Monday, October 24, 2011

Meeting Rachel Ashwell

Photo: Daria DeBuono

Glorious spaces.  
Fresh.  Bold.  Soulful.

Photo: Daria DeBuono

Right Photo: Daria DeBuono;  
For the party, every detail in the store was so pretty and thoughtful.  
So Rachel.

Right Photo: Daria DeBuono

If you don't live near a store, you're in luck...

It’s no secret Rachel’s Shabby Chic style has heavily influenced me.  Imagine my shock when one of her assistants contacted me to ask if I’d agree to be in her latest book Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces.  I received my complimentary copy the day before her October 20th Manhattan book signing, and after work read my chapter on the LIRR train en route to New York. 

In her lovely shop of treasures (velvet pumpkins and votives to herald the season—plus one box of Christmas ornaments—wait till she puts them on her website, you’ll die), her staff and customers gushed over my studio.  My dear friend Daria DeBuono (thanks for the pics, hon!) teasingly called me a celebrity.  (Me: “Oh stop!”)

When the line moved close enough, Rachel caught sight of me and said in her British accent, “Do I see Sandy over there?!”  She jumped up and hugged me, then we enjoyed a long chat while she signed my books. 

I’m moved she was moved by my humble little studio. 

I am so bashful looking at the pictures and book I’ve only looked at them twice.  It’s pretty surreal to see my name on the dedication page right next to Sharon Osbourne.  I don’t know many designers that would include the glittering L.A. home of Sharon and my shack in the same book.  But that’s Rachel.

She offers luxury, she offers value.  She feels both have merit, she proves it.

I relayed the one most important thing I wanted to say (but forgot) on her Facebook post expressing gratitude over the event: how proud I was of her.   She replied the same to me.

Until next time, stay shabby!

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Giveaway at DustyLu
Win a signed copy of
Rachel Ashwell's Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces!
Ends 28 October 2011
(Don't win Lu's?  Don't worry.
I'm giving a signed copy away on my annual December giveway, too.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gifts from Roberta Comeau: Whispers From The Past

Roberta Comeau, an artist residing in the Catskills of New York, has gifted me with a bouquet of fabric roses she created.  You may remember the sachet I bought from her here.  

And then there's the Gianna Rose Maltese gift soap shaped like a Maltese show that's CUTE!  I love pink and cocoa...great fall colors on my daughter Zuzu.   

It was great hearing from you Roberta, and I hope to get together with you Upstate in the new year after my schedule lets up!

1999 - 2011

I'm saddened to inform you I had to put my adopted daughter Belle down.
Her joints had degenerated to the point where she could barely walk,
glaucoma was setting in...but she's at the Rainbow Bridge now
and everything's OK.   Except I miss her.

Until next time, stay shabby!

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White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Wildflowers: Asters Native to the Catskills

Vintage wasp catcher from France, $60 - Dreamy Whites

Summer passed
Now dancing asters
have a blast
as golden roadsides
roll in shawls
of fuzzy faces
soft and small

snowworks call

Love now
We will not last
It's fall

Asters by Amy LV

Daintily branched all the way down the stem, and covered with tiny starry flowers with violet eyes, these beauties grace dry meadows and roadsides in late September.  The Small White-Flowered Aster and Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum racemosa & Symphyotrichum lateriflorum) are known to inbreed readily, so it’s not uncommon to see variations.   I transplanted a few plants from the side of the road two years ago and I’m rewarded with bloom without further fuss.

What is your favorite aster?

Until next time, stay shabby!

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White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Cottage Flora Thursdays at Fishtail Cottage

Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hard Black Wire, Soft White Interior

On acres of the seeded grasses
The changing burnish heaves;
Or marshalled under moons of harvest
Stand still all night the sheaves;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.

--from Tell Me Not Here, It Needs Not Saying by A.E. Housman

Picture 1: Light bulb cover (.50 cents at a yard sale) and Edison ‘squirrel cage’ filament antique style bulb

Picture 2:
Upcycled yard sale jewelry tree into a church candelabra with shabbos candles held in with tacky wax (in the candlemaking section of your craft store).

Picture 3: Chandeliers stripped of white paint, patinated with Jax antiquing polish and small smears of black Rustoleum paint.

Picture 4: Angel wings fashioned from heavy gauge baling wire and oxidized with Jax antiquing polish.

I love using vintage accessories to show off the contrast between black and white.   Industrial and hard vs. romantic and soft is elegant, practical, and leavens when your shabby romantic interior feels too “puffy and ruffly”.

Until next time, stay shabby!

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White Wednesday at Faded Charm