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 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 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!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Remove White Sugar from my Diet Challenge

DAY 1 Today, after causing my insides to have become marinated in Easter Egg Chocolate, I am kicking the habit and cutting white sugar from diet. They say white sugar is a cancer causing carcinogen and I believe it. Why I have been able to switch off that useful bit of information in denial so that I can indulge myself over Easter...who knows? One thing I do know is that when I maintain a steady supply of white sugar into my body, the quality of my thoughts go off. They become a bit insidious and deceptive about what is reality. Once it's got a hold on my thought process, my mood and motivation also then plummets. It's really not worth it and if it's doing such negative things to my mind, it must be a pretty powerful 'drug' to take control over me to this degree.
I am expecting sugar withdrawal headaches of course. However I am planning to wean myself gently in others ways. Whilst I am going cold turkey on white sugar, this week I will still have small amounts of raw sugar (not brown sugar, which is just white sugar coloured by molasses) and raw honey. Here is my 4 yr old having just brought to me a packet of Red Tulip solid eggs that he just got out of the fridge. Tempted? No. I made the decision last night that they didn't taste as good as I first thought (yeh, right!) and that even if I saw my husband still eating them of an evening, I choose not to be tempted. I know that I can do it. I have done it before. Also, that little bout of insomnia that I experienced last night that kept me up until 3am this morning because I stuffed copious amounts of chocolate into my mouth 'for the last time', has galvanized me. I think laying in bed last night, I could almost feel the river of chocolate spreading through my body and changing my cellular structure and not for the good!. So support me, encourage me and journey with me PLEASE! I need all of the help I can get for the next 3 to 5 days. That's how long it takes for the addictive pull and yearning of white sugar to abate. Thanks goodness I have a whole lot of sewing to do to keep me busy! x Tanya

Sunday, April 15, 2012

KEEPING IT REAL...New look Bubble & Bear!

That saying 'It's not about appearance, it's what's inside'. Unless there is something about something (or someone) that 'grabs' you to make you take a second look, some people will never know what's inside. They will never see it. Now I know this post is just about the outer shell or the introductory 'look' of Bubble & Bear changing, but we can relate this same principle to people.
Facebook is ALL about visual. What our eyes first sees and what piques our interest, guides our keying fingers to click on a certain name, page, photo or link. Now what decides what piques our interest? Obviously this is variable depending on the individual. However, market trends and marketing leaders kind of dictate to us through subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways, what is 'appealing' to the average person. Our teenagers are the guinea pigs in this age of ipads, iphone, I Facebook etc. Their eyes are constantly being bombarded and their minds and motivations shaped by what they see on their screens and monitors. We all need to keep a firm hold on the old adage "what maketh the person", because we are all being slowly influenced and perhaps gently manipulated and lulled into a more 'virtual' and commercial lifestyle. Even us mums who are 'grounded' by the in-the-moment realities of raising children, get caught up in the yummy mummy, stay-at-home-business-woman-persona that is portrayed via facebook, pinterest and blogosphere. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for the way these avenues have enabled us WAHM's to gain confidence and etch out a working niche for ourselves whilst balancing motherhood and housenessdom. There are some amazing women out there who are 'keeping it real' for us and blogging about integrity, being true to ourselves (and others) and being mindfully aware of the pitfalls of the social media marketing slants on reality. Keeping it real. That's whats needed as we traverse the great divide between relating in person with customers whilst switching on our intuitive senses to guide our interactions with others, as opposed to the 'virtual-unverifiable-relating-behind-the-screen-and-across-the-distance-from-my-monitor-to-your-monitor', where for all we know, someone may just be 'keeping up appearances'. We have to be attracted to take a second look. Once we have had more of a look, although we can't see the non-verbal cues in conversing with the face behind the business page, we can glean a sense of the 'quality' of this person and their business by the way in which they interact on their page and the feedback and comments from others. This then gives us the confidence to go further and commit to an interaction with that person or page. Our experience then shapes our decision as to whether or not we can trust in them. Why have I gone in this circular, round about way to announce that Bubble & Bear now have a new look? lol! Basically, because I am genuinely fascinated by the whole social media, networking and interaction that is taking place on the internet via facebook and blogging and my journey in experiencing it, learning from it and growing. I have great plans for Bubble & Bear, so in changing the look of B&B I hope to portray that we (my business and me) are a growing entity that is motivated to serve it's customers with integrity, interest, enjoyment and appreciation. Thanks for being part of it with me. x Tanya

Friday, April 13, 2012

Introducing...'Blog ~ About with B & B' on Friday Nights

Welcome to our first 'BLOG ~ About' on a Friday night. The impetus for this planned weekly event is to link together some of the wonderful people I am meeting through Bubble & Bear's facebook page. To learn a little bit more about you all, what excites you, what you feel passionate about, what YOU are interested in and would like to hear about and just generally blog about this stuff. Why friday night's? Because, I am a self imposed recluse who has no life and am ALWAYS home on friday nights. I am always imagining what exciting things people must be getting up to out there on their friday nights, however, I thought to myself "surely there must be some other people out there with no life"? I want to commune with you if that is you also. If for some miraculous change of circumstances I do venture out on a friday night in the not-to-remotely-likely future, there will be a NEWSFLASH and I will let you know. Now, the game plan for a Friday night 'Blog ~ About' is for any of you to post on Bubble & Bear's facebook page through the week with a topic, thought, area of interest to be blogged about for that Friday. Anything and everything is blog worthy for us Friday night stay-at-homers. I will do a little research about the suggested topic, taking in other peoples' thoughts and comments and then we can all discuss it in the comments section under the blog post. Feel free to post links relevant to the topic in the comments section also. We already have a topic for next friday evening...'Shabby Chic' as (kind of) suggested (with a little help from me) by the lovely Wendy P. As it is a bit too late tonight for a well thought out or researched blog~about post, I will just share a little about what makes me tick, what I like, what I am interested in learning about and anything else that comes to mind really!
So,I like chocolate, I am interested in raw and whole food eating however am not really living by it as I am easily swayed by the festivities and social interaction around rich food at Christmas which takes me through with bad eating habits until Easter. I love kids, I care about my community. I used to like and enjoy doing exercise however since having more children I am struggling to find the balance and self discipline to prioritize exercise. It is something that I keep aspiring to 'start doing' in the very near future :) I started Bubble & Bear after my mother-in-law reignited my creative urge last year after teaching me how to make ragged quilts. I have always been 'crafty' and studied Art in high school, however I never knew how to incorporate 'Art' into everyday life. It hadn't really occurred to me that you could make functional, beautiful and useful products that allowed you to follow a creative process and experience. It always felt self indulgent to immerse myself in Art...until recently! Combining the social media of Facebook with a stay-at-home-mums passion for making has been an extremely rewarding experience. By rewarding I do not mean monetarily, but by how my life feels enriched by the interactions I am having with my customers, followers and fellow business page owners. If I was 'out' at work, I would be experiencing fulfilling interactions with people in person. The next best thing is being able to stay at home and still have this interaction, albeit of a virtual nature and quietly read out in my mind! Except when some of my customers opt to come and pick up their creations or I meet them somewhere close by to drop their orders to them. It has been really lovely to meet them in person and really lifts my day to then say hello again on facebook a few days later. I told you I would ramble! So getting back to the Blog ~ Abouts on Friday nights...I am hoping that there might be a few topic suggestions from people, however here are a few of mine, based on interests and questions I have rattling around in my mind at the moment. In no particular order but numbered because this post needs a bit of direction and I haven't worked out how to make my paragraphs stay set out as paragraphs once I have hit 'publish'. Any pointers on this from someone in the know? 1. How to get my new overlocker to do narrower stitches than what my instruction booklet and machine setting seems to allow (without it being set on rolled hem mode)? 2. What is the favorite look this winter for kids? 3. Who is an up and coming fabric designer to look out for? 4. How do mums with more than 2 children manage to keep their day in balance so that they get enough exercise/sleep, eat well, pay bills, shop, clean, stop said kids from strangling each other and return all emails & phone calls and remember everyone's birthdays? 5. What crafty activities can I do indoors this winter with the kids to stop them getting cabin fever? 6. How do I keep sane whilst raising my teenager? 7. How do I stay 'connected' with hubby when all the other stuff has me feeling depleted most days? I have a lot more I could add but will hold it there. So at this stage, next Friday is looking a bit Shabby. Hope you will come get shabby with us! x Tanya

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Labels for Bubble & Bear

Here are our new labels. Bright, bold and colourful...
What do you think? x Tanya

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sneak Peak of Hot Pink, Aqua, Lime Pinwale Cord Ruffle Pants

I just thought I'd share these gorgeous colours I have used to make these Pinwale Cord Ruffle Pants.
What do people think of the colours? I know they are not traditional colours for winter but they will brighten up a dull day don't you think? x Tanya