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There are plenty of reasons why the underwater world is mysterious and unfamiliar terrain for humans. Though most of us have at least been in the ocean, our own bodily limitations (if only we had gills!) mean that 70% of earth’s surface is off limits, inaccessible for us to explore (without expensive equipment and training, that is).
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Which is a shame, considering that the sea’s floor is a treasure-trove of creatures, colors, and textures that would send us into visual-overdrive. Even the most familiar of sea creatures - like coral, starfish, or octopus - are host to some of the most aesthetically unique hues and shapes. Which is to say, we’re glad that underwater technology has advanced to the point that we can bring records of some of these stunners above-ground, in the form of photos and videos, crisper than ever before.
Without context, these could certainly be works of modern art, or a study in color and shape. But these underwater shots, taken at close range, capture details like a fish’s scales or tail, or vegetation in motion. The photographer says “Nature has created a huge amount of art. They fill our planet. It’s not surprising that the underwater world just hides a lot of them.”
The photographer calls these creatures, “Beautiful monsters.” About his work at Moscow’s “White Sea Biological Station,” he says: “When I went underwater for the first time, I was absolutely shocked. White Sea showed me another world with it’s own aliens.” We agree, these unfamiliar animals, with their unnatural colors and pitch-black backdrop, look otherworldly.
Who knew that unaltered shots of sea life would make the perfect music video? A Marine Biologist & a musician (Colin Foord and Jared McKay) collaborated to make this series of 24 short films. By pairing shots from a Miami aquarium with original music, “they transform the minute creatures that inhabit our coral reefs into strange, abstract works of surreal art.”
Make sure to visit each artists Behance page for more fantastic images and in some cases the full view of a piece borrowed for the post.
It’s here! Some consider it a plague, some consider it a shopaholics dream, and some people just want a new pair of socks at rock-bottom prices. That’s right, the full contact sport of Black Friday has returned for another year. Which brings me to wonder, why do they call this day of awesome deals and big crowds black? Here are a few interesting theories I've pulled together…
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Original credit for the phrase is given to the plunging gold prices way back in 1864 that started a panic in the stock market, thus a very black Friday indeed.
Then, in the late 1960s, Philadelphia newspapers borrowed the phrase to describe the dark masses of shoppers crowding the stores. Sounds kind of creepy I know, but let’s imagine them wearing festive holiday colors and the picture isn’t so bleak.
Later on, this idea was clarified to mean that the crowds increased profits, thus the black ink on the accounting balance sheets is why it is called Black Friday.
Tweak this theory again and black now represents the day retailers make a profit or break the bank. Ominous, I know.
Whatever the origin, by the time the 1990s rolled around, Black Friday had turned into a nationwide retail holiday (albeit unofficial). Since then its fame has grown, and now it is the season’s biggest shopping day of the year (says market research firm ShopperTrak).
Whether you brave the crowds, hide at home, or enjoy a regular day at work (with a little crowd control), be safe and have a happy Black Friday from all of us at COLOURlovers!
Of all the things to be thankful for, color is at the top of the list. Color is saturated into every fiber of our lives. It gives variety to our days, our moments, our very lives. It is there in our darkest moments and happiest memories. It can influence moods and reactions. It is there for us when we brainstorm inovative ideas, new marketing techniques, or complicated craft projects. Color is simply inspiring. So, on this Thanksgiving Day, remember to take a look around you and notice all the beautiul colors that this season has to offer.
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Celebrate color this season with a leaf garland made of felt and yarn. Incorporate a gorgeous color palette into your home's decor without the crunchy mess of real leaves.
Project by Triple Play
Dazzling. Do you think these sparkly aqua-blue accents steer a little bit away from traditional fall colors? You have to admit, it adds a nice depth to the overall setting and complements that traditional orange nicely.
Elegant. Bring the outdoors in to create thankful bits of autumn pastels and pattern mixtures combined in a "Thankful Tree."
For the kiddos. Shades of brown add warmth and provide an earthy feel in this Turkey centerpiece. Choose a fun and colorful palette for the thankful feathers.
Tradition, (What Are You) Thankful Four?
What are you thankful...4? A great excuse to use color in so many ways! Write what you're thankful for on colorful number fours cut from scrapbooking or construction paper and share. Turn them in to ornaments to display all weekend. Keep them around as reminders.
"...one year I cut large 4s from paper and placed one on each person's plate. Just before dinner, we wrote the things we were thankful for on our cutouts, then took turns sharing our lists..." - Candice Steelman (reader at Disney Family Fun)
There's always room to go classic. Traditional autumn colors make a space warm and inviting. These edible place settings using M&M's to imitate Indian Corn are quite fun!
KABOOSE.com under Thanksgiving Crafts
Create a three dimensional palette with blocks and display an appropriately thankful message.
What better way to say thank you to the beauty of color than to use fallen leaves to create vibrant autumn roses.
avery & anderson - Fall Decor' Part 4: THANKS be to upcycling wine bottles!
Get funky, use a few recycled wine bottles, a bit of paint and some other odds and ends to create and display a thankful word.
What would fall be without a wreath? Burlap offers a very earthy-happy texture, while adding a mix of traditional or non-traditional colors livens it up.
FineCraftGuild.com - Abundance Seed Balls
Blending tradition with innovation - did you look close enough? I took a double-take after realizing those were bean-balls in the cornucopia! How creative and fitting to the season. A gentle reminder of warm soup on chilly fall evenings.
Autumn wouldn't be autumn without a couple of paper pumpkins leftover from Halloween. Another way to utilize a mix of patterns and palettes.
The paper flower on this thankful journal has a nice whimsical feel to it and reminds me of autumn leaves. Writing down what you are thankful for is always a great way to reflect and come back to on days when you aren't feeling so thankful.
Kind Over Matter - Thanksgiving Fortune Cookies
This simple, yet unique idea encompasses the idea that being thankful can also remind us of the good things that are yet to come.
Incorporating autumn colors into our homes and Thanksgiving celebrations is a special way to recreate that warm feeling we experience when we start listing all the things that we are thankful for. This reason, above all, is why color should be remembered on Thanksgiving Day.
header credit: Leaf Garland
Imagine a world where anything is possible—where dogs sport a luscious coat of pink fur, green cats preen themselves with zebra striped tongues, ruby red snakes have glowing purple polka dots, and rainbow spotted elephants spray orange slices from a mile long trunk. This is the world that Eric Carle dares his readers to imagine.
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Eric Carle was born June 25, 1929 in Syracuse, New York. When he was six years old, he and his parents moved to Germany where he grew up and eventually graduated from Akademie der bildenden Künste, a prestigious art school in Stuttgart. He never forgot his American roots and returned to the place of his happiest childhood memories in 1952.
Pumpkin orange and midnight black—the predominant colors of Halloween combine the Autumn season with darkness and scary entities.
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But how did these colors really come to dominate this most unusual holiday? The truth is, when it comes to the question of the origin of the Halloween colors, it can be hard to separate the opinions from the facts.
The most common opinion about where the colors originated is steeped in the rich history of the Celtics and the Druids, with the burning of unbleached beeswax candles (orange) and ceremonial caskets draped in a black cloth.
Feng Shui candles are said to help create peace in the center of your house (source)
Now, let’s step into the world of Feng Shui, where a balance of energy reigns supreme. Believers of Feng Shui feel that the colors of orange and black were chosen because they are on opposite sides of the energy spectrum: orange is warm, happy, lively, and brings to mind the bounty of the fall harvest, while black represents mystery, void, power and protection (source).
The most obvious answer to this question is that the classic color of Autumn is orange, while black can be equated with the approaching darkness of winter.
And, if you want to get really extreme, some people claim that black and orange were the only colors left after Christmas took red and green, and Easter took all of the pastels.
Of course, Halloween colors are not just limited to orange and black, you will also see a lot of blood red, eerie green, ghostly white and deep purples. So, where do these colors come into play? Here is a plausible explanation.
Celtic wheel of the year (source)
Going back to the Celtic festival of Samhain in 700 B.C., it signified the end of the harvest and the approaching of winter, or the end of one year and the start of another. The Celts believed that ancestral spirits joined them on this day when the past and the present are about to cross paths, which is why it was also considered a “day of the dead.”(source)
All of the Halloween colors seem to implicate some kind of connection to death and dying. Red is a classic implication of blood, fire and demons, while green represents goblins, monsters, and zombies. Purple draws in a bit of the supernatural and mysticism, while white reflects ghosts, mummies and a full moon.
Stepping away from color for a moment, Halloween is also dominated by an abundance of Jack-o-lanterns and children out trick-or-treating. These traditions also have an interesting origin.
Stingy Jack (source)
Jack-o-lanterns trace back to the Irish myth of Stingy Jack who died and, finding himself rejected by both heaven and hell, was forced to roam the darkness seeking a resting place for his soul. Legend has it that he hollowed out a turnip and used it to carry a coal to light his way. This said, the first Jack-o-lanterns were carved in turnips, and only changed to pumpkins when the tradition was brought to America.
Trick-or-treating came about during the Great Irish Potato Famine. On Halloween, peasants would beg for food from the wealthy. They played practical jokes on those that refused to give them something. So, to avoid being tricked, the wealthy gave out cookies, candies, and fruit. It is easy to see how this turned into modern-day trick-or-treating. (source)
No matter what history tells us, the Halloween color palette we see today is warm, bright, fun, and sometimes a little spooky. Each color has a place in the holiday and can find a place in your life as well, whether you are wearing it, eating it, decorating with it, or simply reading about it. So, have a happy, safe and colorful Halloween!
header credit: purple bats
Paper dolls and their costumes provide a look at cultures from around the world. They give us a glimpse at what was worn by men and women through the centuries. Celebrities were turned into paper dolls, as were storybook characters. Its easy to find your favorite subject in paper doll form; from Little Fanny to the Bobbsey Twins and The Flintstones to political cartoons. The history of the paper doll is likely unknown by many, so today, we're going to take a trip back in time to unearth the history of what every child was once familiar with!
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Our story begins in 1810 when S. & J. Fuller produced a small book. The moral story was accompanied by a series of hand colored little boys in various costumes that correspond with the story. They were somewhat unusual in that there was not a full body paper doll. Instead, there was a single head for the set of dolls that neatly fit in a v shaped horizontal slit on the back of each costume. Presumably one head was used to require the child to move the head from costume to costume as the story progressed. The book was titled The History & Adventures of Little Henry. It was the first in a series of similar books that became quite popular. The second book, also published in 1810 was History of Little Fanny. (source)
The paper doll was even used in a Political cartoon from August 15th, 1925. The ad, originally in black and white, was restored and colored by Judy M. Johnson of Paper Goodies.
This ad encourages its readers to "see just how she uses three of the Cutex "smoky" shades by cutting out the figures above" and goes on to talk about the 12 "smart shades" that are available for only 35¢. Yes, you read that right, just 35¢ in 1936!
When paper dolls surged in popularity as toys, manufacturers of all kinds of household goods took advantage of their popularity by using them to promote their wares. Paper dolls appeared in advertising, some die-cut, some as cards to cut out. A few of the products advertised with paper dolls were Lyon's coffee, Pillsbury flour, Baker's chocolate, Singer sewing machines, Clark's threads, McLaughlin coffee and Hood's Sarsaparilla. These dolls were plentiful and are still fairly easy to find today, often pasted into colorful scrapbooks. Later, from the 1930s to the 1950s, companies put paper dolls into their magazine advertisements to sell such goods as nail polish, underwear, Springmaid fabrics, Quadriga Cloth, Ford Cars, Fels Naphtha and Swan soaps, Carter's clothing for children, and more. (source)
The 1930s through the 1950s can perhaps claim the title "Golden Age of Paper Dolls," as their popularity during those years has never been equaled. Barbie may be credited or condemned for the decline in popularity of paper dolls in the 1960s. Paper-doll versions of Barbie and her sister, Skipper, were strong sellers in the 1970s. Boyfriend Ken and girlfriend Midge were also made as paper dolls. Paper Barbies appeared in books and in boxed sets from 1962 through the 1990s, and have dwindled to nearly nothing in the first years of the 21st Century.
VaVa farmed paper dolls from her childhood.
Zevi likes to recreate paper dolls using fabric. This one in particular is Dolly Dingle.
A playful portrait of yourself, your pets or your family. You provide the photos and choose the clothes, and they illustrate a quirky stylized moveable likeness of your favorite animal/person.
This gorgeous oversized postcard has all you need to dress Miss Clara up in her favourite winter outfits.
Imogen is approximately 7 inches tall (18cm) and is printed on heavy weight matte card stock. She comes with quite a wardrobe as well! Summer outfits, winter attire, beachwear and sleepwear. 8 outfits in all, plus coordinating accessories.
These lovely paper dolls are printed on heavy-duty water-resistant magnetic paper. These magnets preserve the detail of the original watercolors. They will stick to any metal surface: fridge, file cabinet, or anything else in your nest that needs feathering.
I love these Betsy McCall Halloween paper dolls from 1953.
It is possible to unearth paper dolls from the past. Looking in books and through loose pieces of paper is a great way to start. There are paper doll conventions held throughout the year if you're hoping to find antique paper dolls from their early debut. Creating your own paper dolls can be really fun, especially for kids! It allows you to personalize your dolls clothes, hair, facial features etc. The possibilities are endless!
Neon signs first came to the United States in 1923 when a Los Angeles car dealer bought two signs for his Packard dealership. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, neon tubes were used for signage as well as decorative displays. By 1947, several casinos in Las Vegas began to draw attention with their elaborate neon lights.
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Many of these signs can be seen at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, sometimes referred to as the "Neon Graveyard" or "Boneyard Park". There are more than 100 signs that date back as far as the 1930's!
The launch of Mattel’s first line of Hot Wheels cars in 1968 was the beginning of what would become a big part of many of our childhoods. Almost 45 years later, Mattel estimates that about 41 million kids have grown up with their model toy cars, while the faithful enthusiasts have become collectors as adults. So, what was the secret to Hot Wheels' success?
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Hot Wheels 1968 Advertisement Featuring the Cheetah (source)
Often referred to by collectors as the “Sweet 16,” the first 16 cars that were released featured metallic “spectraflame” paintwork in such exotic colors as Antifreeze, Magenta and Hot Pink. Soon to follow were a collection of 48 cars released in the 1970s, which included the Paddy Wagon and models with rotating crash-panels called Crack-Ups.
In two previous posts—one for the Market Bag and the other for the iPad Sleeve—I shared with you some techniques I love to use for painting layers on canvas and then using the canvas to sew projects with. Well this time, I wanted to kick it up one notch by adding some hand stitching to my painted fabric. I chose the Amazing Artist’s Apron from the book, Sharing Stitches by Chrissie Grace. Liz Lamoreux—one of 15 contributing artists in Chrissie’s book—designed this project.
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I was already of fan of Liz’s aprons, so I was excited that she shared how to make one in this book! The yummy palette I was inspired to draw from for my apron—How To—comes from lover Phoenixfire. So, with my palette in mind, I headed to Michael’s for paint and embroidery floss and found it easy to find all of the colors in both instances. Having the ColorSchemer app on my phone made this super handy, as I could just pull up the palette and have it in my hand as I visually scanned the products.
I started by painting plain pieces of light-weight cotton (I only used a small amount of duck canvas this time) with the five basic colors, then had fun layering them with spatters, drips and, of course, lots of stencils. After my fabrics were dry, I cut all the pieces I would need, according to the directions in the book. The focal point of this apron is the pocket, which is a mini quilt of sorts, made up of strips and squares of the various painted fabrics. The pocket is lined and divided into four sections—making it like four different pockets—but before I sewed the patchwork pocket to its lining, I went to town having fun with hand-stitched doodles (or embroidery if you prefer).
Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)
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The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.
1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)
This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.
1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)
Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.
1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)
The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.
1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)
Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.
Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.
1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)
Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.
1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)
Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.
1920 French Railroad Poster (source)
This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.
1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)
This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.
1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)
This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.
These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.
In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!
If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.
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