Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A day with Annie Sloan

 And what a day it was~!
Amy and Annie~
Annie Sloan came to Boston on her US tour and I had no idea how 
much attending this workshop would impact me! So come along with me
as I share my photo diary of the day I spent with Annie Sloan and company.
 It all started when Jami from Freckled Laundry blog emailed me asking if I was going to go to the Boston Annie Sloan workshop~well I hadn't heard about it, and told her to come up from New York and stay with me and we could go together~here we are meeting the night before the event at the hotel so we could connect with Jami's friend, Shauna from Perfectly Imperfect blog, as well as one of the original stockists in the US, the fabulous Patty Seaman and her talented sister Karen, who would also be instructing us on the latest techniques in the breakout session the day of the workshop.  Its so much fun meeting a blogger buddy in real life~! Our  iphone pics captured our first few hours together...
 ~Amy, Jami and Shauna~
This meeting had no big cameras or photo sessions, 
we were here to meet face to face over dinner and make connections.
We had dinner with Patty and Karen at PF Changs and 
blabbed about blogging and painting and shared bits of personal stuff like girl friends do~
 Karen and her sister Patty are artists and they would be instructing us the next day~I remember ordering paint from her shop in New Jersey when she was one of the only places in the US you could find this paint!  Now there are over 190 stockists selling Annie Sloan chalk paint, as the product has exploded in popularity in the US.  After a lovely dinner, (thank you Patty!!), we all headed to our respective beds to get some rest before our big day to come.
Jami and Dave were having coffee in the dining room~
time for a quick photo or two and then we were off to the races!
 Hubs took this pic of Jami and I as we left the house 
bright and early to meet Annie Sloan!
A bright crisp day in Boston~we headed into the Sheraton for the workshop.
 A sign said we were in the right place~follow me!
 There was a designated ballroom buzzing with ladies lined up at the registration desk~
 Janet, from The Empty Nest blog was also one of the instructors at the workshop and here she 
was checking my name off the list!  It was so fun to start seeing people from blogland in real life!!
She told me that she had spoken with Annie about me and said that Annie was looking forward to meeting me!!! I was filled with anticipation about what I would learn, and even more excited about meeting the guru behind this paint revolution.
 I connected with Tricia who is a Chalk Paint® stockist.  
She screamed down the hall as I approached the ballroom in the hotel~
 "AAAAMY!!!!!", like we had known each other for a hundred years!
 The dynamic duo, Patty and Karen of Classic Wall Finishes posed in their aprons.  As the event unfolded, I  would come to see how much Annie Sloan held these two in high esteem.
 In the ballroom lobby there were Annie Sloan displays and I noticed a very exciting thing~
there was going to be a french fabric line coming out this summer!  Stripes, toiles and florals all coordinated with AS colorways.  As a curtain maker, this really captured my interest.
 All around the registration room you could see who the bloggers were, hah!  Our big cameras hung from our necks as we shot everything and anything~ Here was Shauna taking pics of the display area.
 And Jami was doing the same...as was I. 
 ~Lisa, Jami, Amy, Patty, Shauna, Karen~
We were getting to feel a bit like celebs in the room as cameras trained their focus on us for this photo-op.  Lisa is the brainchild who made getting the Annie Sloan paint in the US happen!  It was only available in England until Lisa worked out a distribution deal.  This is one amazing lady~and at age 28 makes me feel like I might have been slacking for a decade or two! 
 ~The One and Only Annie Sloan~
We were then ushered into an adjoining room off the ballroom for the moment we all had been waiting for~and without much pomp or circumstance, onto the dais strolled Annie Sloan.  Jami and I got second row seats and our ears and eyes were trained on Annie as she introduced herself and described how she invented this paint with a chemist 20 years ago~!  
 There was a super size screen for those in the back rows to see a bit better~Annie was miked up and 
talked for two hours about her philosophy in regards to decorating and painting.  Truly fascinating, I was completely absorbed in her talk and demonstrations, and felt much like we spoke the same language.  You know its rare that I find creative juices outside my own devices such as looking through images on the web, or magazines or in my own settings...and here I had a woman with vast experience who could articulate on the creative process, and how she works.  I was loving this talk~!! Loved it! It was putting my brain in overdrive, I just can't explain it in better terms~I was in artistic juiceland!
 Annie demonstrated some techniques, like how she uses a stencil.  You quickly understood that perfection is not the goal, it was creating artistry by personal interpretation. 
"Go with it"
This was her mantra that she shared over and over~just "go with it"...don't fight the nature of a rustic piece trying to make it all polished.... perhaps you change your mind after you start painting a piece, yes, switch gears, its ok, just go with it...she shared her idea books and how she uses one color to create many colors, and then by adding a second color how the first color can be knocked down or an altogether new color can be created.  Check your fear at the door and just go with it~mistakes are almost impossible to make.
 Annie and her own sketch book that she created with each page featuring one of her paint colors and then how it can become many colors by adding 1, 2, 3 or 4 parts of old white paint.
 I was more than thrilled to watch her in action using Antoinette, that fabulous pink chalkpaint I have been using as soon as it came out! Above in the paint tray are two blobs of paint, Chateau Grey and Antoinette.  Annie uses this technique with a small foam roller to apply paint to stencils. The room erupted in laughter when she said she "doesn't use a stencil brush, life is too short for all of that"!  She positions the stencil half on the target area rubs a little of the combined paint, then rotates the stencil and rolls a little bit more and keeps repeating it until she creates this artistic effect~genius I say!  Annie said she doesn't want to line things up and measure and try to make things all in a row perfectly like many of us do when using stencils~Annie lets it fly! Look at how beautiful the result is~
 Stenciled sample created by Annie Sloan
 After the two hour talk, we went to "breakout rooms" where groups 
of about 10 gathered to try our hands on with some new techniques. 
 Patty and Karen would be showing us and encouraging 
us along the way~this was super fun!
 The long conference tables were covered in brown craft paper, and each table setting consisted of paint brushes, 3 samples of wood moldings, paper towels, sandpaper in various grits, and a can of water.
 The gilded carved frame molding and a smooth piece of wood molding 
would soon be transformed using the Sloan paint and techniques.
 Woah! Annie Sloan strolled right into our classroom and we got to get a little more personal with her while we started our sample boards.  She brought along her sketch book to talk more about the fabric line. The fabrics will be made in France and come in two widths, 54" and 110"!  She showed off the samples and while I looked at her personal sketch book I felt like I was eating a big ice cream sundae!!
It was 
wonderful, inspiring and exciting~
but that's the kind of stuff I get off on, you know!
 Bowls of  Anointette and Country Grey were set out on the table~
 Karen showed me a stencil board using the Sloan technique which was done in Scandinavian Pink base, country grey over it with dark wax and a touch of gilding.  
 Patty, in the background, was instructing a first time user~it was interesting to see who came to the event.  There were almost as many Annie Sloan Virgins as there were Annie Sloan Addicts.
 And I have to say it was sooo fun doing all of this with Jami!  She is sporting the apron we all got to wear and keep~most women attending came by themselves, and many drove from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and New York~and quite a few hopped on planes, like Shauna from Alabama!
 More bowls of paint and more techniques~we painted for four hours!!
 These gilded frame molding samples are the versions Jami, Gina (the gal to my right) and I made using Antoinette.  Some of us added dark wax, old white paint, and touches of Aubusson.  We used a rub away technique to reveal the gilded touches below the surface. After all our boards were done (and there several others I am not showing) we cleaned up to head to the book signing at the end of the event.
 Jami getting two books signed by Annie~
Patty Seaman says if you can only get one of Annies books~this is her favorite as it highlights 50 easy projects one can do with chalk paint.  Patty gave me a copy as a gift~I had left my own book, "Creating the French Look" at home sitting on my coffee table, darn it! I had so wanted Annie to sign it for me~so instead I thought of something a little more fun...
 Remember this piece of decorative molding I painted with Antoinette~
She obliged and laughed when I asked
 her to sign it with this sentiment~
To the Antoinette in us ALL!!!!
 Annie kindly signed my Antoinette molding sample and her book, 
Quick and Easy Paint Transformations~
 she wrote~"To Maison Decor (Amy!!)"
"Thank you so much for all your support! 
Annie Sloan
Her trademark scribbly style bubbled across the page~
And that was the end of the workshop~
however later this week  I will share how Jami and I went to the most
fabulous old barn and shared a lavish country dinner~
and I got to sit right next to Annie herself!!!
Until then~



  1. Wow--sounds like you had so much fun! Thanks for sharing all the details. That is amazing she is coming out with fabric. Can't wait to hear about your dinner! How fun you got to visit with all those bloggers!

  2. I bet that was an amazing time! I remember ordering from the stockiest in NJ after I had found Annie's book in the fall of 2010. I was in LOVE. So glad we can now get her paint here. Wish I could have gone to the workshop near here. Maybe next time. Thank you for sharing your adventure Amy!

  3. Wow! I can tell you had a blast and learned so much. Isn't it fun when you know you're in your element?! You were definetly in yours. Thanks for sharing all those great pics. That made me feel like I was there too. How exciting that she's going to be introducing fabrics next! You got some inside info. ha!

  4. Thanks for taking us with you, looks like so much fun!!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing day with us Amy,your pictures and words really made it feel like i was there too,loved this post!..The new line of fabrics look beautiful,it is getting harder to find beautiful blousy old rose floral fabric so i can't wait until it comes out.
    The paint techniques look fabulous and i am going to Amazon to look for that new book i have the older one that you left at home.

  6. oMG...that was a well-documented seminar! You had a great time and shared so much with us, thanks for that, dear Amy!



  7. It seems everybody and everything were so much beautiful and lovely.See you better days.

  8. Amy,
    Wow wow wow I am in awe.How amazing to meet Annie and not too forget the other amazing bloggers like Jamie.She seems like a sweetheart too.Can't wait to hear about the rest.Thank you for sharing your amazing trip.

  9. Oh, I am so jealous that I had to miss the Atlanta tour. Great pics of your fun day.

  10. How fun! You must be over the moon with excitement ;D

  11. What a great workshop! I love this post, I felt like I was actually there with all the great pics you posted. You're so lucky! I can't wait to try Annie Sloan's chalk paint, I'm sure once I try it, I'll be hooked.

  12. Oh my!
    I've been reading so many accounts on blogs of their attendance at the various Annie Sloan Tour locations. Ok, perhaps it's more like stalking! I just can't read enough or see enough pictures about it all!

    Your has been the best by far, had me smiling, then giddy, then smiling again. Especially seeing names and faces I know via blogs and fb pages. It was a THRILL to read this! Thanks so much for sharing it all!

    I first discovered ASCP via Miss Mustard Seeds blog just about a year ago! Been entralled ever since and bought my first batch near Dayton OH throught Wallartistry. Now I buy through Liz Douglas Designs in Lexington where I took my workshop class.

    Can't say enough about this fabulous paint! I get to share my love of it and what I do and how I discovered it via my weekly column called Norma Oliver's Furniture Rescue on Thursdays on kyforward.com.

    Thanks again, great story, is the highlight of my day!!!!!!!

  13. HEAVEN!!!! thanks for taking us thru your day, loved seeing all the aspects of it! So much fun!

  14. Sounds lovely! You were definitely in your element. Made me smile. Can't wait to hear the rest!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your whole day with us. I loved all the pictures. It looks like it was tremendously exciting.

  16. Wow! That would be an exciting day!Nice to meet other bloggers too.


  17. I am so glad that y'all had a good time meeting up with other bloggers and Annie herself.
    I will be staying tuned to the next exciting post.


  18. Amy, what a wonderful time meeting you. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the event. Keep those wheels turning!

  19. Wow! I can feel your creative enthusiasm just coming right off this post. It's making me excited just to hear all about it. God, i LOVE the stencil techniques you showed, i'm dying to try that! Sounds like you were soooo in your element there at the workshop, just soaking it all in. I can't wait to see what that brain of yours comes up with after being there. Don't you just love being inspired like that... so so fun!


  20. Sounds very exciting, Amy! I'll bet you had a load of fun! So glad to see some new pictures of Annie, too. : )

  21. I chewed every word! I LOVE that you were able to do this, Amy. It just doesn't get any better than that. I love that someone who has been proclaiming the product and shouting its praises got a little recognition. You did good, girl....very, very good. Can't wait to hear about your dinner! xo Diana

  22. Amy: Thank you for the most complete, descriptive, enthusiastic commentary on Annie Sloan's American Tour. Excellent blog! Looking forward, as others, to your next blog on the dinner. Until then....

  23. Wow Amy it sounds awesome I love how you shared every detail. Love the techniques you learned antoinette is one color I have yet to try I do love the scandinavian pink! thanks for sharing!!

  24. What an amazing experience Amy....I got chills just reading the excitement in your words...can't wait to hear about the DINNER!

    Lou Cinda

  25. wow, what a lucky lady you are. bet you were in "awe" that day. i would've been. quite the experience i would say. glad you had a great day. im sure she "tracks" her followers @ some point. looks like you also had a great amount of fun. and amy, im sure youll find something "artistic" to do with you "souveniers.:) lil envious, but hey you totally deserve it. your work is amazing and look forward to reading every day. thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. keep all of your creations coming. really enjoy and you definitely are an inspiration... susy

  26. Thanks for sharing Amy. I thought about all of you gals over the weekend sharing air with Annie. Thanks to you and all your girlfriends, I too am hook on Annies paint. I so wish I could of gone to meet all of you. Looking forward to hearing more and learning from you as well.
    Anne Dees

  27. hi amy.

    how much fun does that workshop look!?!

    thanks for taking us along!


  28. Amy -- so glad your day w Annie exceeded your wildest dreams. Can't to see what artistic inspirations come out of you next...

  29. What a thrill of a lifetime...to meet the great Annie Sloan and I am certain it was a thrill for her to meet you too!...Looking forward to your post about the dinner with Annie too....AND, you showing us the great things you learned at the workshop...

    Will the fabrics be available to the public or only thru the trade? Love the idea of the 100+ inch width..!

  30. It was such an amazing day!!! You captured a ton of awesome moments and told a wonderful story, Amy. So happy to hang with you and stay in the le beautiful maison! Thank you again!!! I'll be working on my post this morning.

  31. Hello Amy,

    It was a magical day, wasn't it? I am so thrilled that you got to meet and spent some quality time with our Annie (yes...we are a possessive group).
    I loved getting to finally meet you, Jami and of course Shaunna.
    I know I made my little thank you toast at that wonderful after party dinner, but I want everyone to know that we who represent the Annie Sloan Unfolded™ product line truly appreciate you and the many bloggers who are loyal and vocal fans. You all ROCK!!! We could not have had the success we are enjoying without all of you.

    So looking forward to all your creative endeavors to come.

    your 'real life' friend,
    The Empty Nest

  32. What a fabulous opportunity! I am so looking forward to tips on using ASCP from all of you gals that attended the workshop.

  33. Amy, I didn't realize I blocked my comment reply! My email is leslieacarney@gmail.com if you have any tips regarding the Chalk Paint. I'd like to do this myself as the price quotes to have it done (includes sanding, and lacquer) is so high.

  34. You look fabulous
    What a fun day too


  35. Sounds like my type of day! I would have been in painting heaven. Thank you for sharing it with us Amy!

  36. Wow! What a great experience. I am so jealous that I wasn't there. Looks like you had a fantastic time and learned some new things that I'm sure will show up on the blog. So glad you had such a fabulous time.

  37. Absolutely a blast meeting you, Amy!!! SO much fun. Look forward to following along in your chalk-painting adventures.


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