Everything Old is New Again


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After a brief sabbatical (over a year) from blogging, I’m checking back in to give you an update. Where do I a start…..

When I first started posting in 2014, it was to share my ideas on color and paint. Although there were many DIY blogs already out there, very few were showing step by step techniques to create texture and depth by the use of color(s) and layers, particularly for furniture. The reason for this was simple, it was very difficult and labor intensive to create a worn finish using latex or oil-based paints. Chalk Paint changed all that. And here I’ll give a nod to Annie Sloan, while she didn’t invent chalk paint( it’s ancient), she brought it to everyone’s attention with her own Brand. She also made the process less intimidating and even easy.

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In the beginning, she offered 18 colors (when I started using her products, anyway), now she has over 30. But back then things were more limited.What if you didn’t want a one dimensional flat finish in one of her colors, and didn’t really want to do the whole Dark Wax thing ?

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images via Pinterest

That’s when I started mixing and layering Chalk Paint in many combinations. Mixing custom colors, making a wash, adding white to a color for a range of shades and tints, layering colors……… just to see what worked and what didn’t. The amazing aspect of using chalk paint was you could paint over anything you didn’t like. Complete freedom as an artist and literally fool proof.

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I kept endless notes and paint chips of the colors I created, and the process I used so I could recreate or match a finish or color. What a great idea for a blog!! And Colorways was born on Google’s free blogspot.

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About 8 months later I moved here to my own domain so I would own my content.

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My life became an endless cycle of projects and blog posts. I painted all my furniture at least twice, and my house became a revolving door of furniture moving in and out. I painted for all my friends, and anyone else who would let me, providing I could photograph the projects and share them on the blog.

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I made numerous color charts and shared them. Whew! 459 posts in 2 years no wonder I burned out.

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I’m motivated by the process of learning. It’s the fun part for me and in the beginning I new nothing about blogging so it was all learning. I learned the importance of social media for bloggers. My photography skills improved immensely and I learned so much about color and paint. But the downside of this was I spent far too many hours on my computer, my dining room became my office. And not in a good way.

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 And I no longer painted for the sheer joy of painting, I painted to have projects to post on the blog. I painted so much furniture that I ran out of new ideas. The fun had stopped and so had I.

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For someone who knew nothing about blogging, my blog was a huge success. Just when I had become moderately proficient with the whole blogging process,  I totally lost interest. I had been warned the biggest problem for bloggers is burnout and I get that now. I took some time off and tried to go back, but I think I was just finished. I had shared everything I had to share on this topic. I had literally painted my heart out. Time for a change:)  Next post: Chapter 2 or life after blogging.

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The good news is all that information is archived here on Colorways. You can see all of my step by step projects, before and afters, all of my charts, and formulas, links, I even have some video’s to demonstrate techniques. Actually, paint is timeless, and the techniques don’t change dramatically from year to year. This blog has a long shelf life. And as long as you have interest in the posts, the blog will be here. I did a little house keeping and updated or removed some links. And from time to time I will add a new post, when I have something new to share. That’s what is was all about, anyway, sharing.  I was never very good at keeping up with the comments or answering questions but I will try to do better now that I’m no longer a blogger.  Thank you for supporting me and the blog for over 3 years. That’s along time in tech world. I’m still on social media and will be posting there fairly regularly if you want to see more of what I’m doing now. I’d love to hear from you! I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. No Twitter for me.  Please check in and let me know what you’re doing. Hope to see you soon:)

Love you guys xoxo

Leslie

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43 Comments

Char

I understand how something can take over a life but I have missed your blog. I enjoy your blog because it is about the pleasure in painting and not about how many products you can promote.

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Leslie Stocker

Char,
thank you:), probably a better plan would have been to not do so much so fast. Hard to see at the time. Keep painting and enjoy every minute. We’ll see each other again soon.

Leslie, xxoo

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Marilynette

If you can teach me how to slow down when I get “on” to something, that would be a feat!

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Leslie Stocker

Marilynette,

lol, balance is not my strong point, When I start something new, it’s full steam ahead. Maybe you can teach me:)

Leslie xxoo

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Annette Tyrrell

I have been following you from almost the beginning. I have always been so impressed with the professionalism of your blog– Yes, you are very good at it!
I totally understand and get the burn-out. I have done the same in each “profession” I have done (maybe because we give our all).
I look forward to what you do next.
I would like to learn more about how you transition from one to the next and still keep the “dough” coming in. This is where I struggle. Trying to launch the new thing while still maintaining and straddling the old thing. It’s a journey.
Best to YOU!

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Leslie Stocker

Annette,

It is hard transitioning to a new career, like you I have done it several times. There always seems to be a lag period while your learning. Most times I have worked for myself, and money doesn’t come in right away. Sometimes I have bridged 2 jobs while I was starting, but thats hard to maintain. It certainly is a motivator (albeit stressful) to work harder when there are bills to pay and I’ve been there too. I wish I had a better answer for you. My philosophy is that if you keep working and don’t give up success eventually comes. It’s nice when it comes sooner rather than later. My best to you as well. Keep me posted Leslie xxoo

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Kathleen Schwendeman

I was wondering what happened Leslie and I totally get it. You were very generous with your time and talent. I have transformed a lot of my furniture thanks to your blog. I look forward to the occasional posting from you in the future.

Best wishes,

Kathy

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Leslie Stocker

Kathleen,

I’ve been trying to reply and wordpress has the worst format for comments. Sorry.I kept losing you. I look forward to posting in the future, more interior design and less furniture. Hope you still like them. See you soon

Leslie xxoo

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Ruth

So fab to hear from you, I have missed your posts so much and everyday go through old ones for total inspiration. Yippee

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Leslie Stocker

Ruth,

thanks for hanging in there with me, I hope you like the new posts too.
Leslie xxoo

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Terry

Thanks Leslie. Your posts have been great inspirations, I still refer back to them for ideas or just for eye candy. Just find your happy level, any bit you post helps someone.

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Leslie Stocker

Terry,
Thanks. I’ll be posting about paint and color again, but more from interior design perspective. Thanks for hanging in there with me:) see you soon

Leslie xoxo

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Janice Bowden

Thanks, Leslie. When I found your blog I fell in love with furniture painting all over again. I understand your burnout – been there myself. I am confident whatever path you are starting on will be successful. Thank you for keeping Colorways up – you have created a color theory encyclopedia with your blogs and color charts and have given it freely. If you were to write a book with your projects and color charts in it, I would be first in line to buy it!

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Denise Hines

I’m just happy to have you back sharing your knowledge. It should never become so laborious that you cannot enjoy the process. It can be tough to balance all things in life without losing a little bit of yourself. Proud of you for knowing when you needed to step back and realign yourself. I look forward to each and every post you have time to share here on your blog. Welcome back!

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Leslie Stocker

Denise!!
Old habits die hard:) I’m finished asking why I took so long to learn balance and just grateful I did. I appreciate your support from way back in the beginning. See you soon

Leslie xxoo

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Cathie

Welcome back, Leslie. I often refer back to your swatchs and find your posts incredibly useful. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects!

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Leslie Stocker

Cathie,
Yes! that is the whole purpose of the blog. See you soon.

Leslie xoxo

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Roxanne Johnson

Leslie, so happy to see a new post from you! I totally undersrand the burn-out. I enjoy Colorways, it’s a unique blog with color patterns far beyond any other blog I’ve read. Thank you for keeping up the Colorways blog for inspiration and enjoyment.

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Leslie Stocker

Roxanne,
Thank you, My pleasure. Hoping you enjoy my new posts more focused on interior design. lol, needed a new challenge. See you soon.

Leslie xxoo

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Anne

Thank you Leslie for sharing all of the knowledge you gained by hard work and commitment. You were truly the original inspiration for me getting started with chalk paint. You deserve to be happy and feel free even if it means we won’t hear from you for long stretches. Just wanted to share my gratitude for your oppeness. Many artists do not feel the same about sharing so it’s a real gift that you do. Your work was always beautiful and inspiring.

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Leslie Stocker

Anne,
Thank you, but really you give me too much credit. Most bloggers are sharing because they are passionate. I was amazed how much they gave and how much I learned from them. Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook has been particularly inspiring for me. Hopefully since the pressure is off, I can enjoy blogging on a more reasonable timetable. Please keep in touch, I want to know what your working on now.

Leslie xoxo

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Nora

You literally changed my life, i rehabbed so many of my own pieces because of your inspiring talent and have done many projects for family and friends, you are so gifted and I deeply appreciate the massive amount of time you gave to this project. I had a beauty channel for 4 years on YouTube and burnt myself out to a crisp, I totally understand how thrilling it is at first and then takes on a life of its own filled with massive responsibility. Whatever you decide to do next I will be in the audience cheering you on. Thank you for your beautiful work❤️

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Leslie Stocker

Nora,
you totally get it!! you get caught up in the momentum, your boundaries become loose and next thing you know you’ve taken on too much. It is thrilling at first, so many possibilities…. but it’s unsustainable. I don’t know how some of the bloggers I follow have sustained it for 6,7 years. I’ve taken a huge step back and changed direction. we’ll see how it goes… Please keep in touch…

Leslie xoxo

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Debbie Tolland

I’m excited for you! Taking chances can be unnerving and may be an obstacle for change in some people. I can’t wait to see what you are going to do. You are an intelligent and passionate woman and I’m so envious of you right now…..can’t you take me with you on this journey?

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Leslie Stocker

Debbie,
unnerving is a good word. I’d love to take you along;) When can you move to Louisville? Can we do this online? Don’t be too envious, there were days I could barely get off the couch:) Let’s keep in touch, let me know what you’re doing. Maybe there is a way we can collaborate down the line. You are an amazing talent…

Leslie xxoo

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Deborah Tolland

I think I have been on that same couch….not a fun place 😇 I’m not adverse to moving and Louisville is warmer than Massachusetts, right? 💕

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Leslie Stocker

Deborah,

kindred spirits:) lol, Louisville is only warmer in the summer and its not pleasant:)
talk soon,
Leslie xoxo

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Lynda Randolph

Lealie
I learned so so much from your blog. I keep notes from your painting and tried to copy the ideas you explained so well. Thank you for all you have taught me over the years!

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Leslie Stocker

Lynda,
I’m a teacher at heart, so that was my goal. Thank you for sharing it with me:)
See you soon,
Leslie xxoo

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Marilyn

I always thoroughly enjoyed your posts, you’re so inspiring. Thanks so much for every idea and project. Much luck in the future!

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Karen

So happy you are back on your own terms. I have to say I was actually concerned that something had happened . Like a death or something awful. We all need to find our place, take a step or two back from time to time.

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Leslie Stocker

Karen,
I have to say its been a stressful year, not because anyone was sick or died, just circumstances. You do the best you can and move on.
I look forward to connecting with you again soon,

Fondly, Leslie xoxo

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Marie Cafolla

Hi Leslie,
I’m glad to hear that you’re ok, I’ve missed seeing your beautiful and always inspiring work. Looking forward to the next chapter!
Take care,
Marie x

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Leslie Stocker

Marie,

you were one of my first friends on Facebook! I remember your gorgeous flowers. Are you still there? if so I’ll connect with you. Thank you. you were very inspiring to me
Fondly
Leslie xoxo

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Terrisu Mann

The art of creating is grounded by the heart of giving. Thank you for tireless help to keep such a beautiful art
alive. Annie Sloan should have paid you. I’ve taken all her classes from stockist and I learned far more
from your wisdom. Not counting them out, you just went the furthest to give chalk painting many new depths.
May you be blessed by all you’ve given and continue in your giving.

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Leslie Stocker

Terrisu,

Lol, I just wasn’t on Annie’s radar. I’ve taken a hiatus from her paint only because I’m no longer painting furniture. She is sharing much more in the how to, step by step process, and ways to expand her color palette than she did a few years ago. Keep painting and check back occasionally if you enjoy interior design, I’m working with some very talented, inspiring artists and plan on posting about those projects. Thank you for taking the time to comment, your words are so, so appreciated.

Fondly, Leslie xxoo

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Terrisu Mann

Oh…I’m the interior designer for sure. I do love it, just not paid like one. But I love it because I never tire of it. I incorporate my painted pieces and walls and other designs into to it all. I’ll for sure be checking in and I still use your paintcombination charts and color ideas. I’m happy for all you to do more of
what excites you. Can’t wait and thanks again. You’ve got a hug heart to create–it’s obvious.

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Sandi Holtzmuller

Leslie, I think I followed you from the beginningm and have really missed your blog. One of the only blogs I actually looked forward too. Both your blog and your work are impeccable. Always enjoy what you share. You are the inspiration for so many. Enjoy where your creativity takes you and thank you so much for sharing.
Sandi

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Leslie Stocker

Sandi, Thank you. I hope you’ll check back with me soon. My posts will focused on interior design and I’m excited.
I appreciate your support for me, I remember you were one of my first subscribers:) I hope you’ll check back in and keep me posted

Fondly, Leslie xxoo

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Nancy

I have really enjoyed your postings and the amazing color combinations you ve come up with. More importantly, you showed others how to acheive it..so many blogs dont “teach” like yours. You have to love what you do … .i appreciate your post and your honesty…… Hope you re feeling refreshed and when ready i look forward to future posts.
Take care,
N.

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Nancy,
Thank you. I think I accomplished what I set to do, share info about paint and color, and it is a good time for closure. I’ll be posting again on paint and color, just not furniture. Check back soon and keep me posted,

Leslie xxoo

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Nell Seaman

I have missed your blogs! I diligently read and tried to learn every new technique you shared because you are one of the best! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and experience with all of us (especially us newbies!). Your break was well-deserved, but I am so glad you are back!

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blog.

Leslie, so glad to see you on here and get an update. I had read on one of the paint Facebook pages a post about you a while back wondering where you were. This person posted they had heard you were sick. Glad to know that you were not . Best wishes in whatever you do. Sure have enjoyed your blog.

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