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Shabby Chic Couture Blog

November 24, 2008

I just posted the new blog of the week but it’s one you may not expect: Rachel Ashwell! Yes, she now authors a blog and I’m so glad that she does because it is simply lovely. Care to take a peek?

Shabby Chic Couture Blog

You may know Rachel from her brand Shabby Chic based in southern California. I had the honor of meeting Rachel in 2005 and she is a great lady, very humble, charming, and she has a warm and sweet spirit. Here are some images from her blog that I fell in love with this morning… The perfect way to begin the week for me.

Shabby Chic Couture Blog I love this photo. The floors, the room, a faded rug, the pretty vent cover on the wall, the chandelier, the table… Okay everything. But what I love most is a raw space like this. So many options. This makes my heart swell…

Shabby Chic Couture Blog This dining room is so pretty, but a bit ornate for my taste. I’d remove the wall sconces and that large ornate mirror, but the chandelier would stay though I’d hang it a bit lower. I’d also paint the ceiling pale blue. I’d have to add flowers to the table and of course my Turkish teapot… But I still really like this room! The lighting is just great, makes me long to live in southern California or someplace where the lighting is always perfect. :)

Shabby Chic Couture Blog These are photos of some of the Shabby Chic retail stores, I’ve only been to two: the flagship store in Santa Monica, CA (my favorite) and her new shop in Natick, MA just outside of Boston. They are absolutely transporting, you should try to visit one sometime.

Shabby Chic Couture Blog Here are some clippings of vintage wallpaper that Rachel is currently drawing her inspiration from. Most of us find bits and bobbins from the past, connect to them, and translate what we see into something modern with a twist – our personal style – making them fresh and new again. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel!

Shabby Chic Couture Blog

I had the opportunity to interview Rachel for decor8, you can read our chat here if you’d like. Browsing her blog this morning, I noticed the web-famous Keep Calm and Carry On posters in her shop (wow!) and I spotted some more good things in her newly designed web shop, would you like to see them?

Shabby Chic Couture Blog
Candles from Voluspa that smell like a little piece of heaven, stamped leather card holders (my favorite find), a crown doormat so everyone knows you are the queen of your castle, and a gorgeous union jack wall hanging in fabrics from Shabby Chic.

Shabby Chic Couture Blog

Very feminine throw pillows. (not shown but worth a click: Milly curtains)

Shabby Chic Couture Blog

A delicious gold bordered calendar. This is super pretty!

Psst: You can purchase these things so matter where you live because Shabby Chic ships worldwide!

Welcome to blogland Rachel and everyone else please go see what Rachel is up to, I’m sure you’ll find some of her inspirations most interesting and of course, beautiful!

(images from shabby chic)


Happy Weekend!

November 21, 2008

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands! {clap clap} Yay, It’s Friday! It’s Friday! La la la la la! Twirl around and sing with me… Yes I’m nuts but I’m completely happy imagining two full days without an ounce of work to do and lots of fun plans. I will paint some more mini paintings this weekend, hit the flea market in the morning, attend a big dinner party tomorrow night, and on Sunday I’ll spend time with a friend watching movies and sharing a meal here in my apartment. I’m so excited for the weekend to start.

Next week on decor8 I will host a contest where you can win an amazing book all about creativity, launching a successful career as a creative, working on the left brain as you continue to develop the right…. wow I could go on forever about this newly released book but I’m not going to say another word until Monday morning, November 24th. Then the contest will be posted and 5 winners will be selected and announced on Thursday so make sure you visit on Monday to see what the contest thing-y is all about. You’ll like it, I promise.

What do you plan to do this weekend? Write your list here and return on Monday to report in on your progress if you’d like. I’ll do the same. Keeps us accountable I think. See you in a few days!

(image from She Hit Pause Studios… because hey — some days you just need to lounge around in your panties playing with airplanes on your sofa. Um, yeah.)


Home Base Collections

November 21, 2008

Before you head off for the weekend, click on over to Home Base Collections to view Leanne Culy’s gorgeous range of textiles for the home from table runners & napkins to lamp shades, and cushions in three sizes. She has greeting cards and her fabric looks so good as upholstery too. Have you heard of this NZ home grown business launched by artist Leanne?

Leanne Culy spent most of her life as a stylist in the film industry and in graphic design. She currently works out of her studio creating artwork on vintage oars (you can see one of these oars in the photo below) and to Home Base Collections designing the gorgeous textiles and greeting cards that you see here. These patterns of flax, lace, teapots, the tiki, shells, etc. are very “New Zealand” and the colorways mimic her surroundings perfectly. They are also eco-friendly. Bonus!

Home Base Collections is new to America so there is only one store that stocks them and it’s in California at Botany Desire Boutique Apothecary & Spa in Ridgecrest. Please contact them directly for pricing and ordering information.

Interested in renting a beach house? This beauty is a private home directly on Haumoana Beach, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, and styled by Leanne Culy. It has a very distinct kiwi beach vibe… feast your eyes. Love this kitchen, so much.

I’m sitting here laughing as I wrap up this post…a beach house of all things to blog about today right after a post about doilies and winter decorating. It is currently snowing kittens and puppies as I look out of my window. I smell wood stoves a-burnin’. Tomorrow morning I’m going to a flea market in all of this snow to hunt vintage German textiles. I’m about as far away from warm summers at the beach as I can possibly be and yet I’m still inspired and completely smitten by this beach-y sunny collection and find these patterns completely stunning. Go figure. :) Inspiration is a funny thing, you know?

(photography: Brian Culy)

Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Delicate Doilies from Martha Stewart Living

November 20, 2008

I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.

The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!

I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.

Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).

Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.

MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.

(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)

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