Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rustic finishes with Chalk Paint and Wedding details

Have you seen this grey washed out wood finish in stores and magazines?
Its a rustic look that is very popular right now.  Restoration Hardware does
it, its in Veranda mag and all over the place.  Its a fairly easy paint technique
that is called dry brushing.  Lets take a look at the before photo.
 This is a fancy shmancy table made by Baker Furniture Company.  Top of the line
construction and surely cost a pretty penny when it arrived in the furniture showroom.
But now after decades of use it has some wear and tear to its original finish.
The inlaid area is all crackled and there are a few spots where the finish has 
been damaged.  When I see a piece like this, its the perfect candidate for a 
dry brush.  I love using French Linen Chalk Paint® to get the look that I 
see in my magazines.  Using the smallest amount of paint on your brush
you sweep it across the furniture until you have it looking like the photos
below.  Less paint is more, as you can layer and layer and layer your 
sweeping motions.  Finish it off with Clear Soft Wax by Annie Sloan and enjoy!
 Practice this technique on a piece of paper to get the motion down right 
and then go ahead and fearlessly attack your piece!! 
 I LOVE the look!! I painted right over the hardware too.
Its got that lovely grey worn finish that completely transformed this stodgy piece.
Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan never disappoints.  If you haven't done anything
different with it, start experimenting! Trust me, you CAN do it!!
You are welcome to take a workshop of course, and once in a while I offer
an advanced class, like this one we had yesterday where we did Decorative Finishes
that included the Dry Brush Technique.
 In the midst of running the shop and doing workshops, I am trying to help with the wedding details for Justin and Madison.  Time is of the essence and these little details need to be pulled together.
I ordered a hundred mercury glass votives and some came busted...lucky it was just a handful. We had to get battery tealights as the venue's fire rules do not allow candles. 
 We are trying to create a ribbon streamer garland thing, 
as a decorative piece.  Gina and our new hire, Julia, started stringing
 it together at the end of the day yesterday.
 This is the idea of the garland...but we need to make it more RUSTIC!!! 
 So we will be adding burlap and velvets and shredding some fabrics too.
 It was way too shiny for the couples taste, and all I need is to be told once,
 and I will get it done!
Its much like working for a client on a decorating job.  
I need direction people!!! So the ribbon garland will get tweaked
 today and hopefully it will be just right. 
(Less pink, less shiny, more brown and more texture.)
 My hubby drove an hour and half this week after work to scoop up this amazing antique French settee for me!! I got it from the uber talented designer Matthew Mead 
who is based in Concord New Hampshire.  This settee will NOT be going in my shop. 
I plan to use this settee in my dining room AFTER I use it at Justin and Madison's wedding as their reception seating.  Its huge and its lovely and I am so happy I was able to get it from Matthew.  He is one busy designer and I am a busy nobody running a shop, so coordinating this pickup was a major achievement.  He would text me when I would ask about a certain date "Oh I have to meet with the Associated Press", or "Shooting for BEtter Homes and Gardens".  haha! He asked me if a certain date would work, and I would say things like "Oh I have to take my dog to the vet", or "I can't leave my store unless its Sunday or Monday".  Pretty funny convos that highlight the differences
 in our lives in little text blurbs.  Anyway we worked it out and I will be returning 
to see more of his stuff and hopefully bring it to Maison Decor's floors.
 He told me he had some things he thought I would love. 
 So stay tuned on that front.
My mom is helping out by cutting her hydrangeas on the 
huge PeeGee Hydrangea bush at her
home on Marthas Vineyard.  I plan to use these at the Rehearsal Dinner.
These are just gorgeous, thanks Mom~!
Hope you all have a great weekend, I will be busy as a little bee.
To read more about Matthew Mead, check out his blog.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Birdcages, Workshops, Dogs and Wedding prep

 Another potpourri post from me today...its really a reflection of how my brain is
and what is going on between personal, home and shop life.  So I will be jumping around 
a bit from shop stuff to whats currently happening.
I wanted to show off these simply adorable little wire bird cages.  They aren't expensive
 or  a big deal, I just think they are great.  We tied our velvet skinny ribbons through the 
wire loop at the top and set them out on the tables....
 and we hung them from shop chandeliers.
  I pulled open their tiny wire doors, which actually
open and close.  You could put little things in there if you wanted. 
Like bird eggs or tiny faux birds,
or a pine cone or a pretty christmas bauble. 
 Or nothing at all!  Anyway I  just love these.
Its hard to see them because the wire is so fine, 
but they are a bit distressed with a mostly bronze finish
 with white paint rubbed off in areas.  Very sweet. 
 Its the little details that make a home.
I would love to do a Christmas tree
 with bird nests and these bird cages 
and tiny little birds and oodles of white lights.
 Well moving from something not so important to big news
 in Annie Sloan land, is the arrival
of her newest Chalk Paint color:  BURGUNDY!!
 Finally, after a year or more of trying to get the color just perfect, 
it has arrived. I will be adding it to our online shop today. 
Its a rich cranberry color, where the Primer Red is more browny 
with a brick red color, the Burgundy will be beautiful 
for fall and holiday paint jobs! 
 I love me a cranberry ribbon on a wreath.
 Ok with the store going along as usual, we have a family wedding 
coming up very soon! Less
than two weeks! So I have been getting ideas from Pinterest 
for the wedding to help Justin and Madison out with the execution
 of their vision for their big day. 
 Its going to be a rustic affair, and
you will see it right here on the blog. I turned down People magazine, 
because my readers deserve  first dibs on seeing the pics.  
 With a wedding comes getting dressed. 
When you really don't have anytime to shop because you are 
in a store all the time, you resort to certain measures. 
 I first ordered a dress online from Nordstroms.
It came and it fit, but it wasn't comfy. 
 And it was kind of blingy!
So I went to Nordstroms and after trying on a few dresses 
I settled on this one.
Its navy blue column style with a lace overlay, 
with a big slit up the center of the back
for easy walking and dancing. It has this industrial type 
zipper that was kind of different.  Some designers are putting
 those in dresses now, like Von Furstenburg etc. 
 This dress is by Adrianna Papell, and she makes
very pretty dresses.  I loved the service at Nordstroms too!
 So this is what the MOG (mother of the groom) will be wearing.
I have some shoes...they are white. 
I am thinking of dying them with Annie's
paint using a mix of Napoleonic and Graphite.  Ha! I will let you 
know if they come out great, or if they don't. 
 I wore them at my wedding
and they are pretty and so comfy, so I would like to wear them again.
 The little dogs had to go to the groomer...
the big dog is under some medical supervision right now.
He had an ear hematoma that is being treated, 
but the sad thing is that when we took Dillon to see the vet for his ear, 
she spotted these growths on him that turned out to 
be dog skin cancer called Mast Cell Tumors.  UGH!!!
 So we are going to find out if they are really bad or just easily
 resolved by the removal of them next week. 
Fingers crossed it will be a good prognosis because we adore Dillon.
 Here is Tobey with his new hair cut. 
 He is getting really lame these days
 and sits around because his legs are so weak. 
 He is getting old now and we are treasuring our time with him too.
 In the midst of all the dog stuff, wedding stuff, running the shop,
 I still have decorating appointments that get squeezed in. 
 I plan to do a big blog with my good camera on my client Joyce's place.
 This big and lovely dresser armoire sold and is off to 
Boston to a lovely lady named Gigi!
Perfect name for this French piece.   I will miss this one.
And last but not least we have been selling out workshops 
and cannot keep up with demand.
October is sold out as I only can offer one at the end of the month.
 Two more have been added for November so 
check online at and 
click on  SHOP and then WORKSHOPS to see what we are offering.  
You can find the bird cages under the HOME DECOR tab. 
 Until next time, have a great week!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

A son's birthday, a Patriots game bachelor party and painting marble with Chalk Paint®

 It has been a very busy September around here.  We are getting ready 
for Justin and Madison's wedding in October, and the month of September 
brings the most birthdays for our family.  This past week Colin turned 23, 
and we do what we always do these days~we head to a big pizza restaurant
 and sit in a circular leather booth and celebrate!  Mr. Maison Decor took
 this pic of us before we headed out to chow down.  I have been counting carbs 
to look good for the wedding, but Colin's
birthday would be a cheat night for me. Yummy!!  Colin has had a big year, 
getting his new job as a college grad, and we are very proud of him.  
Justin's birthday is at the end of this month and hub's is a few days after his! 
Justin is having a big year for himself as well.
 This morning brought an early start as it was Justin's bachelor party! 
I love that he wanted to go to the New England Patriots home opener
 as his "guy party" before the wedding.  I grabbed a few shots outside
 in the driveway in my pajamas around 7 am.  
Here are the guys flanking their dad,
 who turned 60 today! I told you we have a lot of September birthdays.
 They horsed around throwing the football waiting for my hubs 
to come out of the house and get the train rolling to Foxboro where the Patriots play. 
 Its less than two weeks from today that Justin ties the knot!!
He has had a tremendous year himself, setting up the business in Boston and 
enjoying success with that.  Settling down with Madison is the next big chapter in
his life, and we wish them much happiness and success.
Colin is wearing his Tom Brady jersey we gave him for his birthday.
 He had a few years of high school football under his belt, 
serving as the Captain of his team.  I loved watching him play and going to the games.
  Justin and Colin love their football and so do I!!
 I will be watching the TV and loving every minute of it.  
Sundays are the best in the fall around here (as long as we win).
 Their dad Barry is in the mix, and its nice to have these occasions to share together
in relative peace and harmony :-)
 Finally out came Mr. Maison Decor in his cowboy hat and Pats jersey....
he will be driving our Ford Expedition XL and stopping to get 
two more passengers as they head down to Gillette Stadium.
One of the guys is a chef and I hear there is going to be quite the food fest.
  They outfitted the car with a grill on a caboose~
this is going to be one serious tail gate affair.
 So off they go~a parting photo of the guys. 
Happy Bachelor Party Justin!
 Have a blast and bring home some leftovers...
 Right about now this stadium is filling up with fans, but those who planned 
tail gates are out in the parking lot licking their chops.
Well this guy might not be in the parking lot....
Let me switch gears and show a neat project we did 
recently in the shop~this console table had a paint job and 
some texture added to give it a bit of age.  
Well a good customer wanted it to look more old world.
She also hated the marble inset top it had and asked 
if anything could be done about it.
Why yes, there is!
 You can paint marble with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. 
The marble is porous and it takes Chalk Paint beautifully.  
I know, I know, this paint is so weird!! It does all these incredible things.
 Goodbye marble, no one will ever know you are under there when we are done.
After I did the same color, Country Grey as I had previously done 
on the rest of the table, I attached the Efex ribbon applique
 with contact cement and then I painted over all of it again
with another coat of Chalk Paint, but this time in Paris Grey. 
I crackled the paint over the marble area so it wouldn't look so smooth. 
 Crackling the paint is one of the techniques we teach in our INTRO
to Chalk Paint Workshop at Maison Decor.  
 And the finished console looked like this! 
It was treated to clear and dark Soft Waxes by Annie Sloan 
to seal and protect the piece.
 This is the Efex ribbon applique that we sell online as well as in our shop. 
I got dark wax all inside the grooves, crannies and nooks 
and rubbed it back and it looks so OLD!!! I love it!!
 And this shows how the crackled top looks over the marble hiding underneath....
 The before with the marble top...
 The after with the crackled painted marble and Efex. 
My customer loved it and it went home with her that very day!
 Well its time for me to tune into todays Patriots game 
and see how my team does today.
And look at this!!

The Official New England Patriots' 
Twitter  account favorited my tweet
about the guys headed to the game for Justin's bachelor party!
Woah, that is pretty cool! 

 This guy is tough to beat~Tom Brady you are the best!!
And to all these guys~you're not so bad yourselves!

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