focus will yield the strength of character that brings determination to do the hard things. Say what you will about Jesus Christ, but you have to give him the respect that says, if nothing else, he was determined.

One thing for sure is that the color is subjective to the owner. I bet that my color of determination is actually a chameleon. What color gives me strength to move forward? The color of unbridled , self sacrificing love. Getting my color in focus this morning, the black rot of wood doesn’t seem so scary, overwhelming and daunting. I am determined to cut out the black and replace it with the bright fresh color of new wood. One color of strength. One color of determination.

D E T E R M I N A T I O N probably varies in color

Roxy, Black Becomes You…

Let’s face it, black is classic. It’s a category not just a color. “The little black dress” isn’t just a statement about a dress’s color, it’s about making that perfect choice of daring elegance. Black means  tough, stark, daring, elegant, bold, conservative, deep. I love black shutters on white houses because of their simple, aristocratic, old-world feel. Black is that color that I can pull out of my 5-inch-thick fan-deck of colors and have it work almost every time. So, it is with Roxy.

I love the turquoise appliances and the quilted shiny things but I needed something great to really set the tone for Roxy. Black is it.

Here’s a few photos of the most recent progress on Roxy, the 1967 Aristocrat Lo-Liner.

1967 Aristocrat Lo-Liner Dinette

Turquoise, Black and Aluminum

1967 Aristocrat Lo-Liner Kitchen and Dinette

Black, the perfect accent color in a small space.