December 9, 2012

What color are you feeling today?

Observations, Color Therapy Tools and a Myriad of Color Themed Websites Worth Exploring

Ahh...color. One of my favorite things to daydream about, analyze, absorb, and feel. Color therapy is nothing new to mainstream practices. Fast food restaurants, for example, often use a color combination of red and yellow.

 Red is known to increase the appetite. 


Yellow is known to make us move faster.     

No two colors could better tie the words "fast" and  "food" together! The influence of color has been used for millennial...from tribal face painting, to the packaging to our childrens' toys...colors can calm, balance, excite, and control the way we respond to every day actions and objects. 

Oh, The Wisdom Of  Childhood 

Feeling purple and red with cookie monster.
As a kid, when I woke up in the morning, the first thing that often came to mind was, "what color do I feel like wearing today?". To be honest, that is still one of the first questions I ask myself every day.

What I surround myself by has never been so much about style as it is about feeling. And, color, is something we all feel weather we realize it or not.

Anyone who has known me most of my life has had to have witnessed a day where I was wearing what may appear to be a few too many hues of the same color. When I feel magenta, I feel magenta...from socks, to scarves, to underclothing.

At a young age, I did not connect it to a fancy word, but, I was dressing myself through color therapy. It was a way of expressing my  moods or balance my emotional needs for the day.

Oh my green!

Myself and a Key Club friend in 1996.
While looking through an old scrap book this past year, I came across this photo from a Key Club conference my sophomore year of high school. Oh shirt, green nails, green tights, green jewelry, and green eye shadow? Wow. How's that for comfortable? I definitely woke up and dressed how I felt for the matter what it looked like.

 Though I find this photo funny, it is also totally inspiring to this older version of me. Be prepared for more tacky outfits to come .

Maybe Some Objects Can Bring Happiness? 

Back then, I wore a particular bangle bracelet almost every day. It was thin strip of lime green porcelain with a gold-like interior. I called it my happy bracelet. When I could sense that people were feeling crappy I would give them my happy bracelet to wear until they felt better, and then they would give it back to me. Sometimes it would be returned after only one period of class, other times maybe a week, but, I always got it back. That bracelet made lots of people smile over the years.

I still have no idea where the idea came from. It was something made up from the heart.

Though, I associated my peers with colors, I did not actively begin reading about color therapy until I was around nineteen and in school for design. Seeing that photo of me in high school, maybe it's best I didn't follow that route, ha.

Green is Compassion and  Healing 

 Looking back at my happy bracelet, it's very interesting to now know how many feel green to be a nurturing and compassionate color.

It is known to help balance emotions, and it is often associated with the feelings and energy of the heart.

Green is love! The therapeutic aspects of the color pink is also linked to the heart and loving emotions... and s much more commonly referred to than green.

Recounting such memories, I am amazed by the beautiful things we intuit as children and young adults without realizing how we are tuning into something greater than us all. It really reassures me that there is so much more to education and learning beyond traditional school books and our linear modern day model of  public education.

Listening to our intuition, feelings, and senses within our own experience is just as, if not more valid than anything we could can try to find answers to in books.

How Our Colors Fade In and Out With Life-Seasons

Little did I know I had a bizzilion food intolerance's that kept
me feeling down (yeast/wheat in beer being one of them.)
During my early to mid twenties, I wore much less color than any other time in my life. I surrounded myself by lots of browns, earth tones, and subtle hues. I was also in a space where I did not feel very energized in my self expression, I hoped to be invisible as a wall flower, and, I don't think my lack of color expression was a coincidence!

Even then, I was using color as a therapy. I was feeling muddled, the lower tones of color helped me to feel more at home in my body over those years. I don't think I could have found a better photo to display how unhealthy, sad, and shy I was, "Cameras out? Look down!".

Not to say that brown and subtle hues are only worn when we are all less lively. It is just a color combination that I seek for balance when I am feeling that way. Even the purple-hued sweater on the arm to the left was mine.

A Stark City Softened By Snow

Four friends and I took a short road trip to New York in February of 2006 in support of a  friends art show. Two days later, we were blessed by a record 26.9 inch snow storm. I am a snow bird so it was the best thing ever in my eyes. The snow fell as high as car doors of the little Honda we all packed into to get there.  With an unexpected storm, we all arrived a little under prepared. To walk down the center of empty city streets stark with snow, surrounded by giggling children on sleds, and these beautiful old buildings was a strangely nostalgic feeling. It may have been the closet thing to time travel I have felt my entire life.

Color My Soul-Retrieval

Last summer (2012 ) with my partner, Marty.
Magenta and turquoise...jewel tones warm my heart!
However, around the age of twenty-eight, I retrieved a few once-lost aspects of myself; letting go of worry of judgement, following my whimsies, and allowing my heart to lead the way.

Under all that depression was a need to be whimsical, creative, inappropriate at times, and definitely time to gafaw. I am pretty opinionated, but even more so, I am inspired by fairness and honesty.  This is where I am comfortable when I am feeling balanced, and where I will continue to allow myself to be.

Since then, life has been enlivening, inspiring, and quite possibly, more gratifying than ever before. It's like meddling the creative, open, and dreamy aspects of childhood, with the awesomeness of participating in anything we set our hearts with the super power of adulthood. Yay!

Color has been one the most influential tools for me to break through a self-created and stifling shell I built in my early twenties.

Find More Meaning in Life Through a Colored Lens

Color can help us to discover missing pieces of ourselves, and learn more about our peers, and the world around us on a deeper level with every year. Some days I am more aware of it than others, some days I think that color can act as a messenger, as written in my post Purple, Crows, Honey, and Gold. Today, I am wearing grey, a warm magenta, purple, and a peacock blue-green.

The words that come to mind in order of those colors are calming thoughts, playfulness, deep introspection, and creativity. Those are all colors and energies that I have greatly welcomed back into my life this past year.

 I recalled how much comfort and inspiration I felt from my jewel toned crayola markers as a was due time to bring them back.

Natures Colors: Moods Change with Seasons and Environment

If you look around, there are many color ques to be found in nature. For example, many poisonous reptiles, insects, and arachnids have the colors red, black, and yellow somewhere on their body. These colors can be seen and felt as something of a visual warning sign.

 Look at the colors we choose in our modern day society for road signs. They too are red, black, and yellow, all colors that catch our attention, so we may respond quickly. This is one example of how color is used to affect us on such a calculated level from city and state. But, they are not the only ones! Psychology of color is an in depth field of study in which we are influenced every day, and from many aspects of our lives.

The moods of nature are fairly transparent when it comes to observing surrounding colors and the moods of the season. The colors of winter can appear to be as bleak as some feel winter itself can be at times. The colors present during the active season of summer are also bright and active. The colors of the seasons are so  very well reflected in our personalities and attitudes about them!

Color Collages of the Seasons (below)

It was so much fun making these seasonal color collages from photographs I have taken over the years! They are a helpful tool to experiment by scrolling through them individually to sense how they make you feel.

Today it is cold, rainy, grey... and totally supportive of my lazy Sunday.  Writing about color all day while in my pajamas has been uplifting, though, I am typically happy on rainy days, especially rainy Sundays. On days like today, there is no guilt about laying around, reading, crafting, and writing all day long. Today it feels more like spring.

A Collection of Seasonal Color Collages


We are all familiar with the earthy tones of fall. Of all the seasons, this one seems to be most commonly associated with the color family of earth tones. Earthy colors are calming, and grounding. Though, at times, they can feel muddy and heavy. The calming effects of the fading colors in fall introduce a time of quiet.  I see it as a gentle reminder to listening to ourselves and the world around us. It is a time in between exuberant summer and an often melancholy winter; a time to prepare for a more rested pace of life in introspection, and reflection on the year that has past. 


In the winter, we experience the beauty of pastel sunsets, framed by barren trees, and if we are lucky, snow covered ground. The color of winter are much more subtle, yet, they do not lack variety! Even the snow can be many shades of white to brown as it melts.


In the spring of Kentucky, as the snow melts, we experience the light pops of crocus flowering from the earth, pale pink to purple buds of the red bud, and the whites and pinks of dogwoods. In the woodlands winter is warmed by the welcoming of spring ephemerals such as water leaf, dutchman's breeches trout lillies, and mayapples.


In the summer, nature is full of excitement, energy and color. Bold flowers bloom all around us, trees are green as ever at their peak, and for many, what clothing we wear on a daily basis reflects the same.

I know for myself, the color red in the summer almost feels like a threat! Summer is a hot, energizing, and extroverted season. The color read holds similar attributes, and for many, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow in full summer can feel off putting. Instead, you may find that you wear more blues, greens, and whites in the summertime subconsciously to help bring balance to your life. I know that I have noticed that in myself. In the winter I tend to welcome warming, saturated shades of red, and orange.

I hope that this entry inspires you to get in touch with your own take on how color affects you. There are many books and websites on color and chakra therapy, but, I highly encourage you to sit with your own impressions first. And most of all..take the time to look at old photographs of your self as a child. It may touch and affirm a few feeling you hold in your heart about color today.

Fun Color Websites!

Color Therapy and Personality Tests Color can affect our emotions, our decision making skills, and be used as a tool for psychological analysis. When I was in interior design school in 2001, my psychology and design teacher showed us a study on how when

More recently, I came across a Color Oracle on a very fun and helpful astrology website I like the test, it is much like the one above but, more modern looking and with larger color swatches. I personally find it easier to take the test from The smaller swatches make it easier for me to more intuitively make my decisions. Try them both out, see what works best for you!

Mixing and Matching: Online Color Palettes
Random Color Generator: If you are looking for color whimsy, than this is the website for you. Scroll over gray scale blocks and magical random color-ness will appear. If you are looking for a more monochromatic mood (many shades of the same color) you can narrow it down to just shades of reds, blues, greens. You can also choose from only light colors, or dark colors, or all random colors. You can also save colors you love for future reference. I like this site becuase it is a fun tool to get to see how you respond to colors in a very organic fashion.

Color Scheme Designer: Marry colors together with this interactive color wheel! If you would like to visually learn about the different relationships of color beyond the concept of complimentary colors, this site is pretty fun. An inspiring site that cultivates some pretty fun color pairings, palettes, and ideas. Scroll your mouse over a color palette with varying intensities and hues of most colors you can imagine (through a computer screen). If you are new to building your own blog, website, or graphic image project, definitely visit Color Picker. You will have so many more choices of color to choose from instead of having to stick to the usual little squares that are offered.

Color For the Home: Interactive Design Sites
Decorating is a long time joy of mine, and over the past decade, some paint companies have made it possible to view paint colors in virtual rooms online. This is the closest thing I think that has come to a favorite video game since Tetris.  Here are two fun sites for just that:

I heart Design Your Home from Benjamin Moore Paints.

Lowe's version of their Virtual Room Designer  allows you to create a virtual version of your own room. You can add the dimensions of your room, add furniture, plants, and even a pot of tea. Now, the color arena lacks options in my opinion, but, it's kind of fun to create a virtual room!

Colorful People: Two awesome, inspiring, and colorful women 
Color me's not all color related but this girl is super colorful! She is a street artist and photographer among other things. She is incredibly cute, and very inspiring. I love that she makes things from the heart and puts them into action without worrying that people will take it wrong. I think many of us are conditioned into worrying about how people will take our kindness as we pass the age of eighteen. I wrote about this observation in a blog post last February, It's totally cool to be loving and happy (don't sweat the grumps).

Lucky So and So  I found designer, Jess Arrington, while scrolling through Ted Talk videos where I found her talking about how she she wears nothing new. This gal put on the World's largest color parade in Brooklyn, New York last year.The not wearing anything new part is not as nearly as impressive as the fantastical outfits she comes up with. She is both a hoot and a color wearing hero. You should check out her fun video on Ted Talks.


  1. This is all so lovely and wonderful. I'm especially in love with the happy bracelet. Beautiful energy exchange!

  2. The seasonal color collages are beautiful!

    1. Thank you Marty! It was way too fun making them :) I can't wait to take fresh photographs this year so that I may make more. Happy new moon to you as well...may your new moon wishes come true!

  3. Thank you Lori-Lyn for your kind words! I loved that happy bracelet too...I wish I had kept it. Happy new moon to you!