Pantone’s Color of the Year Announced!

It’s that time of year again, and wow, I feel like we really need this! Yesterday, Pantone announced its new Color of the Year: Illuminating + Ultimate Gray!

For details about Pantone’s Color of the Year 2021, click here. Read on for more about the yarns shown here. Image is my own.

I am absolutely loving this yellow + gray combination. First, in general terms, the bright + neutral is a classic duo; the bright keeps the neutral from being too bland, and the calmer neutral balances the energy of the bright. Second, this specific combination seems to speak on a deep level of the state of the world right now: appropriately somber, but also in great need of reason for optimism — and what’s more uplifting than clear, sunny yellow?

Aside: Am I the only one slightly confused by “Color [singular] of the Year” when it’s actually two colors? I just checked the Pantone site again, and it is indeed using the singular form. End of aside.

When I first saw Illuminating + Ultimate Gray, I immediately thought of a color palette I created several years back called Sunbreaks. (For those who might not have heard this quasi-meteorological term, I grew up in Seattle, where “sunbreaks” was a term regularly used to describe an upcoming weather phenomenon — when the sun momentarily breaks through the cloud cover. Trust me, we live for those moments in this part of the world. I’ve long suspected that someone made up the word just to alleviate the boredom of predicting “high in the mid-40s, low in the low 40s, chance of showers” for most of the Pacific Northwest winters.)

Anyway, here’s the palette as I originally designed it:

My “Sunbreaks” color palette.

I still can’t quite believe I’ve gotten all this done so quickly, but since I heard the COTY announcement yesterday (12/9/20), I’ve created a new Petite Scraplets™ kit, and a digital Palette Papers collection (digital products are very new for me, so I’m excited to add this palette to that group!), both of which are now available in my Etsy shop. Here’s a preview of both:

Left: A Petite Scraplets™ kit of small(ish) pieces of gorgeous yarns. Right: The cover of my digital-download Palette Papers set, which includes the original palette seen above. (And I also include a bonus file with color specs — CMYK values and hex numbers for each of the 5 colors in the palette!) All images are my own.

However we feel about 2020, we can at least celebrate these beautiful new colors for 2021, right? I’m curious — how do you think you might use either or both? I know yellows in general can be challenging for a lot of people, particularly in our wardrobes, but what about in home decor? Imagine a room in soothing gray tones; now picture a big pale-gray vase filled with bright yellow tulips in the same room. Oooh…

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Big Changes at Colormusing!

Colormusing: It's All About Hue!


Yes, my color-loving friends, it’s true: I’ve decided to make a big change here at Colormusing, taking it from e-commerce back to its blog-style roots. Downsizing, if you will. And I’m doing this for 3 reasons:

  1. My original intention for Colormusing was simply to be helpful and inspiring, but above all, I wanted it to be a place you can visit just to look at beautiful colors!
  2. I love the idea of what I’m now thinking of as “open-source color”, i.e. I’m not trying to sell you anything, just hoping to beautify my little corner of cyber-space.
  3. Frankly, I’m looking forward to having more fun focusing on my palettes and ideas, rather than on what might sell.

Aside: I am, in fact, still selling Colormusing products, but from today onwards, that’s only happening in my Etsy shop. What’s there at this moment is mostly physical products (hand-dyed yarn, my artwork on canvas, hand-knitted samples, etc., but I plan to start adding more digital download products (like my editable color palette files, photos, and backgrounds) very soon. End of aside.

What I would love now is input from you! What would you like to see here at the newly-imagined Colormusing? Comment below!

  • More about palettes? How to create them, how to use them, or maybe even why you might need them?
  • Graphic design help? Maybe you have an existing social media template, or logo, or flyer that needs a little upgrade; it would be great to start a series of what I call Graphic Makeover posts here! You could get some design input from me, while we work on color palette and other changes. Bonus: this will help other readers too!
  • Color history? I’ve been reading a book lately about the origin of colors that’s absolutely fascinating, so if you’d like to know more, let me know!
  • [Fill-in-the-blank with your own ideas!]

Looking forward to hearing from you! Colormusing may be changing in some ways, but it’s still ALL about hue!



Color Smarts: Pantone’s Color IQ Test

Pantone color IQ test

As you know, I’m a big fan of Pantone*, the company that sets many a color standard for a wide range of industries, and provides helpful products and resources as well. You’ve probably seen their Color of the Year stories (UltraViolet for 2018), for example.


Today, I ran across another fun little thing on Pantone’s site: their color IQ test! You just rearrange color tiles into a sequence that creates a smooth gradient from one color to another. It looks (but only looks) simple enough. Continue reading

At (Long) Last, My Portfolio!


Filed under It’s About Time: I’m finally working on my very own portfolio website to showcase the full range of what I love to do!

From writing articles and tutorials (and blog posts, natch) to photography to designing color palettes for everything from websites to my own yarns and lingerie sewing kits, it will all be represented here— and there are links for many items, so you can see them in their proper context. Perhaps most importantly, the connections between my diverse projects will also be apparent, like how a particular palette inspired a hand-dyed yarn and a mosaic-like background image (links will take you to the items below).

I just started this site yesterday, so it will take a while to get it filled out, but there’s already plenty to look at now, and I’m adding more momentarily. Hope to see you there!

An Inaugural Protest

A timely admonition…

The Wicked Wit of the West

I say, look here, this is entirely too much. For months I have stalwartly avoided this topic, aloof from the frenzy unleashed online, but enough is enough. The state of politics (which I still promise my loyal readers will never broach these hallowed posts), has gotten beyond a joke, and I am become what I never wished to be: serious. This blog was meant to be a source of amusement (my own), and a sparkling collection of human folly; I had been confident that the twenty-first century would provide me ample material. But now the line has been crossed, and people’s behavior is simply unfunny.   

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Green(ery) Christmas: Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year!

It’s official: Pantone*, the standard-bearer for all things color-related, has announced its 2017 Color of the Year!

Meet Greenery!

Pantone's Color of the Year: Greenery!
This picture is a screenshot I took of the Greenery video at Pantone’s website; click on the image to see the full video. (P.S. This video is the perfect antidote to the polar vortex weather!)

Continue reading

Shady Business: My Ombré Bracelet Beading Chart

Colormusing’s Palette of the Month for August is Seaspray, inspired by this beaded bracelet that blends iridescent silver, emerald green, and ultramarine blue into this amazing ombré bracelet:

Beaded ombré bracelet
Want to see how I changed 3 bead colors gradually to get this lovely ombré effect? Keep reading! (P.S. This is only my 3rd beadweaving project— I promise, it’s just the color changes that make it look complex.)

Continue reading

Tutorial: A Palette Changes its Stripes

As much as I love my colorful stripe-y palettes (and I do), even I am occasionally in the mood for something a little fancier. Here’s one of my favorite ways to change those stripes:

Change stripes to dots with this Photoshop tutorial
Talk your palette into changing its stripes with this easy Photoshop tutorial! (Note: As for all my Photoshop tutorials, I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014*.)

Continue reading

Read My New Article: Color in Your Closet

Just published in Colette Patterns‘ sewing magazine Seamwork: My latest article on using color palettes in real life! It’s called Color in Your Closet: Discover (and Use) the Palette Within.


  • How to coax a palette out of your existing wardrobe;
  • Identifying your primary colors;
  • Ideas for using your palette to create new outfits;
  • Tips for using accent colors in unexpected ways;
  • Using your palette when you shop!

Using color palettes while you shop
Once you’ve created your palette based on the clothes already in your closet, carry it with you when you shop! (Click the photo to go straight to my article. Photo is my own, also used in the published article.)


Want to see sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and Changing Your Clothes, which covers everything from repairs & alterations to dyeing and remaking thrift-shop finds. And don’t miss all my newest projects, including sew-alongs, at the brand-new SewColormusing blog!

Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship,, where you can also sign up to receive Hue News, Colormusing’s own monthly e-mail newsletter!