Who The Dickens Am I?

Me?  Who am I?

Well – I’m still trying to figure that one out.  Let’s just say that I’m evolving.  I never intentionally set out to be a painter, or a blogger or anything remotely like that.

No.  That wasn’t my plan, at all.

My plan was to leave England and live in America.  THE END.

And I did that.

And honestly, had my story stopped there, I would have been more than happy.

But the Universe had other plans for me.   The Universe decided that I needed to continue my education.  Stop. Right. There!!  What?

What???

Not even close to the original plan.  Not. even. REMOTELY. close.  Which idiot decides to go back to school at 25??  I remember having a bonfire in my garden when I was 16, after my last official class in high school.  I burned every shred of evidence that I had ever been in high school. It had been a rite of passage for me.  So you can understand that  it seemed more than apt for me to inquire  ‘What knucklehead would willingly go back to school at 25?’

I guess this knucklehead.

And then, between the tests and the studying, I fell hopelessly in love.  And before I knew it, I was a married mother of three snot-nosed kids, with a Masters in Social Worker.  And no-one (not even the Know-It-All Universe) suggested that I even think about picking up a paint brush.  Least of all try and make it a business.

Nope.

The curve ball  wouldn’t happen for years and years.  We moved a lot.  I loved my our life. And honestly I can say, hand over heart,  that I didn’t think anything was missing.  I was living a life far better than I’d ever dreamed.

And then.

I picked up a paintbrush.

And things changed.   And something happened, some chemical activity inside my brain. Some type of switch got switched on.  And there was no ‘Off’ switch.  And now I’m stuck here.  In this crazy, ever evolving colorful space.

I paint, I thrive, I write, I connect.  And along the way, during my constant evolution, I started entering contests.  And I started winning.  And I truly believe that this was the Universe telling me that I needed to carry on this path.  This great wonderful path of ‘Paint, Write, Connect.  Repeat’.  

I still don’t want to say that something had been missing in my life.  Because that somehow diminishes what I/we had, before paint and writing and connecting came along.   Life was good, but it somehow just got better.

And so, I’m still Diane, the Yorkshire lass.  I’ve been in love with the same man for 20 years.   And my snot-nosed kids, are still snot-nosed kids.  And I paint. And I write. And I connect. And I repeat.

And I couldn’t be happier.

But that wasn’t my plan originally, at all.

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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32 thoughts on “Who The Dickens Am I?

  • August 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm
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    You know, I saw a documentary once on Paul Newman. His office for his food empire was in his basement using pool furniture. The sign on the wall said “If we ever have a plan, we’re screwed.” The best things happen when you don’t force them, huh?

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  • September 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm
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    I think we are sisters separated at birth…. Talk about “something” missing… I have 3 kids (snot nosed too!) – Went back to school at 25 (but I didn’t finish – decided work was a better choice for me :/ ) Met my husband 20 years ago (Actually next month to be exact). Got married. Raised my babies.. Opened and ran my own business for 10 years (and hated it!). I needed to create – I did that thru cooking for a while – then when that became a chore (BECAUSE THE SENTENCE THAT PUTS ME OVER THE EDGE EVERY DAMN DAY IS : ” Whats for dinner”????????? (Did you hear me scream?). And quite by accident, I picked up a paint brush, the internet, and learned all I could (and that was only this past May!). And I want to start a blog too! Because I have so many ideas, and things to say, and lets be honest – my Facebook friends could care less if I decided to paint my table in my custom AS paint mix, or French Linen….
    Love your blog, looking forward to learning from you!

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  • September 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm
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    Love your story. You are very inspiring. The universe leads us where we are suppose to be! No roadmap needed!

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    • September 6, 2014 at 1:29 am
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      Thanks Kim! Glad to know that our roads crossed 🙂

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  • September 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm
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    This is perfect! I am one of those late bloomers too and went back to college at 31! It was the best thing I ever did…..until I discovered chalk paint. Now painting is all I want to do. It’s calming, relaxing, envigorating, peaceful and satisfying. My apologies to similar words I have left out. I am happy to be alive for the first time in a long time. I especially am glad I am not alone. 🙂

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    • September 8, 2014 at 3:32 am
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      OK, deal – We’re in this together 🙂

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  • September 26, 2014 at 9:49 am
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    Diane,
    I finally got around to stalking you 🙂 Your facebook posts are sometimes the funniest things in my day. This blog may now be one of the best parts of my day! Lord, woman you are funny! Love how spot on you are to life. It’s crazy isn’t it how something as simple as swiping some paint on a crap piece of furniture can make such a difference in our life.

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    • September 26, 2014 at 11:02 am
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      Are you calling my pieces of furniture crap?? 😛 Thanks for stalking 🙂

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  • December 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm
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    You just described ME ! … Born in Yorkshire in 65, yes I’m old… Moved to America coz I married a yank, picked up a paintbrush and viola …I’m hooked and addicted…makes me calm, controlled and happy. We should meet up for a cuppa pref. tetley’s ! 🙂 xxx

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    • December 4, 2014 at 9:06 am
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      You mean there’s other tea than Tetley’s????

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    • December 4, 2014 at 9:07 am
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      Also, you cheeky thing. I was born in 64!!

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    • March 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm
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      You can’t be that old, because I am 58! I love to paint, it just relaxes me most of the time!!
      Teatly Tea, my dear!! Lol!

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  • January 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm
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    I can not answer who the Dickens you are, as I am still trying to answer who the Dickens I am. You ask who goes back to school at 25, I ask who goes back to school at 48 to get an MBA with absolutely no business experience? I too share similar facts about myself, 3 snot nosed kids and married for 24 years… After graduating this May, I happened upon this “painting thing” by shear accident and have fallen in love with a process that allows me to create, make mistakes, and embrace my chaos. I will leave with this, your art is absolutely awe inspiring. Paint on my friend, paint on!!!!!

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    • January 16, 2015 at 9:24 pm
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      Dear Kindred Spirit, Thanks for joining my crazy life 🙂

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  • February 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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    I am a soul sister xcept you are miles ahead! Freshly retired and back into art after 20 years…I cant stop. Love the preraphaelite women, image transfers, faux finishes….Just a question please. How do you get going on a web site and start blogging? I do have a store that is picking up my work to sell thank goodness…or I would be knee high in art! But I need to get going on line!!

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    • February 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm
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      Hi Soul Sista! I am so new to this that I am probably the worse person to ask. But…a good platform to use is WordPress.org. It’s quite easy to figure out. Although, I did have a little help from a friend 🙂 I still have no idea what a lot of the things on this blog do!!! The first step I would say is to get a facebook page, and through there find your audience – people who like what you do. Then move on to a blog. I love to write and my facebook posts were getting longer and longer, so it seemed like a natural progression. Lots of luck!!

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  • March 11, 2015 at 3:27 am
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    I’m a new fan! Your work is stunning, and I love your sense of humor. Thank you for adding a ray of sunshine to my day! I’ll be stalking your FB page and blog, for sure!!!

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    • March 11, 2015 at 7:32 am
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      Stalk away, in a ‘not too creepy’ way 🙂

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  • March 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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    love what you do! Thrilled to cyber meet you. I live in Trinidad Colorado and do work that reminds me a little bit of yours. I was born in 1960, and only have two snot nosed kids! Har!

    http://www.holdread.com
    (Loris work)
    I am going to start looking at you blog and learning all I can from you. Thanks for sharing your passion.

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    • March 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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      Lori, I started reading your comment and stopped at Trinidad.
      And I thought ‘Oh WOW, a friend in Trinidad. Now I can go on va-ca’. Then I read Colorado, and my little heart dropped a bit 🙂 But that’s OK, I promise to still be friends with you, no matter where you live. Thank you for reading the blog. Mostly it’s just mindless drivel. Be warned.

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  • March 26, 2015 at 2:50 am
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    Greetings Diane,

    I have admired and lusted after many of your painted pieces especially some of the image transfers. You have such a gift with your craft that it seems that each piece speaks and wants to share a story. I am sure not only the furniture is transformed but the person who comes to own one of them. As for myself I love to bake and cook but baking desserts/breads is what I adore. Having always felt connected to England even from the early age of 6 when I took up drinking tea(indeed Tetley)and my not so nice step father started calling me a limey, being he fought in WWII with some British soldiers during the war. I would take up residence across the big pond to open up my own tea and dessert shop if it were possible. However I have still to make Spotted Dick as not everyone here appreciates all things British as I do. LOL

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  • November 27, 2016 at 8:46 am
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    Thank you for your website! I am new to this adventure of paint, transfers, and all the products. Looking forward to working on my “1st” piece :).

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    • November 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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      Oh very exciting, Dianna! Be careful, it’s addicting 🙂

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  • January 29, 2017 at 7:09 pm
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    Hi Diane!
    Everything you do is beautiful and inspiring. I love your use of textures and different styles. I found your work by scouring Pinterest, looking for image transfers to furniture. Sadly, i could only really find people doing small transfers or stencils, but i figured it would apply the same to larger pieces. Your work is exquisite and obviously, my first attempt was nowhere near the quality of your pieces, but i love it all the same. I mostly just makeover furniture as a way of relaxing and learning new things. I love to use prints of photos my sister has taken and of paintings of my best friend. They think it’s amazing to see their art blend with mine. I hope one day to have the skill to make things as gorgeous as you do!

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  • June 26, 2017 at 11:52 pm
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    Hello, Diane! I am so very pleased to meet you, and to have found so many kindred souls! I am now 53 years old, and after having my first 4 children, I too went back to college, and majored in computer science at 27; however, I have always been an artist at heart. I put away my art to focus on raising my family, and now, 30-some years later, I have picked it back up. I have always adored shabby chic, particularly as it is a very livable, and forgiving, style of decor, especially amongst rabble-rousing little boys with tonka trucks! All the dents, dings, and chipped paint just add to the character! I also absolutely adore roses. I grow them, I draw them, and I paint them. I do see that we admire many of the same artists. I love Monet, Degas, Waterhouse, Boticelli, Renoir, and many, many more. I also repaint and refinish furniture, and will soon attempt upholstery. I am an avid treasure hunter of anything Antique or Vintage, and for many years have single-handedly run my own personal “abandoned furniture rescue mission”, much to the chagrin of my, now grown, sons. I absolutely adore the pieces that you have done such a wonderful job of breathing new life into! You have wonderful taste and style, and I love the glazing and detail work on your lovely items!

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    • June 27, 2017 at 8:59 am
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      Nice to meet you too, Janet! So happy that you are finding time to go back to your passion – it is so good for the soul!!

      Reply

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