I dropped the new episode of the Flying Goat Farm Podcast. This week, I talk about how the 12 hue(color) families grow to the thousands of colors. Just think about the color chips in the paint store or the beautiful bolts of fabrics in a quilting store or the wall of yarn at your LYS or needlepoint store. All these colors excite us and give us so much pleasure to work with. I also talk about how these colors provide the interest in your handcrafted items.
I talk about this color evaluator tool to “see” the values in your work, your yarn, or your fabrics.
If you are joining me on this journey, I give you a couple of tasks to do with your collection to build your color confidence and curate your collection further.
Yes, it’s that good. Actually I’m re-reading it and also listening to it as I work in my studio. What’s the book?
Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Why is this book resonating with me? I think because I can see so many textile, yarn, color, dyeing connections. I also think that with all that is happening in the world around us, I need to find some more joy. I need to savor what brings me joy. Bring more of it into my life. I want to examine what brings me joy and do more of it.
Lee organizes the joyful world into 10 aesthetics:
Energy (vibrant color and light), Abundance (lushness, multiplicity and variety), Freedom (nature, wildness and open space), Harmony (balance, symmetry and flow), Play (circles, spheres and bubbly forms), Surprise (contract and whimsy), Transcendence (elevation and lightness), Magic (invisible forces and illusions), Celebration (synchrony, sparkle and bursting shapes), and Renewal (blossoming, expansion and curves).
So for the Energy chapter Lee tells us that it is impossible to separate color and emotions. Just think about blue Mondays and having a sunny disposition. Having a red hot temper and looking for the silver lining in a hard situation (social distancing, perhaps?)
Color is energy made visible. If I go into my science geek again, well this is proven. Each color has it’s own wavelength. It is energy. And it is color.
And what about Chromophobia? That’s the fear of color, especially seen in our houses. People love colorful spaces but it is really hard to make a choice on a wall or room in your house. I see this fear all the time. I think that some are so afraid of making a mistake that they either decide to pass on the choice, or more likely they rely on their more color confident friends. Do you have to live this way? No you can train your eyes and build your color confidence. It takes looking at lots of colorful art or photos. You can do this in an art museum. You can do that in Pinterest. Get to know what you like. What makes you say “Ahhhh” or what makes you smile.
I will be blogging more about this book because it is just so full. So full of interesting ideas and “Aha” moments for me and I think for you.
At this time of year, I like many people are thinking about their word of the year. It is a North Star or value or resolution. It marks how you want to spend your year. That is all good and I do come up with my word of the year each January.
But I want to talk to you about banishing a word this year. Let’s banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!
I propose that we use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I think that if we change our language, we can change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection.
This year, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment the collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can subscribe to our Color Explorer eCourse. It is a 4 lesson course that helps you look at your collection from the viewpoint of color and allows you to make choices about what stays and what need to be removed from your collection.
Most makers I know have a stash of one kind or another. It may be beads, fabric, yarn, roving, threads, magazines, papers or all of the above. Yes, I do have a stash. Even though I dye my own yarn all the time, I also buy yarn and roving that calls my name. Very rarely to I think to myself, “Oh I could dye that!” No, I would rather support my fellow maker and treat myself to another beautiful addition. Stash has developed a negative connotation, almost something to be ashamed of. I am changing my own thinking about this and looking at my stash as a collection. I’ve thoughtfully and artfully collected supplies over the years with which to express my colorful side and the creative force that lives within me.
One way to explore your sense of color is to explore your collection. This is how I find inspiration from my collection. This is like being an explorer or an archaeologist.
Want to explore more? Sign up here for my free 3 lesson Heart Your Yarn Collection ecourse. I will led you through this lesson and 2 others that will help you to sort out what you have collected and what additions will really make your collection sing. Four worksheets are included as well. If you have questions, leave a comment here.
[Tweet “Free Ecourse Be a Color Explorer and fall in love with your yarn collection all over again!”]
The theme of my blog this year is a celebration of your stash. I want you to get to know what is in your stash. I will also teach you about the types of fibers and what kinds of patterns and projects will match the yarn you have. You will find information about animal fibers, plant fibers, and fiber blends of all kinds. I will be writing about how to most effectively use your hand dyes and semi-solids.
Here is the first installment:
What Kind of Stasher Are You?
What kind of stasher are you? Whether you use yarn, fabric, beads or paper, your art requires supplies. How do you handle your stash?
Type 1—Do you only buy materials for your current project so you don’t have a stash or any UFO’s (unfinished objects)?
Type 2—Do you try to only buy for a current project but look forward to your next project while you’re working on your current one? So you have no stash to speak of and only 1 or 2 UFO’s.
Type 3—Do you only buy materials for current and future projects? You like to get the supplies and pattern together then you know you have everything for the pattern. You have a small to medium stash, some UFO’s. All your materials are matched with a pattern for easy access to the next project
Type 4—Do you buy the materials you like and don’t worry about which pattern it will go with? You know that eventually a project will emerge for the supplies. You have a medium to large stash and some UFO’s that you work on industriously to complete.
Type 5— Do you buy anything and everything that calls to you? The yarn or cloth speaks to you and you listen. You have a large stash that you sometimes feel guilty about. But you also get a lot of creative satisfaction when you visit and pet your yarns, beads, and textiles.
I am a Type 4. I do have a medium stash of beads, quilting fabric AND yarn. I try to just buy for projects but I also buy materials that call my name. Since I’ve founded Flying Goat Farm, I have not bought ANY quilting fabric. I haven’t sewn either. I do hope to get back into my sewing room soon and finish one or two of the 8 unfinished quilting projects. OK….maybe now that I think about it I’m a Type 5!
Leave a comment here or on Facebook to tell me what stash you collect and what type of stasher you are!!
This is the last of my exercises in the Munsell Color book. I have learned a lot doing these exercises. Probably more importantly is that these exercises have trained my color “eye”. There were three exercises, “purple”, “red-purple”, and “blue purple”. You can see from these photos that there are various concentrations of red and blue in these 3 color exercises. Here is what I started with today.
Next,I sorted out the most gray of the chips. These belong on the value scale. Next I matched the color chips to the saturation of the gray chip. Unfortunately, I’m missing one chip….I did look and look, but it vanished….
It’s been awhile since I pulled out my Munsell Student Color Book. There is a green exercise though. So I pulled apart my color chips and pulled out the mounting paper. I have to tell you that I was rusty. I found that when doing these exercises it is easier to compare one or two chips. Does this one have more gray or more pure hue. Then I can place them in the correct place.
The red-yellow cards have so many brown or so called “neutrals” in them. The darker shades of red-yellow go immediately into the brown territory. Mahagony, tan, beige, leathers, tobacco. Also most skin tones are in the red-yellow family.
Where to find us
Open by Appointment! Email me for an appointment or FACETIME
We are located in Frederick MD. You can shop in person with a mask and lots of social distance! Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.
Next Open Studio:
April 17 11-4pm
Maryland Sheep and Wool Virtual Festival
May 1st and 2nd We will be open from 11-2pm for your in person shopping pleasure…. Or you can participate virtually