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Today we share with our Irish friends their own special day. The LUCK OF THE IRISH, FOUR LEAF CLOVERS, SHAMROCKS, IRISH JOKES and anything associated with our Irish folk. Many of us have Irish history somewhere along our past.
I received a St. Pats Day newsletter from a company I deal with in USA and they have kindly permitted me to share it with you. It isn't so much about the Irish, but more about the colour GREEN which we associate with Ireland. I found it interesting and hope you do too.
Written by Debi Feyh from Nordic Needle.
St. Patrick's Day
is next week (now today) and the store displays have gone green. That gave me an idea for today's newsletter. When I wrote about the colour blue, many people commented on how interesting the article was. Green is my second favourite colour perhaps because Emerald is my birthstone. So, I thought maybe it was time to investigate the colour green.
What do you think of when you hear the word "green"? If you said nature, spring (especially if you have been affected by the Polar Vortex), Ireland, or saving the environment then you are in the majority. It is not surprising that we think of spring or nature, since "green" has the same root as "grass" and "grow". The English use of the word green is over 1300 years old. However, green might not actually be green in some languages! Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese characters blur the distinction between blue and green.
Let's talk a little colour theory. Humans consider the primary colours to be red, blue, and yellow. These three colours are important because human vision is trichromatic, which means the human eye has three colour receptors. Wouldn't it be interesting if our colour receptors were three different colours, like purple, red, and green for example? Many birds may have four colour receptors which changes the way in which they see colours also. Going beyond the primary colours, you get the secondary colours, orange, purple, and green. These colours are created when you combine two primary colours. People have done entire doctoral projects on colours and colour combinations, so it is best we stop here. I think we are all familiar with the basic colour chart and often incorporate it into our stitching whether we are aware of it or not.
Green has had a long history in art and textiles. I am not sure how the experts know this, but apparently Neolithic people had a green dye for their clothing. However, there was no green pigment in their cave paintings….hmm. Ancient Egyptian artists used a mineral called malachite which they ground into a fine powder. The colour green was very important to this culture and had its own hieroglyph, a papyrus sprout. About.com had this graphic showing the hieroglyphs for several green colours.
At that time, paintings portrayed people with green faces to indicate good health…which is interesting because a green face today makes you think of illness, for example, green around the gills. Apparently English folklore had a role in assigning colours to health. That's where we also get a blue face for depression, a red face for anger, a rosy face for health and yellow for disease. I thought "gills" referred to fish, but the term "gills" was used to indicate the area under the chin and jaws. Other sayings you might recognize are "filled to the gills" (full) or "loaded to the gills" (drunk).
Did you know that the back of the US Dollar has been green since 1861. This was done to help eliminate counterfeiting.
In ancient times, there was not a green dye for clothing. Instead the cloth was first dyed with saffron, making it yellow. Then the cloth was soaked in a blue dye. By the Middle Ages, green clothing was worn by the wealthier classes of people like bankers and merchants. However, creating a reliable green fabric dye was still an issue. This was a problem because some people were required to wear green. Various types of vegetation were used to dye the cloth, but the colour faded rapidly in sunlight or washing. By the 16th century, the best process involved dyeing the cloth blue and then yellow. While artists continued to use malachite, verdigris was the green pigment used by monks, made by soaking copper in wine. This is the green colour that copper roofs and statues take on when exposed to the elements, especially salt water.
Finally in the 18th and 19th centuries, synthetic dyes were created. One popular colour was known as Paris Green. It was used for paints, wall paper, fabrics and even food colouring for confections. There was only one small problem, it was lethal. The colour contained arsenic and people who wore clothes dyed with this product tended to die at an earlier age. Even though the poisonous aspects were known for over a century, production was not banned until the 1960's!!! To read more about Paris Green, check out this article on the Jane Austen's World blog.
Did you know that the US Food and Drug Administration still have not approved a natural source for the colour green? Chlorophyll is used sometimes in cosmetics and medicine.
Green entered the political world in the late 1900's. The Green Party in Europe stood for the new left politics rejecting socialism and communism. Greenpeace began in 1971. Their mission is "to defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse and championing environmentally responsible solutions." Another modern use of green is the green cross designating European pharmacies. Many towns are proud of how much green space, or parks and gardens, they have in their towns.
Green also makes some people think of love and hate. William Shakespeare used the expression "green-eyed monster" in Othello. A huge urban legend developed around green M&Ms. They were reported to be an aphrodisiac. It became such a widespread rumour that in 1995 the Mars company cashed in on it by creating the seductive green mascot. She remained the only female M&M mascot until 2012, when Ms. Brown was introduced.
Colours have an emotional impact also. Green is considered to be a positive colour with a nurturing spirit. That may be because blue gives an emotional calm and yellow a mental clarity. As in earlier times, green is associated with wealth and abundance. However, that can be taken to extremes to become materialistic. Another source said that green revitalizes us when we are exhausted. I will have to give some thought to this. I wonder what would happen if I would decorate my office space in green? Would I be more organized? I know when I added green plants at home in the rooms with the white walls, the rooms seemed more inviting. Perhaps there is something to emotional attributes of green.
Did you know that the standard traffic light was designed around the colour red because it meant danger? Green was then chosen since it would not be confused with red.
Since this newsletter started out because of St. Patrick's Day, let's talk blue. Yes blue! Blue was the original colour associated with St. Patrick. In the 1800's Ireland became known as the Emerald Isle because of its climate and lush landscape. The leprechaun is an Irish fairy who spends his days making shoes and causing mischief. Up until the 20th century, his coat used to be red, not green!
How does the iconic 3-leaf clover fit into St. Patrick's Day? St. Patrick was said to use the clover to illustrate the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A three-leaf clover was easy to find because things in nature tend to be created with leaves in odd numbers. Each leaf is said to have a meaning. The first leaf is faith, the second hope, the third love and if you find one, the fourth leaf is luck! You have to be lucky to find a 4-leaf clover because there is only 1 for every 10,000 3-leaf clovers! By the way, the term "shamrock" is an English term. The Irish still say "clover".
Hope you enjoyed that and thank you to Debi.
If you already have some Terial Magic Spray
from us, here is a cutie to make - JUST for today!
Find the details on our latest FREE PROJECT
and then add this pattern, especailly for today.
You will need the pattern for this cute image. Click here
ENJOY YOUR ST.PATRICK'S DAY
May I dedicate this to our dear friend GRIFF
from LOGANS Patchwork,
one of our fellow Exhibitors who lost his life, far too young in life,
in a freak accident at this time of the year. CHEERS GRIFF!