16 April 2009

My Many Colored Days

"Some days are red, Some are blue.
On different days, I'm different too.
You'd be surprised how many ways
I change on different colored days..."
~Dr. Suess, from My Many Colored Days

So begins one of my very favorite (and least known) Dr. Suess books.

I knew this one by heart and could recite it at the drop of a hat when my kids were toddlers. Now they are 8 and 11 and I rarely have cause to break into rhyme.

But I often think of that poetic language when I am confronted with colors. The Suessically penned phrases will pop into my head depending on my mood...

"Gray day. Everything is gray. I watch but nothing moves today....
All of a sudden I'm a circus seal. On my orange days, that's how I feel!"

I have been seeking some color to spice up my designs. I have books that are devoted to color theory like The Beader's Color Mixing Directory and others that arrange gemstones by their position on the chakra or zodaical signs. But often I am not sure exactly where to start. So I needed some inspriration.

A trip to the local hardware store offered all that I needed. I was on a quest to get a couple of cans of paint for my friend's new art gallery space. We needed to paint the shelves black. Not Total Eclipse or Abe Lincoln's Hat, just....black. Amazingly I was able to find one paint chip in a thousand that was actually called black.

But as I left the paint department I got to thinking... Why am I worried about combining colors when someone already got paid to do it? And why not raid their racks for the inspiration I need for the perfect color palette?

So I circled back to the paint aisle and started pulling off every single brochure from every single manufacturer. There was an "Enchanted Bedroom" card consisting of Lavender Luck (purple), Royal Liquor (burgundy) and Surfing U.S.A. (blue). And then I moved virtually outside to the "Endless River", the "Whispering Desert", the "Sprawling Meadow" and the "Enchanted Forest" collections. Some brochures attempted to label me based on the colors that I chose...what does your color palette say about you? Does it say...I am romantic? or festive? or casual? or sophisticated? There were yellow-greens and red-oranges and blue-violets all happily co-habitating in such an orderly rainbow parade.

These brochures are brilliant! Not only have the paint manufacturers done a stellar job of combining the best color combinations, but the names are so cool! (How can I get a job like that?) More specifically I discovered the treasure that is Devine Color Paint ("The Wisdom of a Woman in Every Can" -- I love that byline!) available online at http://www.devinecolor.com/. Below are some of the fabulous color combinations that they say "goes on like yogurt and looks like chiffon!" (Note to self: got to get me some of that paint for the next color journey I should really take in my own home. Free shipping, too!)

It is very important to me that each piece I create has a name. I find that often times the story about the piece is almost as important as the components in it. And the name can create a mystique about the piece and a story that someone connects with which makes them ready to buy. And color often plays a role in what a piece is ultimately called.

I don't know about you, but I would rather buy a piece called Night of the Dreamweavers than one that is simply titled, Black Onyx and Coin Pearl necklace. I have seen that in soooooo many publications and websites and blogs...zzzzzzzzZZZZZzzZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So, to spice things up ("I am {trying to be}...Festive!") I plan to utilize my paint chip library not only for the color inspiration, but for the names they supply...like...
Velvet Morning
Blue Dusk
Golden Cricket
Cinnamon Diamonds
My Inner Sanctum
Leaf Glimmer

What do you think?
  • Does the name of a piece of jewelry/handmade object or the story behind it influence you?

  • Do you choose your jewelry to match each outfit by color and pattern, or by the uniqueness factor?
  • Would you rather have accessories that change with the seasons, or keeps up with the latest trends, or do you seek out your style no matter what they say is in vogue?

  • What is the role of color in your life?
  • Do you jazz up everything you touch with color, or do you live in beige? Would you like to break into color but are just not sure how?

  • If you could be any color in a box of crayons or any paint chip on the wall, what would it be and why?
Do tell!

Check It Out::(It's a three-fer!)
http://claireteschel.wordpress.com/paint-chips/ http://www.devinecolor.com/colorpeeks/colorpeeks.html

(This lovely palette was created by Claire Teschel of Huesdays.)

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."~William Shakespeare

Enjoy the day!


Dani said...

Lovely ideas. Dramatic names do sound better. That last Shakespearean line you quoted actually reminded me of Anne's take on that in Anne of Green Gables.
"A rose of any other name would smell as sweet...but I just don't think a rose would smell as sweet if it were a thistle or a skunk cabbage." :)

Judy said...

I love to name the pieces I make....since most of my pieces are created with antique adornments I try to use Victorian names when I came.

L'Adelaide said...

lovely blog, erin...i have not been by in awhile and should now be out and about with gkids but am hiding and reading ;)

i choose my jewelry by what FEELS good to me at the time...and all my jewelry is made with stones that "speak" to me, so it's always a pleasure, if that makes any sense!


Stacey said...

I too have used paint store samples for color combination inspiration. :) I never thought of using the names - what a wonderful idea - I might have to try that - every once in a while naming a piece stumps me. But I do love to name them - how fun that anything goes - whatever you want - not many things are completely free. Sometimes I see a beautiful color combination while I am out in nature or walking and I think "Oh I must try to work those coors into a piece" and then I might name it after that. Like last night while on a wlk with the kiddoes the fields were so beautiful - golden tans with some orange with brown and green - so it's on the inspiration list and will be named like Evening Stroll or Once Upon a Springtime Stroll.
I have another color combination source:
Kind of fun!!!

Unknown said...

I often love paint names - great place for inspiration! *Hanging my head in shame* I wear little jewelry, I'm kinda simple. And last time I was shopping with hubs he complained about my lack of color. I tend to go towards black or white, I hadn't realized it until he pointed it out and bought me a bright aqua shirt. :)

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

You're blog is creative, inspiring and beautiful! I loved it and have decided to become a follower :) I hope you have a great day...~ER~

Cindy Ericsson said...

There is a beautiful animated video of My Many Colored Days featuring, I think, the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. It's very worth watching. I found it at the public library.

TesoriTrovati said...

Thanks for the heads up Cindy! I love that poem by Dr Suess, the lyrical language just rolls off my tongue. I will have to check out that video. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the day! Erin

JenniferJangles said...

Oh I have t get my hands on a copy of that Dr. Seuss book, I forgot about it. I have to say...I dread naming pieces. I am a visual person and so it's hard for me. I love the idea if adapting paint names...hmmm you have me thinking.


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