Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Delft Blue from the Past

Over the weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to Handworks to buy cardboard and envelopes for my daughter's 8th birthday party invitations.   Theme as yet undecided.   Date decided but timing as yet undecided, but it will be in the early evening.   Anyway my daughter graciously said I could choose the colour for the invitations if I would let her buy 6 sheets of  origami paper which she tends to keep in secretive piles and never uses.

And this Delft blue colour is what I gravitated towards.   How I love this shade.

Half finished invitations, flowers hand cut and glued by me

Why do I love this colour so?  For me, it begins, as does so much for us, with my childhood.

(by Janeych on Flickr)

When my parents separated and we moved out of the pink house into a considerably smaller white house and my mother went out into the workforce for the first time ever, she promised me that I could decorate my bedroom in colours of my choosing.  In Laura Ashley.  Of course. I say of course because in those days Laura Ashley was THE fabric of choice.  And indeed clothing of choice.  I can remember being pretty thrilled with my Laura Ashley pinafore as a little girl, which looked rather like this:

The fabric I chose for my bedroom was Campion (third along, second row down) for the curtains, and Wood Violet (third along, fourth row down) for the wallpaper.

For me, getting that room decorated my way symbolised some kind of completion of a very horrible stage in our lives.  And a transformation into a more grown up girl.

Go here to see some wonderful Flickr photos of vintage 1980s Laura Ashley prints by Janeych. I do not understand why these old prints are not re-issued.   They still look great.  It's not my taste anymore, but I think they still look wonderful in a little girl's room, or in a guest room.

I still love Delft blue, but now like it like this:

(J Crew from a season or so ago)

(Cocco Lave bag by Bottega Veneta)
Or this:

(Wrottingham Castle)

(via Design Crisis)

(House to Home)

A blue dining room. I think I could live with that. 


The House That A-M Built said...

Oh me too, me too! Love that blue. Love those J Crew shoes. Sigh. A-M xx

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oh Jane,
That was a blast from the past for me. I used to shop in the Laura Ashley in Sloane Square when I was in my late teens...early 20's. I loved her dresses then. Our house is now mostly off whites but our dining room is still a grey Laura Ashley geometric print and is still fine and not old fashioned at all. I still have Laura Ashley catalogues that go way back.
Your daughter's invitations are going to be are doing a great job !! XXXX

Tina said...

Love love love it! The first sewing project I ever did as an adult was a cot quilt using Laura Ashley delft blue fabrics:) Oh the memories:) Your daughter's invititations are looking fabulous Jane. I think our girls may be similar, Olivia has piles of scrapbooking paper hidden all over the place:) Hope you have a lovely Wednesday ~ Tina x

Ann said...

Oh how I obsessed over the Laura Ashley catalogue.... I so wanted a dormer room with Laura Ashley blue sprig wallpaper, venetian frilled blinds and quilt! I ended up with the yellow - fourth row down and sixth across. Thank you for reminding me!. A x

brismod said...

Laura Ashley should re-issue some of those fabrics. They are still very pretty, aren't they?

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Totally understandable your love of this shade of blue. Blue always makes me think of my parents and our family home growing up. Good memories. Laura Ashely was so huge when children were young. I even papered my youngest daughters nursery in a LA print.

Wishing you a lovely week Jane!

Emma said...

I spent hours gazing longingly at Laura Ashley catalogues as a little girl. I would have been very envious of your bedroom. Those J Crew shoes are totally divine!

Glamour Drops said...

Well that was an ink-bomb blast from the past for me too! As a little child, I had the same kind of pinafore that my mother stitched up from Laura Ashley fabrics purchased in London in the early 1970s. WOW! And as for blue, well, always the most wonderful of all colours - such a positive colour for so many people. Your invitations look gorgeous.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

What a great mum you are Jane!! Your daughters party will be delightful I'm sure!!

And what a lucky little girl you were... I think Laura Ashley was slightly out of our price range as kids.. .. it was more Holly Hobby I think.. hahaha I didn't really find Laura till I was an adult!!

Love that blue dining room with dark timber.. fabulous!! ciao . xxx Julie

Jane said...

I love this post, Jane. I adore that shade of blue as well. Gee, the memories of Laura Ashley came flooding back! I used to long for some LA wallpaper. The shoes are fab and yes, I could handle a blue room as well. J x

Makeminemidcentury said...

I immediately spotted the Laura Ashley in that montage.

I still have Laura Ashley doona covers - how terrible to admit that.

And I was wearing Laura Ashley pinafores at aged 17! I should post a photo ... I even had the lace-bottomed pinafore which went underneath. We all dressed like 40-year-olds in the late 80s ... or maybe we dressed like 8-year-olds?

Lee said...

Oh I can remember being obsessed with Laura Ashley too when I was a young girl! Delf blue is gorgeous - and just the thing for 8th birthday party invitations. Lee :)

Mise said...

That must have been a difficult time; I'm glad you had the consolation of Laura Ashley and blue. This is always the blue of children's fiction to me, pretty and fresh, a bit nostalgic, unburdened by trend. It's a lovely shade and one I plan to acquire more of with my new embracing of blue. I wish I could start with those dainty blue shoes.

Millie said...

I'm not one for hoarding but I have kept a long layered Laura A navy & white floral dress with puff sleeves & high neck with white lace trim for posterity Jane. I wore it to my sister's wedding in 1976 all size 8 of it. I was 20, a new bride & loved that dress to bits. Thanks for the memories.
Millie ^_^

24 Corners said...

Do you think the "Laura Ashley" look will ever come back again?? Who didn't love her! How nice that you had a very sweet room to help soothe those troubled times.
The Wrottingham room is that would make for a beautiful dining room...needs a window though.
I love the cards, they're adorable...and so is having an 8 year old origami paper hoarder...too cute!

Wishing you healing and happy Delft Blue dreams...
xo J~

Lucy said...

Some of those look very familiar, I think we still have a tablecloth in one of them. I have heard that someone I know has a collection of old Laura Ashley catalogues so I'm hoping to go and relive the glory days looking at them soon!

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