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Jimmy Buffet, Seeing Green, and Tips From Friends

I’m about to tell you a little something…

And it’s probably one of the more controversial things I’ve told you so far:

I’m kind of picturing that once I tell you, some of you are going to lose your shit.

Maybe you’ll unsubscribe. Maybe you’ll send me nasty messages. Maybe even a d**th threat or two…

I’m ready.

My friends… what I’m about to tell you, might just send you reeling…

Are you ready?

*Takes deep breath*


*Closes eyes and braces for berating*


I decided when it came time to furnish / decorate my studio that I wanted a piece of furniture in there, something like a dresser, buffet, or credenza that would serve double duty… I could neatly store all my brushes, paints, glitter, etc AND use the top for serving light bites during Art Walks as well as giving my “guest book” a spot to reside.


I found stuff but everything looked dowdy, was way out of my budget, or it just felt too bedroom-ish.

Finally last week I made yet another trip to Goodwill and this time I found something… a gorgeous SOLID wood buffet.

There were some scratches, a little bit of the veneer was chipped but overall, it was in fantastic shape.

It was also boring. It was a honey pine color. Which is definitely not “my bag.”

“Paint it,” whispered a raspy little voice in my ear.

“Paint it?” I had thought. I looked at the old buffet… “What kind of MONSTER paints antique wood furniture?!”

The raspy little voice was adamant this time, “PAAAAAAAAAINT IT!”


Now there’s nothing wrong with honey pine. It’s fine. And I know this because I have owned quite a bit of it. BUT… that’s just it… it’s just fine. There’s no pizazz, there’s no hoopla, it’s just fine.

And that’s a-ok if you’re looking for “just fine,” except that I have a house filled with mismatched wood furniture that I never dared to paint because who paints solid wood furniture?

I’ll tell you who: rule breakers.

And I am NOT a rule breaker.

Except… I’m also done with being, “just fine.” Just “good enough,” good ol’ “under the radar,” “risk free,” Vanessa.


I’m colorful. I’m fun. I’m unique. I’m not plain ol’ honey wood.


I stood in the paint aisle. I remember thinking, “What color do I paint this thing?” I remember also giving myself some pushback… “I mean it is ‘fine’ as it is… it’s pretty enough… I could just save myself the trouble and the work (and the controversy) and just give it a good cleaning and call it a day…”

Except that little sneaky voice…. “PAINT IT,” was back.

I grabbed a color swatch. My eyes grew large. “WOW! Now THIS is a color I could get behind.”


There was something absolutely fucking magical about the application. Sure I fucked up the primer something terrible and my big brother had to walk me through that, lesson learned…

And then when he realized I was making this way more difficult than it had to be (typical Vanessa), he showed up with his paint gun. We teamed up, sanding… removing doors and drawers, he with the paint gun, me keeping the long hose from slamming into the fresh coat of bright, lime green paint.

It doesn’t take long to coat a piece of perfectly good antique honey colored wood when you’ve got a spray gun. My buffet, my big brother named him “Jimmy,” went from plain ol’, plain ol,’ to vivid as fuck in a matter of minutes. We were rocking.

But it does take a long time for a recovering people pleaser like me, to just let go. To give myself permission to buck norms, to break some rules, to let some people down (fucking furniture purists), and to paint the damn piece of antique wood. Painting Jimmy was just what I needed.

I’m done with safe. I’m done with “just good enough.” I’m done with boring. No more people pleasing here. This is for me. THIS is what I want.

My line has been drawn… from this point on: I go boldly forward in this *gestures wildly* artistic journey of mine. Because this is MY journey and mine alone and I, Vanessa LeVesque, get to blaze the path.

A new friend sat me down the other day. He told me that he wanted to give me suggestions and tell me how I should run my business. He talked about my style, mentioned a few things here and there and when he was done, I shrugged and thanked him for the tips.

I don’t plan on taking a single one of them.

And it’s not that I can’t learn anything new or am too stubborn for my own good, it’s that I’m already on a perfectly good path. Actually I’m on a great path. My path. And even if he can’t see where I’m headed… I sure as fuck can… and let me tell you folks: it. Is. Glorious. And the view from the top? We’ll be there soon… I can’t wait to show you….


Life’s too short. Paint the fucking furniture. And if you choose to go bold, I highly recommend: Bright-Whatever-The-Fuck-Color-You-Want. YOU are going to love it.

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