Friday, April 20, 2012

Shabby Chic Origins, Styles & General Chat

What is Shabby Chic?
DEFINITION: Shabby chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique. At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor, often with a feminine feel is emphasised to differentiate it from genuine period decor. ORIGIN OF SHABBY CHIC: The term was coined by The World of Interiors magazine in the 1980s and became extremely popular in the US in the '90s with a certain eclectic surge of decorating styles with paints and effects, notably in metropolitan cultural centres on the West Coast of America, such as LA and San Francisco, with heavy influences from Mediterranean cultures such as Provence, Tuscany and Greece. Shabby chic is also a general term which can be used to refer to a person who is stylish rather than fashionable, where their style reflects quality as opposed to newness HISTORY: The style started in Great Britain and evokes the type of decoration found in large country houses where there are worn and faded old chintz sofas and curtains, old paintwork and unassuming 'good' taste. The end result of shabby chic is to achieve an elegant overall effect, as opposed to the sentimentally cute Pop-Victorian. Recycling old furniture and fabrics is an important aspect of the look and was especially popular with modern Bohemians and artisans that made up a sidelined counter-culture movement during the 1980s when expensive quality decor became very fashionable with the upper middle classes. The original shabby chic interiors were usually considered in themselves works of art. The early forms of shabby chic were rather grand but the style has evolved taking inspiration from many forms of decoration. These range from 18th century Swedish painted decoration, the French Chateau as well as the American Shakers where simplicity and plainness was essential. DESCRIPTION: Shabby chic items are often heavily painted through the years, with many layers showing through obviously time-worn areas. The style is imitated in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats. Fabrics tend to be cottons and linens, with linen being particularly popular, inspired by old French linens. Whites and worn or bleached out pastels are favorite colours. Fabric is often stained with tea to give it the look of old fabric. Bleached and faded are terms often applied to the style. It is not meant for old chipped furniture. The essence of today's shabby chic style is vintage and antique furniture with the original aged paint, or painted white (or another soft pastel color) and distressed at the corners by sanding. Antique pieces such as pie safes and jelly cupboards are popular in shabby chic d├ęcor.[2] Popular decor items are pillows made of vintage barkcloth fabric, vintage linens, chenille bedspreads, vintage chandeliers, and anything with roses on it. It is a soft, relaxed feminine romantic way of decorating that looks comfortable and inviting. Also called cottage style. (From Wikipedia)
SHABBY CHIC...you either love the style or hate it...right? Not so simple. I never liked the style of Shabby Chic for a long time. It just didn't grab me. It kind of felt scruffy or dirty because it was not new or something. However, over the years as I have got older, the style has started to grow on me. Perhaps as I am ageing, I can appreciate the aged look more lol! What I now find appealing is the softer, feminine look of it. There is a fragility to it at times that I do like. I don't like all Shabby Chic, in fact I am pretty particular and only like a few select items. The fresher, whites with pastel pinks, blues and greens get me going more than the aged look of off white, creams, greys, tea stained looks. Although having just said this, I am liking the tea stained doilie look on new items such as clothing. I think for me I have to get past the look of dirty as opposed to aged. Is this just me or do others of you feel the same way?
Well I know someone who is a Shabby Chic ADDICT and has a lot more experience in creating shabby chic wonders of delight than me. Nannyposs...I throw the floor open to you in the comments sections to share with us. Thanks x Tanya

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 3 & 4 from Withdrawing from the Addictive White Sugar

Just a quick update. I have managed to keep off the white sugar the past two days which brings it to the 4 days off it. The craving for white sugar usually leaves me from Day 4 onward, so I feel I have achieved my aim. Fortunately there has not been any withdrawal headaches which I find surprising given the copious amounts of Easter Eggs consumed! My plan for next week is to also get off raw sugar. I did make an orange cake for the hubby and kids yesterday and I confess to having had some of that. However, being a sufferer of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the flour in it deters me from having too much. This time last year I transitioned to Agave as my sugar replacement, however it has a very high glycaemic index and I really do not want to just keep replacing things and continue 'needing' something sweet with a cup of tea all the time. Also, I can't afford the dental bills!! So my plan is to have a little bit of honey or rapadura sugar in my baking and eventually stay off sweet treats all together. I really don't like being dependent on something in my diet and am very aware of how I use sweet treats as a reward. I am hoping to change my thought process and choose the foods that I put into my body as value adding ones only! Will let you know how I go... x Tanya

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who is blogging with us about Shabby Chic this friday?

Shabby Chicness in all it's forms will be the topic of conversation this Friday Night.
I will post back a bit later, however just wanted to give you the heads up so that you may go and research your favorite Shabby Chic thing to make, buy or just discuss. Anything goes really. See you again soon! xTanya

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DAY 2 of withdrawing from the Addictive White Sugar

Well Day 1 was easy to get through. That is until the evening when my husband cracked open his White Red Tulip Easter Rabbit and left it in a bowl on the couch in front of me for a couple of hours. He denied having heard it when I said to him the night before, not to eat chocolate in front of me. Why test my resolve? Normally when I am eliminating something from my diet I make sure that every trace of the food that I cave into most easily is removed from my house! My teenage son then came home from work and sat down with 2 BIG Red Tulip Easter Eggs that he had bought discounted at the shops before he went to work. He offered me some. I said 'No thanks'. He said 'come on mum, you have been good all day, you can have a little bit'. Still my resolve did not slip. I responded by saying 'the addictive quality of white sugar will just get me in again and having gone all day without sugar...it would be a waste'. I then added...'plus you are always going on about how if you just lost your bum mum, you would look alright'! He didn't push it after that. You see, you always throw the words of a teenager back in their face. It never fails to shut them up! Last night was only mildly difficult as I usually like to have something sweet with a cup of tea after dinner. However, I was GREATLY tested this morning when I was tidying up the nook on top of the oven (where a microwave would normally reside) when I discovered a bag of R T Solid Easter Eggs that I had hidden there previously. I felt a knee jerk reaction to feverishly, hide them away to have with a cup of tea later in the day when the kids went down for their nap. I had to quickly recruit my mindful awareness switch and reign in my self-sabotage-squirrel-like-hoarding temptation and place the eggs within site for hubby and the teenager to have later. I didn't feel as good about it as I should have as I REALLY wanted to eat them! Anyway, the temptation has settled now as I have had a yummy breakfast and satisfied my sweet tooth! Now off to take the kids for a walk down to the beach. Wish me luck for the rest of the day ~ I am sure my teenager will bring home more discounted Easter Eggs this evening! x Tanya PS. No withdrawal headaches as yet!