Thursday, February 17, 2011

Visual Indulgence; Arranging Items by Color

Hello Crafters! I'd like to introduce myself! My name is Jesyka D'Itri Marés and I run my blog Visual Vocabulary and my small (but growing!) Etsy shop, in Flore. I'm also a freelance graphic designer and full time mom to one little (a girl version). Beth A and I are besties from High School, and she asked me to be a regular guest blogger here at Get Crafty! Beth mentioned me back in October when she made a post about her trip to So Cal. I'm so excited to be a small part of the awesomeness that is the wondercraft and all that I get to hear about it from way out in Los Angeles! I hope to be sharing part of the scene here in LA with you, hitting up some of our famous flea markets and some great shops that specialize in handmade, as well as sharing some of my own artistic endeavors or aesthetic musings. Today I'll be taking from a topic I have covered previously on my blog, arranging books by color.

When I was a child, I would spend hours arranging my things on a shelf. I would play until my ceramic figurines were just right, place my books in order from tallest to shortest, and in numerical order if in a series. This grew into a general love of the book as decorating device--I still think books are hands down the best things to decorate with.

I started organizing my closet by color when I was a teenager (and by what hanger they were on--luckily, I have only the black huggable hangers now, and I don't have to worry about the color of my hangers anymore. That was just too much!). After staring at a bookshelf that was thrown together pell-mell from a recent room re-arranging, I decided I couldn't take it anymore and thought to rearrange them by color. I also did this to my DVDs. Hell, I even arrange our cereal boxes by color, since they sit on an exposed shelf in the kitchen. Most people think I'm a bit crazy when they notice... usually I get "Who did that?!", and then "Well, that's silly... you have to remember the color of a book, instead of the title...". But I figure I'm looking at these books more than I'm looking for them, so having them beautifully arranged makes much more sense. Apparently, that's what the staff at Dwell think as well. Senior Editor Aaron Brit says "We organize our books by color here (not terribly efficient, I fear, though lovely to behold)". And isn't that the truth!
Bookshelf at Dwell Magazine's office

Bookshelf at Dwell Magazine's office

In the Dwell article about this little phenomenon, he goes on to describe how, while he can't find the book he's looking for (although he remembers it is yellow), he finds an essay in a back catalog of Design Observer by Rob Giampietro pondering arranging books by color. He confirms my idea; if you have to look at it, it should be pretty.

"Our bookshelves often take up a good deal of space in the places we live and work, and organizing them by color transforms them from a banal backdrop into a poppy, rainbow-colored focal point. Books organized by color are cool to look at."

The inspiration for this post came from my recent finding of the photoblog bookshelf porn. Imagine my delight to discover I am not alone (37k and counting) in my love of the visual splendor books and bookshelves. Even though arranging books by color doesn't make sense to most people who see it at my house, I am not alone!

... And while arranging books by color might be more about aesthetic than ease of finding, arranging other things by color can serve a very practical purpose. Often you don't see how materials could work together until you see them near other materials of a similar shade. Arranging by hue is something (that should be) important to all who make! Let's see how people organize a variety of stashes:

Anna Maria's fabric cupboard

rose hip's yarn stash

So, in-depth intellectual analysis and musings beside, how do you all organize your bookshelves? Beyond that, how do you organize your yarn stashes, your embroidery threads, your beads, and your fabric? Does it help you find new ways of using materials you already had? Share some pics with us if you have them!

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