Friday, May 28, 2010

is this dirt?

Nah. I much prefer calling it patina.


Pronunciation: \pə-ˈtē-nə,
Function: noun
InflectedForm: plural pa·ti·nas

Etymology: Italian, from Latin, shallow dish
Date: 1748
1 a : a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
b : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
2 : an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character 3 : a superficial covering or exterior


I dare say the manor certainly qualifies for each point of Merriam Webster's definition. Of course, in the time it took to snap these photos, I could have given these corners a good going over with me mops and me brushes. But for some reason, it's just not quite as much fun.

These are my favorite comfy old suede mules. They have patina, too.

60 comments:

  1. Nope, not dirt. The places in your photos have character, sorta like the writer of this blog.

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  2. I like to think of patina's etymology of "shallow dish" as something to catch the dust!

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  3. Corners around here are not old enough to have a patina - just dirt. :-(

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  4. Definitely patina. And everyone knows photography makes you MUCH more fun than cleaning does :)

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  5. Oh, so I have a house full of patina (sounds better thought not as snuggly as dust bunnies). Let's see if I can convince Ronnie!

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  6. a little dirt never hurt any way...patina or otherwise...

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  7. Love suede shoes... they always look as though a person is comfortable with themselves and who they are. I know that's a lot to read into a pair of shoes... but suede totally looks and feels homey to me.

    DI
    The Blue Ridge Gal
    (Dirt? What dirt? I don't see any dirt.)

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  8. I am hereinafter referring to that stuff in our corners as patina too!

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  9. I think I have a bit of patina on me too by definition B.

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  10. Uh huh! Riiiiiiiiiight! Then my apartment is patina'd right into antiquity, and I should be able to charge big bucks for tours. And if you buy that one, I also own a bridge in New York that's for sale.

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  11. Dirt is in the eye of the behold, is what I always say.

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  12. Suki, that makes two of us!!

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  13. Mops? Brushes? And ruin a perfectly good patina? Never.

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  14. so beautiful!!

    i love your pictures!

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  15. Oh, we are eat up with patina around here. Living with dogs and cats in the house will do it.

    There was a famous designer who said that in order to achieve the English country house look, he always brought in a few large dogs and let them work their magic.

    Me too.

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  16. willow there's silvered stretch marks on me wife's tummy and i know where each came from and where they lead. there's marks on the walls and the floors, on my face, 'round my eyes. i know where they came from and where they lead to. i love wear. it's real. it's so good and this is one damn fine post!!!! steven

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  17. How come your patina looks better than my patina? I like well worn places but I also like freshly scrubbed and painted...I just don't want to do it....so it's back to loving patina!

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  18. I think older houses look good with the natural gatherings of wear. And I think the cluttered...I mean cozy look we have can get by with a lot more patina, than a modern, sparse decor. I agree with Steven, wear means we're living : )

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  19. Shibui I think...even the shoes.

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  20. Oh, these are gorgeous! I say they're definitely not dirt. I forgot to tell you I love the new Willow Manor look--and those peonies--awesome! Drool!

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  21. arts,
    not dirt!
    Happy Thursday!

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  22. Well, you taught me something. I had no idea about the shallow dish thing. When I did ceramics a while back (my friend owned the business) we used to paint things to give them a patina look. It is cheating but still looks fantastic.

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  23. I love your blog entry plus all of the comments. From now on I will admire the patina in my house.

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  24. Wow Steven - what a wonderful comment! I've always said I have stretch marks from my 10lb. cherubs that you could drive a Mack truck through. I will never say that again after reading your loving description of Mrs. Steven's tummy!

    Willow, I love b : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use. At 62 MOTH's fabulous blonde hair is just starting to show a teeny bit of grey on the sides. Thanks to your post its the patina of age in all it's glory, not the advancing years of decrepitness.
    Millie ^_^

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  25. I learned the value of patina when doing a bit of business in a coin shop. Another gentleman presented a penny, encased in plastic. The shop owner assessed the value of the coin at $1,200. "It would have been about $1,600, but someone cleaned it."

    So, patina is worth $400.

    I will never clean anything ever again.

    Mike

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  26. The only people who REALLY understand 'patina' are the Italians. Destroying it is a hanging offence!

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  27. So that's what they call it. I'll have to use that too.

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  28. Just what I needed: an excuse not to clean! I love it! People pay big bucks for patina. Do you think they'd believe it if I put my house on the market? I guess that's not happening until the market corrects itself. I am happy to have a warm, day place to call home.

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  29. Dirt washes away, patina has to be forcefully scrapped to be removed (a shame sometimes).

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  30. Love the mules, love the dirt. They epitomize a lived life, things moving and happening. Good things.

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  31. Willow,
    Patina: 4. a; a nice little Italian girl I met years ago. Her father didn't approve so we haven't grown old together. :)
    rel

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  32. I agree with TechnoBabe - it's character.

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  33. Plenty of patina at our place, Willow!

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  34. Thank you so much. Next time MIL does the white glove test, I can call it patina. I would have to move my clutter to find the patina. Now I need a cool label for clutter.

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  35. I'll have to try that line out on Linda some time. "That's not dirt, that's patina. Valued for its color."

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  36. i think my cheeks have grown some patina these last few years!

    like vintage pawn, i won't buff them...
    but just stay out of the direct sun!

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  37. I feel much better about the patina in my place. We've got lots of dog patina around here now. Rachel Ashwell would love my place - shabby (not so chic)

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  38. Oh, Pup, I've seen pics of your beautiful, artsy place, and it's just my cup of tea. It's very chic!!

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  39. Dear Willow: This is synchronistic! "That Old House" had an almost exact picture on her blog! What the? Everyone thinks the same thing at the same time? Almost. Spring being that time of the year when winter's patina becomes more patina. I never say dirt. Patina a much better word and so welcoming as spring!

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  40. I absolutely love that first shot of a horse shoe? The purplish patina of its surface is almost phosphorescent.

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  41. Paul, it's the bottom of the mail box that hangs by the front door. It has those two hooks for large articles at the bottom.

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  42. I love patina. Now, if I can only learn to love it as it encroaches on my face. ha.

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  43. Would like for us to accept the patina of beauty and age to include my wrinkles!!

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  44. I have always loved items with patina. I seek them out at flea markets. I think it's why I was a history major.

    Love the photos!
    Happy Weekend,
    Jen

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  45. There's nothing like the feel of a well-lived in house, especially one with many rooms & twists & turns--& love the shots of patina!

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  46. Hi Willow, my entire house is a shallow dish. I've missed you. I'll be back to blogging soon. And to Vicki, gosh, I didn't know my house had the English countryside look till now! My four dogs have indeed worked magic. The fur snarls dance in the corners.
    K.

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  47. How amazing ... I just used the word patina in my first post-move blog. It's one of my favourite words. I love to roll it around my tongue. Its layers contain so much meaning and connection. Your blog has such a fine patina, Willow.

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  48. A little bit of dirt hurt no one willow. They always say that if you use a duster you just push the dust from one place to another.

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  49. Have to agree with there; mopping is definitely no fun at all, I have a cleaner now so hope never to use the mop again!! Fantastic photo of the horse shoe.

    CJ xx

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  50. i just love playing in the dirt...and now that we've got a Toby, we usually have a bit in the house as well, just like the good ol days!

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  51. I even like the word 'patina'-- the sound of saying it aloud-- whenever I read it or hear it-- I immediately begin to visualize the greenish sheen on metal from the passage of time or use.

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  52. no, not half as much fun

    dust doesn't matter
    patina does

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  53. Patina--I like that word. It has hidden depths and discoveries in its wake--and I LOVE these photos. Are they yours?

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  54. Thanks, Beth, yes, they're mine. That's my foot in the last one! :)

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  55. This made me laugh. I love words . . . there is just a world of difference between patina and dirt.

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  56. Yeah, patina... that's what all that crap is all over my house!

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  57. life is better with patina. :)

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  58. by the way, my wife and I are so happy to find our blog in the list of your peeps! :)

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  59. Aron, your delightful blog is one of my new faves!

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  60. I love these pics. Something so cozy and old word about that "dirt" and such. :)

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)