Chippy goodness…

Today I’m taking some sample boards down to Country Roads of the new Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint!

Come see “Tricycle”, “Ironstone”, and “Shutter Gray” in person! 
The milk paint should be available by mid September. I’ll update you as soon as I have a firm date. There’s so much anticipation for this paint. I have a feeling it will go fast! If you would like to pre-order, just send me a message and I’ll be sure to reserve it for you! You can check out the entire line on my website:


New Annie video!

Check out Annie Sloan’s new video!
Oh! And you can see me in a few of the workshop scenes(be sure not to blink!). They were filming when I visited her at her shop in Oxford, England last September.  
I love this video and how it shows her personality. It also shows her working in the lab, visiting her vacation home in France, and of course painting. 
I have had the privilege to “hang out”(that’s what it feels like. You are completely comfortable in her presence!) with Annie a few times now, and I can tell you she is a truly amazing, down to earth person who has remained humble through all of this. And I know she will continue to be because bottom line is….she just loves to create. She wants you to create too! She is currently working on new products to help you do just that.
There are so many wonderful things happening with the Annie Sloan brand.  Stay tuned!


Tablespoons…I swear!

My space at Country Roads was getting kinda bare(sort of of a good thing) and I needed some furniture in there STAT! The below dresser has been with me awhile. I had been avoiding it because it was so beat up and thought it might be a lot of work to repair. The veneer on top was peeling off and the original hardware was barely hanging on(don’t know how they all managed to still be attached!). 

First off, I tackled the veneer. Whoa… okay, NOT EASY. I stopped what I was doing(which wasn’t much due to the fact that it wouldn’t budge) and put in a call to consult my paint bestie, Tami at Patina Decorative Finishes for advice on how to make the job easier.  Her advice? “Leave it”, “Work with it somehow”. I always trust her advice, besides, I didn’t want to spend all week chipping it off(trust me, I tried all the tricks and they didn’t make it any easier!).

So I then decided to paint the piece in super distressed rustic style to help mask all of the flaws character. I am not lying to you when I tell you that I literally used tablespoons of Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan! I dry brushed on one coat of Paris Grey Chalk Paint™. It dried almost immediately. I was then ready to apply the stencil detail on the drawer fronts. I used Royal Design Studio’s “Scrollallover” stencil , dry brushing the design in Pure White Chalk Paint™. Not lying again… this time I may have only used a teaspoon of Chalk Paint™! I was able to distress the stencil detail almost instantly. I then painted and distressed the hardware, also in Pure White.

I think I spent a whole 45 minutes painting this piece! I finished her off by sealing her in clear wax. Off to Country Roads  she went! I just love her charm.
Until next time….go create something beautiful, even if nobody cares!

Lavender and boots? Yup.

“There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.” Sally Owens-Practical Magic

When I heard that New Oaks Ranch in Ojai, California offers “U Pick” lavender during the harvest season, I jumped right on it! Five bucks for as much as you can manage to squeeze into a twist tie and as many bundles as you want. Love it. On top of all of that, they are super nice and really helpful!

I knew nothing about lavender, only that I liked the smell. They showed me all of the different varieties and explained to me the differences. I also discovered I have the perfect growing conditions at my own home for growing lavender, full sun and little water. Yes! I decided that I liked the Provence variety the best. It has an amazing fragrance and is safe to use in cooking. The other varieties contain camphor which is not good for us humans. It was clear that is has no affect on the bees that seemed to be getting drunk on every stalk of lavender we came across! The bees were way to busy to bother us, freeing us from our initial fear of being surrounded by them and we set off to gather our harvest.

I wish they had smell-o-blogger
 Here’s cutie pie Mr. ‘Round the Coop cutting the lavender for me. He’s so awesome.
 We ended up with six bundles. I wanted to pick more, but it was the first day of the harvest season and I didn’t want to be greedy(who am I kidding? I wanted to be greedy!).
We ended out trip by sitting at a picnic table under an old walnut tree, sipping on some lavender lemonade that they had for sale before we headed to the car. As we were making our way down the mountain, it was hard for me to stay awake as the car was filled with the fragrance of lavender. Now I know why spas use this stuff, it’s really relaxing! Mr. RTC even fell asleep. Good thing I was the one driving! 
When I arrived at my workshop the next day, I needed to dry out all of this lavender. The woman at the ranch said that I could dry them standing straight up. Cool. Except for the fact that I didn’t have enough vases or containers tall enough to do this. Hmmmm.
Well, I don’t know if you know this or not, but I have a slight vintage cowboy boot obsession. I have them lying around everywhere. I eyeballed them and knew right away I could get them to work for me somehow.
I then needed to have something to hold the stems inside them, while stiffening the upper part of the boot at the same time.
In steps the ubiquitous Red Solo cup. Perfect.
I had more than enough boots to dry out the lavender. After I was all done, I stepped back and couldn’t help but realize how darn cute they all looked. I thought to myself , “Well, I do need some more things to hang on my workshop wall”. Out came the staple gun and the step ladder(aka the closest chair).
 I little crazy I know(just like me!), but I love it.
I love to re purpose everything around me. I just say “what the h*!!” and try it. Some of these experiments turn out to be the most creative things I’ve ever done. 
Picking lavender and learning all about it was a great experience. I’m planning on giving some away and selling some in my booth at Country Roads. I would highly recommend paying New Oaks Ranch a visit if you’re in the area. They are open weekends starting June 16th through July 28th, 10:00 – 4:00 for the harvesting season.
Now go create something beautiful….even if nobody cares.

She’s heeeeeeere….

Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan has landed! Tickets are still available for the San Francisco workshop, so get registered! Go to to see the details. Not only do you get to hang out with Annie, you get to meet me! HA!! Seriously, this event is going to be amazing!

I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so much, I decided to dedicate a dresser to it. Here it is currently sitting in my office…

Graphite with clear and dark wax. Decoupaged copies of paint can labels applied to drawers!
I’m off to meet up with fellow Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Stockists in New Orleans to kick off the tour. I’m sure I’ll have some great pics to share when I get back!
So while I’m gone, you know what to do….go create something beautiful.


Seek perfection in imperfection….

That’s what I always tell my workshop students. They are so afraid of not painting perfectly, so timid when first starting out. I get it, it’s really hard for us, especially living in Southern California. We have the illusion of perfection surrounding us constantly. I have luckily received the gift of seeing through all of it and embracing imperfections. I love them, I actually seek them out when looking for furniture pieces to paint. The more nicks, scrapes, and bumps the better. I know those pieces have a story! The imperfections add character that cannot be duplicated with factory made furniture.

I was flipping through the first few pages of Annie Sloan’s book, Quick and Easy Paint Transformations, and came across this passage:

I thought to myself, “BRILLIANT!”. I’m so glad she and I think alike, as Annie Sloan is one of the people on this planet I admire. 

The look and feel of Annie’s paint, and the patina the waxes create are what I love. They don’t require perfection. The pieces actually look better when you just let everything happen spontaneously. I can easily change what my initial intention was, without reservation, because the product is so easy to work with! 

So let go. Be free to create whatever comes to you naturally! No over thinking. Please, just try. Deal?

While we’re at it. I think we can apply this philosophy of “seeking perfection in imperfection” to people also…

No, he’s not perfect. But I bet he made you smile!


Paint melamine without priming and sanding? Of course!

So I saw this untapped beauty hiding and sulking in the corner of a consignment shop, lacking confidence and begging for a makeover. She was your typical white and yellow melamine piece that is found at thrift stores and garage sales everywhere. These girls have great lines! Often very feminine and have a look to them that only French women possess.

Her veneer is slightly shiny and slick. Now, normally you would have to sand her down and prime her before painting. But we’re talking Annie Sloan Chalk Paint here! No sanding, no priming, really…no kidding. I painted right onto her using two coats of Paris Grey, with one coat of Cream applied to the decorative details. I sealed her with a coat of clear wax, followed with some dark wax and a little distressing. She was then ready to meet the world with the new “je ne sais quoi” she had acquired!

Here she is now in all her gorgeousness…

She’s still feeling a little bit shy, so you only get a leg shot. You can meet Melanie(yes, they do have names!) and see her entire figure in person at Country Roads in Old Town Orange, California. Oh, and tell her “bonjour” for me!
Now go create something beautiful.


Do you want to attend to the Annie Sloan workshop in San Francisco….for free?!


Annie will be at the historic Fort Mason in San Francisco on March 19th and you could be there also…for free! That’s right, I have two tickets to give away! Each ticket is worth $350.00!

All you need to do is visit and read about the tour. Come back to my blog and leave a comment on why you should be selected to win a free ticket to this amazing event.

Winners will be selected at Noon, March 1st 2012. No purchase necessary. Does not include airfare, transportation, or lodging.

Good luck!


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