1 May


A Quest for the Measure Less

I secretly think we are all on a quest.

Our curious heart, causing us to pause and examine with great delight the things that capture it. To touch and taste with no thought or measuring stick as to the importance or non-importance of the doing.

It’s a state that creativity hangs out in. Even when creativity feels absent from us we know it’s a guise..it may be hiding…but gone?  Never!  Playing hide and seek with us, it asks us to become a kid again, full of what ifs and pretends and yearnings. Never to be regulated or pigeonholed, creativity is a rogue, rebel kid always wanting us to play full out.

It’s a part of ourselves that actually feels wonderful to say yes to!

I’ve been contemplating living… a measure less life. Thinking of more pausing and listening to that inner kid who has never owned a measuring stick. Looking at ways of getting to that measureless state of joy that I truly believe is ours…

…which leads me to sharing my newest acquisition with you…a vintage train case, circa 1950’s Samsonite.  And just as important, what I chose to place in it!

More inspiration and painting with Dreama at https://dreamatolleperry.com

“Maybe it was the color.  Maybe it was the way I imagined it would feel in my grip.  Maybe it was the hopeless romantic in me… imagining myself all Audrey Hepburn style taking on Rome, Paris and beyond…”

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama
whatever the reason… I knew it had to be mine.

It’s at times like these that I know I am allowing happy in.  No justifying why I needed it or how it would be used.  (Seriously, who needs a 60+ year old suitcase with someone else’s initials monogrammed on the front “BLG”??)

Except that I am crazy over watercolors…their simplicity and beauty slay me.
Somehow these new ones found me…they look like boxes of eyeshadow.   Grouped in wonderful sets like Tropical and Pastel and Classic.  I haven’t even tried them out yet…I’m easing into this happy moment slow and easy!

And journals that I can both write and watercolor in. Like ice tea on a hot summer day…delightful and refreshing.

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama
I have several I love, my favorite being the elusive Fabriano handmade journals that one can only find in  Italy (if you need a reason to go 😉 ) (UPDATE: These are now available in my shop at this link!)  Another being the Nujabi journal which you can find online.  These precious things, of course, need a place that I can carry them all together…which brings us back to the quest, the train case and letting wonderment unfold with no need for measuring.

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama
Perfect fit!

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama
The dictionary defines a quest as an act of seeking.  I have found that in my questing,  joy and wonder and awe are present.  Not defined answers (which would put an end to the quest) but an unfoldment. More passions, more delights, more things to wonder after.

I kind of like that.

In fact, I am in love with the quest and the measure less life.

Maybe the plan is to not have a plan—but to be purely present and alive and spontaneous.
So maybe I bought more of the new watercolors than I needed.  Who’s measuring???

Hope you are curious, hope you feel your creativity playing hide ‘n’ seek with you.
Enjoy the quest.

Measure less
Enjoy more

UPDATE: (The Nujabi journal mentioned in the post is no longer available. The Prima watercolor sets are available in my Amazon shop here! I am an Amazon Influencer and as such receive compensation for purchases made via my Amazon shop link.)

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with DreamaSimply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

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  1. Theresa

    I so enjoy your writings, and the pictures that go along with them. You are an inspiration to me. Now I want one of those watercolor boxes you have in the pictures.

  2. BLG
    Bring (the) Love Girl!
    The perfect Acronym for your case.
    xoxo ps I bought pastels (lots) in Paris also in a nice case….not as cool as yours.

  3. Linda Stratton

    Just because …Paint, brushes & canvas all bring us to another land! Always love how I feel when painting!

  4. Jewell West

    I have been hording two old Samsonite train cases for years. I loved them, but knew “others”, otherwise know as husband, would not understand why I’ve kept them. Thank you for opening the door to “acceptance” of my secret treasures.

  5. Anita Cook

    I love your little carrying case and the story behind it. I find that all these years I have been measuring myself by the position I have (and trust me, it has not been an important one) and the duties I must accomplish, rather than who I am. I need to let that part of me that wants to play – to get out and play! Here’s hoping that your words will come to mind when that not so adventurous inner voice tells me I’m not good enough or I can’t play because I have chores to do and people to please.

  6. Sally E Wimberly

    Dearest Dreama, you have the greatest ideas and are very inspiring to me in every way! That pale turquoise train case is the cutest and perfect for toting paints! I told you in another post that I collect antique suitcases so I really love this one. When I started painting many years ago, it was watercolor that I chose as my first medium. Although I’m now painting more often in acrylic and pastel, watercolor is my first love, so please put my name in the hat for the possibility of receiving one of the precious sets! XXXOO

  7. My first love was watercolour too! Such cute paintboxes, love be the metal cases and how you have curated this with the travel case! Would love to try the pastel or classics, so pretty.

  8. Dreama

    Love reading each of your comments! Next post I will be giving away some of the watercolors (for those of you who mentioned getting your name in the hat 🙂 AND who knows what else after than 😉

  9. Love the little watercolor sets! What kind are they?
    Also, as always, love your inspirational messages and the joy you radiate. 🙂

    • Dreama

      They are Prima brand Barbara. I’ve added them to my Amazon store at this link:
      You may be able to find them locally–I ordered mine online 🙂

  10. Beth McGale

    Love the beautiful photos, this is art in itself. Always enjoy your writing as much as your art. Everything is so whimsical, how can it not make one happy… I so love watercolours, could you tell me what kind these are? I just love them and their delicious names.

  11. Carol Betker

    Hi, Dreama! Love your little carrying case, reminds me of one my mother had and now I own……your sharing was just the sweetest reminder of her! And again how timely this whole measuring thing is for us! We need lots of daily reminders how to just be who we are, God’s creation, and stop trying to measure up to someone else…….and that’s exactly what’s needed for this moment.

  12. A train case filled with delicious watercolors is all I need for my next adventure!

  13. Martha Salz

    My mother has this very train case from her 1957 honeymoon. I just love how the watercolors fit like they were made for it or the other way around. I am an artist … but things, necessary but unpleasant are taking up all my time right now. I feel that pull everyday … “Just get back to the art” … But feel like I must wait for the other business to finish before I can create again. Like they can’t co-exist because one is dark and one is light. Maybe I am wrong? Thanks Dreama for including all of us in your essays, meeting us where we are.

    • Dreama

      I understand Martha. Sometimes getting something as simple as a new box of watercolors is good for the soul and where it is for the time being. It reminds you of who you are…even when you aren’t using it 🙂

  14. Darlene

    I’m loving this post. Love the little palettes. I have saved a couple of train cases; however, they are not this beautiful color. I redid the inside with fabrics and now I am inspired to put my paints in them. I love watercolor. I bought the thinks that were in the very first posts. So cool. Everyone needs some sparkle for Joy.
    God Bless you all! Love Darlene

  15. San Hicks

    Dreama, this is such a lovely post. Your words are like a warm, gentle breeze. You are a gifted teacher. I’m not sure if I found you to learn more about painting or for your wisdom … whichever, the timing is perfect and I am grateful. I will think/journal about ‘measureless’. The concept is intriguing and could be life changing for me. 💙 San
    PS. I’d love to try water colors, please include me in your giveaway.

  16. Linda B

    As of late I have been finding joy in painting various family items in a journal. These items belonged to my parents, some hand made including furniture. Items from my childhood and some of my favorite things. I’ve written about the items, told brief family stories among the pages. Now I will give the items to my daughters and granddaughters. A bonus is that I no longer need to store or clean the items and can go down memory lane when I choose. The surprise is that I no longer feel bound to the items. It’s time for someone else to enjoy them.

  17. Joanne Benson

    Love the train case and the article! Those little palettes look like some I have. What brand of paints and palette are they? I love my little palettes….so easy to carry along! I have a slightly longer palette like those with 12 full pans and it has room for 3 brushes in the middle and then the side area. Just enough! It is a go to for plein air painting when I don’t want to carry a lot.

  18. Judy Giannettino

    Love this post…to be purely present, alive and spontaneous! I have to try that today.
    I also love your watercolor journaling. I struggle with this and you make it seem so easy…sketching and painting just sitting on a bench!

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