Curry Colors

comments: 79

Stuff 250

In college, my friend Pam and I went through a phase where we were obsessed with the color combination of turquoise and mustard yellow together. Isn't that weird? That we would actually talk about this? It didn't seem weird. I had a silver ring with an oval piece of amber, clear as honey. She has strawberry blond, almost-red hair. We sat alone together in the art department, painting batiks or weaving samplers for hours. We wore beaded anklets and smoked and listened alternately to the Pixies and Joni Mitchell. I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling. Time seemed different, then. There were hours and hours to spend, somehow. As summer approached, the shabby little streets around campus would start to burst with weeds and alley flowers, ancient lilacs and phlox. We walked almost everywhere. There were one or two cars among ten or eleven of us friends, and every once in a while we'd go somewhere, across the river, to Iowa, beyond the bounds of our usual routes between the tiny, hill-ensconced school and our little, falling-down wooden rental houses, with peeling lead paint and sofas on porches and gardens of dandelions. A few blocks away from the house where I lived on 8 1/2-th Avenue were the crumbling, overgrown remains of an old house's foundation. They sat, undisturbed and forgotten, slightly unreal, like a stage set meant to look like a ruin. One night, walking past the spot, I was carrying a ceramic pot that Seth had made for me, and I accidentally whacked it into the side of a telephone pole, and thought I'd busted it. (It was fine, but what was I thinking about?) Andy and John had old motorcycles. Pam, in a floaty Bellini-colored babydoll dress and Birkenstocks, burned her calf on the exhaust pipe one night on a drunken jaunt with John. For weeks the big oval wound oozed and wept, but she'd probably thought it was worth it. You don't do stuff like that twice.


I made Ina's curry chicken salad in my new blue bowl the other day, and was reminded.


I don't read it much, but when I do I'm gobsmacked. Poetry.

Just when I needed a few minutes away from the daily grind. . .thank you!

What a lovely memory, so glad you shared it x

I love how you tell stories. The other day I was talking to one of my co-workers about how time seemed to be longer when I was younger. I remember doing all sorts of things in the afternoons after Daddy got in from work and my brother, sister and I got in from school. Mama cooked supper every night. We visted other family members and friends. We played for hours in the yard. I can't find that time anymore. When I get home from work now days it seems like I barely have time to play with my dog a little and get supper and go to bed and start the routine over again. There doesn't seem to be time for hobbies or visiting or anything much. Isn't it strange how the same time frame can seem so much longer back then?

The picture of the spices is really pretty. What are you making?

Laura A. says: May 21, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Thank you for painting that memory! I think I have to spend less time on the computer and reclaim the days. (Though I have to find time for my posie fix even if you do continue to taunt me with that bowl!)

Thank you for that small escape.

Hands down favorite post. Loved this. I was right there with you.

Ha! I love turquoise and mustard together. That's the color scheme of our little shop!

Also, I didn't know there was anyone else out there who keep Joni Mitchell and the Pixies in equal rotation. I knew I liked you... :)

I found myself both envious of your dreamy-sounding experiences and reminded of my own, very similar, ones. Seems like another lifetime ago. I so wish I'd had the ability to understand those times then for what they were — free, heady, fleeting. Now that I'm 41, I constantly remind myself these days, right now, are "the good old days".

I think turquoise goes well with every color, but I'm biased because it is my favorite! Thanks for reminding me of my wonderful college days.

yesss!!!!!!!! life changes but we can still hold on to nice memories....I had almost the same kind of experiences... thanks for sharing!!!

Wow - thank you for this beautiful post. Your description reminded me of my own college days...I think I had a different experience, but your nostalgia brought all of my own to the surface!

your blog never fails to make me happy, thank you.

Color memory... JoJo's fur is as clean green as the day I got him 48 years ago in the crook of his arm, amber was the color of sweet Honey's fur, pale,pale lavender were the wild sweet peas of my childhood, yellow is for dandelions and buttercups that reflect under your chin.

new blue bowl from where?????

I can just see it.

Where do the hours go? I wonder that thing you know we will be fifty and wondering where the years go. Oh my...

I loved reading that. Beautiful. It's amazing how our memories can come flooding back to us.

Did you go to college in Nebraska?

Love your stories. They remind me of long ago years. The burn from a motorcycle-so daring in 1966. My many visits to my former husband's(30 years of marriage) family home in India, where the walls were turquoise and the curries golden. Funny thing aging- I decided to redecorate in my favorite colors turquoise and deep pinkish magenta(is there such a color?). Colors that make me happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is a ticking clock and the right time is now.

Isn't it wonderfully sweet how once small thing can open the door to something like that memory, with all it's depth and nuance? That's why things like that only happen once. So they become a wonderful crystal clear memory instead of just another time in your life.

Thank you for sharing.

I just read this through three times. And now I've just sat here staring at this blank comment box not knowing exactly what to say. I guess "thank you" would be good...


you are brilliant. i love this stuff. you just put me in my happy place. thank you...again...alicia. xo

I am transported.

i love it, i love it! although my college days weren't so long ago, my best friend and i would spend countless hours in the art department, discuss favorite color schemes, would pick flowers on the side of the road for our table.

though aqua & mustard reminds me of some stuff from my mom's college days instead. my friend and i were HUGE into pink and green.

Susan, Tsawwassen, BC says: May 21, 2009 at 12:56 PM

To echo Leslie ... thank you.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.