Color Me Purple

One of this week’s giveaway questions – If you were a crayon, what color would you be? – is such a natural question for me (a child of the 50’s) to ask.

You see during the years when I was a kid; one of your most treasured possessions was your box of crayolas! Of course, this was in prehistoric times – just after the dinosaurs as I remember. 😉

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Seriously though, when I was a pre-schooler, there was no color TV and most photos were black and white! It’s easy to understand why kids of my generation were crazy for crayons! Coloring was a major part of our entertainment, our self-expression, and even our social lives. We all had “special” techniques that we shared with our friends, like the art of subtle shading, or outlining, or how to peel the paper off just far enough to use the side of the crayon. We experimented with mixing colors and discovered that blending brown and yellow would make a cool shade of golden blond for the hair on a paper doll or the mane of a pony!

Crayons were thought to have a calming influence and they probably did – in the same way that sewing or painting or any creative activity is soothing. During rainy and snowy days, parents often handed coloring books and crayons to rambunctious children who were exhibiting the classic symptoms of cabin fever! In today’s high tech world, it may seem a little hard to believe that something so ordinary could be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

crayola8 With crayons there was a logical progression. We all started with the crayola 8-pack – the fat ones at first until we developed some dexterity and then on to the standard slimmer ones. However, every kid I knew was absolutely desperate to own the crème de la crème of Crayolas: (drum roll, please) the 64-Pack! which had stadium seating for all those gorgeous colors and a sharpener, too!!! Woo hoo!

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It was the expensive box though, and you’d probably have to wait for Christmas or a birthday to get it. I recently searched to see if I could find a list of the colors in that original 64-box. The Crayola website has a wonderful chart called the Crayola® Crayon Chronology. It shows which colors were available and which were discontinued or changed over a 100-year time frame, from 1903 to 2003.

Personally, I could never choose a favorite between blue violet and violet red. Maybe that’s why I’m so hooked on purple now! 🙂

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Comments

Color Me Purple — 3 Comments

  1. Interesting! I had no idea crayons have been around that long. Its hard to throw away a crayon, isn’t it. Even the nubs. We have done several recycling things over the years. My daughter melts them down and molds them so they can still be used. From my craft show days, I remember melting crayon on brown bag shapes on a hot plate and made jewelry from the shapes. I also have colored fabric with crayon, cover with wax paper and iron the fabric to make it permanent. The kids have decorated t-shirts that way. Bet there are several web sites with other ideas too, but I REFUSE to go look. Bye, my beads are calling.

  2. My favorite has always been maize. If you’re a 4th grader drawing a wall mural of a farm, nothing beat it. Apparently I did that often. 😉

    However, I always liked the name “periwinkle” best of all the crayon color names. I had never heard a word like it, it sounded so exotic. (Well, except “tiddly-winks.”) But still, “periwinkle” was strangely inspiring!

  3. Oooh, my goodness, now I have gone to the website and have had a tramautic flashback that maize was discontinued between ’90-’92. I was so upset at the time, and now again! How was (or is!) anyone to draw corn anymore?!?! Bad Crayola! Bad bad bad!

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