, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!
, , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m a sucker for a fill-in book!

Call it what you like – a scrapbook, art journal, diary or memory book – I LOVE fill-in books. You know, those wonderfully gifty-type books that prompt you to fill in the pages with notes, reflections, photos, drawings and things you never want to forget. I adore them. They call to me from the bookstore wracks. Really, they do.

I’ve done so many of them over the years. You probably have too. Like the bridal planner book. And of course, the Baby Book. I’ve done the fill-in prompted style, calendar style and even turned an ordinary photo book into a memory book.

For my husband’s first Father’s Day, I made him a scrapbook called, “Why My Daddy is Better Than Your Daddy.” Someday this will be Saxon’s book.

Years ago my bestie, Rhonda, and I exchanged fill-in books for each other. The one she gave me is called Friends are Flowers that Never Fade. I still cherish it! She stuck in all kinds of photos of us from high school and even a note I wrote to her! We still can’t remember what it was I said she should have “tried out for.” And “trauma” – why did I write that? Ha! Who knows, but this makes me smile.

(don’t judge my big hair in this pic – it was the 80’s!)
Recently, my mother-in-law gave me a fill-in book to keep throughout Saxon’s school years, called School Years. I really have to get started on it! I love that it has pockets for tucking in their drawings, tests, report cards, etc. So perfect!
And I’m super excited because for the first-time ever, I get to combine my book publicity job with my love of journaling books. This season I am handling the publicity for a new book called, Art Doodle Love: A Journal of Self Discovery (STC Craft | A Melanie Falick Book). 
This beautiful little book provides prompts and inspiration for scribbling, doodling, gluing things inside, documenting events, reflecting on things past and so much more. I love it and can’t wait to let the creativity ooze out onto the pages! Check out this video of a user enjoying Art Doodle Love!
And a book I just have to get my hands on is the Annie Sloan Workbook
I’ve seen so many furniture painters using it to keep their “recipes” for custom color mixes. You can use this as a place to keep magazine clippings of decor and items you want to use in your next home renovation ore redesign. There’s pockets too for storing fabric snippets, ribbon, etc. I would like to document my furniture paint work in it, by keeping before and after photos, along with paint swatches. Then I could carry this along to client’s homes to show them examples. At any rate, I need to hop on down to my local stockist, The Empty Nest, and get myself a copy pronto!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, these little books are such a joy to give and receive. (And in case my Hubby is reading this – so are diamonds!)

, , , , , , , , ,

My first Annie Sloan chalk paint piece

As soon as I got home from the workshop, I bought myself some Annie Sloan chalk paint from my 2 local stockiest – On a Whim in Lucketss, VA and The Empty Nest, located inside Fox Den Antiques in Warrenton, VA. I purchased a quart of Duck Egg Blue, French Linen and Old White. I also grabbed a sample container of Paris Grey. My bounty was not complete without a can of clear wax and dark wax.

Later, I headed to Lowe’s and purchased natural bristle brushes (for painting), lint-free wiping cloths (for wiping away excess wax), sandpaper (for distressing), mineral spirits (for cleaning the wax brushes – soap & water cleans the paint brushes), and a drop cloth (to preserve the floor in my husband’s man cave, a.k.a. the garage).

With all that loot, I was ready to begin painting. My first piece was this box I found at a local consignment shop. I purchased it with the intention of painting it, as I love the shape of the box, but am not fond of the sunflower and checkerboard design. It isn’t the best quality – a little beat up, but kind of cute, right?

So, the first thing I did was give the exterior a coat of Old White. I slapped it on, as Annie directs, in every which way.  When it dried, I then painted the inside Duck Egg Blue. Already I discovered my first mistake – I should have painted the inside first. It was quite difficult to paint inside (as the little doors do not come off), and not get paint on some of the newly painted white parts. And – I need to invest in a smaller, artist-type paint brush for little areas like the strip of wood down the middle. But, after this struggle, it got much easier.
I let it dry and gave the exterior a coat of French Linen. Waited a short bit, and then it was ready to wax. I started with the clear wax over the entire thing – inside and out. After I applied it with the wax brush, I used my cloths to rub it in, and remove any excess. It felt smooth and dry to the touch. 
Next, I got out course sand paper, and distressed it on all sides. Since this piece was a bit rough to begin with, I decided to give it a lot of distressing, and really age it. So, the next step was to apply dark wax, so it could seep into those distressed areas and imperfections. After I rubbed off the excess (which you coincidentally do with the clear wax – pretty nifty trick!), I again gave it a final coating of clear wax. Then I lightly buffed it.
Here’s the transformed box:
I’m not sure where I will keep this little bugger yet in my house. And to be honest, there’s not a whole lot of little things I have to display inside. This might make a good piece hung on the wall with thimbles inside or something else of that little nature. Any other ideas? Feel free to share!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beautiful furniture on display at the workshop

Before I get down to the nitty-gritty of what I learned, I wanted to share images I took of the furniture that was on display at the workshop. It was held at The National Conference Center, and these pieces were displayed in one of their lobbies. I eagerly snapped shots, but should have taken notes on who did each piece – so for that I apologize in advance to the person who did the first piece below.

This was by far my favorite piece in the room. Look at her French loveliness! Oh how I hope to find a deal on something like this one day. Well, this or an amazing hutch.

Here’s some more beauties…The yellow dresser was done by the girls at Hue-ol-ogy.

This lovely chair and hutch were painted by Amy from Gallery on Third. Even the fabric was painted using a stencil on a drop cloth material! She said she just couldn’t find a fabric she liked, so she created her own! Ingenious!

These little tables and armoire were painted by Celeste at On a Whim (in Lucketts for all you Northern VA friends!) I am so in LOVE with the duck egg blue color!

I could totally see this contemporary color combination in my front living room! Love the Emperor’s Silk Red with the black and white fabric! This was done by Terry at Budget Redesign.

Here’s a closeup showing you the distressing detail of another one of my favorite pieces from
BB Home. Love!

And finally, here’s a folksy-fun piece painted by Janet from another local Northern Virginia ASCP stockiest, The Empty Nest.