One Word

Pantone selects a single color each year to be the Color of the Year. This year the designated color is Ultraviolet. The influence of this company is so far-reaching that you’ll see this color show up in clothing fashion, make-up and beauty, and interior design.

I read on Pantone’s website that the pastel version, lilac, will come close to the level of popularity blush pink has enjoyed for the last several years.

How does Pantone determine which color to choose for any given year? They employ social psychology. Lee Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute,  assesses the mood of the culture, trends she sees as she travels the world, and prospects for change on the horizon. Then she puts this information together with color psychology. Certain colors are supposed to evoke certain emotions and ideas.

The result of her study, and maybe not a little magic fairy dust, is pronouncement of the Color of the Year.

People have been doing something similar with words for many years. They choose a word they believe will characterize the coming year and make it their theme. If you aren’t familiar with this trend, look up “one word” on Google or Pinterest. The list of books and resources is long.

Many factors are included in determining this word. Maybe is it is a word that keeps cropping up in the final months leading up to the new year. Maybe it characterizes a recurring theme in Scripture that a person reads over the course of weeks. Christians will often pray for the Lord to reveal their word.

Last year I chose my first word of the year. It was intentional. I could have chosen obedience because that is what I wanted the result to be. I promised God to follow through on everything He put before me to do.

Wow, what a year 2017 was! Many new opportunities arose, and some of those sent me way outside my comfort zone. One area of intentionality resulted in this new website. Creating it stretched me beyond my imagination.

So here we are in January of another new year. My new word for 2018 is overshadowed. I want my life to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Every idea I pursue needs to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, not dreamed up in my head.

Keeping this word in front of me will help me stay focused on the right things.

Maybe you need to stop worrying so much this year. Your word might be rest. Maybe you sense many opportunities ahead that the Lord can bless. Your word might convey this idea.

Do you already have a One Word for 2018? What are your thoughts on choosing a single word for a year? I’d love you hear what you think. You can click on the title of this post to see a comment box.

And don’t forget to watch for Ultraviolet.

Photo: Pixabay

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 6

Color changes everything.

Just as the dominant color of an outfit and the points on your body where color changes are important, so too is the pattern of the colors.

Pattern may be one of the most overlooked elements of strategic dressing. Maybe that’s because most women don’t know how to make pattern work for them. Or maybe women don’t realize the positive potential of pattern–or the potential disaster of  pattern.

  • Bold Patterns might seem synonymous with large patterns. But when I say “bold” I mean “high contrast”. A mini-print can be bold if the colors are high contrast. These are the prints you want to avoid if your goal is to minimize your size. A bold pattern causes the eye to roam around, searching for a place to land. Larger eye movements in any direction other than up and down create width.
  • Subtle Patterns are those with low color contrast. They can be as simple as a sheen on a matte fabric, or one shade deeper or lighter than the background fabric. They can also be varying colors, as long as the intensity of the colors is even. A pastel pink pattern on a soft lavender fabric, or even a pale blue pattern on a blush pink fabric can be considered subtle. The colors are equal intensity and read as similar to the eye. A subtle pattern will allow the eye to rest, thus not moving in a wide pattern.
  • Mini-Prints can be either bold or subtle. It is not the mini-print that makes you seem slim. It is the subtle color contrast. Yes, you can wear a mini-print. Just be aware of the colors.
  • Large Patterns can also be either bold or subtle. The same rule applies as with mini-prints. Take into consideration the color contrast in the pattern. A barely-there large pattern is a safe choice.

Are you beginning to get the hang of dressing to look your best? All the points interplay with each other. We must take into consideration all aspects from cut to color and all of color’s influences each time we put an outfit together. But when we do–wowee! The effect can be dramatic.

So hang in there. You can do this.

Photo: Pixabay

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 5

Color is a very important consideration in dressing to look thinner. But today, and in the next couple of posts, we will discuss different aspects of wearing colors.

Color Breaks can make or break an outfit. A color break is any place one color ends and another begins. Think of a top and where it ends over pants or a skirt. If the items are different colors, this is a color break.

A color break can happen in several different ways.

  • A contrast color belt creates two color breaks–one where it touches your outfit at its top, and another where it touches your outfit at its bottom. Above the belt is one color, the belt is another color, and below the belt is different from the belt. There are thus two places where the color changes.
  • Stripes also create color breaks. I’ll dedicate an entire post to stripes, but for now, let’s assume these are horizontal stripes. Each one is a separate color break.
  • A short jacket over a long top, over pants or a skirt creates two color breaks. If you choose a skirt, the hemline of the skirt creates another color break.

Color breaks can be your friends. But they can also be your enemies. The thing to remember is that you are in control. You get to decide where color breaks happen.

Remember from Part 2 of this series that we talked about directing the eye of those who look at you. You can do that with color breaks. If you want to emphasize your waist, put a color break there. If you want to minimize your hips, make sure no color breaks happen there. Also, if you want to appear to have a larger bust, choose a top with a single stripe across that area.

If you want to appear taller, keep color breaks to a minimum. Each time color changes, the viewer’s eye stops. The more times the eye stops, the shorter you seem.

Each time a color break happens, the eye also travels side-to-side. This makes you appear wider in that spot. Choose your color breaks accordingly.

Doesn’t it feel good to know how to take charge of your own image?

Photo: Pixabay

Freshen Up

“Why don’t you go with turquoise?” The sales clerk stood with one hand on her hip while the other propped up her chin.

I sighed. “I don’t know, but maybe gray might look better.”

After several minutes of indecision, I chose purple and turquoise for my throw pillows. I’ve never regretted it, even after living with them for years. The reason I was able to make a sound choice? I have loved those two colors together since childhood.

The new season is calling to me this year to update colors in a different room. What’s “in” for interior design right now, and how much does that influence me? There might be some interesting new color pairings trending that would inspire me. I might discover a furniture style that speaks to me. But the most important element will be what I like.

Lucky for all of us right now, the design world seems to agree that our personality is what should dictate our choices. Here are some questions you can ask yourself that might help if you’re considering an update.

  1. What colors to you tend to gravite to when you window-shop or see things on-line?
  2. Is there a design show on TV that highlights a particular look you love?
  3. Which Pinterest interior design boards draw your eye?
  4. Do you have a fond memory that revolves around any certain colors? (The reason I’ve loved turquoise and purple is a wedding I attended as a young teen.)
  5. Do you prefer brighter/bolder colors, or neutrals?

My current room under consideration is the living room. I don’t really like brown, but for some reason, I allowed a lot of brown into that room.

I chose brown curtains when I had a green sofa. Then I bought a leather sofa because I’d always dreamed of owning one–and it’s brown. We decided to pull up the carpet in our living and dining rooms and lay wood flooring. Of course, the wood is brown. It didn’t happen all at once. But I failed to realized the brown migration until it was all in place.

This summer I decided to lighten up the decor with pops of turquoise on a few sofa pillows and a new center arrangement on the coffee table. It helps, but now I’m on a mission. I might not even keep the coffee table. After all, it’s brown.

Is there a room in your house or apartment that makes you feel down or depressed when you enter it? What can you do to make it express your personality?

  1.  Start with a few accessories or a rug. It can be surprising what a little additional color and style will do for a space.
  2. Try a different window treatment.
  3. If you can, paint the room a new color. Or paint just one wall.
  4. If the space is small, add mirrors. A grouping of small, framed mirrors instead of a large piece of artwork can open up an otherwise cramped room. Try to place the mirror(s) opposite a window for added light.
  5. Add lighting. A new lamp in a previously dark corner can make all the difference.

Stick with one predominant color and one or two accent colors for cohesion. My choice of turquoise pairs well with the existing brown. Plenty of cream lightens the heavier tones as well.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Choose one budget-friendly change and then wait until you can afford it to make another. Part of the fun of decorating is searching for just the right piece. So don’t rush the process–savor it instead.

As I sip my coffee with lots of cream on the cooler evenings of autumn, I’ll be dreaming of what my “new” living room will look like when the re-do is finished. I’ll keep my leather sofa and wood floors, but everything else is negotiable.

Which room will you choose to update? What is the first thing you’ll do?

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