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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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shop Series: Creating a Garden Display area

 The shop~this is how it looks as things are getting put together,
and as each load of inventory comes in, there is reshuffling to be done.
I drew up a floor plan of how I imagined the space to be laid out,
but as with everything I do, it is an organic process 
(do you hate that word?)~
if I have to describe it, usually I just decide something like, 
"oh this is the area that I will create a garden zone" ~
and sometimes you guys will give me ideas
that I know I am going to use~
like when Nita,from Mod Vintage Life,
suggested I put my little homemade
garden house in my garden area for a display tool~
I loved that idea!

I made this garden house out of old windows~
you can see how I did it here.
Since the store will be opening up in the late spring, 
here in New England
gardening is embraced by many of us~
I really wanted to have a garden area,
and I made good headway yesterday in starting that zone.
But before I show you how I did that let me show you the finished 
mora clock in cream and old white~
I added more cream to the crown and the waxes and it looks so pretty!
 I painted this for Margaret~
I think the cream and old white look pretty together.
 I will be painting one more for Robin~
I have sold 13 clocks so far!! I get lots of emails asking
how to get one, and I am working on a better online shop,
if you are interested you can click here to get the ordering information.
alright, back to creating a garden display zone....
 The garden area will be in the front double window~and until I get 
drapery fabric that I want I decided to use this big bolt of irish
polished cotton I got at auction two weeks ago.  I rolled it out 
onto the floor and gave myself an extra foot
 of length and then cut 4 panels~
 I bought a huge lot of Irish linen and cotton and 
some had water staining~which I decided to use for my 
display~you know the feeling of tattered elegance? 
 I could throw it in the wash with clorox or oxy clean,
but I think it looks kind of cool like this... 
  Colin and I hung up a 2" antique gold wooden pole~
and I tried out one of the several panels 
I will be carrying in the shop~on the left
 is the taupe and grey toile of birds...its really pretty. 
 And on this narrow window I brought one of my smocked panels
 from home~I am trying to source these as I
 must carry them in the shop too~! 
And look at this darling wire light fixture! Isn't it cool?
Well, anyway, back to the front window~
I took the lengths of fabric and folded over at the top about 6"
 and used clip on rings to hang them from the pole~
but what happened next is what I liked the best.
I had just painted this small demi-lune
 table in Annie Sloan Versailles,
 which is a pale yellowy green.
I really love this color, 
and thought it was nice for the garden area~
so the next thing you know I am up 
on the ladder with a pencil writing out the
 words~Le Jardin~~across the window header.
 Then I took the paintbrush and pot of Versailles 
and just painted loosely over my pencil marks~
it took me 15 minutes to do this and I will be doing more words
 around the room across the wall.
Not sure yet~but maybe it will be different 
Sloan colors or gold or....I'll let it happen organically!
 (that word again).
All of my garden-ish things were put in front of the window
 and I have lots more to add, like statues and urns etc...
and later on in the day hubs and Colin would deliver a table and chair
set that is perfect for a garden room.
 Look at this terrific moss and twig garland! 
I think each roll is about 10 feet long x 10" wide.
I was going to wrap my columns in it~
and it would be pretty with white lights too.
While I was working in the shop
Betsy Speert called to check in on me, and I was telling her 
how I wasn't sleeping well, as so many things are in my head...
I got up at 2:30 am yesterday...argh! Well I wanted to announce
 that my store will offer Annie Sloan products, 
and I couldn't wait to share that news, so thats probably why...
but then I woke up again this morning at 2:30....
its like I have a newborn infant on a breast feeding schedule...
thats what it feels like!! 
Anyway I told Betsy that I had just come from auction
 and I bought a cute table and chairs, 
and she told me it is called an "Ice Cream Set"! 
Isn't that the cutest name for a cute set like this? 
I told her we would have lunch at the set
 when she comes to the shop
 after she gets home from Florida in 2 weeks...
Oh and those pink and gold luncheon sets 
(a coffee cup, saucer and lunch plate) 
were another score from auction...
I had to have them, they are soooo me!
So pretty~and how fun are these chairs!?
 Look at the rock hard flat seats~expect those to be changed out.
  Maybe a flirty little slipcover in something darling and french....
 Oh and the other thing I most wanted to get at auction
 was this gilt tole chandy with porcelain roses.  And I prevailed~
there was some chick from an Ipswich antique shop bidding against me~
and this character my friend Paul 
(who you may see here some day on the blog)
who is a lawyer/antique dealer, 
told me I would get it at a good price 
because they are sooo ugly!!! 
Well if that chick wasn't there Paul would have been right, 
but I had to have it.  Paul and I have such different taste~
he always says, "oh get this for your shop"
 and it is hideous~or he will point to a builder brass standard chandy 
and suggests, "this is perfect for you shop, 
you like chandeliers".....
I just give him the look, and he stops suggesting.
 *smile*
Look at the porcelain roses~some dolt painted them
 in red paint because they wanted red roses.
But you know what is under that red paint? 
Some are pale pink and some are pale yellow!!
They have that gradation of color too, 
so I am going to try to remove the hideous chipping off 
red paint to reveal the stunning pastel roses....
and then clean it all up and make sure all the crystals
are in place and flick the switch and fall in love!!! 
You know, I saw my bloggy friend paint her own tole chandy,
and if you love them like I do, after you have finished here,
go visit The Shingle Cottage for some inspiration!
You might follow her too, 
as she had to start her blog over from scratch.
So that was my day yesterday~see Colin smiling at me?
He knows how happy I am~and its true, I am!




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