I've Been Nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards!

 

I have some exciting news to share with you! My blog has been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards! Yes, me! The crazy paint lady from the tiny village of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario has been nominated for the Best Colour Inspiration Blog - International. I'm the only Canadian to be nominated in this category. I am truly honoured (and completely giddy!!).

The winner in each category is chosen by both judges' views and public votes. 

If you enjoy my blog, I would appreciate your vote! Please click on the box below to show me some love.

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. Thank you for your support!

About the Awards:

"The Amara Interior Blog Awards celebrates and engages with the most authoritative and respected bloggers in the interior blogging industry. Believing that bloggers are an integral part of the interior design community, the Amara Team has worked closely with many of these talented individuals over the years and strive to give back to this vibrant community through the awards."


My Passion for Colour

If you read my blog, you likely know that I am a wee bit of a storyteller. Sometimes I feel that I can justify random ramblings as long as I accompany them with plenty of photos. If you are not in the mood for reading, just scroll through and look at all the beautiful colours.

So many people ask what inspired me to become a blogger and open my brick and mortar and ecommerce paint shop. It was actually a series of events that occurred over many years that lead me down this path.

My passion for colour began in 2004 when I planted my first flower garden. At that time I owned a cheap point and click camera worth about $150 and I began taking photos of my flowers.

By 2009, my entire yard was filled with flower gardens. During that time, I was hungry to learn everything I could about gardening and joined a forum where we shared garden photos and ideas. 

 Pink Anemone in the Country Garden of Sue Sikorski, owner of My Painted Door.

One of the brilliant gardeners on the forum was Justin Hancock, who at that time was the senior garden editor at Better Homes and Gardens. One day Justin asked if I would share photos of my garden so they could create a slideshow on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Oh my! Could this really be happening?!

Gardening season was just ending, so I told Justin I would photograph my garden the following summer. And the pressure was on!

 Country Gardener Sue Sikorski loves to decorate her garden with vintage treasures.

A couple of months later, I purchased my first DSLR camera. When I arrived home, I opened the box, looked at all the buttons on the camera, was completely overwhelmed and put it back in the box and hid it in my closet. There was no way I was ever going to learn photography! Aperture, depth of field, exposure, focal length, ISO - Really?! In what language were those words? Surely not one I was familiar with!

In January the following year, I was surfing the web and came across an ad for a photography course. It showed beautiful images of lavender fields and read "Join us for a photography adventure in the South of France." Without hesitation, I put a down payment on my credit card and registered! Umm. I guess I was going to France and I was going to work a whole whack of overtime to pay for it! I was almost afraid to tell anyone what I had just done, lest I be judged for my outrageous late night decision.

The next day I received a confirmation email about the course and there were some expectations for the participants: You must be familiar with using the manual settings on your camera and have basic photography skills. Manual mode?! I could barely turn that puppy on! 

Now was a good time to dig my camera out of the closet and start learning. I enrolled in several online photography courses. 

 Thunder Bay firefighters view the aftermath of the West Hotel fire.

These courses were amazing and I started to look at the world in a whole different way. I saw light and colour through a new set of eyes.

 Thunder Bay firefighter at the West Hotel fire.

I became more aware of my surroundings and my creativity began to increase. Can you spot the HOT? Is it a mockery because this is a fire scene? Is the firefighter hot (like as in gorgeous)? Is there a HOTel on fire? We all see things differently and photography allows us to express how we see the world. P.S. Yes, a vacant hotel was on fire but I took this photo because I thought the fireman was hot, hot, hot.

 Fire and Ice - A story by photographer Sue Sikorski

I will tell you that taking photography courses in the dead cold months in Canada was certainly not one of my best decisions. Some days it was very difficult to change the camera settings because my fingers were so cold. Yes, I am Canadian and I know about glove warmers, but they just didn't cut it!

The above shot is from one of my many adventures. I wrote a blog post about it a few years ago. 

My courses ended and although I knew photography would be a lifetime of learning, I felt a little more confident when I headed to Europe.

When I arrived, I spent two weeks in the North of France visiting Claude Monet's garden and many other beautiful gardens. My focus was definitely on flowers.

 Lavender fields in the South of France.

Then I headed to the South of France and joined a wonderful group of people from all over the world for the photography course. Although I tried my best, I was very disappointed with my photos of the lavender fields. This is the only photo that was decent, but one day I will get a second chance and I will be armed with a little more experience! 

 Old sign in France with chippy paint.

On sunny days when landscape photography was difficult, I focused on smaller objects. I quickly became fascinated with chippy paint, 

 Bright red intercom system in Italy.

beautiful paint colours, 

 Bike leaning against a textured wall in Burano, Italy.

and texture.

You know where I am going with this, don't you? A small seed had been planted.

I then made my way to Italy for two weeks. I wasn't going all the way across the pond without seeing Rome, Venice and Burano!  

 Colourful houses in Burano, Italy.

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon that is famous for it's colourful houses. 

 Colourful window box and shutters in Burano, Italy.

Burano was a game-changer!

 Colourful home in Burano, Italy.

I began to see what colours played well together.

 Colourful homes in Burano, Italy.

When I arrived back home, I continued to spend endless hours going on photography adventures. My favourite thing to do was grab a Timmy's coffee, hop in my little green truck and spend the day exploring.

 Country Garden of Sue Sikorski. Garden is featured on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

That summer I took photos for the Better Homes and Gardens slideshow. You can view it on their website.

I had no intention of turning this blog post into a short novel ... so I will end this quickly.

 An old general store in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. This is now the home of My Painted Door.

Five years ago, I was on yet another adventure with my camera and I stumbled across this old building. I fell in love and moved in six weeks later.

 Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in the colour Tricycle.

I began to research what type of paint I could use for some interior projects and I absolutely fell in love with milk paint ... 

 Homestead House Milk Paint creates tons of texture on this painted box.

and that was the beginning of my new adventure - My Painted Door! 

My little paint shop began with milk paint ...

 Fusion Mineral Paint in the colour Cranberry. Available at My Painted Door.

and when the same company introduced Fusion Mineral Paint, I fell in love with that too!

Pssst! Please don't forget to vote for me!

 
Posted on August 21, 2018 and filed under photography, random ramblings.