Sunday, April 29, 2012

Roses and Vintage French Wallpaper


I am skipping ahead of myself~but I have lots of photos to edit before I can show you the last day of my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ training classes~so I am sharing what happened when I got home from class yesterday.  It was my fifth wedding anniversary and Mr. MD got me two dozen shell pink roses.
In addition, the vintage french wallpaper I ordered for my shop had arrived!
 These papers will be used to line the backs of pretty cabinets in the shop~
 This one has a slight metallic shimmer across the scrolls with pink and white flowers~on a grass cloth background
 This one is pale periwinkle blue with rosettes scattered in Monet-ish  style painting~
Oui Oui~from France!
 Hub's mom isn't the best photographer so we laugh while she tries to steady 
the camera and aim at us...it never seems to work! We were headed out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary.
 try again...
 a little better....
oh no, more crooked....ok, thats a wrap!
Our rings are inscribed Happily Ever After

We have a nice happy life together~
and he's the reason I am able to take this big giant step in life~
Maison Decor, the store!
  Excuse my mushiness~but its true.
Tomorrow I will be back on the horse and headed to the shop~it will be vintage chandies and painting of clocks and filing my sign application and trying to get a handle on the growing inventory! You should see some of the awesome french home accessories I have that just came in~like wonderful zinc drying racks!
Until tomorrow~and don't forget to enter the Darphin French Skin Care line I am hosting~click here if you missed it to enter!
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Road Trip: What I learned on my first day at Annie Sloan training~

 Yesterday I arrived at Patty Seaman's home for day one 
of a two day Train the Trainer session. 
 The dining room table was set up with notebooks
 and wood sample boards, and apron and brushes
 that one other new stockist and I would be 
using to learn new Annie Sloan skills 
with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™.
 I did not take a lot of photos, 
as much of this is private stuff ya know!
However I will share what I can~
this was my seat, and my blank wood moldings
 were piled up waiting for me to 
create different techniques with the Annie Sloan products. 
 Patty had a huge pile of product piled up on a table behind us~
as many times we were free to pick the colors 
we wanted to use on the various sample boards.
 We were going to do decoupage and crackle boards,
 two paint finishes, impasto, gilding, 
and smooth finish to name a few~
The gilding was one of the most exciting parts for me, 
as there are many things I want to gild 
(can anyone say Mora clock??)~
 I love the gilded look peeking out 
from under layers of pretty paint~
After todays session I will be able to show 
you the sample boards I created
and will take home with me to Maison Decor.
 Of course even while I am away at training, I can't help but think of my shop~now look at the front of the building (the neon is gone)~see the two copper bay windows above my entry door that is recessed between the windows? That is where I want to hang the bracket sign for Maison Decor. It will hang over the door way looking so cute~and the two areas above the windows where the traditional sign blanks are~well I want to hang little french striped awnings.  Can you imagine that? And remember that Mike the landlord refinished both the old lanterns and soon I will have my lantern back up over the doorway! Now pay attention to the old oak door that is in awful shape to the right of my windows~that is where the apartment dwellers enter~see how the door had gotten all gray with weather over the years....now try to imagine these things I am about to show you next~
 This is the sign that will hang above the doorway~in pretty lilac.
And beside it in awnings in Sunbrella Plum Fancy~
And both entryways will have these pretty green lanterns
that Mike is refinishing~nice before and after!
The purple sign, the purple and green awnings, the green lanterns
the doorways all painted up pretty~!! I can totally see this!
Mike refurbished the entry door to the apartments
 and added a nice brass kickplate!
You can see a bit of the lantern too~
its all going to look grand!
Lastly, here is Patty's kitty~what a beautiful face!
One more thing~all those steak tips and salad
 and no bread and killing myself in the shop is paying off~!!
 My diet tips: no carbs and open a dream store
 and work 14 hours a day.
 Obsess on store instead of food and drink!
 Ok, gotta get ready for day two of training~
its gonna be a great day!
ohhh~and one more thing!! 
I just saw my kitchen was picked out by the talent scout
for Cottage and Bungalow Magazine,
WhisperWood Cottage as one of the best white cottage kitchens!

My kitchen Makeover!
(You all do know that I painted these cabinets 
with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint™, right?)
click here to see my kitchen and other
 pretty white cottage kitchens, 
including Nita's from Mod Vintage Life!
Everybody loves looking at white kitchens!!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Road Trip for Annie Sloan Training~Day One



Good Day Everybody~I drove 5 hours yesterday from Boston to New Jersey to take my Annie Sloan intensive Train the Trainer session with Patty Seaman of Classic Wall Finishes.  Patty was one of the first stockists in the US and the second lady I bought a can of chalk paint from! I am in my hotel room without my usual photo downloading set up, I am not likely able to share the photos from my first day in New Jersey, as the photo files are huge and they may take forever to load on the blog...so while I try to figure that out, I came across this gizmo on my mac and I think it is pretty fitting self portrait, Andy Warholish~in that today I will be immersing myself in color and technique, the Annie Sloan way!
I really wanted to share all the pictures I took when I arrived a day early in New Jersey and headed to visit Magnolia Lane~the Annie Sloan shop that belongs to Stephanie Kahrs Granit~here she is talking to a lady who walked in to ask about the chalk paint that she had seen online!  It was pretty amazing to watch this happen, as soon I will be in these exact shoes~in my own shop and I'll be sharing the excitement of this wonderous chalk paint that needs no prep, no stripping, no sanding~just the fun of getting right to the painting! Stephanie's shop is very beautiful, and it feels a little like my space, in that there is lovely light and lots of white~it was a real treat to look at the pieces she has finished. You have to run your hand over the surface of her pieces, they are like glass! I was very impressed with her technique and taste! So there is plenty to share, but  I have to get home to do it so it won't bog down your computer and make you want to pull your hair out or click escape.
I have to share this shot of the lovely window graced by a beautiful chandy~
gorgeous! I love natural light, and of course I love chandelier lighting!
The full story of my visit and dinner with Stephanie is still to come~this morning I am getting ready to go to my class.  It will be from 9:30-5~and I am super excited!! When I left home yesterday, I will admit driving for long distances is not my favorite thing to do~I don't think I have ever driven this far alone...but I did it! The worst part was the crummy section of driving through the bronx in NYC and up onto the George Washington Bridge...but the rest of it was not horrid as I was listening to my book on CD, The Paris Wife, about Hemingway's first wife.  It is a pretty good love story~and anytime a story is true it makes it more fun, don't you think?  While on the road my shop was expecting a huge delivery, which had already been scheduled before I knew I would be out of town....so my landlord Mike came to my rescue and waited at the shop and took all my packages in for me!! He is the BEST!!
Alright everybody~have a great day!! I will be 
learning and having a blast~maybe if I take some iphone pics 
I can share those with you tonight or tomorrow morning.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shop Series: Sign Designs and the color Lilac


Here is a mockup of the projecting sign for my shop~
It will be hanging off the end of the building and I 
love the old fashioned look of a sign hanging from a bracket.
I like the paler color better~
the exterior of the store is going to have a 
lilac and green color scheme.
The iron bracket is a scroll of ivy tendrils~pretty huh?
Speaking of lilac,
 I painted the long dresser
 that I got from my craigslist score.
 I painted it in ASCP Old White and then used Paloma 
with a watery brush and highlighted the carved areas.
 Paloma is a dusky lilac that is the best color!!
I am going to use this for now as my cashout spot~
It used to look like this~yellowy cream with peachy pink.
 Now check out this antique file cabinet!~
 Its a monster! And it is all Tiger Oak~see the stripes?
 I won't be painting this one. Its really cool,
 I am going to actually use this for files and
 for holding ribbons and lace and things like that~
 Each drawer comes right out and there is a spring 
loaded trapping bar that holds your files or papers!
Look~each drawer has this paper glued inside that shows 
what file it is and the info that you can fill in the blanks.
Mine are all blank~
I just thing this is incredibly cool!!
It is bolted to the wall~for safety!
See that iron key~
I gave that to my hubby for our first Christmas,
it is the Key to My Heart. He owns it....!
Alright, I am headed on a road trip all by myself for a serious
training course in all things Annie Sloan!!! I'll be in New Jersey 
getting my proper education~!! And then I will come back a 
big time expert, and will have even more fun with it.
So thats the update, I might not be able to post until the weekend,
as I will be a busy girl.. I got a book on CD for my 5.5 hour drive~
Its called  "Wife in Paris", and is the story of the first wife
of Ernest Hemingway....well for some bizarre reason I love reading 
or hearing about Hemingway and the women in his life. 
I wrote about his second wife
Pauline on the blog...she was the vogue editor in Paris~
he dumped his first wife
for Pauline.  What I loved about Pauline was 
that she took down every fan 
in his Key West home and put up her fabulous 
collection of french chandeliers!
Ha! He went fishing and came home to no fans!!
So then she put in a big swimming pool~
she drove him mad I guess~he soon got another wife.
You can read more about Pauline here.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

French Skin Care~The Darphin Way


French Skin Care -- the Darphin Way
I was so happy to be asked if I would join in a trial using
a glamorous French skin care line, Darphin.
Every woman knows a little bit about taking care of their skin, and I was excited to see what Darphin would send me for my skin after I filled out a detailed questionnaire on my skin type. The package arrived with the most beautiful looking containers in my favorite colors, pink bottles with aqua packaging. These pretty containers were going to look lovely sitting on my vanity.
The Darphin name was new to me, so let me share the background on this French company established in 1958. It was revolutionary at the time, as the products were tailored to specific skin types and needs. The founder, Pierre Darphin, believed that a woman's skin is a mirror reflecting her life -- and many of his products are renowned for their transformational results. I have had over two weeks to use the products that were sent just for me. They included a cleanser, a moisturizer for my dry sensitive skin and a serum for the redness I have struggled with for the last five years. At Darphin they say "Your skin deserves its expert serum" and I will admit I haven't used an expert serum since I freaked out at age 40 and went to the mall and walked away with $400 in product from a saleswoman who was looking to make a commission. Ah, the joys of aging! Here are MY unedited results with Darphin.
  • The Intral Cleansing Milk is made for sensitive skin that is prone to redness and irritation. It comes in a pretty pink pump style container that made it so convenient at bedtime and in the morning to take a quick squirt and wash my skin. The first time I used it I was blown away! I am not kidding, I really couldn't believe how soft but clean my face felt, without getting that tight feeling I get from "gentle" soaps and other cleansers. Many times I have to refrain from using any cleanser because it's just too harsh. This calming cleanser was just wonderful!
  • The next thing my skin care instructions directed me to do was to apply the Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum. It comes in a small bottle also outfitted with a pump, and I added three little drops and spread it over my complexion. My dermatologist has told me I have rosacea, which is a condition that is basically a red complexion, not a good thing! I have to use cover-up make-up if I want to feel less self-conscious when I go out, so I was quite hopeful this product would work some magic on my skin. It takes two weeks to see results, and so far I have seen some improvement, which I am thrilled about. At the end of the bottle I will let everyone know if I see more improvement -- but at the two-week-mark I am not about to stop using the redness serum.
  • The last thing Darphin skin reps sent me was my favorite of all, the Intral Soothing Cream. This is the nicest moisturizer I have had the pleasure to use. My skin is often dry in patches and can be scaly in some areas, yet, from the first application, this cream made my skin feel like a baby's skin. It smells really nice, not too strongly scented, and it feels like heaven after you apply it!
I recently had to attend an event where I would be meeting many women I had never met before, and I have to say that these French products gave me an extra dose of confidence, as my skin had not looked this good in years. I plan to continue using these French skin products and, when I run out, I will be ordering the moisturizer and cleanser for sure. The Intral redness serum will be included in my regimen if I feel it truly made a difference. As women have been heard to say, I am worth it!
Would you like to try the Darphin line of skincare for yourself?
Leave a comment to enter for a chance to win $100 worth of Darphin products by answering:
What skincare issue do you deal with that you would most like to fix if you tried Darphin?
Also, Darphin has a special offer (one of their best!) just for readers of this post: Get a free Age Defying Dermabrasion Deluxe Sample, Dark Circles and De-puffing Eye Serum Deluxe Sample and Spa Headband with any order at Darphin.com through 5/31/12. Use code BLOGGER at checkout. Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 4/23 – 5/24 Be sure to visit the Darphin brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


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