This week in our study of The Gentle Art of Domesticity we’re reading pages 44-51 and the topics revolve around colour and the way we can use it in our lives to reflect the essence of who we are.
Colouring in the World
Jane Brocket loves colour and as you read through her book and allow your eyes to rest on the hundreds of wonderful photographs scattered throughout, the more obvious her love for bright colours will become.
Jane acknowledges that what works for her may not work for others, but her core belief is this –
“My basic colour rule is that there are no rules, just what works for you.” (page 46)
She describes her home and the way she furnishes it –
“I make sure that I see wonderful colours every day by painting the walls of our rooms in emerald greens, sunflower yellows, brilliant turquoises and fiery reds, and by throwing the quilts and blankets I have made over furniture and on beds where they can be used and enjoyed all the time.” (page 46)
Our personal domestic space overflows with opportunity to decorate and embellish the home in ways which authentically express the people within. As much as Jane and some of you love the vibrancy of a bright interior, others may prefer the subtle pastels of a shabby chic décor, the earthy tones of nature or the washed out colours in a cloudy seaside day. And even though we may not all have the financial freedom to completely re-do our homes in a particular style or colour scheme, the touches we add through our own handcrafts speaks volumes about what we love and who we are.
“The wonderful thing about playing with colour in the gentle arts is that it can be done on any scale you wish. Knitting, stitching and baking offer unlimited opportunities to experiment with colour and combination...”
What’s Your Favourite Colour?
All my children at one time or another, repeatedly for some of them, have asked “Mum, what’s your favourite colour?” - just as Jane’s children inquired of her.
What I love about this section is Jane’s declaration that this question stumps her every time because who can choose just one colour?
“It’s difficult for me to answer this question because I find that colours are at their most lovely when they are in combination with others.” (page 48)
As you read on she gives many examples of colour combinations which inspire and excite her creativity, and I must admit to having quite the ‘aha’ moment here because in the past it has taken me forever to answer that simple ‘favourite colour’ question because on any given day the colour could change.
For example, if I’ve just been given a bunch of brilliant orange gerberas in early spring my heart is suddenly in love with orange, but if I purchase a lime green t-shirt in mid-summer because it brightens my skin tones and makes me smile when I wear it then I want to choose lime as my favourite.
Another season may have me storing all the brightness away and scattering calming tones of cream and pink and aqua throughout the home.
So after reflecting on this section of the book I came to the conclusion that I quite simply love colours, quite a few of them in fact, and the question more easily answered would be “what colours don’t you like?”
(Answer - black, brown, navy blue, maroon, dark green and many shades of yellow)
I think the whole colour thing is what excites me as a designer of hand embroideries. When I'm standing in front of the thread stand at a craft store I quite literally want to grab every single skein and overflow my basket with them - regardless of the fact I already own a great deal of them!
There's this thrill which rises up inside my heart when a hundred or more luxurious threads in varying shades of every colour imaginable fill my line of sight and hold it unwaveringly so that my creative cells run into overdrive.
I also find choosing threads for a new design often takes a l-o-n-g time because there's a distraction as I work, laying skeins side by side to find colours which marry beautifully, and though not what I need at the moment, could be used in future projects. In fact, if I have a gathering of thread colours which I love and they simply do not blend with any fabrics in my stash I dismiss thoughts of a finished project and frame the completed stitchery instead.
Other inspirations for colour choice are found in nature, a jar of lollies, the yarn shop, the fruit and vegetable stand at a local market, and in books like the very one we are studying this year.
When you truly ponder colour it's obvious there's an effect to be felt on our mood, furnishings and even our personal style. In fact over the next few days I shall be spending time considering my wardrobe because when I stood with the wardrobe door open this morning and really looked at my small rack of clothes (I'm not much of a shopper) there wasn't much joy.
Perhaps it's time to finally start sewing my own outfits?
Must dig out those 'make your own clothes' books I bought a few years back...
* If I were to be welcomed into your home what colour scheme would I find to be most prevalent?
* Is this colour scheme true to your personal taste today or does it reflect a season past?
* Have you been inspired by this week's study to make any changes to your current decor, wardrobe or personal style?
Next week we will be studying pages 52-59.
Every week in the Tuesday book study post I'm encouraging readers and lovers of the gentle domestic life who have a current blog and have blogged about Living the Gentle Domestic Life this year to link their relevant weekly book study post for others to come by, visit their blogs and be inspired.
Please do not link to the same post on your blog each week. Your posts should be new and relevant to the current week's study.
NOTE: If your link is advertising or not a true reflection of the heart for living a gentle domestic life it will be deleted.
PSST - I'm having a birthday this week and to celebrate I'm offering 20% off all my 2017 issues of The Stitchery Club. Just type BIRTHDAY into the coupon code box before final checkout here in my Etsy Shop.
Offer closes on February 22nd.
I've finally been able to borrow a copy of the book from the local library so that I can read along! The walls in my room are beige (which I hate), but I try to make up for that with pops of colour in pictures, linen and books! Blue is my go to colour and has been for a long time. I was looking at the clothing in my wardrobe while decluttering over the Christmas holidays and realised that it is loaded with blues and greens - I really need to invest in a few more colours like reds and pinks.
Happy Birthday for Thursday!
Hi Jenny! Great topic for a book study!
colour scheme...personal taste that's for sure!..a mix...kitchen cabinets are painted more like a royal blue, complimented by a two shades of yellow chequerboard tiled walls! living room wall is painted a happy yellow, there is a white wall for my husband! dark wood floor to enhance the colours!
fabrics, vintage sewing machines, plants,old English tea cups piled in tall glass vases so I can see them every day!
Spring is here! 14C by Friday! Time to change the winter cozy look to Spring!
My favourite colours are the ones I think of as earth tones. For some these may seem rather drab but they are restful colours. I have never been drawn to garish colours or patterns. I realise I use little blue in my home furnishings but have a wardrobe full of muted blue garments. Like you Jenny I have different colours for different seasons. The green of the English countryside in spring makes my heart soar with praise for our Lord and the beauty of the world He has created.
The walls of my home are painted a soft, muted sage green. Carpet is a mixture of brown and beige earth tones. My living room, dinning room and kitchen all have accents of red. I have decorated the tops of my kitchen cabinets with vintage aluminum coffee pots, a cake plate with cover, a jello mold, Karo syrup decanture, ice buckets, a dough riser, a small sleigh, a small child's sit down scooter, and my tea set my dad bought me when I was 5. I placed cotton steams in glass milk bottles and an dried, brown, curly twigs wind throughout. I also have a 50's matching aluminum canister set, grease can, cookie jar, spice jars with rack, and salt and pepper set. My kitchen island is black with an aluminum top. My dinning table and chairs are also black. I am starting to decorate with cherries. My oldest bought me a reproduction vintage hand towel with cherries for my kitchen. I'm going to be adding items as I get them made. One bedroom is my sewing room which has a large cabinet that holds my fabric. It has glass doors so you can see all the colors of the fabrics. Another bedroom has a dark tan bedspread with a brown,blue and green batik quilt folded at the foot. The third bedroom has a gray bedspread. I have red flowers in this room and a painting my youngest did of abstract quilt blocks. The colors in it are predominately reds and grays with a little blue and yellow thrown in. The walls in that bedroom are yellow.
I really don't have one particular favorite color. If I have to chose a season it would be fall. I love the reds, yellows and oranges of fall and always look forward to decorating my house with these colors in the fall.
I can't say that I would change anything in my home or wardrobe at this time. I'm happy with what I have right now. We are in the winter season in Kentucky, USA so a lot of my clothes are dark colors. I am looking forward to spring when I will bring out my pastels and whites.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Jenny.
Our home has neutral walls of a white that is on the tan side. In the living room, we have different shades of aqua and browns. Our floors are a light wood. In our bedroom, our comforter is light aqua and brown.B. We live in the high desert of Arizona and find these colors refreshing from the heat. I,too,have my quilts scattered about to be used. I,also, would have trouble picking one color. I do not like some yellows and the what I call the dark mustard color.
My decor is predominantly cream or white because I need the light that they bring into my home, but also because I have lots of 'stuff and I think a neutral colour allows my 'stuff' to shine.
I love colour, but I'm not very good with it and am very envious of people who seem to instinctively know what colours go together.
When we moved into our home two years ago (downsizing) I thought, "Who would paint the walls gold?" Well, this is a soft gold and I've grown to love it. I tend to use color in accessories, such as wall hangings, tablecloths, flowers, and plants. My furniture is various shades of beige. I like to think of my home as giving rest and peace to those visiting. I try to avoid clutter, except in my sewing room. It's a little unorganized, but necessary when I'm piecing anything. One challenging area is deciding which floss to use in embroidery. Mostly it's trial and error. I lay out floss and see if the colors work together, but sometimes the ones that clash separately still look good in the finished product.
If you were to visit me (oh, such a delight!), the purple front door and barns would instantly tell you what color I adore! Inside, however, you’d be surprised to find that I live in an antique house built from on site milled chestnut in 1917 and the house is still the same! So, my inside colors are pulled in through my furnishings, curtains, and art. Right now you’d find a plethora of white — sheepskins, afghans (hand knit), and pillows.... along with bright blues and pinks. I need color in the winter and this satisfies my spirit... in summer, however, you’d find all the rugs up, drapes replaced with cafe length lace, and garden colors... the walls would be full of antique, preloved needlepoint flowers mixed with my own samplers. Color is so important to me as, with the dark walls, it brings energy to the space. I’ve often wondered how Miss Callie decorated when she built this house. I’ve found two things that were hers — Aqua floral Fire King plate and a red and grey quilt. Both suggest to me that she loved color, too, and would be happy that I do as well!!!
I'm not reading the book, but enjoy each post, especially today's thoughts about color. I'm so glad that God created a world filled with so many different colors!
Have a happy birthday, Jenny. You've had quite a year.
I say the brighter the color the better. Embrace your favorite colors no matter what anyone says. https://wickedknitter1.blogspot.com/
I, too, cannot pick a favorite color! I love all colors. The walls of my home are painted off-white (called Navajo White) so that I can fill the walls and furnishings with colorful artwork, pillows, etc.
I love purple! and orange! and the list goes on and on. I always say my favorite color is purple but all color themes appeal to me. If I could I would have one the living room in burgundy and hunter green, the kitchen in country blue, the dining room in a burnt orange and the bedrooms in purples, mint green with pastel everything and one in rosey colors. My house is very eclectic now even though I have some of those colors but there's so much I bring in that doesn't match it would be hard for someone to pinpoint my color themes except for 3 rooms and you would just go by the wall color, not what's inside of them. I don't like white or neutral wall colors however you change your colors just by changing the accessories. One color I overlook in quilting, sewing and decorating is yellow. Not that I dislike it but I overlook it often. I love sunflowers, flowers, etc that are yellow so I'm at a lost why I overlook it.
Happy Birthday for this week.Have fun looking for clothing designs , I have seen quite a few Japanese clothing design books that are simple, classic and made from natural fibre fabrics which is what your climate calls for.You may find some on line second hand on Booktopia, Fishpond etc.
You could snap up some lovely cool Linen this week while Spotlight have discount on dress fabric .
Other than the pink I use in quilts, you will find my home overwhelmingly on the cool side of the color spectrum. I don't really care for the colors yellow, orange and red, except as a "pop" of color in quilts, and you won't find the warm side of the color spectrum in my home. Thinking back, my color choices reflect the colors in my home when I was a child...turquoise carpeting, dark green rug on hardwood floors, light green or turquoise walls...that was home as a child. I don't have much impact on the decor at the farm, except for my quilts...it had multi-colors of blue carpet, white walls, dark wood, green bathroom, blue bathroom...and then there is the kitchen with yellow linoleum and the yellow walls in the laundry room when I got there, and so it stays. I'm sure you can guess what rooms I like the least!!
Hello Jenny, I am loving your book study post so much my friend!! If you came into my home you would find the walls painted in Cottage Cream. I have used this colour over & over for many years now as our home is small & I have lots of things around so it gives me a blank canvas. I recently visited a friend & admired her wall colour & she told me it is called Linen. After many years loving a very primitive look in my home with wool felts & raggedy dolls, I have slowly changed my style to a much more vintage look with old china & lots of pastels & also lots of Pink!!! I grew up with a Mum who loved everything brown or beige so she doesn't like my home quite so much. I well remember when I was just 20 in my first marriage, I wallpapered my Lounge in Laura Ashley floral pink wallpaper with a freize around it & my Dad nearly had a heart attack (!!!) & told me it looked just like a chocolate box wrapping! So my love of pink has stayed with me as here I am 58. You probably didn't need to know all that info but I just thought I would share it. Happy Wednesday to you my friend Xxxx
I can easily name my favorite color as green. The shade of green has changed regularly, but I always come back to a shade of green. Right now I'm in love with a spring or apple green. I used to think that the only green I didn't care for was Kelly green. However, I recently saw a home done in mostly creams & beiges and in the dining room? A screaming Kelly green china cabinet that I instantly fell in love with! So, what do I know lol?!
For the questions:
* If I were to be welcomed into your home what colour scheme would I find to be most prevalent? The walls are a very light gold, but I think green is the dominant color of the furniture.
* Is this colour scheme true to your personal taste today or does it reflect a season past? It's a darker color scheme that I preferred in the past, but I'm hoping to brighten it up some in the upcoming year. I'm hoping to do a more neutral shade of furniture so I can throw in some BRIGHT green! I have fantasies of white drapes with spring green vines all over them!
* Have you been inspired by this week's study to make any changes to your current decor, wardrobe or personal style?
I've sorta been doing this on my own for a couple of years now, but this study gives me a little more courage to be a little bolder. I've considered painting the bay window area of the dining room in a bright hue, rather than it simply blending in. As a hazel/green eyed redhead, I've always leaned toward wearing greens, peaches, turquoises, etc. because they get me all sorts of compliments....so I think I'll stick with that! I wear a lot of olive & navy in winter.
My mom always loved lots of color in everything. When she was alive, I found this 5 ft. tall tiered basket thingy that she'd put all her yarn balls in. She said she loved looking at it because it made her happy. In the 5 yrs. she's been gone, I've only dusted it, but left it much the same. She's right! It makes me happy, too.
JENNY!!! You got some Bluebirds on Roses [yes the first thing I noticed, lol!!!] This is a very timely post - I just bought some turquoise cushions for my grandma's chair, thanks to you and your blue couch which I love....and they go so well with my sunny yellow kitchen table chairs in my sewing room! The colors just sing together, like walking into sunshine and blue skies. Blue and yellow are NOT my favorites....but these are 50's shades and I love them.
I like to use different color schemes in different rooms. Soothing and serene colors in the bedroom, pops of color in the sewing room, autumn shades in the living room. You can go totally wild in the bathroom - you're not in there very long, and can get away with it! I used to have a bathroom that I painted a very deep sky blue, then put pop art clouds all over it, all the way down to the floor. Outlined them in black. It was awesome! Friends still talk about that bathroom, lol, and how much they loved it. It wasn't overpowering because we only spent a few minutes in there.
Living where I do, color is a necessity. Half the year is grey and gloomy. It cheers me up no end to see bright colors in my sewing room! That's where I spend the most time, and I need something cheerful to look at.
Happy Birthday early dear girl - I hope you get totally spoiled by your family!!!!!!!!!!
I thought you were going to skip this week with all that has been going on! I just posted a blog post about adding a very colourful mural in my garden over the weekend, so might not do another because I would just be re-hashing the same idea. I hope it is Ok to link that, remove it if not. I would guess that my favourite colour is red. I always feel happy when I wear red, or shades of red. At the op shop last week I found a lovely pair of (new) red sandals, and they make me feel so special. What is it about red shoes? Our walls are a very pale yellow, curtains are a silver grey, and the furniture is a dark brown. I know, nothing matches,and I am continually trying to pull it all together. I have some African paintings on the wall with a lot of red and yellow and repeat that in cushions and occasional decorations, although I am quite minimal. One day I plan on replacing the living room furniture in a colour that will bring it all together. Happy Birthday week!
I just blogged yesterday before I saw this post. My favourite colour is purple although I find that I like most colours. Colours can greatly affect mood. I have blue bedrooms, mauve sitting room and study, and a very light greeny blue in the living area and kitchen. I mostly wear black with something colourful such as a scarf as I like the contrast and black is slimming lol. My wardrobe is rather dull really. I shall post more detail on my blog in a couple of days.
I read this section of the book last night Jenny and really enjoyed it. I adore bright colour but apart from my blue and yellow dining room everything is quite muted. I too have come to the conclusion that I need to start dressmaking again - browsing the shops I rarely see anything I really like either in colour or style. I have been looking here in Spain too and find the colours dreadfully dingy. The other thing is that clothes are either really cheap, sweatshop produced and poor quality or else way out of my price range. Thank you Jenny. xx
I'm so glad I'm not the only one that can't just pick one color. My little girls would ask me what color I liked and I would always pick a different one. Finally my youngest figured it out, she told me that I love all colors but my favorite is yellow. Which is true. Once people find out the favorite they get you everything in that color. The problem is yellow goes a looooong ways. And love so many different colors. I go through phases - I just finished a teal phase, quickly went through a coral phase, moving back again to a green phase. Right now my living room and kitchen are light sage green, light yellow and pops of red. I was very curious which colors you do not enjoy as much. We are in agreement on the black, brown, navy blue, dark green. Have a wonderful birthday. It's been fun going through the book with you.
Thanks for sharing this with me today. It made me think a bit. We are a small stitching group and they asked me where do I get my inspiration. Well my reply was that The Lord gave and still gives us this wonderful earth with all its colors. When I look at the garden I just am so inspired by all the color combos that seems to be never ending and its for free!!!!
¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS! HAPPY BIRHDAY!!! Have a blessed day. Hugs.
Happy Birthday,JENNY !
Happy Birthday Jenny! I too love so many different colors, and I really enjoyed your post, because my favorites do change with the seasons too :) Blessings to you!
Have a wonderful birthday Jenny. God bless.
I bought myself an early birthday present, the book. I love just looking through it. I do love color but my home really reflects the colors that my husband and I like. Earth tones, brown and greens with little pops of turquoise here and there.
One color that I am not fond of is orange. You will not find that in my home but you will find it in my garden. I love orange outside. The changing leaves are a favorite. I also would not wear orange. The earth tones have really always been my favorite. When I make quilts I like to use all the colors even a bit of orange is okay. I don't think any changes are in order because my home and all the other things I do that involve color make me happy.
Oh, and Happy Birthday to you too.
Hello Jenny and thankyou for a lovely post as always. I love colour, but I also love sheers and pastels. I use both with thoughtful care in different parts of my home, and love the variety it brings to my life. Orange is a favourite, yet so too is softest pastel pink and blue. I love the dramatic contrast of black and white side by side and muted colours found in a tea dyed gauzy ribbon, or a chocolate dyed piece of silk make my heart sing as well. Maybe I'm just a chameleon at heart. Love, Mimi xxx
Jenny, Happy Birthday! My main color right now is light brown with green, red and blue for pops of color. I do change my colors with the seasons can't help it love colors. Have a great day! Dee
Happy Birthday Jenny. You have had quite a year and I pray your next year is much less hectic and scary. As for colors...I seem to love them all however Peacock colors are my heartthrob. Except you will find me wearing mostly black or grey in Winter and lighter colors in Summer. I adore your stitchery colors you work with.
I love colour! I'm afraid that if you came into my home you might not feel comfortable though. There's a lot of yellow. I'd always wanted a yellow kitchen, so when we moved into our old Victorian house in '96 we painted the kitchen a nice butter yellow, not too soft and not too bright. The whole first floor ended up being yellow after we installed wallpaper in '07 that was a reproduction from the Winterthur Museum. The wallpaper has lots of colours but the background is a soft yellow. My favourite colour is purple, and we recently painted the sunroom a nice shade of purple, again not too soft and not bold but just right, for me anyhow. Interestingly enough, purple and yellow complement each other and I have some vintage quilts in these colours. Try as I might, I can't think of any other colour I'd want to look at every day in my downstairs rooms. Least favourite colour would be brown, unless it's in the form of edible chocolate.
My favorite color--yes I can't pick just one. I can say I'm not a fan of brown and gray. I love color. When we built our house almost 10 yrs ago I had them paint all the walls a pale blue. I am one who can't stand white walls. It's not me. So blue walls it was. Except for my art room. I painted it pink. Pink walls with turquoise and black accents. I just redid my sewing/guest room--turquoise walls with red, white and touches of yellow. My bedroom is light blue with navy and pops of yellow. You see, I adore color. It affects my mood. I just love co,or!!!
Oh, please do come and visit some time! (I live in Belgium, less than 30 minutes drive from the airport!)
My colours are a lightblue background, lots of wood (both honeycoloured and darkly stained antiques) and accents in green (soft mint and lime)and pink (saturated cherry pink), but just about all colours are welcome. Recently I have come to like brigth yellow more, and I think Marigold orange has to be my favourite colour. I love colours, but also quite a neutral backdrop, I wouldn't want brightly coloured walls. Maybe because our house not very big and quite busy, with 6 of us living there,playing eating, making music and a lot of mess! If you do come, I will serve you tea from my great-grandmothers service, which is white with pretty violets, and I will bake you scones, chocolate cake and rhubarb cobbler!
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