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Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk


The 3-in-1 Color Tool by Joen Wolfrom is a system designed to help quilters, fabric artists, scrapbookers, and paper artists in their color selection. The tool is a vinyl pouch containing a bound deck of 24 color-coded cards (similar to paint chips), value finders, fabric preview windows and a ruler. The lightweight tool will fit into a pocket or purse and can be used easily at a store or at home.

This shows the back of one card and the front of another.

The system is based on the Ives color wheel (cyan, magenta and yellow), which actually has 48 steps but for simplicity’s sake the 3-in-1 Color Tool uses 24 steps. Each double sided color card contains printed color swatches on the front. The card is divided into 4 categories: pure color, tints (pure color + white), shades (pure color + black) and tones (pure color plus gray). Most cards contain 32 color “options”: lighter colors (like yellow) show more shades and tones while darker colors (like purple) show more tints.

The back of the card suggests color combinations for that color. The card displays traditional monochromatic (single color), complementary (two colors opposite on the wheel) and triadic (three colors equidistant on the wheel). The card also offers an analogous color scheme which uses the the selected color and its adjacent colors for a total of 3, 5, or 7 colors. The most complex combination is split complementary which utilizes an analgous color scheme and the complementary color of its center. The cards use pictures and color names which is helpful (but some of the color names do not match my Crayola Crayons.)

Since I have lots of paper and card stock, I thought it would be a cinch to coordinate a color scheme using the cards. With over 792 possible combinations, I thought I was all set (way overconfident). I decided to start with green’s and create an analgous color scheme which included fuchsia. Starting with a large stack of Bazzill card stock, I soon realized that my card stock consisted of 2 colors of green with several shades and tints of each. What I needed for my color scheme were several other colors of green: yellow-green, spring green and chartreuse. After scrounging through my other cardstock, I found something for each color.

My first attempt at a color coordinated card using the 3-in-1 Color Tool.

But as you can see from my results, my colors look “off”. After researching color theory some more, I realized that I needed to keep my intensity a bit more consistent between color families. Consider Christmas colors- bright red and bright green. Wouldn’t it be a bit unbalanced to use a pale green with a deep red? Of course someone reading this probably has created a color coordinated piece using just those colors.

In the photo above I’ve circled the corresponding colors from
the designer paper(Miss Moxie) by The Angel Company.

At this point, I realized why it is so fast and easy to use coordinated paper kits. I am shamefaced to admit that I was going to cheat and use the Miss Moxie paper line from The Angel Company for my next sample. When I decided to match the paper to the cards in the tool I got a surprise- they don’t fit a color scheme! My results were: a shade of yellow, a tint of fuchsia, 2 shades of red, a yellow-orange tint and an orange-yellow tint. These colors are spread over the color wheel and don’t match one of the traditional color schemes but the colors work well together!
My second sample shows a complementary color scheme with cerulean
blue and yellow-orange. Stamp image from Unity Stamp Company.


Finally, I decided to attempt a simple complementary color scheme because it would be easier and I could finish coordinating colors and write this article. After careful study (and lack of other coordinating colors), I chose cerulean blue and yellow-orange. I opted for a darker tints of the blue and yellow-orange with a lighter tint of the yellow-orange as an accent (it looks peach in the photo so just trust me). Never in my wildest dreams would I have used these colors together before using the tool. It has definitely helped me try new color combinations. Since the cards are numbered and coordinated, I won’t have to worry about “losing” a scheme that I like… unless I lose that sheet of cardstock!

The 3-in-1 Color Tool also contains additional cards providing some basic color theory and tips for coordination of patterned fabrics. Every color scheme needs a dominant color family and the additional color family should act as an accent color. The value finders are red and green transparent filters which which block the distraction of color to determine if a pattern has enough contrast. The fabric preview windows are square, round and triangular and show how a print will appear in a quilt. The handy ruler can be used to measure a pattern or print element.

Pros:

  • The tool comes in a vinyl storage pouch and is small enough to carry to the store.
  • The color cards are numbered for ease of use (and if you drop them on the floor you can quickly re-order them).
  • The value finder and preview windows are helpful for quilters.
  • More covenient than a color wheel because the color cards can be compared side by side.

Cons:

  • The color samples are small.
  • A basic understanding of color theory is helpful to use this tool.
  • The binding fastener is tight so it can fit in the storage pouch. I prefer a larger metal ring so the cards can be removed for color comparison. Since mine arrived without a fastener, I was able to change the binding easily.

The 3-in-1 Color Tool by Joen Wolfron is $16.95 and is available through its publisher C & T Publishing, and through Jo-Ann.com and Amazon.com It is also available through independent fabric or quilting shops.

For years I have struggled to use a traditional color wheel effectively. The 3-in-1 Color Tool takes the place of a color wheel with its set of 24 color coded cards and color schemes. The tool is lightweight and portable and designed to be used at a store or at home. This version of the tool was designed for quilters but it is helpful for paper crafters, scrapbookers, rubber stampers and interior designers. Since color is an important part of my projects, I will reach for this tool again and again. Crafters without a background in color theory might have a bit more of a learning curve with this product. I give the 3-in-1 Color Tool 9/10.

Do you use the 3-in-1 Color Tool, color wheel or another color selection tool to create your artwork? Please share your thoughts with our readers.

And how about a giveaway!! C&T is donating eBooks to 3 winners! So leave us a comment with the type of crafting book you enjoy most. You can enter on any of the C&T Publishing posts and have until Friday at Midnight! Email subscribers click here to leave a comment and enter!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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17 Responses to Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

  1. Avatar
    isabel scrap May 21, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    hello, I love the scrap books and the sewing books too… thanks

  2. Avatar
    alexandra May 21, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    books about quilting is my fav… love to win a books to have inspiration

  3. Avatar
    BeeCee May 21, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    Love that Color Tool!
    I like a variety of crafts, but right now–knitting.

  4. Avatar
    Scrapycandy May 21, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    Anything that inspires! I love scrapping and home decorating…and I can now see why the color chart is so important.

  5. Avatar
    huntla1 May 21, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    I love several types of crafting and the things that I look for in my favorite books are as follows. Great photos. I love to be able to see what I am heading for. I like to have detail instructions. Sometimes it is hard to figure out or follow what really needs to be done. That really is it in a nutshell. Love that color tool.

  6. Avatar
    PattiM May 21, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Anything to to with scrapbooking, cards, altering objects, creating. I really like the color tool. I’m definitely challenged in that area. Thanks for giving us some great inspiration with your creations.

    Hugs,

    PattiM
    (Pattie’s passion)

    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!

  7. Avatar
    Christine May 21, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Thhis is pretty cool! I’ve never tried using a color wheel, mainly because my colors never seemed to match. My process in scrapbooking has usually been to grab a bunch of patterned papers that catch my eye and hopefully there’s a tint or two in there that will help them become cohesive. I would love to see how this color swatch book would help!

  8. Avatar
    Jill May 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    That tool would be useful when you are having a loss of your creative MOJO! Thanks!

  9. Avatar
    Jan Castle May 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    My favorite type of book is one that not only shows ideas for card making, but techniques with step by step directions.
    Jan Castle

  10. Avatar
    Tamikko May 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Very interesting. I would love to be able to successfully make colour combo’s. I’ve used paint swatches before and used similar colour combo’s found in ads, magazines etc. I would love to try this tool, it looks like fun without the complication of trying to do it without.
    Thanks for a great critique.

  11. Avatar
    Carole RB May 21, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Hi,
    This 3-in-1 Color Tool seems to be very interesting. I love books in same style than this tool.

  12. Avatar
    Christine May 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    This is definitely I tool I would use. I tend to the same colors a lot so this might help me to branch out a bit. Great review!

  13. Avatar
    Ayelet May 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Very nice tool, indeed!
    I love books with step by step pics.

  14. Avatar
    Artkat May 22, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    I love sewing books, card making, altered art and bookbinding…in fact most craft books as long as they have inspirational pictures

  15. Avatar
    Janet Z May 22, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    What a cool tool. I enjoy any books about card making and scrap booking. Thanks for a chance!

  16. Avatar
    Lisa May 22, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Of course I’d enjoy winning something, but I really just want to say how much I enjoyed the review itself – the parenthetical asides were very funny!

  17. Avatar
    Etha May 22, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    Great review Heather! I do look at my color whweel – at times – …
    I noticed that if I choose a combination that is “sfae” or suggested by a color tool, if I take the brightest of those colors and go “off”, I like the combo much better. Hard to explain, but most “safe” combos are just plain boring, maybe we are too used to them.

    As to crafts books, I REALLY enjoy the whole Fast, Fun & Easy® series for sewing. Those are super books.