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Winter Blues – and Reds, Greens, Yellows….

The holiday season is over. Winter stretches ahead. For much of the world, that means weeks of grey rainy days and long cold nights. These grey months are no problem for me, but many people find the drab weeks of waiting for the arrival of spring to be a drain on their mood, spirits, and energy.

One way to brighten dull days is to add color. I’ve been thinking about colors – especially a particular rich, deep blue. Last year when I visited Dublin I saw St. Patrick’s Hall at Dublin Castle. (I didn’t take pictures because my pictures never do justice to whatever I want to capture. I thought there would be many pictures of this magnificent space online. Turns out the pictures online don’t do it justice either, but this will give an idea.)

The deep blue in this huge space overwhelmed me; it just swamped my senses. I want it! It’s a bit like having the munchies for a particular food; the desire for that blue has lingered for months. I hope to paint a wall this color, soon!

Color is also pestering me via these shiny beads. They were given to me last year, and they’ve been calling me, saying “Do something with us!” So here’s another experiment in process – more to come on this!

So how else can we add color to our days to brighten these winter weeks?

Lights – bulbs, strings, and strips. There’s a variety of ways to bring colored light into our living spaces. Many options are convenient and economical. It’s a fun, simple way to change the feel of a room.

Another easy way to add color to our spaces is to cover a wall, or part of a wall, with fabric. Using laundry starch or a light paste made of water plus flour or cornstarch will let lightweight fabric adhere to a wall. Light-weight scarves, or sheets work well. On most painted surfaces, the fabric will just peal away and return the wall to its original state. I’ve done this before in a rather informal way, but the example here shows how to do a very precise and professional looking job. This is fun way to try a new color without the committment or mess of paint.

A similar project involves covering windows with colored tissue paper. Not only is this great for privacy, but it also takes advantage of outdoor light to give a stained glass effect. It’s easy, fun, versatile and very easy to remove or change. There are dozens of examples online; I like this one because it turned out so beautifully, and it’s the work of a group of youngsters.

The popularity of coloring books shows that folks of all ages enjoy that activity. I like zentangle for it’s soothing, meditative focus. Zentangle is traditionally done in black and white – but doing zentangle with colors really makes it pop.

Just thinking about color can add interest to our winter days. Wear a different color! Experiment with new shades in our projects! The possibilities will keep us interested and alert, and suddenly spring will be here.

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