Express Yourself……. Come on now Express Yourself

art decorating general manifesto repurposing

Hello friends! Another week goes by and despite the stress of my life; there were some really funny moments. These are the best things from my week:

At a local senior center, I lead a Friday discussion group with early stage Alzheimer’s patients. I asked the group, “What is something that you should never lie about? One lady said, “Your shoe size.” Another lady said, “Why are we talking about suicide?” This reminds me of the joke where three seniors go out for a stroll. The first one says, “It’s windy. Another one replies, “No, it’s Thursday.” The last one says, “Me too. Let’s get a drink.”

At another place I hear an older lady say to friends, “I finally picked out the photo of myself I want to have on display at my funeral. My daughter said I was too much of a bitch then. She has only liked me for the last few years so she suggests a more recent photo.” This is a true story!

At an uber cool Oakland diner, a tall drink of hot chocolate introduces himself by saying, “My name is Greg, Gregory or Big Daddy.” (Did he really say that? Uh huh!) My friend responds with, “I am an overly educated black woman.” I tell her no, no! You are an HIGHLY educated black woman! Big difference! Her name has been withheld to protect the slightly inebriated and innocent.

Another laughable moment is my dinner with my retired bachelor neighbor. I will call him Mr. Delusional as he is crazy with a capital C. I am not making fun of him—just the situation. Mr. D. has invited me for dinner every week since I moved in 2 months ago and because my mother raised me right, I agreed to go. (maybe I am the crazy one here?) I made sure my son was within ear shot in case Mr. D. decided to make a pass or cut me up for the freezer. The highlight? Watching a 68 year old legally blind man playing air guitar to the Moody Blues telling me it was him in the video. I ended up leaving two hours later with half a bottle of wine and raw salmon. He never got around to cooking so he sent dinner home with me to make myself! Mom tells me it is OK to stay away from Mr. D now and I wholeheartedly agree!

Always do what your Mother tells you to do.

Last night I came downstairs feeling quite sexy in a black jumpsuit and statement earrings when my son tells me that I remind him of Cruella Deville. I said first of all, “She is not a real person and second of all, what part of me says “puppy killer?” (Cruella is the villain in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians) He claims the resemblance stems from my sassy hair style and not my sassy outfit.

I have white blond highlights around my face which may be more reminiscent of a halo or wreath of laurel. Just kidding! This isn’t the first guy to say this and he also meant it as a compliment. Let me set the record straight. Her…… Me…. No #%&% resemblance.

By the way, I was headed out all to a Motown review with gal pals Marina and Colleen. Stellar evening! Marina is teaching me how to flirt and looks like I might even have snagged a date for next weekend with her fail proof method. Colleen sometimes talks like Roseannadanna and tears up the dance floor! Good peeps.

As one of my gal pals put it to me today, I am a little Marilyn Monroe and a little Kristen Wiig with the voice of Delilah (radio personality). Quite a compliment! Thank you, lovey! 

No Cruella Deville in me what so ever...

I made a fantastic discovery this week and I would like to share it with you. Inspired by the cooking show that shares combining fresh ingredients with specially selected store-bought items, a.k.a. “Semi-homemade”, I decided I would use a similar method to create a custom piece of art.
Treasuring hunting at Salvation Army, I purchased a large canvas painted with a big purple flower. The basics were good and with no intention of insulting the artist, I wanted to add a little more pizazz to the image, but what?
Step 1. I am drawn to the color of glacier fed lakes; the opaque grey turquoise palette. Cool, clean So I added some of the blue to the petals and then to create texture, painted a mesh onion bag with the same color, and applied it to the canvas. (I forgot to snap a picture of the starting canvas. Sorry!)

Step 2. My mantra this year is LET GO. Let go of outcome, anxiety, worry, negative thinking, needing to have a plan and so on. Using a pearlizing (I think I just made up this word) paint with a little gold mixed in, I stenciled the phrase LET GO here and there. What I love is that the letters are evident when the light hits them but otherwise the effect is quite subtle. My secret manifesto!

Step 3. Finally, I am soothed by the sound of water and in particular, the sound of rain. Using a few thicknesses of gold paint, I dripped the paint from the top to simulate looking through a wet window pane. I am so happy with the result!

The process itself enforces letting go because only my non-critical eye would know when the art was complete. In fact, the dog walked by and dragged his tail through the wet paint. The “old me” would have exploded or quit but the “new me”, a.k.a the recovering perfectionist, thought it was pretty cool to have his participation. (Excuse me while I try to get paint off six feet of hallway wall that he brushed against too!)

Cost: $10 and a few hours. Benefit: Overwhelming satisfaction!

I wish you a week of creative inspiration and the courage to LET GO! Like the Charles Wright song says, go out and express yourself!
“Express yourself
You don’t never need help from nobody else
All you got to do now;
Express yourself!”

From the heart,