Sunday, January 5, 2014

What's Your Color?

This is yet another take on a topic I love and write about often.
And in particular, the color red.
Whenever I start feeling a little blue, I know I need a little something red in my life

Anyone else feel that way?
And if your color isn't red, what's the color you're most drawn to?  What brings a smile to your face?
For me it's definitely red, or a strong, bright,vibrant shade of pink.

When winter goes on too long, I start really feeling the need for these colors - the brighter, the better.
So, I go buy something.

Any little ol' thing. Sometimes it might be a red dress. 

Or shoes, or a purse, or some red leather gloves.

But sometimes it's a piece of pottery. 
 Or even a new red lipstick. You know what they say - "Life's too short to not wear red lipstick."
and if you're gonna have red lippies, why not red nails?
But, you know, sometimes I just like something red to eat.
That and a pretty red cocktail is sometimes just what a gal needs to set things right.
Along with some pretty red flowers.


As I get a little older, more and more red has found its way into my life.
Into my wardrobe.

and into my home.
 So, there you go, my New Year's toast to The Color Red, and in turn to you "THE Reds."  You embody the happy, bold loving spirit of the name you've chosen.  You chose well.


Wishing you all a Happy, Happy New Year - filled with good health, good friends, joy, and lots of red.

 And I leave you with two of my favorite poems.

Poems about red dresses.

They're about as different as they can possibly be, as we all are, and as we should be.

The Red Dress
by Dorothy Parker

I always saw, I always said
If I were grown and free,
I'd have a gown of reddest red
As fine as you could see,

To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
Upon a Summer day,
And there'd be one to see me so
And flip the world away.

And he would be a gallant one,
With stars behind his eyes,
And hair like metal in the sun,
And lips too warm for lies.

I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood....
I have the silly gown.


The Red Dress (or What do Women Want)
by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.



  1. That’s a mighty impressive list of red things, Kaye . . . about the only things I could think of to add to it were red pens, crayons, and sparkling rubies! Hope your 2014 is filled with red . . . .

  2. That is a really feel good piece, Kaye. Made me feel happy when I read it - and not mind too much the weather report of temp going down to 14 on Tuesday! Thelma in Manhattan

  3. Thanks for the cheery red piece this morning Kaye! I do love the second poem. And of course I love RED, but I also love green...

  4. Garnets are red, too.

    As soon as I saw the picture of the boots I knew it was an Oh, Kaye! day! Red is definitely your color. Love this, especially the last line of the second poem. Wow.

    I like red, too, but my power colors are deep, intense violet or brilliant peacock blue. Both hard colors to find in stores, by the way, not nearly as easy as red. There for awhile peacock blue was completely missing, and then it had a bit of a surge in popularity. I added as much of it to my wardrobe as I could before it goes away again.

  5. This brought back a wonderful childhood memory. My mother used to read a book to me about a little girl and her mom who took the train into the city for a day of fun. The little girl wore a red coat, and I of course always wanted one. Now, more than anything, I'd love to find a copy of that book.

  6. I love Oh, Kaye! days. Red always brightens my spirits, and so does a piece by you, Kaye. Thank you!

  7. Great post, Kaye! I'm a hot pink gal myself (not powder puff pink — FUSCIA!), but I do have a red lipstick I love. Those poems are both terrific.

  8. Love the poems. Love the photos. A perfect color and mood for a frigid (sorry - but it's That Cold) weekend.


  9. Mornin', Everyone!

    I love "Oh, Kaye!" days, and it puts a smile on my face to hear that some of you do too - Thanks!!

    Joan, I love red crayons! I wrote a piece about the girlfriend (HA!) who stole my red crayon when we were little girls, and then stole my boyfriend when we were roommates in college. Someone, and I've yet to discover who this wonderful person is, sent me a red crayon pin. How sweet was that?! I love it and wear it often.

  10. Thelma, Honey! Stay Warm!! (I've been thinking of you - I just finished reading an ARC of a book that you're going to want to read - SNAPSHOT by Lis Wiehl. I only have it in electronic form, or I would send it to you.

    Lucy/Roberta, Hey, you - I'm betting you're all warm and toasty in Key West and not quite as much in need of a touch of red cheer today as some of us, maybe.

  11. Karen, I don't know how or why I receive some of the emails I do. I'm sure we all feel that way - they're the electronic form of "junk mail" and just as irritating. But, like separating the wheat from the chaff, or however that goes, there are some interesting things (once in a while). One of those was an email I received about the Pantone Color of the Year. Radiant Orchid!
    It's your year, girl! :-)

  12. Marylu - I hope you'll remember the name of the book. Does it ring a bell with anyone else here? I love how these book memories jump out at us.

    Lesa Holstine - I am sending you your daily virtual hug, sweetie! Mwah!

    Susan - Fuschia rocks. One of my favorite color combinations is orange and fuschia. I wish it would stay in style forever.

    Rhonda - It IS that frigid! Actually, not so cold in Boone today, but dreary. With more snow I the forecast for this week.

  13. Orchid is pretty, too, but it doesn't have the impact of pure, intense violet.

    Like so:

    Look at the second image down, the bar on the right. It's a perfect balance between red and blue, which are competing colors on the color wheel. It's impossible to focus on both red and cobalt when they're placed next to each other, so there is a visual tension. When mixed into violet, there is almost a vibration that you can sense because of that same tension.

    Yeah, I roll that way. :-)

    The kid's book Harold and the Purple Crayon is wonderful, too, speaking of children's books.

  14. Oh, Kaye! That piece really spoke to me. Not only is it beautifully written, but I'm a red gal, too.

    One wall of our family room is ruby red. My every day handbag is red, and I wear red shoes and a red hat and own more red dresses than black ones! I go to the store intent on broadening my color palette and inevitably come home with something red or, as you said, very bold pink. But when I wear red, I get compliments all day that never seem to come my way in blue or green.

    Strangely enough, I can never remember a time when I didn't have this affinity for red. So I choose to believe that the color is just the outward expression of something in my essence. And from the sound of this piece, it must be part of yours, too!

  15. Oh! LOVE the Harold and the Purple Crayon books. Now I'm going to have to go find mine, Karen.

    Susan, Thank you! You discovered your love of red before I did. I was a "pink" girl for many years before I fell for the call of red. My very first published piece was about how I walked into a little boutique in Marietta, GA and asked the saleslady to help me find something red 'cause I had a very bad case of the blues. And I burst into tears. I still have the jacket she helped me pick out. Like you, blues and greens don't seem to give me the same lift, although I notice them on other women. I do wear a lot of black - usually with pops of red and/or bold shades of pink.

  16. Anybody who follows your posts, Kaye, would surely know that red is favorite color. But it was still fun reading about it, and seeing those pictures and the poems.

  17. Did y'all know our Hank is at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today? If you haven't been by yet, go say "HEY!" and see what she's cooking up. (and leave a comment to win a copy of her THE WRONG GIRL).

  18. Lovely post,Kaye. And yes, indeed. I have a lot of hand-thrown mugs, and many are red. How cheerful is that, first thing in the morning? And I just bought a pair of red suede flat shoes. Saw them in the window and had to have them, as a promise to myself. (Foot surgery soon will make it possible to get out of running shoes sometimes.) Red is good for us.

  19. YUP, absolutely. And funny, people actually recognize me by the red lipstick. (YOu know they stopped making my color, right? And I ordered ALL they had left? NOw my upstairs fridge is full of them..)

    Thelma, what are you doing UP at 3:55 AM???

    I am headed out for a manicure right now--and what color am I getting? You know. ANd it's so cold, my nose will automatically be--well, you know that,too.

    Kaye, thanks for the Mystery lovers Kitchen shout out! And yes, it's my secret pasta technique..xoo

  20. ooooh, Triss. Red Pottery. YES! I have an addiction to red pottery. One I blame on Margaret Maron when I met a couple of her favorite potters when she, Donald and I took a trip to Seagrove, NC several years ago. You are absolutely right - red is good for us.

    Hank, I love this story about your lipstick. You, m'dear, are a force to be reckoned with.

  21. Put on my red sweater for church this morning . . . and came home to this red letter day!

    It's the only color that really works on dreary days.

  22. Oooh, I love red too, Kaye - always have. Though I'm not brave enough to wear a fire engine red lipstick.

    Just bought myself a pair of gorgeous lined red leather gloves... they make me happy.

  23. Red Suede Shoes, Red Sweaters and Red Leather Gloves - YES! We all seem to be of the same mind about red being such a happy color.

    Hallie, I felt exactly the same way about red lipstick until I went to see my favorite Lancôme lady and asked for some professional help with finding a "suitable for me" red lipstick. It's amazing what a pro can do! After tossing aside what seemed to be a hundred different shades of red, she came up with one that was just right. A soft rosy clear red. Not all red lipsticks are created equal. 'Course if you happen to have fallen in love with a particular shade that Hank Phillippi Ryan fell in love with . . . well, you are slap outta luck, I'm afraid.

  24. Hi Kaye!!! It's cold here in North Texas today, too, but sunny and very windy. Brrr.

    Great post, and I seriously LOVE the Kim Addonizio poem. Going to have to look at more of her stuff.

    Funny, I don't have a single red thing in my wardrobe, not even a shirt. Hot pinks and purples, magentas and plums and sometimes these days even burnt orange. In summer, it lime green. And turquoise.

    But--I bought myself a red down coat before Christmas. I would have chosen magenta but it was sold out. I love my red coat. And I painted my nails red for Christmas this year. Maybe all this RED is beginning to wear off on me...

  25. Kaye, great idea about the lipstick. Maybe there is one that would work for me...

  26. Debs, I think it's colder in North Texas right now than it is in these NC mountains. Stay warm, girl! That red down coat is just the thing (and the beginning of some new color in the closet, maybe). Actually, I love red and plum together, so think about playing around with some of that. I'm going to be interested in hearing how that works. You are always gorgeous in those colors you mentioned - hot pinks and purples - and you feel good in them so they're probable the colors meant to be "Debs' Colors." Let us know if you discover a red lipstick that works!

  27. My friend and teacher, Nancy Dunlap Cawdrey, says she became a painter so she could make a career of her love of red.

    Nice, isn't it?

  28. Leslie - I love that! Does your friend Nancy have a webpage? Do you have some of her work? I would love it, wouldn't I?

  29. Kaye, what a bright post to read as I sit and watch the rain that was supposed to be snow out my window. I loved the poems, and think Dorothy had it right in having a red dress. Several others have mentioned red coats, and I am a big fan of those. So stunning!

    Isn't there some decorating rule that says you need a touch of red in every room? I think I read that somewhere a long time ago, and I do try to have a little touch of it in most rooms.

    Another color that I find a happy place in is turquoise. When I was younger, I loved the color, but I didn't think it agreed with me when I wore it. Well, for some reason, as I got older, I actually like turquoise on me (maybe I'm just less critical of myself). I have touches of it in my dining room, too, with my brown walls (and some touches of red). Turquoise calms me, taking me to beaches and ocean and laid-back lifestyle, rather like I feel when in Key West, Lucy.

    Colors really do have quite an effect on our moods, don't they? The red and green of Christmas, the white of freshly fallen snow, the variegated leaf colors of the fall, the fresh green of spring grass and plants, and on and on.

  30. oh, Kathy, I love the turquoise/taupe combination! and yes, it is definitely a "carry me to the beach" thing that I crave and need fairly often. The moods of colors is a topic I'm fascinated with.

  31. Kaye, my best red mug comes from Seagrove! We included Seagrove on an NC trip a bunch of years ago, saying, "We don't need more pottery. We'll just go and look and talk to the potters but not buy." That plan did not work out at all! And we have the full shelves to prove it.

    <<< ooooh, Triss. Red Pottery. YES! I have an addiction to red pottery. One I blame on Margaret Maron when I met a couple of her favorite potters when she, Donald and I took a trip to Seagrove, NC several years ago. >>>

  32. Red is so alive and brightens my day! And, I love my new red framed glasses. Kaye, you are so inspiring!

  33. Triss, I SO understand!! - is your favorite red mug by one of the Owen or Owens potters? And, now I'm getting an urge to head back to Seagrove!

    p.s. - Anyone who loves pottery and/or Seagrove should not miss Margaret Maron's UNCOMMON CLAY.

  34. Lil Isabel - I am SO happy you got those red framed glasses! Aren't they fun?!

  35. from one old redhead to another...cheers! xoxo

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  37. Carleen, I do miss my red hair! But I think, once a redhead, always a redhead - if only in our hearts. Right?! xxoo

  38. You made me laugh this afternoon, Kaye. Thanks. Dorothy Parker, too.

  39. To laugh is good, isn't it Jack?! Glad to be of service (me and Dorothy? wow.).

  40. As soon as you mentioned red pottery, Kaye, I thought of Uncommon Clay! That book caused me to spend an inordinate amount of time on Google, looking for red pottery.

    I have the perfect soft red lipstick, if anyone is interested. Google Revlon Ultimate Suede Lipstick, color #050, aka Couture. This stuff is phenomenal, has shea butter, makes my lips soft, and stays on all day long.

    Deb, I'm a winter, and it sounds as though you are, too. This color is perfect for those of us who have a little blue undertone.

  41. Karen, I understand completely! The pieces of red pottery you see in my blog today are all Boyd Owens pieces. His cousin Ben Owen (long story about the "missing" 's' on Owen) does gorgeous red pottery also.

    And thank you for he heads up about the Revlon lipstick. The fact that it has shea butter is very enticing

  42. Brilliant—effervescently brilliant. Makes me wonder am I truly blue. Don't I love red, too? But blue I am. A peaceful color, blue. Happy to be blue, too. Love you, Kaye. I do.

  43. awww, Reine. You are a wonder.

    And I love you back, sweetie. We ALL love you, you do know that, right?! (made me cry)

  44. Karen, making a note of the lipstick. Thanks! I think I am probably a summer (especially as my hair is lighter now than its natural dark brunette:-))but I definitely have the blue undertone to my skin. I can wear red as long as it's not orangey. (Is that word?) And my new down coat is a lovely soft cherry.

  45. I'd pick red, too...and what a great list! (Also loving the puppy in the Santa hat!)

  46. Red, oh yes red (a bluish, deep red, please) and green. Red for joy and green for creativity. I read your post twice and I'm still smiling. :)

  47. Elizabeth, Thank you. That's the pup who rules the roost, our corgi. His name is Harley Barley.

    Thanks, writerobynlarue - Keep smiling!