On Tuesday, we had one of those rare sunny days, so I set up my table and chair in our garden, and started going through that box of clothes catalogues I have in the house. One of my neighbours is a very stylish lady who receives heaps of clothes catalogues, which she then passes on to me. I spent a lovely afternoon cutting out items which gave me design and pattern ideas, made notes and later on stuck them in my ‘design book’ for future reference.
I also cut out a lot of the colour charts, because I am always a bit stuck with naming colours, apart from the obvious red, green, blue, turquoise, yellow, purple. When it comes to shades, I struggle. When is a pink a rosé or maybe even an old rose? And what is a rosé for me might be a pale pink or pale rose for somebody else. One catalogue named their green ‘apple’, while I thought it was nearly a pale olive colour. ‘Apple’ for me is a lovely juicy green, but that green was called pistaccio by another catalogue. And since when is ‘geranium’ a reddish shade? I have pink geraniums, and never think of geraniums as other than pink!
You see, it’s tricky. Recently, I was looking for the name of a kind of sandy brown, but more a darkish or grey sandy brown. When I saw ‘fallow’ and looked at the picture on the screen, Eureka! that was the colour of my button. I had never heard of ‘fallow’ in my life, but apparently it is a really old colour name. Fallow! I like the word, and promptly used it in my product description. Because of my button, my very red cloche hat is now to be found amongs pictures of fields and deer when you search ‘fallow’ on Etsy.
Last year, I realised the lilac shade of one of my scarves was actually called ‘wisteria’. I associate ‘Wisteria’ with the Wisteria Walk mentioned in Harry Potter, and never thought of a colour.
And there are colours like goldenrod, chartreuse, pomegranate, cornflower, periwinkle, fandango, amaranth, Thulian pink, vermilion and porcini, whose names I just find fascinating. There is even a Razzmatazz pink, which is a rich shade of crimson rose.
A year ago, I fell in love with robin’s egg blue, although according to Etsy search, that colour had an extremely wide spectrum – from a very pale blue to a very green blue. Would the real robin’s egg blue please stand up, please stand up, please stand up… !
And is robin’s egg blue the same as duck egg blue?
I love learning new colour names, but the more I know, the more confused I get!