Sunday, February 5, 2012

Red is for February / Christine's Musings/ Cultural Cloth

Red is for February

February’s arrival has me thinking in red. In an October, 2011 issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine there was an article called, ”Ready for Red.” This photo shows a great scheme for working with red and combining it with other colors. I love the way they utilized grey, white and black highlights with the red. It is so easy with this neutral background to add pops of red in the bedding and the accessories.

On her Sensational Color website Kate Smith notes: Red is recognized as a stimulant. It emotes excitement and energy. It affects us physically by increasing enthusiasm and energy, leading to heightened blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat and pulse. It can encourage action and confidence and provide a sense of protection from fears and anxieties. Click here for more info from Sensational Color.

Here are some great Red paint colors to try

Valspar La Fonda Red: Use it as an accent color.

Behr Firecracker: Use to paint an entire room!

Sherwin Williams Marooned, a true oxblood: Use to paint an accent wall.

Behr Apple Polish: Great for a room with little natural light, like a hall or dining room.

Benjamin Moore Merlot Red: Memories of Tuscany terra cotta, very earthy!

Ralph Lauren Modern Rose: A feminine dusky rose.

Other spring fashion trends that can be used in interiors include stripes, chevrons and polka dots. I especially love those graphic elements in black or navy combined with bright colors such as hot pink, yellow and, of course, red!  

Christine's Musings

Recently I watched a vintage a Bob Fosse film from 1967, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I loved the women's fashions and the Mad Men era men's suits. But it was the sets that really caught my eye. They were all so bright and colorful with my favorite colors: orange, lime green, aqua, kelly green, yellow, white, black and lots of RED. If you look at a current Crate and Barrel catalogue you will see all the same bright colors available again today. What goes around comes around -  and thank goodness for that!

Speaking of the 1960’s there is a fascinating exhibit at the Minnesota History Museum called "Be There or Be Square”.  It is a focus on1968 – a year of dramatic social, cultural and political upheaval. Don’t miss this retrospective. If possible bring along the younger generation. It won’t be a memorable experience for them, as it is for me, but a valuable history lesson none the less.

I am on the hunt for a Mondrian inspired day dress like this one created by Yves Saint Laurent in 1965 or like the one below worn by Emily Duffy to compliment her ModrianMobile art car in Emeryville, CA (2000).
If you are into vintage clothing help me keep an eye out for Mondrian inspired items. Thanks!
Cultural Cloth

I love fabrics of all kinds so I was fascinated to discover - through Cy Winship’s Metro magazine story, “Threads that Bind” - a new and unique resource close to the Twin Cities in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin. Mary Anne Wise is the founder of Cultural Cloth. She and her partners connect with women’s collectives worldwide helping them to find new avenues for their textile businesses.

I was especially attracted to the colorful rugs (lots of red!) with bold designs created by Mayan women. Mary Anne and her partner, Jody Slocum, went to Guatemala and taught the women, already proficient weavers, how to hook rugs. The results are amazing – and I don’t mean only the rugs. This on-going project benefits women’s lives in so many ways. It gives them purpose, self-esteem, economic empowerment, environmentally sustainable practices and international connectedness. Carmen, a Mayan rug maker, wrote: “Before these classes I believed I was nothing. I was a low person ... I see the world differently now and I am happy because I never thought that would be possible. I am not a low person”.

You can see the Mayan rugs and so much more (including bedcovers and sari cloth from India, felted wool art pieces from Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan and open weave baskets from Haiti) displayed at Cultural Cloth. You will also learn more about the women who make them. It’s definitely worth the trip. If you go this winter you can combine the trip with some eagle watching on Lake Pepin and make a day of it! If you want to travel virtually, click HERE.