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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nourish Me:: Week Five - A World in Colour

Bing, Bong, Bing
I like black. I wear it a lot. Too much, probably but it suits me, it's slimming and, (after many years of being a Goth in my late teens/early twenties), it's a difficult habit to break. Plus, it goes with everything and that's important when one has limited wardrobe choices due to excess baggage of a wrinkly, skin coloured kind.

However, I love colour. I seem to need it  more and more. I have begun to surround myself with it in quite a lot of ways, without really being aware that it was happening. Red is my colour du jour right now. It just love how vibrant and exciting it is. Without wishing to be cliched, it is a passionate colour - hence it's association with all things love and sex related. But it is also bright and warm and welcoming. It's popular as feature walls in dining rooms - it stimulates appetites and conversation. So over the last few years I have been slowly accumulating things red.

The Red Tent from The Divine Feminine
This reaching out for colour started with a beautiful red chinese teapot and 6 little handleless cups decorated with cherry blossom. Then slowly it radiated outwards and collected red and white striped mugs, damask mugs, gorgeous little red cups and saucers with white polka dots, (my 'happy' cups). Then suddenly a red clock appeared on our white timber walls, then a red kettle for the hob, (we have an unseemly number of blackouts up here in the hills), so that the Brit doesn't die without tea when there is no power. Then a new dinner service arrived - not strictly red but white with a big red poppy on it and finally, last year, a red Ektorp sofa arrived for our family room. Then yesterday, on impulse we bought a massive rug for our family room to stop Finn from head-butting the slate floors more than is strictly necessary. Guess what colour it is?


That's right.

It's a lovely red persian style thing which beanie insists that everyone enjoy by removing their socks and really 'feeling' the carpet. "It's so soft mummy. Now I can play down on the floor!" Yes, we have evidently being abusing our daughters knees by not having a covering on the hard slate.

But that's not the only colour that is creeping into our house. Oh no. There is the heather coloured feature wall in our room. The heather and clover coloured walls of Beanie's room. There are the new cups that have appeared over the last year or two. A beautiful sunshine yellow and gold china cup and saucer for herbal tea, the little turquoise coffee set (6 mini mugs and saucers), I got for $3. In total. (I know!). And then there is the latest addition. My Chinese teapot and big cups had babies - three of them - three little handleless cups, decorated with cherry blossom in the colours of red (you guessed it), orange (aha! shock new colour!), green (wait! where is she going with this - it's multicolour madness!), and blue (it matches the turquoise. Kinda.). For these I paid the princely sum of $4. What can I say - I'm made of luck.

Mamma's special teacup. 
Suddenly I am surrounded by colour. I am drinking out of it, looking at it, wearing it, putting it on my nails, surrounding light-bulbs with it, hanging it on walls and on beds and surreptitiously squinking it into little nooks and crannies. There is a veritable flood of it and it's quite wonderful. I am being drawn to images that are colourful and bright and inspirational. That make me want to make stuff and create. There is not much inspirational about looking at too much black. Even the darkness has stars to decorate it.

And so this week I have found myself focusing on colour intentionally. How I use it, how it uses me, what colours I am drawn to (I think we've established I like red) and what they might symbolise, how different colours make me feel, what I instinctively am drawn to and why I think that is. It's been an exploration of the vividness and diversity of colour in my life and it's been delightful. I never fully realised how our choice of colours reflects not just our personality but also our mood. It is entirely possible to change how you feel by simply adding a colour that makes you feel up, or calm, or relaxed, or sexy, to yourself or your environment. I find that blue makes me feel calmer and more mindful, red gears me up and makes me want to connect, yellow makes me smile - it's such a sunny colour and its so damn bright. Green makes me feel earthed and held while black makes me feel mysterious, powerful and yes, hidden. Sometimes I need that. And then there are stripes (of which I am a HUGE fan), polka dots (second only to stripes) and patterned things. I even do subtle colours now though I will never really be a pastel girl - too flacid and pasty for me.

Oh my! Red AND Stripes.
The whole exercise has been so liberating. I have been influenced by my girl's colour sense, her crazy combinations, her multi-coloured wardrobe. I have stopped wanting to hide in black and have started to really surf the colour wave that has engulfed me. Colour makes me happy. It reminds me that life is not monotone - it is a rainbow peacock strutting it's wonderful stuff. It is a field of poppy's and the emerald green of the grass after rain. It is the toothpaste commercial colours of the sea - minty green and turquoise with foamy white. It is everywhere and it is available all of the time. So why limit ourselves with our habitual colour palette. Go buy something out of your colour comfort zone. Buy two things that blatantly don't match. Try something different and see how you feel.

And so, I drink my coffee out of my happy cups. I eat my cereal out of my poppy bowls, I put my compost in a little red tin bin and I bring flowers into my house whenever I can. It gives me a little lift and it makes me smile. What's not to love? Most of all though, it feeds me in some subtle way. It gives me energy to get through the day. It gives me just a little bit of courage to try something else new. It reminds me to enjoy life in all of it's hues - even the darker ones.

The Aurora Borealis
Coolest Style EVER! (can't remember where I found this, sorry!)

So, what have you been doing this week to nourish yourself?

As always remember to leave a comment with a link to your nourishment post and to link it back to me. I hope you will join in - it's a much needed gift to ourselves.


laura (warmthandlight) said...

Ooh, what a vibrant and inspiring post. I too have been a slave to black for too many moons, and now my home is decorated in rainbow wonderland hues. What a difference it makes, and how special something as simple as a tea ritual becomes when you're sipping out of a beautiful colourful cup.

I want that dress in the pic at the end!

laura (warmthandlight) said...

btw, that shot of Finn is hilarious!