Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2010

  • "Home" What It Is And How To Get There.


    I have been thinking a lot just how much I travel.

    Visiting friends and family, visiting my three stores, or just restocking my inspiration bucket. I have adjusted to finding what feels like home, in many different ways.


    The moment I arrive on the streets of London, my inner wiring is set. I love the sunny blue days, but only if I get to have the gloomy days too.

    Home in London is a tiny little flat, all white of course.

    Home in Los Angeles, a Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture white linen plump chair.


    Home isn't always about a house. Sometimes its just where our loved ones are. For me that takes quite some traveling.


    Or home can simply be a great vintage cabinet where we hang our hats......


    Looking for inspiration takes me far and wide across the world. While photos in magazines or movies can be great sources of ideas, there is nothing better than experiencing different cultures.


    I wasn't sure what to expect going to India. I have only been there one time. I had an emergency plane landing there. (more of that later)

    But the colours and textiles that I was able to see were so very lovely. So very soothing to the eyes. And the handiwork is just lovely.


    Similar pink dupioni curtains in Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores.

    Seems I have instigated a life with my work, friends and family that can only function with the invention of flying. Thank goodness for planes, except I have a crippling fear of flying.


    From the moment I book a flight, (which is frequently), whether to San Francisco or Singapore I have butterflies in my stomach. From a week before travel I am watching the weather reports from my take off city, to my landing city. And all cities in between.

    Often when I step foot on the plane I have to have lengthy talks with the pilots and review the turbulence report with them. I must have a window seat. I have exchanged a business class aisle seat with a window in coach. I am convinced me looking out the window is willing the plane to stay in the sky.

    I never eat or drink, as I am very busy keeping the plane flying. And no one can ever talk to me. Unless it's the pilot who may have heard about my statue like demeanor.

    But I fly.

    From time to time I do a fear of flying course. I just completed one last week with Virgin Airlines.

    200 like minded people attended. All seemingly normal. (I's was quite a sight all of us being herded through Gatwick Airport.) Past security as the "special group"

    We all shared our particular fears. some I hadn't even thought of before. So now I have some brand new ones.

    The full day of discussions ended with a flight to nowhere. We landed at the same airport we took off from.


    We flew over London for ten minutes. The pilot talking us through every single noise and bump. if only every flight had a pilot speak all the way. It was the usual rainy cloudy skies, so plenty of bumps. When the plane landed, there was such an applause you would have thought we had invented flying rather than having just flew.

    The day was wonderfully helpful. I have new tools of tapping on my forehead, confirmations that turbulence is of no issue to the pilot or the plane.......

    But I still wish there were a magic carpet, or I had wings..........



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  • In Front Of My Eyes......

    I like to use blogging to communicate my stream of consciousness. Of recent days I was having a writers blogging block.....Until I walked into the New York location of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture store.


    I design what I hope to be "keep forever things", it takes time to be inspired, to design, to source elements needed and eventually manufacturing. Sometimes for many reasons products take quite some time to find their way on to the shop floor. As I walked through the New York store this week I was reintroduced to some products that had become a long lost, but favourite friend.


    Being inspired is the number one ingredient for me to keep evolving as a designer. Sometimes it takes time for an inspiration to find its home. I like to keep all inspirations in vision until I match the inspiration with design.



    Layering of textures with a smokey palette create a visual tapestry.



    While I was walking my way through my store, I found myself, re-inspired by the original source of inspiration.


    Feminine pastel french and raw primitive smokey aesthetics share Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture floor space. So very different, but still they hold all the qualities that fall under my design umbrella, pretty, soft, authentic, subtle, unique, inviting, whimsical.......telling stories.


    So while I was searching my thoughts for a subject to write, walking into my store, gave me all that I needed, right in front of my eyes....and that is rewarding.

    The cycle of inspiration continues.

    Find these and other beautiful inspirations at www.rachelashwellshabbychiccouture.com

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