to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sunflowers on Colored Backgrounds

A few weeks ago I did something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I went to the hardware store and purchased some masonite 4' x 8' panels. I had the store cut them down to a more manageable size (3' x 4') and took them home in the back of my truckish kind of vehicle. I set them up all around the house and started slapping color on them. I got out all the old paint cans from my basement (let's not go there....) and proceeded to paint 6 different shades on the 6 different boards. Then the fun started. I had colors I was dreaming of in my head but when I get to the fun part, they always change and I go with the paint and what happens.

I'm going to use these boards to use to take photos on. Although the distressed, colorwash thing has been around for ever, I still like it. All kinds of objects look nice on washed backgrounds and lots of times, the background just fades away and give a nice soft feeling and a hint of the color. I even let Julia get in on the action because neatness doesn't count with the technique. I dunk wads of paper towels (Bounty is best for this) or old turkish towels if I have them into thinned paint (I just add water). Then I rub it around on the board - unevenly and messily - and let it dry. I stand back. If I like it, I stop. If not, I just keep adding colors until I do. Julia and I both had lots of fun and I got some new tools for my blog and future photo shoots for future books. The flat panels can be stored along the walls of my studio and won't get in the way too much. I can set them as backgrounds along a wall I have used in photos too often or I can lay something down on them for close-ups.

These photos are of some of our sunflowers. I like how each background gives a different mood to the flowers.

This lupine blue/periwinkle board is a classic combination with yellow sunflowers.

This chartreuse background almost matches some of the tones in the flower but it gives a bright and happy feeling.

This aqua board contrasts nicely against the orangey tones of many of the sunflowers.

This hot-pink background speaks happiness. I bet you know who painted this one - the Princess of Pink!

This rather somber background started as a greyish taupe, then morphed into aqua and ended up a nice wintery bluish green shade. The sunflowers look more autumnal against this background.

Which combination do you like the best?


Veronik said...

The last one's my favorite...

kathy in juneau said...

What a fun post!! The last one is my favorite, too.

Miss Eagle said...

Kristin, how clever. And another instance of your clear eye for beautiful colour. My favourites are the Periwinkle and the Chartreuse. Will be copying this idea because I have not been happy with the background in my photos for quite a while and have started to think of ideas. Your idea sounds as if it will just fill the bill.

Blessings and bliss

Becky said...

This is wonderful. I am new to knitting just completing my first hat. I like your designs and have been reading your blog. I hope to work up to some of your designs. I enjoyed see the impact of color on your beautiful sunflowers.

kat coyle said...

ooh, i like the pink one and the chartreuse one the best.

Anonymous said...

Love the blue-green gray background! Maybe it's because I'm so ready for fall but I find that combination just stunningly beautiful and very peaceful. Really enjoy your work.

Brigitte said...

Hard to tell as all backgrounds are beautiful. But today my favourite is the pink background... it's so cheerful and bright which is wonderful on a day like this, which is very dark and rainy here..., and then I like very much the chartreuse background followed by aqua.

Lisa W said...

Such a variety of sunflowers! I also like the last one the best.

Lee said...

I vote for the last one as well. It lets the colors of the sunflowers really show without any of it being overwhelming. It was a hard choice, though.

Anonymous said...

I like the chartruse the best but the last one does put me in the mood for fall--which seems hard to come by in the drought ridden south this year. Thanks for the lovely photos.

Kim said...

Definitely the blue. The sunflowers pop more against it!

Woodland Woolworks said...

The blue is my favorite!

wyldthang said...

Hi Kristin! What a fun way to play with Alber's color squares(use sunflowers instead! how Van Gogh!) IMHO the periwinkle blue background shows off the sunflowers the best, with crisp outlines and bright, clear colors...becaaaaause...the cool blue that leans toward purple contrasts pleasantly by juxtaposing cool blue with warm yellows, and complimentary colors purple/yellow and blue/orange. The green background(I like it too) taints the yellows and bends them towards green because green and yellow are next to each other on the color wheel and without being able to see the sunflowers in real life, I believe the green background is cooling(by lending its blue side) the cream tips of one sunflower into pink.

The aqua background is a warm blue, and dulls the yellows by lack of contrast(compared to the same flowers on the periwinkle background).

Emotionally I love the sunflowers the pink, I love the pink orange color combo because it shouts happiness and fun. Pink, orange and yellow are an analagous combo, and is pleasing because it is "peaceful" the colors are next to each other on the color wheel and are shading into each other.

The warm smokey blue background greys the yellows and oranges into those lovely fall colors. Because the smokey blue is warm, it brings out the warmth of the browns, instead of making them darker by cool/warm contrast in the periwinkle. I think that sunflower with the cream tips and pink ring looks best on this background(it's a good one to compare how its color appearance changes with the different backgrounds).

Sorry to write a book, but I thought I'd have fun with this!!! I love bending colors to see how many different colors I can get out of one color of yarn.

Sunflower Love!

Angel Jem said...

I love either the periwinkle blue or the bright pink. I think they sing to me.... but I would have had to paint one red!

Kate said...

I like the aqua one-- it looks like the flowers are floating in water. And I like the last one too-- very modern. And the pink one is unexpected... I like them all!

Mama Urchin said...

I love the pink and the wintery blue. Nice job Julia!

Felicia said...

Wow! Love all those beautiful flowers.