haint that somethin’

In 1983, we didn’t have pinterest.  Shocking?  I know, I know.  Seems rather “plain jane” to write down ideas in a little notebook or commit them to memory.

I didn’t have a phone with a camera, either.  We had a baby to juggle and I didn’t have extra hands to hold a fancy camera and snap a picture. Never mind waiting until after Halloween when we could “finish” the roll of film and send off and wait two weeks for the prints.  The olden days were hard, I tell ya!

We were tourist in the town of Charleston, South Carolina.  It was the first time for me visiting that part of our country.  I fell in love.  Boy howdy, did I fall hard.  Front porches with ceilings painted sky blue, dark stained decks with beautiful ferns hanging above.

I took notes as well as mental notes.  Once home and baby put down for sleep, I wrote down ideas in a little journal.

Then I waited.  I waited, some more.  We moved.  More waiting.

I was waiting for a house with a porch.

Hello July 2016.  smiling.

I honestly don’t need a picture on pinterest to remind me of what I wished/dreamed and schemed for.  The idea is a permanent part of my brain.

Oh, yes, I took before, during and after pictures of this before and after project.  These are sort of the middle pictures.  The ceiling is painted, the lighting fixture has been ordered, the deck stain is sitting in our garage and I am working up the courage to try my hand at growing ferns next summer……..we have progress!

I chose to use Sherwin Williams 6505, Atmospheric.  No, SW didn’t pay me to write this commercial.  I will say 2 thumbs up on their product.  I wait for a coupon or sale, it is a bit spendy, however, so worth the price. Excellent quality and covers like a dream.  The lines from your brush lay down for a smooth lovely finish. 20160718_193555_resized

I am not a blue lover.  When some little person says, “Miss Daleen, what is your favorite color?”  I usually list off 6 or 7 maybe 9 colors before I get to sky blue.

Why the blue on the porch ceiling?  20160718_193619_resized

In the early 19th century milk paint was mixed  with lye.  Folks repainted every year and duh, the lye in the paint did indeed keep the bugs away.  No, it wasn’t the blue color everyone thought.

Some folks believe that the blue is a way to trick spiders and wasps into thinking it is the sky and thus won’t build their nests there.

We live in the Pacific Northwest and while we do enjoy glorious blue skies as the song by Perry Como reminds us,  the bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle…. we have an extraordinary amount of rather dull gray days.  Looking up to see the blue “sky” will be a refreshing treat.

The reason I fell and fell hard for the blue skies?  Haints.

The blue color for porch ceilings are often called “aurora blue or haint blue”.   Aurora blue ~ a Northwest Aurora Colony, a Christian communal society that gained popularity in the 1850’s.

“Haints are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world.”  The haint blue is to protect the home owner from being taken.

Dreamy, silly, delicious, right this very moment I am twirling my hair just thinking about this idea………I love the idea of being protected and safe sitting under that Atmospheric Blue.  I love the idea of spirits dressed in fantastic old costumes, now all gauzy swaying above me. This is good stuff, people!!!

Oh and good news, in my morning note, Mr. Right captured the real essence of me painting.  Just sharing so you could get the real feel of the project. 20160719_081146-1_resized

Stay tuned, next up, Autumn Orchid……..hello master closet!

ps.  I am always pleasantly surprised the next morning when I go look at something I painted.  I am always smiling when the paint is still stuck there and didn’t fall off sometime during the night. snort





step into a dream

Sometimes it is easier for me to write with someone in mind. Today, I am writing to a beautiful, smarty pants, charming, “joyful” hair girl I know.

She has a dream of traveling to Paris.  Instead of being the weird wife of a fellow co-worker, I want to be an uplifting, encouraging, human being nudging her towards that goal.  I want to push her just far enough that she can actually see and feel her dream coming alive. I want to be part of that magic.

Yes, she has an envelope that she “feeds” when she can.  Yes, she has pictures of the Eifel tower to gently remind her.

I want her to buy a Barret, a stripy black and white shirt.  I want her to buy a loaf of really quality French bread and excellent cheese and go on a picnic with her boyfriend and dream about Paris.  I want her to bathe herself in the beautiful pieces of art that were created and shown in Paris.

Actually, I want to shove her to jump in with both feet. I want her to write down her goal/dream.  I want her to see it every single day on the refrigerator. See a note every day on her mirror.  I want her to plaster her desk area with beautiful lovely pictures of Paris.

I want to gently nudge her to take in the “intimate impressionism” exhibit that is now at the Seattle Art Museum.


Last night was date night!!  I know, weird timing?  Smack dab in the middle of a work week.  Take time out, put on a cute sassy pencil skirt and head to the museum with Mr. Right.

This particular exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  They call it “everyday moments of lasting beauty”.

We were treated to a selection of art on a personal and intimate scale.  Most often grand oversized paintings, painted to be seen at public exhibitions, these gems were on a smaller scale, yet the same breath-taking moments happened.  In the most lovely of ways. I giggled at one (and bought a post card to share) and slipped by one or two that were not to my liking.

We gazed upon works by Monet, Degas, Renior, Sisley, Vuillard, Van Gogh and more.

As you know, the first impressionist exhibition when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art.  For Sale!  They had to stay until the end of the exhibit, however, all were available.

This group of mostly friends, helped each other.  They encouraged one another.  They painted each others portraits, they painted out in the air, together.  They ate together, pooling what funds they had.  They shared and painted over canvases and when money was scarce, they painted on cardboard. They shared and lifted up each others dreams.

Instead of being hurt and crushed by a nasty and critical review meant to discredit their work, the critic Leroy, instead invented their identity. The Impressionists.

We each chose our favorite piece from this exhibition.picking flowers, RenoirIt was a surreal feeling of being surround with such treasures.  You could almost feel yourself silently slipping into their gardens and sitting behind artist as they created.  When you really paused a moment to look deep into the layers of paint, you could imagine the oil smell.  You could feel the draft in the room.

We chose postcards to send to our grands. flower beds by van gogh

We talked about places we had visited that were depicted in some of the paintings.

Over dinner, in the big city, we discussed the pieces even further.

Driving home we talked about brush strokes and some of the frames. We talked about color.

I talked about the “Porcelain” room at the Museum.  Bar none, my favorite room in the museum (permanent display).

This morning in our notes and card to each other, you guessed it, we discussed art.

Here’s the thing, art and artists have a way of evoking emotion.  Passion, dreams, hope, pure beauty.  This unique group of people helped each other thrive. At times, it was not easy.  It took years and years for some to sell their works.  However, there was strength in their coming together. Strength in all having a vision, a dream. There is great strength in others seeing your dream as something that is attainable.

Instead of being singled out for being wildly “independents” & “intransigents” they were a group with value.

One of my favorite pieces in this collection is “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet.  I adored the slips of light that filtered through the trees.  However this painting was extremely discomforting to many in 1872 , because it’s swiftly applied, visible brushstrokes made it seem unfinished to tradition-minded art critics.

After he had returned from the municipal exhibition in Rouen, and until the end of 1872, the most important part of Monet's artistic output took place in Argenteuil. Most of his work was done on the right bank of the Seine, the Argenteuil side, painted facing the setting sun beyond the trees of the promenade. The road and rail bridges, the Seine, the sky of Ile-de-France, and the promenade's trees would become the key subjects in Monet's work in Argenteuil, forming the most distinctive motifs of this highpoint of Impressionist painting. Here, the painter focuses his attention on the physical features, especially the promenade and the river, but typically at the same time he suggests a human presence through small details.

Instead of one person having a dream of travelling to Paris, collectively as kind humans we need to jump in and lift up that dream. Maybe skip a coffee drink and share the money for the dream envelope?  Maybe share a favorite artist that walked in the very city she wants to discover?  How about sending her a postcard with a stunning view of a landmark that she will one day explore.

Dreams and goals are attainable.  Dreaming together brings more strength to the goal.

“Paris is always a good idea”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Here’s to you and your dream!  May you surround yourself with all that is Paris and by doing that, you are one step closer to being there.

I want to be part of the dream.  I look forward to the day, when you want to sit down with coffee and share pictures of your travels.

Have Dreams, Will Travel.