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Color Inspiration

Color Inspiration

Golden October

October 30, 2012

Hello everyone, it’s your roving reporter and monthly decor8 columnist from Paris, Emilie! Are you well? Warm? Under a blanket with a hot chocolate? Because fall is here and this is a season that I love because the colors and autumn light is so wonderful, magical even.

Golden October

I just returned from a trip to Canada, where the color of the trees was really amazing. We stayed in a small cottage on a lake, and I let myself get carried by the softness of this beautiful season.

Golden October

For this month’s edition of Playing With Food, I was inspired by my friend Judikaela because she had prepared some food for us while we were away. The meal consisted of a delightful lemon rosemary roasted chicken with roasted carrots and beets and it was simply delicious! For dessert, we feasted upon orange and apple muffins, equally delicious. The colors of the food inspired me so once again I got out my camera and let my fingers click, click, click to capture the mood of the month – golden October.

Golden October

Golden October

Golden October

Golden October

Golden October

Golden October

The sweetness of this moment, the sunset over the trees of red and gold, it was a magical moment! Does autumn inspires you? Why? – Emilie

(photos, text: emilie griottes)






Color Inspiration

September Shades

September 24, 2012

Hello friends, it is Leslie here, back with my column Color Me Pretty. You haven’t seen me over the summer (since my last color story in May) because I took the summer off to work on some creative projects and to spend time with my family, including my little ones. That is why I disappeared in June, July and August. But I’m back monthly again and the palette I am exploring for September includes mint, light peach, gray, some emerald, a little orange and a touch of copper. I like these colors together because they are versatile and work well for any season.

September Shades
September Shades

I can imagine all my fall and winter wool fashion items, mostly gray and black, being perked up with my chalky mint jeans, or a pale peach top or maybe some new copper toned accessories. Home décor schemes with loads of grays, linens and whites could also look great freshened up with metallic copper and a little mint.

September Shades

I wanted to use watercolors to paint some geometric patterns for you with this palette. I love all the bold triangular patterns I am seeing on fabrics and just felt so inspired. It is fun to mix these geometrics with more organic shapes or even polka dots.

September Shades

I found myself layering papers, my paintings and ribbons in my journal. I even painted some of my journal pages with metallic copper paint. I always encourage readers to play with colors in these small ways first before you go on to tackle a room or buy a new wardrobe!

September Shades

I have seen many modern looking quilts lately that use simple geometric patterns as well to make beautiful and functional décor items for the home. I have dusted off my sewing machine and it is waiting for an interesting project like this. I have been flipping through a book I recently purchased called, Sunday Morning Quilts, which I think is great for new aspiring quilters like myself.

September Shades

Pale peach and orange flowers are some of my favorites and this time I decorated some of my plain soda bottles with some scrap paper and twine to use for a little party. These flowers were all snipped from my garden as the weather has remained warm and late summer roses still have some blooms.

September Shades

September Shades

September Shades

September Shades

I hope you have enjoyed this color series and I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take care, Leslie.

(photos: leslie shewring)






Color Inspiration

Something Yellow

August 24, 2012

Hello decor8 readers! ! It’s Emilie again reporting from Paris for another edition of my decor8 column, Playing With Food. Are you ready for some inspiration for the weekend? Good!

Something Yellow

Remember last month when I explored the color red? This month it’s time for a little yellow! Just like last month, I was inspired by my travels and the flower fields from train windows, just as I was in my post about red. Inspiration calls to us from every corner. Do you hear it and then, do you listen and obey?

Something Yellow

This time, I was in the train for go to La Loire, and I passed a field of sunflowers as shown above! Magic! I had a tiny bit of time to take out my camera so I quickly seized the moment and shot from the window as the train rushed ahead into new landscapes. I was so happy though to get my single “magic” shot because it inspired me so much and in turn, this post. I’ve included a few other flower shots that I took while in La Loire to support my current love of yellow and because I think they’ll look pretty woven into this post. See what you think!

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

On returning, I was still feeling inspired by yellow – from the fields to the things that I saw on my travels. I decided to turn the yellow apples on my trip into an apple cake. I guess the sunshine and sunflowers inspired this as the finished product is golden and a bit rustic too. It’s my dads’ recipe, and has caramel on top. (so yummy). If you want the recipe, let me know and I’ll let you know in the comments section. Anyway, it is crispy on the sides and soft and almost melting on the inside! It is THE best cake in the world because it is my father’s recipe, of course, wink, wink. :) But really, it is the BEST cake.

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

I also baked cookies (biscuits) decorated with yellow beads of mimosa, yummy! That single dash of yellow is the perfect topping – sometimes less is more. By the way, don’t you love the shapes? Again, inspired by field flowers…

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Something Yellow

Then, still inspired by yellow, I made a good old-fashioned homemade batch of lemonade to accompany it all with my fresh lemons picked while away. A few cut lemons, water, sugar to taste and and “voila”. Easy.

I hope you like yellow and are enjoying your summer. For my next PLAYING WITH FOOD story to run on decor8 in September, what should my theme be — do you have any ideas?! I’d love to see what you’d like for me to experiment with. A color, a mood, a topic, then I will relate it somehow to food and show you how I’ve Played With Food!

If you’ve missed my previous columns on decor8, play catch up here. – Emile.






Color Inspiration

Something Red

July 16, 2012

Hello decor8 readers! It’s me, Emilie, and I’m here to post a little something red for you for my Playing With Food column… A few months ago, I went down to the south of France to the home of my grandparents. They live near the sea Méditteranée, in a region called l’Herault. There, the sun shines almost all year, the weather is warm, the sky is often blue, and the village is surrounded by fields and vineyards. It’s so nice!

Something Red

Going for a walk, we came across a field that was so special as it was a vast field of poppies! Like red paint in the fields, it was magical! The wind blew the flowers and a kind of red wave was rippling in the wind, just amazing!

Something Red

I stopped for a moment, and the next day I returned with a wicker basket. We sat near the fields, we had cookies (shortbread specific region) with strawberries that I had prepared the day before by marinating them in a mixture of thyme and sugar, and we took the time to snack while enjoying the beautiful poppy fields.

Something Red

Something Red

Something Red

Something Red

This visit gave me a new idea for my column on decor8, Playing with Food! Why not occasionally include some articles with colors that inspire me? So I searched red food ideas to add to the theme.

I picked cherries from the garden and I made small meringues, accompanied by a chocolate mousse and a cherry. I also picked a lot of raspberries (it’s finally summer, there are plenty in the garden! YUMMY!), made tarts, and then I ended up with a few cupcakes with red cream icing, of course!

Something Red

All this reminds me of this pretty poppy fields, the one who made me realize that summer was finally here! What color is inspiring you lately? Any colors that you have noticed popping up often in your dishes at home that you’re preparing lately?

(images: emilie griottes)






Color Inspiration

Ocean Hues

May 4, 2012

Hello friends, it is Leslie here for May’s edition of Color Me Pretty. As you can see this series is about the many shades of ocean blue, like fresh aqua, ultramarine, indigo and pale blue. With summer around the corner it is hard not to think about this classic blue and bright white combination.

Ocean Hues

I have been spending a lot of time in my studio lately working on some projects with watercolors and acrylics. If you don’t already, I highly recommend playing with paints to explore color combinations. It is nice because you can also experiment with a color’s intensity by adding a little water to lighten, or a little more paint to get a darker shade. You can explore a color palette on a small sheet of paper before you use it in a larger scale design project.

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

A couple weeks ago I spent the day on a little beach near my home with my family and we had fun finding loads of sea glass that was washed up among the rocks. I decided to sort our colorful treasures into piles. It is always an interesting design challenge to think about good ways to display collections. I can imagine this sea glass glued to these pieces of paper and then put into a deeper frame or shadow box. It may also be nice to find some pretty clear bottles to put the glass in to then admire on a little shelf. I think my daughter would like that as she enjoys holding and looking at her “treasures from the sea”. I love the aqua and pale teal shades, and could see them looking pretty in the water of a floral arrangement or in a dish in my bathroom.

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

With all the watercolors on my desk I couldn’t help but dip the edges of some doilies in the colored water! I have seen some crocheted doilies dip dyed and wanted to experiment with the paper ones for gift-wrapping. This was so quick and you just need a big sheet of paper to dry them on. The drying paper looked beautiful too with the doily patterns left on it in blue paint. The dip dyed little doilies would look sweet wrapped around a jelly jar full of flowers. You could also dye the paper with food coloring for a food safe option. I think I may try dipping them in hot pink next!

I hope you have enjoyed this color story and maybe you have a few ideas to try out. Take care, enjoy May and thank you! – Leslie.

(photography: leslie shewring)






Color Inspiration

Easter Ideas

March 30, 2012

Hello friends, this is Leslie here and for my column this month on decor8 I am using a springtime palette of peaches, pinks, and yellows combined with a soft, putty neutral to inspire you for Easter. After a long, dark winter here on Vancouver Island, I am excited to see all the buds and blossoms on the trees. The soft pink cherry blossoms are incredible and the daffodils, forsythia and hellebores are blooming in the yard.

Easter Ideas

The sweet colors of spring are here, I hope you enjoy these ideas that I’ve pulled together to inspire you for Easter or springtime in general.

Easter Ideas

I have been seeing so many pretty ways to decorate eggs lately. From simple dips in vegetable dyes to using rub on tattoos as décor motifs. I decided to go for a more painterly approach. I did the typical poking of the eggshell on each side, as well as poking the yoke to break it and then blowing out the inside into a bowl (lots of scrambled eggs the other morning). I used Martha Stewart acrylic craft paints from Michael’s to dab on my various floral and confetti patterns. It was so much fun to decorate them!

Easter Ideas

I then hung them on a cherry blossom branch for a festive display.

Easter Ideas

I decided to take some of my ribbons out of their usual storage bin and hang them from pretty blue hatpins on my tack-board. I love looking at all the thin strips of color and it got me thinking about what else I can use them for…

Easter Ideas

Like tying different ones simply around napkins when entertaining…

Easter Ideas

Or bundling a few small bottles together to make a sweet floral arrangement. Sometimes just looking at my craft and art supplies gets me inspired. When they are all tucked away too neatly I forget they are there!

Easter Ideas

I also wanted to share with you some art supplies I have been experimenting with called PanPastels. I know they have been available for a while but I just started using them and love the effect you can get. They are similar to typical pastels but less messy and easier to control. You can apply them with various sponge like applicators and they layer really well. The hardest thing is choosing the colors, as there are so many. I am partial to the “tint” tones right now and I can see myself using them for sketching and collage.

Easter Ideas

Easter Ideas

Easter Ideas

I hope you got some ideas today and thank you for having me here Holly! I will see you all next month. – Take care, Leslie.

(photography: leslie shewring)






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