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Ocean Hues

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.

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

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.

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

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.

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean Blues

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)

Posted in Color Inspiration on May 04, 2012

Easter Ideas

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.

Color Me Pretty: 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.

Color Me Pretty: 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!

Color Me Pretty: Easter Ideas

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

Color Me Pretty: 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…

Color Me Pretty: Easter Ideas

Like tying different ones simply around napkins when entertaining…

Color Me Pretty: 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!

Color Me Pretty: 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.

Color Me Pretty: Easter Ideas

Color Me Pretty: Easter Ideas

Color Me Pretty: 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)

Posted in Color Inspiration on March 30, 2012

Moody Blues Work For Me

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the color blue. In my work studio, I have lots of bright colors set against a white, neutral background because it inspires me to mix in color according to my mood, removing those that may not be particularly rockin’ my world at the moment. Currently, I have lots of yellow, orange, red and pink in my studio but a few days ago a more moody mix of emeralds and indigos started to creep in.

Moody Blues
Darker tones of blue on the bed paired with brighter ones throughout the room, like light blue walls, make moody blues less so, via: Anthropologie

I’m wondering if this is pointing me towards my eventual Autumn palette as I love warmer, richer hues in cooler months. Or perhaps this is a reflection of how I’m feeling lately — introspective, serious, thoughtful… And the weather has been so completely bonkers bouncing between summery sunny days to ones like today when only a blanket of gray covers the sky and the temps have gone from mid 70s to a murky and cool 40s. Bleh.

I had to put the candles on in my studio today to inspire me because I was ready to hit the garden shop in the morning for the plants and flowers for my balcony and now spring feels so very far away. Instead of caving in to this weather, I decided to round up some moody blues to inspire me so below it my virtual mood board which accurately fits my whole vibe at the moment. It seems a whole slew of artists, designers, decorators, stylists, cooks and photographers share my color fix at the moment, too. See for yourself…

Moody Blues

If you only want a hint of blue, try slight additions to your home to try it on for size, via: 79 Ideas.

Moody Blues

John Cullen captures blue in one single gorgeous moment.

Moody Blues

honey houses shows how to make granny chic a bit more moody.

Moody Blues

I love this pairing of emerald green with this gorgeous indigo blue sofa from Anthropologie.

Color Me Pretty

Leslie Shewring always has the best mood boards showing her inspirational palette of the moment.

Moody Blues

I’m a huge fan of gallery walls, especially set against deep colors, via: design is mine.

Moody Blues

Chris Court & Sibella Court show us how to add some blue to a mostly white bathroom.

Moody Blues

Julia Hoersch is a German photographer who really used the light to make this dining room feel very inviting in it’s pretty tones of blue, gray and violet.

Moody Blues

I love another subtle hint of blue like those shown on this leather sofa via: Riazzoli.

Moody Blues

Deep moody tones of green and blue always work for me, via: Lovely Sweet William.

Color Me Pretty: May

Leslie Shewring pairs blues with a bit of green a tiny burst of red to add some energy to the mix.

Moody Blues

Watercolor blue tones are a pretty addition to any room through paintings, porcelain… These vases are from West Elm.

Color Me Pretty: May

Leslie Shewring again shows how to use blue with a tiny bit of red to add visual interest.

Moody Blues

Chris Court & Sibella Court demonstrate a way to make ethnic prints and fabrics feel fresh and modern by sticking to a set palette, introducing beige for warmth and red for energy and adding a gorgeous accent wall.

Moody Blues

Anthropologie is always on trend. This sofa is fun and a great way to introduce blue tones to a room.

I wonder if you did a vibe mood board today, what colors you would use? Care to share?

(images linked to their sources below each shown above.)

Posted in Color Inspiration on March 29, 2012

Inspired By Pantone Tarts

This is such eye candy! New decor8 columnist and French author and stylist Emilie Griottes (details here), recently pulled together a column for French magazine Fricote mixing one passion (food) with another (color) to result in a story about Pantone colors as yummy tarts!

Pantone Tarts

I really love this and admire how Emilie really knows how to bring her imagination to life. When I met her recently in Paris for breakfast, I admired her energy and love for styling and producing things that are fresh and creative. She has only been working as a stylist, photographer and cook for one year and already she has produced books and styled for other books and magazines. It’s amazing really, to see such growth so quickly — but of course, well deserved as she is quite amazing.

Her yummy tarts as Pantone color swatches is quite brilliant! In the magazine you can even find the recipes for each of her creations in case looking at them has made you hungry. This is just so ahead of the curve and creative, I adore Emilie’s work and can’t wait to share her first column later this week on decor8 with all of you!

(images: emilie griottes)

Posted in Color Inspiration on March 19, 2012

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