A Window to the World of Purple

In my last post, I briefly explored the restorative powers of scent.  This week, the ladies over at CAS-ology have prompted me to think about the significance of color, in particular, purple.  It is the theme of their current challenge, and a color that doesn’t seem to be a terribly popular choice among card makers, based on some reactions I have read.  I, myself, own very little in the way of purple clothing or accessories, and up to this point only considered it once in my card making when I was creating an assortment of gumdrops (which can be seen here).  I needed to use a Crayola marker as I hadn’t thought to invest in Copics of purple shades!

Initially, I dismissed the challenge.  What could I say or would I want to say through purple?  Despite it being the color of my birth gem, amethyst, and birth flower, violet, I’ve never been drawn to or inspired by it, regardless of shade.  But over the last few days, my thoughts kept turning toward this regal hue.

Having just replayed seasons one and two and three of Downton Abbey while I was ill, images of ethereal lilac and lavender dresses flowed through my mind.  Unbeknownst to me before the series, Victorian and Edwardian ladies turned to soft purples for half-mourning clothes.  Purple was also one of the main colors employed by the Suffragettes in the Women’s Social and Political Union in England, standing for dignity; white and green were also featured in their flags, banners and other materials, symbolizing purity and hope, respectively.

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Note the “Votes for Women” sash and pins in purple, green and white. Sybil is also wearing some purple.
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Welcoming the unsavory Duke to Downton; ladies are in transitional lavender mourning clothes for family lost on Titanic.
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Again the lavender dresses are noted as ladies are in half-mourning for Sybil.
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Lady Mary emerged from her black period, and mood, to a lighter purple, and more personable, one.

All of that reminded me of the annual Lilac Festival held in my hometown of Rochester, NY where more than 1,200 bushes of 500 varieties have bloomed and drawn visitors from all over since 1908.  I was prompted to pull out my WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals set and start stamping lilacs for a card that is still in the works!

A 1910 photograph from The Stone Collection of the Rochester Museum & Science Center shows Highland Park, site of the annual Lilac Festival.

Maybe I was too quick to cast aside the color of 2014!

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So what came of all this contemplating?  Well, add a little bit of Make-it-Monday inspiration from Melissa Phillips, a dash of CASE Study # 176 and some Edwardian elegance and you get the following!

First up, Lavender Lovely.

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Melissa Phillips’s window card had me really inspired; I created a few versions, some which are still works in progress, but will be featured soon.  CASE Study’s muse, Donna Mikasa, had me reaching for my Hero Arts Fancy floral lace die and re-visioning my approach to the window card.  The two challenges combined with purple for a match made in heaven!

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I was pretty faithful to Melissa’s tutorial, using tone-on-tone stamping with the Ruby Reprise stamps from PTI on my second layer.  However, I wanted my card to be much more clean and layered, so I did not add stamping or much embellishment on the top layer.  I really love how the cream base and top layer play against the lavender, lilac and purple hues.

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I popped my window out, but wish I’d had thicker foam squares, or more of them (I ran out of the large squares which are better for doubling up), to pop it out a bit more, as the die will cast a wonderful shadow against the background the further it sits off the paper.

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Next Up, Easter Wishes

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Purple is long associated with spirituality and piety, and one thing I love about this die is that it looks like a stained glass window in a church.  So playing off my original card, I inverted the colors, and simplified the card even more.  The sentiment is from PTI’s Mega Mixed Messages, which I stamped in lavender Color Box ink and heat embossed.

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The card base is from a paper assortment my mom sent me, which I wondered if I would ever use!  Seems like it found just the right fit at last!

I would love to hear what you think about purple, Downton, or my cards!  Drop me line if you have the time.

And be sure to head over to CAS-ology, CASE Study and Make-it-Monday for colors and designs certain to please any palate!

Warning

Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

6 thoughts on “A Window to the World of Purple

  1. Love your cards but my comment has more to do with your blog journaling. Having just discovered Downton Abbey I want to buy the early seasons on DVD, but I have read that some DVDs are very poorly made and some are a watered down US version, not the full British version. Could you tell me where you purchased your DVDs? Thanks! Have a great weekend!

    1. I have purchased the first 3 seasons from Amazon, ordering the UK version on Instant Video. They seem to be the authentic ones; some are 52-54 minutes. I do watch the versions on PBS when the season is out to stay current, but I have not thoroughly compared the PBS and UK versions episode to episode. I enjoy the show, but Seasons 1 and 2 are by far the best writing and production-wise. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my work! Appreciate it!

  2. Love this, just popped over from your flickr, lovely cards!
    Thanks for another lovely card at CASology,
    My you have alot of purple references here, —-you have me inspired!

  3. OK, where do I start? I LOVE your commentary on purple…(happy birthday, this month!) I am a HUGE fan of Dowton Abbey and love that you so clearly explained the reason why the ladies are so often in purple. (What a great show! I’m addicted, honestly.) I also love your second card’s reference to church and the religious meanings of purple. Both cards are gorgeous and fit the cue perfectly this week at CASology. Thank you so much for joining us!

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