Colour switch up to inspire and help you plan

Well yesterday there I was all guns blazing, ready to do the next @psychologiesmagazine Instagram Live since coming back from holiday and what happens, Wifi connection decides to drop out, the live doesn’t save to IGTV and my day is effectively ruined.

This may sound dramatic but I literally have a fear of technological gremlins, it is so frustrating. And I know first world problems and all that but I think it just added to the rising stress of the LONGEST school holidays in the history of the world. I mean it’s like the powers that be knew right, and they thought I know let’s add a later September return into the mix, just for extra fun.

I know I sound like the worst parent, but after 5 and a half months I’m done now; with the Xbox battles, vampire diaries marathon sessions, bloody Tik Tok and appearing only for food or to request batteries, I feel like we have squatters that are just draining all the power in the house and our mental energies too.

And I know I’m not alone, but enough now, the countdown IS ON!

Ok, rant over and I now will resume to my calm state of when I excitedly did the 7th Gain Creative Confidence session yesterday that was all about colour and planning and I promised to put the tasks on here as there are a few to consider this time.

Oh and update – the Live is now up and running here, thanks to the lovely team at Psychologies, phew!

Colour me happy!

So, the subject for this session stemmed from a few things that have inspired me this week, as well as of course my very colourful trip to Cornwall.

As we head into September and the first month of Autumn, I always get a little giddy for cosy jumpers, fresh plans in new planners (I like using the academic timetable ones), that new term feeling, blackberry picking for pies and my now locally famous jam and all the wonderful autumnal colours we get here in the UK.

It’s a time where I sort through my wardrobe, bring out the warmer stuff and also start looking at small changes to make at home as we head into the cooler months – think cinnamon candles, chunky throws, the first stove fire, a change of cushions and a fresh lick of paint for the kitchen.

There was an interesting stat on ‘This Morning’ this week, that we only wear 20% of our wardrobe, 80% of the time! In a time where many are trying to be more sustainable or save cash in this crazy unpredictable world, maybe it’s time we re-styled our collections, pair some different items together, different colour combos and change it up a bit, rather than always heading to the shops.

This also applies to interiors, as my friend @myhousecandy said this week, ‘A change is as good as a rest’ and I absolutely agree, move some key pieces about, mix up some new colours to get in sync with autumn or just freshen things up and love your space more.

It’s like that feeling you get as a child when you move your room around, exactly what my daughter did this week too, it just always seems better somehow, like we are supposed to do this and re-organise every now and again.

Maybe it’s because of lock-down too, we’ve spent so much time in our homes we can get cabin fever if everything stays the same.

Now speaking of Cabins, ours is now built! Thanks to the hubs doing a great job in-between the rain, I really think he used to be a carpenter in a former life, it seems to be his thing and potential creative outlet! Plus, he’s a perfectionist so hopefully no danger of the roof blowing off as it’s very windy where we live!

If you’ve followed my blogs regularly you will know that this has been a long-held dream to get a small cabin in the garden to use as my creative space and The CCC headquarters! I’m so excited it’s actually given me sleepless nights planning it all out in my head!

I created a Pinterest board a while ago and have definite ideas of what I want in there, the desk at least is now on order and we’re deciding whether to have a custom made corner bench for storage, then it will be possibly a comfier seat in the other corner, small side table, plants, lighting plus many pieces of art, my own included and accessories on the walls and finally a small bed for Barley too!

But first it needs painting, I’m going for this kind of blue/green colour called Sentosa (on brand with The CCC of course) on the outside with white window sills and doors and a soft white on the inside to keep it nice and light. I’ll be keeping it fresh on the inside too, with lots of bright colours against a backdrop of textured neutrals and this brings me to the colour challenges I’ve set in this week’s Live.

Bright art-work like this will be heading into the cabin

I know that colour is a big part of my life and creativity, not only in art and photography which is more obvious, but often I find in my writing and poetry especially, I tend to be looking for new ways to describe colour and bring it alive for the reader.

This happened whilst on holiday in Cornwall and I wrote a poem about the sea whilst sat on Newquay’s Fistral Beach. Here is a line so you know what I mean:

‘Orange lava pooling, mixing the spoils of an angels brush into inky depths’

The holiday opened my eyes to new combinations of colours, ones I don’t regularly see together but reawakened my senses. In particular, the combination of teal, gold, heather and lime on the image below had me drinking it in and searching for more.

If you would like to research new combinations, Pinterest do great colour swatch pins, but warning it does become a bit addictive! Infact I have a whole board of these if you’d like to have a look, click here.

Set of colors | Food
Here’s an example of a colour swatch pin on Pinterest

On today’s Live we talked about personal colour associations with different emotions and moods and how it can actually effect your state, so for me it goes like this:

Blue / Grey / Cream = calm or well-being

Green = growth and nurturing

Orange / Yellow = energy and laughter

Soft pinks = soothing and dreamy

Red = Daring or confidence

In my home I have a combination of grey, green and soft pinks in the lounge, which feels calm and soothing to relax in an evening whereas the hall has a neutral background but lots of splashes of bright colours which to me feels welcoming and cheerful when you come in.

I also talked about exploring different colours to what you may usually work with in your creativity , to once again mix things up a bit and experiment. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with colours and this can even encourage you to work with different materials, for example for darker pieces you could use charcoal.

Another option would be to go and do some photography colour research, either using your own photos or have a look at some different Instagram accounts that use a different palette to yours, eg @seasidekate has wonderful bright photos of her home town Brighton whereas @simpleandseason has a more restricted and muted palette full of texture, simple and beautiful.

And finally, I extended the colour idea and associations to planning, in terms of your diaries or To Do lists. By this I mean co-ordinating certain tasks into different colours and then when you look at your whole week you can really easily see what kind of activities you are spending most of your time on. And most importantly if you find that too much of that time is spent on things that you don’t want to be your focus, then you can then change it.

It’s a simple but really effective way of analysing where your time goes!

So, todays tasks I set were the following:

  1. Explore what colour means to you, what colours evoke your different emotions? And if you want to feel a certain way more, perhaps consider surrounding yourself more with particular colours or wear them for an instant lift?
  2. Experiment with new and different colours and combinations, and from this consider new outfit combinations or play with art-work using these colours, how does that make you feel, inspired or uncomfortable?
  3. Plan out your week and colour-code it, use colours that resonate with certain activities, for example self-care may be orange if your version of self-care is an exercise class or it may be blue if it means a chilled day at a spa. Take note of how your week looks in colour – is it evenly spread, or too heavily weighted to work or house chores, if so try changing some things for the following week and note the difference in your well-being.

So, I hope that gives you a few things to be getting on with before the next Psychologies live that will be on the 28th of September. I’m spacing them 4 weeks apart now, so that I too can get on with the many plans I have in my head running up to Christmas and I’m looking forward to getting productive in the Cabin!

I’m finally getting used to my new short hair, it went blonder in the sun in Cornwall!

But first I just have to get through the next scan, yes it’s that time again, 3 months have whizzed by already and I’m crossing everything now for a fully clear scan that will show I’m in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There’s so much I want to crack on with, but until I’ve got this big box ticked, it’s hard to plan too far in advance.

It’s almost a year since all this started and weirdly, September is blood cancer awareness month, and September the 15th is World Lymphoma Day, almost exactly a year since I first went to my doctors! Every 27 minutes, someone is diagnosed with Lymphoma. If you’d like to find out more, please click here for lots of information from Lymphoma Action, which has been a great source of support over the last year.

Until next time, have fun playing with colour!

Juliet, The Curious Creative x  

Main image taken by me on a dog walk but the art on the rock is not mine, just someone spreading a little joy!

Ps, For a great book on using colour in your creativity, check out Philippa Stanton’s Conscious Creativity below

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