Amanda’s Autumn reflections
I know it has been a while since I last wrote. It has been an emotionally turbulent time. As some of you may know I lost my dear dad, John Gray, early in the summer. Although his ongoing struggles with poor health meant this wasn’t entirely unexpected, the brutal truth is that nothing prepares you for the end – the bruising way in which summer colour in all its fizzing vitality can be drained to grey when the person you love no longer shares it with you.
If there’s a flipside to grief it is in the renewed sense of how precious life is. Not the life that we can imagine for ourselves in a safe beige future but the messy, real, technicolour one we are living right here and now. And, in tribute to my much loved dad, I’m determined to fill my life with as much colour as I can cram in.
Dad is buried in Binning Memorial Wood, a woodland haven that he bought 20 years ago. We chose a beautiful spot for him, where there is a clearing in the trees above and the sun is able to shine right through to the woodland floor. It’s a very peaceful and special place to share with him still. As I visit now, during these autumnal days, watching the leaves begin to blaze, I’ve reflected on these incredible colours that shift as the seasons of life turn and how they continue to inspire designers, artists and makers with their heavenly colour combinations and textures.
Inspired by nature
Right now, I am loving these gorgeous Liberty print picks and pairings which evoke the essence of Autumn:
I’m also excited to have discovered La Maison Lisette. Elizabeth is an extremely talented textile designer creating exquisite fabrics. I love the clever use of contrasting prints in her cushion designs in colourways that are simply gorgeous. And if you’re planning to visit Hopetoun House for their sell-out Christmas Shopping Fair this November, come see for yourself as I’ll be stocking a limited range of La Maison Lisette homewares on my stand.
With colour in mind, I’ve felt inspired to expand my own palette with these new dyed rattan limited edition lampshades . And because the colours we each love are special for a reason, remember my bespoke Commission Service means you can have your design exactly the shade you want so it’s perfect for you.
Redo and renew
It was a pleasure to work with a lady who recently visited my workshop with a cluster of very neutral lampshades. Recently bereaved and coping with the loss of her husband, she was seeking out small projects that would bring joy. She wanted to inject colour into her home and was looking for something cheerful and bright to pep up her lighting. With pheasants too! No small thrill to discover this funky print on Spoonflower which she loved. Sometimes it really is the small things we do that can make life feel brighter. If you’re interested in collaborating with me to give an old lampshade new life please visit the Commission Service to learn more.
Workshops coming soon
I’ve mentioned before my plans to collaborate with Hanem Interiors to bring you our lampshade making workshops, an opportunity to create and make whilst enjoying expert tips on colour and craftsmanship. Dates are soon to be confirmed and you’ll be the first to hear more once we have everything in place. Thank you for your patience.
I’d like to end by highlighting two very different businesses who have supported me over these tough recent months. I am both grateful for and inspired by:
- Binning Memorial Wood Ben and Sarah Gray have created this family business over the last 20 years. They work in partnership with every family they meet to provide a perfect resting place for their loved ones. The care they take to protect the beauty and environmental integrity of the wood is inspirational and their sensitivity and attention to detail when dealing with grieving families is heartfelt. I am very proud of them both.
- Media Boom Larisa has taken a huge weight off my shoulders this summer by taking on my social mediawork. She is an angel! For anyone out there building a business yet unsure how to proceed, Larisa should be your next call. Not only is she a lovely person, she also takes time to really know you and your brand and works incredibly hard to get results. I am definitely seeing the benefits of having her on my team. Thank you Larisa.
Until next time,
Love and warm wishes