Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2011

  • Thank You Marie And Sofia....


    I keep it no secret that Sofia Coppola's movie, Marie Antoinette has been an endless source of inspiration for me. I love her luscious attention to detail, the sumptuous palette with the occasional quirk.


    Even amongst the Big Picture of a movie or a little vignette, it is those little details that elevate art from mediocrity to magic.



    Combining flea market treasures, a touch of luxury and bargains from the 99 cents store inspired by Marie, is so very shabby and chic.


    The funnest part of being inspired is absorbing a vision and translating it into our own world. And then the search for the treasures.


    Even for the most ordinary celebration over the top details can be layered in. Or fanciful in the most simple setting..........


    In my new book, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces, I have included a diverse array of homes and aesthetics. All sharing the same common thread qualities. Sharon Osbourne's dining room is a perfect example of Pure Beauty.


    For such a little accent, hats bring such attitude. I have been collecting floral vintage hats for years. Never quite as lavish as Marie, but maybe I will work my way up.


    While I am known for my rumpled feather and down white slipcovered sofas, I also love to compliment with comfy elegance.


    I know I am not alone with being continually inspired by the vision Sofia Coppola gave us all with her translation.


    The covers of my last two books are quite different but for sure have elements of the tattered elegance, which I couldn't have visualized, without Marie or Sofia.....forever thankful to them both.


    So in the end, the wonderful thing about being inspired is how we see different qualities, and then make them our own, whether by way of an accent or a visual symphony.


    You can see more inspirations of Marie Antoinette online at www.rachelashwellshabbychiccouture.com

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  • 3 Years Gone By


    My children continue to find their passions and understand the true values of life and love.

    Four Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture Stores (N.Y., LONDON, L.A., TEXAS) stand proud after some big bumps in my shabby world.

    Two books have been published, The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell (a precious B and B and base for creative projects), has opened.

    Simply Shabby Chic at Target continues to be a partnership that I am so proud to be part of.

    And other projects have been launched in the world of Shabby Chic. Quilting Fabrics and products in Michaels under Treasures by Shabby Chic, a line of furniture under the Shabby Chic Brand is sold across the country at furniture stores (different to Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Coutureā„¢ stores) and back in my home country at House of Fraser Stores there is a complete world of Shabby Chic products.

    "Are you getting enough rest and taking care of your self," is what mum would be saying. However, October 13th is 3 years since she passed away.


    Through out all my busy busy days of the past 3 years, not one day has gone by that I don't think about mum. Some days with a giggles, some days with a tear, some days with such gratitude of the depth of substance of who she was, and some days just wishing I could be greedy and that she could have been here for these past three years.


    The wonderful thing about having my mum is that her inspirations live on through many facets of my life.


    The core of how I live my life. Accepting imperfection takes away intimidation. The ice is already broken. With the influence of technology today it seems speed, the pretense of perfection and deletion of what was, makes for the absence of an authentic life, in some instances negating history and reality. Mum wouldn't have done well with that notion of deletion and retouching.


    On a practical level, her little tiny booth in Camden Passage in London was my entry into the world of retail.


    Sometimes she would want to go to the loo and ask me to "hold the fort". I never made a sale for her, but I could hold a good conversation even as a pre-teen and keep her customers engaged till she would return. To this day, I'm not much of a sales girl.


    To this day I can only sew by hand, but the hum of a sewing machine is a nostalgic comforting noise to me, as I would often hear this as i was going off to sleep as a child.


    The art of creating has flowed from mum to me and through both of my children, through art, music, gardening and seeking of the soul.


    In comparison to mum, I have had a very public life. One she wouldn't have wanted for herself. Sometimes I question if her daily practice of her art, with no agenda other than that of practice, and her choice to be anonymous is what allowed her to be really quite brilliant.


    Mums piano playing was always a big part of "nana visits"


    In their younger years I continued the tradition of playing the piano as my children would go to sleep, knowing the loveliness they would feel as I did when my mum played for me.


    Mostly, what my mum passed on to me, was how to love a child. Often expressed in her art. Perhaps from a void in her own childhood. The relationship of the love of mother and child was of the greatest value of all to her.


    motherand child

    This is "forever to keep " for me. Both in the material sense and spiritual.

    So for all mums inspirations that has given me such a rich life, and that is now passing on to my children, it is her gift of how to love a child, that is the greatest gift of all. I do miss her often but her leaving was in the normal flow of life, and
    she more than anyone would accept that path.....she was a true gift to me.


    P.S. As only Mum would do. My "valuable bits" long gone now, except for the precious thought and envelope.


    For information of book signing events, please click on home page of www.rachelashwellshabbychiccouture.com

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