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!
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.