Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Maison Decor Workshop Experience

 Workshops at Maison Decor~
that's a very big thing in this family run company.
We pride ourselves on the workshop experience~we want to deliver the most
information we can so that our students can go out and paint furniture. 
 That's the goal.
Its not about just leaving with some pretty looking samples 
of painted wood.  Its not about that for us~
its about cramming everything we know 
(about painting and waxing furniture)
 into our students heads in just four hours. 
 If you want to paint your cabinets, or you plan 
to redo some older pieces of furniture to save a few bucks, 
or if you want to start a side business selling painted furniture, 
or if you have a booth or a store and you want to 
learn all there is to using this magical paint called 
Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan,
 then a Maison Decor workshop is your ticket.
It all starts with this~the undeniably magical paint 
that Annie Sloan INVENTED over 20 years ago
in England with a chemist. 
 She called it Chalk Paint® because of its chalky feel~
the thing that made this paint so different was
 that is requires little to no prepwork in the way 
of sanding or priming, and that is what holds so much appeal!  
We set up our workshop table like a country dinner table~
a spot for every registered student that 
holds paint brushes, soft rags, wood samples of various styles,
wet wipes for painted fingers, water bottles for thirsty moments
 and of course our magic paint and wax.
Within 24 hours our guests have arrived and taken a seat at the table~
most come alone, but some have signed up with a girl friend,
 mother or daughter or husband.
 And before you know it the table is a whirl of painting, 
laughing and listening as the instructions and inside tips flow~
 We have a lot of fun while learning at an intense pace.
 Read our customer reviews on our workshop sign up page online~
we are very proud of our hard earned reputation.
 Four hours fly by...
What techniques work best for which kinds of furniture? 
What about scratched pieces? 
Broken and chipped veneer? 
What to do about a piece you have painted and it has started to bleed? 
Super shiny? Ikea?? 
You will get all these answers and much more~
Trouble shooting~the workroom is the  perfect place to
 make mistakes and figure out the right way to do things.
 When I am able to look over your shoulder and analyze
 your technique and give you an answer.   
 Everyone at the table learns together as we all do things a 
little bit differently~
 Create amazing looks in this Introductory Chalk Paint® Workshop~
I call it my everything class, as this really will set you up for
 painting just about anything you plan to paint.
 Lots of attention is spent on the waxing portion~
when and how to apply the dark wax, how to use the 
clear wax~what is the difference~what are some of the 
common mistakes most people make?
 I have been painting with Annie's paint since 2011
 in my own home well before I ever had a shop. 
 I was an avid DIYer with an interior design background. 
Now into my second year of being a stockist you
 will get an instructor that doesn't hold back, I promise you that!
 At the end of each INTRO Chalk Paint® Workshop
 you leave with your painted samples and any supplies
 you have purchased, and of course the confidence
 you now have in your own abilities.  At each class I teach,
 I use different colors so our shop has hundreds of samples
 in different colors and finishes for my customers to look at when they come to buy paint.
 From fancy to rustic~
 To layered finishes and crackled effects~
 Gilded pieces in pastels and neutrals and beachy techniques,
you will see it all right here at Maison Decor!
 We offer many other workshops for Advanced Techniques too~
just check our schedule online at shopmaisondecor.com
As a Maison Decor grad you can paint your furniture with confidence! 
 We have some surprises coming soon at Maison Decor~
including a new location!!
So stay tuned for that big news as we get the details ironed out.
 We do hope to see you at a Maison Decor workshop this year~
 Where you can get your hands dirty and play with the paint!
 You can get absorbed in our world and take it home with you!
 Whether its our super popular starter class or a more advanced level class~
 The whole point is putting you in the drivers seat for creating the looks you want!
Also~look for our stores in the June issue of Romantic Homes magazine!!
 We are featured in the shopkeepers section~its due out any day now!!!
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

French Antique Hunt, Instagram, Moras and more~

 I promised you I would take you to the most eye popping 
French antique shop in the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Justin and I were at the Annie Sloan annual meeting and we struck up 
friendships with the handful of European stockists who were there as well.
This, our last day, we were free to roam around the city and so we set off 
with our Euro pals to the French Quarter.  Vicki, from Switzerland is running into the shop 
right past Justin and Sherri from Poland who beat me inside the door as I was fumbling for my camera.
 They all ducked behind massive armoires so I could get a 
nice shot of the glittering mass of chandeliers, mirrors and gilt laden furnishings.
 I swear this must have belonged to Marie Antoinette in her better days~! 
She loved pink and gold.
Sherri beckoned us all to come around the back end of the shop as she 
had discovered a piece that looked very much like one done in Chalk Paint.
Much of the furniture had wax finishes~you could feel the softness of it when 
you rubbed your hand across the wood.  
Wax finishes are lovely, polyurethane not.
 Have you ever seen as many antique french sconces in your life? 
Vicki was looking at the price tags and had to take her glasses off and rub her eyes!
 Personally a huge fan of grand mirrors and chandeliers
 in almost setting~this place had no shortage.
 I forced persuaded Justin to pose with me and Claire, our friend from France.
 This clock was fabulously wavy and country and grand all in one.
 Trumeau mirror are my absolute weakness~I see Janyce from the UK in the mirror.
This was the proud owner of the shop, Marc. 
His great grandfather had a shop in Paris and it eventually came to New Orleans.
A multi-generational business that continues to this day.
Claire and Vicki wanted to grab a shot of him and I of them.
If you are in the French Quarter here is their address~
Plenty of beautiful shops line Royal Street mixed with hotels and lots of tourists.
 After shopping we headed by many little lunch places
 and finally ducked inside one, but not before a bit more window shopping.
Fabulous lantern~!
 Oyster plates and chandeliers...all of which cost a small fortune.
  A street band serenaded walkers~

 The beautiful colors of New Orleans were everywhere keeping the mood festive and bright.
 Finally~we arrived at Sobou, a wonderful little restaurant, ready for some refreshment~ 
 Vicki and Janyce took shots paparazzi style of the most bizarre appetizer I had ever seen.  
Leave it to Justin to order it!
Justin loves to eat all kinds of different things~this was the strangest!
Tuna tartare topped with wasabi. 
 It looked like pistachio ice cream in a miniature form.
Lunch time was over and we needed to catch our plane back to Boston.
Goodbye friends and New Orleans~
no sooner was I home then I was at an auction buying chandeliers...
do you think there was a direct effect??
 I would say so...that shop was so amazing with the
 antique lighting I just had to find a few for my shop.
 And then the electrician came and installed it for me!
 A big Aubusson carpet came home from auction as well....
Next week I plan to paint this pretty desk and you better 
believe it will involve some kind of gilding.
 Sales last week included this pair of painted french chairs in Chalk Paint.
The French Day Bed went home with a cool woman who 
plans to have her own special room and this will be the centerpiece.
A handsome bow front chest sold yesterday and 
the buyer is having us paint it in Greek Blue.
I will share the result when its all finished~
Selling our custom mora floors clocks too...
As well as our custom mora wall clocks.
We just added some new items to our online store too~
A rouge striped french tote~
 several styles of cage pendant lights~
a wooden model hand~
We will be adding more as we gear up for a bigger online presence.
And if you are on Instagram there is a thing called Throwback Thursday
 where people post older photos of themselves. 
Follow me there for more off the cuff photos from home and shop life 
@amymaisondecor is my user name
 I posted this pic today~me and my boys ten years ago in Jackson Hole 
on a wonderful trip to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary.
Look at Colin! He is so young~and was earing a sheriff badge. Awww!!
 Oh what fun we had! I was dating Mr. Maison Decor
 at the time~how much has changed for me in the last decade....
its really incredible where life can take you if you let it.

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