Exercises in Yellow

Yellow is a colour towards which I’ve had some kind of love/hate relationship all my life. In nature it’s one of my favourite colours, from daffodils to sunflowers, lemons, the Sun, you name it. In clothes and interiors I’ve found yellow more difficult (i.e. slightly yucky) and have shyed away from it almost all my adult life. But in recent years yellow has slowly begun it’s journey back into my heart. So, here’s an introduction to “My Life and the Colour Yellow” featuring recently made jewellery, faraway places and some floral delights.

Kitchen table on a spring day
Kitchen table on a spring day.

When I was a kid one of my favourite pieces of clothing was a yellow, pink and brown striped terrycloth mini dress. I wore the dress with yellow, green of brown flip flops, the most comfortable shoes in existence. My first trip abroad with my family was to Algarve, Portugal in 1979 when I was five years old. What I remember most is the lovely, yellow mimosas that I then saw for the first time in my life and have loved ever since. I also remember that the beaches were very beautiful and wonderfully peaceful, just perfect for collecting interesting shells and playing with the sand. In every picture taken at the beach, I wear my beloved dress. I remember we bought a yellowish straw hat for me from Algarve and from then on I always wore that hat with my dress and flip flops.

Waterlily earrings
Waterlily earrings

In my 6th grade school portrait  from 1986 I wear a yellow hoodie by Nike. It had been rather expensive and had come with a set of matching sweatpants. I never wore the pants though, I hated them from day one and have actually always more or less disliked sweatpants of all kinds. But I loved that hooded jumper! I wore it with black jeans and white Puma sneakers. Ha!  Since no-one else in my class wore much yellow in those days I never knew whether they liked it or thought that I looked ridiculous in it. Many years later my best friend and style queen Mirkka confessed that she had much coveted that hoodie. :)!!

For many years I had nothing in yellow in my home or my wardrobe. The nicest memory of the colour yellow that I have from the 1990’s is from the wonderful, hot summer of 1996. During the Helsinki Festival in August Mirkka and I went out just about every night. At one point I counted eleven nights in a row! Oh, the fun and the freedom! Both single girls, going from one musical adventure to the other on warm, moonlit nights (in August the Moon is big and yellow), attending funky jazz gigs in smoky bars and clubs, then returning to my friend’s flat for a late night snack, a dose of Astrud Gilberto and in-depth analysis of the evening’s events… Anyway, Mirkka had a set of absolutely gorgeous, yellow faiance plates. I distinctly remember them as we often ate at her place that summer. Every food, salad, bread, pasta, whatever it was, looked beautiful on those plates. It must have had something to do with the colour!

Lisboa earrings
Lisboa earrings

When my boyfriend and I went to Paris together for the first time in August 2000, we stayed in some Finnish journalist’s vacant flat in Montmartre. The flat was on the seventh floor (no elevators, just a spooky, creaking staircase that curved clockwise and made us dizzy), it was tiny and very modestly furnished. There were merely an old Ikea sofabed, one chair and table, small stove and a weird shower cabinet in the corner. Two empty shelves on the wall and a white curtain. The toilet was outside in the corridor.

Little yellow radio
Little radio

One of the first things that Pasi bought on that trip was a little yellow radio. This tiny little thing instantly brought warmth and cheerfulness to our humble quarters and also introduced us to French radio stations, among which was also my current favourite Radio Nova Paris that I nowadays listen to at home almost every day.

Lisboa bracelet
Lisboa bracelet

Our Lisbon vacation in 2003 was a week filled with the warm shades of yellow. It was August again and the city bathed in the blazing, hot sun that seemed to paint the streets, buildings, even the air in yellow.

Yellow tram in Lisbon

When I think of Lisbon, I think of the colour yellow against the turquoise vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a truly mesmerizing sight!

Elevador da Bica
Elevador da Bica in Bairro Alto, Lisboa

During our first few days back in Finland I felt as if the Lisbon yellow had somehow got stuck on my eyes, seriously, like a tinted lense! It was strangely difficult to get used to the “whiteness” of Helsinki as the light, even in the August sun, is never as yellow here.

From reminiscing these vacations that make me want to take a taxi to the airport once again, I’ll move to the subject of my undying love for jewellery…


…which has obviously introduced me to new aspects of yellow in the form of gemstones like citrine (featured in all of the above jewellery photos) and yellow calcite (below with amethyst and painted porcelain).

Giverny bracelet in yellow/amethyst
Giverny bracelet in yellow/amethyst

I have also found that although with my skintone it’s almost impossible to wear yellow next to my face, the colour is marvelous in accessories like jewellery and shoes. I bought a new pair of Havaianas at the end of last summer and haven’t yet worn them once. I can’t wait to have the chance to slip them on!

Ordem e Progresso
Sweet freedom for the toes!

Last spring I bought my first piece of yellow clothing in years. A gorgeous yellow skirt with a multicoloured, floral print on the hem. I just know that skirt will be one that I’ll wear until it falls apart in rags, just like my terrycloth dress from the late 70s or my favourite hoodie from 1986.

Favourite skirt
Favourite skirt

I’ll end this post with a link to a quirky little video. Check out what the old word jazz man Ken Nordine had to say about the colour yellow.

7 thoughts on “Exercises in Yellow

  1. Anu says:

    What a lovely post 🙂
    Yellow seems to be a difficult color for many people, including me, but it can be soooo delicious, too. After seeing these pieces of jewelry I began to crave for yellow beads 🙂

  2. kathleen says:

    I love all of the yellows you’ve captured… and your favorite skirt is amazing!!

  3. jes says:

    OMG How I love this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That skirt is so romantic..I want it NOW!

    I knew when you started writing about yellow, if I just scrolled down a bit I would see the most BEAUTIFUL yellow jewels in the whole wide world! YUMMY little beauties that anyone would look gorgeous in!

    I loved your bit of traveling history you shared with us too. You are such an intuitive soul!

    SOOOOOOO….your vacation begins my Dear! I hope you and Pasi do something fun, and you can get a bit of relaxation in. BE CAREFUL …. REST…. that way you wont get all headachey!!

    I will start saving for Finland THIS VERY MINUTE if you two really want me to come!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxxo

    miss you! Jes

  4. jes says:

    OH and PS…. I really do adore that radio! Leave it to Pasi!

  5. Michli says:

    Oh my, I absolutely love EVEYTHING in this post. All the pictures, I love to take pictures of buildings in summer at different towns 🙂 And all the jewelry are something I want to taste!

  6. Thanks so much, all of you!

  7. pasiyle says:

    This post is one of the best blog-posts in the whole freaking world.

    Jes. We really really really want you to come.
    It would be truly amazing. To spend time with you here, showing you treasures, castles and lakes and sea and the magical atmosphere of the countryside.

    Love to all who have commented here!

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