It’s Day 30 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project, and feeling nostalgic because my baby girl turns Sweet 16 this weekend, I reframed her baby picture and ballet shoes using Shabby Chic shadow box frames. Shabby Chic style as made popular by Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the brand by that name, is also celebrating a birthday this year –– its 30th! And I’ve been enamored with the style for just as long. Sixteen years ago, however, the Simply Shabby Chic partnership with Target that offers her pieces at an affordable price point hadn’t been established. That came about in 2008. When my daughter was born in 2003 authentic Shabby Chic items were only available at Rachel Ashwell’s stores in select locations and weren’t accessible for me. That being the case, following in the founder of Shabby Chic’s shoes, I’d scour flea markets and antique malls for vintage pieces, like the the ornate oval gold frame I painted white and distressed to hold my daughter’s picture and a white shadow box with a carved bow detail to display her ballet shoes. They did so until recently when I scored big time at TJ Maxx and lovingly transferred both to these gorgeous Shabby Chic shadow box frames.
It may sound strange, but Shabby Chic decor has provided a one of the most consistent threads through my adult life and helped minimize the Ds –– barriers and challenges women face –– in the forms of death, depression, diagnosis, domestic violence, divorce, domestic court, dysfunctional relationships, and the list could go on…It has provided beauty, comfort and function –– Rachel Ashwell’s three maxims – and so much inspiration. Not only in the way I decorate my home, but in the way I live in it. She opened her first shop as a divorced, single mother of a girl and boy. Soon it reached such success it was called, “The shop heard round the world”. Personally and professionally, this Pink Collar Savvy & Chic mother, entrepreneur and creative leader has been a blessing as one of my greatest role models and contributors to me maximizing beauty and my best life.
I pray you will be inspired by this simple task of transferring beloved keepsakes to preserve the memories in an even more meaningful way. Perhaps you’ll even be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and reframe or organize pictures of your loved ones. By doing so, we honor them and their importance in our lives. You may also find any residual Ds fade from memory and only the beautiful, best images remain. Even if you don’t use Shabby Chic shadow box frames.
It’s Day 5 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m feeling inspired to create because of this pretty and practical picture board. Anyone close to me or who’s ever checked out this blog probably knows I’m a longtime Maxxinista and self-proclaimed Shabby Chic-o-fie. I fell in love with TJ Maxx back in the 90s and didn’t think the love affair could go any better until recently when TJ’s, Marshall’s and HomeGoods all started selling authentic Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell and The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell items and made it even sweeter. She’s most influenced not only my decorating but home life style. So the fact that she expanded her retail market from Target to the TJ Maxx family makes her beautiful, comfortable and functional finds more accessible. And it makes my heart go pitter patter. Like this pretty and practical picture board.
If you have the time, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and take a trip to these stores to check out the ever changing selection of Shabby Chic items. They don’t last long. Whether for your home or office, they beautify any space and elevate the functionality as well. Which is why I’m thrilled that my50th birthday is Monday and I often receive gift cards to my favorite treasure troves where I can discover more Shabby Chic finds like this pretty and practical picture board!
It’s Day 414 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m pleased to have pulled off my daughter’s 15th birthday on a budget. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– and that means I’m keeping a close watch on my pocket book. The great thing is, what started out as a barrier –– limited resources –– turned into an opportunity for me to minimize the barrier and maximize beauty and my best life. Given the fact that she had a party and sleepover at her dad’s on the actual day and that I would be taking her and her brother to something she’d requested a while back –– an Escape Room –– I felt she’d be happy with a few little treats. That being the case, when a dear friend gifted me with a Walgreen’s gift card and two Larosa’s (our hometown pizzeria) gift cards at the end of our lunch date last week, I knew how I’d use them. The former purchased some girly gifts –– Maybelline’s Baby Lips (she loves them), pink nail polish (she’d been eyeing mine), and her favorite candy bars. The latter were used for yummy pizza, salad and sodas. And because I love themed gifts ala Rachel Ashwell, I also purchased a cupcake themed bag and card from the drug store. Then I shredded a coordinating color of copy paper to make “confetti” filler. Next, a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we’re members of the Kids Birthday Club yielded a huge complimentary confetti cupcake. Finally, though there were no Groupons available, I scored a $12 a person deal for “Escape from Alpha Station” at our local entertainment spot. With that and our waitresses’ tip, I was all in $40 –– talk about a birthday on a budget!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose shopper, I’m thrilled about being able to make the most of what I had. More than that, though, making the most of the time with my children was the best part of the day. Liv truly enjoyed her gifts and promptly applied not one but both lip shades. And as all three of us shared the cupcake she poured over her card and gave me a hug far sweeter than the pastry. The Escape Room (www.funattheweb.com) was a blast. Levi displayed his high level of intelligence by deciphering one of the main clues, but alas, because we were in the room with lots of other people resulting in a bit of chaos, we didn’t escape. Still, seeing him and Liv work together so well did my mommy heart good. We shared pizza, so much laughter, and explored some ideas about the future while taking a walk. By the time the night ended, I knew though the birthday was on a budget, it was one of the best.
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about planning birthdays or other special events on a budget. At home? The office? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a large return on investment.
It’s Day 404 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve been working on a decorating project where my beloved Shabby Chic style is going Granny. Many people confuse the two styles, and while they have elements in common, there are others that distinguish them. More often than not, Shabby Chic decorating uses white or pastel walls as a neutral backdrop for paintings featuring flowers, white or neutral furnishings with soft, muted, feminine florals –– on fabrics such as window coverings, toss pillows, area rugs and bedding. Vintage wood pieces with their original distressed paint, chippy china, lace and crystal chandeliers are all featured in the rooms inspired by Rachel Ashwell, who originated the decorating style in the late 80s. Granny Chic style on the other hand hearkens back to much earlier when larger floral patterns were prevalent and handmade knit blankets and throws as well as croqueted doilies lent a homey feel to Grandma’s house. Today, these are paired with vintage furniture, accessories and artwork to create a look many elderly women would love –– but with a modern twist that makes it fashionable. Though I just had my 49th birthday, I don’t consider myself old but love this old-fashioned look. So when the need to freshen up a space that already had some grandma inspired decor arose, I embraced the chance for Shabby Chic to go Granny.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Shabbychicophile, it’s hard for me to step outside of my comfort zone when it comes to decor. Even so, there are times when I see other looks and am drawn to them. Rather than changing my style completely, I look for ways to incorporate them into my Shabby Chic aesthetic. That was the case when I became enamored with Prairie Style and redecorated my son’s room with prairie inspired accessories like a cowboy boot lamp, a large horse painting, horseshoes, a Native American look rug, etc. all with Shabby Chic blue and white bedding. Likewise when I put a Boho Chic twist on my daughter’s quintessentially Shabby Chic room with a Rachel Ashwell dream catcher, raspberry pillows and a Moroccan side table. In both instances, I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. This time, I’m not working with as many authentic Shabby Chic purchased items, but I feel I’m getting back to the heart of what the style was about at the beginning –– using timeworn treasures to create beautiful, comfortable, functional spaces. That being the case, I’m looking forward to posting the second part of Shabby Chic Goes Granny.
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about trying new decorating styles? Have any pieces that you could incorporate to infuse a little Granny Chic in your home or office? If you’re anything like me, you’ll be warmed by the nostalgic look and feel they bring.
It’s Day 376 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve been trying some new outdoor floor mats that have my sweet hubby questioning my tastes (Those are a little much for me) but since I’m the only one who sits on the porch and deck all the time –– for work and pleasure –– I figure I should go big boho and stay home! It’s no surprise I fell in love with the look of bohemian inspired floor mates while pursuing Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic website http://www.shabbychic.com, but it wasn’t the design maven who introduced me to them. It was actually her designer daughter, Lily Ashwell, whose company, of the same name, is one of the brands in the Shabby Chic family ––www.lilyashwell.com. Last summer, I reimagined my utilitarian laundry room using similar foam mats, and adore not only the look but functionality of the pieces. When my hubby questioned covering the floor drain back then, I simply cut around it. The foam feels great under your feet and is impervious to water, laundry detergent spills, etc. That being the case, when the mat outside the sliders on the deck deteriorated, the search began for something that would hold up to the heat and rain. The search ended once I found large scale bohemian inspired floor mats in colors that complement our decor. So despite some questioning looks from my better half, I’ve decided it’s my office space, so I should just go big boho and stay home.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Shabbychicophile, one of the things I enjoy most about this style of decorating is the curated feel. Pieces influenced by different countries –– England, France, Morocco –– and different design aesthetics –– English Country, French Country, bohemian, etc. blend together beautifully. The look is not for everyone and I’m OK with that. Personal style and taste are just that. Personal. I live fully in our home and work inside –– and outside –– it, too. Considering that I’m thankful even though my sweet husband may not appreciate my design choices, he gets me and knows they are an expression of my creative, nest-feathering side. Besides, he usually closes the window coverings to conserve energy and keep the house cool, so he doesn’t really have to look at the floor mats. Good thing since I’m committed to going big boho and staying home!
Like the look of big, bold bohemian inspired designs? Why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about incorporating them into your home or office?
It’s Day 358 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m thrilled with the way my spray painted Swan business card holder turned out. A few weeks ago my Swan Sister, Kibby, who has played an integral part in me defining my logo, gifted me with a ceramic swan she purchased while on vacation at a North Carolina thrift store for a quarter! Though it had muted Shabby Chic colors, pure white goes better with my business card and white, pink and gold branding. That wasn’t a problem since I’m a quick draw with my white spray paint can and knew a few coats would bring it fully into my preferred pallet. I’d transformed a black coaster holder for my novel, Seasons of Her Soul’s book cards and it now looks more at home on my marketing table than any standard plastic card holder purchased at an office supply store ever could. Armed with this knowledge and my paint can, I went under the deck and transformed the cute ceramic piece. Now it is an elegant spray painted Swan business card holder.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose DIYer, entrepreneur and small business owner, I love it when my passions and purpose come together. I’ve always loved taking something inexpensive and using a little energy and little expense to transform it into something beautiful and useful. Though I started doing this as a child long before Rachel Ashwell, the founder of Shabby Chic style, made it chic (I got my dream bedroom at age 13 by painting my wood bedroom furniture white), she’s such an amazing DIYer, entrepreneur and business owner that continue to be inspired by her. Channeling her as I applied the final touches, completing the transformation, I was delighted to find my new business cards with their Swan logo had arrived when I went inside. Just in time for last weekend’s women’s workshop! There they nestled inside the spray painted Swan business card holder gracing the table – such a lovely symbol of transformation – beckoning other Swans to embark on total transformation experiences of their own.
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about transforming ordinary items into something extraordinary for your home or business? Look around you. Could a can of spray paint turn an object into something that speaks about you as a person or professional?
It’s Day 311 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and when I received a sweet surprise package from my sister in law, Sue, it provided the perfect opportunity to fit a Florentine frame with a favorite family photo. Sue’s son got married last August and regular readers may recall how I excited I was about the wedding in Alpharetta, Georgia. With a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and a barn reception, it was country chic at its best. When Sue texted today to ask if I’d received the package I realized it had been sitting in the foyer with the label turned face down for over a week because I thought it was my hubby’s! I hadn’t been expecting anything, so receiving a box filled with photos, magazines, some sweet home decor, and a note absolutely Made. My. Day. And opening it wasn’t the only thing I finally got to do. Sometime last year I found a black 8×7 Florentine frame – not the standard size for family pictures – and have been waiting for the right one for it. With many of family members wearing black or navy in this photograph, the frame complemented the colors and was just the right fit!
I fell in love with Florentine frames about ten years ago when I first saw them on Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic website. As with so many other things, she informed my design style and taught me to keep an eye out for these Italian beauties. Over the years I’ve found frames in an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes, as well as three Florentine vanity trays at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods. People always comment on them and they’ve become a consistent theme that runs throughout my home. Any time I pop a picture into one, it elevates the visual impact and makes what was already valued for its sentiment a treasure aesthetically, too.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose nest featherer, I’m delighted whenever I can add a small thing of beauty to enhance my home. Florentine frames add it in spades and are featured in practically every room. Sometime in the future I’ll do a post featuring my collection, but for now, I I hope you’ll enjoy this one piece as much as I do. It’s been a good day for me simply because I finally got to open a thoughtful package from my sister-in-law and was inspired to fit a favorite family photo that she sent into a Florentine frame (and to blog about it!).
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about fitting your favorite photos into frames that elevate them and display how much you value the picture? Try doing this in your home or work space and you’ll find yourself surrounded by special memories – framed to last.
It’s Day 298 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and because I’m in love with My Floral Affair, Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell’s newest decor book, I’m excited to write a review about it. My own romance with Shabby Chic began in the 90s and will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary. Sometime in my youth I became an Anglophile (probably due to devouring all that Jane Austen). In college, where I majored in English Lit of course, I pledged a sorority whose colors are pastel pink and green which only fed my preference for the colors. Then in my early 20s I became a bit obsessed with design and developed a a deep, abiding love of flowers and pink roses in particular. The combination of the above is what initially drew me to English Country decor with its prevalence of large scale cabbage roses on chintz fabrics. When I opened a copy of Victoria magazine and saw a spread of Rachel Ashwell’s Malibu home and her Shabby Chic style – a mix of English cottage, California beach cottage and romantic French influences, with white and pastel painted furnishings set against white walls – all with a profusion of pink flowers – I fell SO hard and have been devoted ever since. I own all the Shabby Chic books, and couldn’t wait for the eleventh, knowing My Floral Affair wouldn’t disappoint.
The timing of the book’s release is ideal. March came in like a lion and it’s gone out like one too! Here in the midwest, we had the threat of twelve inches of snow toward the end of the month (it turned out to be much ado about nothing) and got a blanketing of it the day after a frigid Easter/April Fool’s Day. No joke! (I couldn’t resist). Worst case scenario I probably suffer from a bit of Seasonal Effective Disorder, and don’t enjoy winter all that much at the least. Between the cold, rain and snow, Spring Cleaning didn’t hold much appeal until I got ahold of a much anticipated copy of My Floral Affair. Pages of gorgeous, yummy decorating from Rachel Ashwell’s own homes as well as those of others in England, France, and Norway, all with flowers as the focus, make for tantalizing visual eye candy, and have inspired me to freshen up my Shabby Chic space in many ways, including with flowers.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose ShabbyChicophile, I’ve been a one-decorating style kinda woman for a while and I like it that way. My style is not trendy and it’s definitely not modern as my hubby and stepsons like to point out. I’m fine with their ribbing though because I realize they’re not accustomed to homes that don’t look as if the showroom display was shipped to the house and set up. I’d go mad in a space like that. Instead, I’ll take Shabby Chic, timeworn and timeless for life. Oh, and filled with flowers.
It’s Day 291 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and the restoration of a Shabby Chic mirror made me think about the restoration of other shattered things. The mirror was purchased for a song back in the happy days when an abundance of Rachel Ashwell’s Simply Shabby Chic line, made exclusively for Target, crowded the shelves. In the house I brought my babies – now fourteen and thirteen – home to, it graced my bathroom vanity. I don’t recall where it lived in the townhouse I moved into, thus ending my homelessness. Much of that time is a blur…When I married my sweet hubby and moved into the home we now share almost eight years ago, I lovingly hung my prized mirror in our bedroom. It’s a heavy piece – I just didn’t realize how heavy until it fell from the wall, shattering not only the mirror itself but the beautiful carved wooden frame. Carefully, I wrapped the broken pieces and stored them until the day would come when I’d have it put back together again. More years than I can account for later, that day finally arrived in the form of a Christmas gift from my hubby. We shipped the mirror off with our window cleaners. Today, after some needed spring cleaning, I set up my beautifully restored Shabby Chic mirror. It reminds me so much of other shattered things.
Generous as he is with me, my husband still balked a little at the cost to restore the mirror – $42. He could see the price tag on the frame insert – $9.99 – and wondered why I didn’t just replace it. But that’s not my style. I’ve been drawn to shabby since long before it became chic. I find beauty in broken things and experience joy in their restoration, which aligns to Shabby Chic’s principle of beauty in imperfection. Add to that the fact that the mirror is rare (that mass production of Simply Shabby Chic items for Target was short lived and now they only carry linens for the most part), and it’s not so easily replaced – at least not for me. Having an authentic mirror that is based off the one my design role model and most inspiring entrepreneur has in her home means something to me. Besides, I doubt I could find one that’s more beautiful in my eyes.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I see my shattered mirror the way I believe God, the Master Creator, sees us – His shattered things. We are intricately carved in His image, with his imprint and design, but our sins are heavy. So heavy that their weight sometimes causes us to fall and shatter. In our broken state, others don’t see our innate value and may feel we aren’t worth the expense of restoring. But God still sees us as beautiful, rare – a treasure. No expense – including crucifixion of His only begotten Son – is too great to bring us back to wholeness. The finished work – done on the cross – restores us. This week, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it’s not lost on me that like my Shabby Chic mirror, like us, His shattered things, He once was broken and shattered. Praise God He is restored, ensuring the restoration of those of us who trust Him, too.
How Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose are you in the you view shattered things in your personal and professional life? How could they be restored?
It’s Day 268 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m delighted that Romantic Homes Magazine is bringing Shabby Chic back by having Rachel Ashwell as a month contributor! I fell in love with this style of decorating back in the late 90s soon after Rachel Ashwell, its founder, opened her Malibu “shop heard round the world”. At that time, authentic Shabby Chic magazine spreads featuring Rachel’s work (and not all of the knockoffs we see today) graced every bookstore and newsstand. Around Y2K Rachel’s popularity grew to celebrity status and so did her list of clients which included Jennifer Lopez, Pamela Anderson and Jessica Simpson. Any time I needed a Shabby Chic fix, I could pick up a copy of several different magazines and get lost in pages of eye candy and inspiration. Around 2009 this Pink Collar design maven took some unsound business advice that cost her dearly and resulted in bankruptcy. (I know because I researched her for a graduate study project on organizational leadership). Stores dotted across the country and in her native England closed their doors and only her California, New York and London sites remained open. While still able to access the much diminished Simply Shabby Chic offerings at Target and the occasional book or magazine feature, I missed regular doses of this decorating style and its originator. Seeing her name and home on the cover of Romantic Homes todayand learning Rachel Ashwell will be a monthly contributor means they’re bringing Shabby Chic back!
Fellow bloggers and French Country decorating enthusiasts might appreciate this: Rachel Ashwell isn’t the only one who’s joined the Romantic Homes staff. Courtney Allison, the incredibly successful blogger behind “French Country Cottage” is the magazine’s new Editor. I must confess, other than Shabby Chic, Courtney’s style is one of the few that has inspired me, not only in decorating but in becoming a blogger. She’s perfected the art and truly made it into a career, maximizing and monetizing every opportunity – something to which many bloggers aspire. You can visit Courtney’s site at www.frenchcountrycottage.net. Though Courtney’s style is different than Rachel’s the Shabby Chic influence is evident in the editor’s French Country decor. The editor stated, “She will be sharing vintage treasures, design inspirations and much more.” Hopefully “the more” means more Shabby Chic inspired homes featured!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose life long decorating enthusiast with an interior design degree, there was a time when I wanted to do it full time. I landed really good jobs but hated the “selling side” of things. Even so, I never stopped doing freelance work and still offer interior coaching as part of my business. In fact, I’d just done so with a client right before I found the magazine while picking up a birthday card for my son. What I felt when I saw it could probably be described as joy, which reinforces that the decorator in me is alive and well. Now thanks to Romantic Homes bringing Shabby Chic back, my favorite decorating style is too.
What’s your favorite decorating style? How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about exposing yourself to it and expressing in your home and/or office?