Colour therapy

I don’t really think of myself as a person who swathes herself in bright colours and for the most part, aside from the odd strong green or burgundy corduroy, that is the case in my wardrobe.  But when I start taking pictures of my current knitting or sewing projects I realise that I am surrounded by a chaotic spectrum of vibrant shades.

This is how I knit - wearing my garish self striping jumper, working with another kind of self striping yarn, surrounded by my various throws, blankets and fleeces all in zinging limes shocking pinks and various states of disarray...
This is how I knit – wearing my garish self striping jumper (an uncharacteristic garment I persuaded myself to make), working with another kind of self striping yarn, surrounded by my various throws, blankets and fleeces all in zinging limes, shocking pinks and various states of disarray…

 

I am strongly aware of the impact of the environment on a person’s well being.  Sounds, smells, other people’s movements and background noise all impinge heavily on my own state of mind for good or ill.  I need the zing of bright colours and good light from big windows (or lots of lamps in the evening) to give me creative energy.

 

The most ubiquitous colour around me seems to be green, from the plants on the windowsill to the acid greens of my blankets and various bits and bobs in cheap and cheerful Swedish laminate.  A room full of the vivid natural colours of plants makes me feel alive and healthy, evoking the smell and sounds of fresh foliage.  I want to be surrounded by huge dragon trees, tiny bonsai, and weird succulents inside with a view through the patio doors of the mature trees in the back garden – hopefully with a backdrop of blue sky.

 

Jungle cat (just visiting - we call her 'Treacle')

One of my favourite mugs broke so in goes some ivy and succulents I found in the front garden...

money tree flowers

 

 

But in these pictures I can see that it’s the contrasting colours that jump out at me and make the shades really sing! And I am quite struck by how much magenta and fuchsia seems to find it’s way in beside these greens.

 

Behind this picture of the then still growing flirtation with eccentric fashion, you can see the 'Very Hungry Granny Blanket' inspired by the famous children's book which nurtured my love of bright colours.
Behind this picture of the experiment with an eccentric fashion palate, you can see the ‘Very Hungry Granny Blanket’ inspired by the famous children’s book which nurtured my love of bright colours as a child.

 

‘The very hungry granny blanket’ – inspired by Eric Carle’s Caterpillar.  I made this granny blanket intending it for a baby but as it turned out it became wedded to this lime green fleece and is my permanent sofa nest.  I LOVE this blanket and the bright magenta, peacock and lime green peeking through the holes fills me with joy!

Bright colours are cheerful!  And surrounding myself with all these brights makes me feel like I’m at a childrens’ birthday party:

Take a sophisticated austrian chocolate cake and slap bright bold kids colours for birthday tea nostalgia...cake camouflage!

A touch of my kind of nostalgia – childlike fun – here, giving a playful embellishment on an otherwise terribly grown-up darker than dark Austrian chocolate cake at a grown-up birthday tea.  Just don’t lose it down the back of that sofa!

These colours breed enthusiasm and are the perfect antidote to jaded sophistication.  What I need first thing in the morning is motivation and having energising colours around me spurs me into action.

 

Crazy colours on my plate has also been something of a feature recently.  From blue star flowers to purple cabbage – the super salads this year have been exhilarating on the eye.

Borrage is beautiful!  After finding the cornfields filled with it this spring I found out it is a purple dye and the flowers are edible - blue cheese blue flower salad!
Borrage is beautiful! After finding the cornfields filled with it this spring I found out it is a purple dye plant and the flowers are edible – apricot Wensleydale and blue flower salad!

 

I went to forage borrage because I was excited about the blue purple and pink dye you can obtain from the indigo tips in the middle of these flowers but then found out that the flower heads and leaves are edible.  Kind of like a peppery cucumber flavour.

 

I love this picture!  Of course I had no choice about this carpet but it has grown on me.  The lime green birkenstocks and acid coral nail varnish are the icing on the cake.
I love this picture! Of course I had no choice about this rented carpet but it has grown on me. The lime green birkenstocks and acid coral nail varnish are the icing on the cake.

 

And the shredded carrot and purple cabbage salad has been a staple this summer.

 

Psychadelic Salad! Pink Lady apples, purple cabbage, orange carrots, green peppers and walnuts.
Psychadelic Salad! Pink Lady apples, purple cabbage, orange carrots, green peppers and walnuts.

 

There’s something quite exciting about blue food!

 

Of course I don’t think I’d want to be immersed in these colours all the time.  There are moments when calm needs to be restored and the frenetic gumption inspired by manic pinks just isn’t appropriate.  I have other spaces where green still predominates but it’s a muted green of pale lichen alongside clean whites and less explosive foliage.  That’s where I might go to sit and ponder and listen to the wind in the trees outside.

buddha garden

And this little guy seems to think it’s alright.

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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

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