Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

3.16.2009

Mood Indigo

Over the weekend I started reading Color: A Natural History of the Palette. In the "Blue" chapter, author Victoria Finlay shares a legend about true ultramarine paint.

She writes, "...Somebody told me that all true ultramarine paint in the world came from one mine in the heart of Asia. And that before it could be squeezed sparingly onto any European artist's palette (mixed with linseed oil or egg like an exotic blue mayonnaise) it had journeyed in rough sacks on the backs of donkeys along the world's ancient trade routes." Finlay then goes on to do her own research into this particular shade of blue. You'll have to pick up the book to get the scoop.


But I love the romantic tale in the book, as well as all the navy, indigo and azure looks Tory Burch has shown recently. Navy is never frivolous yet it is less somber than black. So, I wanted to do something on a small, inexpensive scale that, to me, would have a touch of TB style. Paper spied here did the trick. Once again, hand-lined envelopes (for a handwritten invitation or note) are a simple way to add a little grace to an otherwise dreary week.

Instructions and templates also available here. Look for the envelope videos in the how-to section. Templates are sold in the kit area. Images two and three are details of TB tunics.

Thinking of upholstery, Rubie Green's "Delavan" stripe, named for domino's editor-at-large Tom Delavan, is one of my personal faves in cotton. Click here for other options priced under $30 per yard.


Tory Burch associates crisp horizontal stripes with Picasso and his striped T-shirts; many thanks to the kind readers who sent in examples of the artist at home. This photograph is via Travel and Leisure. On a related note, here is a link to Francoise Gilot's site.

And remember how great the blue chest looked in the global-chic-meets-trad bedroom designed by Sara Gilbane Sullivan?

BTW: Sara just sent me this mock-up image of the April cover that never happened. Click here for more. Also, be sure to visit Sara's site in the coming days to see more images from the magazine shoot with Max Kim-Bee.

12 comments:

itsaheartthang said...

What an interesting piece of information. Thank you for sharing about the romantic origins of ultramarine blue. I love your blog!

Style Court said...

Thank you Heart Thang!!

Karen said...

Courtney, thanks to you I am absolutely addicted to Paper Source. I only wish we had one in Birmingham. Until then, I'll continue to order way too much online.

Style Court said...

Hi Karen -- terrific! I feel as if I've done my own little economic stimulus :)

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - I love it! I've been hankering for navy this spring, too.

Style Court said...

Navy would be at home in the Blandings' domain, I think. So crisp, so classic.

pve design said...

Oh, I adore blue and that first photo you posted says it all.

Anonymous said...


here is a pic
of picasso in stripes.


here is another pic
of picasso in stripes.

C said...

Lovely post! I have nominated you as a top ten favourite blog on Living Art and Interiors!

Best Wishes

Style Court said...

Anon -- this is great. Thanks so much!

C -- thanks to you too!

Patricia VE -- always nice to hear your artist's perspective.

fromtherightbank said...

I've been drawn to blue these days, too. I love that Delavan pattern!

my little apartment said...

so sad to see the cover...thanks for sharing!