141. A Rant: How Can Color Go Out-of-Style?

Editor’s Note: The writer has never in her adult life claimed to be in style or cared about being in style. Yet, like everyone who has eyes and ears, the writer is affected by what she sees, so in that case, we are all affected by what is in style, whether we want to be (or care) or not. 

This post has been swirling around in my head and on my computer for months. It’s been edited and re-edited. Mostly it just irritates me that there are Colors of the Year. Indeed, how can a color go in and out of style?

ColorWheelJewel tones? lush emerald, dark ruby red, and midnight blue. Beautiful always, yes?

Nature tones? pine green, autumn rust, walnut brown? Beautiful always, yes?

Brights? sunny yellow, lime green, sky blue? Beautiful always, yes?

Designers and style companies tell us that the number one way to sell your house faster is to get rid of those “out-of-style” paint colors and “do fresh.” Shabbiness and fading aside, I’d just like to point out that the colors we’re being told to paint over now, are the colors we were told to paint then.

Earlier this year (when we still had a house on the real estate market) Zillow sent me an article called Top 5 Home Design Trends of 2015. I don’t know why I read it; curiosity, I guess. But it just irritated me greatly. (Judging from the comments, this was true for many people…) So in case, you care about such things, midnight blue is in, coral and other Bright Colors are out — according to this particular designer. I’m not sure how she could proclaim that coral is out, but she did. Perhaps it is now called Melon?

A few years ago I remember reading that the new bright colors reflected the happy, positive mood of consumers. I guess we’re not happy any longer… (I’m very glad that Midnight Blue is back in, though. I painted a dining room wall that color in 1982; I loved it then, and I still love that color now.)

About fifteen years ago my daughter wanted a mint green formal for the senior prom. We went to every JoAnn Fabric store in Western PA (and there are a lot!) until finally some nice clerk at the fabric counter took pity on me. No, she told us. You can’t get that color this year. It just isn’t being made. You can get this pretty celery green, instead?

This is just one of the RGB charts available from My Practical Skills, a design student's dream site.

This is just one of the RGB color charts available from My Practical Skills, a design student’s dream site. Can you pick the shades that are in style?

Yes, we can’t have everything all the time, but for ten years I looked for deep forest green accessories to go with a rug — pillows, curtains, fabric, bedspread — anything!

Nothing — that’s what I found. So if a color is not “in” just wait ten years until your rug wears out…

Yes, there are way more important issues in the world, but isn’t this symptomatic of our Western culture of materialism? Planned obsolescence — if the color is out-of-style then we’re likely to replace it, aren’t we? That deep, dark green that is the color of pine trees? Out? Outre? Not available? Because a bunch of industry leaders in a board room got together and decreed it, so they can sell more stuff in a different “updated” shade of green?

In my humble opinion :-) color should not be associated with in style or out-of-style. If you want to call my shirt or my couch or my lamp out of fashion, fine. But leave color out of it.

I found the tablecloth below– unopened in its original package — in an antique store last fall. I loved the colors, and they go in my dining room perfectly. I know that the tablecloth is probably out, but I. Don’t. Care. It’s perfect, and I smile every time I put it on the table. Isn’t that what color is about?

And the color on my dining room wall?

Yep, I still love that deep forest green of pine trees. Only now it’s back in. Just don’t call it Forest Green.

120. A Little House-Keeping

Never had much use for house keeping,
Slut’s wool gathers under the bed.
Cat hair fluffs and floats in corners;
I’d rather read and write instead.

Or wander off into the forest,
finding crumbs along the trail,
Capturing light, watching chipmunks,
Listening to leaves tell their tale…

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There isn’t much house-keeping happening at the cottage these days.

It’s a time of waiting;
a time of gathering in;
a time of accepting the darkness and lighting a candle.
November.

So this month my blog posts will change a bit.
I’m joining up with PhotoBlogging 101.

I’m going to try to improve my camera skills
by posting a photo every day,
and my written posts will come on the weekends.
For anyone who bothers to keep track of how things are done around here,
the photo posts will not be numbered.
And they will showcase the overall theme of gratitude.

Because I’m thankful.
For it all.
Even the darkness.
Gratitude is greater than sorrow.
Gratitude grasps the hope of tomorrow.

fall through the window

107. Pinterest, Shminterest : the top ten reasons to get rid of your Pinterest account

Apologies to Pinterest addicts…

I spend a couple of hours a week on Pinterest.  I don’t check other people’s boards; I only pin something I like to my own. I have 15 boards, 212 pins and 17 followers. In the Pinterest World, I’m pretty much a nobody.

And that’s fine with me.

I started my Pinterest boards to keep track of ideas for each room in the cottage. As an idea file, it worked for awhile, until I wanted to get more specific. First came frustration, then estrangement, and now? I’m considering an annulment. I have done only one other top ten list, and it was a long time ago. So, here are:

The top ten reasons to get rid of your Pinterest account:

    10. Pinterest is a reflection of our self-absorbed, materialistic culture; it has very few benefits. It is classified as social media, but there is minimal social interaction. It might be a good place to store recipes, but so is your bookmarks folder. It might be a good place to store links to photos you like, but then the links don’t work. It should be useful as a design board, but see #7 below.

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    9. Your own uploaded photos don’t look as good as ones you pin from the internet. I have beautiful photos that I’ve uploaded and they look fuzzy and blurry on my boards. I think they do it on purpose.
    8. Pinterest is no respecter of copyright ownership or artistic integrity. Posted a cute photo? A good idea? Anyone can steal it under the innocent guise of pinning it to a board. I’ve done it myself. (Not lately.)
    7. You can’t move pins around on your boards. Want to move a lamp or a pillow next to the couch you pinned three months ago? Hah, just try it! Makes it useless as a design board.
    6. It actually keeps you from doing all those unfinished projects you already have stored in your craft room because you are too busy finding new and better items to do someday.
    5. It quadruples Envy Potential. I mean, everyone has a better brownie recipe than you, right? Quadruple chocolate pecan brownie bites with salted caramel sauce and double praline whipped cream. Make it in ten minutes And it’s gluten free.
    4. There is no longer any excuse to not do anything and everything yourself. See above… (This is a whole ‘nuther post — stay tuned!)
    3. Time-suck. Nothing more needs to be said here. (My daughter suggests this should be reason #3, reason #2, and reason #1…)
    2. It makes you think you are being creative by pretending. Pinning is not doing or making or creating.
    1. It creates Dissatisfaction by encouraging you to want things you don’t need — expensive new clothes, giant white kitchens, giant backyard party spaces, giant elegant bathrooms, giant expensive furniture, a giant collection of more trinkets and stuff, and a giant new craft room to do all the pins you’ve just pinned and will never do.

I don’t know about you, but I have enough of those unfinished projects without Pinterest helping me along. (I know this, because I have just thrown many of them out!)

I don’t know about you, but I have enough stuff. (I know this, because I have just thrown a lot of it out!)

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These are the unfinished projects that I kept…Yes, I threw just as many away. I know I am not alone in this; I wish I had all the money I’ve spent on craft projects that were never finished.

So as of today, I’m deleting the Pinterest link on my blog, and I’m getting rid of the Pin It button on my desktop. (That’s two of the twelve steps — is the next one apologizing to my unfinished projects?) 😊

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Take a stand against the tyranny of pins!