Monday, February 15, 2016

The Notebook: Files - bold blooms and colours...

This month I've been browsing through the September 2010 issue of Notebook: magazine...

...and this is what immediately caught my attention. 

In fact, that photo is the sole reason I decided to re-read this particular issue for my Notebook: Files this month. 

(If you missed my January blog post on The Notebook: Files you will find it here)

You see, I used to think I was your average shabby chic style gal because I adored photos of calm white spaces, soft linens, and old lace on ever-so-creamy white furnishings. I began collecting pretty rose adorned trinkets and scattered them around the house, inhaling and exhaling gently as I stood back to gaze on my new-found floral on white shabby chic display. And I still love them!


Over the last year or so much time has been spent pondering the depths of my inner Jennifer, an adventuresome journey of discovery with the sole purpose of meeting me - the me that somehow got lost in the busy and dizzy, hustle and bustle of motherhood, wiving, homeschooling, designing and business managing. The me who wanted the world to stop for a while so she could catch her breath and examine her surroundings to see if they really reflected her style and who she was today.
(by the way, I highly recommend such an adventure)

As the months rolled by I discovered white places were no longer where my eyes would automatically travel when I entered a store or browsed books and magazines. Increasingly my gaze would search for colour, vibrant vintage style colour and design,  with a bit of cream or white thrown in for background or contrast. 
And that is why the cover photo on this month's revisit of Notebook: and the companion article inside immediately captured my heart.

As I turned each page and drank in the lively domestic friendship of pastels sitting beside bold blooms of colour I knew this was confirmation of where my own decorating path was about to flow...

Let's detour a moment, shall we?
Last year, during the first few months of my inner delving, I haunted the local library on a weekly basis poring over their two rather impressive shelves of home-decorating books.
There was one I borrowed three times, and after being reminded by the lovely librarian on duty that third time, "You know you've already borrowed this twice, don't you?", decided if I liked it that much I should probably buy a copy of my own. So I did.

As my heart skipped a beat over the photos in the Notebook: article I remembered this book, sitting 'over there' on my homemaking bookshelf almost forgotten, so I brewed a big pot of Vanilla & Rose tea before settling down to compare and enjoy both.
The vibrant colours, vintage style, pastel accents, mismatched chairs, bold florals with touches of cream and white had stamped themselves firmly on my heart and I knew there was no turning back.
At the moment I'm really drawn to kitchens (maybe because of that dream?)...

Oh, this kitchen. My heart almost jumped from my chest! 

It's a wonderful thing to question your own style, and to allow yourself a slow and delightful time of re-discovery. It's like switching the light on in a room you'd forgotten you had.

Something else I've discovered through this past year is that my previous attraction to the white shabby chic style was actually a reflection of my emotional need for calm. When I would sit for hours on a Saturday evening browsing shabby chic books and blogs it brought a still silence to my mind, a needed few hours of mental rest. I came away relaxed and temporarily restored. Interesting, yeh?

About the same time I began my year of self-discovery I created a Pinterest board to gather ideas for designing a kitchen in case one day we were blessed to buy a home of our home and escape the rental roundabout. It's over here if you'd like to see it.
I've also started a Notebook: magazine Pinterest page here to keep track of the monthly musings I'll be sharing through 2016 and 2017. So much easier if you want to go back and reference something.

Do you need a journey of self-discovery too?
I wonder what you'll find...



  1. Snap, I've decided this is my style too, in fact I'll be blogging about this look later this week. Lovely, how I feel so in tune with you.

  2. I need a journey of self-discovery . Urgently. But I´am a bad self-discover: I change of idea constantly. Today i love white, tomorrow I do not love white. I ask me why. I ´m a women , not an adolescent :)) Maybe the gentle domesticity do more easy the search of my. Thank you for share yours thoughts. Have a blessed day.

  3. I have been doing some self discovery myself lately and looking at what really is my style. Just ordered the book and it looks like a great read. Can't wait!

  4. I love all too many styles and yet I live with extremely traditional everything...what hubby likes. I do have my dressing room I merchandise and decorate to my likings and my messy overly-filled craft studio. It is agreed between us that those are my happy places and I can close the door so he does not have to be subjected to my messy but ever so happy style. I follow your Pintrest boards and enjoy them immensely. Happy Artful Hearts Dear...

  5. Oh dear YES. I am right there with you! Today I am supposed to pick out backsplash tile and am debating like crazy. I love the shabby chic look, love the bright cottage look you showed today and yet love the muted pastel antique French style too... How to pick out a tile??? I think I will go basic so I can change out the fabric backgrounds according to my homemaking mood! :) It seems to change too much depending on that season in my life...

    P.S. After years and years of renting... we finally have a little kitchen to call our own. After 5 years, we are finally able to fix the dilapidated sink to a higher level so my back won't go out. The tile is just an extra perk!

  6. Oh I love those photos! Those kitchens are an inspiration but I mustn't be tempted - you see I have actually been lucky enough to just redo my kitchen and it's a dream. There's still quite a bit of sorting/decorating left to do before a proper photoshoot but there are a few sneaky previews over on my blog - shaker style, soft aqua-blue base units, gypsum wall units and an antique dresser - yes, it's my dream! I have junk shop chairs to paint and a retro table and cupboards nicely ordered with vintage china! I love pops of colour and so it's blue, cherry red and pink for me!

  7. I am in self discovery right now too. I'm learning to listen to my heart; I'm reading a great book : The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, that is really speaking to me. I love your style and the pretty feminine colors.

  8. Its truly so beautiful
    I love this lovely style too
    Big hugs x

  9. I love everything about this posting! The pages you shared from Notebook are so pretty, and I am going to search for the home decorating book, as it looks great. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us, As it surely inspires me in so many ways.
    Jo Nease

  10. This is so interesting because it's finally a place where we are different! I agree with everything you said about your style and your environment (or anybody's) but I like receding neutrals with one accent color, and no prints. That kitchen with the multi-colored wall paper would drive me crazy. LOL The mis-matched chairs are great, and I love mismatched table-settings, but usually with plain colored stoneware, nothing printed or flowered. I remember buying one flowered dress as a young wife. I loved it on the rack, but I was uncomfortable every time I wore it. It just wasn't me, and I didn't realize that for a while! Great post. Lots I can take away and apply to my surroundings, too. Thanks!

  11. Loving this, Jenny! I'm SO changeable - it's the one thing I've finally learned about myself, is that if I love it today, tomorrow I won't. I re-arrange furniture almost weekly. So - white or neutral backgrounds - you can always change the accents. And I do, lol! I love the shabby chic, but my all-time fave is the 40's and 50's colors and prints. I don't seem to get tired of those, but they need a white background for me...too much color and my mind gets chaotic.

  12. I've never seen Notebook magazine-maybe it's not available in the USA. I love so many styles and colors. I browse through many magazines dreaming of when I will be able to buy a home to call my own. I can draw and paint pretty decent and have decided to splash color all over my house. My kitchen will be country blue as it is now, filled with lots of Roosters, chickens with a bit of other country critters. I will be painting chickens with sunflowers on my wall(s). I quilt and a lot of them are the pinks, aquas as you use so often but this last year I've decided to change over to Bohemian bright colors-many colors but predominantly Purple! I'm crocheting some "pineapple" doilies for my vanity that will be trimmed in purple. I want to have a Victorian living room and the walls will have wildflowers with bees, birds, especially hummingbirds-jewels of the air. My Bohemian master bedroom will have a bathroom and I'll paint mermaids and other sea creatures with a treasure chest full of shells and jewels. I have many other rooms I want to decorate in my mind. I love Pinterest too. I buy Victoria magazine, Flea market decorating magazine and many more. I just hope I don't get arthritis real bad in the meantime. Thanks for sharing and letting us share.

  13. P.S. I love that vintage sewing machine. I bought a 1948 Singer Featherweight last year and just love her.

  14. I wonder if you realize how many rooms & nooks in other homes have been touched by your influence. I have your little birds embroidered on things & sometimes one will be spotted & an exclamation made,"Oh, that's a Jenny bird, isn't it!"
    Here's to many more wonderful designs.

  15. Victoria, thank you...what a blessing you gave me. xxx

  16. Notebook was my favourite magazine - such a shame its not around anymore.
    I love that kitchen - that green is my green, a favourite. I'm redoing my office in that green and roses. I'm dejunking at the moment - so much stuff and working beside all this. Its taking time - I must learn to be more patient.


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