45 posts categorized "Color"

Take care with the words

My new office curtains glow with color everywhere and brighten my days; I used a fabric called Sketchbook from the Drawing Room collection by Anna Maria Horner with unbleached muslin lining and black grosgrain ribbon trim / New Jersey / Dec. 2008

Elizabeth Alexander has been selected by Barack Obama to be his inaugural poet. She says: “Words matter. Language matters. We live in and express ourselves with language, and that is how we communicate and move through the world in community.”

this is your life. Get up and look for color,
look for color everywhere.”

~ from the poem Today's News by Elizabeth Alexander

Houndstooth 1

A case of the blues: a hand-sewn houndstooth fleece jacket with patterned insert and copper ribbon trim made from an old Burda pattern; made of angled pieces (see the back side after the jump); the collar can be worn up for warmth or open / Oct. 2008

Yesterday's post mentioned blueprints. They are so-named because of the process used to print them called cyanotype where a photosensitive compound is applied to paper. When the paper is exposed to strong light the “printed” areas are converted to insoluble blue ferric ferrocyanide, sometimes called Prussian blue or iron blue.  

Prussian blue (also called Hamburg Blue, Paris Blue, Milori blue, Haarlem blue, bronze blue, celestial blue, cyanine, oriental blue, and potash blue) is a very dark blue, colorfast, non-toxic pigment. The discovery of this pigment (circa 1704) was important since it was the first stable and light-fast blue pigment to be widely used by painters and artists (previously many of the blues they used would fade or were prohibitively expensive). Prussian blue has been used as a pigment in printing inks, paints, typewriter ribbons, and carbon paper.

Solutions derived from Prussian blue are the basis for laundry bluing. Somewhat counterintuitively, it improves the appearance of textiles, especially white fabrics. Adding a blue dye solution (e.g., baking soda mixed with synthetic ultramarine, or sometimes Prussian blue) to the wash disguises yellowing and makes whites appear whiter. Need to brighten your whites and colors? Try Mrs. Stewart's Bluing (it's not-toxic and biodegradable, too!).

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For taste and color

Fruits of the season / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

mango, granny smith, lemon, orange, and gala apple
reds, greens, yellows, oranges
for taste and color
in food and life we
give thanks
thanks giving

Alizarin crimson

Crimson stream of conciousness / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

A few moments ago I heard a sound behind me, turned around and saw nothing out of place. Then I saw it on the floor — one of those pesky, scaly stink bugs that have been infesting our area. I've seen so many of them this year. It would be nice if they were useful. At one time the dried body of a scaly insect called kermes was used to produce a dye called crimson. In the late 19th century, chemists developed Alizarin crimson to replace rose madder; its roots were used to make a light, rose-colored textile dye. “Alizarin” makes me think of the Donovan song:

Colour sky Havana lake     
Colour sky rose carmethene     
Alizarin crimson     

Wear your love like heaven
Wear your love like heaven

~ lyrics from Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven

Practice seeing


Look how light changes the color and tone of the liquid in these bottles — they are all exactly the same, but the sunlight makes them look completely different / Tennessee / Jan. 2007

“Practice seeing the little things.
Gather glimpses of colors, shapes, tones, and shifts you usually ignore.”

~ Rob Brezsney, from his book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

Complement and counterpoint


Another hand-sewn variation on Butterick 4685; leaves of autumn fabric with ribbon trim on sleeves and a gathered neckline with ribbon tie / Sept. 2008

"Yet blue is a strange colour. It holds night and day within it. Though the land is mostly without blue, this makes clearance to intensify the blue of sky and water. The earth could have no more perfect covering than the sky. Earth and sky complement and counterpoint each other so perfectly because each is invested with the predominantly absent colour of the other. The earth is green, the sky has no green. The sky is blue, the earth has no blue."

~ John O'Donohue

Indian summer, 2


Butterick pattern B4685 / New Jersey / July 2008

Summer Project #2: Variation on a peasant blouse. Another hand-sewn top made from batik fabric from India. Cream-colored lace forms a casing on the neckline for the elastic. Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique. This fabric is dyed a deep, dark indigo blue. As I sewed, the dye on the fabric turned my fingers blue.

“Until the invention of chemical dyes in the late 19th century, peoples worldwide relied largely on indigo-bearing plants to achieve blue-colored garments, household furnishings, artworks and even body paint. Many cultures attributed talismanic properties as well as health benefits to indigo, and the mysterious transformation of this temperamental dye has long been steeped in myth and magic.” (via the Blue exhibit at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC)

Majorelle blue


Liberty and Prosperity / New Jersey / June 2007

Last year in a fit of frustration and creativity, and inspired and intoxicated by the color Majorelle blue in the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, I painted a design in the center of my terracotta courtyard. Having no glorious Majorelle blue paint, I used cobalt and painted like a madman. When I finished I stood over my design and expressed a desire for something. Two days later I heard a musician on the radio talking about creating a piece of art as a symbol and then imbuing it with a wish or desire. He was describing exactly what I had done in my courtyard. He called it a sigil — in essence, the words of a statement of desire or intent are channeled into an abstract design, and then this sigil is charged with fulfilling the will of the creator. A few weeks later I realized that my expressed desire was being fulfilled.

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No forward momentum


I have no forward momentum on this post-holiday Monday/Tuesday — think of the momentum and energy that the young robin needs to break through its shell / New Jersey / May 2008

This is the second Robin's egg fragment that I've found while out walking this spring. When I was young I remember reading about things described as “Robin's Egg Blue” — it always seemed so exotic and wonderful. This text is in the official web-safe color called Robin's Egg Blue: #00CCCC; it does seem to match the color of my found egg fragment. What a delightful, soothing color. A little piece of heaven on earth.

One World One Dream


Free Tibet / The New York Times, Tuesday, April 8, 2008 (photo by Justin Sullivan)

The beautiful colors and shapes in this picture grabbed my attention. It took me a while to see the people scaling the cables of the bridge to hang the banners.

“Students for a Free Tibet activists got a bold head start on the huge torch relay protests planned for San Francisco this week when they hung two massive banners from the Golden Gate Bridge reading: One World One Dream and Free Tibet 08. Seven people were arrested during the protest and remain in custody.”
~ Students for a Free Tibet