Thoughts on State Colors

Until very recently, I assumed all 50 states had official state colors. Nope. Not even close. California has had official state colors since 1951 (and unofficially since 1875). Blue represents our beautiful sky and Gold represents the mineral that caused everyone to rush here in 1849, leading to statehood in 1850. Blue and Gold could just as easily represent the blue of our oceans and our golden hills. Together, these colors have always meant California to me.

Shockingly (to me anyway), only 13 states have official state colors. They include: California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware. They are colored green on the map below. 

The states marked in yellow (Wyoming, Minnesota, Vermont, and New Hampshire) proposed the state colors shown, but the measures failed. Three other states (Ohio, New York, and Maryland), marked with pink, have unofficial colors that are used in state branding. 

Blue and Gold are so integral to California that I have a hard time understanding how so many states have not adopted state colors. On the other hand, I imagine that choosing colors could lead to two problems: similarity or unnecessary controversy. 

Look at the states that do have official colors. There's a lot of blue and gold. And many other states could make a good case for adopting blue and gold as well. Just like California, Alaska has blue skies and a major Gold Rush. Nebraska has its blue skies and golden wheat fields. Kansas, the Sunflower State, has huge blue skies and fields of golden flowers. If a majority of states choose the same official colors, what's the point of having them at all?

Minnesota's failed attempt to declare purple their state color demonstrates the potential controversy that comes from trying to get a bunch of legislators, each representing thousands of constituents, to agree on something that ultimately doesn't matter. Some were adamant that purple (representing both the artist Prince and the Minnesota Vikings) was the perfect choice, while others pointed out that Minnesota already has two named colors and that these represent the timeless beauty of Minnesota rather than modern culture. Perhaps most states are avoiding the inevitable fighting that would come with prioritizing one facet of their state over another. 

Like most things, it's more complicated than it appears at first glance. 


Grasshopper on the Glove

About a month ago, I shared a picture of Trevor holding a Swainson's hawk, which was one of the highlights of his year-long Senior Project. I scrapped that photo for the National Scrapbook Day Sketch Layout Challenge

This is the sketch we had to use: 

As you can see, I used a single 4x4 photo for my page, as well as horizontal strips of patterned paper above and below it. I rotated the tag and put my title on it, then scooted everything to the center of the page. Another fun challenge completed!


Very Cherry Color Palette Challenge

The Very Cherry Color Palette Challenge asked us to make something inspired by one of six gorgeous cherry-themed palettes: Cherry Blossom, Cherry Pie, Cherry Cabinets, Cherry Tomatoes, Cherry Limeade, and A Cherry on Top. Guess which I chose! 

Cherry Color Palette (affiliate link)

The answer, of course, is Cherry Limeade! As you can see, I used the darker red plus two of the greens to make my card. The punched circle was inspired by the cherry itself. 

We were allowed to use a single neutral (in my case, white) but very sparingly. I had to fight the temptation to add more. I could have put a strip of white behind the red washi tape so that the dots ended up white instead of green, but putting it directly on the pale green was more in line with the spirit of the assignment. This was a really fun challenge that pushed me creatively. I love that.


Choose a Number Challenge

Many of the challenges during the National Scrapbook Day event at A Cherry on Top specifically required scrapbooking, but others included cards or other papercrafting projects. The Choose a Number Challenge was all about cards. We had to choose a number that would determine what the card sketch and theme we'd be using. 

This is the card I entered in the challenge. Can you guess the required design elements and theme?

Cupcake Card (affiliate link)

Before you guess, take a look at this card. Each participant could only enter once, but since I had my cardmaking supplies out, I wanted to challenge myself to follow the same requirements in a way that would look completely different. 

Happy Birthday (affiliate link)

I'm sure by now you've guessed that the required theme was birthday. Did you also guess that the sketch had a horizontal band anchoring two different sized circles?  

The sketch came from Freshly Made Sketches, which is a new site to me. I poked around a bit and really like it. I especially like that there's so much inspiration for what to do with each sketch. There are some really beautiful cards based on this sketch!


Neighborhood Lawnmowers

I love where we live. Our neighborhood backs up to beautiful hills, green and covered with wildflowers in the late winter and spring, golden in the summer and fall. I love everything about our hills when they're green, but with the gold comes significant fire risk. When I first moved to this area 20+ years ago, city workers would come through and mow the hills regularly. A few years later, they started grazing cattle on the hills. The cows do a good job of keeping the grasses in check. 

This year, we had an especially wet winter and the grasses grew like crazy. We were delighted to see the ranchers dropping off a large flock of sheep, who got right to work. The sheep grazed on one hill for a few days, then the ranchers moved the fences so the sheep could chow down on the next hillside. It took about two weeks for the sheep to mow our hills. I loved walking by to see their progress. 

Neighborhood Lawnmower (affiliate link)

This page was inspired by the "All right, Mr. Demille I'm Ready for my close-up" Layout Challenge for National Scrapbook Day. There was only a single requirement: there must be a close-up photo. When I looked through my unscrapped printed photos, the only close-up I found was of this sheep. I fussy-cut around the sheep, then layered that photo over the photo of the hillside covered in sheep. I love the way the black space between the two pictures puts all the focus on that one particular neighborhood lawnmower. Another fun National Scrapbook Day challenge completed!