Staying Neutral

This month I have a lot of great colors available on Etsy, and I wanted to talk a bit about the use of neutrals in a design. To see my Etsy wool click here.

This is a close up of my rug design Jane Austen. Even though the border seems to be all colorful selections, it is really made up of 80% – 90% neutral colors. Beige, tan, browns, grays, taupes and antique whites. The basket look like it is gold, but it is actually shades of camel and tan with a hint of grayed down blue.

The red flowers are the “colors” in this rug. That means that approximately 90-95% of the wool needed was a neutral color.

Spring is Here is another example of a design that is 95% neutrals. And the soft red colors are very muted. What makes them look colorful is that they are the most colorful wools used. Throw a too saturated color in the design, and the rest of the colors look blah, and your eye goes right to the bright color instead at looking at the birds and all the flowers.

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Here are some other details that show you how key a role neutrals play in every part of a design. I find it important to have all values and temperatures of neutrals in my stash. That means, neutrals from the lightest light to the darkest dark, in everything sort of gray, to taupe, to brown, to russet, to pumpkin, to rust, to camel, to tan, to khaki, to blue-gray. Then I also consider having choices of solid and textures. Much more often the color that I really need is a neutral rather than a more saturated color. So next time when you are thinking yellow, consider trying a camel or golden brown instead.

Have a creative day ~ Karen

 

 

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Books that give me color inspiration

DSCF1040If you get a chance to go to the bookstore, I suggest you peruse these books. I have really enjoyed both of them. Here are a couple of my favorite pages from Fifi O’Neill’s book, Romantic Prairie Style:

DSCF1042This stained glass door is so nostalgic. The vibrant glow makes the whole room sparkle. Will I have to take up stained glass next?

DSCF1041I was blown away with this color combination. First there are the soft, dusty aqua walls with the antique red curtains, chandelier, and natural wood furnishings. But then she tosses this vintage sapphire blue cloth across the table. I would have never thought this color would enhance everything as it does! Amazing!

Let color inspire you today ~ Karen

An exercise in color

DSCF1002I have been visiting the paint department in our local Home Depot frequently lately, and thought of a color exercise for us to do. Paint chips are wonderful things. In order to have a vision for working with color, not just painting your walls in color, many times you need to have colors that inspire you. Paint chips are a treasure trove of wonderful colors to dream on. Continue reading

Punch hooking a rose rug

on the frameI love to punch hook, and one of my designs for 2013, Madame Odier, was done with this technique. When you punch hook, you are working on the back of the rug and everything will be in reverse on the right side. I find it to be a freeing technique, as you can’t see the finished side as you work, so you become more adventurous and daring. Continue reading

Do mothers and daughters hook the same?

fruitlands kim and mom's versionI love to see families crafting together and sharing the same creative passions. Surprisingly, in our rug hooking guild there are several mother and daughters that hook together. Everyone has their own tastes and styles, however in one case mom and daughter showed how similar they can be.
Our local rug hooking guild had a display of our work at the Eugene Public Library the month of October. One of the highlights for me was seeing my design, Fruitlands, hooked by members Marilyn Lynch and  her daughter Kym Ramsing. Continue reading