Sunday, 17 March 2013

From the depths of Hell-O!

When I was a teenager I was in the choir at school, and we provided the soundtrack to one of the drama class's productions of Dracula. We wore black and had masks and sat there singing. I have forgotten many things in my life - indeed last week I actually forgot the name of the person who was sitting next to me which was embarrassing as I was having to put it in a spreadsheet - but, for some reason, one of the songs we sang burned itself so comprehensively on my memory that I have never, ever, ever been able to forget it. I shall share with you the chorus:
Ghost ship, why do you come here?
Ghost ship, why do we feel fear?
Ghost ship, what do you bring us,
From the depths of Hell-O!
Well it has taken a while but now I have a possible answer apart from the obvious about what was being brought from the depths of Hell-O! It was probably a job lot of crochet cushions just like this:
There was a theme. It's yellow in the middle
Honestly, I am not dissing this pattern, because I have seen a million tasteful attractive ones on Ravelry, also I love the original (although I have just realised looking at it again it is quite a lot like mine!). I do think with Attic24 that whether you share her taste in colour or not (and I think I probably do), she really does have an eye for combining things so that they look coherent. I am not sure I have managed to entirely achieve the same with this cushion. When I finished it and held it up, Partner and I were both rendered temporarily speechless with horror.
As if it wasn't bad enough, I managed to cut a big chunk out of it while I was weaving the ends in. But it's alright! I codged something up!
Me: I have created something appalling.
Partner: God! What is that?
Me: It's a cushion.
Partner (shaking head): You and your bright colours. I'm just glad I'm colourblind.
Me (doubtfully): I could give it to someone.
Both pause.
Me: Someone I don't like very much.
Partner: Ha! Yes! You could give it to X! [My friend, X, is moving back to England and will be living near us. Partner doesn't like him. This is not a secret and will not be a shock to X if he reads this so don't worry about his feelings. I mean, you can, but I promise it is ok]. You could take it round and say, here, X. I've brought some colour into your life.
Me (looking at Partner disapprovingly): X doesn't want this cushion. It might grow on me.
We both look at it doubtfully.
Me: It might.
Because we have a ruffle theme in this post, here is a vintage 60s dress I bought recently for about £10 or so - very pretty on, although really made for someone with thinner arms than me - my arms are not unusual though so did they just have very thin arms in the 60s, like thin waists?
Well, it might. It's sitting behind me now, looking at me, and I swear it's so bright it's actually glowing. I feel like Sylvia Plath with her tulips. I'm thinking about colour combinations and how one might achieve something tasteful within the confines of the colours available in Stylecraft Special DK. Perhaps taste is underrated, though? I do think, for me, it is colour combination that makes or mars a project. When I look at finished pictures of throws and quilts, there are some colour combinations that I just can't get behind and that make things look pedestrian and old-fashioned (in a bad way). Of course, the people who make things in the colour schemes I don't like would probably feel equally strongly about the colour schemes I do like, because colour is such a subjective thing, linked to memory and emotion and all those things, just like scent is.

But Partner and I are (briefly) united on our interpretation of the semiotics of this cushion. Slightly bright. Perhaps time for me to move on from my 'lots of nice bright colours together' default colourway, although I'm not entirely sure how...


Anonymous said...

To not like bright colours is to not like flowers. So I love them. (I have wonderful orange and pink and purple tulips to look at right now. What a great cushion, they would make.) Disagree with you on this one.

I love your cushion and I love style craft. Fondant and shrimp = great colours especially, (but not in artificial light). I just think in the UK we are programmed to like dull colours; we look at all the vibrancy and colours in nature and ignore them. Instead we look down at our feet as we shuffle along, and translate that into the mud and sludge colours, we seem to care so much for. Those are the colours we wear and put in our houses. Maybe a bit of grey blue sky too. Yet we bemoan the lack of sunshine! If someone made a bright sunshiny yellow or orange cushion though and gave it as a present, it would probably end up stuffed in a cupboard where unwanted gifts live, yet we say we love the sun. Weird to me that is.

We even see loo roll that isn't white as in poor taste. I hate white loo roll. Only white lights on a Christmas tree are seen to be good taste. How sad is that? And tinsel, also not allowed by the taste police. It's lovely stuff tinsel, so pretty and sparkly and shiny. I enjoy being without any taste at all.

We are a sad nation. Other nations look at nature and derive from it art that is sunshiny and bright and vibrant. Red and orange and pink and purple and yellow. In return we offer the world beige. Colour seems to shock us. You would think we would want to cheer ourselves up a bit in this dull old weather, but no we prefer to fit in. So we all wear grey and beige and have magnolia houses.

There is nothing better about the original cushion than yours. All those colours go together. They just do and there is nothing you can do to make them not (I’ve tried). Just plonk them all together and they work just fine. Even when it looks a bit odd, you throw another colour in the mix and it brings it back again. I think it's about learnt ways of seeing, rather than what we are actually looking at. We have been programmed to not offend but my eyes hurt from looking at all that neutral blandness. (Otherwise we would naturally all hate those flowers but we don't.) We are timid with colour and think it means people are looking at us. Well, so what if they are?

I think you should keep your cushion and create a happy corner, with sunflowers and paper windmills.

Stitched Together said...

Wow. That is really bright.

Tanya said...

I like it. What I don't like are things that have to be matchy matchy. 'Oh I made this cushion to complement the decor of my house'. Who cares? I chose these colours because I like them. eff off

I don't think i need to get so emptional on this issue, sorry.