Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Granny Chic & Cafe Tjärlek

What a week I've had! So many things I haven't had time to blog about any of it! So, let's start at the beginning... Last week I visited a fantastic cafe in Stockholm called Cafe Tjärlek. My friend Janice and I were shopping in Söder and were in much need of refreshments so we stumbled upon this super cool little gem... Run by a wonderful woman called Dinah, we enjoyed some delicious food and the eccentric wallpaper even more! The decor of the cafe and room out the back were colourful, fun and eccentric in equal measure, I felt quite at home there!

The whole experience got me thinking about about Granny Chic. I know it's been around for years but being in the cafe really showed me how great granny chic could be. This is not to be confused with shabby chic or country chic. Granny chic is a bit more kitchy, with lots of crochet, patchwork, mismatched cushions, mad old lamps, thriftstore artwork and coziness.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Me & My Home

As I mentioned earlier, I had an interview coming up with a big Swedish newspaper... I spent the last few day going mad, cleaning, painting, organizing...
Well, they came yesterday and here's a quick snap of me getting ready...

 and we had a delightful interview over breakfast... Everything is so much better with pastries involved...

Then they roamed around my house taking pictures. Here are some similar that my friend 
Janice Issitt Photography took just before they arrived.

My Bedroom

My Living Room

I'm in the middle of lots of photoshoots right now, just back from a fantastic photoshoot at Görvälnsslott today...more on that in the next blog which will be after midsommer.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Upcycled Tablecloth & Prep for Photoshoot

Well! Where to begin? Busy busy busy! I don't know if I mentioned this fact, but one of Sweden's biggest newspapers is coming to my house next week to interview me and take pictures of me and my humble home. Do you know what that means? It means I'm driving myself crazy trying to fix everything, clean everything and make all the special little bits that I always wanted in the house but never had time to make. I still don't have time but now I've got a big incentive... so I've made myself a linen table cloth and edged it with old dollies and handmade crocheted bits I found in various secondhand stores and boot fairs (loppis). I thought husband would hate it but he said it's the nicest tablecloth he's ever seen. There is no higher praise :-)

You know I've been making some little deer antlers for one of my daughters to wear in an upcoming photoshoot I've got planned with Janice Issitt. Well, I painted them white then browny black and sanded off bits to give that realistic worn antler look but I didn't like it. They looked to dark and spooky to be on my little poppits head so I made an impulse decision to paint them with some left over Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antoinette pink that I bought from Store Gården Country Living. You can't really see that they are a beautiful soft dusky pink but they are really lovely.
Now I just have to put them onto a hairband and we are good to go...

So, there are so many photoshoots planned for next week it's all a bit hard to keep it in my head! Here is a big pink paper flower, I've borrowed a whole sack of them from a kind friend who just got married ( these were some of the decorations). They are going into the forest photoshoot with my girls, my cushions and yummy cakes, and they are going to look fab!

Behind is one of the cushions I just made for my new stockist in Poland and I've also confirmed a distributor in Japan so Van Asch is really get out there right now! 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Deer Antlers & Mud World

One of the super great things about my job is the wonderful variety of things I get to do and make. One day I might work on the computer designing and another might be up to my eyes in quirky components for making jewellery but I bet you can't guess what I started making yesterday...? No? Well I'm making some deer antlers from paper maché and wire. Why am I doing that? Well, I have a very exciting photo collaboration coming up with Janice Issitt Photography. We are going to take my kids into the deep dark woods and set up an eccentric little world for them to play in, full of cakes and teacups and lots of Van Asch cushions. One of my daughters will sport a pair of antlers, as if nature has started to transform her, and the forest make her it's own. Here's a pic of the work in progress and I'll post up finished pics in the next couple of days.
I started with some wire and made the shape. Then I wound masking tape around the wire and then paper maché. I'm really happy with the shape but all the detailing will happen in the next stages.

Speaking of nature and transformation, there are big changes going on in my neigbourhood. Apparently there used to be an important viking waterway 100's of years ago which has devolved over time to become a small stream. The powers that be have decided to transform the stream into it's former glory and so Mud World was born. There are diggers that are sooo huge it boogles the mind, digging up vast chunks of the countryside, digging out lakes and 'scenic features'.

When they first started this winter, there was just piles of mud everywhere and it all looked like the moon or something but now nature is reclaiming the land and grass is growing over it. Here a big channel has been dug out of the clay which will become part of the new waterway when it gets joined up.

Lots of people in the area seem not to be too happy with all this mud and disruption but I think it is going to be fantastic when it is finished. (putting aside the obvious question of whether tax payers money should be be spent on industrial sized landscape gardening rather than say, more doctors, help for the homeless etc.) Can Sweden really be so perfect they have money left over for making pretty nature even more pretty? Hmmmm....these questions are beyond the scope of this blog or my ability to know. What I do know though, is that it'll make a darn great picnic spot in a few years time.