Giveaway from Lemon Jitters

I am proud to announce the first giveaway of 2009 for Hue readers. The lovely Katie Guthrie of Lemon Jitters is offering up a pair of one-of-a-kind sapphire blue earrings.She created these beauties specially for one lucky Hue reader. Aren't they fabulous? Wish I could participate...

How about a little about the artist first? Katie is a graduate student in Louisiana. In her free time, she makes jewelry from vintage and up-cycled materials. She's especially inspired by the color and motion of different pieces. In Katie's own words:
"A fellow jewelry designer once told me that she doesn't consider herself a metal worker or forger of fine materials, but a color mixer. I totally identify with that, as colors are truly the lifeline of my work. Even the subtle nuances of a basic bronze beadcap lend a completely different air to a piece than a darker brass would. With that attention to fine details and variations of color, I am drawn to the muted tones. I love understated, yet decadent color palettes. I also enjoy oxidizing metals because the result is stunning! I like seeing the slight changes in patina throughout a piece. That is where I think the real beauty of a piece lies, in the faint variations here and there."
Currently exploring the idea of juxtaposing unlikely materials, she used to work a lot with vintage hardware and now is hooked on vintage glamour. There's a great mix of those two vibes in her etsy shop, often in the same piece.

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She's quite generous with her knowledge, often offering tutorials on her blog for how to make her pieces.

Okay, now onto the contest!

The winner will receive these earrings featuring two vintage sapphire glass navette jewels, vintage beads with a lovely patina, and hand-oxidized brass chain and earwires. Elegant for daytime or evening.

How to participate in the giveaway:
Post a comment with your best tid bit or historical fact about the color blue. Be sure to include your email address. A winner will be selected by Lemon Jitters in one week and be notified via email.

So, what do you know about blue?

More hallway inspiration

Just wanted to share this great email from reader Dianne:
"Hi Rachel,
I love the featured hallways in your blog. This is my entrance way at home. It is a backlash against all the white interiors that seem to be everywhere. It's fun for now.

Visitors don't even notice, they cruise straight through.

Thank you for all the fantastic articles and ideas.

Kind Regards,

Melbourne Australia"

Thanks so much for sharing your space with us, Dianne!

What I want for X'mas

I think I have discovered the ULTIMATE gift for a color-lover. Ready for this?
500 Pencils, shipped to you in sets once a month. Like the most divine fruit basket subscription, only better! They come 25 at a time over the course of 20 months, or you can order acrylic display cases and get 4 units every month for 5 months. Imagine getting these babies in the mail every month- how cool would that be?
There are 4 different display options ranging from Aurora, for museum-like displays,

to Flower Vases, for color-coded arrangements of pencils (Now there's a fantastic idea for someone who loves color and is an artist. Skip the flower corpses and opt for a bouquet of colored pencils!) Orchestra is wall-mounted like Aurora, but more practical so you can actually -use- the pencils.Color Wave is an ever-changing sculptural element; play around with how you want to display the pencils.

Roll over the pencils on the site to see their names. Butterscotch or Barbados, the names are as visceral as the colors themselves!

These are limited editions, so I don't know how long they'll be available. Now I must wipe the drool from my chin and start dropping my husband not-so-subtle hints that this is the gift for me!

Thanks for the introduction via Haft2Know

How to liven up a hallway

Where can you really go to town with color, and get away with it? What makes a huge statement, without the side effects of having to live with it constantly?

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Foyers, hallways, entry-ways... whatever you call them, they are transition spaces- people move through them to get from point A to point B, but don't spend an extended period of time there. This allows you a tremendous amount of flexibility in trying something dramatic and wild where you'd ordinarily pass right over.

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Still not convinced? Think about the function of any given space. Bedrooms: relaxation, reflection, sleep, intimacy, calmness. Kitchens: activity, projects, socializing, sharing...

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Hallways: traveling, action.
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Maybe just a wee bit over the top?
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No matter how you chose to go, trying something on the more daring side in your entry hall or hallway is an excellent place to start.

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It's important to mention that these examples and tips are suggestions for residences. When you get into commercial spaces, or other facilities such as hospitals, the criteria for color selection get more complex. For example, hospital corridors should be calming; bright fuchsia might not be the best solution in that case.

Additional hallway spruce-up tips here.

Color Strategist Interview

Head over to Colour Me Happy for a fantastic interview with my friend and colleague Lori Sawaya. She really knows color!

Finding inspiration at museums

I wrote an article for Stir eExtra magazine on finding inspiration at museums for wall colors. It just went live today!

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Does Art Make the Walls or Do the Walls Make the Art?
A look at how museum exhibition designers maximize color.
Picking colors for a client’s home or business can be challenging. You’ve taken all the appropriate steps to determine the client’s needs, the function of each space, the architectural elements, the lighting conditions and all other essential criteria. That just leaves selecting the perfect wall colors. Stumped for creative solutions? Try checking out your local museum for inspiration. Faced with massive walls and priceless works of art, exhibition designers utilize color to synchronize space and art, creating a complete experience for visitors. (more)

Harajuku hues- the ultimate in self-expression

Imagine you're a teenager living in Japan...
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After a week forced to dress in school uniforms, how would you unwind? Jeans? T-shirts? Maybe a comfy sweatshirt?

Think again.

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If you're a kid in Harajuku, Japan, how about like this?
Imagine how fun it would have been to be a teenager growing up in a culture that encouraged such over the top self-expression and individuality.
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um, is that a fingernail?

Harajuku (hara-joo-koo) is the common name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, Japan where young people gather every Sunday, dressed in a variety of styles that include gothic lolita, visual kei, cosplay (short for costume play), rockabilly, hip-hop, and punk. Beginning in the 80's, the area was closed to traffic on Sundays, and people would gather, play music, and socialize.

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Photographer Shoichi Aoki, credited with bringing street fashion to Japan, started a magazine called Street in the 1980's to show Japanese kids the ‘free street art’ of London. Aoki says, "In the mid 90’s it was truly revolutionary when people started to dye their hair and choose their own color. You eventually saw all kinds of colors: green, red, anything.”
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He continues,“You had this small group of trendsetters, perhaps 10 to 20 people. Whenever they came up with something new, others would soon imitate them. But these imitators weren’t as cool as the original trendsetters so the trendsetters didn’t want to be identified with them. To differentiate themselves again they came up with new things.

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It just escalated. They kept on trying to escape from their imitators right into “decora” (lots of decorative doodads and strong bright colors). They figured nobody would follow them into wearing clothes that crazy.”

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But what do these clothing statements mean? Aoki says there is no social context at all. "Instead of expressing yourself, it is a way of communicating with the members of your group. A message without words. You show your feelings, your awareness of fashion... They don’t care at all about how other people in society or how other groups see them.” (source)

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I don't know about that. Posing on the Harajuku bridge for tourists, I've read that these teens clamber to be snapped by magazine photographers hanging out in the crowd.

So what are these subsets of Harajuku street fashion?

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Goth Lolitas wear black and white, or shades of pastel if they're being "sweet". Lots of knee length or mini dresses gooped-up with crinoline, lace, corsets, ribbons....

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Accessories are an important key ingredient: frilly aprons, stockings, thigh-highs or knee socks, dolls, tiny top hats or bonnets, and handbags .
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Occasionally, you'll see a guy dressed up, too.

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Decora is a style of dress hyper-decorated with tiny toys and plastic jewelry, usually in bright crayola crayon colors. Related, but not as extreme is the Kawaii or "cuteness" style; girls wear clothing that appears to be made for young children, or dress to look "Japanese cute".
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This style is adopted mainly by young Japanese girls. Think pink and plastic-lots and lots of it.

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Cosplay referred to role playing in costumes. Anime characters, manga, rock-stars, computer or video game name it.
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This genre runs the gamut. Punk rock fairies, anyone?

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Side note: In many of the photos I browsed through, I noticed many people wear face masks. Some just regular hospital-issue, and others quite elaborate. With a little digging, I discovered these masks are commonplace in Japan.
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Out of consideration, if you are sick, you wear a mask to keep your germs -in-. It also helps during allergy season. Bizarre concept to us Westerners, but a widely accepted culture in Japan.

Okay, back to the Harajuku...
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The key seems to be layering. Layer, layer, layer. Stripes with polka dots, every color in the rainbow, several pairs of socks... Everything from designer clothes to handmade is mixed and mismatched (key ingredient here) with colorful accessories to create a unique and individual style.

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Singer, designer, entrepreneur Gwen Stefani has jumped on the Harajuku bandwagon, with a fragrance called Harajuku Lovers, and a clothing line. Harajuku Lovers focuses specifically on 'Kawaiiness', or "cuteness".

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It's even gone rather mainstream, with clothing retailers selling Harajuku "sets'. This one is called the "Harajuku Girl Glamorous Punk Set"

This pop culture trend has actually been quite widely accepted throughout Japan on every level, even seen by some as part of their national identity.

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Think: Pikachu or Hello Kitty. Yup, those are indeed airplanes. I kid you not.

Want to see more? For even more colorful pictures of Harajuku, check out Shoichi Aoki's books Fruits, Fresh Fruits or his magazine of the same name.

So the next time you are fretting about being seen in one navy sock and one black, or worry that your shirt might be a bit too colorful, think of the Harajuku kids and be brave!

Color, the Missoni way

Missoni started out as a iconic global fashion brand. The Italian fashion house is famous for its unique knitwear, made from a variety of fabrics in colorful patterns.

It has now been developed into a lifestyle brand, complete with its own hotel chain in the works. Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh is quintessential "Missoni". Here are some images from their hotel site, for your eye-candy enjoyment
I love this: "Bathrooms are designed to be truly beautiful and functional spaces, boldly coloured, the Missoni way." It's bold, for sure. I'd love to see the whole space to see how these colors are tied together. Violet wowsers.
I think the bag totally makes this picture. Put your thumb over it, and it feels unbalanced. Does this mean we get the bag if we rent this room? ;-)
Or how about this one? "Based on a deeper understanding of the influences and ideas that create comfort, impact, usefuless and bring out a feeling of 'rightness.' "
"Rightness"? What exactly is that? I'm curious as to where and how they have developed this deeper understanding of what creates comfort. Any psychology of color in there?
Love the table linens, especially paired with the bright fuscia sidebar.
Head over to HD Inspirations for an more of a peak at more fabulously colorful spaces within the hotel.

Have you been to a fabulously colorful hotel lately?