Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Colour Collaborative: November: Wood

There were lots of potential angles for this post. I have wooden jewellery, Polish trinket boxes in carved and painted wood, all manner of furniture (including my much-loved, shabby old dresser). Joe's room is filled with wooden train sets and cars and musical instruments. Some of my most precious things are made of wood, like the little red Dala horse and a set of Matryoshka dolls.

I'm partial to a bit of peeling paint on an old front door or garden gate. Or the way cedar fades, as it weathers, from bright chestnut to soft silver.

I also (at the moment) am suffering from serious wood fatigue. Buying and renovating this old house has been a big undertaking. All those beams and doors (crafted to fit the tiny doorways, so replacing them wasn't really an option). All varnished a dark, treacly black. Much as we'd have liked to sandblast those beams back to pale, virgin oak we had neither the time nor the budget. So all that wood has been sanded, filled and painted. Some of it took many coats. Some of it's still on the 'yet to be completed' list.

Don't even get me started on skirting boards, ballustrades, spindles and bannisters. Or the dust which seems to keep appearing despite endless hoovering and wiping.

As I said, wood fatigue.

So instead I'm thinking about wood of the wild kind. Wood you find outdoors.

Wood is never 'just' brown. I do like a birch tree with papery bark, black markings scarring the creamy trunks. Or the stump of a recently-felled tree with concentric rings running through the clean, damp timber.

And all those mosses and funghi which make wood their home (and host). Shades of verdigris and emerald green. Burnt orange and sulphur yellow. And the surprising splashes of colour you sometimes find on decaying wood, like the bright red Scarlet Elf Cup or beautifully striped 'turkey tail'.

I can never resist photographing a logpile. Textures, shades, form... and the thought of a fire burning merrily in a little house somewhere.

Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below.

What is The Colour Collaborative?

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.


  1. Renovating a kitchen feels like nothing compared to renovating a house, but I feel your dust pain. I've never been overly house proud but the last week has seen me wielding dusters and cloths every day! It will all be worth it in the end.

  2. What gorgeous photos. The woods are always so beautiful aren't they, at any time of year, and so very full of life of all kinds. CJ xx

  3. Love a bit of mossing around in the woods. The different greens and textures really stand out this time of year. Our new old cottage has the most characterful wooden kitchen which needs a lot of TLC. I'm just wondering if it's worth all the RSI that will undoubtedly ensue.

  4. Wonderful trees, and I particularly like the pic of the birch, so much colour in what at first glance is just a monochrome bark.

    How exhausting your renovations sound. I do hope you are able to relax and enjoy your new home very soon x

  5. Very lovely photos Sarah. Outside wood is a wonder, isn't it?! I live in an old timber-framed house with wooden floors, lots of skirting, architrave, wooden doors, etc, and it was a 'project' when we moved here, so I completely understand your indoors-wood fatigue. Taking a walk to clear your head, look at nature and breathe fresh air helps :-) Sam x

  6. Beautiful photos :) All those colours and textures.

  7. There is nothing better than wood in it's raw state, lovely photos, I hope the wood fatigue passes, I've done up old houses myself, it's a labour of love and hate :)

  8. I'm such a sucker for a woodpile. I'm pretty sure they - like sunsets and interesting clouds - must be photographed, It would be a shame not to.

    The woods are endlessly inspiring and comforting at any time, but especially now I think. And like you say, so full of colour.

  9. I love these outdoor wood photos, especially that first one with the chartreuse lichens all over. That's really striking. Where I live, there isn't much wood that looks like this, unless you get up in the mountains. Down here, it's mostly pines and they don't seem to attract the same growth on their barks. I love a good woodpile too; my own is just about to get a little smaller for the first time this season, later today when we have our first fire.

  10. I remember wood fatigue from when we moved into our house. I still can't look at our skirting boards without a shudder. Your photos are beautiful, magic. x

  11. It is so interesting to think with you of how woods are part of our lives, how they differ in texture and color, and service, Sarah. From your description I can well appreciate you reason for wood fatigue! It is both restful and invigorating for me to see some of the woods outside your home through your lens. They are so varied and it excites me to realize once more that even though we live across the pond from each other our woods are much the same...although you have learned the names of some woods that I haven't as yet :) Thanks for posting! xx

  12. I'd love a log much for the opportunity of having a log pile in the garden, as cozying up in front of the Flames! :) xxx

  13. your wood photographs are magical. so wild x


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