Rachel Ashwell…in person!!

SoShawna is going to hate me for saying this, but be preapared…its a long one. 🙂

Since before Brandon and I started dating, I have LOVED Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic. What I loved most about Rachel’s line was her philosophy – take old items and make them usuable and new again. I gravitated towards her British lean on decorating, probably due to the English side of me {my mom is British}. The Shabby Chic philosophy fit me…so comfortable, so economical, so REAL.

My first apartment {shared with my dear, dear friend Joy}, was almost entirely Shabby. When Brandon and I got married and bought our new home, we also carried over that theme. We raided my parents garage, visited many garage sales, and repainted and recovered almost all of our finds in white, just like Rachel recommended in her books.

Our first “non-hand-me-down” couch  was from Rachel’s line, called “The Elegant” and we paired it with “The Squadgy Chair”. Both of them are overstuffed with down and slipcovered in Rachel’s white linen. Since our other set of couches were also slipcovered in white, and our kichen was all white, I can’t tell you how many times we heard from visitors, “Wow, your house is so WHITE!” and “You’re going to really wish you hadn’t chosen white as a decor color when you have kids!”. What they don’t understand is everything by Rachel is WASHABLE. Yes, you heard me, even her velvet pillows that are hapazardly thrown across the sofa. I have gotten everything you can imagine out of those things…pizza grease, crayon, spit up, pee and baby poo, even tea! I would definately recommend white to anyone with kids!!

Here are a few pictures of our home…before kids in case you are wondering where the toys went and why it is so neat all of a sudden?!? 🙂 This first one is “The Elegant Sofa” and “The Squadgy”. Joy and I bought the ottoman with the living room couches for our apartment at a garage sale and then recovered them in matching white.

Our living room and the garage sale couches with a beautiful painting courtesy of my parents garage and thrift store prints over the couches. 🙂

Our white kitchen…
Our entryway…the pictures hanging in the rotundra hung in my grandparents bedroom for 40 years.
Dining room. The table and sidetable were my grandparents and the wicker chairs were in my parents house ever since I was a baby.
So here’s the exciting part of this post…..
Several weeks ago, Brandon called me from work to tell me that Rachel was going to be doing a book signing on Friday, November 13, in Marin, CA to promote her fabulous new book Shabby Chic Interiors. Brandon said he wanted to take me.
Now, we have NEVER been to a book signing. In our minds, we imagined the author sitting at a table with a line of customers waiting to have the new book signed. We thought we’d drive over and spend the day with my family and then go to the bookstore, buy the book, wait in line and take a picture.
We were very mistaken.
What we {and what I mean by WE is Brandon, me, my mom and, brace yourselves, MY KIDS} walked up to was a quaint little bookstore off Lucky Drive with a little back room filled with enough chairs for about 40 people or so. A projector and a microphone was set up. We quickly realized this was a LECTURE. We got excited but…
Oh my, a lecture with kids?!? Kids who hadn’t napped all day long and in a very small setting at that. Hmmm..
So we sat down willing to brave the storm. Here my mom and I are so excited to be this up close and personal to Rachel.
Brandon and Jake waiting. Notice Jake getting just a tad antsy and book signing not even started yet. 😦
And at 7PM, in walked Rachel to begin the lecture. Using a PowerPoint presentation, she walked us through her book.
It was so cool to hear all the little hidden tidbits about her book, and for the first 10 mins or so it was wonderful but….
This little boy had other plans.
A few minutes in he yells out, “Daddy, I need to go poopoo!” {And since he is still working on the potty bit, he begins to go with pushing noises and all. Not to mention the smell…} So we dash out to find a bathroom.
On the way back in, my precious little bundle of joy decides to make a run for it right through the emergency exit, SETTING OFF THE FIRE ALARMS. Bless Rachel Ashwell’s heart, she kept right on talking. I could have kissed her for it.
We attempt to find him a quite spot to read, but did I mention that this bookstore DID NOT have a children’s section? Nope. So Brandon ran to the car to get his backpack, which seemed to help for the remainder of the lecture, which I listened to outside the doorway since Evy had waken up from her nap and considered this time to chat it up. Thankfully, I did get to hear most of the end.
Then came the waiting in line bit we all knew was coming. Let me say this, Rachel is awesome! She took a good 5-10 minutes with each person, getting to know them, hearing about their Shabby interests, posing for pictures. The bummer about it is I kept losing my place in line due to having to chase a wild 2 year old around the store.
Finally, after waiting 45 minutes, taking turns with Brandon and my mom with the kids, I finally got to meet Rachel. We were the last people to see her, and by the time we got there the bookstore was closing, so my chat was very short, but I did thank her for her wondeful Elegant sofa and washable white covers. She was so very kind and posed for a picture.
Unfortunately, by that point I looked like poop, was super stressed and had a headache the size of Alaska, but here is my keepsake. Rachel, of course, looks great!
And my mom, as always, looks like a superstar. How does she do it??
Overall, we had such a fabulous time meeting Rachel. I LOVE her new book! If you love her as much I do, you must get it. My inscription on inside cover says:
“To Amy,
Lovely to meet you. Keep loving the white and the Elegant.
Rachel Ashwell”
Thank you Babe for taking me! Even though I could have cried from embarassment over our over-stimulated child, I really did have a wonderful time and will remember it forever. I love you!! xoxo
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7 thoughts on “Rachel Ashwell…in person!!

  1. HAAAAAAAAAAAAA….I'm sorry, but that is so funny. Having kids changes EVERYTHING! Church services, book lectures, why do we even try to have a semi-normal life anymore????

  2. Your stories always make me laugh – you write so well, it is like I can feel those emotions all over again…maybe 'cause I have been there, but still, a lovey (and hilarious) story to tell! I do think that you are brave for having all white! I couldn't do it! But, it does look beautiful!

  3. @Sosh- I know isn't it horrible? :(@ Jenni- thank you! I'm so glad you like them…they aren't always so funny at the moment, but I guess we have a strange sense of humor because afterwards Brandon and I will just sit around and laugh at things that happen around here. I do love to write them down, it makes me feel better. 🙂

  4. Amy, Oh My Goodness! Rachel Ashwell! You lucky lady! Thank you for entering my giveaway @ Robins Egg Blue! I hope you win. Do you attend Bro. and Sis. Haney's church? I noticed your wedding photo and all the ladies look Apostolic! Then I looked at your fav websites and there it was! My husband and I were part of the Wisconsin District for many years, we now live in Arizona. Please keep in touch, I love Pentecostal ladies! We are of like faith and most of us have kindred spirits. Many Blessings,Linda

  5. Linda, I commented on your blog…hope you got it. Thank you so much for visiting, and yes, I do attend the Haneys! Please keep in touch! God bless! 🙂

  6. Hey!That is so awesome that you got to meet Rachel Ashwell!! So very exciting!:) I wish that she could have done a book signing closer than New York. I would have totally been there! Love her ideas and she has such a way with making things look good! I do love the all white look, I've tried it several times and color keeps working it's way in somehow:)I even tried to do so in Paris-Noels room but HAD to do large pink stripes on her wall:) So, maybe one day I'll get to do an all white room:)

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