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A FAREWELL TO 2015 – OH WHAT A YEAR!

THERE ARE ABOUT 8 HOURS LEFT..in this year,  2015

YEARS have whole personalities, like people. And when they come to a close and the time to sum them up arrives,  some years are easier to put in a nutshell, some are more interesting, busier than others.. some are tornadoes of change and drama …. some are beloved, sweet and simple. But ALL have a personality.

There are years where you receive the passport stamp of MILESTONE MOMENTS…, marriages, births, deaths, divorces, big moves and job changes..years that as they wind to a close often elicit a “we made it!” high five…or a simple sigh of relief and a readiness to turn the page.

There are years of LOSS. I lost an immediate family member is 2012 (My Father), 2013 (My sister-in-law Maura), and 2014 (My Father in Law) …those were years of navigating the stages of grief and  though LIFE carried on, creativity happened and many smiles and happy moments spontaneously erupted and joy ensued…always…in the back of my heart was a tender place.

Holes where they had been.

Time heals and life carries on.  2015 will go down in MY LIFE’S HISTORY as one of the

BIGGEST YEARS OF JOYFUL CELEBRATION. I’ll take it!

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1.

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 MY FIRSTBORN, TATE COLTRANE, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS ACCEPTED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA…WHERE HE BECAME A FIRST YEAR IN AUGUST.

BEAN AND TATE SAY GOODBYE
BEAN AND TATE SAY GOODBYE

2.

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 MY SECOND BORN, , PHOEBE HOLIDAY, APPLIED EARLY DECISION AND WAS JUST ACCEPTED TO THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY WHERE SHE WILL BEGIN HER STUDIES FALL 2016.

PHOEBE ALSO WAS THE RECIPIENT OF THE EMILY COURIC SCHOLARSHIP ($5000)  AT HER HIGH SCHOOL AND IN JANUARY WILL ATTEND A LUNCHEON WITH 7 GIRLS FROM EACH OF THE OTHER SCHOOLS IN OUR AREA AND ONE OF THEM WILL WIN $30,000!…

AND SHE WAS THE HOMECOMING QUEEN!

THE QUEEN AND I!
THE QUEEN AND I!

3.

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 MY YOUNGEST COOPER ELLINGTON, GRADUATED MIDDLE SCHOOL AND STARTED HIGH SCHOOL……AND HE..AND I…..GOT OUR BRACES OFF!

COOPER AND HIS BUDDY JAKE
COOPER AND HIS BUDDY JAKE
COOPER AND HIS COUSIN ELLIE
COOPER AND HIS COUSIN ELLIE

4. 

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. I COMPLETED A MAKEOVER OF PHOEBE’S BEDROOM FOR HER 17TH BIRTHDAY AND AS A SPRING ONE ROOM CHALLENGE GUEST PARTICIPANT.

5. 

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. I COMPLETED A MAKEOVER OF COOPERS BEDROOM  AS PART OF THE FALL ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WHICH BECAME JUST HIS OWN ROOM AFTER TATE HEADED TO COLLEGE.

6. 

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 I ATTENDED THE DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE IN LATE FEBRUARY AND ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR, WAS INTRODUCED BY MY DESIGNER FRIEND LISA MENDE, TO TRACI ZELLER, A LOVELY DESIGNER WHO HAPPENS TO SHARE A DESIGN OFFICE SPACE WITH LISA. TRACI ASKED ME IF I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN PAINTING SOME HORSES FOR AN UPCOMING SHOWHOUSE SHE WAS DESIGNING…AND THUS BEGAN ON OF MY FAVORITE PROJECTS EVER! THE CHARLOTTE HOMEARAMA SHOWHOUSE IN CHEVAL.

7.

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 IN ADDITION TO THE DOZENS OF CUSTOM PET PORTRAITS I HAD THE HONOR OF PAINTING…

IN AUGUST, THE ONLINE ART WEBSITE U GALLERY COMMISSIONED ME

TO DO 7 “CELEBRITY” CUSTOM PET PORTRAITS. IT WAS THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME. WE EVEN HEARD BACK FROM A FEW THE RECIPIENTS!!!

CESAR MILAN - INSTAGRAM - JUNIOR MEETS JUNIOR! THIS PHOTO ON CESARS INSTAGRAM HAS 14.2K LIKES !!!
CESAR MILAN – INSTAGRAM – JUNIOR MEETS JUNIOR! AS OF TODAY…THIS PHOTO ON CESARS INSTAGRAM HAS 14.2K LIKES !!!
CELEBRITY PORTRAITS - FROM TOP -"SADIE" - OPRAH, "MABEL" - ELLEN DEGENERES, : "JUNIOR" CESAR MILAN, "OLLIE" RICKY GERVAIS, "COOPER" KATIE COURIC, MENSWEARDOG, AND "WATSON" - NEIL PATRICK HARRIS
CELEBRITY PORTRAITS – FROM TOP -“SADIE” – OPRAH, “MABEL” – ELLEN DEGENERES, : “JUNIOR” CESAR MILAN, “OLLIE” RICKY GERVAIS, “COOPER” KATIE COURIC, MENSWEARDOG, AND “WATSON” – NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. EACH RECIPIENT WAS CHOSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE SUCH A STRONG SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IN SUPPORT OF ANIMALS AND ANIMAL RIGHTS.
ALL THE NOTES - SURREAL
ALL THE NOTES – SURREAL
KATIE COURIC AND HER PORTRAIT OF "COOPER" - TWITTER
KATIE COURIC  POSTED A PHOTO ON TWITTER WITH HER PORTRAIT OF “COOPER” – IN LOOKING FOR PHOTO INSPIRATION FOR THIS PORTRAIT….I FOUND THAT SOME OF THE BEST PHOTOS OF COOPER WERE ON THE BEACH AND SO I TRIED TO CAPTURE THAT SPIRIT AND NAMED THE PAINTING “COOPER AT THE BEACH”

. ……I ALSO PAINTED ANDY COHEN’S DOG “WACHA” – JUST BECAUSE I LOVE HIM AND LOVE HOW WACHA HAS STOLEN SUCH A HUGE PIECE OF ANDY’S HEART…HE SENT ME A LOVELY THANK YOU NOTE…WHICH YES..MADE MY DAY!!!

8.

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ALSO, at the Atlanta Design Bloggers conference, I met the Queen of decorating herself, Bunny Williams. I introduced Bunny to my paintings and while they did not end up using any of my work  in the 2015 Southern Living Ideahouse which was located 15 minutes from my home…I absolutely  LOVED the house and was obsessed with the interior color Sherwinn Williams “Steamed Milk”! I visited the house  twice and painted 2/3 of my house in “Steamed Milk”, I plan to do a TON of redecorating next year with this soft background as my template.

9.

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 ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHT OF THIS YEAR FOR ME WAS COMPLETING A BIG DECORATING JOB. I WILL BE POSTNG THIS TRANSFORMATION IN MUCH MORE DETAIL IN THE COMING WEEKS…BUT I WAS HIRED TO MAKEOVER A LIVING ROOM, DINING ROOM AND A DEN IN A GORGEOUS HOME. THE FINAL INSTALLATION WAS THIS PAST MONDAY AND THE CLIENT SAYS SHE FEELS LIKE SHE IS LIVING IN A DREAM! I COULD NOT ASK FOR MORE!

10.

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WE HAD FAMILY FROM BOTH SIDES HERE BEFORE AND AFTER CHRISTMAS AND IT WAS PURE BLISS..SHARING TIME WITH THE ONES I HOLD SO DEAR!!! and not for a funeral!

FINALLY – I AM SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE COMPLETED ANOTHER YEAR HERE…ON THIS planet and on this BLOG…JUST SHOWING UP…IF NOT WITH AS MUCH REGULARITY AS I WOULD LIKE …ALWAYS WITH CONSISTENT LOVE FOR WHAT I SHARE AND WHAT YOU SHARE…YOUR HOMES, YOUR QUESTIONS, YOUR PETS…ALL THE AMAZING ANIMALS I GET TO MEET AND PAINT…I AM SO VERY BLESSED THIS YEAR WAS WONDERFUL!

THIS PAINTING WHICH WAS LOST ON ITS WAY TO ITS OWNER HAS BEEN FOUND!!!
LILY IS FOUND!!! THIS PAINTING WHICH WAS LOST ON ITS WAY TO ITS OWNER FOR CHRISTMAS…HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE LOST MAIL OFFICE IN ATLANTA – I HAD ENCLOSED A BUSINESS CARD AND THEY TRACED BACK TO ME BY MY EMAIL!!!

IN CLOSING, I WANT TO SHARE SOMETHING I WROTE ON FACEBOOK A WHILE BACK

“I know the world is a ****fest right now.

I ache with worry that the world my children are going into is damaged beyond repair.
But I do believe in Love. I believe in Love with all my heart and I believe that one-act of kindness, small as it may seem…holds transformative powers. Love one another. Truly. Let the crap go. Forgive. Open your hearts and your minds . Let love in and leave your Love Stamp wherever you go. Be nice. And kind. I do believe in Love.”

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CESARMILANFULL CROPPNAME

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8 thoughts on “A FAREWELL TO 2015 – OH WHAT A YEAR!

  1. I am beyond grateful for you, Lesli, and incredibly happy that you are in my life, personally and professionally. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  2. Thanks for sharing – sometimes that is enough! Although sharing and LOVE are better and your reminder is so well put. Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you Lesli-this is the first blog I read today and you have set the tone for 2016! Keep it simple, be thankful and LOVE-it’s all anyone needs….
    p.s. I am totally painting my living room with steamed milk

    1. Thank you Kathy! You will LOVE the steamed milk!!! It is a beautiful color. My sister in law is moving to a new house and after seeing my house plans to paint her whole house this color! Happy New Year!

  4. Thank you Lesli-this is the first blog I read today and you have set the tone for 2016! Keep it simple, be thankful and LOVE-it’s all anyone needs….
    p.s. I am totally painting my living room with steamed milk!

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