Seeing Red

red rosebud

A beautiful shade of red

Did you know that red is the highest arc of the rainbow and the first color you lose site of at dusk?  Red evokes love and passion, as well as anger, joy and enthusiasm.

Growing up as a “redhead” my mom steered me away from the color entirely. “Redheads don’t look good in red,” she advised. Red’s pastel cousin Pink was a fashion no-no as well. I had it drummed into me from an early age that redheads do not look good in red or pink.

It’s hard to say if those biases colored my experiences going forward or if our color preferences are inborn. My passions fall to blue, green and purple.

Invariable, when Christmas rolls around the color red is suddenly everywhere. Santa’s suit and his tiny elves wear red from head to toe. Green wreaths sport red bows, red sweaters go on sale and controversy aside, Starbucks’ serves coffee in a red paper cup.  I wonder if my slight aversion to red contributes to my sense of relief when the holiday season is over?

In all fairness to red, it’s probably not the color but the excess. Too much of anything is, well, too much.

How are you managing the holiday season?

Footnotes

surgical boot

Sporting some fancy footwear

My left foot is healing well. Still no weight-bearing for another week or so. I see my doctor next week, and hope to get the go ahead to begin physical therapy.

32 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Apart from making a load of ‘traditional’ Christmas light catchers which featured red quite prominently – I am having an entirely blue and pink Christmas 🙂 I think there are shades of red and even pink that you would look fantastic in – it’s all down to how much blue or tan they have in them I think. I like that we live in an age when all the old rules can be broken and all kinds of fun things can be discovered……….. Your boot looks like Santa may have already visited and one boot has fallen off as he bounded through the window.

    Good news that there is just a week to go – but you will have to be careful and not immediately start bunny-hopping or skate-boarding about the streets……. xoxo

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    • Pauline, I love your tree! It’s wonderfully you and it even matches your new ‘do. You must be surrounded with all sorts of colored beads by now. I’ve seen magical light catchers passing through in the entire color spectrum. Do you find that you prefer working with your favorite colors, or do you enjoy the variety?

      Yes, it is good to live in a time where we can toss out the old rules. I’m such an odd mix of things: I was never a rule-breaker in the traditional sense (I was that boring “good girl” in school), but at the same time have always been a bit of an outsider, the one that stood up for the girl in a brace or who stopped kids from killing bugs. Being super tall and skinny with red hear and freckles didn’t help my cause, either. It made me odd. Now I embrace my oddness and I suppose should think about embracing a shade of red, too.

      My boot does look like it could belong to Santa. You have a keen eye. Maybe, just maybe, I can leave it under the tree for him to claim for good on Christmas Eve.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment during this busy holiday season. xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isn’t it wonderful how we come into ourselves as we grow older. It must be part of this ‘wisdom’ thing we were told about when we were young and had no idea what was meant by it……. I thought it meant I’d grow white hair and get a magic wand and make magic potions. [Oh, wait – maybe that’s happening, I’ve got the white hair!] 🙂

        It’s also fascinating to me that the things that made us ‘odd’ as kids are the very things that make us ‘special’ as adults. We bring some unique aspect of ourselves to birth right from the beginning – it is I think our gift to the world. You certainly made me look at snails in a different light for example and that is just one small example of the many treasures I have gleaned from knowing you!

        As to the beads, I have loved making to order – it has taken me places in terms of colour mixes that I would never have gone if left to just play around with my favourite colours. And the ones I found the most challenging have turned out to be my favourites! I made one for Lisa’s mom in oranges, greens and blues with antique bronze charms and findings and another for Cynthia in oranges and bright blues and both of them are stunning. I would never have done that for myself. It made me more adventurous I think. Plus it has kept me engaged – I get bored so easily when making things and when I get to the ‘got that as good as it’s going to get’ stage I usually wander off and start making something else entirely new and different………. It’s the challenge that rouses my interest and creativity I think.

        I think you should place your boot under the tree on Christmas Eve and expect Santa to fill it with all your favourite things 🙂

        I’m just getting some photos together for a post about Christmas here – and the Official Photographer has just wandered off for a weekend away so I’m on my own with the camera and we know that never works out so well….. still I’ll do my best!

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  2. I had the same experience. My mother put me in all kinds of colors, avoiding pink, red and pastels. I think Pauline is right. It depends on what shade the color is. I can wear a maroon, but could never get into most purples. It has as much to do with complexion as anything. I look far too pink in some shades–I think you might get away with some colors I can’t. On the other hand, with mine going silver, at some point I can adopt a whole new palette. And not being able to wear colors doesn’t mean I don’t like them. Fuchsia? Hot pink? Fire engine red? Love them all, just can’t wear that blouse…Don’t mind the red at all…

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    • Lisa, you are right about the complexion playing a big part in this. I wore a peroxide blonde wig for a Halloween costume one year and it was amazing how sallow it made me look. That artificial color is so unflattering. I’ve learned that skins have undertones of blue or yellow, and that that, more than anything reflects how you look. It’s why bronzed beauties look good in reds, yellows and oranges, and those of us with blue undertones look our best in blues, greens and purples.

      And how cool to think that going silver will give you a whole new color palette to play with. Fun!

      …and I must get back to reading your book. Because it is digital I forget to go back to it. I’m looking forward to reading more, and remain so impressed that you’ve written a novel. A novel!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad the notion has changed that red head cannot wear colors.Thank goodness, we dare to express ourselves!!! I am over 6 feet tall and proud of it;0) I always get annoyed with shop assistants who yodel, they have the perfect outfit that will make me look shorter…and yes, I do wear high heels as well ;0) And oh dear,yes, I love anything Christmas, so I am very happy at the moment. I just stay away from shops…that ruins my spirit immediately;0) Good luck with your foot! xo Johanna

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    • Johanna, I too am tall (5’10”) and like you, embrace my height. I can’t imagine a shop assistant suggesting you look shorter. What silliness. You’re tall and elegant and beautiful. People have silly notions about such things.

      What I do find challenging is finding clothes that fit my long frame. And unlike some tall people, I’m not really long legged so much as having a long torso. Clothes that should hit at the waist, float over my upper ribs, and three-quarter sleeves…aren’t. How do you manage to find clothes that fit well?

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      • Hey Alys, thank you for asking, I love talking clothes!
        I am 6feet1 and a bit on the skinny side so indeed a nice challenge. Too short pants and sleeves,waistline too high…don’t I know all about it!
        Because I rarely find a pair pants that fit, I usually wear dresses and skirts. I choose empire and princess lines to avoid that annoying waistline hugging the rib cage instead of the waist.
        I have no trouble finding good tights.To keep my legs nice and warm even in winter days, I like my merino leggings. http://www.amazon.com/Minus33-Merino-Wool-Midweight-Bottoms/dp/B002TSGZ2S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449953445&sr=8-1&keywords=Merino+leggings and hide the socks in boots.
        When pants are a little too short I ‘mask’ that with booties, sandals with ankle straps etc but you can only do that with tights pants. Wider pants are merciless;0) To hide the waist of a not too perfect fitting pair of pants, I often wear tunics (often short dresses in petite seizes;0))
        I shop mainly at thrift stores because there I find high quality clothes for next to nothing. Only yesterday, a very long sleeved cashmere sweater with the tag still on for…$1.50(heaven) But brands like Eddie Bauer, Jill and H&M can give lucky finds.
        And I have a couple of pieces by Tatyana http://m.tatyana.com/?origin_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F. Her style is a bit rockabilly and burlesque which I am not! But she herself is a 6 feet tall woman and her clothes have a prefect fit. I have a pair of jeans , a wonderful black dress for official parties and a jumper skirt. I just do not wear them so sexy, haha..I never shop online but we sometimes go to Nashville and there is store selling her clothes.
        I hope this helps you somewhat? Maybe this answer is too long but if you do have more questions…I love to talk clothes;0) xo Johanna

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  4. I’ll keep my fingers crossed re your foot, Alys.

    As for red, I do wear it but it does depend on the hue (I’m brunette, though). I’ve already got enough red in my house as that is the colour of my living room carpet, which was there when I bought the house. So, I won’t be adding extra red this Christmas, apart from the advent calendar (cloth and comes out every year) 😉

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    • Thank you, Helen!

      We too have a red Advent calendar that one of the boys made in school many years ago. They still love it (or more accurately) the chocolate that I tuck into the pockets each day.

      Is your red carpet a deep, rich color like wine or is it brighter? I once rented a room with orange shag carpet. It would never have been my choice, but since I couldn’t change it, I used a lot of forest green to soften it. It’s interesting how colors trend. For may years, dark green shag carpeting was all the rage. Now most rentals go with neutral tones of beige. It goes with everything, but it shows everything too.

      Over the past 19 years of owning our home, we’ve gradually done away with wall to wall carpet. Most rooms now have cork, bamboo or tile flooring. It’s been so much easier to take care of, especially with two boys, three cats and me, the resident gardener.

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      • Yes, beige seems pretty much the norm now (it was in our last two rented homes, anyway).

        As for the red carpet we now have in our living room, it’s a deep red, so not something we need to disguise or soften, fortunately. It is getting long in the tooth now, though, so I would like to replace it with bamboo or wood. I did look into cork as well when we first moved in but that isn’t readily available in the UK.

        I agree that they are all much easier to maintain (that’s what we have in the bedrooms) than carpet.

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    • Thanks, Kerry.

      Red does add warmth, doesn’t it, especially the earthy reds like brick. My oldest son loves orange, but he also craves calm places, so I used touches of orange sparingly in his room, like an orange pencil jar and a few organizers for his small items when he was young. Now 18, he still loves the color, but he no longer likes to wear it.

      Color fascinates me. It always has.

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  5. I’m so glad to visit and see this post. I was wondering how long it would be until you would be able to try weight bearing! You seem to have been handling the forced lack of activity pretty well. Yes?
    And I’m hoping the pain is gone …
    With love from your red loving friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • And look, there you are wearing a red jacket on your red bike, smiling at me from your Gravatar. How is the red truck doing? 🙂

      I’ve managed the forced lack of activity better than I would have thought. I think the timing worked in my favor too. I got to enjoy all the things I love about October, and will have a lot more energy for these two weeks leading up till Christmas.

      Some things took longer, like wrapping and packaging gifts, which I would normally do standing at the kitchen counter, but at the same time, I’m not working or running errands so I could take the extra time without pressure. A friend picked me up and took me to the post office which was fabulous. I’ve stayed current on all my favorite blogs and used the down time to take care of two replacement crowns and a skin cancer surgery, getting all that yucky stuff out of the way at once. 2016, here I come. I’m softer and heavier (sigh) but what’s a new year without plans to lose 10…or 15 pounds. 🙂 ?

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  6. And is it really true that redheads can’t wear red? Surely anything goes these days! I am fortunate in that I can wear almost any colour, except yellow…. unless i have a really good tan which is not very often! LOL!
    I will be taking this coming week easy to reserve my strength ( and feet!) for Christmas week. You take it easy too Alys. Enjoy the weekend!

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    • Hi Cathy,

      Everyone else is saying anything goes. I’m stuck in my old ideas about red. I remember wearing a home-made yellow corduroy pant suit in high school and feeling quite proud of it, though looking back, that color didn’t suit me either. I liked it though, and wore it with confidence, so that is half the battle.

      I’m sorry you are still having foot issues. It’s a good idea to rest before the holidays. Hoping you are feeling better soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a friend at school with bright orange hair who loved red and wore the brightest shade of scarlet all the time and looked amazing! I think there’s a shade of red for everyone, although I may be a tad biased as it’s my favourite colour – everyone looks better in red:)

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    • Your friend sounds larger than life: bright hair and scarlet clothing says a lot about her confidence and poise. No wonder she looked fabulous: she radiated outward. I love that kind of confidence.

      Sometimes I miss the days of dressing nicer for work (when I worked in an office) and for going out (I used to love to go out to dance with my girlfriends). My work as a professional organizer requires casual clothes that allow me to bend and lift, and I often get quite dirty working in a garage or an unkempt home. I wear jeans and a t-shirt and practical, sturdy shoes, which is also what I wear in the garden and for housework.

      Perhaps one of my goals for 2016 should be scheduling a few events that require a nice dress up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean – I still miss wearing a smart suit for work even though it’s been ten years! I love my husband’s annual works do in London where I get to wear a ball gown – eek, it’s on Friday and I haven’t started cutting it out yet!!

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    • Thank you, Sheryl!

      Red is a wonderfully rich color in the garden, isn’t it, Sheryl? I too have touches of red in my home: red seat cushions on my dining room chairs, an alcove painted a deep red and touches of red in the two area rugs.

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  8. So great to hear from you, Alys! During the holidays, I occasionally wear a few red sweaters. The rest of the year, I’m comfortable in more muted, neutral shades. Your foot notes sound very encouraging! Try to savor these quiet moments, resting near your Christmas tree. Hoping for the best news at your doctor’s visit, Alys! ♡

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  9. I love red but don’t wear it much anymore, as it does not suit my current complexion. I still wear red shoes/boots though. If that were my boot it would be red. 😉 All the best with your foot.

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    • Red boots! Fabulous. You have great style. I’m always so practical when it comes to footwear. I need to live it up a little.

      The surgical boot only came in basic black and cost a ridiculous amount of money, more than I’ve ever spent on real shoes (and I only got one boot). It does have a hydraulic pump to fill the lining with air though, and it’s done the job of protecting my foot, so I mustn’t complain.

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  10. Woot Woot to no boot !! (picture me carrying a sign and marching around quite deliberately)

    I also don’t care for the colour red much at all. Infact, only does it appear on some vintage christmas baubles and not thru-out the house. I tend to the pale colours for the most part and of course everyone knows my fave. I do think though, too much of any one this is garish and mix hot ka-pow pink into the aqua seafoam ocean that is the Boom-room. It actually makes the aqua pop I think.

    We’ve been so busy with the pending holidays at work, my house looks barren. No snow babies, no ornaments on the tree…..just a lovely front entrance all sparkling in Aqua and fresh greens. Since we’re going away Jan 17th, I didn’t want to leave anything up for the cats to play with while we’re gone….that’s my excuse anyways. We’ll be at Kenny’s and Adele’s this Sunday and Sangudo Christmas day, but for the most part, I’m just looking forward to relaxing. I haven’t even cracked Shelley’s book you gave me, so that’s coming to Maui too. Aloha sweet one xoxo K

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    • No snow babies?
      No decorated tree?
      Sniff, sniff.
      I’ll get some Christmas faeries on it, STAT!

      I hope you had fun at Kenny’s place this past Sunday. And now here we are just days from Christmas.

      So I ordered two cute ornaments for Mac and Mike from Shutterfly and started worrying that they weren’t going to get here by Christmas. When I logged on today they were still sitting in my online cart. Fuzzy brain, sleeping on the job. I paid extra shipping to have them here by Christmas, and I feel like a fool. I got C a Christmas tree ornament from SCU this year. I think he’ll be tickled.

      I hope to see a photo of your gorgeous front porch. Everything you touch turns to stylish magic.

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      • Stylish….snicker….thank you. R ight now I’m in a flowered nighty, with big fuzzy brown socks and a seafoam sweater…LOL. Plus I’m munching on cheese and crackers and a glass of wine…It’s like a horror movie of faux-paux.
        I have Laurie, Julia and Marlene’s Xmas gifts on my dining table in a heap of boxes and wrap. I wanted to ‘make’ cards and have not managed to wrap, tape and address them on time. Oh man, I’m rotten on the whole time management thing this year. Oh and I still have Pam and Sams treat from Los Gatos shopping trip. Sigh.
        We did have fun at Kenny’s. Waynes all tanned from Mexico. Adele gifted me a gorgeous arrangement. I took some photos and will drop onto FB tomorrow night. The cat’s seem to have left them alone so far. What have you and the boys been up too while they’re off ? xo

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        • It’s hard fitting it all in with all that you’ve had going on. Your outfit sounds warm and cozy to me. I’m wearing my stretch leggings since that’s all that fits…and they’re comfy. I’ve been wearing two or three socks on my left foot for padding, so I look like a waif. (Well, a gigantic waif anyway).

          I know the gals will love your cards whenever they arrive.

          I’m glad you had fun at Ken’s and that Wayne was there too. Can’t wait to see what Adele cooked up. Having seen her work, I know it will be gorgeous.

          I took each of the boys with me on a Target run to buy gifts for the Sacred Heart gift drive. Yesterday we all went to the movies, and otherwise it seems we’ve had a lot of friends stopping by with fudge, plates of cookies, presents and good cheer. It’s been really festive around here.

          Miss you terribly!!! xox

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          • Oh, I love that you and the boys went shopping together for charity, wonderful hon! Our festivities will begin tomorrow, with a trip to Sangudo. Thankfully, there’s not been a great deal of treats around here. No baking was done. But I did get a special piece of chocolate from Jan. Hey?! Have you watched the latest ‘Good Wife’? San Jose got a shout out 😀 Too fun. Miss you tons ❤

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