My Story

While she always wanted to be a writer, Colleen O’Dea chased a career in Information Technology, working with IBM before starting her own consulting company and teaching as a part-time professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. Eventually, Colleen packed it all in to stay at home to raise her young family.

In 2010, newly divorced with three kids in tow, Colleen began her blog, Curtains are Open, a place where she could tell her stories and share her dreams. The following year, after a return to school in her 40s, Colleen started her Graphic Design Business, Drawbridge Creative, where she works on Branding and Design Projects and runs an Etsy Shop creating her popular “Things We Love About You” posters. More than a dozen years later, both Curtains and Drawbridge continue to thrive!

While these days she writes a little less on the blog, Curtains has a big presence on Social Media and with her years of knowledge in content creation, in 2023, Colleen added Social Media Management to mix!

On the Curtains are Open blog you can find hundreds of posts about living in Halifax… about places Colleen has visited and the wonderful people she’s met. While there’s a great many posts about her children… 2019 brought about another change as all three kids moved out on their own leaving this busy entrepreneur with nothing left to write about but dealing with an EMPTY NEST, ENTREPRENEUR LIFE, MENNOPAUSE, and BEING SINGLE.

Curtains are Open has always been about facing change, accepting it, and moving forward with as much grace and dignity as Colleen can muster.

For information about working or advertising with Curtains… or if you’d like help with your Branding, Design work or Social Media, contact Colleen at

38 Replies to “My Story”

  1. Hi Colleen. I hope it’s ok to contact you this way. I love your 70 things we love about you and am in the process of completing this for my mother in law. I would love to use the illustrator file for the project that everyone is talking about in the comment section on pinterest. Would you have time to send me the link? I’d really appreciate it.

    Melissa Ernest

  2. hi Queen,

    I enjoy your site it shows how fun a person can be not matter what life brings your way. My mom bday is this Saturday and I’m trying to put together the project you did for your father’s 70 bday party…. Do you happen to still have the illustrator file for that project? If so could you please send it to me? I would greatly appreciate it.

  3. Hi, I absolutely love your 70 things I love about…! I would like to do this for my mom’s 70th. If you don’t mind I would love the illustrator file please!

  4. I love your 70 things gift and am trying to replicate it. I see everyone is asking for a file to help them- is it possible for me to download it from somewhere? Thanks so much!

  5. hi!

    Would you be willing to give me the graphic for the seventy things we love about you? I am doing it for a birthday this weekend and it would be much easier to not have to format it!

    Thank you so much! It’s wonderful!


  6. Hi Colleen,
    My mom is turning 70 next month and this is the perfect gift for her as she is a nurse and amazing friend to all. Could you please supply me with the illustrator file as well? I would so appreciate it as this gift would make her birthday!

  7. I love the 70th birthday gift you made. Could you send me the illustrator file so that I can make one for a family member turning 70? I would truly appreciate it.

  8. Hi Colleen. I came across your “70 things we love about you” post and would love to do this for my mom’s 50th birthday. Can you send me the illustrator file for the project? I saw in the comments section on Pinterest that you could send the file in response to this blog post. I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

    Taylor Faught

  9. Can you pls send the file for the “70 things we love about you ” project? I would like to make a similar one for a friend’s 50th. Thanks!

  10. could I please plese plese have the illustrator file for ’70 thigns we love about you? I need it today though ;(. I’m desperate.
    thank you!

  11. I love the “70 things we love about you”. My dad’s 60th birthday is coming up and this is the perfect gift can you please email me the template?? Thanks a bunch!

  12. Hi Colleen,

    I’m like everyone else and requesting the Illustrator File of your 70 Things We Love About You. I want to do it for my Mom’s 60th!

    Thank you!

  13. Hello,

    I am also requesting your illustrator file for “Seventy Things We Love About YOU!” I hope you are still sharing 🙂

    Thanks so much!

  14. I have sent you many emails regarding you doing this project for me, but you haven’t replied. Yikes! Should I get someone else to do it?

    • Pam…I’ve tried to email a few times now and each time it bounces back. I’ve found your FB page and send you a direct message as well but likely, since we’re not FB friends…that has gone to the “other” mailbox. Hopefully you will see this comment. I need a DIFFERENT email address than the one you provided as the emails ALL bounce back.

  15. hi! Could you please send me the illustrator file? We are wanting to do this for my mother’s 60 th bday. Thanks so much!

  16. Love your blog! I came across your “70 things we love about you” post and would love to do this for my mom’s 60th birthday. Can you please send me the illustrator file for the project? I saw in the comments section on Pinterest that you could send the file in response to this blog post. I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

    Anna Chancellor

  17. Hi, I love the “70 things we love about you” print and want to replicate it for my dad’s 75th. I am happy to pay you to set up the file or do it myself. Can you please let me know if this is something you can help with? We want to present it to him on Thanksgiving.
    Thank you!

  18. Hey Colleen, love your blog! I love that you’re not afraid to open the curtain and show your followers what you’re made of. You go, girl!

    I don’t want to take up much of your time, but I’m wondering if you can answer a few quick questions for me. I live in Ontario (very close to Waterloo, actually) and I am seriously considering starting a blog to supplement (or replace) my income. How ‘easy’ (for lack of a better word) is that to do in Canada versus the US? I keep reading about all the marvelous ways to monetize a blog, but the articles are all written for the US. Are we more limited in the ways we can monetize our blogs up here or is it more difficult?
    Do you work on your blog full-time? Can I ask if you make a part-time or full-time income? Do you know of other Canadian bloggers who earn a full-time income blogging? It’s not just a pipe dream??

    Thanks so much, Colleen. Any info you can offer this fellow Canuck would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep Being Awesome!

    • Hi Kim…I guess for me, I started writing just to write…I honestly didn’t know you could make money from blogging. I was a few years into it before I had a few ads on my site (local companies) and then a few more before I won a few awards. Once that happened and I had an audience built up…then a few PR companies started reaching out and I began pitching myself to local folks. It’s been hard work and the income supplements the work I do full time as a Graphic Designer. For me, the writing is always first and foremost…I blog because I absolutely love to tell a story. The money I make is an added bonus. I will say, I turn down many more sponsored opportunities than I take…as anything I write about really needs to suit me and my audience. I get quite a few emails every day asking me to write about a product or service…but if it’s not something that I’d use or purchase as part of my life, I turn it down. I also get a TON of folks asking me to write for free or to write for a product they want to give me…but I’m not interested in that either (unless someone wants to give me a hot-tub…then I’m all in!) I work with brands that I’m already using and are already part of my life…and I’m fiercely proud of the companies that have chosen to collaborate with me. I work on my blog a LOT. There are definitely many Canadian bloggers who are doing much better than I am and they’ve found the “secret” to blogging to make money. I’m just writing…telling my stories…and when something comes my way that works, it’s quite wonderful to make a few dollars doing something you love.

  19. Hi,

    Would you be able to send me the illustrator file? I would appreciate it so much, would love to do it for my grandpa’s 80th birthday next week!

    Thank you so much,

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