Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nature, the Master Colorist

Research confirms that color evokes basic, universal responses. Although the psychology of color is not an exact science, the connections we make about color are often rooted in nature.

White reminds us of a clean and crisp landscape.

Yellow conjures images of sunny days.
DailyMail--online; photo: by Corbis
  Green is a reflection of a lush environment.
Orange, red, and purple turn up the heat.

While, blue is refreshing and soothing to the spirit.

from moallima's blog
Brown, tan, and gray neutralize the spice.
from: isaslittleworld.blogspot.
Finally, black adds drama.

How did these stereotypes gain acceptance?  The pinch of truth in each generalization sets it in cement. So, when determining a color scheme for any particular room, don't fight what the color is saying. Rather, let the stereotype reinforce the atmosphere.

Remember the clean decembral scene?  Subtly, I think, white kitchen cabinets imply that the establishment would pass a Food and Drug Administration inspection. ;)

Following this logic, a happy color intensifies the atmosphere in a sun-room, reminding the occupant of bright, light-filled days.

Maybe nature's lead is why I like a soft green for a more elaborately layered room. 

Just as a crackling fire heats a body, a warm color welcomes a guest.

In contrast,  a sea-foam color reinforces tranquility in a bathroom, making it feel like a spa.

Neutrals diffuse intensity and say, "Come in and dial down the anxiety."

Then, just as a foreboding sky foreshadows a crashing thunderstorm, so the darkest color, black, strikes a note of drama! 
To summarize, when picking colors, go back to nature. Let the world around you be your guide. Think about the message a particular color conveys. Do you wonder what would be an appropriate color for a dining room?  Ask yourself, "What atmosphere do I want, when I use that room?"  To help decide on a color, choose the mood you want to achieve, then think of how that is painted in nature. After all, the Creator is the master colorist!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Week-Long Party

My BIG birthday celebration went on for a whole week. I am blessed indeed.
Last Friday, a good friend took me to a lovely tea room for lunch.  When I got home, gorgeous yellow roses--equal in number to my age--were waiting for me on the front step, sent by another friend. In the evening, my husband and I went out to dinner, just the two of us.

Saturday morning, my husband's parents took us out for breakfast. Then, in the evening, we met my mother,  sister, and brother-in-law for pizza.

I felt duly celebrated.

So, imagine my shock when I walked into the house on Saturday night, and twenty-some friends yelled, "Surprise."  My wonderful husband managed to contact friends, bring in balloons, cake, punch, and sorbet all without tipping his hand. (He had a couple of fairies who helped him while we were at dinner.)

 On Sunday, we traveled to Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring, Maryland for a birthday brunch with two of our children, their spouses, and two grandchildren.  We were picking up our little faerie to bring home with us for a few days. 

From Sunday night until yesterday, our ballerina kept us busy, or did we keep her busy? 

On Monday, we swam, had a picnic, and walked down the road to a farm where she greeted the horses and then played in the playhouse.

On Tuesday, Pop-pop and Gigi took the little miss to Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park for very young children. 

She rode the panda bear and carousel all by herself. 

On her favorite ride, the Frog Hopper, she was joined by Pop-pop.
On Wednesday, our darling had her first steam-engine train ride on the historic Strasbourg Railroad.
Between activities, Gigi put together puzzles, blew bubbles, read books, and pushed swings.

When we put our little dolly to bed on Wednesday night, she put one arm around Pop-pop and her other arm around me and prayed for each of us. We were puddles on the carpet by the time she finished!

Bright and early Thursday morning, one very tired Gigi drove the sweetest two-and-a-half-year-old-in-the-world to meet her mama and baby brother.

Who could ever ask for a better week-long birthday bash?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Big Deal--to Me

This weekend I will celebrate a big birthday.

Usually, birthdays just mark another year, but this one with a zero on the end is really plaguing me.

"I'm not that old, I say to myself."

But, alas, the calendar doesn't lie.  So, I have come up with another explanation. You know how dogs age seven years to our one?  Well, I think, I age two-thirds to one. 

That would make me 40, which feels about right.

By that scale, this year our pooch will pass me. :)

Joking aside, today I noticed my  knock-out roses which are on their second flowering.

They are actually prettier than the first bloom. That makes me feel better.

You know the old adage: "We are only as old as we feel"?  I think it has some truth to it.  So, I began making a list of attitudes, actions, and beliefs that contribute to a young outlook.  This is my list so far...
A cheerful heart

A thankful heart
A heart that throws anxieties onto God's much broader shoulders

A balanced life

 Moderation in all things  (credit: Thomas Stevens Arts)

And most importantly--and not in moderation...
Hope and...

What would you add to my list?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Redesigning the Interior

Inspiring winsome homes and hearts is the tag line of this blog.  I have been thinking about this purpose, and how I can better fill both sides of the equation. To balance my blog, I need to get some feedback on which topics might interest readers.

Please respond.
I would like to read posts on:
a.  meeting God at the "wailing walls" of life, 
(credit:  James L Stanfield, National
credit: Lori Gibson

b.  struggles and successes with life-coached disciplines,

c.  Programs supporting justice and education for women around the world,

c.  making home a haven,

d.  input for a thankful heart

e.  all of the above
f.  specify the combination you'd like.
g.  suggest another topic

Followers, thank you so much for your on-going interest. For those who have left comments for me on Facebook or have spoken to me in person, you are a real encouragement.  Because I want to write about subjects that interest you,  please leave a comment.  Maybe you have a favorite post from the thirty-some I have written in the last few months; please mention it, so I know what is resonating!  Thanks again.