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by Marshall Mayer last modified Aug 17, 2012 09:05 AM
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Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:22 AM
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Despite all the rumbling and controversy over holding the Olympics in Beijing, China this year, they certainly did put on quite an amazing performance. There was a stark contrast between the bright, shiny optimism that was presented to the public throughout the games, and the undercurrent of China's not so-shiny human rights record. Just had to interject a little politics there.... Now that the Olympics are almost over, I am anticipating the closing ceremonies. Will they be nearly as cool as the opening ones? Here's a little recap of what we saw. The bold use of traditional Chinese colors really drew viewers in. And the massive scale of performers was hard to grasp. Repetition of pattern, shape, and color...so beautiful During this number, the tv announcer mentioned that these costumes were originally created in black, but that during a rehearsal near the end, the designer didn't like how things looked, and had every costume re-created in green. images source I'd love to know how much "digital enhancement" was used, and how much of that bright saturated color was reality. Evidently, the closing ceremonies are being shown in my area of the world tonight (Sunday), but here's a sneak peak for those who haven't or won't get a chance to see them. The media guide described the finale as "the grandest carnival of mankind." ( source ) images source For those of you who saw the opening or closing ceremonies, what did you think? Did the color grab your attention?

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Chihuly's colors

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:20 AM
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I just came back from seeing an amazing exhibit of Dale Chihuly, a glass blowing artist, at the de Young museum in San Francisco. For those of you in the vicinity, I highly suggest checking it out. Very accessible art, Chihuly creates glass forms like you've never seen before. There is a great flickr slideshow you can check out, too. To give you a greater appreciation for the process behind how these pieces were conceived and created, there's a documentary called Chihuly in the Hotshop that I believe you can rent. image source To get an idea of scale, these things are huge- much wider than one person could wrap his arms around. image source The riot of color is intense, and to really appreciate the nuances, you really have to give each piece a chance to sink in. Otherwise, it can be rather overwhelming. The emphasis here is obviously on theatrical impact. image source image source But I love the subtleties that emerged once you really took in each object on its own. Just lovely. image source Each room showcased items from a particular series. Can you see how enormous these things are? image source This one was called Tabac baskets, and were modeled after Native American woven baskets, both in their slumped forms, textural drawings, and subdued natural tones. A total departure from the dayglo colors of all his other series. image source A bit like stepping into a Dr. Seuss book, don't you think? Wild colors, crazy twirly swirly shapes... My question is, how the heck is that balanced not to tip over? Can't you just see this color combo in a child's playroom or brightly colored throw pillow? image source This gondola was literally exploding with insane glass pieces. Displayed on black glass with dramatic lighting, the overall look was quite striking. image source Love the contrasts created here with the saturated lilac stems against greyish-brown wood. It's the juxtapositions that really make this work. image source These balls were based on the Japanese fishing floats. But on a much grander scale, sometimes up to 40" in diameter, and up to 80 pounds each. image source Notice the pairing of brights next to more muted tones, lights next to darks, small balls beside larger ones? The contrasts really help add to the dramatic impact of these designs. Something to think about when you are doing your own designs. Which is your favorite? Why do you like those particular colors?

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Upcoming Color Contest

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:19 AM
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I'm really excited to reveal a new coloring contest that I'm in the process of setting up for you all. A little teaser: it will be an exterior this time. image source In organizing this, I wanted to ask for your suggestions. What would be a great prize for the winner(s)? (within reason, of course) And would you prefer for the competition to be judged by me, or would you all like to vote for different categories? Stay tuned!

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Bathroom Nightmare: Conclusion

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:17 AM
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I wanted to share with you the results of our bathroom paint make-over. Several readers astutely suggested brown, and it worked marvelously. I used a deep brown with purple undertones to bring everything together. We went from a hideous space with a mish-mash of crazy peaches and green to a room where the emphasis is drawn away from the floor, balanced with rich dark chocolate pudding-colored walls with milk chocolate ceilings. Yum. In this case, there was no reason to draw attention to the ceiling by leaving it white, and so by creating a tint of the wall color, added cohesion to the fifth wall, joining it with the rest of the space. To have painted it the same color as the walls might have felt a bit too oppressive with such a deep tone. SO MUCH better, don't you think? All your fresh perspectives and fantastic ideas really helped me see beyond what was right in front of me, and develop a solution that brought everything together. You are fantastic colorists!

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9021...oh

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:22 AM
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I hate to admit it, but I was a loyal viewer of the original Beverly Hills 90210 teen soap opera that aired in the 90's. So when the old show was revived as an "edgy spin-off" of the original show, nostalgia kicked in, and I felt compelled to check it out the other night. Yup, just as cheesy as the first time around, but a bit more racy. I wasn't too impressed. What caught my eye were the riot of colors used in the high school interior scenes. ( I have to apologize ahead of time for the blurry screen captures; there just aren't many clear stills available online yet. ) It's understandable that producers wanted cheery, spirited backdrops for their flashy highschool students, but I can see viewers getting very bored by the same lime/chartreuse green background. It's just obnoxious enough to compete with whatever is going on in the foreground, and I found myself really distracted by it. Not only is it in the classroom (which, by the way, is really not conducive for concentration and study), but it shows up in the cafeteria, too. along with some other very"Romper-Room-esque" inspirations... And how crazy busy are these cafeteria shots? Almost makes you dizzy. The palette was a little calmer in the hallway scenes, but not by much: images source image source (Ah, finally a clear shot!) The network station was very hush hush about the premier, and only released a few promo stills. 90210 will be on again tonight if you want to catch the day-glo colors for yourself. What did you think?

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Mama Mia, what colors!

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:20 AM
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Over the Labor Day weekend, we went to see Mamma Mia , the movie. image source What struck me the most (surprise, surprise!) was the brilliantly sparkling colors of the costume and set designs. One review articulately nailed them as "over-polished, glitzy texture". ( source ) Would you expect anything less from a movie based on ABBA songs? Now, I'm sure there must have been quite a bit of post-production digital manipulation to get those crazy effects. But the end result sure was impressive when all was said and done. image source image source image source If only I could bottle the color of that water! When you look at photos of the islands where the film was shot, the colors really are that saturated and bright. (So maybe everything wasn't enhanced, post-production!) The key filming shoots were on the Greek islands of Skopelos , Skiathos (on the old port), and Damouchari Pelion. Other parts of the film were produced in England. The blues of the Aegean sea are so dramatic, from teal, to ultramarine blue, to cerulean. Even the lighting was sparkly, with a hallow of light making everyone's hair glow. I thought this costume choice was fantastic- a green and blue dress paired with a striking red scarf to contrast against the ocean. Without it, Meryl would have blended into the background too much. (something very important to consider when designing with color...) image source Working off the colors of the surrounding environment, every variety of blue was used somehow. Calming and serene, and yet not cold, the periwinkle walls inside the hotel worked beautifully to create a mood. image source Don't you just love that light aqua color? image source Every scene had wonderful pops of color for visual punch. Without that fabulous teal ruffly number, it would have been very difficult to keep our eyes on Meryl's character as she lead the parade of towns women. Looking a little more at costumes, I found this interesting tid bit by costume designer Ann Roth, regarding Meryl's overalls, dyed a very specific shade of blue. "I wanted the color to have something to do with the European work uniform," Roth said. "I wanted her sneakers to go away and not be noticed. They were aged and dyed to the color of her legs."( source ) image source There was also really fun tilework used liberally in the sets. I managed to find a shot that shows a little glimpse. Really ornate and whimsical. See, everything doesn't have to be matchy-matchy! image source The textiles used through-out the movie were really beautiful, too. (wish I had a better film still to show you, but these were the best I could find. I'm sure there will be loads more after the film comes out on DVD) image source Josef Frank sheets hanging on washing lines, floating in the breeze, and a dream sequence full of textile eye-candy in which Meryl Streep's character is lounging on a yacht, surrounded by outrageous fabrics. All those great patterns, suzanis, and embroidery were beautifully bohemian. Have any of you seen this movie? What were your impressions of the colors? Do you think they went with the theme of the story, or were they too distracting? I'd love to hear your reactions!

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Career Colors

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:20 AM
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Check this out- a personality test that determines your compatibility with a certain career based on color? It's called the Color Career Counselor , a new online personality test offered by CareerBuilder.com. According to a synopsis by Coloroot, favorite colors represent applicants' hopes and aspirations, the ideals they pursue with passion, while least favorite colors highlight the issues and experiences that they try to avoid.( source ) Seems a bit hokey and formulaic to me. I took the test out of curiosity, and found it full of flaws. They ask you to chose your favorite color from a series of choices, but I couldn't tell if I was supposed to react to the color on my computer screen (ie greenish yellow) , or just the color in general (ie pure yellow). Interestingly, even with the flaws, the test hit my personality pretty-much on the head. Here's what they had to say about me: --- BEST OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY You're a CREATOR Key Words: Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas. CREATOR OCCUPATIONS Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer. CREATOR WORKPLACES Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature. Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries. --- Give it a whirl- what do you think? What did they say you should be? Was the program accurate in its assessment?

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Reader Design Dilemma-Farmhouse kitchen

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:18 AM
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It's time for another reader design dilemma! This one comes from Catherine in Los Angeles, CA. She recently moved into an old 1892 farmhouse, and wants to update her kitchen. "I am always drawn to white kitchens, and while I don't think bright white would work with the rest of our house (the trim throughout is more of an off- white), I'd love to do something to snazz up the cabinets. Is it possible to paint them? I'm thinking off-white. I'm not a huge fan of the maple color wood floors that don't match the rest of the house, so I was thinking of painting them off-white with black checks (or, even better, finding a more interesting pattern.) So, I'd love your help upgrading my kitchen a bit! Your help is much appreciated." Here are some pics of Catherine's kitchen, ready for its make-over: Her kitchen doesn't get a ton of light, so she says it's just shy of being dreary. My concern with more white is that if the room doesn't get much light, that off-white might appear gray in the shadowy light. I would opt for a light color with some warm undertones. Something that didn't clash with the counter-tops (we don't have a detail shot) Here are some items Catherine plans to switch out of her kitchen. The travel poster will be replaced with the art photograph, and the wire shelf for the wooden chest. So, looks like warm, soft neutrals are being introduced. Excellent decisions. My first thought is, if the cabinets are real wood, it would be great to preserve the beauty of those varying tones by stripping and re-staining them in a different color. That would be my first suggestion. image source Additionally, the kitchen table could be stripped and stained or re-sealed to go along with the cabinets. Here's a great little article over at decor8 about locating gems at chain stores and changing them up to make them work for your specific design goals. "You can always paint (it) white or pale grey after you’ve hammered, sanded, and using a chain, take out your anger on it in a few places to add some age", Holly suggests. image source As for the floors, a painted pattern is a great idea! This is a cool stencil treatment I thought was a fun way to incorporate warm wood tones and some visual interest. It's important to keep in mind that foot traffic, especially in a kitchen, will be heavy. So be sure to use the correct products, or better yet, hire a local decorative finish artist to do the stencil painting for you. Here's a DIY article for tips on floor stenciling and a list of Domino Magazine's favorite stencils . image source Here's another site for floor stencils (for concrete, but you might be able to use them on floors, too)  Here are a couple kitchens Catherine has seen recently that she loves. "In general, I like to mix old with some modern elements. In terms of color, I tend to like really soft, neutral palettes, and I have a very short attention span when it comes to color so I prefer to use it in accessories rather than in anything permanent." and some more... One common element I noticed with the inspiration photos were the consistent use of open upper cabinets with glass panels. This might be a great way to lighten up the sense of heaviness and bring in some pops of color with whatever is displayed behind the glass. You could also switch out colored panels behind the shelves to add some color without the commitment. So, I'm going to try something new this time and open the floor to all you wonderful readers out there with fabulous ideas. You all really came through with bathroom color suggestions, and I know you can help Catherine out with her color dilemma. So you all start the ball rolling while I am out of town for a few days, and I'll throw in some of my own thoughts to fill in any gaps when I get back mid week. Sound like a plan? I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

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Ruby Slippers get an update

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:15 AM
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Dorothy's ruby red slippers are getting refreshed by top fashion designers in "The Wizard of Oz Ruby Slipper Collection”, to commemorate the Wizard of Oz's 70th anniversary. Sponsored by Swarovski Crystals and Warner Bros , the designs promise to be a radiant collection. Betsy Johnson sketches The line will debut at Saks Fifth Ave’s shoe store on September 4th (2009, I think) and then will tour the nation. images source Preliminary sketches by Gwen Stefani, Sergio Rossi and Moschino Proceeds from the auction of the collection will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation. ( source ) My question is, I wonder if any designer will alter the ruby red color at all...

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Emotion and color pairings

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel) from Hue  (other blog) — Jan 04, 2012 04:23 AM
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There's a new kid on the block, and the site is making strides to build a database of word associations linked to colors. Here's how they sum it up: Color is the ultimate tool a designer has at his or her disposal to communicate feeling and mood. Cymbolism is a new website that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect. Hmm, intriguing! So I had to check it out to see if there was anything behind this ambitious goal... It's still in baby-phase at this point (launched in July '08), but the nice thing about the site is that anyone can vote on what color they associate with a particular word, thereby adding his or her own impressions. In techie terminology, it's called a "crowd sourcing application". Future versions promise to track user demographics for each vote, as well. That would be really interesting to see- how does someone in Africa perceive the word/color pairing for "authority" versus someone in Italy, for instance? They've got a long way to go, as their dictionary is still quite sparse, but you can submit word suggestions for voting in the future. And view previous voting history for a particular word, tracking the changes over time. My main concern is consistency- everyone's monitor is calibrated differently, and so there is no way to be certain we're all looking at the same colors. What appears neon green to me may seem like a forest green to someone else. As the site so astutely states in a blog post, "the hue, the saturation, and the brightness of the color all have to be evaluated when it comes to what kind of effect color has on mood." So at least they are aware of the complexity involved in tagging a color with words. I guess the compromise is that people must look at the color in its most general term. Check it out; I'm curious to hear your reactions. As designers, would you find this site useful? What would you add to it to make it better? via Haft2Know

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This website will undergo significant changes in 2021. First, the domain name has been sold. Visitors will not be able to find the site at livemodern.com after the new domain owner publishes their new website. In the meantime, we are looking for a buyer for the content, someone who wants to continue the mission of the website. If that is you, contact marshall [at] take-note.com. I will provide details.

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