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Simply Said at The Empty Nest

Today I had the pleasure of doing a Simply Said party with Janet from The Empty Nest – a delightful  shop that sells Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Janet and I go back a few years — I had met her during Annie Sloan’s US tour, when she was in Leesburg, VA. I was attending and brand new to chalk paint. Someone introduced her to me as my local stockist (back then she was a booth-holder in an antiques shop). Now Janet has a gorgeous shop full of amazing furniture and goodies in Old Town Warrenton, VA. When I was painting furniture I was in her shop almost weekly. Talk about inspiration – check it out!

Ahhh – the mother lode!

Janet’s shop is a feast for the eyes! She has chalk paint, antiques, painted furniture, hand-crafted items, repurposed items, lovely textiles, and so much more! I could browse for hours!
She was so kind in offering to host a party for me in the shop. I set up in the back and we had a nice crowd join us to learn how to use Simply Said in their decorating. Here’s a few shots from the party!
Janet put out quite the spread!
 I loved the welcome sign!!
My Simply Said display included a few painted items, as well as Simply Said’s accessories and designs.
 In this picture I am removing the grid paper from the back of a design.
Here I am demonstrating how to easily hang a design on the wall. 
I had such a nice time chatting with the women who came. I loved hearing their ideas for using Simply Said. One lady, named Sue, is planning on creating a custom design using Simply Said’s online tool, called Your Way. She’s going to make a back-splash design that I have no doubt will be the conversation piece of her kitchen!
This was certainly a fun venue for a party! Big thanks and appreciation go out to my friend, Janet! if you’re in the Warrenton, VA area, be sure to check out The Empty Nest!
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It was a paper-pumpkin party!

A month or so ago I hosted a paint demonstration at my house for some local gals. It was fun – we noshed, drank and chalk painted a hostess tray. While we sat and chatted, I proposed we start a neighborhood craft club. The idea was enthusiastically received, and we now have a Facebook group of 32 members, who will meet once a month to try out a variety of crafts.

Last night was our first meeting. Eleven women from our community came over to my house, where we crafted these adorable paper pumpkins.

The idea came from Better Homes and Gardens. (click for instructions on how to make them)
We tried heavy and light-weight scrapbook paper, as well as additional adornments, like tulle, raffia, twine, fabric leaves, ribbon, etc. And while the instructions didn’t call for it, we stuffed most of them with colored tissue paper. The light-weight scrapbook paper just couldn’t withstand the weight of the wine cork stems. Tip – the heavy card stock papers work great – no need for stuffing!

It was a really fun evening! We ate, drank a lot of wine, laughed and worked just about the whole time on these adorable autumnal creations. I loved how encouraging everyone was to each other, and the team efforts some of the projects became. Some of the women got super creative – like Gail, who hot-glued decorative ribbons to her strips of paper, and Jackie, who used fancy craft scissors to give her paper a special edge.

Here’s some photos from the evening…

Our guest, Michelle, brought Cupcake Heaven! 
(That’s really the name of the bakery and they tasted heavenly!)

 Jackie, made these delightful candy-coated pretzel sticks to display in her Tiffany vase!


Liza took a break from cutting strips of purple paper to smile for the camera!
Tonia made this gorgeous orange sparkly version!

Someone had to drink a lot of wine to accumulate that many corks! 
(I swear its been a group effort over the past two years that we’ve lived in this neighborhood.)

Jen’s lovely pumpkin in green and pink!


Pumpkin-making at its finest!

A bouquet I put together for the festivities.

 Gail displays her great black and orange pumpkin!

 Another beauty – love the raffia!

A butterfly found this one!

The pumpkin patch – delightfully colorful!

Next month our craft will be embossed travertine tiles – perfect for gift-giving. I can’t wait! And we’ll have a special guest craft demonstration in early December with the gents from Our Crafty Home! I am super excited to make a Christmas wreath with these guys! So please make sure to follow along as we share more monthly crafting parties.