Friday, 25 September 2015

Organisation & Discipline

Alright, before you get too excited, this blog is not about how to organise an S & M dungeon. The discipline involved is self discipline and the organisation refers to something that I'm super hopped up about right now, my schedule.

So it is a true and real thing that we people have only a limited amount of will power according to the white coats, and if you use up your precious limited resource then you have none left to resist that tempting piece of cheesecake you really know you shouldn't have, or to get your lazy butt down to the gym.

So, the thing to do is to remove the need for constant decision making, to automate parts of your life, thusly leaving oodles of will power left for dealing with those really challenging the relentless badgering of your kids ;-) Maybe it's just mine but they ask for things, or demand them, constantly. When we are out shopping I have to make about 30 decisions to buy those cookies or not? To get them some crap plastic toy or not to get it? Do they really need new gym clothes or are they asking just because they like the look of them? You get the idea, and this is not easily dealt with when your will power has been reduced to a fine powder on the floor, being blown away by the demanding winds of parenthood.

So my advice is to make yourself an ├╝ber schedule so you don't have to make so many decisions.

I do mine on a sunday evening and I plan the week before me. It includes all the gym visits and yoga I will do and all the meals I will cook. Thusly guillotining the duel willpower succubi of exercise and meal planning.

I also list all the things I need to do for work, from the tiniest quicky emails to the epic new season collection decisions. This means everything is written down so I don't need to stay awake at night worrying about all the things I might have forgotten.

The sum total of this is that I have never been more productive, more focused or fitter... I'm still waiting to figure out a way that my schedule will prevent me from putting that fudge brownie in my mouth but hey, nothing is perfect!

Speaking of brownies, I made some Paleo brownies last night, sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar and I've gotta say they were a triumph. If you fancy to see the recipe, just leave a comment and I'll post it up. Perfect if you are lactose, fructose or Gluten intolerant.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Art - The Garden & The Illuminations by BichardTroj

I went out in lovely old town GamlaStan last night, to visit a very special art opening one night only exhibition by artists Iva Troj and John-Paul Bichard. I love GamlaStan and it has a special place in my heart as it is where I had my shop when I first moved to Stockholm 9 years ago.

The exhibition was fabulous and I can say, with my hand on my heart, that if I had the cash, I would soooo be buying these babies up and taking them home. I loved it so much!
What is really weird about this particular exhibition is that the art is made by 2 artists. They each contribute to the finished piece. John-Paul is the photographer and Iva Troj is the painter. And they are both very clever bunnies!

I had a chat with John-Paul and apparently there is a whole 'narrative' that goes along with the artworks...I nodded at the time and it seemed to make sense, but for the life of me I can't remember a word he said so I'm lifting this text from their website...

Iva Troj and John-Paul Bichard have been working on The Garden and The Illumination Series since 2013. The duo have developed the works under the identity BichardTroj which brings together an exploration of identity, sexuality, storytelling and myth. BichardTroj are an artist duo that explore the nature of sexuality, storytelling and the art historical nude through the filters of contemporary culture. By combining their original work, videogame tropes, folktales, and questioning gender roles, the duo create unformed stories: fragments of an evoked world that questions our understanding of the narrative nude in art and contemporary culture.

Personally, I don't require any 'narrative' as my eyes can can see and I can feel things when I look. That's good enough for me. Infact the less I'm able to be saying about the art, the more often I like it. There is a saying 'it leaves me speechless' for a reason. I most appreciate the enticing excitement of the unknown. In music and poetry and art I like mystery, I like questions and feelings. Not explanations and obviousness.These was plenty of all that mystery in these beautifully detailed works... Surreal and dreamy, just my cup of tea.

If you want to know more then check out

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Few of My Favourite Things - Fashion, Interiors, Music & More...

So this blog is all about my favourite things... I'm a person of high passions and get hugely enthusiastic about certain things, almost evangelical at times...which I think is probably rather annoying, but anyway, today I will share some of my top favourite things...
My favourite things to eat are chocolate covered brazil nuts. I only really get truly enthusiastic about sweet food and am a great appreciator of the pie.

Interior Decoration:
Colour is my thing. Black and white interiors may be super hot right now but they leave me cold. Well they leave me feeling nothing at all actually.
I like strong but muted colours and am loving all the blue and teal colours for walls right now.
Here are some of my favourite colour combinations.

I know I said black and white left me feeling nothing, well, that is mostly true but here are those colours done to my taste...

I know this pic was in my last blog post,  about black and white interiors, but you can never have too much a good thing!

And if that just leaves you wanting more then check out my Pinterest board
Follow Van Asch's board Dark & Decadent Interiors on Pinterest.  

I'm fairly practical and I like comfort so no corsets or high heels for me. These are a few of my favourite kinds of clothes that I would actually wear...

For more boho beautifulness...
Follow Van Asch's board My kinda Clothes on Pinterest.

If you want to see more boots and bags like this type of thing then check my Pinterest board
Follow Van Asch's board Handbags & Shoes on Pinterest.
I am an avid appreciator of music and although I have been a singer and even occasionally written music, I'm a better listener than maker. Music makes everything better.
My favourite song, for the last 5 years  is Rococo by Arcade Fire. I pretty much love everything by them though so go listen with your ears...
I don't get to see many music videos because I don't have the time for that sort of thing but when I was obsessing on this song, I did take the time to look at the vid and thought it was kinda perfect. Favourite video by Woodkid.

Another of my favourite things to do is run. I try to run 4 kilometres before work almost every day and the music I listen to when I'm doing it makes a massive difference to how long or how fast I can manage it. Basically, as I said before, music makes everything better.
So here is my favourite tunes to run to... First up Muffler, there is no video but you can hear the song.

This is the Glitch Mob, also no vid

And finally Klaypex who make many great tracks

Here is a link to my whole running playlist of you like it hard and electronic!

Ok, so I like lots of different types of music and here is my current favourite piece of classical music...

If you want to see more of my favourite things then visit my Pinterest boards for more eye candy...
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Black & White or Pink & Blue Interiors?

I've been busy today doing a photoshoot featuring a new design of chair that BVN Design will be bring out later this year, featuring fabric designs my me. I was just going to use the blue wall but I really liked the half painted thing so I thought I would just run with the blue and pink together. They are kind of my signature colours this year. I used them for my web site and also for the latest catalogue, just love the combination of dark blue and soft dusty pink...

I'm not the only one either...
Check this out for some designer retro loveliness

I've also been updating my website with some of the new fabric and cushion designs we are bringing in for Autumn/winter 2015. I don't normally take notice of seasonal trends, or trends at all really. I just do what I think is cool but I decided to give myself a challenge...As the trends for black and white interiors keep on growing, I thought I'd like to do my interpretation of black and white. I've never used white in any previous deigns and almost never black either so this was really  a challenge for the colour orientated person that I am. But I have to say, and I don't like to blow my own trumpet, I'm very happy with the results. 

There are also 2 cushions in the 'Sacred Geometrics' Collection, the same 'Esoterica' design as above and this one called 'There is More...' which incidentally reveals my philosophy on life should you take a closer inspection.

Pic by Janice Issitt Life & Style

What I really love about interiors that are predominately black and white is when a splash of colour just pops, pulls it all together and adds something special...