Monday, 17 May 2010

Feeling Blue?

This was another week where I was hosting the SCS photo challenge while Angie is with her folks. When I checked back through all the old challenges, blue is a colour that hadn't been used yet, so I chose that. When I think of blues, I think of all the Greek blues, so strong and vivid. I guess their sunshine helps! For my photo I took a picture of some Lapis Lazuli cufflinks that I bought C one year. We used to work for a company that imported and distributed fine-art supplies. The pigment required for Ultramarine comes from Lapis Lazuli, and pretty much the main source for it is in Afghanistan. At the time when we were working in that company, there was a lot of disruption to the supply because of whichever war was going on at the time, so quite often the artist's quality ultramarine wasn't available, just the synthetic French Ultramarine. According to Philip Ball in his wonderful book Bright Earth, The Invention of Colour, ultramarine was one of the most costly pigments in mediaeval times, along with gold and vermilion. In fact at times it was even more costly than gold. And this is the reason why the Madonna's robes were so often painted in blue - if a patron was paying for a painting, he wanted it to be seen that he could afford the best. With the introduction of oil paints ultramarine became less suitable because of the way it interacted with the oil base. It's a book that is well worth reading.

I had fun making this card over the weekend, using the photo from my blog header. And my wallpaper on C's laptop. It was a chance photo, too - I'd gone down to the marina when I was doing the Saturday morning shopping, hoping to capture something we'd seen the night before just as my battery died. Coming back I walked up past the train station and passed a cluster of poppies with bees and those hover insects hovering all round them. The button was the spare one from a dress I made some years back, red cotton with black edging round the neck and sleeves. I always like to buy one extra in case I need it - but of course I always sew them on so well that I never do.

The first of my Orchid irises burst from bud into bloom over the weekend. I grew them from seed several years ago, not expecting to succeed, so there is still a real sense of achievement every time they come into flower. As there's no sense of scale, these aren't more than about ten inches high at the most.


  1. Sabrina, you are a fountain of knowledge. Blue is my favorite color but I never knew those facts about it. Nor did I realize there were books dedicated specifically to colors.

    How you incorporate your photos into your cards is wonderful. What a perfect place to put that special button.

  2. Wow!!! Stunning card and photos, Sabrina! Thanks for the lesson on blue, too. Lorraine is right: you are a fountain of knowledge!