Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Colour Inspirations


What’s your favourite colour?  If you have or know a young child I’d take a bet you’ve been asked this question hundreds of times.    For me, for a long time, the answer was always pink.  But over the years I’ve changed my mind – lots of times.  As a teenager I remember having a brown phase which drifted into my twenties.  My current favourites are lavender and duck egg blue but I also love limey green, am not very keen on navy blue and positively detest grey.  Why do we like certain colours  - what is it about red or yellow or duck egg blue that draws us in, makes us want to wear it, paint our walls in it, plant it in our garden?  Does it matter?



Well, if you’re an artist, craftsperson, interior designer, even a magazine editor, yes, it does.   I have to admit that one of the reasons I subscribe to Country Living magazine is the front covers – each one is so beautifully put together, sometimes there’s a dominant colour as in the June 2011 edition when a passion for roses inspired a very rose pink theme from the title to the blossoms in the picture, a bright leaf green providing the perfect contrast to the pink hues.  October’s, on the other hand,  was full of rich autumnal colours of leaves turning, a peachy russet fence and table providing the perfect foil for a splash of apple green.  As someone who works with yarn and fabric every day I find myself drawn to those which reflect this variety and richness.  More often than not my yarn choice is variegated, especially hand-painted or hand-dyed.  Recently I’ve purchased several skeins for some new projects.  I had many options but these are some of the colour combinations which found their way into my stash. 

 The purple and pink skein has colours which are close to each other in the spectrum or colour wheel, the red/orange one has contrasting green, the turquoise (from Wharfedale Woolworks - find these lovely yarns on www.etsy.com/shop/WharfedaleWoolworks) has many shades around an ocean theme – three different approaches but one thing in common – the intensity of the colour.   And that does inspire me.

I’m not alone in being drawn to particular colours; I’ve noticed that when choosing from my knitted corsages customers who are buying one as a gift often look ‘in their mind’s eye’ to ‘see’ what would best suit the recipient – they associate certain colours with that person and are seeking something to complement it.  So this makes me wonder whether the colours we are drawn to say something about us.  Some years ago in my second ‘youth’ I studied Psychology and looked a little into the theory that colour choice may say something about our personality.  It is certainly something which a number of scientists, philosophers and psychological investigators have explored and there are suggestions that there are links between colour preference and emotions and personality traits.  At the scientific end of the spectrum (so to speak) Max Luscher devised his colour test while exploring the links between colour and the mind.  More practically colour practitioners have formulated ways to choose the most appropriate colour in clothes based on seasonal personality types.  If you want to explore these ideas further have a look at the Living Colour website (www.living-colour.co.uk) or Howard and Dorothy Sun’s book Colour Your Life.  I found it fascinating.  My own little experiment on my Psychology course did indicate that the more extravert my subjects were, the more likely they were to choose red or orange.  So next time you’re choosing a paint colour or new clothes think about which colour your eye hovers over on the paint chart or which outfit your hand reaches to on the rail.  Does your choice say anything about you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  My next blog will be about butterflies.  Bye for now.  Lots of love, Alison

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year - Resolutions or not?

Do you make New Year resolutions?  I don't but when I read in my trusty Thesaurus that resolution also means determination, perseverance, purpose and intention I thought I'd ditch the 'I'll only eat chocolate on Fridays' and 'I'm going to the gym 5 times a week' kind of resolution and focus on the purposeful kind instead.  


Spurred on by Helen Lindop's Business Blogging for Beginners (available to download from Amazon) I'm determined this year to make more use of all the social media but that of course requires organisation, something I'm not generally known for!  So here goes with Alison's Alphabet Resolution.


A is for ALPACA, my favourite yarn to knit with and for ANIMAL BUNTING which I thought I'd try out as a new product.


B is for said BUNTING (lots of new kinds) and for BLOGGING which I'm resolved to do more regularly.


C is for CORSAGES, still my best-selling product, CAT BUTTONS from Injabulo which were the most popular choice when I was exhibiting with CRAFT IN FOCUS at Wisley in November, and CUSTOMERS, (otherwise known as VIPs).


D is for DRAWING a new template for Bunbury Bunny.


E is for ETSY (should I open a shop?), EXTENDING my range (got to keep things fresh) and EXHIBITING where I get to meet lovely customers.


F is for FABRIC, FACEBOOK pages (Lavender Heart and GoodEnoughToFrame if you want a peek) and FLIPPO who made his mark in 2011 and will return again this year.


G is for GINGIE, now entering his fifth year - what colour should his jumper be in 2012?


H is for HANDMADE (everything I do), HAND-PAINTED YARNS which I love and HANDBAG MIRRORS (another little idea churning away).


I is for INJABULO, whose lovely buttons have graced many of my corsages (www.injabulo.com), IPOD COVER (thinking of making some) and INDIVIDUALITY, the essence of handmade.


J is for the JOY of making each and every item I sell.


K is for KNITTING (where would I be without it?) and KINDLE COVER  which I'm also thinking of trying out.


L is for LAVENDER HEART (www.lavender-heart.co.uk), LAVENDER BAGS, LAVENDER and the LOVE I put into everything I make.


M is for MELISSA'S CERAMICS (find her on Facebook), whose beautiful buttons I use in my corsages and especially her lovely butterflies which gave me a new dimension to my framed greetings cards.


N is for NEW DESIGNS and a NOTEBOOK to put them in.


O is for OYSTER CARD HOLDER (thanks for the idea Marian), new OUTLETS for my items and an OLYMPIC version of Bunbury Bunny.


P is for PURSES and a PARALYMPIC version of Bunbury Bunny.


Q is for QUALITY not QUANTITY, which handmade embraces.


R is for ROSE-FILLED BAGS which smell gorgeous.


S is for STOCK (enough of!), STOCKWELL CERAMICS porcelain buttons (www.stockwellceramics.co.uk) which I love and SHIPS (you'll have to wait for Christmas 2012 for this one).


T is for my TEXTILE GREETINGS CARDS (thinking of adding some knitting to them this year) and TWITTER (@Aliscrafty) which I've discovered I love.


U is for UNRAVEL, the first lovely yarn show of the year on at Farnham Maltings 25th-26th February. 


V is for VARIEGATED YARN (my favourite), VISION, VITALITY (needed in abundance!) and a new VACUUM CLEANER which doesn't clog up when I clean up bits of fabric and thread.


W is for my WEBSITE (www.lavender-heart.co.uk)


X is for XMAS events - yes, already thinking about those ...


Y is for YARN, all kinds, all colours, just love it, and, finally (are you still with me?)


Z is for zzzzzzz........  sleep.  No, that's for me when I've finished this. 


So that's my alphabet resolution - a little bit of organisation goes a long way I hope.  Let me know how you're going to tap into the determination, perseverance and purpose to keep your business on the right track this year and keep in touch - all ideas and feedback are welcome.


Here's to a great 2012.  Lots of love, Alison