Olive & Sea Blue

About me . . .

girl reading

Bookish from the start



I was born in 1940 and grew up in Seattle, Washington. I predate “women’s lib,” and my original career choice was a traditional female one–teaching. I earned a Ph.D. in colonial Latin American history and taught college for 8 years, only to find myself jobless during the severe recession of 1973-1974. Nobody, it seemed, wanted to hire me to do anything, and finally my husband and I considered going into business. There was a small fabric and drapery store in our town for sale, which we thought about buying. I knew I like to sew but I knew nothing about draperies . . . It was at this point I saw an ad in the paper for an in-home “custom decorating” salesperson for a major retailer. The job was straight commission, but I thought why not try it for a few months and gain some experience . . . Thus started the second phase of my working life.

For the next 14 years I sold window treatments on commission. I found that I was better at in-home sales than I had been at teaching and that I enjoyed the creative aspects of the job, working with color and fabrics. I had no art training, but of necessity I learned to dash off free-hand sketches of my customer’s windows fancied up with swags and jabots, and I photographed my completed jobs for a portfolio. I enjoyed diving into the tapestry of daily life in the Chicago suburbs, as I met with people in their homes. The job taught me a great deal about human nature, and matured me in a way that teaching college never had.  After my years in the drapery business, I spent a decade in an insurance office. It was easier work but less satisfying. And then in 2003 I retired.

About the “why” of this website . . .

wedding photo

Newly wed! In front of the courthouse, 1965


In March, 2016, my husband died. We had been married 50 years, He had had MS for over 35 years, and, for me, the last decade of his life had been one of care giving, without much time for anything else. In the months after he died, I discovered that our public library offered free on-line computer classes, and I signed up for a class on web design. That introductory class in HTML/CSS inspired me to build this website.

About the domain name for this website: “oliveandseablue.com” . . .

hex codes

Olive and Sea Blue

Finding a suitable .com name for a website can be more than a little tricky. Most, if not all of the obvious names have already been taken. I had thought up several dozen possible names but none of them were available. I was getting discouraged. One day, I was on the domain website, entering possible names with the usual lack of luck, when I happened to look down at my notebook and saw the numeric codes for two colors I was working with for a design project. The hex codes were #9aa94f and #108493, and I had scribbled next to them “olive” and “sea blue.” On a whim, I wrote “oliveandseablue.com” into the search box and . . . wow . . . the name was available. Olive and Sea Blue was not a name I had remotely imagined. Would it do? Should I or shouldn’t I? I took the plunge, and now I rather like my domain name. It’s a friendly name, conjures up, for me at least, sunny skies and tropical seas, and, best of all, It contains my initials SEA (Sue Ellen Anderson). So much for domain names. . .

About my hopes . . . My hopes are that anyone visiting this website will, as I have done, find creative adventures throughout life to explore.

Sue – December, 2016