Wednesday, July 16, 2014

my color studios are open for business.

It is with tremendous excitement that I can officially announce that my House of Colour studios are open for business.  The studio in my home at 315 N. Thomas in Oakland, Nebraska has been receiving clients, and my portable "pop up" studio in St. Louis had her first run last week.  Also, within the hour I am heading to Dallas to work with clients there. What an exciting month this has been!

Here is a view of my St. Louis studio in the sun room of Tom & Susan Werner's home. Since natural lighting is an important element in the process, this studio setting is ideal.  I was able to drape & analyze ten clients there last week.  We had so much fun that it seemed too good to be true.

Three of those clients were a mother and two daughters. We had a sweet time discovering the WOW colors for each of these gals, and I am confident they are having some fun shopping with their personalized color palettes and wearing their WOW colors.

I have many more stories to tell... and I will tell them! But like I said, I am heading to Dallas where I will give my Color Wheel talk during a Happy Hour on Friday night. (It will be a Happy Hour. Colors are FUN and inspiring!)

If you would like to embark on a personal color journey with me, please email me at  Color consults are $175.  It is a time of discovery that is guaranteed to save you money & time. And will open your eyes to the beauty of your personal coloring - and how to enhance it.

If people ask me what I do, I say "I change lives... and I do it with color."

better than flossing.

One of my new favorite things: Soft-Picks. 

I remember that my dad loved using a toothpick to clean his teeth.  I wish he was around to enjoy this teeth-cleaning breakthrough.  It looks like a toothpick with a tiny Christmas tree on the end.  It is an exciting way to clean your teeth! Mike and I are both slightly addicted because of how fresh and clean your mouth feels after using them.  You just poke the little brush end between your teeth like you would when flossing.

If flossing regularly adds 7 years to your life as they say - then Soft-Picks certainly add about 14 years. Smile. By the way, it was our dentist who told us about them.

Friday, April 11, 2014

the london diaries. graduation day.

Today was a big day.  Today I completed my training course with flying colors (no pun intended) at the House of Colour world headquarters in Watford, England.  I have purchased my franchise and passed my training course. It is official.  I am a House of Colour COLOR CONSULTANT and I am bringing my UK-based business back to the states.  I am one of only 13 consultants in the US, while there are hundreds and hundreds in the UK and Europe. I plan to spearhead my business in Omaha, Dallas and St. Louis. Watch out world, here I come.
This is the wonderful Helen and one of the Directors who trained me.

In a nutshell, my job is:

1. Building your confidence
2. Saving you lots of $
3. Saving you time
4. Reducing your wardrobe by half while giving you 3 times more options.
(Did you know that most of us wear 15% of our clothes 85% of the time?)

This all happens by knowing which parts of the color wheel work best for YOU.  It is about discovering the uniqueness of your inner color palette and working out of that.

I am excited because I believe that everybody deserves to know their WOW colors.

I am excited because I can see and appreciate how each person is fearfully & wonderfully made, and it is a celebration of our uniqueness. I am excited because this is empowering knowledge.

I am also excited that I can help people make more sure-fire decisions when shopping for clothes, nail color, jewelry, accessories and makeup. (One of the cool things is that when you are wearing "your color palette", it looks like you are wearing makeup even when you aren't!)

So much more I want to say... but for now let me tell you what I wrote in my journal this week:
"My adventurous training is now over, but I am going home a different person... stronger, braver, and with a set of skills that I didn't own before."

My next adventure begins... bringing the science & wonder of color back home with me.

This is the wonderful group of gals I trained with - Arvinder, Rosee, Judi and Helen.
 My very first "guinea pig" client was a man named John.  He was so patient with me. This color knowledge is just as important for men! You project more authority and confidence by wearing your best colors.  One of my favorite stories was from one of the directors who was very successful in a crisis-management position in the medical field.  She went in for a color consult as a skeptic, but decided  to take the recommendations for her color & style and ran with them. She was promoted 3 times and tripled her salary in 18 months, just by projecting herself differently at work.  While she brought the same skills to the table, now she was more visible in the marketplace.  After her 'color transformation' a man came up to her in a meeting room and extended his hand and said "Hello, my name is ______ and I wanted to introduce myself."  She had been in meetings with that man in the same room for 4 years. True story.

 This dear woman now knows the colors that make her look her very best!
Part of my training included Top Tips for makeup. I plan to share "Wake Up Your Makeup" tips with my consults.  Be thinking of what friends you want to do your color consult with!

the london diaries. pub wall wisdom.

"In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. 
In water there is bacteria."

Besides being a fine example of beautiful calligraphy, there is truth in the words on this pub wall in Rickmansworth, England.

the london diaries. steak night at the pub with judi.

I have loved nearly everything about this time in England.  The training for my new business.  My new friends and fellow House of Colour consultants. My B&B. The green everywhere. Spring flowers in full bloom. Air that smells like flowers.  And the "local color" experiences.  The pubs are one of them.

One night this week Judi Prue and I went out to one of her favorites after an intense day of training.  It happened to be Steak Night, and we made it wine night too!

The london diaries. tea & scones.

Yesterday when I returned home from my training day at the world headquarters of House of Colour, my darling new friend, Helen Norman, had freshly baked, warm scones with clotting cream waiting for me. With hot tea.  It was a marvelous treat. Clotted cream is on my all-time favorite foods list.

Scones are a no-no on my new gluten-free diet, but I didn't care.  I made an exception.

Helen is the owner the the B&B where I am staying, and a fellow House of Colour consultant. As well as being my new friend.

the london diaries. church and sheep.

Last Sunday morning I had the huge blessing of getting to go to church with the Keller family, with whom I was staying over the weekend.  It is a little hard to explain how intense my first week of training at House of Colour felt, and how much energy and strength I expended to learn the things I did.  That said, it is easier to explain why it was such a huge encouragement for me to get to worship with fellow believers.  It was really cool to be in a fellowship of believers inn another part of the world, worshiping with the same creeds, reading the same Bible passages, and praying the same Lord's Prayer together. It was mind-blowing to realize afresh that not only does the worship of Jesus Christ go on around the globe, but has also gone on across the centuries.  Very cool.

I also had the privilege of taking communion during the worship service.  I don't think anything could have felt more comforting after an intense week of stretching myself, and I don't think that anything could have felt more empowering than understanding & taking the elements of the Lord's Supper.  It was a gift smack dab in the middle of my training and this whole glorious experience.

An added treat was meeting a friend of the Kellers from their congregation who was a sheep farmer, whose father was also a sheep farmer. It is common knowledge that the Bible is full of analogies about us being sheep, and Jesus being the chief shepherd.  I could not help but be tickled by things that this shepherd said. Every winter, 2000 sheep come down from Wales to his green, grassy pastures of southern England, and his "winters" them until the spring. This year's herd is just about ready to be shipping back up to Wales for the spring & summer. Sometimes he even gets sheep all the way from Scotland! (The harsher and colder climates in the north don't provide enough grass for these large herds during the winter months.)

Some of the interesting things he said were that the sheep always know if he is in the vicinity. When he is away they are scattered and look like a mass of confusion. When the shepherd is there, they have direction and focus.  And all it takes is a word from him, and they respond with precision.  His call is a simple one that sounded like "WayWayWayWayWay".  (I asked him what he actually said!) And he said that this was his 'call' because his father did the same.

On days when the sheep have to be loaded in 2 or 3 decker lorries to return to Wales, he calls them and they follow. All 2000 of them! This shepherd said that if he gets a good one to lead, the process is easier because they will follow one another. He also said that Wales sheep never hesitate to go up the ramps, because they are used to going up into the hills & highlands. Very interesting

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. " Isaiah 53:6
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the london diaries. downton's church.

I just had to include some photographs of the church yard and interior of St. Michael & All Angels Church, better known to the world as the church on Downton Abbey... This was where we watched Mary walk down the aisle to marry Matthew. This is the church yard where Matthew was buried. The arched door on the backside of the church is where we see the family exit together after church services. It felt very special to me to walk around in a place where people I love have walked.  I know that they are characters in a story, but I do still love them.  And they do seem very real to me indeed.  So there.

 My friend Jennifer said that the stone they designed for Matthew looks similar to this one in the church yard.

 I was enchanted by the needlepoint kneelers.  They each looked so personalized.

 I believe that this is the door that we see the family entering and exiting the church from.

This is a good picture with a view from the church back up the village street (past Mrs. Crowley's house and the hospital.)  I think you can get an idea of what a small little area this really is... but we have sure seem a lot of action here!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the london diaries. downton abbey's village.

Since being in England, I have learned that the village scenes that we know and love from Downton Abbey are filmed in a real English village named Bampton.  When my CM friend Jennifer Keller (with whom I stayed over the weekend) asked if I would like to visit this "Downton" village, I jumped on it.

The Keller home is in the village of Nether Wallop which just happens to be in the same county as Highclere Castle, known to us as Downton Abbey.  I was surprised to realize that the "Downton" village is about 45 miles from "Downton Abbey" or Highclere Castle.  Of course, in our minds, they are just down the road from one another.

Another surprising thing for me is what a tiny section of Bampton they actually use for filming the village scenes in our beloved show.  There is one little street of houses that are on a slight curve. It opens onto the green and there sits the building that is used as the entrance to the hospital. Right next to it is Mrs. Crowley's house. And next to that, the large church. In fact  it is such a small area, with such a compact feel to it, that I could not move back far enough to get the whole scene in one photograph.

Here is the view from the street looking onto the green:

Mrs. Crowley's house - and me next to it:

And the church and church yard:

When we arrived, a brother and sister were playing next to the green and batting tennis balls against a wall opposite our "Downton scenery" with tennis rackets.  I kept wondering if they felt like they were playing on 'hallowed ground' the way that I felt walking around this place.  In all honesty it was hard at first to recognize our Downton scenery because there were so many modern cars lining every street and all around the green.  It was actually kind of frustrating because I wanted everything cleared out for me to savor the place as I knew it. ha. But when I stepped back and squinted my eyes, I could see Anne running down the street toward the Crowleys... and I could see the Dowager and Mrs. Crowley sitting in the car and bantering about traveling together.

Here is a photo looking down the street toward the green & the church. And other under it from the bookstore showing the same street with all the cars and 21st century things cleared away!

This is the diagram that they sold in the little bookstore inside the "hospital" building which was a great guide to help your eyes recognize our favorite scenes!
To be honest, I cannot wait to get home to watch some Downton Abbey episodes and realize that I WAS INTEND THERE on the very scene!

Monday, April 7, 2014

the london diaries. it's a small world after all.

On Saturday morning, my friend Jennifer Keller (more about her and her sweet family coming soon) pointed me in the direction of the street market while she attended to another appointment.  After enjoying a much needed cup of coffee, I ventured toward the town square of Salisbury where the market tents were set up.  I approached the first stand that caught my attention because I wanted to photograph the stack of farm fresh eggs for sale.

Then a bright voice caught my attention and said "Hello! I bet you don't remember me."  After a few seconds he helped me remember by saying "I was sitting across from you on the train into Salisbury last night."   To which I smiled and said "Yes I remember! You were in a khaki suit and you ordered a glass of wine."  (I remembered because I wanted a glass myself, but had to keep all my faculties clear to get where I needed to go!) And when I reviewed the photos on my camera, I even had a photo of him. I was trying to photograph myself in the reflection in the train window, and he was the passenger in view. ha.

He name is John Longley and he used the own the poultry farm that was selling the eggs, chickens and cheese at the market. He helps out the new owner on market days 'for fun'. We smiled at the coincidence  and snapped this photo to remember the sweet providence that made me feel at bit at home in this big market, and more than that, made me aware again (for the kajillionth time) of God's Hand on my trip.

the london diaries. salisbury saturday market.

I have a thing for street markets.  I love absorbing the sights, the sounds and the smells.  I love watching the locals.  I also really, really love photographing stuff in outdoor markets.  There is so much life represented in such a compact space, and I truly enjoy viewing it through the lens of my camera.  Here's a taste of what I saw.

 What a beautiful selection of wild mushrooms!
I could have spent the better part of an hour gazing at (and smelling) this olive stand. 

You can possibly understand why I felt exhilarated and rejuvenated after being at this market on Saturday morning in Salisbury, England. This is a smithering of the photos I took, and it was hard not to post more mushrooms & olives!