Friday, 16 February 2018

Yoga & Gym Clothing Rock & Roll Style ...Hell yeah!!

So as you know, I did a photoshoot last week with model Elegy Ellem and photographer Kristiina Andersson, for my new range of workout gear. I posted up some behind the scenes nonsense last week, right after the shoot, but they were just crappy snaps, so I thought you might like to see the final pictures...



Elegy is a very bendy bunny...



Also a very strong bunny too... quite impressed by that actually :-)


If you want to get your hands on some of my fab new gear then get yourself along to my web shop.. and don't forget that we donate 5% of everything we sell through the web shop to an NGO in India that helps get women into business. Giving them the chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty...

So make a statement and make a difference.



Friday, 9 February 2018

Tattoos, Yoga & a Very Sweaty Photo Session!

This morning I've been doing a photo session for my brand new workout gear, with the lovely model Elegy (Linda-Marie) and photographer Kristiina Andersson in my local gym.
Man did we make Elegy work! Good thing she actually knows what she is doing in the yoga department, some of those positions! You'll see...
anyway, here is a quick behind the scenes video and some rubbish snaps from my camera phone in the gloom... I'll post up the finished shots when they are ready.

If you want some fab new gym gear, then check out my web store and don't forget that 5% of everything sold goes towards empowering women in Tamil Nadu India, getting them into business and lifting them out of poverty. You can read more about that over on my website.



Remember that this life is not a rehearsal... get your butt down the gym :-)
..........and I say that with love ........




Friday, 2 February 2018

Going Plastic Bag Free February Challenge!

Hello there!

This is just a quick 'drive by'... unfortunately both of my girls have the flu and I'm home with them today... Plus this morning I got a call from my factory to say that my new organic fabric is narrower than my designs to print on it and so I have to re-size all my files today...whilst tending to the small grumpy ones...

I wanted to talk about my idea of going 100% plastic bag free as a February challenge... I wanted to give you a load of stats about why the production of plastic bags is bad for the environment... I wanted to write a rebuttal to people that scoff at me and say that if you live in Sweden then it makes no difference if you use plastic bags or not... that's bollocks by the way... But I just don't have the time to do any of that...

So please, if you haven't already stopped using plastic bags, consider February as a month to give it a try. Top tips: keep a bunch of bags in the back of the car and keep a fabric shopper in your handbag so you are ready for any spontaneous purchasing...

If you are worried that you use the plastic shopping bags as bin liners so what will you do about that... then buy 'green bags' made from renewable sources. These are actually much better for the environment than normal plastic bags, because they are not made from petrochemicals, they are made from growing things... (I'm posting in the videos I made about plastic bags, if you want to know more... see below)

So that's all I've got time for now... got to go and take temperatures and administer generous amounts of ice cream and cuddles... Look after yourself this weekend and think about the plastic bag thing...

You can buy these here




Friday, 26 January 2018

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Get Crafty

I'm not at all judgy about other peoples choices, but more and more I realise that often it is not about choice at all... often we just don't realise there is a choice to be made. So what I mean is like, a few years ago, I didn't think twice about using plastic shopping bags for all my shopping, it just didn't occur to me that perhaps that wasn't best for the environment. Not just in the way they get disposed of, but in the toxic way they are made in the first place. I just didn't think about it. So I've been on a discovery journey about all the things I could improve, that I just haven't thought about before...

We all want to make a difference and do our bit, and the less rubbish we create the better for the environment, so have you ever thought about the amount of paper napkins/serviettes you use over the course of a year?
Well if my family of 5 use 5 serviettes every couple of days that is just under 1000 serviettes in 1 year. That might not sound like that much but then multiply that figure by the amount of people who use them and the end result is truly staggering! Think of all the resources, bleach, dyes and chemicals being used to make them and we don't really even need them.

So my family started using fabric napkins about a year ago which are not only much better for the environment but are way more civilised. It's like 'Downton Abbey' round my house every night! Ok, just joking, it's not like that at all! But fabric napkins are just so much nicer and just sling them in the wash every once in a while.


I decided I would make some fabric napkins out of a piece of my Spring Cottage fabric and there was enough in 1 meter to make 4 napkins plus a meter long table runner for the centre. 

I cut 52 cm squares and sewed the edges on my machine with a double fold, so there are no rough edges and it was super simple, took about 5 minutes per napkin.

So if you fancy a simple crafty project then get yourself a meter of fabric, maybe you already have something tucked away, and whip yourself up some super sustainably stylish napkins. If you want to use Van Asch fabric for this purpose, it works very well because it is 100% cotton and that is important for the absorbency plus the weight is just right, you can order a meter here

Now, before I go, I want to ask you... do you own anything Van Asch and want to film a testimonial? If you send me a video of yourself saying nice things about something you have bought then I will give you a whopping 50% off discount code to use in my store any time this year, as a Thank You. There are only a couple of rules, it must be a video, you have to be in the video with the thing you are talking about and I must get the video by February 10th. You can email it to me rachel@vanasch.se and then I'll give you your special VIP discount code. I'm going to use them on my various social media and website etc...

Here are a couple I already have...




Thursday, 18 January 2018

Yellow in Interiors Makes Me Happy!

Yesterday I was involved in a horrible dog fight. My lovely neighbours have a huge dog who hates my dog, well the feeling is mutual... they are mortal enemies. The fact that they live opposite each other has been cause for many an 'exciting' interaction. Now Mr Boycie, my handsome dog is fairly small and relatively easy to control, but no so the Rhodesian Ridgeback hound that lives opposite. Yesterday I was going out to the car, I'd dropped off the shopping and was going to put my dog in the back to drive to the car park and take him for a wee...bad timing. The big dog was on the other side of my car, I didn't see him and by the time I reached the car it was too late, he came around, dragging the owner and launched himself at my dog. The owner wasn't strong enough to pull him away straight away so he bit my dog and as I tried to pull my dog away, my legs got wrapped in the lead and I went over on top of my small dog. I thought I'd killed him. There was some dog fighting going on around my person as I was flailing in a heap on the snowy ground, bound up in dog leads and buffeted by bitey dogs... I couldn't get up. Finally they got the big dog out of there...I was swearing a great deal, like really bad stuff, I was in a lot of pain. Someone got my dog out of there and he wasn't dead, he was very feisty in fact, but I was in too much pain to get up, thought I'd broken my foot. Turns out it was just a sprain, but man did it hurt! The lovely neighbours put snow on, made sure it wasn't broken then bandaged it up. Some other lovely neighbours lent me some crutches...so now I'm hobbling around on crutches for the first time in my life.

So yesterday was a pretty bad day, I was very shaken by the extreme violence of it all and the pain obviously, and also very scared that something would happen to my beloved little naughty dog, who is my constant furry companion... so now I'm just taking it easy... and as an antidote to that badness I'm going to share with you a few of my favourite yellow themed interiors...because you just can't be sad around bright yellow...

I love this wardrobe with the surprising yellow interior, such fun...

pic from Hometalk

or how about this de Gournay wallpaper? Same colour combo again...


















Some vintage decoupage weirdness from Winona Cookie


I'll leave you with these interiors pictures where just a pop of yellow is all that's needed...




Friday, 12 January 2018

Optimism is Back in Fashion!

Moaning about how crap everything is, is so last season darling!

Yes, I know 2017 was a right shocker, with people reeling from the double whammy that was Trump and Brexit. But you can only stay in shock for so long, before it wears off.

2017 has been like a giant grief cycle, on steroids... The 5 stages of grief is a series of responses to death that virtually every human experiences.  They are denial, anger,  depression, bargaining then finally acceptance. How fast we move through that cycle and how we deal with the various stages is very personal, but I get the very strong feeling that a lot of us have moved through  this last year, as if there has been some kind of death...the 'death of reason' maybe, and have reached acceptance and are starting to look forward again. Don't get me wrong, acceptance doesn't mean that you are ok with how things are, it just means that you accept the reality.

Being shocked and reactionary isn't going to get us anywhere. We need to set a positive agenda and put our time and money into the things we believe in and that make the world a better place.

I'm bored of being angry with the world, plus its exhausting. Better to decide how you can make a positive difference and put your energy into that.

For me, it'a about reducing the amount of plastic I use and encouraging others to do the same. Amongst other things...

Positive change is not easy. Sigmund Freud said
'Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility'

It's true, but it really is the only way we can improve the situation. Would you rather be part of the problem or part of the solution? I know you would much rather be part of the solution. So it's time to look at your principles and start living by them. If you don't like the awful environmental impact that Palm Oil plantations have, then don't buy products with palm oil in. If you don't like how battery farmed animals are treated, stop eating them. If you don't like how your local council is doing something in your community then campaign to change it. If you want your local shops to stay in business then spend your money there rather than the out of town super stores. If you like having a local bookshop, buy your books there instead of on Amazon, if you want to help save the bees, plant the mind of flowers they like in your garden...Just decide what you care about and follow through.

Don't wait for your government or the big corporations to fix it all, we know that's not going to happen. 


I find it mildly amusing that the Pantone colour of the year is also often associated with madness...

Yes, it is all a bit mad out there but if we all make an effort, pull our socks up, we can work with this madness... plus it is also a colour often associated with spiritual enlightenment. So lets go through the madness and into enlightenment.

That would be quite nice wouldn't it?


I don't know about you, but I'm feeling very excited and positive about this year...












Friday, 5 January 2018

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 - Ultra Violet

Well well well.... Pantone have announced the colour of the Year for 2018 and what do we think of that then???



I've got very mixed feelings about the colour purple. You see, back when I was 17 - 18 I was purple. I had purple hair, wore a lot of purple, room was painted purple... you get the idea. I've really done the colour purple 100%.
Just to prove it, here are the only photos of me from that time... with purple hair...


The thing is that I do love certain shades of purple, I've even done a blog about it earlier this year, the trends for purple & Green, so I saw this coming. It's just the particular shade that I'm not in love with... it's a bit of a mad purple. Mind you, the world does feel a bit mad so maybe that is rather appropriate.

                        Paint pic from BHG.com                                                            Pic from Elledecor


Well I won't be rushing to repaint my home in bright purple or start wearing it again, those days are done, but if you feel it for this type of bright shade, then my advice is to mix it up with other dark and jewels colours. I don't like this colour in modern boxy spaces, painted on walls next to white, it's too harsh... so keep it bohemian or keep the purple details small, like a velvet chair for example...
pic from Horchow.com

If you want to see more fun ways to use this colour then check out my Pinterest board