For quite some time now, I have had readers asking for me to define the shabby style that I love and to explain how I create that particular style. I feel quite inadequate as I don't know that what I do is anything special, but is simply what I love. Today I have a special post for you with lots of pictures and some lovely giveaways from people that I love and who's products I enjoy using. Let me preface this post by saying that I am not the expert on the shabby style, so please don't take offense as I explain what my style is...it is simply that, my style individual style. I use patterns, colors, and embellishments that I am drawn to and create things that carry with them a certain feel.
Shabby Chic as I see it is the following: (best described with pictures)
(photo from vintagerosebrocante)
Shabby Chic is the most serene, lovely, gentle, romantic style I know of. I am immediately drawn to its characteristics. It involves age. It involves weathering and distressing. Notice in the photo above the age of the envelopes...their color, and the way their edges have curled with time. Notice the chippy, aged box they are contained in. You can feel its texture as well as see it.
(photo from peoniesformee)
I am drawn to the sweet and delicate patterns involved with the shabby style...small florals, ginghams, polka dots, stripes, larger muted florals, toile, etc.
(photo from rachelashwell)
The colors I associate with the shabby style are soft, muted pastels that begin with white-wash, cream, and are mixed with pinks, aquas, celery and sage greens, etc.
(photo from fabulousfifi)
(photo from georgiannalane)
The shabby style carries with it a cozy, homespun, grace and charm and mixes in elements of days gone by.
(photo from acottageinthewoods)
(photo from charlottelyons)
I associate the Shabby Chic look with fabrics, tea-stained trims and tags, book print, newsprint, sheet music, muslin, machine and hand stitching, raw edges, and texture.
(photo from elfenpulver)
(photo from kef-mylovelylife)
The Shabby Chic style is all about the tiniest of details from the buttons that have been threaded with floss, to the touches of trim, snippets of fabric, distressing, the sparkle, to the layering.
(photo from stampington)
(photo from dyingofcute)
So, how about a short tutorial on my creative process?
I created this card today with scraps I had lying around...fabrics, trims, die cuts, paper, etc.
This card started with my desire to create some die-cut vintage sewing pattern flowers, so I gathered up my dies, Beautiful Blooms II #1, Notched Flowers, and Flower Fusion #3 dies and a folded sewing pattern and ran them through my die-cutting machine. The fun thing about using a sewing pattern is that it creates oodles of layers...they are a bit messy, but I love that about them. I don't worry about stacking the die cut flowers neatly afterward, I just layer them up and the scattered look is perfect!
I then decided I wanted some fabric layers added into the sewing pattern flowers, so I used the same die cuts and some tea-stained fabrics and cut a few flowers to layer in.
This is the result of all of that die-cutting...a sweet as can be flower layered with texture and charm. I free-hand cut an oval from some vintage trim and layered it in near the top and then ran the layers through my sewing machine to secure them all together. I scrunched up the blossoms and it just added fullness and life...so fun, you must try!
The next step was to create my card base. I used Papertrey Ink's Sweet Blush cardstock and as I always do, I edged it with off-white acrylic paint which just involves taking a foam brush, dipping the corner into the paint, and lightly swiping it across and around the edges of the card...gives it a white washed feel with a bit of age.
I then chose papers in three coordinating patterns to add to the front of the card. Notice that I chose a book print, a small floral, and a polka dot in cream, pink, and green.
I then added a strip of patterned paper in cream along with a strip of vintage trim down the left side of the card. I ran the card front through my sewing machine and gave it mismatched stitching to create a little more character and interest.
I them used a chipboard scroll from Maya Road that I painted with off-white acrylic paint, then sanded the edges, and then coated with Lily White Sugar Coating from Doodlebug. Now I'm ready to pile on the toppings and finish my card.
The flower was placed just to the left of the double bow with the distressed and glittered chipboard piece tucked under the flower petals. The center of the flower was embellished with a tied Sweet Blush button.
I added the chipboard butterfly next...I have information on my blog from a while back as to how I created this. It's embellished with a Spring Moss button, and button twine antennae.
Lastly, I added a hand stamped tag that was created using the Hanging Out stamp set and Copic Markers. I attached it to the center of the double bow using a trinket pin from Tim Holtz.
I age all of my papers, chipboard, and tags using Papertrey Ink's Vintage Touch Ink Cubes. They are just the right size to lightly brush across the paper or around the edges and create the most beautiful distressing.
And, here is our final product!
I hope this was helpful in some way. Please know I am always happy to answer your questions.
Now...to share a few of my favorite shabby things with you...
You'll notice I used plenty of scrunched seam binding. It's probably one of my happiest findings and I have a hard time not using it. The shabby chic style comes with ruffles and plenty of frill, so I think the main reason I am attracted to scrunched seam binding is because it brings in the ruffle and frill so perfectly, not to mention it comes in so many beautiful shades. I love shopping at My Craft Spot for scrunched seam binding. If you haven't discovered it yet, you'll love it! My favorite colors are Vanilla Bean, Raspberry Truffle, Sping Breeze, Sky Blue, Spring Moss.
I also love shopping for shabby papers and embellishments at Frost it Pink. Amy's store is full of unique treasures and anything you need to create your shabby heart out! In the Vintage and Unique Treasures section of her store, you can find doilies, cherubs, glittered stars and hearts, twine, satin angel wings, foil crowns, Kraft and glassine bags, rhinestone chain, rusty jingle bells, chenille candy canes, etc.
Both of these ladies are offering gift certificates to their stores as part of my shabby blog post. So, one lucky lady will receive the following:
~$30.00 worth of scrunched seam binding or any product from My Craft Spot.
~a $25.00 gift certificate to Frost it Pink.
All you have to do is leave a comment for me here on this post and on Tuesday, May 29th, I will announce the winner here on my blog.
Happy shabby, crafting!