I have been thinking quite a bit about the value of time……
Once again pondering the thought of the compromises we accept in exchange for speed and instant gratification. I am trying in my own life to keep check on my values so that relationships I have, designs I create, all get the Time needed, to be meaningful and magical……
The Beauty of Imperfection is at the core of the value of Shabby Chic….while fading makes for a quieter aesthetic, to me the evidence of life engrained into fabric by way of washing or sun bleaching, over time tells a beautiful story…….
For a couple of decades now I have been pouring my heart and soul into my designs for Shabby Chic…..my creativity is seamless to my stream of consciousness……but I do need to give my creativity time to flow as no artist can force a vision. My creativity often comes from a back story that I then translate…….
My thoughts wonder a million miles away, but then I reign them back in via my design studio and find some magic from my journey. My job as a designer and a biz person is to find the balance of keeping magic and avoiding mediocrity.
It’s easy for a brand to get caught up with “the bottom line” and the calendar of when one is forced to be done with creating magic. But I would rather have empty shelves than mediocrity just filling a hole. It takes a village of people to understand the process and appreciation that spending the time is worthwhile to bringing beauty into the world.
I pride myself that most everything that passes thru Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture® started from a thought, and intention and then many craftsmen’s expertise to create a product of value……..
Lily, my daughter, too has learned that nothing magical happens alone or overnight…it takes vision, communication, collaboration, work and time…..and then little by little great things happen. It may not be the most economical way to create magic, but that’s where priorities and values kick in….and the love of MADE IN USA……. www.lilyashwell.com
Many of you know my lovely friend and artist Laurence Amelie. I host her twice a year to come to my home to create her magic. She lives in France which certainly has no shortage of beauty……but Laurence finds the Southern California light and the inspiration of my garden fuels her creative juices.
It’s fascinating for me to observe Laurence’s process. She paints from her soul, that is evident of the end result. And sometimes her work flows quickly, and sometimes it takes a while. For sure soulful art cannot be forced. Some days she spends hours and hours and hours in the barn, and other days some quick fleeting moments…..big magic, little magic in her own time.
However we find love and trust in our lives, there is no better way to warm our hearts. It doesn’t happen overnight even if sometimes we think it does….. but trust that is tested overtime is home for us all.
My home in Los Angeles is surrounded by my best manifestation of a vision …..my garden.
I always dreamed of having a pathway, overflowing with lavender and other ground cover, leading to my gate, leading to the shops…… A million hours are spent by me and others, gazing into the beauty……truly priceless and worth the wait to create the magic, that in due course feeds more magic.
I recently designed a wedding at THE PRAIRIE
I took forever to create the littlest details. I had no reference to time. My process was similar to that of a tapestry, made with the teeniest of needles. Each stitch of equal value to the end result.
I am trying to carve out more time to write more blogs. I do them all myself….so I need that precious component of time…..when I do I will do one of this wonderful wedding…..
I have to be sure to refill my inspiration bucket. It’s the nature of artist to always be “on” and “open”….but we still need to put ourselves in situations that might trigger our creativity. sometimes directly, sometimes not.
Music, especially country, paints stories in my mind. Sad stories, wide open spaces….all contribute to the back stories of my designs. A recent visit to Nashville, for a book signing to the lovely IRON GATE store, was everything I had hoped for and more. http://theirongateonline.net/
Music on every corner…… from the Grand Ole Opry, to The Blue Bird Cafe and George Jones Tribute concert….inspired me to give my work the depth only time can create.
Seeing, hearing and feeling other artist work is time best spent….and pure inspiration. Unexpectedly can be the most powerful. For me a new movie Saving Mr. Banks has given me volumes to ponder…..the true back story of the writer of MARY POPPINS I had no idea such movie held such mindful meaning…….”let’s go fly a kite” will always open up my heart forever more.
The passion and heartaches of the writer has validated my commitment to keeping my story authentic and true.
We all get creative blocks, where our flow just gets stuck…..knitting for me is a good outlet….. I don’t pass away time but for me I view knitting as having evidence of time, thru every stitch.
At the end of January I will be popping over to my homeland…..will take some time to go to the English Country side. Where for some reason to me, time is just a little slower….
Thank you all for coming with me………
P.S…….it has taken the time Dad needed, but he is finding joy again….