Drawing Inspiration from the Colors of the World (Part One)

Jan 25th 2020

It always takes my breath away to see the beautiful colors of the world in different areas. As I have traveled the world in my life, the colors of nature, unique to each area are sights I never want to forget. The vivid white, blue, and green of Alaska. The lush greens of the Amazon River. Or the bright, lively colors of the city market in Ecuador. All I need to do is to sit back, close my eyes, and think of somewhere in the world for an array of colors to swirl in my mind. Each memory brings back sights, sounds, and aromas of the world's beauty and the individuality of each area.

When I first started working on the Byzantine Steps, it reminded me of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and reaching the legendary Sun Gate at sunrise, a vision you cannot even imagine. The breathtaking color combinations are so intense that you feel like you’ve never seen those colors before.

That is when I knew I wanted the Byzantine Steps to reflect the colors of the world. Each Byzantine Step Kit takes its colors right from the pallet of Mother Nature. By simply looking at the Byzantine Steps bracelet you wear on your arm, you’re brought back to an adventure you’ve had or one that you dream of. We, the artists of the Maille, can bring the dreams of all and the colors of the world to life.

Bachalpsee Lake outside of Grindelwald Switzerland is a truly amazing place to visit. The sight of the gorgeous alpine scenery, the beautiful crystal ice blue lake, and the massive Bernese Alps are both breathtaking and completely relaxing at the same time. As you sit and take in the tranquil beauty, you cannot help but talk in hushed tones of awe at the sight before you. A sense of peace overtakes you and then a feeling of complete joy, yet never once does it occur to you that all of this beauty, all of this sense of majesty and greatness, comes from just two colors. All you can say is a whispered, “Oh, wow.”

Thank a Farmer!
Because I am in the Midwest, I have the pleasure of driving past wheat fields almost daily. Yet the beauty of the waves of gold stretching out to the horizon still leaves me in awe. For I am looking at more than the beauty of just one color – the golden stock of wheat. I am looking at the start of everything. Without farmers and their fields, we would not have food. Without food, we would not be able to watch our children run, jump, and grow strong. We would not watch our daughters walk down the aisle. And we would not have the grace and beauty of a single stately stack of gold wheat. To thank our farmers, 10% of the sales of this kit will go directly to the Farm Rescue Program. 

Crystal Cave of Amethyst 
I haven’t liked dark, confined places since an incident in my youth involving some cousins and my Grandmother’s laundry shoot. So needless to say, getting me into a cave takes an awful lot. However, once inside the dark yet majestic Byron Bay Crystal Cave in Australia, my fears were instantly conquered. for I found myself in a magical sanctuary of amethyst and crystal black. The crystallized black and amethyst create a peaceful ambiance and exquisite natural splendor that is a place of wonder and awe for everyone. Amethyst and Black. No other color is needed to create beauty.

When you marry a Minnesota Norwegian, you learn many things quickly. Uffda is a word, and it is used often. When asked if you want to be married in the family plot, he is not threatening to kill you, but he is asking you to marry him. When you hear the word Skol, they are raising a toast, not asking for smokeless tobacco. And above all, in the fall, you worship the colors Purple & Gold. Here’s to the Norwegian Vikings—or something like that!

Buffalo Plaid
The sight of a Buffalo Plaid blanket never fails to bring a smile to my lips and nostalgic thoughts of high school to my mind. The Bobcats were our team, and we proudly wore the Black and Red. Being from South Dakota meant being wrapped up warmly in a buffalo plaid blanket in the bleachers every cold fall Friday night. I still remember it vividly. The smell the smoke from the class bonfire still drifting through the air. The heartwarming sounds of the cheers, the welcome warmth of the blanket, the joy of your friends around you, and the innocents of youth, forever a part of me and always brought to mind from just two colors so important to that part of my life – the Black & Red. Go Bobcats!

Kansas City
Heat. Tornados. Heat. And then even more Tornados. That describes the first week of my year in Kansas City pretty well. Did I mention the heat? On my 6th day and 7th tornado, I drove by a captivating botanical garden that drew me in like a hummingbird to a fragrant bouquet. When I entered the cool oasis and sat on the first bench I spied, I found myself in front of my favorite flower, the tulip, in a red and gold combination I had not seen before. Little did I know on that fateful day that one year later, when I left KC, the Red & Gold would be the colors I loved and cheered for.

San Francisco
The first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge surrounded by fog is a memory I will never forget. It was the early morning hours, just around sunrise, and the mysterious fog was so thick and heavy around me that I felt like I was dreaming. Even now, I can still feel the mist on my face and hear foghorns sounding in the distance. The fog was so dense that even though I could clearly hear people riding bikes across the bridge, I couldn't see them. Yet, rising above the fog were the majestic red towers of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, surrounded by golden rays of light as the sun peeked over the horizon. I still can't believe man built something so stunning.

I hope you enjoy my interpretations of some of my favorite places, and I look forward to seeing yours. What color palettes transport you back to a place or moment in time? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories and seeing those memories immortalized in your own Byzantine Steps.