I did very well at school – perhaps a little too well for my own good, because by the time I reached my A-Levels, I was a bit blasé about education.  Nothing really excited me or piqued my interest in the way it had when I was younger.  Learning began to feel like a chore.

As an adult I’ve acquired a lot of new knowledge and skills.  Largely I’m self-taught -seeking out information wherever and whenever possible.  I read books on subjects that interest me, ask questions of people more educated than I am and I LOVE the internet!   I’ll literally jump on any training session offered to me and be the first to arrive and the last to leave!  Because it turns out that I actually love to learn, just not necessarily in a formal classroom setting.

As you know I adore the look and style of the past and something that I really wish I knew more about is the objects that I collect/hoard/amass 🙂  While I have a basic knowledge of the styles of various eras, enough to get by as a vintage fan, I struggle to date items exactly and often go with my gut as opposed to any real expertise.  I tip up tea cups, read the bottoms and make hmm noises….but I don’t know what the labels really mean!  I wish I did!

My collection of vintage and antiques is becoming rather large and fitting it all into the 1930s home that I share with three other people (two of which are HUGE fans of modernity) it’s growing more and more challenging.  I want the pieces I have to be shown off and to complement and add something to the style of our home.  I want them to look like they’re here on purpose and not just stored here for posterity.

What definites taste my online school expert learning antiques

I’ve just started an online course with Marc Allum (that chap from The Antique’s Roadshow).  It’s a two week course, hosted by My Online School and it’s called Buying Art and Antiques for Interiors.  Each lesson has a video lasting around 25 minutes and some text which includes an optional assignment.  You can discuss the assignment with your tutor, Marc and your fellow classmates in a forum that you have access to for the duration of the course.  Assignments are then submitted to your tutor and at the end of the course you receive a recognised certificate.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t stepping into an actual classroom, I was a bit nervous the first time I logged in – what if I was about to have my lack of style and knowledge rubbed in my face.  But in his first video lesson, Marc sat on a striped sofa with a leopard print cushion (hooray he likes clashing fabrics like me); he had a hall table behind him that was positively dripping with gorgeous sparkly things (whoop he’s a magpie like me) and he discussed mixing styles and eras in whatever way pleases your eye (fantastic my eclectic tastes are …well…tasteful).  He also suggested that perhaps you should get rid of everything you own and start again (no no no no no no no no no no) – he lost me a little bit there.  I very much struggle to part with just about anything haha!

Marc Allum online course antiques

What’s great about this format is that you can pick it up and put it down as and when you get time.  So for me, I’ll be working on the assignment during Dorthy’s naptime.

After the two weeks I get to keep all the course material forever, so I can revisit the information and advice whenever I want.  Awesome.

I’ve only just begun my course and yet I’ve already decided to paint the living room a very dark blue and completely move things around.  I’ve always feared dark colours because while they look lovely and cosy in the Winter, I worried they’d look dark and gloomy in Summer.  I now realise that it pays to consider how you actually use various rooms and to be honest we barely use the living room during the Summer months as we have such a large garden space, so decorating for colder days is sensible.   I think I may sell a few things aswell (yes you read that correctly) and repurpose items from other spaces.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, but in the meantime it’s a little lonely in my classroom, so I’m very pleased to say that you can win your place on a course and come and learn with the experts alongside me!

The course is worth £185 and if it isn’t something that appeals to you, it would make an incredible and unusual gift for someone else.

Here’s where you enter 😊

a Rafflecopter giveaway
..and here’s what you’ll need to get started…

Laptop tea treats work from home essentials study

…just kidding.  All you’ll need is this 😊

Laptop and notebook

In fact you don’t even need that, the course can easily be followed using your phone!

What do you wish you were more knowledgeable about?

Love Rachel


PS.  This is the second of a dozen giveaways that I’ll be hosting between now and Christmas, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to make sure that you don’t miss out or look out for #12christmasfollies on social media