Have you ever made a mistake, usually a simple mindless one, felt flustered, and then later realized that in that mistake was some kernel of hidden truth?
That happened to me a little over a week ago. I was commenting on a post over at Lisa's blog when I made a typing error and posted that I wore "ducky shades" when I meant to say "dusty shades". Lisa caught it and I immediately said it had been a typing error. But for days after that my mind was entranced with the idea of "ducky shades". I couldn't shake it, and some part of me wanted to say that I do, indeed like those very colors -- ducky shades -- if only I knew what they were. Then it hit me. I was thinking of duck eggs, and in some sense "duck egg shades" could kind of run into "ducky shades", or at least it could with a stretch of the imagination, or perhaps a month of mental-fog-inducing pain medications.
I don't know if you have ever encountered duck eggs. I remember the bowls of duck eggs a local farmer would sell when I lived in the Hudson Valley and would go to the Rhinebeck Farmer's Market, of the beautiful blue-greens and soft-grayed greens, sometimes with a bit of yellow in the green, but all the shades blended together; some bright, but not shockingly bright, softly bright, perhaps a little muted, or a little grayed. Some eggs were white too, but not the relatively bright white of a chicken egg, a softer white, a white I could wear. Mostly I remember the blues and greens, the colors you see here, below, in this photo of duck eggs:
I don't wear true pastels well. And although true blues are acceptable on me, the greener blues are better, and the periwinkles. I've always had trouble describing my blues. The deeper ones are along the lines of the deep periwinkles and the blue-teals, but the lighter blue-greens have always stumped me. How would I describe them? And it suddenly occurred to me that duck egg blue is in fact one of my blues. As I thought about duck eggs and their lovely range of colors, I realized that I could in fact wear all those colors. Granted some of them are too light for me, but all of the subltle variations of duck egg colors are all colors that would work with the colors that I think of as my colors, both the color wheel colors that work with my physical color palette, and the colors that I personally think of as "mine" the ones that I tend to be drawn to as part of how I see myself. And yes even that somewhat yellower grayed green that you see in the back of the above photo, those would blend with my eyes, which are green, but a grayed, yellowed green, that is sometimes more intese than others, and occasionally have been mistaken for hazel, but they are not.
Perhaps it is true. Perhaps my colors are "ducky colors" and perhaps I should seek them out more.
But I actually don't wear those colors very much. Why not? The truth is that I have trouble finding them. Perhaps I shop in the wrong stores. Perhaps they are just rarely fashionable. In looking around the web I have found myriad paint colors called duck egg blue. I've found a board on pinterest devoted to the color, but it mostly shows furniture and decoration, which is in keeping with the many paint samples I've also found. But I've found little in terms of clothing, a few soft aqua pieces, some of which might border on duck egg blue. I would say soft aqua is actually a different color although it is a color I've been known to wear. I've found a clothing store in Australia called Duck Egg Blue, although they don't seem to carry any more duck egg blue clothing than anyone else. I sometimes find that green, the second paint color from the left, and I find the far right color the most often, but the middle color would be the one I want to find, the blue I would live in if I could. I had a suit that color once and I wore it until it was literally threadbare.
In fact, if I want to wear these colors, I seem to have the most success with yarns. It is true that I could knit more sweaters, and am happy to do so. But this limits duck egg blue to a role as more of an accent than a primary color, which is fine, as there are plenty other blues, and grays, and purples and the rose colors, that are also my colors. But it does make me wonder. I can easily find something for my house in those duck-egg colors but why can't I find clothes as easily? Or am I truly looking in the wrong places? If you know where I should look, please advise.
The photo of the duck eggs was not taken by me, but you can probably tell that is not from the Rhinebeck Farmer's Market by the Chinese characters. Fiona Reilly of the wonderful blog, Life on Nanchang Lu, graciously let me use her photograph. The truth is I didn't discover her blog until I was looking for photos of duck eggs on Google, and was unsuccessful in many ways, which don't need to be explored further at this point. But I did find this photo which captured the range of beautiful colors that I remembered. Through this photo, I discovered Fiona's blog, and I have since looked through her archives, have been enchanted, and have subsequently started following her posts. I do wish you would take a look as well.
The color of paint samples is a screen shot from the top of a google search. The individual paint sample colors come from these sources, from left to right: art-paints.com, marilynandmelrose.co.uk, firedearth.com, decorsupplies.co.uk, and handyhippo.co.uk