Thursday, April 09, 2020

"Come Alive With Colour"

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

"I felt as if I were standing
in a beautiful garden instead of a city shop."

The 'pressing my books into service' series is my small contribution in blog-land to help create community in isolation. I consider it my little bit of 'normal' in abnormal times. If you are arriving in this series mid-stream, you will find earlier posts by clicking HERE or on the Tab above.

To carry on our chat from yesterday about colour, I'm calling into service a book I've enjoyed reading over the years, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In her chapter 'Come Alive with Color' she shares a moment from her teens when colour changed her life. Hope you will be inspired.

One colour-related memory from my own girlhood stands out as 'one of those moments' even after all these years. I'd been browsing through the Eatons' or Sears' Spring Catalog—a delightful pastime in our household—when I spotted it on the back cover. A darling bedroom set all decorated in floral spring greens. The bed was bedecked with bedspread and pillows. I wasn't normally a frilly girl, but I was smitten. I think it had a canopy, although I'm not sure, for it was the chiffon-like curtains billowing at the open window that bid me enter. In that moment, I LONGED with every fiber in my being to live in that bedroom—I just knew I could be happy in it. I wanted to sit at that open window and feel the breeze on my face.

I never told anyone. I've never had a green bedroom (not sure why), but to this day, I still feel that wild emotion I felt the day I saw that darling bedroom all dressed in Spring Green.

April 9th
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

by Sarah Ban Breathnach

" My first visceral experience of how color could change my life occurred when I was a teenager. We had moved from New York to a small Massachusetts town and my parents had bought a beautiful New England Colonial house built in 1789. . . . the exterior of the house was white clapboard with traditional black shutters. . . .Shortly after we moved in, my mother painted the living room a vibrant shade of red. This was long before the color red became chic, and my teenage mind could not fathom what had possessed her. Neither could our new neighbors. But from the street the sight of the red living room through the windows framed by the white and black exterior took your breath away with its beauty... Even though I had felt unhappy about moving, I always looked forward to walking through the front door of our new home. The red room transformed my attitude.
But today my living room isn't painted red. It's a bright, sunny yellow like Claude Monet's dining room at Giverny, the painter's home for the last half of his life. We don't get a lot of light from our living room windows and I wanted to lift our spirits, especially during the winter. But I never realized how happy I could be surrounded by yellow until I took a creative excursion. . . .to a fancy home decorative accessory shop that was new to me. The walls of the shop were painted a fabulous shade of yellow with dark green trim. I felt as if I were standing in a beautiful garden instead of a city shop. I was so delighted by the color scheme that I asked for particulars and immediately went out to get paint chips. . . . 
The colors you wear don't have to be the same colors you live with. I love to wear red and black, strong, creative, and dramatic colors, but I need to live with soothing pastels for comfort and joy. . .you can use color to express your many moods.
Today, think about the colors you love. Are you surrounded by them or wearing them? If not, why not? Look for more ways to come alive this spring with color. . . . " 

* * *

A question: have you ever had an experience where colour changed your mood or moved you in some way? Care to share it?

"Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form,
can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways".


Wishing you a beautiful day. Stay safe!

Heart Hugs,


  1. Oscar Wilde, he sure could say things - "...color...can speak to the soul..."- so very true! There's a color to match every mood, and indeed, to change one's mood if necessary. It's easy to take color in our world for granted, lovely to have this nudge to spend a few moments in gratitude and appreciation!

  2. This is something my dear husband misses so much now neing completely blind. I have to be his eyes and try to describe scenes and colours to him. Until we lose this ability I dont think we know how much colour is part of our lives.

  3. Oh Brenda. I LOVE "Simple Abundance." Have you done the collages the author suggests? I LOVE doing them! And the journal? Mine is STUFFED with magazine cutous, etc. That is SUCH a wonderful book. Guess what? It's on a bedside table MOST of the time! Susan

  4. I love this author and this book! Color makes a real difference for me! When I started doing watercolors a year ago, I felt so uplifted when applying the pastel colors...especially the blues! Thanks for these beautiful posts! Stay well. Hugs, Diane

  5. I hope someday you'll get to have that green bedroom!


  6. Blue. My grandmother had blue in her bedroom at one point and I adored it. And in later years my late f-i-l's wife had a blue bedroom that took my breath away every time I saw it. Like you, I've never had a blue bedroom but


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo