Color Trends for Spring/Summer 2021

The range of colors is astounding this season- from a Gray which is reliable, stable and reassuring to Browns as earthy as garden soil or golden sands, a veritable rainbow of vibrant, fragrant and fresh as a palette of hollyhocks, zinnias or marigolds. There’s an astonishing array of Pinks, glamorous and soft, vibrantly alive. A range of Greens which are happy, responsible yet fresh. The Blues are still around, yet project optimism- they blend over into Aqua and Turquoise sea tones. There’s a mix of Pastels as playful as flower sprigged dresses, lavender fields, violets or birthday cakes.

The base notes in the spring/summer season are as pale and soft as Buttercream, a Black which is more like blackberries, the ultimate Grays, Silvers, Bronzes, Rusty patinas I love, bread crusts and shortbread hearts. and what is described as Fortuny gold, a pale rich woven color which Shutterstock described ‘as those happy coincidences found in life.’ Overall, the upcoming season moves from a reassuring stable gray to hard working classics on toward vibrancy and playfulness. The palette I show here is what it looks like going into Spring and becomes more vibrant toward Summer

So why should Color matter? It matters to your brand, to what you stock your shelves with, to how you design your photographs and social media grids. Color speaks before you even speak or write a word of content. The images you project will look up to date, stand out in a literal sea of other folks waiting to be noticed and more important? There’s something for everyone in these color choices so you can ‘stay true to brand’ yet make color combinations which speak volumes to your readers. And don’t forget Color is one of my 9 Principles of Design…ever important and ever inspiring color.

I’m thrilled to offer a free gift- a Tip Sheet for January! it’s a 3 page download, our first! I was so anxious to get out to you- it’s not overly styled! Yet, if you’ll send me a message, I get it to you right away!

I hope this Color Story for Spring and Summer is as uplifting as the New Year, here’s wishing you all your heart has dreamed of and much success attracting the good things of life your way!

Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s the January’s Free Tip Sheet for you ! Watch for February’s tips coming soon! 

What now? What now?

A little bird stopped by and chirped- ‘What now? What now?’ I knew he wanted me to answer the question- because that’s what a lot of business folks have been asking now that the holidays are over. I whispered to him a few things that could help you with your year end and new year businesses. New Year’s brings so many thoughts, plans, resolutions and concerns. There’s no time like Now- to coach folks through- whether it’s lifestyle changes, journal prompts, even dreams of adding on a service or two. Help your audience see that Time is their friend in this unique season. Here a few tips and at the end of this post, be sure and see my gift to you!

  • For product or gift card sellers- send messages- ‘Now’s the time to treat yourself’ – this is for gift givers who forgot to gift themselves. Large businesses are offering through the weekend of the first week of January discount gift cards…every type of business under the sun is doing this- even favorite restaurants, coaches and product based businesses!
  • Creating a short list of ‘5 Things Under $50’ is irresistible to a whole lot of buyers. For Your business? It’s moving out low or slow products post- holiday or pre-inventory. A good thing on both sides.
  • Some folks are setting goals to organize. An amazing organizer business is offering deep discounts now on one room or closet. Yet, they know lots of folks are DIY so they’ve created a low cost subscription plan to send out daily alerts or weekly prompts to get things sorted. Now? honestly I think this same idea could apply to several types of businesses.
  • Other folks want to see this new year in a new light- a fresh start for them could mean a deep soak in the tub- your bath salts could be a great first step. I hope you’re getting the idea- help them with their goals and plans with your suggestions or products.
  • If part of your stock includes one of a kind items- offer a post holiday, limited time offer on a very few uniquities- this will make room for all of your new fines in 2021. *Please resist the temptation to reveal new creations, acquisitions or new lines until after inventory. You can send out hints just remember if you sell your new stock now,  you won’t have fresh stock for upcoming events later!
  • If you do none of these things, at least do this- send out Thank You’s, you never know what will happen! @fredgretsch Twitter he told a fascinating story of a time when his wife Dina sent a young musician a thank you note in the late 1980’s for using one of their Gretsch guitars on the musician’s Cloud Nine album cover- George Harrison became a friend, famous and a faithful customer! Oh yes, never doubt the power of a Thank You Note!

Sometimes it’s the simplest idea, especially when time is running short that often turn into a magical moment for you And now, a first for us- a Free Download of some of our favorite tips for selling during January- it’s a pdf that you can download or print out. It’s loaded with information, three pages in fact!

Love y’all, Brenda

How to get it? Send me an email at brenda@camelliascottage.com and we will send it your way! Please note- this is an original tip sheet and should not be reproduced or shared without permission. We’d love for you to have your own personal ‘tip sheet’ to give you an edge on your competition!

Texture…

Texture. The roughness of peeling paint. The wrinkles, ridges and bumps of pumpkins, contrast with rough dry stems. The soft fur of a sleeping kitten on a nappy blanket- all are varied examples of how Texture, even on flat images bring life and interest to design. This is especially important when blogging or social media which is dependent on non-textured images.


Soft feathers in vibrant colors play against an ornate gilded mask. Even textured monochromatic barn board and straw nest with the smoothness of galvanized metal show the importance of how light and texture brings life and interest to an empty nest I found and captured in a photo years ago. That image is still one of my favorites, a happy accident for sure.
By contrast- the soft sand, sleek and slick colorful fishes are improved with rippled water and mossy planks, which without those contrasting textures, just wouldn’t be the same.


Add the texture of rough chopped pecans to almost anything and your recipes will have the unmistakable flavor and texture we crave in food. *Tip: Inexpensive paper sacks or burlap bags are wonderful as props*

Dark, spicy ‘Where the Sugarcane Grows’ Gingerbread…topped with roughly spread cream cheese frosting, served on smooth vintage plates is an example of how opposites attract… and really, those crumbs do add a bit of realistic textural charm…
Tell the story of how the sweet and spicy Classic Southern Jezebel Sauce… sprang from our twisted roots, bayous and swamps. The textures help you tell that crazy tale…trust me on that!

And yes, in Autumn we must have the color and texture of fallen leaves to signal the changing seasons.
Texture is all around us- it adds to the tactile experience of life. It’s the thing that makes an image come alive- the sensations we know and love in the world around us. Evoke the sense of touch- real or imagined, folks will love it.
After Light and Color- Texture is Number 3 of my 9 Principles of Design. Look for it, find it, add it to your images and then- watch Texture bring your image to life!
Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s an image of that ‘Where the Sugarcane Grows’ Gingerbread…

Seasonal Wreaths…

Seasonal Wreaths…circles, imperfect, yes! Shapes and form are basic and elemental. And often set the stage in good design. Wreaths add personality, even create  or convey meaning and mood. I enjoy making wreaths, especially with natural materials I’ve collected or grown myself.  Since we grow a type of grapes called muscadines- my wreaths usually start with a grapevine base. I’ve been known to wind up muscadine vines, leaves and all- left plain? I enjoy it just like that!

I’ve used pale green hydrangeas grown here- I’ll admit those were my pride and joy the first year they bloomed. I love the cotton wreath because the cotton came from a special garden established to honor Alabama native George Washington Carver. A former slave who taught farmers how to enrich soil depleted by cotton growth by alternating growing peanuts! And, yes he’s probably the Father of Peanut Butter and more! For sure, he was a pioneer in adding nitrogen back to poor soil. And his work was done at the famous Tuskegee Institute in part funded by Henry Ford himself.

I had a bumper crop of Oregano- the scent when wound up into a wreath is amazing- fresh or dried. Herbs make wonderful additions to wreaths. As wreaths dry, you never know the form or color they’ll take on. Pale papery blooms take on a beautiful hue. Magnolia leaves are stunning any time of year, especially during holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas and beyond.

I made a wreath recently with ‘past their prime’ cuttings of hydrangeas, somehow it pleases me through the beauty of imperfections which will soften and become even more beautiful, I hope.

Shapes often have symbolic meanings. Take circles- there’s no beginning or end. Wreaths are timeless, seasonal- the shape and form feels complete, unified. Circular curves suggest softness and movement, especially when combined with the sharp edges of other forms. Like a door maybe?

Shape and form are basic, necessary elements of design- perfect or not, preferably not. Don’t wait until a wreath or anything else, for that matter, is perfect– just get started. Use Shapes and Forms in your designs. You’ll be glad you did!

Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s that Magnolia Wreath- one of my all time favorites!

Add Mood with Nostalgia…

There may be nothing quite like roses and soft autumn leaves that brings forth sweet nostalgia for me… Roses past their prime or pink tinged rosebuds that are still full of promise. And I tend to prefer the softer side of Fall with the pink and red leaves.  A basket full of roses cut from my own, set by our picket fence are precious to me because I know they’ll soon be gone. Then as they wilt and dry, the soft scent is a reminder of a good season of blooms.

Old roses tend to be destined to be pressed or dried- held within the pages of a well loved book. I found an image of beautiful autumn leaves….there may be no more nostalgic image you could offer than a carpet of fallen leaves. Still. A wedding bouquet and the memories of a romantic getaway. We want to keep them all gathered in our imagination.

Mood. One of the most effective design tools we have. To create responses from our life’s imagination of simpler sweeter times. Sweethearts, proms, weddings… Nostalgic mood enriches emotional appeal- a sense of safety, security- of meaning and of times we felt loved and part of an affectionate community. To bring forth the ‘then and now’ – recreates pleasant moods.

In design, Mood is best used to stimulate good emotions. Recollections of sweet scents and exquisite events- puts us in a positive frame of mind. As a marketing tool- make the customer feel good, make them feel a stronger connection to your brand- form closer relationships to you through kindness, sentimental and pleasurable emotions. Folks are drawn to a more personal shopping experience these days. You might say- marketing and branding has joined the ‘slow food’ and ‘slow clothing’ movements, with thoughtful production of resources.

Good marketing sets aside the ‘overwhelm’- the tyranny of urgent demands on our time. Take your readers, your customers on a sentimental journey. Give them kindness, beauty and positive nostalgic mood. They’ll love you for it.

What better way to flourish and grow, than with a nostalgic sentimental mood? Creating Mood is a Design Principle you’ll want to employ over and over again.

Love y’all, Brenda